I just returned from Spring Quilt Market 2016 in Salt Lake City, and as always, it was a whirlwind of fabric, design, and a lot of ladies from all over the country. If there’s ever any doubt that quilting (or handmade craft in general) has a future, those fears would easily be dispelled by witnessing the
carnage healthy fervor that is a Sample Spree. It’s like we’re zombies in a Walking Dead episode where fabric equals brains.
There are two Quilt Markets per year, so trends develop slowly and organically over time. I’ve loved tracing the evolution of metallic fabrics over the past three markets I’ve attended, for example, and there are definitely many themes that seem to ebb and flow throughout the quilting world. Based on what I saw at Quilt Market 2016, though, there are a few concepts that I think are going to gain/maintain traction in modern quilting and sewing this year. Here’s what I observed:
Less graphics, more florals
The most coveted fabric line from Quilt Market 2016 was, without a doubt, Les Fleurs from Cotton + Steel in collaboration with the Rifle Paper Co. It’s a departure from many of the bold geometric prints that have been popular in the modern sewing world lately, and it really is every bit as gorgeous as I’d hoped. These florals (and many others that I saw throughout Market) seem fresh and new, with saturated colors and graphic shapes. A lot of new lines from the Cloud 9 designers like Sarah Watson and Rae Hoekstra also seemed to be going this route.
From Cotton + Steel to Free Spirit to Riley Blake, there were tons of prints and patterns that took inspiration from other places or the act of traveling. Maps, mail, traffic, and cultural traditions seemed to take center stage in a lot of booths this year.
Handwork stays strong
As in past years, embroidery and handwork were a strong component of Quilt Market 2016. I loved the new trend of embellishing printed fabric with additional needlework, and also enjoyed some of the new designers that were there selling both quilting and sewing patterns and embroidery designs. There were also many booths that used handweaving or embroidery to accentuate their fabric designs (check out the swan weaving from Bonnie Christine’s Hello, Ollie booth)!
Indie designers take over!
I was probably most impressed by the number of new designers or cool supply businesses that graced the trade show floor. I’m glad I’m not a buyer, because I would have handed Vintage Door all my money for their crochet-edge bias tape (best idea EVER). I loved the quilt and bag patterns from Sew Many Creations, Abbey Lane, and Orange Dot Quilts, and I thought the Handy Caddy was one of the coolest organizational tools for quilters that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s not cheap to host a booth at Quilt Market, so I was really impressed by the quality and the dedication a lot of these designers showed to their craft.
Be sure to check out my Instagram feed for more details from the weekend! What was your favorite discovery?
P. S. If you liked this post, you'll love the Wordcraft + Right Sides Together newsletter. Get weekly blog posts and craft writing tips delivered right to your inbox! Sign up here.