From the trenches: A Quilt Market rookie’s wrap-up part I – trends

The biggest national event for the quilting and midweight fabric industry is Quilt Market. On Friday, I headed down on a whirlwind trip to Houston for the fall show. For being there a day, I saw so much and was booked with appointments but thankfully had an hour or two to drop into other booths. The best part though was the people. I met so many fun, creative and friendly folks. Definitely an invigorating and inspiring 24 hours (more on that soon).

To the best of my ability as a Quilt Market rookie, I  am breaking up my coverage into three posts (trends, collections, and the people), just so it’s not too overwhelming. First up is trends (and apologies, the photos are from my iPod).

It’s not a slight, just a reality, that the quilting industry and its manufacturers are often latent in trend adoption. What you see out on the design blogs and publications is often a year or two ahead of mass production (which is true for fashion as well). That said, some of the color palettes and motifs might be old news to some but refreshingly fun and new to others. In some ways, I think it’s nice not to have to say goodbye to some of the prints and patterns many others (myself included), have come to love. Because in the end, I think sewing is all about doing something you love, using fabric and material that inspires us.

Some trends have been let go of, at least from the lines to which I gravitate. For example, after a heavy deluge of bird and aviary prints, I think we can happily say that Portlandia may have squashed people’s desire to “put a bird on it.” The aviary-influenced prints I did get a chance to see felt new, not tired.

Trend highlights and a few photos are below (more about the individual photos will be noted during collection breakdown).

Nautical: It’s here – a plethora of sweet and irreverent interpretations of the sea, boats, and nautical accessories. Even the simplest sailboat print seemed new and fresh.

Geometrics: While the chevron prints are closing their reign in the home decor and interior design circles, they are coming on full force in the quilting industry. I am sucker for it, can’t yet quit it and really loved seeing it in new scales and interpretations. Ikat prints also are in full force and while I am not sure how they will work for quilters, they do look fantastic as pillows, bedding, apparel and more. Some of my favorite geometrics though are what most consider to be coordinates. Overlapping shapes, dots and other geometric prints stood out to me as keepers.

Primary colors: Yes, primary colors were popping up everywhere but they aren’t the primary colors of yesteryear. There’s a sophistication in these blues, yellows and reds.

Scandinavian: Speaking of primary colors, there was an outcrop of Scandinavian inspired collections, many of which integrated primary colors throughout the prints. Whether it be through a color pattern, motifs or a dedication to simplicity, several companies are serving up their own version of what those cunning Swedes seem to do so well – mix pattern, color and textures without over complicating it. My favorite part of this trend are the colors.

Modern: There’s no doubt about it – a modern sensibility is making its way into almost every large manufacturer. Two new companies that focus on the quilter and sewist who’s craving sophisticated, modern, and fresh fabrics have launched, each subsets of larger companies. Both Blend and Dear Stella have selections that make me need to rethink my budget for fabric. It wasn’t just the prints, but the hand feel on the fabrics that impressed me. It will be very interesting to see how the whole modern movement plays out in the years to come. For example, will we go back to traditional calicoes, block prints and others if we overdo it with modern designs?

What I would love to see more of, at least with respect to color, is more teal and marine blue. I don’t why but it’s a color/hue that I feel pops so well against so many of the other popular colors – citron, grey, coral, navy, Kelly green and more.

So, that’s my first take and there’s more to come but would love to hear what you think of the photos I have shared, the trends you’re excited about, want to see in the months ahead and more!

Next up – the collections that caught my eye and what’s coming to the shop!

4 responses to “From the trenches: A Quilt Market rookie’s wrap-up part I – trends

  1. Pingback: From the trenches: Quilt Market wrap-up part deux – collections | Drygoods Design, the blog·

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