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Quilt Market 2007

More youth-oriented products than has been reported.

by Ellie Joos (May 21, 2007)

Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, set in a spacious and airy convention center, reflected the beautiful mountains of Utah. As always, this show greets attendees with inspiring, museum-like exhibits including old and new quilts from various manufacturer's challenges and a rotation of garments from the Bernina Fashion show. That is only the beginning as visitors are treated to row after row of beautiful displays of quilts and other products in the vendor booths. Show management reported that attendance was slightly down, which generally happens when the show is closer to one coast of the country than the other; however, in walking the show floor right up until late Sunday afternoon, it still seemed quite active to me.

Several associates remarked how traditional looking this particular show was, with many brown tones, softened pastels, lovely floral prints and coordinates, and not as many brightly colored fabrics as recent shows. In discussions with several other attendees, the consensus was the location set in Salt Lake, considered a conservative location; and/or the mood of the country, thanks to the ongoing war, rising gas prices, and global warming.

Environmental products.

Speaking of global warming, I wondered what I would see in the way of earth-friendly products at the show, after reading so much so much about it in the media. Mountain Mist has their new Ecocraft™, Eco-Friendly fiberfill, batting, and pillowforms made from a corn product which creates a lovely, soft product.

Kunin introduced its new felt products made from Ecospun®, a high quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. Ecospun®, a product of Foss® Manufacturing Company, of which Kunin is a division. It was awarded the United Nations Environmental Programme award for Environmental Excellence in 1993 by the Fashion Group International. (I am proud to say that as a member of Fashion Group, I was on that committee at the time.)

F.A. Edmunds featured their Flipbright™ artist and craft lamp, which uses 80% less energy than a standard lamp. This light reduces eye fatigue while creating a "natural daylight" to allow the used to see true color.

Younger quilters.

An article in a Salt Lake City newspaper following the show quoted an attendee as describing Quilt Market at "Disneyland for Older Women." Although the demographics indicate that the average quilter is middle aged, it is too bad the article did not mention some of the wonderful young talent at the show, talent that is providing a fresh approach directed at a younger clientele: lines that have modern- and retro-inspired designs and unique colors.

Amy Butler, a leader in this design movement who continues to be an inspiration, launched her new line on 54" home decorating fabric for Rowan. She also featured her new line of multi-functional Sweet Life bags which are perfect for carrying projects or personal products.

Joel Dewberry (Donna's son) launched his striking fabric line for Westminster which combines great bold motifs and beautiful colors.

Barbara Brunson's new sassy aprons for her Vanilla House designs expand her line of young-at-heart patterns inspired by her 20-something daughters.

Picking up on the print trend we have seen in junior designed apparel using skull motifs, Michael Miller created a really fun print collection called Knitmare on Elm Street and another equally delightful group called Bad Kitty. The company also introduced its new Cabana fabric, a heavier, oxford-weave fabric with very hip, styled prints featuring garden motifs and others.

Readers of Country Living magazine probably recognized the spectacular patterns in Windham's new Coverlet series. With the guidance of well-known quilter, lecturer, and designer Mary Koval, this collection authentically recreates the designs and colors of historic coverlets. The introduction of this line coincides with the grand opening of The National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford, PA. (For more about the museum, email Director/Curator Melinda Zongor at info@coverletmuseum.org.) Windham also featured fabrics by Anna Griffin which are quite lovely and romantic, like all products designed by this prolific designer.

More fabric news.

Moda's "jellyrolls" of rolled up, two-and-a- half-inch strips of fabrics are a hit and will sure to inspire imitations in creative packaging of fabrics. Barn Dandy's great cowboy prints in vintage inspired motifs and colors – this company was exhibiting for the first time at Quilt Market after successfully selling finished products to the gift industry for many years. Andover's new Graceful Geisha series by Lonni Rossi: stunning panels with coordinating overlays and coordinates. Watch for the next grouping in the series in a few months.

Pieces from My Heart: whimsical and happy Holly Jolly fabric line of panels, coordinating fabrics, and jellyrolls. Nancy Odom's new line, Vintage Rose for P& B Textiles, a lovely grouping of wild rose patterns and coordinates, was a big hit. National Nonwovens' new line of 100% virgin wool, WoolFelt® in seven colors in 36" wide goods, 36" squares, and fat-quarter bundles. QuiltSoup's new line for Marcus, Ellery, inspired by the designer's ballerina granddaughter, in pretty soft colors of "ballet pink", butter yellow, kiwi, salmon, red, and brown. This designer's pattern line also includes a recipe from friends and family members in each pattern.

Princess Mirah Designs for Bali featured new kits for knitting or crocheting with fabric strips and the BatiKit line of hand-made fabric paper with a peel-and-stick backing for paper crafting in pretty batik designs. Cheryl Ann 's new Design Wall™ is one of those ideas that inspired me to say "I wish I thought of that." The free standing, portable walls are perfect for designing quilts and are available in three sizes. Quilters Hangup™ from the T.Cowan Company is a new quilt sleeve especially designed to eliminate the bump from a rod and allow a quilt to hang flat when hung on the wall. New from Soak – the fine fabrics wash line of biodegradable, rinse-free, phosphate-free products are the fragrances designed by Amy Butler and Thimbleberries.

As always, I leave this show feeling inspired and energized with dreams of new fabrics and products spinning in my head and admiration for the talented and enthusiastic people in the quilting industry.

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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