Sunday, May 30, 2010

What I saw at Market: The Next Chapter

Okay, I've recovered from uploading the previous photos and am ready to try again. (Not sure why it's such an arduous task these days...apologies for the formatting, which leaves much to be desired.)

Codi and I walked the rows of Market very methodically the first day...all the way up one and down the next. We didn't actually finish them all the first day and so did the last two rows the second day. At that point we each had some people to see and things to do, so we split up for awhile.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First up is Marcia Derse's booth. Marcia's wonderful fabrics are based on her discharge dyed, hand-painted fabrics. I really loved her work in Houston and still do. There's not much else like it, for one thing, and for another, the colors are rich and warm. Codi looks very happy in this booth, doesn't she?

When I was a young'n (okay, so that was a long time ago) I was obsessed with embroidery. I spent hours  adorning a pair of denim overalls and a blue workshirt (yes, this was the 1970s) with lots of designs—butterflies, a cheerful worm, tiny flowers, and on the back of the workshirt an enormous tree that incorporated as many stitches as I could think of into it's greenery. I'm delighted that embroidery is making a comeback—handwork is so soothing and satisfying.  So I was tickled to come upon Alyssa of Penguin & Fish.

Her designs are so endearing: the hedgehog pillow and the pig dish towel are special favorites. Her quilt with the A to Z animals would be a real treasure for a new baby.

The Moda booth never ceases to amaze and this Market was no exception: the fabric reps sat in the center, with a big "building" inspired by a vintage metal dollhouse behind them. On the sides hung wonderful quilts made from their new lines of fabric. Surrounding this central area were booths of individual designers.

There were many more than those pictured here, but I did manage to get in some shots of the mother-daughter team of Bonnie of Cotton Way and Camille of Thimble Blossoms. Here Camille smiles obligingly for the camera. backed by some of her designs—so fresh feeling, the definitely put the spring in Spring Market.

Across the way were two people I was so excited to meet: Barb and Mary of My Sister and Me. About six months ago I interviewed them for a story in the current American Patchwork and Quilting and I don't know that I've ever laughed so hard during an interview. They teased one another back and forth during the entire conversation, affectionately of course, but it was hilarious—who had better hair, whose dogs were so badly behaved they scared the UPS gal, why did that design of a basket look like a diaper pin? Barb and Mary gave me big hugs when I introduced myself and then excitedly showed me the magazine, which I had yet to see. They are just as sunny and cheery and fun as their fabric and every time I saw them over the next few days they were joking and laughing. A total treat, these two.

Oliver & S has had great patterns for children's clothes available for awhile, and now great fabric, too. The quilt featuring her fabric was one of my favorites at Market. You can see it a little bit on the table in her booth. Her Market report has some more shots of the Moda booth, but sadly not of her City Weekend quilt. Her clothing samples looked fabulous made up in the fabrics, too.

Last Moda photo is the gals in the Moda Home booth. They were so good-natured about posing in their costumes and one of my favorite sights at Market was seeing them walking through downtown Minneapolis at the end of the day, still wearing these clothes.

Amy Butler's booth was lovely as always—didn't see Amy herself this time, but I'm sure SHE was lovely as always, too.
Tina Givens' booth really stood out: I loved the cocoa brown walls and white shelving. Her fabrics popped beautifully against that background and when Codi complimented her on her fabulous dress she told us it was something she'd thrown together at the last minute, but that so many people were asking about it that she might publish the pattern for it. Such talent! And very friendly.

My other favorite duo at Market (along with Barb and Mary of My Sister and Me) was Amy Barrickman and her mom, Donna. They both look so fabulous wearing clothes created from Indygo Junction patterns. Donna chatted with Codi and I, pleased that we were fellow Iowans (she's from Des Moines and used to own an antique shop in that city). I also got a chance to talk with Amy about her really stunning new book, Vintage Notions. Amy was inspired by the story of Mary Brooks Picken, a pioneer in domestic arts. (Donna explained she was something of the Martha Stewart of her day.) When the book hits the stores, check it out. Along with patterns, recipes, and great images of vintage notions and illustrations of times gone by, there's plenty to read in this book, which is something I always enjoy.

The Alexander Henry booth is always artful and unusual and their Matisse-inspired booth was no exception. Codi perused their fabrics and we sat down briefly with a rep. One of my favorite overheard moments took place at the Alexander Henry booth. A young, very hip woman was perusing fabrics with a young, hip rep. They were both from L.A. She had on a dress over leggings made of a bold and graphic Alexander Henry print. Codi and I both noticed her (and I complimented her on it), but it was her conversation with the rep I loved best.

She: When I heard this was going to be in Minneapolis I wasn't sure I even wanted to come. But some friends told me about this fabulous restaurant I ate at last night--it was totally amazing.

He: I know! And have you seen the Walker sculpture garden? It is absolutely gorgeous.

She: I know! Minneapolis--who knew?

I controlled my urge to tell them that much of the world knows. Instead Codi and I spent the rest of Quilt Market saying, "Minneapolis—Who knew?" As a transplanted Californian I rankle at that attitude of geographic superiority—what could possibly be worth seeing in "flyover land?" The people who think that, of course, have never actually been in the part of the country about which they make disparaging remarks. But that rarely stops them from making them.

I got a chance to talk with Anna Maria Horner and her crew a bit at the end of the first day. Anna Maria is such a treat to chat with—so upbeat, but so real, too. She's in the midst of life changing events, as her eldest daughter, Julianna, was graduating on Monday evening and heading to college in the fall. We talked a bit about a charity quilting project she's got planned, among other things. When I made it back the next day to take a photo, Anna Maria was gone and Allie was holding down the fort. I loved talking to Allie, who may be in for some transitions of her own.

Finally, I made a connection that was totally pleasing. I'd recently talked with Karen Snyder of Anna Lena's on the phone and found out that she was friends with Monica of Happy Zombie and Pam of PamKittyMorning. Karen and I exchanged digits before Market and I got to have coffee with the three of them. Poor Monica had been really sick, so we just air-hugged, but I think I managed to get my hands on everyone else. As we were chatting (and Pam was tweeting) Jill Abeloe Mead, my terrific editor at Quilts and More, and Elizabeth Stumbo, a graphic designer for Quilt Sampler and other publications, joined us. Although I live just 110 miles from the Meredith offices and have written for their magazines for more than four years, I typically only manage to see these ladies at Markets.

It was a such treat to see and meet everyone. I learned that Karen (who had an ab fab orange wheeled tote that complemented her shirt) and her husband were planning a post-Market tour of Iowa—just because. I gave her my card and said to call if she got in the neighborhood, but she sounded as though they had a full itinerary—it involved John Deere tractors and dinner with someone's grandparents. It sounded so relaxing!

Quilt Market left me the opposite of relaxed. Instead I felt totally pumped up, in the best possible way. I feel so fortunate to be writing about these talented and kind folks, and to get to meet so many of them. There's a real generosity (special thanks to Linda Lum Debono) about these people that makes me feel I'm in the right place, doing the right thing. And getting to spend time with Codi was terrific, too. Here's a shot of us at the end of our drive—tired and happy, but filled with ideas. So good to have yet another friend in fabric.


Thai LOI said...
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Mary Lou Weidman said...

Linzee, I feel like I was there...and wish I had been. Mel and I are going to Houston...wanna come and share a room?

PamKittyMorning said...

It was great to meet up with you again!! see you in Houston?