I've been meaning to write this post all week, but somehow haven't gotten to it till now… I went through my pictures and realized that I didn't necessarily document everything I saw, by a long stretch. But below are some of the photos I did take. I have plans for the Houston show that will involve much more photography...
This was my first Quilt Market so I was quite taken with the thought, detail and design that obviously went into the booths. They were vignettes, stories, tableaus of color, texture and pattern that created a mood. Each one was individual to the designer, or fabric company, and each one was evocative in it's own way. I got lost in a couple of them. This is a trade show for the home sewing industry. This is business. This market happens twice a year, and it's where many retail shops do all their buying. So there is some real commerce going on during these three days. But the business is about craft, color, texture, pattern, design and creativity, so the floor is walked by a large contingent of makers, and their enablers. As a first timer, I found it hard to look at all those raw materials without being able to play with any of them. For the first couple of hours my head was spinning and I was just reveling in the sensory overload of it all. Watching the vendors and the buyers do their dance, observing the different selling styles of so many creative businesses, it was theater. Spying the industry experts and celebrities, I was star struck at first. Woah, is that really Amy Butler, just standing there in front of her fabrics in the Westminster Fibers booth? Holy cow, look at all that Echino fabric! That's an actual Elizabeth Hartmann quilt hanging in that booth!
I took more photos of inanimate objects than people, but the people were just as interesting as the quilts. I felt like I needed to get a feeling for the mood on the floor before I stuck my nose out too far. I did corner some people, and they were all lovely (including the delightful [DELIGHTFUL!] Amy Butler). It is so great to be surrounded by so many like-minded people. It's like A Gathering of Stitches times a thousand. Everyone is talking about fabric and stitches and design and patterns and tools and inspiration and discovery. Just about any conversation you pass on the floor is fiber-related, and it's easy to get swept up into someone's buzz about a particular booth. I saw all sorts of familiar fabrics walking by on the backs of attendees, some made up into patterns I knew, either from experience or from the internet. It was kinda like walking through an interactive Ravelry.
I absolutely loved Carolyn Friedlander's booth, as evidenced by how many photographs I took of it. Apparently I wasn't the only one, as she won a prize for it.
At the entrance to the floor there was a display of quilts, two of which really caught my eye. I am embarrassed to admit that I did not take down the names of the makers of these quilts, next time I will be better. But I still wanted to share them because I thought they were really cool.
Everyone was talking about the launch of Cotton + Steel, a new line of fabrics from RJR Fabrics, designed by the terribly talented likes of Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kimberly Kight and Sarah Watts. I loved the rock star treatment they got, read more about them and check out the video about the genesis of the line here. But what impressed me the most was a short exchange I had with them about the audience for these fabrics. The line is full of voiles and linen-cotton blends suited to garment-making, and that is their intention! To give us clothes makers more options out in the greater market! Hooray! It was real highlight of the market for me.
I didn't realize there would be so many book releases at Market. It was a wonderful bonus for my time there. I met Tasia of Sewaholic and she signed a copy of her new book, The Sewtionary, which is now sits on our library shelves. I also got books from Carolyn Friedlander, Thomas Knauer and Carolyn Forster, all of which are in the library now. I ran into Rachel May who was there for her new book Quilting With a Modern Slant. Rachel is coming to AGOS on June 22nd to lead a panel discussion about Modern Quilts with some of the book's subjects, and sign copies of the book. Come meet this cool lady! I had a really lovely conversation with Amy Butler, one that was so engrossing that I completely forgot to take any photos. We talked about Amy coming to Maine in the future. What do you guys think about that? A workshop about creative process with Amy?
Ah, Quilt Market, an inspiring, and exhausting weekend…. Can't wait for the next one.