I spent most of the past week in Houston at International Quilt Market. I have been going since 1994, so I’ve seen quite a lot of changes over the years. I was talking with another vendor about how sophisticated the booths have become. In the “old” days we hung quilts on the poles and maybe did a little decoration. Today, some companies build an installation to showcase their products. It’s very exciting to see this energy in the industry. Here’s a bit of what I saw, both in words and pictures. If I had to narrow my impressions to one word, it would be streamers. More on that later.
This is an appliqué pressing sheet developed by Sharon Bradley of New Zealand. The sheet has a “honeycomb” structure that traps the adhesive so it doesn’t spread. The transparent mat is tacky so your appliqué stays in place. It is also easily cleaned. You can watch a video of this product here.
CutterPillar is known for its products created for the paper and crafts industry. This illuminated light table with LED technology offers quilters and artists a way see and engage with their work. This light-weight tablet (really a better description than table) illuminates from below with three different levels of light. It comes standard with a non-slip, self-healing cutting mat. Options include a cord-free lithium batter and a tempered glass mat. The tempered glass mat would be perfect for mixed media uses. You can watch a video of the tablet here.
When you think of FreeSpirit design collections, you often think bright color and contemporary. Their designers include Jane Sassaman, Tula Pink, Tina Givens and Kaffe Fassett among others. FreeSpirit has now partnered with The Original Morris & Co. to bring to life the artisty, vision and authentic style of William Morris. This partnership allows FreeSpirit exclusive access to the archives of the company, with some of the works dating back to 1861. FreeSpirit’s idea is to keep building on this new traditional collection and have it reach the same level of importance as the contemporary lines. You can watch a video of my conversation with the artist from The Original Morris & Co. here.
One of the new lines with Andover from Libs Elliott was When Sparks Fly, a follow up to her True Love collection. If you aren’t familiar with Libs work, she is a textile designer who explores the intersection of technology and traditional craft by using generative design in her work. She uses a programming language called Processing to edit the code and generate random compositions from simple geometric and traditional quilt block shapes. that she uses to create quilts. She began working this way in 2012 in collaboration with artist and technologist Joshua Davis, who provided the original code framework.
I will be posting more throughout the day as I sort through my notes and pictures. In the meantime, what did you see and what impressed you?