SAMPLESPREE! Huh? What day is it? Who am I? Where’s Anna Maria?”
— your bloggess, yesterday morning, from my own bed at home
After four days of complete sensory overload and one day of slothful drooling on my couch, I am finally ready (and so excited) to share with you the glories of Fall Quilt Market 2014. Market this time was different from the Cotton + Steel frenzy of earlier this spring. The supergirls were there with another kick-ass collection, but there were a lot of really strong collections from other designers too, and it was good to see them get some recognition as well. Rhonda and I marched up and down the convention hall floor, six miles a day according to my step counter, and we took it all in.
Here are our general observations for fall market trends:
Quilt cottons were as plentiful as ever, but alternative substrates continue to grow in popularity. We saw really exciting new textiles coming from major designers: printed chambray from Alison Glass; amazing metallic canvas, silky lawns, and luscious double gauze from Cotton + Steel; and really amazing cotton-linen blends from Kokka. We saw these substrates used not only for garments and bags, but actually in quilts as well.
ACADEMIC-INSPIRED SURFACE DESIGNS
As we trudged around, we noticed that designers have really drawn inspiration from the major academic subjects. We saw geometric, prismatic triangles in several lines, alongside whole science- and nature-inspired collections like Sarah Watson’s “Biology” for Cloud 9 and Lizzy House’s “Natural History” for Andover. Text prints were everywhere too, and Tula Pink has an awesome line coming inspired by Queen Elizabeth. Heck, even Anna Maria Horner‘s new line is called “Honor Roll”! While there are still plenty of florals and chevrons, the fabric lines seem to be trending toward more literal themes. (As a former academic, I love this. Finally, modern fabric for geeks of all kinds!)
While we can’t make any strong predictions yet for the Pantone Color of the Year based on these fabrics, we would not be surprised if the color gods chose something in the coral/peach family. We saw lots of salmons, corals, oranges, and magentas in a lot of lines, all really saturated and yummy. There were also many lines with metallic elements, both in major prints and in blenders. The metallic trend isn’t going anywhere!
BOOKS AND TOOLS
The publishing powerhouses in the craft world have some really creative books coming out soon, and we’re excited to review them here soon. We’re especially looking forward to Shea Henderson’s School of Sewing (Lucky Spool) and Elizabeth Hartman’s Patchwork City (C&T). Both authors focus on how their books might be used to lead classes in the sewing studio, offering lesson plans and instructions for teachers as supplemental materials. As teachers, we find this idea groundbreaking. Books that offer lesson plans might be a game-changer for busy shop owners!
We were also really impressed by the presence of indie companies visiting Market for the first time with inventive approaches to cutting, quilting, and organizing fabric. I’m a complete gadget geek, and I loved seeing the ways that entrepreneurs have addressed some of the inconveniences in the sewing process. (I’d love to share them all with you, but we’ll save that for another time!)
Were you at Market? What are you the most excited about?