A Dream Come True- Quilt Market Recap

September 5, 2019


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I'm Tessie -Welcome home!

Three years ago I poured my heart out in this post talking about my “big dream” to become a surface pattern designer some day. It felt scary, vulnerable and far fetched at the time. I had no idea how I would get there but I was determined to put my head down and put in the work.

After 2 years of refining my artwork, learning Adobe Illustrator and creating a portfolio, I did one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. In May of 2018 I hopped on a plane and flew to Portland, Oregon to attend my first ever fabric trade show, Quilt Market. It was just me and my portfolio and it was absolutely terrifying. After pushing through the nerves and meeting some fabulous new friends I ended up meeting with 12 different fabric companies! To my great surprise I had a couple of offers and ended up signing with Windham Fabrics! They have been an absolute dream to work with and it truly has been a dream come true seeing my designs on actual fabric. My debut collection, Pink Lemonade, is currently available for preorder and will be shipping to stores in October 2019. You can see the full line here on the Windham Website.

In May 2019, one year after making that terrifying trip to Portland. I flew back to Quilt Market, but this time I had my own booth with my brand new fabric line to show off. I can not express in words the joy of that full circle moment in my life.

Quilt Market 2019 Tessie Fay for Windham Fabrics

Creating artwork and patterns is an extremely solitary activity. I sit in my office painting, designing, tweaking, and imagining all by myself. I work through patterns in my head and countless color ways in Adobe Illustrator until I find a combination that speaks to my heart and brings a smile to my face. Then I send it out into the world and I have absolutely no idea how it will be received. Having my booth at quilt market and having people come up to me to say how much they love the line, love the colors or how it is resonating with them was just such a joyful experience. It made me so thankful to live in a day and age where we can learn almost anything on the internet and there is no limit to our dreams.

I hope my story inspires YOU to get started on that dream that has been in the back of your mind. I hope you can stop listening to those negative voices and start following your heart. Why can’t you do it? Who says? No one gets to tell you what your dreams can be!


Links you might be interested in:

To see a tour of my quilt market booth watch this video from the Fat Quarter Shop

To see my fabric collection and lookbook click here


Remember to always keep dreaming!



P.S. If you are an aspiring surface pattern designer, I created a Skillshare class all about my Quilt Market Journey. I go into great depth sharing all my tips and tricks of how I landed my first fabric deal. You can find my class here.

P. P. S. I am a huge believer in the amazing Skillshare Platform. You can try it free for 3 months by clicking on this link.

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I'm Tessie -Welcome home!

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