Reports on shows, trends, and more
Quilt Market and Premiere Vision
Designs, colors, and fabrics that
are making their mark this season and beyond.
by Jean Kievlan and Ellie Joos (November 6, 2006)
The Houston Quilt Market.
It was quite an interesting walk through the Quilt Market in
Houston because it's been two years since I attended. Due to
schedule conflicts with Quilt Markets, I had been attending the
Quilt Festivals, the consumer show held immediately after Quilt
Market, the last couple of years.
Attendance at Quilt Market seemed light at 11 am on Saturday when
I first arrived, but it was much busier as the afternoon progressed.
I talked with several vendors late Saturday who said they were
pleased with traffic the first day, and thought the Market would be
better than last year. Several of the fabric booths were very busy
late Saturday afternoon. Overall, I though the traffic was lighter
than I had seen at previous Markets; none of the booths except a few
of the fabric vendors were crowded. A couple of vendors did comment
that Spring Quilt Market was very good for them, both in orders for
staple and new product.
I talked with a couple of retail shop owners at lunch, one from
Colorado who said she was doing good business in block of the month,
and in quilts with designs with Colorado motifs (columbine, forest,
birds, wildlife, etc.). This shop teaches at least three classes a
day quite a busy schedule! The owner attributes part of her
success to the fact that she is both a quilt and a needlework shop.
This shop also tried the "Make it u" project kits for
teens with great success and planned to do more.
Another shop owner commented that wool felting was doing well, as
well as beginner classes. She noted she was seeing more interest
from younger clientele in beginner classes. If this is a market
trend, it's surely very good news for the quilting industry!
Much has changed since my last visit. For instance, the amount of
direct selling at the Market. In the past, there were rather strict
rules about direct selling; it was confined to quilt-related items,
store samples, pattern packets with samples, etc.
Imagine my surprise on the first aisle to find a "quilt
pattern" vendor also selling over the counter (at retail)
beaded bracelets, necklaces, and rhinestone pins.
There was more bead jewelry-selling all throughout market. There
have always been a few "vintage and antique" jewelry
sellers at Quilt Market, but not the numbers I saw this time. Seems
Quilt Market vendors were using this hot trend to offset expenses of
exhibiting, since the direct-sell items had nothing to do with their
There were, of course, a good selection of bead vendors, with
strands, tubes, and packages of beads. I spotted a number of
patterns/techniques using beads, crystals, or sequins on quilts
not heavily, just an accent to add a hint of sparkle.
On the Young Side. Another trend was boutique children's
clothing patterns. There were several booths offering delightful,
trendy kids' clothing patterns and related home dec items for kids.
Of note were both children's and adult boutique patterns from
Favorite Things (www.favoritethings.net)
and beautiful boutique children's clothing and coordinated home dec
items from Suzanne Sievers Designs (www.suzannesieversdesigns.com).
Suzanne has made the transition from a traditional quilt pattern
designer to children's clothing just this last year. She notes the
designs are doing quite well.
I also saw several vendors featuring boutique doll clothing
patterns for fashion dolls and American Girlฎ dolls, as well as
heirloom-smocked baby doll clothing. Could it be that those Baby
Boomer grandmas are lovingly creating more than quilts? I think so!
Bright, Young Stuff! I saw bright, trendy fabrics geared for
the younger generation in almost all the major fabric houses, but of
particular note were fabrics from Lakehouse Dry Goods (www.lakehousedrygoods.com).
The web site is still under development, but it shows swatches of
the bright, fun prints featured in the booth. Tammy Tadd Designs
utilized the fabrics in her colorful quilts again, geared for a
much younger generation than traditional quilt designs (www.tammytadddesigns.com).
Generation Y and More. There were several packaged kits for
"Teen/Tween" classes. There is a growing trend to entice
younger consumers to the quilt/fabric craft market.
An entire program dedicated to Generation Y customers is Studio
Boasting association with a host of top industry manufacturers ( C
& T Publishing, RJR Fabrics, several sewing machine
manufacturers, etc.), the Studio miy (Studio make it you!) is
sure to capture the interest of Generation Y consumers with their
tag lines "Individuality, Creativity, Unmistakably You"
and "Make it, Wear it, Live it." I was very impressed with
sales materials, the program itself, and with Shannon Mullen, author
of the Sew Hip book and DVD. Belts, bags, pillows, a quilt
it's all there to lure these younger consumers to the sewing
Ethnic Designs. Another bright, interesting booth from 1/4
Inch Publishing (www.quarterinchpublishing.com)
featuring Hispanic-inspired quilts, dolls, and more. There were
other booths with Western-themed quilts, but this one was really
Get Organized. I was surprised by how many more sewing
furniture vendors there were at the Market this year. Apparently
quilting consumers, more than ever, are feeling the need to organize
and sew in comfort. Could it be that now that the children of Baby
Boomers have left home, mom now has a room to devote to sewing?
Terrific Tools. Clover Needlecraft won hands down in my
opinion for the most innovative new tools. Their new Kantan
Couture Bead Embroidery Tool uses a fine latch-hook-type tool
and clear filament thread to easily attach sequins and beads.
Everything needed to create stunning designs is available, The
Kantan Couture Tool, Spare Needle, Turntable Hoop,
and Clear, Gold , or Silver Thread. This technique tool is sure to
become popular, making attachment of beads and sequins to fabric a
Also from Clover: a Quick Yo-Yo Maker Tool, available in
two sizes that was a very popular demo/make- it/take-it (www.clover-usa.com).
Embroidered Designs. Everywhere I looked there were digital
patterns/designs for machine embroidery. Sewing machines with
embroidery features, dedicated embroidery machines, and numerous
digital patterns. This segment of the market has increased
substantially since I walked the Market a couple of years ago.
Trends. Wool felt and wool felting are still popular with
many booths offering designs. Designers Lynne Farris and Vivian
Perrits were both demonstrating wool felt/felting projects for
different manufacturers. Lynne also has a new book shipping Nov.15,
Fast and Fun Needle Felting Projects published by C & T
Lynne's book also features designs for teens/tweens.
Punch Needle (aka Needle Punch) still seems to be going strong
with numerous booths featuring patterns for bags, pillows, mini
quilts, and fashion and home accessories using this technique.
Vintage 40's and 50's inspired fabrics were plentiful, in fabric
booths and in designers' booths. Tea towels, table linens, cozies,
comforters you name it -- featuring those fun fruit and kitchen
themed floral designs many of us Baby Boomers remember our mothers
decorating the home with.
Also, there were many, many soft, vintage floral designs and soft
Block-of-the-month designs/kit offerings were numerous. I spoke
with one designer who said her block-of-the-month designs were going
gang busters. Seems reasonable to me: less intimidating than trying
to make an entire quilt, and a nice opportunity to visit the local
quilt shop every month. Bet the consumer leaves the store every
month with more than just the block-of-the-month pattern!
Chenille, Chenille & Wearables. Fabric Cafe (www.fabriccafe.com)
again had a strong presence with their Chenille by the Inch
patterns and designs. Another product line featuring chenille
accents was Chenille-It with Bloomin Bias
chenille. Their stunning display of boutique clothing and wearables
made me want to sew!
Design Themes. The snowman still reigns as king of winter
motifs but wait, he's tropical, too! Snowman designs as holiday,
winter, thanksgiving, cowboy, fiesta, tropical, you name it, he's
there! There just seems no end to this popular fellow.
Quite a few dog, cat, and pet inspired fabrics and mini quilts,
but I didn't see pet accessories in numbers, quite surprising due
the popularity of these items in Atlanta Gift Market.
Several fabric companies featured caricature designs of 50's-ish
ladies, some cute and fluffy, some grumpy. These designs in block
motif, easy to cut apart and feature on bags, wearables, home dec
items, and in quilts. Loralie Designs was just one vendor with fun,
new designs featuring outrageous female caricatures (www.loraliedesigns.com).
In keeping with the nostalgia prints theme, one manufacturer had
vintage game-board fabric, and roses and vintage roses were featured
in numerous fabric collections as well a heritage prints with names
like Beacon Hill, Lancaster Heritage, and Farmhouse
West from Windham Fabrics (www.windhamfabric.com).
Other fabric lines included Asian-inspired designs and fun
whimsical designs like the rodeo clown fabrics from Alexander Henry
Children's prints were everywhere, bright and colorful with
cartoon characters, whimsical critters, and geometrics paired with
festive flower designs.
Color Combinations. Quite a palette of color combination!
Earthy, traditional primitive colors and bright, festive,
young-spirited colors side by side were an optical feast! Lots of
yellow/blue and yellow/green combinations on spring themed quilts,
and there were numerous blue/green combinations as well as the
aforementioned bright pastels.
In the Bag. Boutique bag patterns were everywhere and in
every size and shape. Beaded, sequined, patchwork, boutique pieced
and embellished designs. Jung Won Corp from Seoul, Korea featured an
entire catalogue of bag handles, latches, straps, clasps and frames.
(Note: Jean Kievlan is VP/Key Account Representative of
Kievlan-McGuffee Design Services, Inc., a full-service company
providing consultation, promotion, TV presentation, design, and new
product development for many leading manufacturers in the creative
industries. Contact Jean at 817-797-4707; fax 817-249-4707; or email
Jeans business partner, Julie McGuffee, is host of PBS series,
Scrapbook Memories, and can be contacted at: 817-448-8877 or email email@example.com.)
Premiere Vision Fall/Winter 2007/2008
Premiere Vision, held twice a year in Paris, is one of the most
important fabric shows for the apparel industry. This show is
attended by thousands of designers, buyers, editors, and product
research professionals from all over the world. It is an enormous
show, featuring color stories, fabrics, and fabric trend areas. One
hall is entirely devoted to trimmings and design studios, and
new this year one are was devoted to yarns and fibers. The
following is a report for Fall/Winter 2007/2008 that includes
Premiere Vision as well as other presentations attended in New York.
Color. It's Most important trend of the decade. Color is in
fashion and the home and customers are loving it. Influence is
coming from pop culture and show business on the one hand and the
need to quiet our lives on the other hand. Housewares and appliances
have never been so colorful. Just look at the range of colors mix
masters and washers and dryers are now available in (after the
kitchen, the laundry room has now become an important room to
Cause-related marketing, an important trend in marketing, is also
affecting colors. A number of houseware manufacturers have
introduced pink products to tie in with breast cancer awareness
organizations. When we think about brown, one well known color
authority thinks it continues to be strong because of the influence
of coffee and chocolate. Starbucks has changed the coffee shop of
the past, and chocolate, in particular dark chocolate, is now a
"health food" with its antioxidant benefits.
Grey runs the gamut from light to dark, influenced by chrome and
pewter. Grey heather, slate, charcoal, steel, mist grey, grey
flannel you name it, grey is it!
Brown continues: think chocolate (Estee Lauder has a new lipstick
infused with chocolate); chocolate brown is strong in the floral
market, with brown tones in flowers. All the offshoots of brown
continue and natural shades influenced by nature. American Beauty
Red, Yellow, Blues from cobalt to teal and evolving into purples and
Greens from olive to spruce (Eco-awareness is an important trend),
and neverending black.. Black is back, and a whole palette of blacks
which look different from finish to finish, shiny, dull, flat,
textured. Blackened colors were very strong at Premiere Vision, a
blackened navy, a blackened brown, and dark charcoal, and newest is
using these colors together. Romantic shades of rose, lilac, and
jewel tones of teal, pine, and port are strong. Accents of metallics,
in gold, silver, and copper in fabrics, prints, and accessories are
Fabrics and Patterns. Its a plaid, plaid world! Classic
tartan, re-colored tartans, tartans with novelty yarns, menswear
plaid, glen plaids, windowpane. Menswear inspired fashions; career
dressing returns. Sweater knits are exploding oversized cables,
Aran, jacquards, cobweb, pointelle, lacey knits, open knits,
snowflake and Nordic designs. Jerseys for knit layering, single
jersey, Missoni-inspired. sweater coats, dresses, tunics, abound.
The soft touch of velvet, stretch velvet, burnouts, moleskin, and
other soft surfaces, fur and fur types, satins and shine. And
Structured fabrics taffeta, silk dupioni for sculptured
shapes in fashion on the one hand and chiffon, crinkled surfaces for
light weight layering on the other hand.
Lace has become more dimensional. Frills, ruffles, and flounces
balance the menswear looks.
Denim everything that could be done, has been done to denim,
one authority expects it to down trend after 07/08. The only thing
new is just that, new looking denim that has not been blasted,
washed, distressed, embellished, etc.
Prints. A major story for fall! "Meow" animal
prints continue, florals for fall, tone-on-tone and multi colors,
botanicals, oversized, and painterly, geometrics and abstract dots
that are deco inspired, Persian rug inspiration
Fancy That. Decoration and embellishment continues, closely
related colors for trims used in combinations. Handicraft, military,
British school boy of badges and crests, buttons and bows all add
the finishing touches.
Silhouettes. Oversized layers, leggings underneath, tunics,
cardigans, menswear inspired trousers and jackets, beautiful
blouses, jersey dresses, velvet jackets, capelets, fur, real or
faux, floral dresses.
Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a
marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read 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.