Notes and Trends from the Quilt-Making Mecca

I just returned from the International Quilt Market trade show in Houston, and my head is buzzing with ideas. There was so much to see: so many colorful booths filled with the latest fabrics, embellishments, and tools for quilt making.

amber eden and vivika denegre
Stitch Editor Amber Eden (left) and I make
like mummies at International Quilt Market
in Houston. (Fabric by Moda)

If you want to learn how to quilt, need quilting ideas or quilt projects, or see quilters and some of the people from some of your favorite quilting sites in the flesh, Houston is the place to be.

Of course, not everyone is able to make this fabric-lined pilgrimage to International Quilt Market (the trade show) or the International Quilt Festival itself (going on now). So I thought I'd give you a capsulized version of the trends I saw at while at Market. If I don't share it with you now, I might forget something!

Foxes are the new owls. The wise birds are still popular, but it was clear that foxes now rule the fabric art forest. I saw them everywhere, in fabric prints and as pillows and other quilt projects. Also, manufacturers are as sweet on cupcakes as ever: I saw fabric cupcake kits and cupcake-shaped buttons everywhere.

ez dresden challenge winner
The winning EZ Dresden Challege quilt, by Jenny Cameron.

Hand sewing is hot. Whether you like to embroider embellishments or you know how to make a quilt by hand, your time has come (back). Hand sewing kits, carryalls and supplies were featured in many vendors' booths.

Modern takes on traditional quilt making are still strong. The EZ Dresden Quilting Challenge display showed how to make quilt patterns modern, as did the many examples of modern hexagon and chevron piecing seen throughout the show floor.

green sewing table and chair
Unfortunately, this sewing table and chair wouldn't fit into my suitcase.

Color is not limited to fabric. I fell in love with the green sewing table, wildly patterned yet functional chairs, and other bright studio furniture and supplies. There will always be a place for white and beige, but I don't think it will be in my studio!

Finally, I think the most important information I brought home from my trip to International Quilt Market is that even though there are trends, there are more ways than ever to make a quilt unique.

One easy way to make a quilt your own is to apply surface design techniques. I saw a lot of surface design products at International Quilt Market, but you can't do better than Surface Design Starter Kits containing  instructions and resources from the Quilting Daily Shop.

P.S. What trend in quilting do you like right now? What could you do without? Leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Notes and Trends from the Quilt-Making Mecca

  1. I could do without KITS! Jelly Rolls run a close second. I have bought kits several times, but only because I couldn’t get the fabric any other way. I used the sought-after fabric my way and added the rest to my stash. I hate to see kits promoted as heavily as they are; I hate to see so many people desiring to make an exact duplicate of a quilt instead of being encouraged to use a pattern as a starting place. As for Jelly Rolls – and other variants of pre-matched assortments – these are first-cousins to a kit. The resulting quilts look canned. Thankfully, my best quilting teachers have firmly discouraged imitations and I can make make my quilts uniquely my own.

  2. Wow ! I wake up every morning and check my emails. Today I find MY Quilt here on your post! Thank you for sharing it with the quilting world that could not make it to Fall Market.
    I had very different plans for this fabric. It was going to be a traditional quilt, mad of thousands of little pieces, until I won a EZ Dresden Ruler. Then I set to play!
    On trends – I do what I like. Some others like it some don’t. We are all different and that is what is great.
    I have just started my blog – so I can keep a record of what I do. If others gain some inspiration or learn something from my work, that is an added bonus. Find me at fiberlosophy dot blogspot dot com
    Thanks for making my day!

  3. I have to agree with Carol about kits, jelly rolls, honey buns, layer cakes, etc. When I first started taking quilting classes 25 years ago (the rotary cutter and rulers were new to the scene), I heard the instructor say after several sessions, “it’s your quilt, you can make it any way you want”. I knew I had found my “stash-lined” spot in life! Yes, I’m fussy about a lot of things in my quilting, but that is my prerogative. If it doesn’t push “your” button, make it “your” way. There’s room for all of us.