As the fabric-crazed among you no doubt know, this past weekend marked the annual ritual of the fall International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas, ground zero for the explosions of color and pattern that will reach fabric stores around the world in 2012. I was lucky enough to visit the show on Saturday and to meet lots of amazing, creative people in person, including Spoonflower community member Patty Sloniger who won the Project Selvage competition we co-sponsored this past spring with Michael Miller Fabrics. Patty, an artist who had never designed fabric at all before finding Spoonflower, has hit the ground running as a professional fabric designer with two sophisticated baby collections, Backyard Baby and Bella Butterfly.
Along with a chance to meet Patty in person for the first time, which was a treat, I had opportunities to chat briefly with a few other people, some of whom I met last year and some of whom were new to me. I caught up a bit with Denyse Schmidt, whose much-loved Fleamarket Fancy designs are being reissued by Free Spirit under the name Fleamarket Fancy Legacy Collection, and admired the booth of Jan DiCintio of Daisy Janie, who produces her own line of organic fabrics. I was fascinated by the new organic fabrics from Michelle Engel Benscko of Cloud9 fabrics called Maman based on illustrations by her grandmother, whose drawings reminded me a bit of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince.
It was fun to spot Sister Diane of CraftyPod, one of my favorite people in the craft world, doing a demo for Clover making Kanzashi. Michelle, a friend with Simplicity Creative Group who was there showing off a felting machine, introduced me to Hoodie, a terrific designer from Timeless Treasures. While I was at Timeless Treasures, I also got a chance to preview a couple of samples from another new collection we’re very excited about: one by our own Samarra Khaja, which includes fabric versions of a braille alphabet and a sign language alphabet, as well as upcoming fabrics using some of her familiar Spoonflower designs.
One of the surprises from my visit to Quilt Market on Saturday was getting to meet Mark Cesarik and his wife Cara. Mark is now a designer for Free Spirit promoting his third collection, Morning Tides, but Spoonflower folks might remember when Mark and Cara ran an Etsy shop called SewBetty, where, among other things, they popularized the concept of mustache fabric. They found Spoonflower right around the time we first launched. Seeing them and hearing Mark’s story firsthand was great. I hope to have a chance to meet them again some time.
My final social call in Houston, in the company of some friends from BurdaStyle, was a party at the lovely home of Drew Emborsky, also known as The Crochet Dude. No pictures are forthcoming, but suffice to say that partigoers were issued their own very small sombreros and a fine time was had by all.
For those of you hungry for trend news, look for real Quilt Market reports from better-informed correspondents than yours truly, including True Up, The Long Thread, Quilt Dad, Monica Lee, Alicia DiRago of Dismount Creative and others. Thanks to everyone who helped make my short visit so much fun!