Reports on shows, trends, and more
Quilt Market 2005
Beauty – and good causes.
by Ellie Joos, Ellie Joos & Associates (November 7, 2005)
Regular readers of this column are aware of my love for Quilt
Market and have read my praises for the enthusiasm, energy, and
beauty of the show. This recent Market is no exception;
however, what was also very clear is the beauty within the hearts
and souls of quilters worldwide.
As you may have read, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, it
was announced that thousands of evacuees were headed to Houston.
Quilts Inc. wasted no time in creating Quilters Comfort America and
asked quilters to send quilts, blankets, and bedding to comfort the
They also announced that they would match donations to the Red
Cross in what was truly a generous, caring spirit. It was thrilling
to see enormous banners hanging over the show floor announcing that
more than 12,000 quilts were received and one million dollars was
I am so proud to be a member of this wonderful industry. To see
pictures of the quilts arriving in Houston and being distributed to
victims, be sure to visit www.quilts.com.
Congratulations to Karey Bresenhan and her staff for a job well
As for the show, the special exhibits and exhibitors booths did
not disappoint the attendees; beauty and creativity were everywhere.
As I walked the show floor, I did wonder about the attendance which
seemed quieter than past shows and whether gas prices and other
economic concerns deterred any attendees. Reports on the business
done at the show were mixed; some exhibitors reported having a great
show and some were not as happy with the attendance. New fabrics and
products were abundant. Again I saw the crossover from the yarn
crafts into the quilting market. More about this later, but first
here’s an overview of the products for the quilter.
Colors in fabrics ranged from pretty, clear pastels to the brown
family ( or chocolate) that we are seeing currently in home dec and
fashion. Springs Industries had a very exciting, colorful
room setting display appealing to the tween/teen market and
featuring their Glam Girlz collection of novelty fabrics.
Long haired plush and graphic patterns made this collection stand
out. One quilt creatively combined Silky Fleece flower
appliques with their Beyond Basics print line.
Michael Miller Fabrics debuted its Fairy Frost by Mark
Hordyszynski collection of pearlized and glittered fabrics, now in a
fat-quarter box. Libas Marketing expanded their line of silk
to include beautiful fancies in plaids, checks, and stripes – also
available in fat quarter packs. Free Spirit personnel were
busy with their new collections including Girlfriends,
inspired by vintage wallpaper, and a whimsical, conversational line
by Heather Ross called Lightning Bugs featuring gnomes,
seagulls, and coordinating stripes, dots, and florals.
In tools and notions, Blumenthal Lansing presented its
all-natural shell program, Shellz, of two-hole buttons and
one-hole danglers in natural and dyed fashion colors. The six
different Class-In-A-Bag packets from Crafter’s Images makes
it easy for retailers and teachers to teach projects using their
fabrics for inkjet printers.
June Tailor recognizes the effect of color psychology on
sales and has re-colored its cutting mats and other tools in a
gorgeous teal color. Get Squared is the new ruler for
creating two different size squares with one tool. They also have
taken aging baby boomer eyes into consideration with the ink colors
being used on their rulers.
EZ Quilting presented its Easy Circle Cut tool for
cutting circles measuring from 2" to 10" – perfect for
making yo-yo quilts. Hancy Mfg. was demonstrating its Full
Line Stencils and Pounce Powder for incredible ease in
applying stencil designs to quilts.
For ease in traveling with quilt blocks or other crafts, the Block
Box Co.’s handled block box in a number of pretty colors is
perfect; with an anchor inside that does not crease, it is also
acid-free to accommodate scrapbook pages.
Several exhibitors are using their products to make a difference
in the lives of others through cause marketing. (According to a
survey by PR WEEK, corporate America is increasing its budget
to give to relief funds and to champion causes they believe in.) Cranston’s
Quilting Treasures division introduced a line of fabrics by
lifestyle designer Karen Neuburger. A portion of the proceeds from
this pretty Pink Ribbon Signature Collection of cotton prints
and flannels benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Participating retailers will be identified on the Quilting Treasures
and Karen Neuburger websites. Moda, American Patchwork and
Quilting, Husqvarna Viking, Fiskars, and C&T
Publishing have combined efforts to host a Quilt Pink Day to
make pink and white quilts. The finished quilts will be auctioned
with net proceeds to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Yarn's influence growing.
At the last show, I reported on the knitting trend and the
related products which were exhibited; it was even more evident at
Lion Brand Yarn exhibited for the first time and reported
having a good response. Lion had gorgeous garments and afghans on
display and introduced a number of new yarns including Mystery,
a colorful boucle yarn; a gorgeous Cashmere Blend; and new
accessories, including Stress Relief gloves.
Royal Fiber Spinnery received a good response to its display
of beautiful alpaca yarns in 14 natural colors and 80 dyed colors.
When asked why they chose to exhibit here, personnel said they had
begun to receive requests for their yarns from a local quilt shop,
so thought this might be an industry to explore. (For those of you
unfamiliar with the qualities of alpaca yarn, it is reportedly three
times warmer than wool with half the weight, twice the strength, and
with 80% less itch.) There is a trend in raising alpacas and most
recently a record was set when one male alpaca was sold at auction
for close to $500,000!
Casu Designs had an interesting take on the knitting look
with their concept and book, Sew Like Knitting, by Carol
Moffatt From a distance you think you are looking at a knitted item;
however, on closer examination, you discover that it is really made
from fabric that was stitched together in strips and then frayed
from washing. Great for someone who doesn’t knit but wants the
look in a poncho, shawl or other items.
K1C2 uses Adornaments fibers in another new way by
combining the fibers and water soluble substance in their lovely,
upscale scarf kits. Hourglass Creations, an affiliate of Timeless
Treasures Fabrics, expanded its knitting line of Toku,
fabric-based batik ribbon cut on a bias, and new kit patterns for
purses, scarves, and hats. Heatherworks added patterns for
fabric knitting to their line of quilt patterns. Lantern Moon displayed
beautiful knitting needles made from hardwoods such as ebony and
rosewood with lovely silk sleeves.
This Market was also a showcase for punch-needle
embroidery products. A number of exhibitors have expanded their
quilt pattern lines to include patterns for this craft. Design
Originals introduced a Punch Needle book for miniature
rugs, coasters, and other items. Fairfield Road Designs has a
line of charming patterns for snowmen, Santa, and other motifs,
including 10" weaver’s cloth in the pattern. Debbie Dear
Designs added a number of adorable punch-needle designs to her
quilt pattern line. Clover introduced punch-needle embroidery
tools of needles. including 6-ply needle and hoop stands for ease
and comfort when stitching.
As always, I leave this show feeling very inspired and in the
case of this particular Market, feeling very proud to know
such wonderful, talented, and caring people.
to view a webcast of Quilt Festival at Home and the 2005 winners of
the judged contest by the International Quilt Association.
Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a
marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's reports
on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the
right-hand column. To contact Ellie, call 908-459-9269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.