Quilt Market—The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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.

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The park across from the convention center in 2008. I love the cool, “quilty” sculptures.

The winning booth in Fall, 2012

Moda’s award-winning booth in Fall, 2012, was one of my favorites. I’m always eager to see what they’ve come up with at Market, because it’s always amazing. That never changes.

Detail of Moda's 2010 booth

A detail of Moda’s 2010 booth

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.

My feet were really tired at the end of the day in 2009. That hasn't changed

My feet were really tired at the end of the day in 2009. That never changes.

I'm as starstruck as the next person. Couldn't resist a photo with Kaffe Fasset in 2010. (My hair has changed)

I’m as starstruck as the next person and couldn’t resist a photo with Kaffe Fasset in 2010. I’ve followed his career since he was knitting in the mid-1980s. (My hair and glasses have changed)

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).

Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs always have a gorgeous booth (here in 2010)

Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs always have a gorgeous booth (here in 2010).

No changes since this 2010 Market Camille's booth is always a winner

No changes since this 2010 Market photo—Camille’s always cheery and so is the fabric she designs with her mom, Bonnie.

I met Sherri McConnell in 2013 and can't wait to see her again!

I met Sherri McConnell in 2013 and can’t wait to see her again. She and her daughter Chelsi have a new line of fabric, Valley. So that’s a change!

Mr. Dunn always wears something made of great fabric, so that hasn’t changed. (You can see some more examples here.)

Cheryl Freydberg, Mark Dunn, Lissa Alexander, and Holly Hickman celebrate Moda's Best Booth award. Will the tradition continue?

Cheryl Freydberg, Mark Dunn, Lissa Alexander, and Holly Hickman celebrate Moda’s Best Booth award in 2010. This year you can participate in the booth awards via the Viewer’s Choice award, available on the Quilt Market app.

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.

Malka Dubrawsky's fabrics hit the modern quilt sweet spot in 2011

Malka Dubrawsky’s fabrics hit the modern-quilt sweet spot. Here she is in 2011.

I ALWAYS want to make one of Sandy Klop's American Jane quilts. These are from 2011

I ALWAYS want to make one of Sandy Klop’s American Jane quilts. These are from 2011.

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.

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4 comments on “Quilt Market—The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

  1. Mary says:

    Where is the Quilt Market app? I did a search and came up empty. Thanks.

  2. Linzee McCray says:

    I found it under Houston Quilt Market 2015 in the Apple store.

  3. I loved going to quilt Market, attended twice yearly from 1993 to 2001, and saw some cities that I will never visit again coming all the way from London. Now with Twitter and Instagram I can visit all over again. Love it.

  4. Quilters and fabric designers are always the best. If your lucky enough to know one you are definetly blessed. I love fabric and Moda never fails me. Thank you for the fun coverage. When I create with quilt fabrics to make puppy clothing I love love love quality. Nothing but the best for my Bella and her friends!

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