To Market, To Market…

Hi: It’s Linzee, here. I’m getting ready to head to Quilt Market in Minneapolis next week and thought I’d share some of my thoughts about the big event. Since I’m not “in-house” at Moda, my Market prep is different than Carrie’s and ModaLissa’s, but I’m sure we’re all having some sleepless nights.

First, let me introduce myself: I’ve been a behind-the-scenes writer for Moda since 2010 and currently assist Carrie with Cutting Table duties. I love getting to talk with Moda’s new designers for blog posts, as well as catching up with the projects and passions of longtime designers.

An American Jane quilt by Sandy Klop from 2011 fall Market. This photo was the screensaver on my phone for more than a year.

An American Jane quilt by Sandy Klop from 2011 fall Market. This was the screensaver on my phone for more than a year.

I’m also an employee at Home Ec Workshop in Iowa City, Iowa, and I’ll be attending Quilt Market with Codi, the shop’s owner, helping her look for the fabrics, notions, books, and tools that make our shop unique. Quilt Market is such a feast for the eyes and brain, and a great opportunity for shop owners to recharge, to reimagine, and to get inspired for the months to come. I especially love finding new products and fabrics that will lend themselves to the classes we teach. (My specialties include mitered-corner baby blankets, sock monkeys, and oilcloth bags.)

Quilt Market booths are nothing short of incredible. This was one of my favorites: Moda's award-winning booth from Fall, 2013.

Quilt Market booths are nothing short of incredible. This was one of my favorite award-winning Moda booths, from Fall, 2013.

But I’ll also be keeping an eye out for story ideas and trends. As a freelance writer, I’ve covered Quilt Market over the years for Etsy’s blog, True Up, and the French magazine Quilt Country. My favorite stories to write are about people doing work they’re passionate about: I’ve interviewed Tula Pink for American Patchwork and Quilting and Denyse Schmidt for Etsy. Moda’s designers are a passionate bunch and I enjoy reconnecting with them (or meeting them for the first time—here’s looking at you, Betsy Chutchian, Corey Yoder, and Carrie Shyrock). Though they’re crazy-busy, I try to catch up with Carrie and Lissa. And I adore meeting shop owners I’ve interviewed for Quilt Sampler.

While I interview most Moda designers by phone, others, including Brigitte Heiland, Janet Clare,  and Jen Kingwell live overseas, so Market is the perfect time to find out what's new. Here's Brigitte at Fall 2014 Market.

While I interview most Moda designers by phone, others, like Brigitte Heiland, Janet Clare, and Jen Kingwell live overseas, so Market is the perfect time to say hello. Here’s Brigitte at Fall 2014 Market.

Some people suggest my work is “glamourous.” If glamour is defined as wearing comfy jeans and slippers and sitting at a desk alone, day-after-day (far too near the refrigerator), then I’m definitely your uptown gal. The truth is that I love what I do, but because so much of my work is by phone and email, I value the “face-time” at Market. And I find that though I see most of these folks only once or twice a year, our shared love of color, design, sewing, and fabric means that Quilt Market relationships don’t start at Square One. There’s already so much common ground established that it’s possible to make lasting connections at Market. (Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs and I even set up her son and my daughter—they dated for awhile and Alma and I were hopeful there would be a marriage-made-by-Moda. Sadly, the romance faded.)

Alma Allen and I at spring market in Kansas City, when our kids were dating and we thought we might be in-laws.

Alma Allen and I at spring market in Kansas City, when our kids were dating and we thought we might be in-laws.

Though I’m looking forward to my time in Minneapolis, there is still much to do—appointments to be made, a wardrobe to be considered. For some ambitious souls, Market is a time to flaunt their Me-Made-May ensembles: clothing, a tote, or even a camera strap sewn from new fabric lines and new patterns. I’m hoping to finish just one voile top before I leave next week.

Quilt Market is great fun, but it’s also hard work—there are appointments to keep, interviews to do, stories to write. I always get butterflies in my stomach, worrying I’ll forget my laptop or camera or wondering if I’ll leave home with the iron still on. But I’m also looking forward to touching fabric and thread and to learning tips and techniques to share with Home Ec customers and Cutting Table readers. If you see me at Market, say hi—it could be the start of a beautiful friendship!

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18 comments on “To Market, To Market…

  1. Mary Andra says:

    Fantastic posting. I will be sure to say hi while I’m at Market. Safe travels for everyone.

  2. Carol Bair says:

    Linzee—love your blog! Look forward to your posts on the “market”—I know it is a hectic time for you, but be sure to “take it in” and enjoy the colors, and the beauty of it all!!!! “Marriage-by-Moda” —so cute!!!!

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Hi Carol: Thanks for the reminder to “stop and smell the…fabric.” Cheers!

  3. Fun post! I can feel the excitements! Btw, what American Jane pattern is that quilt? Love it! Jerilynn

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Hi Jerilynn: Glad you liked the post. And the pattern is Pezzy Pizazz. Isn’t it fantastic?

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Such a fun run up to market….while sitting at my counter with a cup of coffee! Thanks for sharing all the plans and excitement.

  5. Margaret says:

    What a wonderful blog posting, Linzzie. It’s so much fun to learn about what goes on behind the scenes, ’cause I doubt I’ll ever attend a Quilt Market, but what I appreciate most about this blog entry is your writing. It’s obvious you genuinely care about this craft and the people associated with it. Thanks so much for sharing that love. I hope you have a marvelous time next week!

  6. SarahZ says:

    What a sweet post! I love the almost-in-laws story! I look forward to sometime meeting fellow fabric enthusiasts, for the same reason you mention..there is already so much common ground 🙂 One of these days… Have fun at Market!

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Hi SarahZ: Isn’t it true that you bond so quickly with people who share your interests? That’s why I love taking classes at quilt shops and being a part of my quilt guild, too. Thanks for your good wishes.

  7. Alicia Key says:

    Awesome, Linzee! Wish I could clone you to help us out around here!

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Thanks, Alicia. That might be one too many of me—at least some people would think so. But I appreciate the sentiment!

  8. kathyinmn says:

    Love Your post! I hope you also get a smidge of time to enjoy our fabulous city!

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Thanks, kathyinmn. I adore Minnesota. If there’s time this trip, I’m hoping to visit the Walker Sculpture Garden.

  9. Thelma says:

    What a great post, I’m so glad you interviewed yourself, it’s wonderful to meet you. For all of us that don’t get to attend market, thanks for being our eyes! I’ll be watching for your updates.

  10. Linzee McCray says:

    Thanks, Thelma. Now the pressure’s on! (No, just kidding, but I will keep my eyes peeled and my camera close at hand.) Cheers!

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