In preparing to head to Market, I’ve been thinking about when I started going and how Market has changed in the intervening years. My first Quilt Market was in fall, 2008, and I was gob-smacked at all there was to see. That hasn’t changed.
In intervening years, I’ve attended Quilt Market to write stories for Etsy’s blog and the French magazine Quilt Country. I’ve gone to do background research for my book. Now I attend Market as an employee of a locally owned shop, giving me a different perspective. I’m not just looking to be wowed, I’m looking for what’s useful and will translate well in our shop. Quilt Market is fun, but it’s also hard work.
In 2010, I interviewed Lissa Alexander for American Patchwork and Quilting and she asked me to write for Moda. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Moda designers and employees. They’ve always been lovely, welcoming, talented people, so that hasn’t changed (although new designers have been added to the mix, giving me the opportunity to meet and write about more lovely, welcoming, talented people).
Mr. Dunn always wears something made of great fabric, so that hasn’t changed. (You can see some more examples here.)
Fabric has changed. In 2010 I wrote about how solids and bright colors were becoming more common, and garment sewing was just starting to be reflected in fabrics on shop shelves. Now it’s common to see cotton lawns and voiles, linens and linen-blends, knits, silks, and rayons, and many of those fabrics find their way into quilts as well as garments. But what hasn’t changed is that there are still tons of drool-worthy quilting cottons.
But one thing hasn’t changed. I love fabric. I this story in an Etsy post that provides an example of just how much:
Once, at O’Hare Airport, I saw a woman wearing the most ethereally beautiful silk jacket—it was beautifully tailored and almost seemed to glow. We entered the restroom at the same time and I tried not to be too obvious as I ogled it, but when I came out of my stall there was that jacket, on its owner, at the sink. It was as if something completely out of my control took over my body and propelled me toward her, where these words came out of my mouth: “Can I touch your jacket?”
Now, in most cases, asking to touch someone in a public restroom would result in a call to security. But instead, this lovely woman in the lovely jacket said “Of course.” And after I touched it, she showed me the cool little pocket the jacket’s designer had ingeniously and unobtrusively tucked into a seam. Lucky for me, this woman understood and shared my feelings about textiles.
And lucky for me, too, Quilt Market is filled with people who love fabric. Keep your eyes peeled: I’ll be there, lurking, looking for what’s new and trendy, what’s old and still great, and for beautiful fabric to touch.