Moda Designers Chill Out (or not) After Market

In the days and weeks that lead up to Quilt Market, Moda designers are in a frenzy of sewing. While sewing on-the-job sounds like a dream come true, trying to get it done on a tight deadline can be tough. And trying to create multiple quilts, bags, garments, and other items and display them beautifully is no easy task.

So once the hoopla of Quilt Market subsides, what do designers do to (finally, finally) relax? Here’s what a few had to say when I asked:

Polly Minick was first to answer: “I wasn’t at Houston this year, but usually I crash after I return!”

And Laurie Simpson said: “I can’t think about anything until I unpack and do laundry and put everything away. Next is to catch up on orders and emails and such. I then take a break by stitching up something completely random and unexpected in an attempt to get my designer mojo back. Lastly, with this done, I can start thinking about upcoming designs.


For Pat Sloan, there wasn’t much rest after Market:

“I came home for two days, then left again to spend the day at the Virginia Quilt Museum with my exhibit! My exhibit runs until December 16 and I have two rooms with 19 of my pieces on display.

It’s a neat little place! I get to see it again when I take it down. It was quite an experience to curate my own exhibit, hang it, spend a day there talking to people—such an honor​!”

Here is a link to Pat’s Facebook live when she set up the exhibit in August.


Debbie Maddy had this to say (she’s living in the midst of a major remodel):

“My first day home from market I TRY to do nothing! Try is a big word. Emails are next and then getting new items on to the web site and cleaning the big mess in my studio. This year I have a terrible mess in my house so my studio is suffering terribly.” (If you follow Debbie on IG you’ll see she’s making progress!)


Camille Roskelly of Bonnie and Camille has a simple plan for relaxation:

“Well, I got my orders sent out and since then I have been baking cookies. A lot of cookies. 🙂 Chocolate chip cookies of course. I’m going to perfect them in my lifetime. Hopefully.”

Here mom Bonnie Olavesen told me at Market that she spends the first day following up on Market business, then sews for fun.


Betsy Chutchian’s post-Market plans this year are not quite as exciting as they were last year:

“After a short collapse on the couch and answering some emails, I empty bags and start laundry. The next day, I hit the ground running back to the sewing machine.

Betsy’s cat Molly, blocking the path to Besty’s trusted sewing machine.

After Spring Market 2017 I varied the routine and raced to the washing machine and then to the hospital to welcome grandson Reed.”

Betsy Chutchian and baby Reed, just home from the hospital last May


April Rosenthal also varied her usual post-Market routine last month:

“When I got home from market this time, I was really feeling the long-arming bug—which is strange because I normally avoid my studio for at least a week when I get home. I quilted 4 different tops I had waiting for my attention! I had a great time teaching my twins how to trim threads and we worked on a few sewing projects together, which was really fun.

My favorite thing about getting home from market is being able to spend more intentional time with my kids. We did some cleaning and some yard work and had some play time of course.

I also took a bit of time to update my shop with new patterns and fabric bundles. It’s been a busy week!”


Chelsi Stratton of a Quilting Life invests in some down time:

“As soon as market comes to an end, I am always filled with new ideas and inspiration. But….the reality is I need a good recharge before I start working on anything at all! Some snacks, a soda, and a few naps help move that motivation along! Haha!”

Her mom and business partner Sherri McConnell had a different plan:

1.  Unpack as soon as possible

2.  Clean the sewing room

3. Sew something for fun that doesn’t have a deadline (usually Christmas
sewing after fall market)! 


Longtime designer Jan Patek has recovered from many Quilt Markets. Here’s her strategy:

“The first thing we do when we get home (a 14-hour drive usually done in two days, but this year in one) is try to calm down Elizabeth and Dobby (bulldog and Welsh Corgi) enough to get in the door. They’re pretty excited that we FINALLY came home again. After bringing in just a few things we unpack just enough to wash up, brush our teeth, set up the coffee pot for in the morning and fall into bed.

“The next morning, with coffee made and dogs taken out to do their duty, I sit and sip coffee and stitch for awhile. Appliqué is how I relax and since I do a BOM Mystery Quilt each year, I always have a block to work on. Then slowly but surely our days get back to normal pre-Market Days.”


Corey Yoder’s plan is simple:

“I am always ready to dive into things when I get home from Market.  This year I had oodles of things to do when I got home and I’ve been checking them off my list and working on lots of fun things for next year.”


Market veteran Jo Morton has a pared-down list of post-Market activities:

Get home from Market . . .



Go buy groceries since the refrigerator was emptied before leaving for 11 nights

Pay bills after going through mail

Put things away

Pretty exciting life! (Ha, Ha)


Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles plans a trip as a after-Market reward:

“My post-Market routine is to clean up the mess I’ve made while preparing for market—put away fabric, organize scraps, fold and store the new quilts until the book/pattern is ready. Then, my brain is ready for something new. My husband and I treat ourselves to an antiquing weekend to get away from the store and relax. This year, I found some wonderful vintage tin quilting templates to add to my collection.”


Christopher Wilson-Tate seems not to have needed a rest after his very first Market:

“Back to the land of antique quilts in Hampstead London there was Remembrance weekend (these red ceramic poppies are from the nearly one million that were placed around the Tower of London last year) and Christmas mince pies and coffee.
After a  local client took this photo of me in the Store last Saturday, in which I was saying Regency  Blues, (haha!) I decided to  have a spur of the moment competition on my Facebook pages for a free Antique Quilt. Participants had to guess what I was saying  in these photos—I did say anyone who saw me at Houston may have a slight  advantage—it was a lot of fun and there were keen competitors. The answer was Regency  Blues and the winner a lady who lives in  Kent in England who is going to come to the store  in a couple of weeks to choose a red and white  quilt.  So just back to normal life!”


And me? It was my first Market and I admit to coming home both exhilarated and exhausted.

With so much to learn there has been a lot of follow-up, but I did manage to sneak into my sewing room and stitch a string-pieced block with my fabric. I had fun!

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6 comments on “Moda Designers Chill Out (or not) After Market

  1. Hildy says:

    Thanks for this fun post and I love your string block!

  2. Penny Huck says:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s fun to hear how the pros “do it.” I know when I return from my sewing day at the shop or a quilt retreat weekend, I just can’t wait to continue at the sewing machine.

  3. Gail Randall says:

    2 sampler quilts. 1 jacket
    Blueberry pie To all a good pie day!

  4. Christopher Wilson-Tate says:

    Thank you Linzee a fun read

  5. Sheilah Daughtree says:

    Thanks for sharing

Comments are closed.