One of the challenges for any beginning designer is getting your designs out there, where people can see them and hopefully like them and possibly even buy them. From the start of Mabel’s Fancies I’ve been very lucky in getting "exposure"; Caron chose to put me in their Designer Spotlight, and Stitch magazine bought a number of designs, two of which have so far been published. My friends and fellow-stitchers at the Cross Stitch Forum have been incredibly supportive and have spread the word in blogs etc. And for my own part I try make sure that Mabel has a web presence that is easy to find if people Google things like "Hardanger designs", and easy to share if they find something they like.
But there are always more opportunities, and anyway it’s interesting to try new things – or in some cases, familiar things in new surroundings! I enjoy teaching, and this autumn I’ll be offering a five-week "mixed needlework" course at my old haunt, the Percival Guildhouse in Rugby. But as I was buying workshop tickets for this year’s Knitting & Stitching Show I thought, "I wonder where they get their teachers from?" So I asked them, told them a bit about what I did myself, and got added to their database, so you may well see Mabel teaching a workshop at Alexandra Palace in 2013. Come and say hello if you happen to be there!
Also this autumn I’ll be joining the Counted Wishes Festival for the first time. This is an online stitching show which has the advantage that you do not have to travel there or set up a stand. Most designers there specialise in various styles of cross stitch, but it is for all counted work, so a Hardanger presence may prove an interesting addition! One of the things they recommend is to have a new design especially for the Festival, which will be available to Festival visitors before anyone else. I could use one of my Planned designs, of course, but it would be more fun to offer something that hasn’t been seen even on the Planned page; so far I have some vague ideas, a few doodles, and a name – Rainbow Wings. Any ideas what it might be?