spring 2014 quilt market review

If you, like us, were overloaded with Quilt Market photos on Instagram last weekend, let us help you make sense of it all. After a couple days to think about it, we’ve sifted it down to a few key trends and news items of note. Here’s our take on what we saw…

current quilting trends

deer
There’s always an animal of the moment and this year it must be deer because we saw it everywhere! Seen here in Emily Herrick’s new collection and that awesome appliqued quilt, in Violet’s Craft’s next line, and from Dear Stella.

triangles
This seems to be a spread of shapes from quilt patterns making their way into fabric designs. Seeing lots of quilts around like this one by Red Pepper Quilts and this one from Mary Fons (and hey, me too!) makes it no surprise to see the triangle (usually equilateral) in fabric too. Seen here in April Rhodes’ Arizona collection and Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft.

Both of which also happen to have metallic. Which could count for another trend really, we’re loving the use of it in a more modern way lately by so many designers.

+ plusses +
Another example of a trend in quilt patterns ending up right in the fabrics. Plus quilts and blocks have been irresistible to a lot of us (I even finished one!), so why wouldn’t we want it on our fabric? Here we see it in a Cotton + Steel bag, a pillow in the Alison Glass booth, in Melody Miller’s Mustang collection for Cotton + Steel (that one’s got metallic too!), in Alison Glass fabric, and Zen Chic fabric.

alternate substrates
This was a bit of a hot top a couple years ago when every designer was coming out with a laminated fabric or voile, but there seems to be another boom in fabric types other than quilting cottons. It’s not just two forward-thinking fabric companies anymore, it’s everyone. And we like it! Heather Bailey has gorgeous voiles coming out that have been intentionally designed with prints more suited for clothing. That doesn’t mean you can’t use voile in quilts, though. Their fine, thin weave makes for the softest quilts. You can bet we’ll be making this one.

We’re seeing lots more knits too, like these from Anna Maria Horner.

We also have some cool ones arriving from April Rhodes’ new collection Arizona, as seen in this dress.

Cotton + Steel will have linen canvas and cotton lawn in addition to quilting weight in their collections, and Cloud 9 is even coming out with a barkcloth collection later this year called Time Warp. So it’s not just retro prints we’re seeing, it’s those retro weaves, but new and improved. Can’t wait to get those in!

major news

In addition to trends, there are some bigger picture changes happening that are really exciting in the quilting industry. This Spring these two seem to be a pretty big deal.

Cotton + Steel

It’s hard not to miss the buzz about this new division of RJR fabrics started by designer Melody Miller. If you don’t know the story yet, I recommend watching this video.

It’s more than just a new fabric company because it’s driven by the designers themselves, which I think will mean that what we get on fabric will be the more authentic to their vision. It also shows some movement in the overall industry, as every fabric company seems to be developing more offerings for the modern, design conscious sewists.

The 5 founding designers are launching coordinating collections this July, as well as a line of basics. We are pretty excited to be getting these in the shop. Watch a preview here.

American Made Brand
AMB is really quite revolutionary. We’re in an era when everything has been outsourced and even quality quilting fabric comes from cotton grown in China and woven mostly in Korea or Japan. American fabric mills have all but disappeared and the only ones left are just making hospital sheets and prison uniforms. So it’s quite unbelievable to be able to get fabrics from cotton grown, spun, woven, and dyed all here in the States. AMB is launching their collection of 50 solids right now, and at a price point on target with the rest of the solids on the market, which is amazing.

This was part of their booth at market, you can get a sense for the great colors they chose to start off with. Read their story HERE. How perfect is their motto: from farm to fabric. We have the full line coming soon, so check out their Farm to Fabric Challenge to get involved. We want to see some quilts from our customers in the exhibition!

AMB is part of Clothworks, who I’ve always had lots of respect for. We had a chance to chat with the president, Ted for a while and he has such passion for this endeavor and we are so excited to see what else he does with it.

So that’s what stood out to us. What do YOU see happening in quilting right now that’s important?

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    When in July do you expect the Cotton + Steel to arrive? I’ve got my eye on tons of these prints and will plan a trip to Preston!

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