May 24, 2011

Gaffer Tape, Tassels, and Table Talk

Coming up for some air, finally (and mostly thanks to Tylenol). Last week after Surtex ended, i was completely knocked out, down-for-the-count — laryngitis, fever, head cold. All the work, long days and late nights, lack of sleep, planning, preparation etc. really caught up with me. But it was all worth it because we had a really great and productive show. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and spent so much time talking with us, even with wet feet and soaked jackets! Yup, it rained the whole time.

A little recap...

This year we brought enough 3M command strips so Pete didn't have to run all over the city like last year. Uh, except that i decided on some changes and went for a new look for my booth, and "new" always means there's a certain degree of improvisation and a little extra not-sure-if-this-will-actually-work-sweat required to make the leap from a plan on a piece of paper to the actual hard wall space. That being said, it was a shortage of gaffer tape that sent Pete on a mini goose chase this year. All i can say is i did use a calculator and came really really close, but i just plain forgot to measure a couple spots. It was a good thing we were in NY..a city that has everything, if you can find it. And Pete did.

The result:
I really couldn't have been happier with how everything came together when it finally did...14 hours later. Change is good. Change is rewarding. And when you make changes, you can't help but learn something new (like bring more gaffer tape than you think you need)!

Speaking of change, it was fun to see some people from the fabric world with their own booths at Surtex. Like Patty (and her un-photographed, but equally amazing husband Jon):
and Liz who was brave enough to exhibit on her own while her partner-in-crime Beth covered their booth at Quilt Market:
I'm not 100% sure how it happened, but i didn't get pictures of Sandy, Erin, or Melody's booths. Or any pictures of Joanna, Liesl, and Charlotte who walked the show. Or of Kelle who surprised me by hand-delivering a copy of Taffy sent straight from Market by Julie (thank you julie!) So you get the gist, it was like Quilt Market, The Sequel! Such fun to see so many familiar faces there.

This was another fun little surprise. The National Stationery Show runs at the same time as Surtex. This year, they teamed up with Kate's Paperie and held a contest a la Project Runway where students at LIM College were challenged to make dresses out of paper. One morning, Pete and i arrived a little early and took a stroll down the hall where all the dresses were on display.

This one was simple and elegant..
...and this one was sweet and beautiful...
...and this one stopped me in my tracks because that gold allium print on the bodice is gift wrap i designed for the Gift Wrap Company! How funny.
The winner of the contest was one i didn't photograph (boo me!), but it will be on display in the window of Kate's Paperie in NYC during Fashion Week. Pretty cool!

So now the work begins and we're following-up with many of the companies we spoke with at the Show. We met so many new people this year and are excited to explore some new product areas. Hopefully i'll be able to share more as things progress.

Speaking of progress...

I don't know if i've ever mentioned that Pete has been in graduate school for the past two years. Up at dawn, off on his bike, onto the train, through rain, snow and heat waves with a pile of books and a passion for learning. He has been so hard at work earning his Masters of Public Health degree. And just yesterday, he graduated! Hooray! To say that i am proud of all that he has accomplished is quite a giant understatement.
On Sunday we went to the Class Day hooplah at which Tom Hanks addressed the graduating class with a mix of humor and provocative commentaries about the the time we live in. It's uplifting, engaging, and entertaining, but certainly not without its efforts to summon the spirit of the occasion by urging for action from the crowd of future leaders. I don't know about you, but i love graduation addresses. I love the optimistic and hope-filled way they speak to the potential each person possesses to go forward and use the knowledge they've acquired to do something good. Maybe even really good. Here's the video if you have a few minutes (or 22):

Part of the Old Campus:
Statue of Nathan Hale (he lived in the brick dorm shown in this picture):
Pete and me:
Pete is now working at Yale with several of his (former) professors. Back on the bike this morning and off he went!

The last bit of news for now is that i am soo happy to have been asked to be part of a blog hop that features Gudrun Erla's new book called Table Talk!
I'm a little late to the party because it actually started yesterday over on the Jolly Jabber and continues today on Sandy's blog. So hop around to read more about the book and maybe even win one! My day is this Thursday. Gudrun will be posting each day of the hop as well, so don't forget to visit her too!

Here's the line up:
Monday May 23rd: Kimberly Jolly - The Jolly Jabber
Tuesday May 24th: Sandy Gervais - Pieces From My Heart
Wednesday May 25th: Monique Dillard - Open Gate Quilts
Thursday May 26th: Me!
Friday May 27th: Kansas City Star - Diane McLendon

Whew, that's all for now! Nice to be back.


  1. Tom Hanks probably made a wonderful graduation speaker! Last year I got to see the President (yes, of the United States) at my niece's graduation. I like those uplifting, call to action type speeches! Congratulations to your husband!
    The booth looks wonderful! What a neat show Surtex must be!

  2. Congratulations to Pete! An advanced degree is indeed an accomplishment! Your booth looks Fantastic! Good luck with your new endeavors!

  3. I think I need a rest after just reading your post!! Congratulations to both of you :)

  4. Your booth is just beautiful...truly a breath of spring air...and congratulations on it all...and to your husband as well! When I'm too tired to sew, I'm going to come back and listen to Tom's speech...he's one of my favorite actors!

  5. Your booth looks great! Congratulation to Pete, and Tom Hanks... Wow! :o)

  6. Congrats to Pete!!!
    Booth looks great!!
    ..and I'm glad you got to meet Kelle! She's a total sweetheart!

  7. Congratulations to you for a successful Surtex, and to Pete on his graduation. One will fight the good fight, while the other makes the world more lovely.
    Those dresses are amazing! What fun it must have been to spy your design.

  8. Love your booth! And congratulations to both of you on Pete's degree. (I had a husband who went through graduate school after we married. I know it's hard on everyone, but well worthwhile!)

  9. Beautiful booth. (Of course, your fabrics are beautiful, so you were well on your way already!)

  10. Welcome home and WOWzer on the degree! Congrats to both of you!! I sure hope you feel all right-tighty very soon :)

  11. what an amazing post! Congrats on the booth, good fortunes and graduate in the house!

  12. Wow! Congratulations to your awesome husband! Thanks for posting the commencement address -- I enjoyed listening to it.

  13. thanks for sharing all the pictures - I especially love the one w/the picture of North Meadow in ivory framed in the background!!! I love that - I may have to do that to add some cheer to a room in my house! =)

  14. Hi Kate! Was nice chatting with Pete at Surtex while you manned your booth. It looked beautiful, as I expected! Great that you had a productive show! I brought my hubby to look around, too. I'm graduating tomorrow, too, from Pete's rival school... Can you guess where? :) - Tina

  15. Awesome booth and congrats to Pete!!!

  16. Hi Kate, glad you're feeling better and the booth looks absolutely fantastic! I'm also glad to be a new follower, I love your writing style as well as your beautiful designs. Congrats to Pete!

  17. I was lucky enough to see your booth in person! It was wonderful. So glad to get the chance to meet you, I am a huge fan. Glad you had a great show!!!!

  18. Kate, I am such a big fan. Love all of your designs and your blog too. Thanks for sharing part of your world with us!

  19. Your booth looks so good! And, congrats to your hubbie! :0

  20. Yay, welcome back! So sorry to hear that you were sick but glad that you are feeling better. Your Surtex booth looks amazing!! I love getting a peak at some of the designs that haven't made it onto fabric yet :)

    Those paper dresses are very cool! I have a special place in my heart for Kate's paperie b/c of the name and like to visit there when I am in NYC.

    And huge congrats to Pete! My background is in health policy so if he is interested in the DC/health policy angle I would be happy to chat with him sometime!

  21. Those paper creations are AMAZING! So much talent in the world and a cool avenue for exposing it. Congrats to Pete! What a great accomplishment and the MPH at Yale is highly reputed throughout the country and world!


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