Quilt Market 2009 - WOW! (Part 1)
I went to The International Quilt Market for the first time. I have not been before for many reasons, but the main one is many fabric companies have reps that visit us in the office on a regular basis. We saw all the new things without leaving home. I wanted to go this year to meet many of the designers we buy from and some of the people behind the companies that represent the designers. I also knew there were many independent pattern companies out there and I want to add some new ones to our already terrific line up. I also wanted to get an idea for emerging trends and new gadgets to bring you. So look out Houston, here I come!
I am not sure where to start telling you about all the wonderful people I met and all the pretty things I saw. And, I've got pictures! I'll break this up into two parts so I can concentrate on the two things I want to show you. This entry will be about the designers I met. The next entry will be about new products and patterns. Let's dive into Quilt Market 2009.
I'll try to do this chronologically. There were a few designers I knew I wanted to say, ''Hello'' to. The first one I came to without a mass of eager quilt shop owners around him was Jay McCarroll. He is in the Free Spirit/Westminster stable of designers along with Heather Bailey and Heather Ross. Jay is the first Project Runway winner. I am a big fan of Project Runway and I remember the first season well. His sister was helping him in his booth, and I spoke with her first. She said she has always been interested in quilting and had quilted before Project Runway. I had already seen his collections and loved them. They are quirky and a little odd, but that's what I love Free Spirit for. They are also very fashion forward. You all will find a lot to do with both collections we have coming. He was so nice to talk to and very willing to have pictures made and listen to all of us say how much we loved him on Project Runway. I passed his booth several times as I traipsed through the show. I got to his booth just in time. He was swamped every time I saw him.
Tina Givens is a stationery designer like no other. She uses a whimsical spirit to create her cards and notes. She designs her fabric collections for Free Spirit with the same whimsical creativity. We have Cloe's Imagination on line now. We also have her new pattern collection. Many of the patterns are for children, but she also has a couple patterns for adults, too. Her booth had a clean, bright modern look which shows off her intricate designs so well. She is the most charming lady with a South African accent and a beautiful fairy-like face. We talked about her new pattern line and her new collections coming in the spring. I cannot wait to show them to you!
I caught up with my Westminster rep, Tom, and he escorted me to meet a couple of the other designers I had on my list. I have been following Anna Maria Horner's blog for a couple of years. This incredible young mother of five is a design dynamo, and the sweetest girl you'll ever want to meet. I caught her during the slower lunch hour so we had time to chat. Standing in her living room of a booth complete with a small table and chairs and a fantastic sofa upholstered in one of her more subdued prints in shades of taupe. The lines of the sofa were punctuated in a hot orange print. Just stunning! As was Anna Maria. We spoke as if old friends. She waved down a passerby wearing a fabulous trench made from her Drawing Room collection of home dec weight fabrics. She complimented her profusely on the jacket and how great she looked in it. And she did by the way. The print was the Sketchbook design, you know, the one we cannot seem to keep in stock.
Tom took me over to say, ''Hi'' to Amy Butler. Stephen and I had a conference call with Amy about three years ago to talk about how we could work together. I was so excited about Amy then and, of course, I still am always excited to see her latest collections of pattern and fabrics. We even carry some of her scrapbooking supplies. Look forward to some photo albums and frames as well! I wanted to meet her in person since we have been working with her and her team so long. Her booth was lovely, and she was dressed in a stunning outfit of grey and oatmeal. I don't know how she made it through the day in those beautiful grey patent leather shoes with the 3'' heels. She's a very gracious lady with a big fan base. Every time I passed her booth, she was in a one-on-one conversation with a shop owner while others waited to take their turn. This is such a nice industry to be in.
Walking to the other end of the Westminster area, Heather Ross is talking to Heather Bailey. I wait my turn to speak with each of them. Heather Bailey has a line of new patterns including the cutest pear pin cushion and a baby stacking set. I am also working on Heather's Trash Ties for your hair. You'll just have to see them to understand, but they are ingenious! Heather Ross has a new book coming out in the spring. I love these kinds of books because they come with the patterns in the front cover of the book! It's a book that not only has learning to sew instructions, but also great tips and ideas for any sewer. Did I mention the cute patterns in the front flap of the book? It's coming soon! Heather Ross and I had a great conversation, and I think we'll have a few more ideas in the works for you in the future.
Tom and I wandered around the corner to see Jane Sassaman's booth and speak with
Jane. Jane's latest collection, Prairie Gothic, could not have a better name. The colors are bold and saturated and the subject matter has had the gothic treatment for sure. Thorny vines and insects have invaded the flower garden and it's a great effect.
She said this color palette is a little subdued for her. I think it's all the black she's talking about. By any other standard, it's an exuberant palette. She created some fantastic things for her booth including the cover for a Butterfly Chair that I loved. Check
out the shirt and tie combination.