Monday, October 12, 2009

Quilt Market '09, Houston, Part 1

I hesitated to say anything because there was a bit of uncertainty about me actually making it down to Quilt Market in Houston this past weekend, but indeed I went. Wow. My head is still spinning. Honestly, even though I was dead tired I didn’t really sleep all that well with all the ideas flashing through my mind. So, for all of you here is the low down on what I saw. I’m going to break this up into two posts, because there is way too much information for just one!

First off, I just have to say that this was my first Market, so I didn’t really know what to expect at all. I knew a lot of the designers would be there, which was my main reason for going. Most fabric people are tactile, and I am no exception. I know in my head that it’s quilting cotton, but somehow just feeling the fabric gives you another level of inspiration that is irreplaceable.

That being said I have to start off with Anna Maria Horner. My hero. Not only is she a delight, but she is so utterly talented. And busy! She happened to have baby Roman there when I stopped in, and what a little cutie. Her new line is printed on cotton voile (rhymes with toile), and to be honest before feeling it in person, I was a little worried. How would it be to work with thinner fabric? Would it be a challenge to sew? Body? Drape? I’m here to tell you that this stuff is gorgeous. Gorgeous. And soft, too. The prints are darling, and she is incorporating the most fabulous shade of sophisticated lilac. Did I mention soft?

They are producing solid colors as well to coordinate with all the prints, and also a bit of texture with dobby. The absolute must have on my list is the dobby stripe in lilac. It’s amazing, and I am imagining all sorts of ways to use it.

Talk about soft, the flannel collection is to die for. I’m glad the P. is as old as she is, but while looking at this fabric, I yearned for her to be a baby again. It would be absolutely perfect for a baby blanket, and pajamas, etc. Come to think of it, I’ll be ordering a little bit for P.J.’s for her. I think some lounge pants out of this would be fabulous too. Hmmm, maybe I might need more than I thought!

So, here is what totally blew me away. When I introduced myself to Anna Maria, she described my daughter to a tee! I love to post my creations on her flickr groups for each fabric collection, and as it turns out she remembered me! What a thrill. Honestly, I felt a bit dorky, being star struck and all, but who cares, right? I’m allowed to be a bit dorky at quilt market. And her assistant Ally is just a gem and was so helpful. I am so envious that she gets to work in that studio all day.

My next stop was to Kokka fabrics from Japan. Etsuko Furuya’s new fabrics for the echino line are just utterly fabulous. I was going to wait to order, but just couldn’t. And guess what? There is purple in my future!! I have had so many of my customers request lilacs and purples, and there just has not been that much out there. So I am completely thrilled that the designers have finally delved into this wonderful color palette.

And I even got to meet and chat with Ms. Furuya herself. Decked out in a fabulous bright purple tunic, she was very, very sweet. I tried out my rusty Japanese, and felt even more dorky than when meeting with Anna Maria. I should have postponed my meeting with her because as the day went on, I was able to chat more and more in Japanese with the Lecien and Kokka reps, and would have been a lot less intimidated if I had had some practice first. At any rate she was incredibly gracious, and I can’t wait to get my hot little hands on those bolts.

So, I'm going to tantalize you and hang on to Amy Butler and all the rest in part 2, but I promise not to keep you all waiting for too long.

From Minneapolis/St. Paul, where it is snowing. For real.


Hallie said...

How fun to see these photos of the booths! Looks so fun to be there and see the fabrics in person. Thank you so much for answering my question about your sign--I really appreciate that you took the time to do that!Best, Hallie

Nancey said...

Wish I lived in Texas! Thanks for sharing. I was watching "Quilt Arts" today and AMH happened to be on the show, and I guess it was pre-baby, b/c she said she only had 5 kids. She was discussing Drawing Room and how she gets ideas and inspiration by looking her Flickr group and how her customers (actually I think she said "clients"--sounds so much more respectful) use her fabrics. So I'm sure your creations have had a hand in influencing her creations!

Melissa said...

Oh, God. Really. I'm eaten alive with jealousy. I'm as star-struck as you are-- esp. with the AMH! I can't believe she made it to market with a baby younger than mine-- I have some (ok many!) days where we don't leave the house b/c nobody has bathed in a while.

I'm going to spend all day long blowing up your pictures so I can see the stuff in person. And I'm so glad to hear about the voile-- was wondering about that myself!

Becky O. said...

Ms. Furuya herself?? I am very jealous too. I think I would have been even more dorky... thanks for the pictures!

BagsByMelanie said...

How much fun Melissa! That is amazing!!

icicle said...

Wow, how fun! I'd love to wrangle a way into a fabric market -- thanks for the vicarious trip.

enhabiten said...

Melissa! Sounds like you had a blast. Good for you. Thanks for the commentary. Dorky and star-struck is completely normal in my book:)

Corrie said...

gorgeous! thank you for sharing those lovely piccies!

we have our own version next month but we don't get the big designers like amy or heather or anna! you are sooooo lucky!!!!

wow I am now going to look at those pics again! I totally hear you about setting limits, you want to go to each booth and buy up big time and need to keep mentally tallying what you're spending because its all play money while you're there!!!!

love your blog,

jkziel said...

I was in a local quilt shop and the owner was raving about Anna Maria Horner's new line, but said she wasn't going to carry it, because she thinks she'll have a hard time in our local market selling it, so I needed to get more info about this line so I can order it online somewhere! Thanks for blogging, I'll take your recommendation--I'm expecting a baby and the texture of this fabric sound lovely...and I'm having a girl. wahoo. Thanks again for blogging.