Fall 2014 Quilt Market: My Favorites!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rather than giving you guys a long-winded description of every stinkin' thing I saw a Quilt Market, I decided it would be better to break everything down into a few more thoughtful lists. Plus, I like pretending I'm a judge on some stupid Quilt Market panel that votes people off the island. Just kidding! If anything, it's like voting people onto the island because it was so hard to keep these lists to five choices each. None of them are in any particular order, because that would just be impossible.

= Favorite Booths =

1. Amy Butler - Violette. This was the first booth I saw upon entering the convention center, and it certainly made a powerful impression. I’m a huge lover of Art Nouveau, especially anything by Alphonse Mucha, so seeing his work as part of Amy’s dreamlike booth made me freeze in place. It was so much beauty to take in, and Amy really captured the spirit of his work in her collection. I also have to mention that Amy herself looked incredible in her long, flowing dress. I never realized how tall she is either! Amy herself was very kind and easy to talk to. It was a great start to my first market experience.

2. Alexander Henry may not have any designers that are known by name, but their booth made me fangirl over them anyway. Three teepees and an adorable stitched fire took helped them win a first place booth!

3. Carolyn Friedlander - Doe. Carolyn's fabrics are known for being very understated, clean, and modern, and she translated that into a booth that I want to live in. I'm a sucker for anything mid-century (I actually have the same wooden sewing box on her coffee table), so her setup showed me that prints don't have to be super bold to make a statement when used properly. 

4. Alison Glass - Handcrafted. I'll admit, that until now, I never really understood the fuss over Alison Glass. I do own a few of her fabrics, but I use them as blenders only as an afterthought. Seeing her entire to collection together changed the way I feel about her simple designs. She has such a rich sense of color, and her fabric has a jewel-like quality. I love the way she brought all the elements of her creativity together in her booth, from her fabric, to appliqué, her patterns, etc. 

5. Art Gallery Fabrics encompasses many designers, but I'm going to cheat and count them as one because they have such an intentionally cohesive style. Maureen Cracknell especially had a great warm and rustic going with her Wild & Free collection. No wonder she won the best new exhibitor prize!

= Favorite Samples =

1. Elizabeth Olwen - Morning Song. All the dresses were gorgeous and let her fabric shine. The zippered "book" clutches were super clever. Lastly, her "Sonnet" quilt was so simply elegant that I might have to make it myself.

2. Maureen Cracknell - Wild & Free. Have you seen that dreamcatcher pillow?!

3. Anna Maria Horner - Honor Roll & Knits. AMH is usually a designer I don't get super excited about, but her fabrics make great apparel choices! I was drooling over all the great looks she had.

4. Cotton + Steel. No explanation needed.

5. Heather Bailey's adorable owls!

= Favorite Fabrics =

1. Cotton + Steel. All it. I bought the entire collection on quilting cotton, but I'm going to need some of the Rashida's rice print on canvas and a ton of that super soft double gauze. It was like fluffy cloud soft.

2. Elizabeth Olwen - Morning Song. It's that simple, earthy chic look again, so I'm in love! Consider it pre-ordered.

3. Seven Islands. Everything was just too stinking cute. So cute in fact, that I forgot to take any good photos.

4. Michael Miller Fabrics - Packmates. I lost my sh*t over these llamas. I bought a pattern from Sarah Lawson with plans to make a Packmates backpack. A dress may need to happen too.

5. Tula Pink - Elizabeth. The funny thing is, I love everything but the actual "Elizabeth" print. It just feels like a creepy decapitated head to me. But everything else was totes gorgeous. 

Fall 2014 Quilt Market: My Adventures

Monday, October 27, 2014

I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now. I had a super special awesome weekend attending my first Quilt Market! Yeah, yeah, I know hundreds of people go to Quilt Market every season, but forget about them. THIS IS MY MOMENT. 

Prior to Market, I was anxious about being seen a "quilt noob," having only been quilting since this past January. However, within hours of putting my badge around my neck, I was milking that fact. It's all I could do not to jump on the throne-like chair in Tula Pink's booth and shout "I've been quilting for less than a year, and now I'm here! ARE YOU NOT IMPRESSED?!" Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. I did feel way more cool and confident than I do in my everyday life, probably because being surrounded by so many people with the same passion is just so damn exhilarating!

Since I have so many things to say about my first Quilt Market experience, I'm going to break things down into a few posts. This one is going to be about ME and my adventures: funny/cool crap I saw, did, and heard. Next, will be a recap of my personal Market favorites: the booths, the samples, and the fabric! I'll do a more detailed post about my Sample Spree experience along with advice for anyone considering (or fearing) the madness. Last, I'll do a post about what I'm glad I did/brought to Market, and what I would do differently next time. Now, onto the adventures!

On Friday, I drove to Market after work at 5pm, which royally sucked thanks to Houston traffic. On the bright side, I arrived shortly after 6pm in time for the Fabric 2.0 Meet & Greet. There, I proceeded to shout "OH MY GOD!" at point blank range in Katy Jones' face. Damn it. Keep it together, you spaz! 

After I got my sh*t together, I bumped into Stephanie of the Modern Sewciety, AKA my morning commute DJ. 

I probably spent the most time talking to the super fun mom and daughter pair Jill and Jamie of Sunflower Quilts. After I mentioned I didn't see any (personally) familiar people in the room, Jamie literally yanked Angela Walters out of her conversation circle to introduce us! 

After a couple hours of drinks and fun, I dashed to join the end of the line for Sample Spree, where I met Heather Peterson of Girl Charlee. She guided me into the heart of darkness and cash was spent! Don't worry, you'll be able to read about the Sample Spree Spoils soon.


On Saturday, Tammy and I carpooled because I'm phobic of downtown driving. So I had that going for me. We met the awesome ladies at Cotton + Steel including one of my mostest favoritest designers ever, Sarah Watts. We talked with Kim Kight for wayyyy too long, but she's just too easy to talk to. I also met a pretty spiffy gal who works with the Cotton + Steel gang: Abbey, Melody's assistant. She was the first person I've ever met who knew about the hilarious Hipster Thanksgiving video that I love to quote. It was exquis'. And she didn't judge me for stroking the double gauze a few strokes too many.

 Everyone in HMQG has been saying Jacey and I need to meet so we can unite our powers of snark and stupid faces. So we did.

I got two little baby succulents from Heather Givans of Crimson Tate who may have been the only person who had more excitement over Market than I did. Seriously, she could power a city with her energy. 

We played a silly Instagram game called #FindFelice. I hope this will be a Quilt Market tradition.

We went to a couple parties after Market, where I road the stagecoach to funky town... and would talk to anyone who stood still, like the Gina Pina crew...for like two hours. All in all, it was a super fun first Market experience! I can't wait to do it all again!

MRW: Quilt (Market!) Edition #2

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In case you guys didn't know, I'll be going to Quilt Market this week! YAYYYY! As a result, I'm crazy busy sewing last minute projects, so here is a silly post to share my excitement.

When my friend gets me a pass to Quilt Market:

When I start talking excitedly about Quilt Market to friends:

 When my mom asks me if she can buy a ticket to Quilt Market:

When someone asks me if I'm going to Sample Spree in front of my husband:

When I make plans to sew a cargo duffle, badge holder, and camera strap cover with four days before Quilt Market:


Finding Inspiration: A Lesson from Kiki's Delivery Service

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whenever I read or listen to interviews with artists and other creatives, I’m always prepared to for the inevitable question about their inspiration. Sometimes people ask what inspired a certain painting or their latest fabric collection. Sometimes that ask about inspiration in a broader sense. I hear and read these questions and answers on such a regular basis, but only recently did I ask myself that question. What inspires me?

I think inspiration can be a tough thing to explain because it means different things to different people. When I talk about inspiration, I always name external things, like people, movies, and songs. But what all those things have in common is that they have helped me come to understand myself.

One of my earliest and strongest inspirations came from an animated movie I saw as a kid: Kiki’s Delivery Service, written and directed by the great Hayao Miyazaki. Most people I’ve told this to laughed. Some people can’t look past their assumption that animation is nothing more than shallow entertainment meant for children. Even as a child, I knew this movie was so much more than that.

If you haven’t seen it (spoilers?), the movie follows Kiki, a thirteen year-old witch, as she leaves home to begin her witch training. This entails living on her own for a year and developing a skill that will be her livelihood. Her mother is a healer, and she briefly encounters another young witch who tells fortunes, but Kiki has no idea what her skill may be. The only form of magic she knows is how to fly her broom. She settles in a coastal town where she befriends the owner of a bakery. The two strike up a partnership with Kiki operating a flying delivery service out of the bakery. After a few months of working, the unimaginable happens: Kiki suddenly finds her magical powers have disappeared. 

In an effort to help her take her mind off things, Kiki’s artist friend Ursula invites her to spend some time away from town in her cabin. The two come to find that they have both had similar struggles. “Without even thinking about it, I used to be able to fly,” Kiki says, “Now I'm trying to look inside myself and find out how I did it.” Ursula, who is a bit older than Kiki, recalls when she was a young teen that all she ever wanted to do was paint. Then one day, she felt like she couldn’t paint anymore. Nothing looked any good to her. Finally she realized that didn’t understand what or why she wanted to paint. “I needed to discover my own style.” She adds, “We need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes, it’s not easy.”

The scene between Ursula and Kiki is the one that always sticks with me. It’s like an internal conversation I could have had with myself. Ursula’s story is one I relate to on a literal level. Some days I can’t draw anything that feels worthwhile. Kiki’s story however, is the one I relate to on an emotional level. I see how hard she struggles, physically, mentally, and emotionally to fly once again, and I totally understand that feeling.

Kiki’s Delivery Service showed me that I’m not the only one who hits creative roadblocks. Creative people don’t always like to talk about it, but it’s super common! It’s hard. It’s depressing. It can feel like your abilities aren’t under your control like you thought they were. Feeling powerless is just a crappy state of mind. But it’s not forever.

Sometimes we need to take a break and think about why we do what we do, whether it’s drawing, sewing, writing, etc. Maybe we’ve lost sight of what motivates us. Maybe we’re just overthinking it. I think creative blocks are our bodies’ way of telling us to slow down.

Lately I've been trying to do so much in so little time. While stepping back and slowing my pace  on a project can feel like a stupid thing to do, I think it's important in order to keep everything in balance. 

What do you do when you feel like you've hit a wall?

Patty's Trunk Show Recap

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This past Saturday was Patty's trunk show at CJ's Quilt Shop where she showed off her gorgeous new collection, Emma's Garden for Michael Miller Fabrics. She brought a ton of lovely samples, lots of which were in her booth at Spring Quilt Market back in May, along with some new items. Although I've never been to Market, I imagine this is what a Schoolhouse would be like. It was so great to hear Patty talk about the collection in her own words!

First up is the Wing It quilt that I designed for Patty's booth (the free pattern can be downloaded in that post). Patty made a pink version especially for the trunk show and I quilted it on my Juki.  

Next up are Liz's adorable hippo and elephant softies! I can't help but sqee every time I see that elephant! 

Sally did a sweet embroidered mini quilt. 

Debbie made the happiest Cargo Duffel I've ever seen! I really need to make on of these...

Hillary and Julia both made awesome dresses, and Stevey made a tunic blouse that I kind of want to steal!

My favorite part of the show was hearing Patty talk about how the collection came to be. I totally geek out over seeing other artists' creative process, and Patty's makes me feel like a slacker! She puts so much work into her collections and it really shows. Patty's drawings are so detailed, they blow my mind.

Look at that cute moth in the middle that didn't get used! It's so chubby and sweet! 

It was a really fun time and I wish I could have taken more photos of all the pretty samples, but I got distracted by the shopping opportunity screaming my name. Typical.

MRW: Quilt Edition #1

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I love MRW ("my reaction when...") gifs with a passion. I used to write a reaction gif tumblr, And I was Like Video Games, back when hubby and I played Final Fantasy XIV and Tera Online. Lately, I've been thinking of doing some sewing ones, because I'm a nerd who thinks in gifs. Expect more of these posts in the future!

When I'm making Quilt Con plans with friends:

When my friend shows me her amazing collection of Heather Ross fabrics:

 When I wear my new Washi Dress to a quilt guild meeting:

When I reach 700 followers on Instagram:

When I free-motion quilt:

When I walk into the quilt shop and they don't have anything new:

When someone beats me to an item on #thegreatfabricdestash:

When my family complains about my messy sewing room:

When I read a dress pattern for the first time: