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Thoughts from International Quilt Market & Festival

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I mentioned some about my trip to International Quilt Market and Festival a couple of weeks ago. At Market, fabric colors still seemed to be clear and bright, though I did notice some browns creeping back in. Lots of large designer prints, a la Amy Butler; lots of young new designers, including Jay McCarroll, Project Runways’s 2005 winner, now designing for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Also fans of Robin Pandolph will be thrilled that she is now designing for RJR. The other thing that struck me was food: lots of jelly roll, turnover and layer cake fabrics, books, patterns. Nice to have a non-caloric choice!

One of the niftiest new products I saw was Clearly Perfect Angles from New Leaf Stitches. This vinyl template sticks to your sewing machine table via static cling and lets you sew 45 degree angles. It also has 1/4 and 5/8 inch seam guides. These static-cling products remind me of the Colorforms I had as a child. My favorite was the repositionable fashion model. I remember drawing around the model and then creating dress designs on paper.

Quilts Inc. has released the following attendance figures for Market: 3,321 attendees and 551 exhibitors taking 1,144 booths.

The quilt show featured a number of special exhibits, most notable the more than 30 quilts in the “The DAR Museum Collection: Quilts From a Young Country.” These quilts have never traveled outside the Society’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. I feel fortunate that I live in the DC area and have seen quilts in the DAR collection.

As for attendance, final figures from Quilts Inc. show that total attendance was 52,542, down 1,704 from last year’s recording-breaking numbers. Considering the economy and Hurricane Ike, the drop in attendance was surprisingly moderate, said Karey Bresenhan, president of Festival’s producer Quilts Inc.
I’ll share more of my thoughts and other products in the upcoming issues of The Professional Quilter. If your subscription expired with the Fall issue, be sure to renew shortly.

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