Reports on shows, trends, and more
Reports from Quilt Market and
Differing products and formats,
but both successful.
by Ellie Joos (Quilt Market) and Staff Report (November
Once again, I had the pleasure of attending one of the most
beautiful trade shows in the country – and this year's show was no
exception. The colors were fresh and pretty, sorbet colors of pinks,
yellow, corals and softer pastels. Even the dark colors were pretty,
not inky or blackened, but lively and colorful.
The quilts in the vendor's booths were less embellished, although
many of the entries in the various contests in the exhibit area were
artful and adorned. In fact, in the IQA exhibit area, I was told
that more art categories were added this year, and as for trends,
more digital imagery was being used in the quilts.
Several Quilt Markets ago, I reported on the buzz about
reaching out to the next generation and the younger and
"hipper" consumer. In an effort to do just that, a number
of companies have joined together in licensing agreements with Project
Runway™, the popular fashion designer competition series on
Bravo, which many believe has been responsible for the increase of
admission applications to fashion colleges.
(If you have not already done so, read about Craft-O-Rama Fabric
Store and Sewing Lounge, the great new store in Austin, Texas in the
November issue of American Quilt Retailer.) This store sells
products, teaches classes, provides a sewing lounge for customers to
use machines and work space, and sells crafts on consignment by
Springs deservedly won the most creative booth award for its
beautiful Japanese tea garden theme complete with fountains, combed
sand, kimonos, and bamboo to launch its lovely fabric collection, A
Michael Miller was also a winner, not only for its booth display
but also for the collection of organic fabrics ranging from fleece
and terry to herringbone checks, and sheeting with matching organic
gingham bias trim.
Also winning a best booth award, Planted Seed Designs for Troy
introduced a very happy, sorbet-colored print collection of florals
and coordinates. Another booth winner for double booths was Tina
Givens, designer of paper products, stationery, and greeting cards,
with her dynamic collection of old fashioned yet fresh and modern
fabrics for Westminster Fibers and FreeSpirit.
As with other shows I attended this past year, I wondered what
influence the growing interest in green products would have here.
Fairfield Processing made a statement with a complete line of
batting, pillow forms, and fiberfill products in bamboo. In
furthering the company's commitment, a portion of the proceeds from
these products will be used to support environmental and ecological
Foss Manufacturing has been converting its polyester fiber
products to 100% consumer recycled plastic bottles. In Houston Foss
was also promoting the use of its Fosshield® fiber, an
Mountain Mist has expanded its line of EcoCraft™
Eco-Friendly fiberfill, batting, and pillow forms. The Warm
Company highlighted its Warm & Safe™ eco-friendly
naturally fire retardant batting. Andover Fabrics has a beautiful
collection of Vegetable Dyes, designed by Kathy Hall. Using natural
vegetable dyes and a traditional block printing method called "kalamkari,"
this time-consuming printing process resulted in a stunning
collection of coordinated prints.
Patterns, Tools and Techniques.
Each Market presents great new tools and patterns and
techniques to assist quilters and crafters in their designing and
sewing. Several I noticed include the following:
Simply Crazy™ from EZ Quilting®, a new template for easy
crazy quilt projects. The company's Side Winder™, a
portable bobbin winder, is a big hit.
ExtremEdge Titanium™ Shears from Clauss, a division of Acme
United, are three times stronger than other shears, perfect for
cutting multiple layers, with an adjustment key to reduce tension.
The company is launching a new website, www.acmeunited.com,
606®Spray and Fix from J.T. Trading is a no-sew fusible
adhesive which now has a new use to adhere paper images to fabric
permanently. It works beautifully with decorative paper napkins.
Merry Christmas to All is a simply gorgeous
block-of-the-month pattern from newcomer Daisy & Dell. The
company also has a number of wonderful patterns for children's
quilts, which, I noticed, is another growing category at this Market.
Oliver + S, a first-time exhibitor, was a hit with a line of
adorable and contemporary patterns for children from infant to 5T.
Each pattern also includes a bonus paper doll pattern.
Serendipity Studio has a line of really beautiful patterns for
skirts, jackets, and totes and bags.
Hoodie's Collection, another new comer with a line of terrific
patterns for aprons, bags, kits, and postcards.
Rock Star Guitar from Donna Babylon includes a full size
pattern, perfect project for a tween, teen, or music lover. Donna
also gives ideas for crystal embellishments.
Lennie Honcoop, known for her beautiful, lush floral quilt
patterns, launched two new ones which she also embellishes with Hot
Ribbon Art, an iron-on narrow ribbon from Imagination
For retailers looking to expand their pattern inventory, Kwik Sew
was offered a line of learn-to-sew patterns.
Cathy Van Bruggen Designs teaches appliqué
techniques with her Applique the Easy Way DVD and Learning
Series of four patterns, with each one pattern teaching her simple
and attractive appliqué
Pat Yamin, well-known teacher, lecturer, and inventor of great
quilting tools has a new book, Quilt Savvy, One-Patch Scrap
Quilts, with 36 templates for quilt designs for the beginner to
the more advanced quilter. Pat has also just designed a lovely
collection of vintage inspired prints for Marcus Brothers. Talented
Just for fun – ironing fun that is! – from Bo-Nash comes Naughty
Ironing Board Cover which has images of either "Mark"
or "Richard" for the ladies, or "Jordan" for the
men. As the heat is applied, their towels disappear and reappear
when the cover cools. The booth created quite a stir, to say the
And last but not least, for quilt shops looking for additional
add-on products, Samantha Cook combined her love of quilting with
her passion for coffee to introduce Quilter's Coffee, which
offering 180 blends of coffee available through her online site, www.quilterscoffee.com;
and to pour the coffee into something appropriate, consider Quilt
in a Cup from Dianne Springer Designs which is a new product for
making a mini-quilt which is then inserted around her insulated
Those who know me are aware that I wear several "hats"
at the shows. One "hat" is as an observer and reporter on
trends for CLN; another "hat" is as an associate of KS
Productions, meeting with underwriters of several popular tv series
on public television.
At this Quilt Market, I added one more "hat"
that really puts everything else in perspective. I recently saw
Cindy Kerr of ConKerr Cancer on the Martha Stewart Show and called
her to offer my services in helping her with donations to help grow
her amazing organization that makes pillowcases for children with
cancer undergoing treatment in hospitals. On behalf of Cindy, I
sincerely thank all those I met with at Quilt Market who
offered to send products. For further information, click on "Vinny
Da Vendor" to learn more about Cindy and ConKerr Cancer.
(Note: During the Quilt Market and Festival,
the Houston Chronicle reported on efforts by quilters to
honor our men and women serving in the armed services. To learn more
about these programs, visit www.militarymomsandwives.org
Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr,
and product development firm. To contact Ellie, call 908-459-9269 or
iHobby Expo Report
The recent, sold-out iHobby Expo, held in Rosemont, IL,
had 281 exhibitors, including 96 new exhibitors, in the equivalent
of 650 10x10 booths, an increase of 5% over 2006. Trade attendance
was 2,772, of which 1,760 were dealer personnel representing 664
stores, down slightly from a year ago. The consumer portion drew
14,747; that's also down slightly from a year ago but up
substantially from previous years.
The Hobby Manufacturers Assn. Board of Directors elected
Frank Ritota (Model Rectifier) President and Lewis Nace (Minicraft
Models) VP and reelected Abby Robey (Xuron)
HMA's Radio Control Division Council James Hudson (Sullivan
Products) President, Tom Atwood (Maplegate Media Group)
VP, and Charlie Bauer (Four Pi) Secretary/Treasurer. Division
members elected Shawn Spiker (Hitec RCD USA) as the second
division representative to the HMA Board.
The 2008 iHobby Expo will be Oct. 16-19, 2008 again in
Rosemont. For info, call 973-283-9088 or visit www.ihobbyexpo.com.