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.

Stitching Knits

Sewing clothing has always been a frustrating experience for me, largely because of fit. I’m your basic straight-up-and-down gal without much of a waist. It’s that way whether I’m sleek or slightly plump. But sewing patterns never seemed to work for that body type…if the things fit my hips then they were too tight in my waist and if they fit my waist they’d balloon around my hips. (Except for shifts…anyone remember shifts? They were perfect for my body type.) My mom had some complicated methods for altering patterns that my math-phobic mind never let me grasp. So I quit sewing for many years, until my friend Anne taught me to quilt. It was perfect for me. I got to play with color and pattern and never had to worry about darts, set-in sleeves, or zippers.

But as time has gone by I’ve been intrigued by lots of kinds of sewing. And this weekend, I was brave enough to try sewing clothing again. I took a Sewing with Knits class at Home Ec Workshop with Alissa. There were five of us and it was fantastic…in four hours we all cut out and finished a long-sleeved t-shirt (and many people finished in less time). It was so satisfying, and I wore my shirt all the next day. Sorry not to have pictures, but I used a knit from Moda—a very springy turquoise and white dot from the City Weekend line by Oliver and S. It is so soft and cozy the color makes me think winter may eventually come to an end, something I’ve been doubting of late. And best of all, Alissa altered the pattern (a Burda pattern, I believe) for each of us in the class, so our shirts actually fit.

All this was exciting enough, but the new Stitch magazine has a fantastic article about sewing with knits, as well as some truly adorable patterns. I’m itching to try the Spiral Skirt. Check it out here. (The instructions are in the magazine.) And if this pattern isn’t for you, seriously check out the issue, anyway. It’s a real keeper, with explanations of great sewing techniques and tons of fantastic projects and patterns. I’m also seriously thinking about using my stash of Woolylady fabrics to do the cover pillow. And there’s a Malka Dubrovsky freebie pattern here. How I love her work!

In addition, there are a couple of short articles by yours truly in the issue. One about Collecion Luna, a wonderful endeavor that seeks to preserve Guatemalan  textile traditions while provide a living for families, and another about the New Dress a Day blog, where Marissa creates a new frock each day from an old one (and it can’t cost more than one dollar).

Yes, my name is mispelled in the bylines for these pieces…they had a new proofreader and as a former editor I know that these things happen. But they did get it right on the back page, where staffers and contributors were asked about their 2011 sewing resolutions. I said that one of my goals was to take more classes in the new year, and I’m pleased to say I did just that at Home Ec on Saturday.

What I saw at Market: Chapter 1

Last weekend was Quilt Market and it was grand. It was my first time at spring market and I expected it to be much smaller than fall Market, but my feet didn’t seem to notice the difference—they felt just as worn out as they do after a day in Houston.

This time I went to Market with my Codi Josephson, one of the owners of Home Ec Workshop in Iowa City. Home Ec is a fabulous place—fabric, yarn, embroidery, excellent coffee and sweets and a great workshop area where its possible to rent machines and workspace…perfect for a college town. It’s a real gathering space for sewers and knitters and the classes they offer range from screen printing to doll-making to sewing clothing and projects for kids.

Codi had never been to Market, so it was fun to be her guide, just as Mary Lou had been for me my first time. Codi was blown away by all that was available (and Home Ec shoppers will appreciate her excitement in the months to come, as fabulous fabrics and notions and patterns roll into the shop). From my perspective, it was fun to go with a shop owner and see things from that perspective—it made me appreciate even more the effort that goes into independent businesses and quilt shops in particular. Making tough decisions, keeping the customer always in mind: owning a quilt shop is a dream for many of us fabricaholics, but I’m reminded that it’s a lot of hard work. Remember: support your local shop—they work hard for you!!!!

Okay, off my soap box. Here are some of the fabulous things we saw:

Organic prints: In the very first aisle we came upon two companies with fabulous, fresh designs in organic cotton: Birch Fabrics and Cloud 9 Fabrics. We had a great time talking to the women who own each shop.

Here’s Codi talking with Cynthia of Birch Fabrics.

And here’s the Cloud 9 booth.

Next was a fun surprise for me: Codi had admired an owl quilt at Brandywine Designs and when we rounded the corner I realized that I’d interviewed Linda Hohag of Brandywine for American Patchwork and Quilting back in 2007. It’s always fun to meet in person the folks I’ve only chatted with over the phone, but I was especially pleased to meet Linda because over the course of our interview we realized that our daughter’s lived in the same dorm, in the same “pod” at the same college (St. Olaf) and knew one another. Linda and her husband (another St. Olaf grad) shared the news that their daughter was expecting a baby. So fun!

In the next aisle was Sandi Henderson’s fabulous booth. She was signing copies of her new book, Sewing Bits and Pieces.

Her booth just felt like spring and I was especially fond of the chairs upholstered in her fabrics.

Then we came upon Michael Miller’s booth: “a fairyland dream” as we used to say in college (don’t ask me why, I don’t for the life of me remember).

They were featuring ruffled fabric and there was one sales rep wearing a shirt with ruffled sleeves…wish I’d gotten a picture. He looked mahvalous!

And then there was the excitement of seeing Monica’s Lecien fabric in the flesh…or maybe “in the cloth”? It was so cheery and the fabulous samples were designed and stitched by a group of women I was so lucky to meet in person (for that photo, you’ll have to wait for Chapter 2).

Monica’s responsible for the amazing lantern quilt Glow Happy.

PamKitty Morning designed Sugar Stars.

And Karen Snyder of Anna Lena‘s The HMS Twinkle sets off Monica’s fabric with bright red stars. Those West Coast gals were busy this spring!

Codi was very excited by some of the Japanese fabrics available through Lecien and embarked on her first Market fabric order. Note the intense concentration on her face as she flips through the gorgeous samples. Watching her order fabrics again reminded me of the intense thought and planning that goes into creating a shop that makes us customers so happy!

And finally, a shot of everyone’s favorite Japanese designer, Echino. I didn’t see her in the booth this time, but her new fabrics are sensational—especially love the cameras and helicopters.

Codi and I knew that we were kindred spirits when that first night, rather than try to network the night away, we both were perfectly content to retreat to our very nice room at the Marriott, put on our pjs, and play with our fabric, patterns, and thread!

New camera and a newly green world

I can’t help myself. I try not to resort to pictures of my garden, but right now it’s impossible to ignore. The daffodils are done and the redbuds are nearly so, but it’s still an amazing sight. I just love early spring, when the plants in their beds are so tidy, compact, and perfectly colored and formed. No insects have had a chance to lay waste to the foliage and even the rabbits have yet to wreak their usual havoc. I decided it was time to move beyond my point and shoot and bought myself a new camera last week, and between that and the scenery, I couldn’t resist. Please forgive me.