Sunday, 30 September 2012

Tula Pink Trunk Show

Last Wednesday I attended the afternoon Tula Pink Trunk Show at The City Quilter, Manhattan.  Here's my piccies from the day and a few notes as we go along.

Explaining The Design Process

Tula's sent many colour samples for each of her fabric designs which she then has to narrow down for the final collection that will be manufactured - she loved the orange fabrics but orange wouldn't work commercially which always has to be part of the final decision.

The 'Full Moon Forest' design process - pencil sketch of half an image onto squared paper.  Only half an image is needed as the other side will be a reverse of it.  The design has to fit the fabric printing cylinders so it has an exact size to fit the cylinder options available as there can't be a gap or overlap in the pattern when the printing cylinder rotates.  That's why Tula sketches onto square paper - to ensure she stays to the correct size.  Once she's sketched her design in pencil she transfers it to the computer and then adds colour and then overlays the design detail onto the coloured copy.  The final copy at the bottom is the finished piece of fabric.  The colour samples along the bottom are from paint charts and attaching these to her design is the best way for Tula to ensure that the fabric manufacturers use exactly the colour she wants.  Each time a fabric has to be returned for a colour to be revised adds 6 weeks to the manufacturing process.

 Looking At The Fabrics
some archived and some current

Tula said that we were all quilters together and everything she'd brought with her was to be examined, held, and touched - we weren't to hold back.

 The voile was the revelation of the day - Tula suggested using it for a quilt backing or even for a whole quilt.  It is soooo soft and silky and it's smooth and cool to the touch - it would be heaven to sleep under.  The beauty is that all Tula's voiles are 100% cotton and, even though it so silky and lightweight, it sews just like quilter's cotton.

 The Original Design Pencil Sketches
Not the best photos as there's a lot of light reflecting on the images as they were inside plastic wallets but you get the idea :)

What's Coming Next?
SaltWater and also a new collection of ribbons!

Tula's Quilts

This is the first quilt that Tula ever made when she was 14.  She saw a Kaffe Fassett design and thought she could do that - without a pattern.  The size of the blocks kept changing as she altered everything and learnt more about quilting as she went along.  She wanted to show her rebellious, goth, teenage side so she hand embroidered skeletons on dolphins onto the finished quilt.

Each of these quilts was originally made to showcase Tula's fabrics at Quilt Market.  Deadlines are too tight to get new fabric lines through customs in time to make up the sample quilts but 1 yard of each fabric is allowed through without delay.  So ... Tula has made each of these quilts using only 1 yard of each fabric design.  There's never enough fabric to make the quilt backing so Tula has these oversized fabric panels made for each fabric theme and uses them as her 'quilt label'.

Tula makes 30-50 quilts each year and still has every quilt she's ever made.  She keeps them all in a climate controlled room in her home and thinks there's around 600.

Quilting Detail

All of Tula's quilts are quilted by Angela Walters of Quilting Is My Therapy.  Tula visits Angela every Monday (even at Christmas) to drop off and collect that week's quilts.

The Book Signing
love this pic of me with Tula and below is my signed copy of Quilts From The House Of Tula Pink

I have to say that Tula is a total delight, she's open, honest, friendly and very, very entertaining.  
Thank you Tula Pink for a very fun and inspiring Wednesday afternoon :)

PS: If you want to see more pics, I've 'shared' The City Quilter's photos of the day on my Facebook wall and you may want to check out Tula's new web store I♥TulaPink.

For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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  1. What a fun day! This makes me want Tula to come back here again. And you got more quilts - clearly she can bring more in the US than in the UK where she was restricted to the 3 that she could stuff into one suitcase. Great detailed summary Chrissie x

    1. Oh wow Gertie, now I feel bad that you didn't get to see more at your Trunk Show but so thrilled that I did! I did wonder how she carries everything around but she mentioned that she ships everything ahead of her, at least to Quilt Market and the like, she said she's only ever lost one quilt.

      Isn't she such fun though and so friendly and entertaining? She was hanging around the shop between her lunchtime and evening trunk shows and she even offered to work the shop floor. :)

  2. How exciting! So neat to see the sketches and a little peek into how the design process works. I wish she would come to a quilt shop in my area! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Wow, that looks like you had a great time! I'm jealous.

  4. Beautiful presentation! Her fabrics look lovely and it's so interesting to see the pencil sketches that turn into fabrics. Lucky You, City Girl! :)

    1. Pencil sketches are just fab aren't they? Next day off Kati, come on in and join me! :)

  5. Oh wow, I feel like I was there too, it's such a detailed account, and Tula sounds amazing! She is so talented and such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing :-) xxx


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Chris Dodsley