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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Atkinson’

Spring Quilt Market

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I’m back from Market. It was exhilarating and exhausting. It was great to catch up with other professionals, and I met lots of new people in the industry. I enjoy seeing the new fabrics. I love the beachy colors – blues, greens, yellows, oranges – clear, crisp, almost sherbetty colors. After all, the oranges did make me think of mango! OK, most colors make me think of food!

Just a bit of what I liked: The Authentic line by Sweetwater Design from Moda. It’s filled with typography and newsprint fabric; must reflect my journalism background!


Also showcasing Moda‘s line is Joanna Figueroa with Fig Tree & Co.


Avlyn fabrics also has several nice new lines, including Belle Fleur, a white, green and black graphic collection from Karen Combs. Karen also introduced here Batik Cascade line.

And always a favorite for me is the Michael Miller booth, with bright happy colors.


And, while I didn’t get a photo, Kona Bay always has a wonderful fabric selection.

And I liked what Valori Wells did to decorate her booth. She took swatches of her lines and sewed them onto a canvas cloth and hung that. It was simple and effective.


One of my favorite designers is Robyn Pandolph, who designs fabric for RJR. Here she is with Barbara Bradley. They’ll work together from a new design studio soon.


I caught up with a couple of my favorite bag makers. Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs was delivering her newest girl Claire for display in several booths. And Terry Atkinson has two new books, including Big Bags, little bags, which includes ideas for using yo-yos for a little zing and for using oilcloth for your bag. Both Joan and Terry have great tutorials on their blogs.

Here are a few shots from my row at the show. Susan Cleveland with Pieces Be With You was on one side of me and Karen Montgomery from The Quilt Company was on the other. Karen’s got some great shots of the floor on her blog.


Across the aisle were Janine Burke and Amy Walsh from Blue Underground Studios.


And here’s one last shot with quilt artist and author ReNae Merrill and Leslie O’Brien, PQ advertising rep.


I did pick up some new notions, so look for some reviews in the future. The big item I think was the bias binding maker from Simplicity/Wrights/Ez.

And, what coverage of Quilt Market would be complete without a mention of Sample Spree? This is the most hectic event, everyone’s first peek at what’s new. People line up early to get first chance to buy fabric in particular. Here’s a shot of the line waiting to get in. The doors open at 8 pm; the first person was in line at 2:30!


And, as for our location, we were at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. It’s a fabulous facility with lots of natural light; everything looks good in that lighting. Pittsburgh is a great city, too, with friendly people and terrific food – any city that puts French fries on a sandwich or salad ranks high with me! I hope we’ll be back next time we go to the East Coast.

Meet Pattern Designer Terry Atkinson

Friday, October 24th, 2008

The Fall issue of The Professional Quilter includes a profile on Terry Atkinson. I’ve watched Terry’s business grow since I met her at her first Quilt Market in 1997. Her simple patterns have always been well-received by quilt shop owners and quilters alike, including the perennial best seller “Yellow Brick Road.” I wanted to know more about how Terry grew her business.

How did you come to quilting?
I made my first quilt in college for an art class project because I couldn’t afford paint. I had lots of fabric around the house. Later, I took an adult education class about quilting and began teaching quilting to my home ec students. I think the teaching skills translated into my ability to write easy-to-follow instructions.

What led to the business?
I was teaching quilting at a local quilt shop. Soon, my students asked to buy my class handouts, and I adapted my most popular class handouts for my first two patterns. Initially, the patterns were sold in local quilt shops. A pattern distributor picked up those first two patterns that year, giving the patterns exposure across the United States. In 1997 International Quilt Market was held in Minneapolis, and I exhibited for the first time, giving my patterns even more exposure to shops and distributors. They started to take over on a larger scale at that time.

One of your patterns, “Yellow Brick Road,” has been in the Checker Top 20 for seven to eight years. Why do you think it remains so popular?
“Yellow Brick Road” is a quilt that looks good in any kind of fabric. It’s fun to sew, and people like the fact that it uses up all of each fat quarter so there are no leftover scraps. Each time you make it it looks like a brand new quilt because it takes on the personality of the fabrics used. From what I hear, longarm quilters end up with lots of these to quilt for their customers.

You have 27 individual patterns and 14 books. How do you decide whether to issue a particular design as a solo pattern or as a part of a book?
For a pattern, we have only four pages of instructions, so a book provides more flexibility. The pictures are larger in a book as well, so sometimes I make the decision based on if the quilt would look better in a larger or smaller photo. I also will use books to showcase new fabric collections. And, if I want to work with a theme, I’ll go with a book. For example, Let’s Do Lunch, which came out earlier this year, includes a variety of table runners, napkin rings and a few totes. Most of the patterns have food-themed names.

To read more of the profile on Terry Atkinson, you can purchase Issue 105 or start your subscription here.

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