Quilt Market Fall 2013–Part 1: Lets talk about love

Okay, I’m about to get a wee-bit sappy…and sappy I’m not, but I want to talk a little about LOVE. This year’s quilt market adventure has taught me a few lessons and made me fall in a deeper love–with my craft, with my friends, with my family, with my husband, with mankind, with complete strangers that I’ve grown so close to, and with my Creator.

We just returned from Quilt Market  where we debuted my newest fabric collection, Garden Party Tango with Windham Fabrics. It was a whirlwind of a week and such a fantastic time seeing old friends, making new ones, and doing the Garden Party Tango!! This year was the first year that I had an individual booth, and the booths at this trade show are a complete showcase of the wildly awesome creativity and talent in this industry. When Windham told me that I was going to have an individual booth, I was very excited, but so very, very nervous.

If you’ve read any of my posts on Surtex, you know that my husband and I go a little crazy and over-the-top when it comes to booth design. We LOVE creating mini Iza Pearl worlds. We are certainly do-it-your-selfers, and get a rush from trying to figure out “how” to do things. It’s our crack-cocaine. :) We spend countless hours wandering the aisle of Home Depot (a trait I’ve inherited from my mother and grandmother) trying to come up with solutions to make our vision come to life. We don’t have cable tv, so we can do just that.

I am so thankful to do what I  LOVE each and everyday. I LOVE to create, and this entire journey as allowed me to do just that; not only art that has been turned into fabric, but to expand those designs into tangible and beautiful things for the world to enjoy and then create for themselves. Let me just say, those tangible and beautiful items didn’t come from just this house, but from 16 different people and from 5 different states. A true labor of LOVE by many.

Part of the Quilt Market prep is putting together a catalog of project ideas showcasing ways that people can use your fabrics. Of course, in true Iza Pearl OCD fashion, I wanted this to be grand. I received my fabric for the samples October 4th and then the second batch on the 8th, so that meant a mad rush to get it into the hands of the fabulous sewers. Things got a bit hairy because our photoshoot dates were the 13th & 18th of October! These incredible sewers snipped, stitched, and quilted, with great skill, at lightening speed, to turn my fabric in to complete gorgeousness.

(apron sewn by Belinda Gelhausen • sewn by Alison O’Grady of  Sew Bee It Clothier : boy’s vest  Oliver + S Art Museum Vest  girl’s outfit,  The Lily Bird Studio, Amy’s Peplum Top and Violette Field Threads Brook Riding Pant lady’s dress, designed and sewn by Alicia Ybarra of Vanya Design & Custom Sewing)
October 13th was here before we knew it and in my hands, were breathtaking handmade outfits sewn by Alicia Ybarra of Vanya Designs & Custom Sewing and Alison O’Grady of  Sew Bee It Clothier. These ladies literally made these jewels in just a couple of days. So my husband and I hauled the backdrop he built and the gazillion paper flowers I made to The Three Co. photography studio where we met our models…who happen to be my parent’s sweet, wonderful, and absolutely gorgeous neighbors. Despite the 70% chance of rain, we got a bazillion wonderful shots without a single drop!!

Seriously!? How absolutely gorgeous are these 10 year old twins and breathtakingly stunning is their mother!?! Totally could be professional models!  I truly LOVED getting to know these precious people better and am so very thankful they agreed to do the Garden Party Tango…and they did it so beautifully!!

October 18th, round 2 photo-shoot, was here in a blink of an eye and I had received even more Garden Party Tango goodness from my sewing angels in the form of pinafores and dresses, jackets and vests, shirts and pouches and bibs and baby booties and quilts…oh my!! The beauty and LOVE of it all was incredible. The 18th started out as a sunny, beautiful day, with only a 10% chance of isolated showers. Now, remember, North Texas is in a severe drought, so we didn’t give this 10% chance much thought. We once again loaded up the backdrop, some props, my ever growing chain of paper flowers and then still, some how, managed to squeeze in my 4 year old cutie-patootie niece and my sister-in-law and off we went to the photography studio.

So, the sky was cloudy, but again, we’re in a drought. So we all set up the backdrop, wired on the sprawling paper flowers, set out the sofa and pillows, and tea party table. All the precious and adorable kiddos that were modeling and their sweet mamas had just arrived and slipped into their Garden Party Tango outfits when it started to POUR! The kiddos dashed back inside to stay dry.  My sweet mother (who I asked to come because something just told me to), dear husband, darling sister-in-law, fabulous photographer and I, somehow managed to get everything, including the paper flowers, under shelter to stay mostly dry. As the photographer and I tried to figure out a Plan B, my husband kept saying “Just wait. It’ll pass…according to the radar on my phone.” (which also ONLY called for a 10% chance of showers!!) However, my husband and his trusty iphone were right and  just as we got Plan B figured out, the sun came out shining in all it’s glory! The kiddos rushed out in complete adorable giddiness and the photographer got to clicking!

(immediately above, top left, sewn by Monica Vega: inspriational peek-a-boo pinafore  Violette Field Threads Molly Jacket •  top right, sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier : Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress • bottom left, sewn by Monica Vega: Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress • bottom right, sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier : Violette Field Threads Josephine Dress )

(top outfits previously credited. 1) sewn by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style: inspirational necktie, Oliver + S sketchbook shirt & Art Museum Vest   2) sewn by Monica Vega: Izzy & Ivy Beverly Bell Top ) 

I truly LOVE each and everyone of these kiddos.They are fabulous little human beings, with beautiful spirits, and did such an incredible job! This world is so very blessed to be given these sweet little gifts. I can not wait to see all the incredible things they will accomplish. We had SO MUCH FUN–a little tea party action, a game of checkers and tic-tac-toe, and some time on a great tree swing. The day was long, and the shoot took place during prime nap time, but these kiddos were completely awesome. I’m so thankful their sweet mamas took time out of their busy lives to let their darlings be part of this Iza Pearl adventure!

(1) sewn by Monica Vega: Baby Boy Short Shirt Overalls,  Kwik Sew #3730  sewn by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style: inspirational newsboy cap

(left two outfits sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It ClothierViolette Field Threads Josephine Blouse , inspirational paper bag skirt, and light-blue dress: Violette Field Threads Josephine Dress )

No garden party is complete without games. I thought it would be fun to create a reversible checker / tic-tac-toe board quilt that could easily be taken on a picnic or to a party for a little fun. I wasn’t exactly sure how to execute this idea, so I enlisted the help of some fabulous friends. Debbie Buford and her daughter-in-law Kelly Burford took my silly sketch and created this fabulous game set that the kids and mamas alike were drooling over! We had some pretty intense games of checkers and tic-tac-toe and a whole lot of fun happen at our Garden Party! :) (For those interested in whipping up a Garden Party Tango game set of their own, we’re hoping to get it published as a free pattern in a great magazine in the coming months. Stay tuned for details. )

By the time we got to the game board quilt shots, the clouds started to once again gather and we still needed to photograph the dashing adult Garden Party Tango gear and the breathtaking quilts. So we sprinted inside to get changed. Right as my sister-in-law, sister, husband and I just stepped outside, down came the rain. My 5′ 3″ mom, with her super hero flying powers, somehow covered the 8′ x 12′ backdrop with a giant plastic sheet…once again saving the paper flowers. So, when that something tells you to ask your mom to be somewhere with you…listen because moms are amazing, and saving the paper flowers is just one of the bazillion reasons I LOVE my mom.

I was totally bummed we didn’t get through all the shots, but also knew that we had some fantastic ones of the kiddos. Of course by the time we had everything packed up and were back at home the rain stopped. So what do you do after a rainy photo shoot when the day suddenly turns nice?…you hang out in the backyard sip a little wine and beer, eat fajitas and watch the kiddos play–that’s exactly what we did. Our wonderful neighbor happened to pop his head over the fence to chat. Luckily for me, Hank is a fantastic photographer. He has traveled the globe taking incredible pictures and I asked if he would mind snapping a few more the next day. He agreed! Hank Henley Photography saved the day!

Unfortunately, my beautiful sister-in-law who looked drop-dead-gorgeous in her skirt and my precious niece had to head back to Oklahoma, so we didn’t get pictures of the awesome pencil skirt sewn by Alicia Ybarra of Vanya Design & Custom Sewing, but no fear, next time I see my sweet sis-in-law, I’ll bribe her with a glass of wine and get some pictures. It’s such a great J.Crew-ish style skirt and Anna wears so well!

Luckily though, my sister and her precious family live just minutes away, so I suckered them into coming over the next day for an impromptu photo shoot in our driveway. We had a blast, and got some really fun shots!

(1 & 2: designed and made by Ronald Delice of ron-n-ron: inspirational mens’ shirts)

(1) sewn by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style: women’s top, Sis Boom Patricia tunic • designed & sewn by Meridith Lohse: inspirational ring-sling baby carrier 2) designed & made by Ronald Delice of ron-n-ron: women’s butterfly tunic • 3) designed and made by Ronald Delice of ron-n-ron: inspirational mens’ shirts  • sewn by Alicia Ybarra of Vanya Design & Custom Sewing: Colette Patterns Laurel Dress  4) designed & made by Ronald Delice of ron-n-roninspirational men’s swim trunks • 5) sewn by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style: inspirational baby pants & newsboy cap

Not only did we have incredibly awesome Garden Party Tango apparel items made by crazy talented people, but other super-human sewers made completely radiant projects that are seriously to die for!

After spotting a darling little girls top using my Hello Gorgeous collection on Tracey Jacobsen’s blog, Tracey Jay Quilts, I left a comment on how adorably she used my fabrics. Tracey ended up emailing me and so generously offering to design and make for market a quilt using my newest fabric collection. I immediately replied “heck yeah!”, and the dazzling Rendezvous quilt is what she delivered. It’s truly a gem and makes the contrast and colors in the fabrics tango! You know you want one, and luckily the pattern is available in her shop so you can make your very own to tote along on your next Rendezvous!! How ’bout that!?!

The sweet baby items were created by Belinda Gelhausen. Belinda is a local talent and I became familiar with her work after she and her cutie-patootie nieces made some items using my Cabana Blooms collection. I reached out to her to make the fabulous Garden Party Tango apron, and along with it, she also delivered these precious baby items. The booties truly are heart-melting!

(above 1 & 2 sewn by Belinda Gelhausen: Baby Love Kit, includes burp cloth, bib, changing pad, baby booties, and carrying pouch • 3) designed and made by Tracey Jacobsen of Tracey Jay Quilts: Rendezvous Quilt, pattern available for purchase via Tracey’s shop )

This next fabulous quilt, Garden Party Hopscotch, was designed and pieced by the uber-talented Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs. This girl is like a volcano of talent that just keeps erupting with gorgeousness! So Erin pieced this baby in just a day, and then handed it off to her fellow volcano, Danielle Wilkes of Nacho Mamas Quilts, to be quilted. This chic also spews lava of talent and gorgeousness and completely erupted with her  long arm machine! Wowzers, the quilting is phenomenal!

(above, designed and pieced by Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs: Garden Party Hopscotch Quilt; pattern will be available for purchase via Schlosser Design pattern shop after the first of the year • quilted by Danielle Wilkes of Nacho Mamas Quilts )

This next baby began as a little idea that popped out of my head and landed as a sketch onto a piece of paper; but unfortunately that is as far as my knowledge and skill set in regards to quilting can currently take me. So, I emailed my cousin who owns a darling quilt shop in Overland Park, Kansas, Harper’s Fabric & Quilt Co. and asked if she knew any quilters that could and would be willing tackle this beast of a project in such a tight time frame. I was over the moon when I heard back from the dynamite talent, Mary Honas of First Rate Designs who was up for the challenge. Mary did such an incredible job on this dazzler and in only 3 days! The quilting is so clever, so well done and truly compliments the design of both the prints in the fabrics and the quilt itself. Scrumptious! This beauty, Spotlight Serenade, will be available as the free project download via the Windham Fabrics website this Spring when Garden Party Tango ships. Stay tuned and I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s up for download and time to tango in the spotlight!!

(above, Spotlight Serenade Quilt: designed by Melissa Ybarra of Iza Pearl Design; interpreted, pieced, and quilted by Mary Honas of First Rate Designs)

So, all THIS above happened before Quilt Market even got here. It was fabulous and I LOVED every second.

I LOVE my God for life itself and blessing me with the opportunities to use my passion everyday to help make a living and make this world a little more beautiful through art.

I LOVE my family who is so willing to help me with whatever, whenever –anything from saving silly paper flowers from a downpour to making a baby carrier mock-up to running to JoAnn’s for me to calmly suggesting we move the least smashed of the cupcakes to the front for the picture when my mind can no longer function. I LOVE my family because they gave up their weekend to help make paper flowers, model, and pour me a cup of coffee, then a glass of wine, then repeat all with a smile. I LOVE my family for willingly sharing their talent and time, and creating incredible garments that are so very fabulous and fashionable that they leave you speechless. I LOVE my family for their steadfast encouragement and love and for being such wonderful human beings always.

I LOVE the complete strangers, that now I consider dear friends, who reached out and were so willing to help. These angels, that God so strategically placed in my life, gave up their time and sleep and weekends to stitch so beautifully and so quickly.  The LOVE and enthusiasm I felt from these people were truly fuel for my soul to push forward and to know that all this would come together somehow in just two weeks.

I LOVE my husband for so many reasons but the fact that he lets me not only pursue my wild ideas and crazy dreams, but helps me make them a reality makes that love even more incredible. He built and painted everything for the market booth, set up and broke down the backdrop for the photo shoots 3 times (while smiling most of the time), sewed pillows and cushions, and even, against his will, modeled the swim trunks while wearing snorkel gear. Yep, I LOVE him.

I also LOVE how OUR (as it truly was a group effort!) Quilt Market booth turned out. It was truly LOVELY and my heart is so very full. :)

(Be sure to check back in the next day or so as I will be posting a tour of the booth, recapping the blast we had a market, and introducing you to my choir of angels that made this all possible!)


  1. Kristy says:

    Beautiful post! Beautiful pictures! Your booth and fabric collection were one of the most memorable I experienced at Market! So nice to have met you and your talented friend. Best wishes to you both!

  2. This project for me was a true blessing. It has been such an awesome experience from the start to the finish, (tears :( ). I really did hate to see it end because it WAS a labor of love, a true collection of so many creative souls, blessings abound.
    I also have made new Friends. That alone, is the best reason for a Garden Party Tango!

    • izapearl says:

      Thank you sweet lady!! Couldn’t agree more that the new friends made is the greatest blessing out of this adventure and certainly the perfect excuse to do the Garden Party Tango! :) xo!

  3. Libby says:

    Your blog alone will bring you many admirers. Let alone your stunning creations. I love them all AND you!

  4. Kelli says:

    Loved this! It brought a tear to my eye, and I can’t wait to spy all of these wonderful things you have created. It is so much fun to watch you do what you do!

  5. Geraldine says:

    Incredible post. You and your hubby are truly amazing! Love is what describes You! Love the Garden Party Tango collection too!

  6. Gina Johnson says:

    I love the way you love!!! I also LOVE how you point everything back to your God who obviously spent “a little extra time” on you. Dang, you are talented and so full of His Spirit!! He outdid Himself!!
    I have to say that your husband rocks!! My fave picture in the catalog is him in swimtrunks and snorkel! Smooches, G

  7. Monica Vega says:

    This was a true pleasure, from the moment we met last spring (Hello Gorgeous! at Harper’s) to the last ‘little Tango’ leaving on the FedEx Truck. I have been waiting for the Blog report like most people wait for a new book release. :) It was a joy and so much fun working with you, Melissa. Your cute little envelopes holding buttons and trim and funny notes. Oh and some really great Texas Chewie Pralines. All the creations are amazing. I can hardly wait to dive into more Tango fabulousness. Yeah….I loved the trunks with the snorkel too. This experience was a gift from God, at a time when I needed it. Bring on the booth and Market news, we want to hear more. Congrats and happiness to the whole Iza Pearl team – from Monica Made This.

    • izapearl says:

      Oh Sweet Monica…our chance meeting at Harper’s was truly a God thing! I’m so very blessed you came into my life and have been so wonderful and encouraging…not to mention super-duper talented!! I’ll get the quilt market booth post up soon! Wanted to make sure you also saw the online catalog: http://baumtextile.uberflip.com/i/205353

      I’ll get a hard copy to you in the mail! :) Hugs!

  8. mary honas says:

    I missed it the first time through–there was a SLING made with your fabric!! That is so fabulous! I used a sling very much like that with my 17 yo and 15 yo. They practically lived in it. :)

    And thanks for the catalog! It’s now in my portfolio of projects. It was fun to be involved in this latest market adventure. I can’t wait to see what comes next. :)

    • izapearl says:

      Hey Mary! Just saw this comment. Yes, the sling! My sweet sis designed and made it. She’s a baby-wearin’ mama for sure!! She collects them like my dryer collects lint…and she uses every. single. one. if them to tote her precious babes all over town! :)

  9. Ali Hester says:

    We loved your booth at market! We just got the line into our shop and are excited to make some fun samples to help get the sales going up & up! I remembered talking to a gal at your booth who had designed the patterns from the larger pillow displayed in your booth. I have lost her contact information and was wondering if you knew how to contact her! She made the gorgeous ‘toad-stool’ type pillows with the handles.

    Thanks so much! Love your work! :)

    - Ali in Seattle, WA

  10. Jacquelyn says:

    Amazing! Its genuinely amazing article, I have got much clear idea concerning
    from this paragraph.


  1. [...] and take a little tour of our Fall 2013 Garden Party Tango Quilt Market Booth. If you missed Part 1 of my Quilt Market blog posts, be sure to check it out for details of all the wonderful and [...]

  2. [...] designed, and with the help of 29 amazingly gorgeous and talented peeps, pulled off an incredible Garden Party Tango photo-shoot. / Made 1.745 bazillion paper flowers , and loved making every single petal. / Exhibited for the [...]

  3. [...] of Iza Pearl Design’s Garden Party Tango please feel visit the Iza Pearl blog (specifically this post and this post) and see the complete collection of photos and fabrics at Windham [...]

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