Not from me. As if?!?
There are just a few more things to write about Spring Quilt Market and then we’ll close that book.
A few of you asked about trends at Market and I wish I had a better answer for you. I didn’t see anything that jumped out to me as an emerging trend – like punch needle, hexagons or English Paper Piecing have in years past – and I think there are a couple of reasons why that might be. First, I missed four or five Markets in succession and I’m just getting back to seeing what’s at Quilt Market. And I’m a little slow to notice trends.
String-pieced appliqued deer – stag? – by Rana Heredia of Sewn Into the Fabric. Whether it’s called “string piecing” or “improv” making of your own fabric, I did see a few things with this kind of technique involved. This stood out – it’s so much better in person.
The second factor is location. With the cost of travel, shipping and attending Quilt Market, many exhibitors only go to those Quilt Markets that are withing driving distance so something that seems to be very prevalent might only be a reflection of a regional preference. Location also factors into how many international exhibitors are attending; meaning, if the Aussies are there in force, you will see all sorts of wonderful embroidery and stitchery, and plenty of very scrappy quilts with lots of pieces.
These confections are by Natalie Bird of The Bird House in Australia – also so very much better in person.
One of my other favorite quilts had embroidery on it. I’m not sure what it was about this one that I loved – the mix of Reproduction shirting prints with the random setting or the color palette.
This is by Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Grace Studios Patterns.
The last factor is more subjective – is it a trend or am I just seeing the things that I like? A friend and co-worker noticed that there was a lot of pink at Market. I must have missed that, perhaps because I was noticing the aqua and the somewhat muted, retro-40s colors. I saw quite a few quilts with big-stitch quilting but I’ve noticed those in past years too.
These two quilts are by Madeleine Roberg of Domestic Strata. Everything she showed at Market was amazing – I went by this booth a couple of times. (I wasn’t alone on that – lots of people fell in love with Madeleine’s quilts.)
Since wool and wool projects always get my attention, I can’t say with any kind of accuracy that there was more or less wool in Minneapolis than in past Markets. There was a lot of it and it was all beautiful.
Autumn Time by Norma Whaley of Timeless Traditions – Norma also does gorgeous quilts in a traditional-reproduction-primitive style. That means she combines different colors and styles of fabrics to make things that are original and just plain awesome.
Minis! There were mini-quilts in many booths. But there were just as many in Pittsburgh last Spring, and with the Reproduction designers and quilters, small quilts and “minis” have been around for at least ten years.
With all the amazing minis in just the Moda Designer Studio, this was my favorite – Idyllic Mini from Sweetness by Corey Yoder for Coriander Quilts. It uses Corey’s debut collection, Prairie. (The Bella Solids are 9900-97 White and 9900-178 Etchings Stone.)
The same goes for bags – there were a lot of great bags. The one really good trend is that with all the great bag patterns in the marketplace, it’s getting easier to find a wider variety of bag hardware and accessories.
This bag was in front of a very cool quilt made by Mon Ami by Basic Grey, fortunately, it was also my favorite bag at Market – the Maxwell bag by Abbey Lane. (Though we’re going to have to make one for ourselves in other fabric.)
There was a lot of “modern” fabric and a lot of Reproduction and traditional fabric. There were bright colors and muted colors, lots of neutrals and textures, and a variety of weights and fabric types/weights. But is any of that new or a trend? I don’t think so, unless the trend is that “there is something for everyone” and new products are finding a place in the market. (But what do I know, right?)
You also asked about notions – rulers, gadgets, tools, etc. The coolest “new” ruler is one that came out a month or so ago, the Itty Bitty Eights Rulers by Lisa Bongean for Creative Grid. If you like piecing “small”, these rulers are terrific as they’re small and come with clear, easy to read 1/8″ markings.
Scissors. It seems like there were 157 different styles or types of new scissors being shown. The most interesting to me were the angled “table-top” scissors by Fiskars. The blade and handle are angled so that you can slide the scissor blades along the table for easier cutting while still holding your hand at a natural angle. This is the Razoredge 9″ Tabletop Scissor – there are three different sizes, and then three sizes of the Easy Action model which has the same off-set angle.
They look weird, don’t they?
After the needle-companies collaborated to make the eyes of needles smaller, and therefore harder for me to see, I am always on the look-out for a good needle-threader. So when I heard that the folks that make the Hiroshima-Tulip needles had a new threader designed to use with their super-tiny-eyed needles, I went looking for it.
This is the Suitto Needle Threader by Tulip. Is it any different than the cute needle-threader by Clover? For most needles, there isn’t much difference. But for the very fine Tulip needles, this one works far better as it was designed for use with the Tulip needles.
Clover has finally come out with a new little iron – the Wedge Iron – to replace the much-loved, much-missed craft iron they discontinued several years ago. It’s not that there aren’t other small travel-sized irons, it’s that the Clover iron had a sharp point that made it particularly good for prepping applique work for the non-needle-turn applique folks. (Aka “the Barbarians” to some needle-turn – and back-basting – applique afficionados.)
The other Clover tool that several people were talking about and looking for were some new bodkins. It’s that thing you can use to thread a drawstring or elastic through a casing. Think of it as a really long, thin safety pin – that’s what most of us use if we don’t have a real, actual bodkin.
There’s the Flex ‘n Glide for threading – it has an elongated eye for threading something thin. The Clip ‘n Glide is for threading elastic that won’t fit through the eye of the regular bodkin, it grips the end securely. And the Elastic Lock Set firmly holds elastic preventing it from slipping into casing. While I don’t use these tools a lot, they’re the kind that are always great to have when you do go looking for them.
My favorite new notion is this one… it’s a rotary cutter that can be adjusted. For what? I haven’t quite figured that out. But the picture of the Fiskars Adjust Handle Rotary Cutter with the instructions makes me laugh so as soon as it comes into the warehouse, you can count on me to try it out. Giggles and grins, right?
I’ll put Band-Aids on my grocery list now so I’m ready.
For those of us who liked and used The Angler, Quilt in a Day has come out with a similar type template for sewing connector corners, half-triangle squares and straight lines. It’s called the Sew Straight.
(The Angler is no longer available.)
As for what’s happening here in Dallas, “life” is returning to “normal”. (Quotes because I’ve not been around long enough to know what the real “normal” is yet.)
There was a lot of rain in North Texas over the Memorial Day weekend and that was probably perfect as it gave everyone an excuse to stay home, nap, relax, nap and so on. And sew on! (I did some of that this weekend, pictures coming soon.)
I’m finishing writing the new patterns while others are working on the layouts and diagrams. They’ll be sent off for proofing and those “should” be ready by June 1st. (It’s a “quote-y” kind of day, isn’t it?) Everyone else is working on finishing up Market-related projects and going forward with the new collections. Quilts have already been shipped off to different places for shows, photography and I’m not sure what else, and the deadline for the next catalog is less than a month away. So once the new patterns are finished, I have to finalize a couple of quilt-ideas for the next batch of Frivols and a couple of collections. There are a couple of magazine and book compilation projects to finish and an ride-along with one of the sales reps to schedule. And that’s just me!
And then there’s that whole other thing that I’m not supposed to talk about it… it’s in less than five months.
But you didn’t hear that from me, right?
(P.S. Be sure to come back on Friday or over the weekend – rumor has it there might be some kind of Market-related giveaway. But you didn’t hear that from me either.)