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Quilt Market 2004

Technology continues to make major inroads.

by Ellie Joos (November 15, 2004)

The International Quilt Market celebrated its 25th Anniversary in the newly expanded Houston convention center with more vendors, buyers, and extraordinary exhibits. According to Quilts Inc., vendor exhibits were up 13% and preregistered buyers were up 14%. To celebrate this special anniversary, attendees, exhibitors, and teachers were also treated to "Silver Celebration" refreshments and free admission to the always beautiful and inspiring Bernina fashion show.

Here are some of the highlights of the new products and trends at the show:

Darker colors were appearing once again with browns and deep reds leading the way, although bright colors and patterns are still strong. The Asian influence seems stronger this year, and wools and wool felt are becoming a staple. Embellishments such as beading and embroideries are very apparent, perhaps influenced by the many decorative embellishments being used in read- to-wear. There is a growing interest in photo-transfer techniques with new products and books to teach computer savvy quilters (or the not-so-computer-savvy) how to create successful projects. More of these products were available than at past Markets.

HP – introduced several new printers including the Deskjet 9650 to accommodate wide rolls of fabrics for printing. Also new is the Photosmart 8450 with photo editing tools built in.

Milliken – The Printed Treasures program of fabrics for photo printing has been expanded to include peel-and-stick and iron-on packages for crafting and scrapbooking.

Electric Quilt – Printables are packaged inkjet fabric sheets including the large format, 11" x 17"; there as also a great new book for techniques and inspiration, Blending Photos with Fabric by Mary Ellen Kranz and Cheryl Hayes.

ColorTextiles – Color Plus Fabrics, printable cotton and silk fabrics in a number of weaves such as sheeting, lawn, poplin, silk chiffon, twill, and crepe de chine, and put-ups of products in packages or rolls. (The owner of ColorTextiles had an interesting background; she was the daughter of a printer but returned to the industry after spending time as an Army nurse.)

ScrapSmart – this first-time exhibitor has been in the presentation business for many years and is now bringing its line of CDs to the quilting market. Victorian Fashions is a collection of 171 images from 1860’s Paris Fashions and the new Sewing CD features 239 vintage images for cards and envelopes.

Blumenthal Crafts – Crafters Images features the artwork of licensed artists such as Mary

Engelbreit, Sue Dreamer, and others; and PhotoFabric was offered in 100% silk and three types of 100% cotton.

Home Arts – vintage images on CD, with as many as 459 images on one CD.

Fabric, tools, and other necessities.

Janome – 1600 High speed straight stitch sewing machine in several models for the home sewer or for the industrial customer.

Plan Bee – it’s always fun to see a new product developed by a frustrated consumer. In this case, two quilters, Jessi Jung and Connie Scharff , developed a fabulous, elegant quilt-planning binder with everything one needs to organize her projects. It's being distributed by Dritz.

StenSource – introduced The Creative Iron, which is fusible fabric art. The introductory line offers more than 150 adhesive-backed designs.

Design Originals – packages of bottle caps in gold tones or colors; they were first introduced in the scrapbook market and now are used with the most adorable little quilt projects.

Riri – "Zippers to end all zippers." Wow! this new exhibitor had the most incredible upscale zippers, including sterling silver plated and 24k gold plated, velvet tapes and cotton tapes that can be dyed or painted.

Back to Back Alpaca – luxurious battings in 50/50 alpaca/cotton and 60/40 alpaca/wool.

Kandi Corp. – certainly in the right place at the right time with wonderful-iron on crystals and beads, including Swarovski crystals, pearls, etc. New are display rack programs in high-end assortments and value packs.

EK Success – returned to Quilt Market with its Remnants Collection, charming adhesive-backed tags, frames, and other fabric embellishments for the quilt industry

Gita Maria – another first timer, with lovely charms in sterling silver or glass enamel on sterling. (Note to Karey – in her opinion, from all of her 20 years of doing trade shows, this was by far one of the most professional)

Springs – building on the success of the art work of Donna Dewberry, a program called Art to Sew features very appealing "hand painted" quilt panels with coordinating squares and all-over prints.

Lakehouse – not only was the booth, decorated with bright Chinese lanterns, eye-catching, but also the bright-colored fabrics were very appealing.

Free Spirit – becoming known for its eclectic mix of fabrics from the bold and brights from Jane Sassman to the Signature Style collection of reproduction quilts. Another newcomer was Fiesta by Terrie Mangat; this artist is inspired by Mexican and African influences to produce a carnival of printed motifs.

In the Beginning Fabrics – a gorgeous line, Kimono Art, by M’Liss Rae Hawley was inspired by her collection of kimonos. The company also offered The Collage Collections, inspired by a fabulous quilt from c.1895, Boston Pavement.

Olfa – the company's approach to the show was to promote its education program with great printed how-to’s and more projects on their website.

Congratulations to Karey Bresenhan and her entire staff for another beautiful show and here’s to another 25 years of creativity and inspiration that the Quilt Market provides to buyers, designers, teachers, and editors.

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 eleapple@hotmail.com. To read previous Scene & Heard columns, click on the titles in the right-hand column.



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