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Reports on shows, trends, and more

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Shows, Shows, Shows

Quilt Market, Stationery Show, and Surtex(R)

by Ellie Joos (June 18, 2012)

The Quilt Market continues to be alive and well with new exhibitors, new products, creativity, and excitement. According to show personnel, the recent Quilt Market in Kansas City was attended by 14% more pre-show enrollees and 52 new exhibitors. Most exhibitors I spoke with reported having a great show, some even indicating that it was better than the Fall market in Houston. 

Several words come to mind to describe this show. "Pink," as in the Katy Perry/Nicki Minaj-inspired hair color seen on quite a few attendees;, "Modern" as in the Modern Quilt Guilds; and "Chevron," as in the numerous chevron designed patterns seen in the fabrics on display and quilt patterns. (Chevron patterns are strong in home déc as well, and I attended the New York Stationery Show and Surtex show right after QM, and chevron designs were everywhere; more on that later.)

Prior to attending this market, when I thought of the word "modern," it was usually associated with Modern Art, Modern Dance, or Modern Architecture. Now, modern has taken on a new meaning, having attended the Modern Quilt Guild's meet-and-greet reception. I had been hearing about this movement recently and was glad to have an opportunity to learn more. Thanks to the Internet, the sharing of ideas and techniques has led to a new generation of quilters, learning from each other through blogs and YouTube videos, and making quilts that follow no rules or guidelines. At the meet and greet, many were meeting in person for the first time.

Evidence of the influence of this movement was seen on the show floor in quilt displays and in the presence of new exhibitors. Several in particular caught my eye, including, Carolyn Friedlander, www.carolynfriedlander.com featuring a bold, graphic quilt in her booth. Tula Pink presented an innovative approach to pirate/witch/Halloween with her Night Shade collection, a very dramatic print story.  Also shown were her great looking prints in cotton, voiles, and laminates. www.tulapink.com

As for trends in colors and designs, pretty mid-bright colors prevail: coral and turquoise, red and turquoise, green and turquoise, pink and yellow, and turquoise and pink ground colors were strong. 

One color used with white was also strong in many of the print motifs, seen in the new print collection from Lotta Jansdotter and Windham Fabrics, www.windhamfabrics.com Black and white was a standout in the QR (quick response) quilt on display in the Riley Blake Booth. This quilt had 5QR codes in it to demonstrate how quilting meets technology. Color and white looked especially good in the bold chevron patterns, also in  their booth.  www.rileyblakedesigns.com 

The chevrons from Cloud 9 Fabrics were pastel colored and very pretty. Mod Basics from Birch Fabrics was fresh looking with white plus color used for simple motifs featuring bicycles, elephants, and dots. 

One-way designs in simple motifs was another strong print direction. Cloud 9 Fabrics presented a new collection by Ed Emberley, best known for his children's books. These fabrics featured alligators, elephants, other jungle and barnyard animals on 100% certified organic cotton. www.cloud9fabrics.com 

Hand embroidery is on the rise, from Penguin & Fish, a relatively new company at Market with a line of patterns and kits for their absolutely charming motifs and now available on fabric from Clothworks Textiles. www.penguinandfish.com and www.clothworkstextiles.com

More hand embroidery patterns are available from SarahJane Studios featuring the world of pirates, mermaids, and sailboats, another strong print direction available on coordinating with fabrics from Michael Miller. www.sarahjanestudios.com and www.michaelmillerfabrics.com

The look of hand embroidery also appeared in the new fabric collection from Moda, "the ladies' stitching club, by oliver + s. More nauticals appeared at Cloud9 and Dear Stella.  www.dearstelladesign.com

Having loved Liberty of London prints on the famous Tana Lawn fabric from my days at Simplicity Pattern Co., I was especially thrilled to see the Liberty Art Fabrics booth at the show with the exquisite Bloomsbury Gardens/Craft Collection. lifestylefabrics@liberty.co.uk  These fabrics are truly classics and never seem to go out of style, having inspired "Liberty type prints" for years. 

New patterns, books, and tools are always fun to discover, and several caught my eye.  Geared for Guys is a new book by Emily Herrick, featuring eight fabulous patterns designed with "guys" in mind.  www.crazyoldladiesquilts.blogspot.com

Noble Notions presented several tools for assisting in quilting and machine quilting, including the Qulter's Clamp and new patterns for a picnic caddy and notions wallet.  www.noblenotions.com

Vanilla House designs featured several adorable children’s patterns for bibs.  www.vanillahousedesigns.com 

Soft-sculptured dolls took on a fresh and innovative look in the new patterns from Freddie’s Friends. Olive the Owl, Ronny the Robot, and their other friends are colorful and adorable. www.freddiesfriendsblog.blogspot.com

Prairie points just got easier with the Prairie Pointer tool from Pieces Be With You® and Susan K Cleveland.  I especially loved her flair for embellished points.  Another great tool is her Groovin' Piping Trimming tool. www.piecesbewithyou.com

McCall’s Creates launched the new Paper Quilt Creations kits for fabric and paper piecing to make wall art, greeting cards, and note cards -- perfect for those consumers that enjoy fabric and/or paper crafting. www.mccall.com

Stationery Show/SURTEX®

Speaking of greeting cards, this is the perfect segue to the New York Stationery Show.  Nearly 800 exhibitors and 11,000 buyers attended this annual show at the Javits Center in New York. For those seeking art and design exhibitors, Surtex® takes place at the same time and takes up a section of the floor that had been previously used by past exhibitors.  The floors at both shows were busy and exhibitors reported having a good show. 

As mentioned above, chevrons were everywhere, often combined with stripes and checks.  Other strong themes for print motifs were cities, most notably Paris with Eiffel towers showing up often in combination with other prints. Owls, foxes, vintage bicycles, high heels, 60's influence, jungle prints (often with alligators), and nautical motifs were seen in a number of products and color ways.  One new motif at Stationery was whimsical moustaches, also seen at Quilt Market in the Alexander Henry booth. 

According to a color trend presentation given by Stylesight for Fall/Winter 2013, expect to see greyed-out neutrals inspired by wood and nature, gold and bronze, pink and green with bright accents of yellow, blue and teal with an oil slick effect, and whitened pastels. They, too, see chevron designs continue as well as vintage tapestries, floral bouquets, border and scarf prints, and the 60's influence.  

After walking three shows in five days, it is easy to see the influence one market has on another. With current concerns about the economy in a year of the Olympics and a Presidential election, it is reassuring to see the vast display of creativity that continues to be one of the greatest strengths of this country.

(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.)



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