Spring Quilt Market Update #2

The adventure continues…

By the time we got our act together to organize our trip, hotels near the Portland Convention Center were full. But Greta got us a lovely condo across the river and each morning we got to cross this bridge. It enabled us to see geese, rowers, bicyclists, and a section of the Portland marathon. (The biggest challenge was crossing the morning of the Heartlandia walk. Literally thousands of people were walking in the opposite direction, but we managed to part the sea of humanity and cross over.)

Here’s more of what I saw at Market:

Echino bags in the Seven Islands booth
Loved the subtle piecing on these Seven Islands aprons
Neons from Michael Miller. I was standing next to one of the women from the Portland Modern Quilt guild who had stitched two of the quilt’s blocks but never seen the completed top. She was so excited to see her work on display.
Tula Pink’s booth
Super-excited to meet Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life. We both blog for Moda’s Cutting Table, but had never met in person. She’s a real sweetie and was helping Camille Roskelly with her booth (and had sewn some quilts for her, including the one she’s standing by, above).
Fig Tree Quilts booth
Each fabric collection shown in Free Spirit’s booth included a piece of clothing stitched from the collection—garments were a true trend at Market.( That’s Amy Butler on the left, checking out a visitor’s bracelet.)
And not exactly part of the garment trend, but this incredible selvedge dress was the star of RicRac’s booth 
Iowa, represent! We join our other eastern Iowa buddy Vanessa Christensen, in her Simply Style booth (and check out her dress—she added a strip of her fabric to the bottom of a Target dress—she’s not just cute, she’s’ clever). 
Loved the big stitching on this quilt by Jen Kingwell
The garment theme continues at Monaluna’s booth
Butterflies flit across the walls of the Art Gallery Pure Elements booth
Nobody uses color and pattern quite like Sandy Klop of American Jane (for Moda)
Another Market trend was pink and orange. Here, Kanvas fabrics did it up with festive tissue-paper flowers.
When Market ended, we treated ourselves to a day-and-a-half of play in Portland. One of our first stops was Cargo, in the Pearl District, which offered an incredible array of Asian antiques and imports, with prices that ranged from less than a dollar to thousands.

Cargo whistles

We sampled the beer at a couple of brew pubs, including Deschutes, where we stopped for lunch.

We stopped at Front Porch, which has a sister store in Des Moines, and ran our fingers over the blankets.
The next day we had some fantastic Indian food at Bollywood Theater

And we ended our day at the Rose Garden.

Thanks, Portland, for a lovely week! And thanks, too, to the folks who work so hard to make Quilt Market happen. It was great to go, and great to be home.

Spring Quilt Market update #1

Thanks for waiting! You may have seen similar photos elsewhere, but I’m sure I’ll have a few that are unique, so I hope you enjoy them.

My Quilt Market entourage has expanded since the days when Codi (center) and I went to include the super-talented Greta Songe (on left, who’s gone with us the past two Markets) and this time Jenny Gordy (right) of Wiksten. Since I interviewed Jenny for the current issue of Stitch with Style she’s started working at Home Ec and we’ve gotten to be friends and she was ready to check out Market in relation to her patterns. Greta had some great conversations regarding her fabric designs and Jenny was a veritable celebrity, as shop owners told her how much they loved her patterns and her Wiksten tank showed up in numerous designers’ booths.

Our arrival was delayed by a day due to tornadoes in Texas. Our night in the hotel-from-hell could be a post in itself, but I’ll spare you the drama. Suffice it to say, we were darned happy to make it out the next morning, but it did mean we missed most of Schoolhouse. Got this one photo of this Quilt Market’s “it girl,” Tula Pink. She has definitely hit her stride—the session was SRO.

The first booth that caught my eye was Deep South Fibers, a knitting pattern distributor that was looking to move into the sewing pattern world. The owner (I think Donna Higgins, but not 100% sure) had some examples of things knitted with Deep South Fibers patterns, including these adorable kids clothes of her own design. If you knit, check them out. Really elegant items.

Next up was a stop at Penguin and Fish (mentioned yesterday). I covered Alyssa for True-Up, so check out lots of photos here.

Just across the aisle was Carolyn Friedlander, talented designer of Architextures fabrics (for Robert Kaufman) and very cool quilts (and we spotted her teaching at Portland’s Modern Domestic when Market was done). I love the quilt behind her.

I had the pleasure of talking with people I’ve interviewed for past and present stories, as well as meeting with editors, including Amber Eden of Stitch. She took this photo of us all (who have all appeared, or will appear in the pages of Stitch), along with Stitch contributing editor (and a former American Patchwork and Quilting profile subject of mine) Kevin Kosbab. (You can see a shot of Amber here.)

Now, in no particular order, are more Market photos. I’ll be breaking this into two posts. In addition, over the next few days True Up will be including my coverage on Cloud 9, Rashida Coleman Hale, and Camelot, so I won’t duplicate them here. (Except for these fabulous ties, below, from Sarah Watson’s Dem Bones line for Cloud 9—love ’em.)

Riley Blake’s cleverly titled “Gingham Style”—love the varied sizes of checks
Deb Strain’s fabrics for Moda
Kaari Meng’s mood board
Not a great photo, but the only one I managed to snap of the vibrant Heather Ross. We’d “met” via phone when I interviewed her for Stitch, and she was kind, complimentary, and a great story-teller.
Jennifer Sampou’s stripes
Minnick and Simpson’s fabulous ikats for scarves (Moda)

Cluck Cluck Sew offered more great patterns
One of the loveliest booths belong to Leah Duncan for Art Gallery. She was also extremely lovely, herself. Check out the two photos below for more.

And then we ended the day—yes, ended rather than started—with a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts. Everyone raved, but I for one was not going to be taken in by doughnuts that featured bacon or cereal…seemed gimmicky. But I was so wrong. The plain ol’ chocolate glazed doughnut and blueberry cake doughnut I managed to eat were amazing. Plus, we got a great trip phrase out of our visit. When Greta was contemplating trying the maple bacon doughnut, the cheery server offered “Zero reasons not to!”which quickly became our Portland motto.

Quilt Market update coming!

I promise, it’s on the way. But I also covered Quilt Market for True Up and Quilt Country and I have a few deadlines I need to hit. So while you’re waiting, check out my post on True Up about Penguin and Fish, longtime favorites. Alyssa’s designs captivated me the first time I saw her at Market and she and her husband Jon are great people, too.

One of my favorite designs of Alyssa’s was this cheerful budgie, which prompted some memories. When my husband and I were first married we got a blue parakeet and named him Floyd, (after the barber on Andy of Mayberry, of course). I’d never had a bird and couldn’t imagine they’d have much personality, but boy was I wrong. Floyd would perch on our shoulders and loved to play fight with my pen when I was trying to pay bills or write letters. One sad night we left both his cage and a screen-less window open and in the morning Floyd was gone. I posted Missing signs on telephone poles and walked around the neighborhood for days, calling “Floyd, Floyd” up into treetops. Unfortunately, it rained for three days straight after his escape and we figured he wouldn’t have lasted long in that, although he was so friendly I thought he might land on someone’s shoulder. We consoled ourselves by thinking about the incredible rush he must have felt when he flew out that third floor window and soared for blocks.

Thanks, Alyssa, for reminding us of Floyd.

Heading to Quilt Market

In a couple of hours I’ll be on my way to Quilt Market in Portland. I’m experiencing that last minute packing mania: Does this green go with that grey? Will TSA find the tube of toothpaste that won’t fit in my plastic bag? How many knitting projects will I realistically finish? Do I want my computer (and if so, where the heck is the cord)? What bag looks good to carry it in (since I neglected to make one)? Etc. etc. etc. Of course, all eyes will be on the fabric, not on me, so I should just lighten up!

I’ll be covering Market for Etsy, Quilt Country magazine, and also for True Up! (I’m super-excited to help Kim out with that and hope to meet some of the other bloggers who are filling in for her, as well.) And I’m traveling with the Iowa City talent team of Greta Songe (fabric design), Codi Josephson (Home Ec Workshop owner), and Jenny Gordy (Wiksten). So fun to get to focus on fabric and sewing for five whole days!

Heather Ross, Threadbias, Stitch magazine, and Voting

Sometimes the world of quilting and sewing seems very big, and other times it seems like a small town, where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else.

Those close connections happened for me with some recent stories I did for Stitch magazine. In the Spring edition of Stitch I wrote a short piece about Threadbias, a website started by a brother, sister, and sister-in-law team seeking to create an interactive site for quilters. I’ve dipped into the site occasionally and am always impressed by what I see—talented quilters and designers and lots of good photos and encouraging comments.

For the summer issue of Stitch I had the great good fortune of profiling Heather Ross. I’ve long loved her fabrics and she was a delightful person to talk with. Our interview was right around the time of Hurricane Sandy when she and her family evacuated their Manhattan apartment, but she somehow maintained a calm and cheerful demeanor. I loved learning how she’s combined her love of nature and the environment (she was an environmental educator in California) with her illustrations and love of stitching.

So suffice it to say I was delighted today to get an email from Threadbias noting that their quilt design contest using Heather Ross’s new Briar Patch fabrics was open for voting. Contestants created quilt patterns using Threadbias’s online Quilt Design Tool. If you haven’t seen them, it’s worth taking a look at the variety that emerged from a single line of fabric—some modern, some traditional, some dense and scrappy, some light and airy. I love seeing the way a single pattern changes depending on the fabrics used, and this is a riff on that theme…same fabrics, different patterns. Check it out!

Baby Sewing Machines

After delaying a trip to Minnesota due to the weather, I got brave and drove north to visit my aunt. She’s about to turn 87 and I wanted to wish her Happy Birthday in person. She’s an amazing person—still so enthusiastic about life and willing to try new things. 

She saw that the local guild was sponsoring a quilt show and off we went. There were some lovely quilts, but one of my favorite things was a sewing machine display. 
The woman who owned the machines had bunches of books identifying and dating the machines and enjoyed talking with people who came up to share stories of their own antique machines. 

I was especially taken by the toy machines. She told me that while many of them were created for children, they all actually sewed and were sometimes used by women when they traveled. I loved the decorative elements on the machines—one even had mother-of-pearl inlay. I’ve bid at auctions on a few small machines, but never been willing to shell out the big bucks for one…after seeing this display, I may change my mind.