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Pokey’s Spring Quilt Market Report

25 May 2010

I just returned from Spring Quilt Market in the Twin Cities and had a really fabulous time! Outfitted with my new, spiffy Nikon DSLR camera, a journal, and comfortable sandals to traverse the show floor, I took note of several quilting trends this season…

Fowl Play!

Pretty Poultry! Cute fabric chickens by Pillow and Maxfield, designers for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Many companies are hoping you’re feeling flighty this quilting season. Everywhere I looked, birds flocked, most especially owls. Could it be the Harry Potter influence? Lots of fabric and quilt pattern companies predict the general quilting and sewing public will give a hoot about owls because these cute birds abounded in fabric lines, in sewing projects, and quilt patterns.

The Frill of It

Cyndi Lauper would love to learn that short frilly skirts and totes with layered ruffles of bright, bold fabrics are in. (Cyndi, if you are reading this, I’m sorry, but I didn’t see big hair or a spray can of Aqua Net® anywhere...)

Also, salvage those selvedges!  I noticed a handful people walking the show floor sporting handmade skirts constructed of strip-pieced selvedges. The skirts were really cute, but I can’t imagine the hours it to piece those teeny, tiny 1/2" strips together.

Peace Out

I saw the peace sign rendered in fabric in several booths, but especially loved this peace sign free-motion quilting motif I saw in the Blue Meadow Designs booth…

Zip It

Get ready to rifle through your sewing drawer to dig out that zipper foot. If you didn’t notice the latest cover of Quilting Arts, zippers are in! And now the company Riley Blake is offering zippers by the yard in a wide variety of colors. Nice...


Alternative Quilting
Two years ago, companies like Westminster Fibers began offering upholstery-weight, home décor quilting fabrics, and now other fabric companies have expanded their quilt fabric offerings to include corduroy and oilcloth (ideal for grocery totes). I also noticed a new fabric I’d not seen before called “Cuddle” by Shannon Fabrics –softest fabric I've ever felt—perfect to snuggle under while dozing on the couch!

Quilting with a Conscience

The quilt industry continues to think green, and I noticed more organic, eco-friendly fabric lines this season, including Cloud 9 Fabrics who use certified organic fabrics and solvent-free inks and dyes for printing. (They will have a really fabulous pillow project in the next issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene.)

And last year I met Rob Appell who has partnered Michael Miller Fabrics to help build awareness about endangered species. Rob has set out to create 12 different quilt patterns featuring these special creatures, and a portion of the proceeds for these patterns goes to non-profits to save these species. So far Rob has raised more than $6000, and we hope through spreading the word, this amount is just the beginning!

Great things come in small packages…

We all lust to make large quilts, but for those raising families  and/or with full-time jobs (and who may not have had much sewing or quilting instruction in our formative years) small sewing projects are a great way to celebrate our creativity and take the stress away from the daily grind. And of course being the frog lover that I am, I fell in love with this pattern for eyeglasses from Java House Quilts...

Color my World

Once again, Cyndi Lauper would be thrilled! Bright colors are in, but browns…not so much. Coats & Clark has introduced some gorgeous colors for threads to the market, including these luscious packs:

People on the Quilt Scene

Meet Hoodie. And it’s just Hoodie (like Madonna).  No last name necessary. Hoodie is hilariously funny and a very gifted mixed media artist, pattern and fabric designer who works with Blank Textiles. I promise we'll have more on her very soon!

Wiley Books held an after-hours cocktail party to celebrate their new line of books, including those by designers Anna Maria Horner and Melissa Averinos. We all had a lot of fun connecting at this cocktail party, and we enjoyed the tastiest mixed drinks. Below is our very own Pippa Eccles, assistant editor for Quilting Arts, alongside Anna Maria.

I am again reminded how vertically challenged I am when I'm around Heather Bailey and Anna Maria!

Some of your Quilting Arts gang (left to right): Pokey, Barbara Staszak, Pippa Eccles, and Helen Gregory

In Conclusion...

Maybe because the countdown is on until I turn 40 (OK, that particular event isn't for another 17 months), but I noticed a lot of fresh faces on the quilting scene at this particular market.  It was nice to see so many new people entering the quilt business. On a related note, if you are interested in quilt statistics, check out the latest Quilting in America 2010 survey.

More soon!


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on 26 May 2010 8:47 AM

thanks for such an indepth look at market, looks like lots of cool new stuff coming our way!

on 26 May 2010 2:38 PM

Thanks for the great report....wish I could have been there, but will be happy to go to Festival instead!   Looking forward to more owls (and using Cuddles on the back of a lap quilt or inside a vest????), Cheer, Sarah

on 26 May 2010 2:39 PM

Will try again as cyber space seems to have eaten my first attempt!  My apologies if I end up posting twice.  Thanks for the great report... I'm looking forward to owls and maybe  some Cuddles for the inside of a vest and the back of a sofa quilt!  Hope to see you in Houston  at Festival, Cheers, Sarah

Sherrie S. wrote
on 2 Jul 2010 1:45 PM

Pokey -- You have the BEST job! What fun to schmooz with creative types and see all the bright new trends!