This past weekend was Quilt Market in Houston, which is held here every year. (The spring market moves to other cities.) I do wish they would change the name to better reflect what it is. It is one of the biggest fabric trade shows in the country, and obviously the quilting industry is a huge part of it, but there is so much other sewing going on that doesn't involve quilting. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking quilting. I just believe it is but one piece of an industry that still has great potential to make itself attractive to new generations of sewers. I don't quilt and most of my customers don't quilt, but we are all still sewing like crazy and want to see new fabrics and goods oriented to our projects as well. And I think by broadening the name of a market such as this, you encourage more participants, both buyers and vendors, to think beyond one particular type of sewing. So when they call me to ask my opinion about the future of the industry, I will include this comment in my report. Which should be happening any time now...
So, based on the name of the market, you may be surprised to hear that it was very encouraging from a sewer's and a business person's perspective. There were so many contemporary and interesting fabrics, I had to make choices as to which ones to take on. Three years ago, I bought everything remotely funky and still didn't think I had enough. Finally, some manufacturers realize that people like you are producing children's apparel, apparel accessories, and home dec accessories and want sophisticated, interesting prints and will pay for them. Hurrah.
The quick version of my finds at Quilt Market include:
- Michael Miller has three great new printed cotton collections coming out, but my favorite is their neutral collection. Yes, I have to say I am starting to suffer from color overload and found the tans, caramels, beiges and whites to be soothing. Coming in December, I believe. They have also added bias tape and ruffled ric rac from their pin dot and gingham fabrics.
- Michael Miller also introduced their organics collection, which is coming in January. Seven pieces of organic cotton including a fleece, terry, a mid-weight woven and two lighter cottons. Also includes a felt from post consumer recycled plastic bottles. This is a children's apparel and accessories must.
- Joel Dewberry was there in the flesh- met him. His fabric collections for Westminster came out in May, but for some reason I ignored them until now. Never fear, I ordered from all collections in all the colors, except the tiny prints. Coming next month.
- Prints Charming was there with their new collection "Two Young Street" for Marcus Fabrics. (They had the "Follow Your Imagination " collection with Free Spirit last year.) Bought it- coming December, I think.
- Tina Givens is a new designer for Free Spirit with a new fabric line. Lots of green and salmon. Sorry, can't find a picture of it on the web. She has previously developed stationery through her company Cid Pear. Sophisticated art.
- Had already ordered Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom Basics. They should be arriving in November/December.
- Found the distributor for those Japanese prints that I've been seeing all over the web. They are bold graphic prints on linen and canvas (they remind me of early Marimekko)- coming in January.
- I am most excited about Alexander Henry's launch of fabrics on a heavy cotton oxford. (The look and feel of canvas, maybe slightly lighter.) They have some new prints (that are awesome), but they also ran some old favorites like Mocca in Chocolate on the new fabric. Not only that, but they have already run the fabrics, so the items are available to ship now. (Alexander Henry usually sold their fabrics from the art and then only produced the items that they sold enough of.) Whoopee! Expect them in two to three weeks.
My overview was perhaps a little lengthy, but this way you can save some pennies for the incoming fabrics, buy up the fabrics that are soon to be retired and sew like a mad woman. And yes, I believe I will soon have an inventory problem.