As per usual, Quilt Market was a feast for the eyes. As someone who was a camper and counselor for ten summers, I loved Camp Moda. There were so many perfect touches I practically burst into a chorus Kumbaya. (Luckily for everyone there, I restrained myself.)
Quilt Market has so many big and splashy things to see—amazing booths, gorgeous quilts, industry “celebrities”—that’s it’s easy to miss the details. But it was in those details that I saw some clear trends.
One was trims. They were everywhere, from the bindings of quilts to the edges of pillows and blankets. Some featured a jaunty little crocheted edge attached to purchased bias tape. Others were hand crocheted. But they all added that extra something that made projects a little bit sweeter, a little out of the ordinary.
The trims trend tied closely in with another trend I noticed: dish and hand towels. What seems like such a mundane textile got some added spice at Market. A smidge of appliqué, a stitched fabric band in bright colors, embroidery—each variation made what is typically a boring item into something that made me look twice. I know drying dishes would be much more fun with these.
I was curious about the reason behind this towel trend, and finally decided that they are the perfect gift—they’re useful and taking time to add the extra touches makes them so personal—they’re perfect for a hostess or bridal shower gift. In addition, if the additions are applied by hand they’re portable, making them great projects to take along to your kid’s soccer game or while waiting at the dentist’s office.
(A few I saw fall into that category of fancy towels that always worry me when I go to people’s homes—should I use them, or are they just for show? But whatever the answer, they’d certainly add some texture and interest to a guest bathroom.)
Another “small” trend I noted were little purses. While bags are nothing new, little pouches with metal clasps were everywhere. They come in a range of sizes and styles, some with big, decorative “knobs” and others with curvy profiles.
Some of my favorites were the Japanese-style coin purses from Zakka Workshop. I’ve always been a little intimidated at the thought of making one, but after talking with the Zakka Workshop folks, I learned that they’re really pretty simple. The hardware is available individually, but they also had some cute kits that would be a great way to learn the techniques needed to make one—I especially like this Classic Coin Purse kit. I’m definitely going to give them a try—just like towels, they’re useful and would make a perfect, personal gift.
And the final trendy detail I’ll mention is embroidery. It’s not exactly new, but it’s being used in interesting ways. In Shannon Gilman Orr’s booth was this pillow created for her by Sally Keller of Sally’s Angel Works, using her Acreage line. The lengthy quote, artfully designed, was something I hadn’t seen before.
Cori Yoder combined piecing with embroidery, stitching flowers in colors that complemented her Sundrops line around one corner of a pillow.And here’s some embroidery Amy Barickman stitched on top of prints, creating a rich layer of color and texture.Designers and companies spend so much time making their booths stunning, and the tiny details are definitely part of the big, gorgeous picture. They’re also a reminder that when the urge to create strikes but time is limited, little projects can provide a lot of satisfaction.