2015 Spring Quilt Market Recap

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A lot of people say that Quilt Market feels like a blur, but I can't relate this time around. It was a series of meaningful moments in rapid succession, but never a blur. I relished every moment of the experience and feel such a sense of pride to be a part of this industry.

On my flight home from Minneapolis, with everything still fresh in my memory, I typed up a long blow by blow journal entry of everything that happened. Let's be honest though. You want to see the fabric! So if you do want to hear some of the cool personal stories I amassed, we'll have to chat sometime.

First up, Heather Ross's booth! Her new collection for Windham, Tigerlily, features a whole bunch of friendly felines. I met Heather at Quilt Con a few months ago, and I offered to make samples for her booth. She emailed me in early March to take me up on the offer, but requested that I ship them to her before the end of the month. I was curious why she needed them so quickly, but I cranked out two adorable Oliver + S outfits in a couple days. Turns out she needed them for the official lookbook photoshoot! The look books were handed out en masse at her booth, so that was friggen' awesome. The outfits her were hanging in her booth as well, and Heather even mentioned that her daughter was wearing one of the outfits regularly. Lesson learned. Never be afraid to talk to the people you admire, because they might blow your mind.

Heather signed copies of kitty cat prints for us fans and generally kicked ass as she is want to do. I seriously can't praise her enough. She's such a kindhearted and generous person. Sometimes when we hold people in such high regard, we find ourselves feeling let down when they aren't exactly what we imagined them to be. I had no idea what Heather would be like when I met her at Quilt Con, but she couldn't have been more amazing. Since then, she's continued to exceed my expectations and I feel so blessed to know her. She's a treasure.

Next: Lizzy House over at Andover. I must be a genius because I completely forgot to take pictures with my DSLR, so all I have are my cell phone pictures. I made made the blue quilt that had the honor of holding Lizzy's name tag on it as well as a Dear Watson Bag that hung off the endcap. I also made a Washi Tunic, but Daryl (of the Andover Team) said they forgot to bring pants and the mannequin looked like Donald Duck! They decided to show it off at the business meetings instead.

My buddies, Julia (@stars_sunshine) and Liz (@fatchickquilts) also made booth swag for Lizzy. Julia made the little butterfly mini quilt in the photo above, as well as the dino pillows and dino dress below. Her dress was a serious show-stealer. Every time I walked by the book, there was at least one person being hypnotized by it. Liz made a clutch, elephant softie, trail tote (all in the photo below), and a monster zipper pouch that Lizzy was especially fond of.

 I've come to the conclusion that Cotton + Steel are the fabric equivalents of the Spice Girls. They each have unique personalities, but they all mesh together so well. They have intensely passionate fans. Camera flashes follow them everywhere. I attended their school house session on Thursday where they introduced their new collections. Just like last time, I bought a bundle of each at Sample Spree and have already started sewing with them.

Their booth was pretty huge and reminded me of an I Spy book from my childhood. It was a transportative daydream. Someone in that group has some major set styling experience. It's such a joy to pour over the details and props they find to help tell the stories of of the collections. The ladies are friendly as ever, but I can't help but feel like I'm walking up to the cool kids table in the lunch room. They're just so COOL!

My Instagram followers know I've been on a Carolyn Friedlander fangirl bender over the past month. I was really excited to see her booth and her applique BOM pattern. She also has two new little house paper piecing patterns that will be available soon. Both are on my wishlist. She also said she'll be having a new line of fabric coming out this fall, so that's exciting too!

Rhoda Ruth is Elizabeth Hartman's first fabric line, and this was her first Quilt Market booth, but you'd never know it. It looked like the work of a seasoned veteran! A month before Market I had offered to help her make samples and she politely declined because she said she likes to make all her own samples. Well she turned it out! Her booth was rah the perfect reflection of her style: clean, polished, and modern, yet bold, playful, and cute! I just love her collection, Rhoda Ruth, and it's tone on tone look. I've found myself gravitating towards simpler colors and monochromatic palettes over the last several months, so her line is high on my wish list. I think her work and that of Carolyn Friedlander appeals to me so much because their collections behave more like a choir than a rock band with a lead singer. They know how to share the spotlight with all the prints in the line and form a cohesive collection that will sell evenly and play well with prints from other designers.

Tula Pink's booth was getting swarmed not only by fans, but by a film crew. Tula is filming her own reality show! Her mom told it's a full 10+ episode series with "pajamas and coffee and everything." I can't wait to watch it.

I got to meet Jeni Baker for the first time! I'm a huge fan of her and her work, so it was a little jump for joy moment. We bonded over bunny love (I speculated that George is the "basement cat" to my "ceiling cat," the white moon bunny). Her new collection, Curiosities, is bright and happy, and perfectly Jeni.

Anna Maria Horner's Loominous collection was one that really surprised me. At first I was underwhelmed by the simple woven fabrics, but seeing them in a quilt was like getting kicked in the stomach. They had the rich look of an heirloom quilt made from found fabrics and collected over time. It was a very emotional presence that the fabrics created. I've been noticing myself taking on a greater appreciation for the traditional roots of quilting, probably because I don't have that legacy within my own family. It's like I'm trying to build my collection of family history through quilts. AMH's line is going to fill a very special spot in my stash once I can set aside some money to order it.

Violet Craft's new Jungle Abstractions pattern is a follow up to the infamous Forest Abstractions. The Lion is the first release, but more animals are coming too! This quilt is just beyond words... I went to Violet's school house on Thursday, which was one of the highlights of Market for me. I sat in the front row, eager to see Violet in person. Before I could even say hello, Violet looked at me and said, "I'm so glad you're here. I've been excited to meet you!" It through me for a loop. I had no expectation that she had a clue who I was, much less wanted to talk to me! After her very insightful presentation we sat down for a wonderful conversation on art, the industry, and building a brand. It was touching how forthcoming she was with advice and sincere feedback. Sometimes people in this industry guard their success stories and hesitate to share their thoughts. Violet is the complete opposite and her kindness was inspiring. I deeply hope that I can someday do the same for others.

And lastly, my beloved 7 Islands booth. There were just way too many cute prints to mention, so here's a pretty snap of Ellen Baker's new line, monochrome. As usual, I want it. I want it all.

1 comment :

  1. I really agree with you- market was a series of meaningful moments. Good to see you!