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Reports on shows, trends, and more

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Report: Quilt Market, New York Stationery Show, and the Society of Decorative Painters' Convention/Expo

Trends, designs, colors, and more.

by Ellie Joos and Doxie Keller (June 7, 2010)

Quilt Market, Stationery Show.

by Ellie Joos

With the first half of 2010 nearly over, and some reports of optimism for the economy in the news, attending back-to-back trade shows provided an opportunity to check in with manufacturers and designers to see if this optimism prevailed at these major shows. I am happy to say that, for the most part, exhibitors at both the New York Stationery Show and the International Quilt Market reflected this cautious optimism. 

After a dismal 2009, there was a sense of increased activity at the Stationery Show, and exhibitor booths were up 20% from last year’s Quilt Market. The National Retail Federation is projecting a 2.5% increase over 2009 in its 2010 forecast, with consumers resuming mailing cards in addition to, or instead of, emailing them.  In the quilt industry, the new Quilting in Americaä2010 survey was also positive in its findings; although the number of quilting households was down, the average yearly expenditures for all quilting households is up 27%. (For more information about the Quilting in America survey, contact pubs@quilts.com.) 

As for trends in color and design, it was interesting to see the crossover, with some immediate ideas translated in both paper and fabric products.  In print motifs, birds were everywhere with some saying it is the result of the Twitter influence.  Owls, having appeared at the stationery show several years ago, have now landed onto fabrics at Quilt Market. Cupcake designs, travel and destination, 40’s and 50’s kitchen looks, and women in prints – either silhouettes or vintage prints. 

Tere were fashion ladies from fashion designer turned stationery designer, Aaron Potts. www.aaronpottsnyc.com. (His fashion-card-covered mannequin was stunning – another trend seen lately at shows has been the use of mannequins as display vehicles.) 

Vive la France ideas include vintage images, French Country looks, and the Eiffel tower.  Other popular motifs include baby animals on fabrics and humorous animals on paper.  (Some of YouTube’s  most popular videos are about funny and adorable animals)   

Graffiti- inspired designs are on the horizon, with more awareness of the talents of street artists taking place. One of the most visible, Shepard Fairey, recently had a collection at the Deitch Gallery in SoHo. Although the show is over, should you be on the corner of Houston and Bowery in SoHo, you won’t be able to miss his May Day Mural.

Turquoise and coral are the stand out colors, both strong at both shows, followed by other mid-brights in pinks, green, and yellow. For Christmas, turquoise and red are fresh looking in both paper and fabrics.

Green, as in eco-friendly products, continues to grow in both markets. Michael Roger’s  award winning “I Used to be a Bottle” notebook, has debossed, bottle-petal flower motifs on the cover and 100% post-consumer-waste pages. www.michaelrogerpress.com  To write in these notebooks, Good Feel USA has just the right product, their eco-friendly, “greenfeel” colored paper pencils.  www.greenfeel.net 

Tree planting for purchased products is also on the increase with products from TreeNex (www.treenex.com) and Too Little Trees, a division of Flowerpot Press. www.flowerpotpress.com  

First-time exhibitor Cate & Levi introduced an adorable line of hand puppets, stuffed animals, and other soft toys made from reclaimed wool. www.cateandlevi.com

A number of stationery show exhibitors have not forgotten the needs of others during these tough times and donate a portion of their profits to worthy causes. Furkids’ greeting cards feature original animal inspired artwork and lend support to animal rescue organizations.  www.furkidsinc.com  Vanilla Print’s line, I Want Cookies, features children’s original art, and contributes to organizations that fight autism.  www.vanillaprint.com

At Quilt Market, the eco-friendly message in fabrics was seen at Cloud 9, a newcomer to Quilt Market last fall, now expanding its line of organic fabrics at the spring market to include a stylized owl allover print with coordinates. www.cloud9fabrics.com 

First time exhibitor Birch Fabrics launched its line of 100% Certified Organic cotton in fun, retro-motifs featuring cars, chairs, and birds using the popular turq. and coral combinations. www.birchfabrics.com 

Robert Kaufman teamed with home textiles designer Nancy Mims to present a lovely line of 100% organic cotton printed fabrics, Free to Grow, in wonderful florals, with coordinating stripes and bold graphics.  www.robertkaufmann.com

Amy Butler has done it again, putting her magic touch on another product line, now teaming with Rowan to create a lovely organic yarn collection. www.knitrowan.com

Other buzz at Quilt Market includes the strength of batiks, with quilt shops appreciating their versatility and the ability of batiks to add to what they already have in stock.  Timeless Treasures has taken its Tonga batik line in a new direction with Tonga Treats, packages of pre-cut, 2 ½” strips or forty 10” squares in six color stories. The booth models were stunning!  www.ttfabrics.com 

First time exhibitor Anthologyä Fabrics also presented a lovely line of batiks along with its fabulous print collections. Although new to Quilt Market, this company has been selling to the garment industry for over twenty years. www.anthologyfabrics.com

Printed knit fabrics are starting to gain momentum, perhaps because of the appeal they have to a younger audience that makes children’s wear with the growing number of patterns now available and carried by quilt stores. Liesl Gibson, owner of Oliver + S, launched her darling patterns two years ago and now has a lovely line of fabrics, City Weekend, including knits with Moda.  www.oliverands.com 

Patty Young designed a brightly colored line of knits for Michael Miller, which coordinated beautifully with her woven prints. Her award-winning booth (which she borrowed from her daughter’s bedroom) also featured her Modkid sewing patterns and new doll patterns and clothing which also fit the American Girl dolls.  www.modkidboutique.com

Other new and noteworthy products at Quilt Market:

Laminated fabrics  and oilcloth are also on the increase, including a beautiful line  of laminated prints from Amy Butler. www.amybutlerdesign.com

Die cut machines popular in scrapbooking now having an audience in quilting. Westminster Lifestyle Fabrics introduced the Sizzexâ Big Shotä shape-cutting machine and die program. www.sizzix.com  

AccuQuilt expanded its line of dies to include exclusive licensed dies from Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson.  www.accuquilt.com

Handbag and tote bag patterns are increasing, including the newest one from Nancy Zieman for Clover using her Trace’nCreate bag templates.

Clover’s innovative line of products also includes new leather bag straps, and one of my favorite new products, Wrap ‘n Fuse Piping with Nancy Ziemanâ, -- just brilliant! www.clover-usa.com

Speaking of brilliant, literally, consider the rhinestone edged zippers from J. N. Zippers & Supplies Corp., distributed by Ghee’s; you haven’t seen anything until you see the jewelry made by Susan Jones using these and other decorative zippers.  Be sure to stop by the Beacon booth at summer CHA to join Susan for make-it/take-its featuring the new Zprzäpaper zippers (non-woven tape). www.ghees.com

Cherish – the breast cancer awareness program from Simplicity Creative Group, a line of appliqués, bandanas, bracelets, mugs, water bottles, hats, totes, and more. www.simplicity.com

Star Thread form Coats & Clark – newly reintroduced in new colors, stronger construction, consistent in color, size, and performance, to meet the demands of the long arm quilter www.starthreads.com

Therm o Web introduced a new line of bolts of fusible and sew-in interfacings. www.thermoweb.com

Anna Griffinâ‘s booth for Windham Fabrics was another winner with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  Windham’s other collections include a stand-out group called Spa by Rosemarie Lavin, very contemporary in colors of sage and taupe and pale aqua – lovely! www.windhamfabrics.com

With all the talk about social media, Facebook, and Twitter in the news, and the best use of this media in business, it was perfect timing for Like Sew Websites to present mini-seminars in their booth on website designs and using social media to promote your company and business. www.likesewwebsites.com

As I finish this report, we are now experiencing an environmental disaster in the gulf, which is sure to affect all of us for years to come. Plant, animal, sea life, livelihoods of the people living in the region are being devastated by this monumental tragedy.  Tensions are on the rise in South/North Korea and in the Mideast, and climate changes have created unpredictable weather catastrophes in parts of the country.  Times like this demand that we sometimes turn off the TV and the computer and surround ourselves with lasting beauty found in quilts and creative expressions in paper to strengthen our resolve to get through these times with love, empathy, and support for those in need, now more than ever.

(Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To contact Ellie, call 908-459-9269 or email eleapple@hotmail.com.)

Society of Decorative Painters Convention/Expo.

by Doxie Keller

There were many positives at this year's convention. About 800 were registered for classes and the students were very happy with them. Many were smaller, but the lighting and seating and the classrooms were great – some of the best ever. 

The vendors were happy with the show on the first evening and the first day because  sales were good. Things did slow down on Friday and Saturday. However, some vendors remarked that there were young people in attendance on Friday and Saturday, the free day at the show. The exhibit hall and the loading docks were some of the best ever as all kinds of vehicles were allowed to drive into the building to unload – trucks, vans, cars, etc. 

The Society announced that they were able to escape from their contract with Opry Land Hotel in 2012; this is a huge financial benefit to the SDP. For the first time in several years, the operating budget is “in the black.” The Board of Directors worked very hard to cut expenses and make changes to accomplish this feat.  

The Society also announced that the convention will be conducted again in Wichita during May 2011.  


Newly elected Board Members: Sue Bowers, VP/President Elect … Toni Girten, Treasurer … Members at Large: Karen Allen, Donna Frost, and Tim Mulvey.

Newly-Elected Nominating Committee Members: Phyllis Gibbs CDA. Cheri Rol MDA, and Wendy Watson.


“Teacher of Decorative Arts” certification: Megumi Ikawa, Chikako Katayama, Naomi Kumagai, and Ginko Otaka MDA. (For more on SDP’s certification requirements, and results, visit www.decorativepainters.org/certification.php#results.)

SDP Scholarship Recipients: Vicki Alley and Andrea Harris.

Service Awards: President’s Commendation Award: McCormick-Armstrong, printer of The Decorative Painter magazine … Silver Palette: Sheila Rouse … Dedicated Service Award: Mary Dunlap … Priscilla Hauser Award for Business & Industry: Ron Kettlehake, Scharff Brushes … Outstanding Chapter Service Award: Diana Pfau, Bluebonnet Chapter … Volunteer of the Year: Winnie Sutton.


Winner of the quilt, “Flowers: From A to Z,” the fundraiser drawing: Lupe Steffen … Winners of the banquet-table decorations: First Place: Yellow Rose Chapter; Second Place: Pacific Coast Chapter; Third Place: Northern California Decorative Painters.



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