What is your quilting Super Power?
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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!
I’ll get to that in a moment. Did you have a good weekend? I spent it with Bern Ina, a lovely older Swiss gentleman with impeccable manners. He helped me finish my Go Four It quilt – picture coming soon – and the Snapshots Block No. 1.
For those who asked about the pattern for the black-and-orange four-patch quilt, the pattern is in the April 2015 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, available now through the end of March at a quilt shop, book shop or grocery store near you. There are three very different four-patch quilts from ModaLissa, April Rosenthal and Edyta Sitar. Mine is a variation of April’s Buried Treasure quilt – it’s the same block in a different setting.
This will be a busy week with QuiltCon starting on Thursday. Moda folks will start heading to Austin this afternoon and a few will be staying through Sunday afternoon. I’m excited about going and seeing the sights, quilts, people and vendors. (It’s a quilt show so there has to be shopping, right?) Did I tell you that I’d signed up for some classes last Summer? I’ll let you know what I learn.
No. I will not be getting a tattoo.
It isn’t that I think I’m too old for that sort of thing, it’s that I know it isn’t “me”. But apparently I am old… “old faithful”.
Okay, so the comment was in the context of patterns and how “I” – Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. – was like “old faithful” in that many of the older patterns were still sought-out by quilt shops and quilters. (P.S. Thank you!) Still.
With the advent of PDF. patterns, online shopping, and social media, there is no question that the quilt pattern business has changed since I started writing patterns in 2002. The “shelf-life” is still relatively short – less than a year – and many come-and-go pretty quickly. Timing can play a huge role in how well a pattern does, and the level of difficulty generally has very little to do with it. Dear Jane and the Farmer’s Wife quilts continue to be popular, but in the fourteen years since Terry Atkinson published Yellow Brick Road, it hasn’t been out of the Top Ten Patterns sold by distributors.
It is THE Old Faithful of patterns – it’s the perfect beginner quilt, it’s the perfect baby-graduation-going off to college quilt and it works in every style of fabric. (And yes, almost every pattern-person I know wishes she’d thought of it. But that’s why Terry is so good, we didn’t “see it” until after she’d done it.)
But back to patterns.
I’m often asked if I look at, buy, read and use other people’s patterns. Of course I do! I’m a quilter and I buy patterns because I love the quilt and I cling to the notion that I’ll someday be able to make every one of them! I’ve even made several… though I will own up to
sometimes often usually changing one or two teeny, tiny things.
So what are the most popular patterns right now? Bags. Lots of bag patterns – the Weekender Travel Bag by Amy Butler and the Beatle Bags by Abbey Lane top the list, followed by a couple of bag patterns by Terry Atkinson. Do you make bags? I enjoy it but I’d rather make a quilt. Like one of these “best selling” patterns – I have a couple of these patterns.
Row 1 – Atkinson Designs Yellow Brick Road / Basic Grey’s Mesmerize / Bunny Hill Designs’ Merry, Merry Snowmen. Row 2 – Bunny Hill’s I Believe in Snowmen / the stack of everything I pulled in the warehouse / Bunny Hills’ Christmas Wheels. Row 3 – Crab-Apple Hill’s Gingerbread Square / Jaybird Quilts’ Toes in the Sand / Thimbleblossoms’ Swoon.
Do you have any favorite patterns? (Bonus points to anyone who mentions one by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.) I probably have every pattern published by Sandy Klop of American Jane, and most of those from Jen Kingwell. Steam Punk has been on my “to do” list for almost two years.
But when I’m asked if I have a pattern that I love, once that I would consider as an “old faithful”, you-can’t-go-wrong=with-this-pattern… Vanilla & Blooms by Fig Tree & Company – Joanna Figueroa. I. Love. This. Quilt / Pattern. It’s out-of-print as a paper pattern but still available as a PDF download. Both versions are terrific and I can’t think of any pattern that shows off gorgeous fabric better than this one. It looks good in every style of fabric. Especially Fig Tree fabric.
The other one is Swoom by Thimbleblossoms – Miss Roskelley. Even though I’ve seen what seems like a thousand versions of Camille’s quilt, I’ve yet to see a single one that wasn’t spectacular. Not one.
“Old Faithful”. It’s much prettier than it sounds.
Start your morning with American Jane’s new collection, A La Carte. Fresh french prints in yummy colors will brighten your day everyday! In stores, September 2014.
Then take a trip with Vanessa Goertzen with her new collection, Into the Woods. A little whimsy, a little fun, and lots of inspiration! In stores, August 2014.
Moda… Something for everyone!