To Market, to Market

I may officially be the last person to blog about Quilt Market. Seriously, I’ve been home more than two weeks and still haven’t finished scanning in my pics. Instead of waiting for the planets to align and that to happen, I’m going to just dive in with a few pics and my thoughts on some things I saw there.

Above is the view from our hotel room in SLC as the sun rose our last morning there. The weather was all kinds of perfect and Salt Lake City has to be one of the nicest cities I’ve ever visited.

It’s always fun to go to Market but exhausting, too. This trip was no different, with Sarah and I up and at ’em early every morning, on the go all day, attending social/networking events in the evening, then winding down in time to grab some (not nearly enough) sleep. Even with all that time on the floor, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and miss so much of what’s there. After comparing notes, Sarah and I noticed a few trends:

  • Solids are big and definitely getting attention from a lot of quadrants. Manufacturers, pattern designers and authors are all tapping into this one. I love me some Kona but I’m also grooving on the FreeSpirit Designer Solids (touch them and see if you don’t agree that the hand is just amazing).

  • Stitchery — embroidery and cross stitch — is being shown lots of love, too. Sarah Jane and Anna Maria Horner both come to mind but they’re far from the only ones (the awesome Rashida Coleman-Hale even gave out a free cross stitch pattern that goes with her new fabric line). The new aida cloth from Westminster is some of the nicest I’ve touched and may even seduce me into trying some more cross stitching.

  • Modern quilting styles meet more challenging techniques. Personally, I’m loving this! I am so enamored of the “modern” aesthetic but I’m ready to challenge myself every now and then with some more complex piecing — but nothing so overwhelming that I can’t finish it in a weekend (Mariner’s Compass, you’re just going to have to wait your turn).

Houston Round-Up: Patterns

I intended to blog from Houston but technical difficulties prevented that. So I guess I’ll just try to muddle through and remember all the details from three jam-packed days of fabric, patterns and friends.

I’ve tried to do a chronological Market round-up the past two visits but I think I’m going to try a thematic approach this time. First up: Patterns!

Because I sew clothing, I’m always on the lookout for cool, new patterns to try and there were plenty to choose from at this fall’s International Quilt Market. If you follow Patty Young’s blog, you already know she’s got some new patterns on the way. I loved seeing them in person and have really enjoyed sewing her patterns, so the new ones definitely will be added to my collection.

Fellow Michael Miller fabric designers Paula Prass and Sandi Henderson also have new patterns on the way. I loved Paula’s new bag pattern but the jacket and dress patterns really caught my eye. Just a really great aesthetic, kind of an updated retro vibe. I’m pretty excited that Sandi’s adding some adult patterns to her repertoire. The wrap skirt looks so pretty and romantic and I think the ruffled pants for women will be well received, too (although I’m not sure I have what it takes to pull them off LOL). She’s also got a new pattern for boys with her own little guy modeling.

Chelsea of Pink Fig showed off her new patterns and I can already guess the Nie Nie Skirt is going to be huge. The story behind it is so touching and Chelsea’s donating a percentage of the pattern’s proceeds to the Nie Nie fund.

Her aunt Lucy debuted her new pattern line, Hot Scott, which should make those moms of boys happy. Yes — a line of patterns for boys! Lucy is such a sweetie and I’m so excited to see her Market debut. The patterns are cute and I saw a lot of traffic at her booth.

Speaking of new pattern line debuts … My beautiful friend Sheree had her first booth at Market for her new pattern line, Sheree’s Alchemy, which will be out in November. I have always loved her aesthetic and can’t wait until these patterns come out. The girls’ clothing ones are kind of “classic contemporary,” very refined and age appropriate. And her home sewing patterns are just as cool as she is. I totally understand why she had a steady stream of visitors to her booth!

Kay Whitt at Serendipity Studio never ceases to amaze me with her designs. This Market was no exception with six new patterns, including a sweet, modern tunic/dress pattern that I had to snatch up on the spot. Seriously. I’m planning to hit the shop this week to buy some fabric for it; I love it that much. The new bag and skirt patterns are also really cool and I’m sure they’ll end up in my collection before too long.

Is there anyone on the planet who is not aware of my love of all things Melly & Me? Melly and Rosie are just so incredibly sweet and talented, and it’s impossible for me not to love everything they do. Which probably explains why I walked away from their booth with a new Rosalie Quinlan Design’s quilt pattern, two new bag patterns and Melly’s first book, Kaleidoscope. I probably would have bought more except I already own most of it! LOL!

The talented Amy Butler has a couple of gorgeous new patterns coming out, including a shirt dress and a coat. I want them both but after seeing the dress on Amy, I’m not sure if it’s going to fit my curvier self. Of course, I’ll probably give it a try anyway! LOL!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Indygo Junction patterns. The fit of the women’s clothing patterns is sometimes a little boxy but I keep buying and sewing them because I do like them. I think the new Bell Sleeve Blouse is going to change my opinion for the better. I checked out the samples and the darts and cut seem to be much more figure flattering. They didn’t have any available at Market or else I’d have grabbed one to try. However, I know Sarah ordered it so I’ll be buying it as soon as it’s in.

Gone Fishin’

I’m back after a whirlwind trip to PIttsburgh for the International Quilt Market, spring edition. My friend Sarah let me tag along with her to shop for Intown Quilters and I had the best time! It was kind of a quick-n-dirty trip because both of us had a lot of stuff going on with our families right now, but I think we made every moment count.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to approach my Market round-up and I think I’ll hit up the people today, the goodies tomorrow and do a Market-related giveaway on Thursday. Yes, a giveaway! And I think it’s especially cool and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’m even toying with doing a second giveaway just for the blog fans on Facebook.

Now, on with the show!

We arrived in Pittsburgh Thursday evening, dropped off our stuff at the hotel and then headed over to the Omni for a casual get-together with some bloggy peeps. Lots of fun was had, even though I manage to spill half my drink on myself and Patty (sorry, Patty!). Among the folks hanging out were Jona (Fabritopia), who organized the shindig, with her hubby; Myrinda (Fabric Hound) ; Jamie (Maricopa Fabrics) and her mom; Jessica of Juicy Bits; Mary Beth (stringer for True Up); Jen (Tula Pink) and her mom; Paula Prass and her daughter Jennifer; Patty and her husband; Sandi Henderson; new Windham fabric designers Genevieve Gail and Bari J.; Jenean Morrison; Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios; and even a brief fly-by of Laura Gunn and Heather Bailey.

At Houston in the fall, I was so intimidated by all the amazingly talented people I kept meeting. I struggled to even say “hello” to some of them, much less talk to them or ask if I could get a picture. I’m happy to say that I’m over it! LOL! It was great to be able to be myself and be comfortable enough to chat with people and even ask favors of them. *grin* And I got a lot more pictures this time than I did in October:

Clockwise from top left: Me with Chelsea and Lucy at the Pink Fig Patterns booth; with the amazingly wonderful and sweet Jennifer Paganelli (who let me sew for her for Market!); at the Windham booth with their new designers Genevieve (who lives just up the road from me!) and Bari; finally meeting my sweet friend Kristen of Gock’s Frocks — that girl gives awesome hugs!

April Cornell organized a Tweetup at Market Saturday and it was an absolute blast. That’s actually where I ran into Kristen, who I did not know had made it down.

I’m not 100 percent sure how I managed to form words when meeting April Cornell, but I did and she was so, so nice. (And when I get the pic she had taken of our entire group, I’ll post it, too.) Also there were (at left) Gen, Bari, Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts, Paula and Sandi. Plus pretty much all of the people I’ve mentioned previously. Somewhere out there is a pic of a bunch of folks Twittering while at the Tweetup — too funny!

Sarah and I went to lunch with Phoebe and Joyce from Quilting Adventures on Saturday (later joined by Myrinda, Kristen, Eileen and Renee), but I somehow managed to not get a photo with them. Don’t ask me how that happened. So, fair warning, y’all: the camera is coming out in Houston!

And last but not least … I kept seeing this woman on the floor and thought, “She looks really familiar. Where do I know her from? Am I being outrageously rude because I’m not talking to her?” I even asked Sarah if she recognized her, since she’s the Market guru and has been eleventy-billion times. Nope.

Finally, I walked up to her and just said, “I feel like I should know you but I just can’t place where.” Turns out that her sister Rachel, who lives maybe two miles from me, had won a giveaway on my blog (they look a lot alike)! And she and their mom read my blog and happened to be at Market at the same time. So I made them take pictures with me! They are just super sweet and I’m so glad we bumped into each other.

Tomorrow: Fabric, patterns and just plain coolness in Pittsburgh.

Market Goodies

Just a few things I brought home from Market. I still have a bag full of promotional stuff — mostly brochures and fliers — but these were some of the things I thought I’d share.

  1. Ten-piece fat quarter bundle of Citronella by Sandra Banava for Robert Kaufman, purchased at Sample Spree on Friday night. I couldn’t resist!
  2. Batik luggage tags from Hoffman California Fabrics.
  3. Sandi Henderson‘s brochure for her beautiful line of patterns. Have you bought yours yet? (I have!)
  4. Flower Fairies flier from the Michael Miller SchoolHouse, introducing the line of fabrics featuring the work of Cicely Mary Barker.
  5. Tina Givens‘ new lines of fabrics for FreeSpirit. She also had her new patterns at Market and I have to say they are some of the neatest, most unique things I’ve seen for kids and women. Sarah ordered all of the existing patterns for the shop and Tina has some more on the way. You’re going to want to check them out. Really.
  6. Apron from Island Batiks.
  7. Super cool purse handles from Hobby & Land. Sheree and I were drawn to this booth and bumped into Jonah there. I swear, I could have spent tons of money if I’d been inclined. As it was, I managed to limit myself to just the one purse frame/handle and just need to pick out the perfect fabrics for it.
  8. Fat quarter stack from Paris Bebe that I picked up at Sample Spree. I’d seen some of the fabrics online and never bought them but there was no leaving them when I found them Friday night. “Buy me, Mary!” they cried.
  9. Trust me when I say you’re going to want this book. Cassie Barden’s The New Handmade is going to be hot, hot, HOT. Lots of cute patterns: bags, things for the home, cute gifty things. Oh, and Cassie is just about the sweetest thing ever! (She comes by it naturally; her mom is just as great!). The little blue thing on top of the book is a fabric cuff Cassie handed out at her SchoolHouse. (It’s also one of the projects in the book.)
  10. Elinor Peace Bailey‘s SchoolHouse was such fun. I can’t even convey how entertaining it was. She is so cool and I have to tell you, she was so willing to give advice and share her expertise related to the business. I was just in awe that someone would do that. This is her new line of fairy fabric for P&B Textiles. I also won a cute little fairy — made by Elinor — but it was appropriated by Miss L. Elinor also showed off a great block of the month quilt that I really liked, made with her new fabric.
  11. Charlotte charm square pack (by Debbie Beaves for RJR Fabrics) with Charlotte’s Applique Blocks pattern.
  12. Heather Bailey debuted her new line of patterns. I went to her SchoolHouse and got to see the finished products in person. These are going to be really popular, I’m sure. I especially liked the reversible purse pattern (and the magnets in the handle are super cool).
  13. Jay McCarroll is my new best friend. Seriously. When I told him my oldest child was almost 18, he told me that he couldn’t believe it because I only looked 25 years old. He gave out a free “Cute Tote Bag” pattern with grommets at his SchoolHouse, and gave out the coolest pins at his booth (in addition to autographing photos of himself). You’re going to see his new lines of fabric for FreeSpirit everywhere after it comes out. It’s just that cute. Kind of Japanese whimsy that will appeal to kids, teens and kids at heart.
  14. My super cool Fabric Addict pin, courtesy of Myrinda at
  15. Brochure featuring Flights of Fancy by Paula Prass for Michael Miller. I will be playing with this fabric for a long, long time. You might recognize the outfit in the bottom right corner of the right page of the brochure. I was so excited that I turned to the complete stranger next to me and squealed, “I made that!” I think she changed seats shortly after.
  16. Patty Young‘s Andalucia brochure and bookmark. Patty is so much fun! Although I think I freaked her out when I tried to sneak off with one of the samples for her booth (Traci has photographic evidence of this, BTW). It was all in good fun, but then Myrinda and I had to duke it out over the outfit and I lost quite pitifully.
  17. Tote bag from the Seven Islands booth after Sarah placed her order for the most gorgeous Japanese fabric. I can’t wait until it comes in!
  18. Robyn Pandolph’s new Sumptuous Living fabrics for RJR Fabrics. They are really lovely and have the most amazing hand. Some of the blue colorway reminds me of Jottum’s Rembrandt line. And there are solids to match!
  19. New Fairy Frost charm squares from Michael Miller, from the SchoolHouse goodie bag.
  20. Magazines from the CK Media booth. I actually went to Mark Lipinski‘s SchoolHouse and he told the most riotous story about buying and wearing a girdle. I was in tears! I had him autograph a magazine for Taffy; he wrote “Quilt naked, Cupcake!’
  21. The new Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion featuring Amy Butler‘s house on the cover. Nabbed in the Amy Butler booth. I was too chicken to actually go meet Amy Butler but I have a magazine. Yep, I’m lame.
  22. Postcard promoting Heather Ross‘s upcoming book, Weekend Sewing. I actually did go introduce myself to her (at the urging of Sarah’s Westminster rep) and had a nice little chat with her. The book is simply gorgeous and full of projects that can be completed in a weekend (or a little less). It doesn’t come out until March, so make note of it now because it’s going to be “the” book to add to your sewing shelf come spring.
  23. Not Your Grandmother’s Log Cabin looks like a fun book and I really like the Q Tools Sewing Edge the author demonstrated. It’s like using a Post-it note or masking tape as a guide on your sewing machine except it’s taller and creates a firmer edge for guiding your fabric under the presser foot evenly without pins.
  24. Cute little Flower Fairy fabric bag the folks at Michael Miller filled with chocolate-covered espresso beans for their SchoolHouse. It was the last one of the day and the caffeine was greatly welcomed.
  25. Layer cake of fabrics from Timeless Treasures.
  26. Sample spool of thread from the Provencia booth. I’m looking forward to giving it a try!
  27. Fat quarters of Melissa Averinos‘s Sugar Snap line of fabrics for FreeSpirit, along with a bracelet for the company’s new line of home goods. I have been reading Melissa’s blog for a while an have corresponded with her a little by email and I have to tell you that she is exactly like that in real life. Funny and sweet and very, very real — even admitting in her SchoolHouse how nervous she was about talking in front of a room full of strangers. (She did fabulously, though.) Her line is even more beautiful in person and I can’t wait to start sewing with it. (We actually have a Trendy Textiles launch coming up with it in a couple of weeks.) Melissa was also kind enough to talk with me about my own aspirations and how I should go about making that happen, and I’m incredibly grateful for her advice.
  28. My “I Remember” block of the month quilt set from Rosalie Quinlan Designs. I have had my eye on that pattern ever since Rosie debuted it and I was so excited she had the set at the Melly & Me booth. I also have Melly’s new fairytale-inspired block of the month pattern on the way and can’t wait to make it.
  29. Indygo Junction‘s new Teatime Dress & Coat pattern, which I grabbed at Sample Spree. I really like the IJ patterns. The size range is broad, the instructions are easy to follow and the results are perfect, every time. I love how this pattern looks (they had samples up at their booth) and that the instructions include how to repurpose an old pair of jeans to make the jacket.

More From Market

Saturday and Sunday at Market were full of appointments with vendors, as well as some time meeting people and just chatting. I can’t tell you how cool and intimidating it was to meet some of the people whose blogs I read, patterns I buy and/or fabric I’ve adored.

Lucy, me, Lila and Chelsea at the Pink Fig Patterns booth. What a fun and talented group to hang out with! And, seriously, what a talented family, too. (Lucy and Lila are sisters; Chelsea is their niece!)

I was so excited to get to meet Melly and Rosie from Melly & Me. We’ve been bloggy pals for a bit and they have always been so encouraging and supportive. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of their work and getting to meet them was just amazing beyond words. They are beautiful inside and out. Plus? Way cool accents! LOL! I could listen to those Aussie’s all day long. Every time I went by their booth (which was simply gorgeous), it was absolutely packed with people, snapping up their patterns.

(Above left) Me with Paula Prass in her beautiful booth; I still can’t get over how sweet she and her daughter Jennifer were. Maybe you recognize the jacket. Or maybe not, since you’ve only seen the inside of it. It was so cool to see her wearing the jacket I made, as well as the sample outfit I sewed hanging in her booth alongside the creations of some incredibly talented designers. I also was quite tickled to see a picture of it in her brochure (you can see a small bit of it in the center photo on the row above our heads; the full enchilada is here). In fact — and this is embarrassing to admit — I was sitting in her schoolhouse Friday night, opened to brochure, turned to the complete stranger sitting next to me and squealed, “I made that!” Yes, I am a complete dork!

(Above right) Daria and her sister-in-law Elizabeth were such a blast to hang out with. Daria has the most mellifluous voice I think I’ve ever heard. It was so fun to see her in action, too, interviewing designers on the floor and during her live podcast from the press room. And Elizabeth! Man, that woman is an amazing quilter and a photographer, to boot. Seeing her quilt in Patty’s stunning booth just left me awestruck.

On Wednesday: More namedropping plus cool things you’re going to want. For real.


I’m home and slowly recovering from the whirlwind of a weekend that was my trip to Houston and the International Quilt Market. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Market is the twice-a-year trade show where manufacturers, vendors and distributors pitch their wares to shop owners. It’s a trade-only event and I was fortunate to be able to attend the event with Sarah (the owner) and Taffy (teacher and quilter extraordinaire) of Intown Quilters, where I teach. (Photo thanks to Sarah: Patty, Melissa, me and Jenn)

The show is spread out over four days but the first day is an event called Schoolhouse, with back-to-back sessions about different products and marketing strategies store owners might find useful. My flight was set to arrive in Houston shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, which got me in town just in time for Schoolhouse. From the time I hit the ground, I was on the go nonstop until about 10 p.m. — a grueling day for someone who’d had only four hours of sleep the night before.

Oh, and did I mention that I had laryngitis?

Of course, it wasn’t all work. Patty was kind enough to add me to the list for the Fabric 2.0 party hosted by J. Caroline Creative and Michael Miller Fabrics, so Sarah, Taffy and I headed over there at the final Schoolhouse session for some food, drinks and lots of chatting. I was really looking forward to going because it was a chance for me to meet some of people I’ve met through blogging — and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest (although I was bummed that my friend Amy was not able to make it — but we’ll catch up at the next one, for sure!). Sheree had some trouble getting there (all those crazy one-way streets in downtown Houston) but once she did, she and I had a blast. She is just as amazing and sweet in person as when we’ve emailed and chatted on the phone. I wish I had even 10 percent of her confidence! I’d share a picture but for some reason, I don’t have one! I swear we took a picture together! (I took Honey’s camera, so I’m blaming that little piece o’ nothing.) Jenn has some great pics up, though, including some with Sheree and what may be some of the better pictures ever taken of me.

Myrinda (far left) is exactly what Lisa told me she’d be like! Funny, sassy and so much personality. She gave me a super cool “Fabric Addict” pin (can’t wait for the T-shirt!) that got lots of comments on the floor over the weekend.

Thanks to Myrinda, I also met Jona G., Jonah, Traci, Jami (eep! Can’t find Jami’s card and site!), Angela and Jenn (plus Jenn’s husband on Saturday night), all of whom were so sweet and friendly, and made me feel just right at home even though I was the new kid.

Tuesday: Part II aka on the floor at Market aka Mary’s namedropping post! LOL!