Last weekend, a dream of mine came true. I was able to attend Quilt Market!
For those of you that don’t know, Quilt Market is an international trade show for the fabric industry. Manufacturers, Fabric Designers, Pattern Makers, etc. are all there with their booths decked out displaying their newest collections for shop owners to see and order fabrics for their stores. This market was in Houston, TX.
If you’ve followed my blog or known me for a while, you might know the obsession I have with fabric, the fabric designers that I adore and have mentioned on here before, and more importantly, my dream of becoming a fabric designer one day (or more broadly, a surface pattern designer). I work full-time as a graphic designer now, and between that and my art background, it has been a long-time dream of mine to gradually move in the direction of surface pattern design. I’ve been so busy working since I finished college that I haven’t had a lot of time to put towards that dream, but lately that dream has been invigorated as I’ve taken Bonnie Christine‘s Design Surface Patterns from Scratch Course on CreativeLive. (I highly recommend her course and her Roost Tribe!)
Bonnie Christine (above) is one of the sweetest people that I’ve ever met and I was so happy to be able to chat with her in person this weekend! She immediately felt like an old friend that I’d known forever! (Although I guess I have followed her blog for almost 5 years!) Her story is so inspirational to me as her background and goals are very similar to mine. I also just love her work (and her passion for sharing with others to help make their dreams come true too!).
The entire market was full of inspiration everywhere. I love Leah Duncan‘s patterns and style (above). I also loved seeing Katarina Roccella‘s patterns in person as well (I didn’t get a good shot of her booth, but you can see part of it in the second picture, above). I also saw Elizabeth Olwen‘s fabrics in person for the first time here as well (I thought I got a picture of her booth, but can’t find it, so it must not have taken!). All three of those designers are pretty new to me, but I loved seeing and being inspired by their work!
One of the highlights of my visit was getting to meet and chat with Amy Butler (probably one of the most well-known fabric designers!) and her husband. They were both so incredibly sweet and were more than happy to answer my questions about the industry and what inspires them. Amy Butler was so encouraging of my dream, she told me to work towards my passion and great things will happen!
Anna Maria Horner (along with Heather Bailey and Sandi Henderson) was one of the first fabric designers that really caught my eye. I started following their blogs years ago and they are a good part of the reason that I also want to design fabric. It was awesome to meet Anna Maria Horner in person after all these years of being inspired by her work!
I saw Heather Bailey‘s booth, but didn’t see her. Next time!
Many of my favorite designers have also come out with ribbon collections. These are seriously so beautiful and I was so glad to see them in person since I don’t think they are sold in any stores around where I live.
Aside from meeting and chatting with designers, I walked around, checking out booths of designers I’d never heard of before and just admiring all the beautiful colors and patterns. The quilts were so gorgeous, as were all the other cool things designers had made with their fabrics.
I’m so grateful for this amazing opportunity. It gave me great insight into the fabric design industry, into how quilt market works, and the chats I had with the designers were so helpful and encouraging (and also had a good dose of reality too). It really has started to make something that always seemed like a long lost dream a truly achievable reality!
Thank you Bonnie for making it happen!
The last week or so I’ve been in Southern Illinois visiting my family. Every time I’m back home, I try to squeeze in a trip to my favorite fabric store in the area — Hancock’s of Paducah (in Paducah, KY). I absolutely love fabric and could spend all day in a fabric store. I love all the prints, patterns and possibilities of things to make out of all the prettiness! I had several house projects in mind that I needed fabric for, so I was definitely in need of a trip to the fabric store while I was home! (New Orleans doesn’t have any great fabric stores.)
Hancock’s of Paducah is a completely different store than the Hancock’s chain of fabric stores that are found around the country. This one is so much bigger and better! They have a wonderful selection of cotton and home decor fabrics (I believe their main market is for quilters in the area). This isn’t your place to go for silk or apparel fabrics.
I love that they carry higher quality cotton fabrics, especially many by well-known fabric designers.
Here are some of Sandi Henderson‘s newest “Secret Garden” fabrics:
And by Amy Butler:
So many pretty fabrics to choose from!
I’m especially loving large-scale floral prints right now. I love this blue one below. I actually ended up buying some of the pink version of this fabric! Stay tuned to see where it ends up in my house! I’ve actually already been working with my mom on several fabric projects while I’m here!
Here is what my cart looked like once I had made several trips through the store:
Isn’t that champagne metallic dot fabric neat? I ended up buying some of several of these fabrics in my cart. I can’t wait to get back to New Orleans and get them incorporated into my home!
Speaking of the home, they have a great selection of heavier weight home decor fabrics as well. I would love to buy some of these for my home! It is so hard to choose between them though! I kept envisioning beautiful curtains made out of many of these:
Love this green quatrefoil pattern:
I am really, really in love with the combination of this warm grey floral and this rasperry ikat dot fabric. I think they would be lovely to make into layered curtain panels like in this picture here.
So many great options! I just made new curtains for my office (I still need to share pictures), but seeing all these gorgeous fabrics is making me regret choosing the fabric I did!
They also have a few great bargain bin areas where they have fabric remnants for discounted prices. I found a great white and cream check fabric in that pile, enough to make a throw pillow out of for $2.50. Can’t beat a pretty couch pillow for $2.50!
Of all the wonderful options, this is what I left the store with:
Can’t wait to show you what I end up doing with these!
If you live in the Southern Illinois (IN-KY-MO) area, you should definitely check out Hancock’s of Paducah! I’m always a little sad if I make a trip home and don’t get a chance to go! They even sell a lot of fabrics and quilt kits online as well.
Since I pulled a muscle in my lower back when I was home the other week, I’ve been trying my best to sit up straight and to take breaks from working on the computer (Since I tend to slouch over when I’ve been working on the computer for a while). I’m on the computer a lot– reading blogs, blogging, working on design work or websites for our business, checking e-mails and when school starts I will be on it even more for papers and school work. As much as I love being on the computer, it definitely is nice to take breaks to do other things. Since I only have two more weeks before fall semester starts, I decided to try my best to spend the next two weeks doing something that I enjoy and that I never have time for during the school year.
It was perfect timing when I ran across this August stitch-along on an embroidery blog. (see week 1 & week 2 & the flickr group) I really like hand sewing and I think it is a mindless and relaxing thing to do. (Plus it is easy to sit and sew while watching television, chatting with a friend, etc…) I really like the freestyle type project that they have going on this month, so I decided to jump in and stitch along.
This project is basically to just grab a piece of fabric that you want to embellish and some coordinating thread colors and follow the pattern of the fabric with your embroidery. Pretty simple and mindless.
I chose this green fabric with a basic cream floral pattern. It is some leftover fabric that I had in my fabric stash that I had used for a project and didn’t have any plans to use for anything else. I think it is pretty, but I thought some colored embroidery might spruce it up a little.
Here are my thread colors. I think they will be pretty accents to the petals on the flowers on the fabric.
If you’ve never hand sewn before or don’t know how, no worries! It is never too late to learn! You should join me on my August stitch along. Just grab a small piece of fabric, some embroidery thread in coordinating colors, a needle, scissors, and an embroidery hoop. That’s all you need!
I’m using a 5 inch embroidery hoop, but any will work. Just stretch your fabric in there and you are ready to roll.
Start with a simple back stitch around the outlines of your fabric design and then use other stitches from there for more embellishment.
If you don’t know any stitches or even where to start, here are some embroidery tips/tutorials from the blog, Wild Olive: strands, sewing, stabbing and starting, running and back stitch, stem and split stitches, chain and detached chain stitch, fill stitches part 1, fill stitches part 2.
I only worked on mine for a little bit last night while Drew was watching the first Saints pre-season football game and I got more done than I expected to. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I like projects like this that you can make up as you go. :)
Join me on the August stitch-along! I’d love to see what pretty things you create!