Reports on shows, trends, and more
Fall Quilt Market/Quilt Festival:
Highlights from the recent trade
and consumer shows.
by Ellie Joos (November 7, 2011)
Pre-show registration was up 3%
from last year; although there were slightly fewer exhibitors, there
were more multiple booths displaying fabric collections of
traditional and modern, retro and organic, some reflecting a bit of
With the much anticipated
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie about to open next month, I
wondered if I would see any Swedish influence. Although a dark
thriller, this movie and the other books in the trilogy have spurred
a huge interest in other Swedish authors and Scandinavian design
influence. "Stockholm" is the name of one of Robert Kaufmann's new
collection and its clean design and clear colors is a great example
of this print and color direction.
Most vendors and buyers were
optimistic and reported having a good Fall show. The floor seemed
quite busy both for market and festival with independent and chain
buyers in attendance at market.
For a few years now, several
fabric companies have produced beautiful magazine-style, collectible
books to illustrate their fabric collections. Amy Butler, Art
Gallery, Michael Miller, Anna Maria Horner, and Blend, among others,
designed and printed books that are great sources of inspiration and
Speaking of Amy Butler, her
newest expansion will be into the magazine world with Blossom
magazine, a twice-yearly online magazine. We know guys quilt too, so
does Amy, and now her husband David launched his first fabric line,
Curious Nature, featuring modern geometric prints in muted
grays, browns, greens.
Scrapbook design crossover:
Basic Grey had a very sweet booth featuring charming sampler kits,
embroidered buttons, wool felt flowers, and other lovely
accessories in their first Fall market booth.
Little Yellow Bicycle,
one of a number of gorgeous collections for Blend Fabrics, presented
Babysaurus, a fresh and fun collection of coordinating
Several New Exhibitors - McKay
Manor Musers Yosemite Collections Mother/daughters team partnered
with Shannon Fabrics to design blanket and pillow patterns with
owls, foxes, moose motifs
Such Designs, also new with
artful patterns and kits, modern and simplistic.
Cloud9 Fabrics – this line of
organic cotton fabrics featured a new collection of elephants,
forest friends, and jungle prints by Ed Emberley, known for his
Birch, also an organic cotton
fabric company, featured elephants, bicycles, planes, and rocket
ships, among other unique and charming prints.
Lovers of classic primitive
colors and designs are sure to be thrilled with the new
Primitives magazine, a new quarterly publication featured
quilts, hooked rugs, cross-stitch, and other primitive-style
Many fabric companies have
exclusive fabric lines for independents; now Fairfield launched
American Spirit Batting, exclusive for quilt shops. Four premium
battings are available and each features a landscape quilt by
Heat Press Batting Together: I
always love cool new products and this 1 ½" cloth tape batting
binding on rolls fuses any batting together while staying soft.
Quick Points Ruler – prairie
points and scalloped edges are a breeze to make with tools from this
Babyville Boutique: independent quilt shop owners responded
positively to this new sewing program that reaches the younger sewer
through cloth diapers. As reported previously in CLN, this
DIY program of cloth diaper sewing products responds to the needs of
young mothers who want products that are eco-friendly, good for
baby, and the wallet.
Fabric 2.0 is a pre-show party
that provides an opportunity for manufacturers, designers, bloggers,
and publishers to get together at the beginning of Quilt Market to
meet and network over refreshments. This year CHA was a silver
sponsor, along with Gold sponsor, Stash Books, and bronze sponsors,
Michael Miller, Mod Kid, Andover, and Drygoods Design and JCaroline
I chatted with several of the
representatives from CHA who were attending Quilt Market and walking
the show floor for the first time with the intention of creating a
stronger fabric presence at their show. The energy and enthusiasm of
Quilt Market was bound to impress them.
This was my first Festival in
about 15 years; it featured more than 950 vendor booths, classes,
and exhibits to accommodate the thousands of eager quilters and
shoppers. Festival also celebrated Texas' 175th anniversary with
life-size painted horses and a fabric quilted patchwork car. Wilma
Hart of Quilts Inc. created a fabulous exhibit of large photographs
of historical buildings in Texas decorated with quilts placed
digitally on the buildings by Wilma.
Vendors at Festival include
jewelry, beading, Victorian-inspired products, knitting kits, and a
show favorite, Make It University. The opening evening was quite
busy as was the first day of the show.
And finally, if you are a
quilter, or lover of quilts, and find yourself in the area of
LaGrange, Texas, then you must visit the new Texas Quilt Museum.
This incredible museum, the creation of Karey Bresenhan, Founder and
Director of Quilts Inc., and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes is about to have
its grand ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 13. I was fortunate
enough to visit it last week on a day off between Quilt Market and
Quilt Festival. This lovingly restored former furniture store,
complete with original interior brick walls and gorgeous wood
flooring, is the home to quilt exhibits. The opening exhibit
celebrates 175 years of Texas’ independence from Mexico through the
beauty of Texan-made quilts. Three exhibits a year are planned in
this absolutely perfect bright and airy atmosphere.
(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