Quilt Market Crazies

Quilt Market was this past weekend and in case you’ve never heard of it (and I hadn’t until a couple years ago!),  let me briefly explain: Twice yearly, the quilting industry gathers for a three-plus day convention to offer up a look at the new patterns, tools and fabrics. It’s for the trade, so it’s mostly suppliers setting up booths and shop owners roaming the expansive floor. They put in orders for most of the fabrics they’ll be along with a slew of patterns, gadgets, notions and tools. Let’s just say it is an incredibly vast array of quilting (and some apparel/craft sewing) stuff.

I went there as the editor of WebCents and to find out what’s coming down the pike so I can promote it to the trade association.  Of course, I had to make new clothes for it, including this Simplicity 1652 dress. It’s the second one I made, so I promise to write up a review soon including how I tweaked it the second time around.20130519-095907.jpg

But check it out… it’s not a black or grey dress. That baby is PUMPKIN. I still can’t believe I’m wearing it (and in fact, I washed it and am wearing it again as I type). I am just not a pumpkin kind of girl, but Andi at work suggested it and I figured why the hell not?! I got some of the new Modern Solids from In The Beginning Fabrics after seeing them on the Pink Chalk Fabrics newsletter. I can happily report that it’s lovely fabric to work with, even for apparel. Kudos.

On Thursday I got a sneak peak at booths while they were setting up. I could smell the sod they were laying down in Heather Bailey‘s booth an aisle before I saw it and when I did I was awed. [Forgive the blurry pics.]HeatherBaileybooth.jpgAnd Moda/United Notions had a stunning curtain of stitched die-cut leaves around their booths. I saw it and vowed to make window curtains for myself like this until I remembered that I’d have to cut them all out by hand. Yeah, nice idea but it’s not gonna happen. 20130517-073729.jpgI ran into Luke Haynes and he filled me in on his amazing light-up jacket. I’m not gonna spill the beans, but you’re going to love it when he shares this one with the world. He’s so creative, it blows my mind.20130519-095927.jpg I loved all the embroidery patterns, especially the over-sized ones. Heather did the huge yarn embroidery and Penguin & Fish had these awesome pillows. How freakin’ cute is that hedgehog? Need it, right? Yes, I do. She’s got a book coming out and while I doubt I’ll get to do much for-fun hand-stitching this year, I’m gonna buy it. It’s too lovely to pass up. 20130519-095952.jpgRashida Coleman-Hale had this awesome kid kimono in her booth. Gorgeous, eh? It’s using her new Koi line with Cloud9 Fabrics and I cannot wait to get some for myself and add it to my stack of Rashida fabrics. 20130519-100017.jpgThen there was THE selvage dress–unbelievable and gorgeous. Jodi of Ric Rac was awesome and still happy to talk about this dress that has been all over the blogosphere and now in Portland. 🙂 20130519-100036.jpgThere was, of course, the after-parties and I made it to a couple. The PMQG and Modern Domestic joined forces and a fantabulous time was had by all. ModDom recently added another space onto the shop, which means more party space and more classroom space, too.

It was a fun conglomeration of folks from around the industry: folks from Threadbias and Craftsy, book publishers, quilt designers, fabric designers, longarm quilters, sewists, bloggers and teachers. 20130519-100109.jpgThere was so much more to see and do and I’ll be sure to throw some more in here and there for you, but I have to save the good fabric pics for work (sorry!).

So after four harried days of prep, dinners, Schoolhouses and Market, I’m done. My feed ache. My back is a mess and I’m overwhelmed by the number of people I met, hugged, exchanged cards with and chatted up. The introvert in me is ready to be back in control any time now.

Have you been to Market before? Worked it? I’d love to hear your take on it. 


There aren’t enough Thank You’s in the world

I can’t even begin to tell you how mind-blowing it has to been to watch my little idea to garner help in making handmade clothes/gifts for our orphan friends in Tam Ky grow incredibly over the past two weeks.

I knew there were folks out there that I knew and admired who would help along the way, but I never expected the outpouring of offers to sew up a bag or dresses or a stack of receiving blankets or sling bags. It’s been amazing and I am incredibly grateful.

We’ve been lucky enough to have some friends from the fabric industry step up and offer to spread the word, which has helped immensely.

Specifically I’d like to thank:

Laurie Wisbrun, a fabric designer I’ve admired for a couple years now. I interviewed her a few weeks ago for an article I was writing for WebCents magazine, then talked briefly of book-writing and sewing clothes. A surprise friendship blossomed and at lightning speed she sewed up a ton of skirts, shorts and pencil bags for my project, then shared it on her blog.

Rashida Colemen-Hale is another fabric designer I adore. She’s a wonderful lady and mother, a woman I just happened to run into a million times at Spring Quilt Market and developed an online friendship with. I got a ton of messages thanks to her posting the Sewing for Orphans project not only on her blog, but on Pinterest as well.

Sewn Studios, a modern fabrics & sewing lounge, shared the word thanks to the suggestion of Rachel Gander, the blogger behind Imagine Gnats. We’ve yet to meet in person (same with Laurie!), but that hasn’t stopped her from supporting my cause or us from becoming friends over Facebook and blogs. God bless the Internet for making new friends.

Which is how I met Kim Niedzwiecki, the whirling dervish behind Go-Go Kim. I first heard of her when I found the cathedral window pincushion tutorial (which I made and gave away in the swap Rachel mentions in her post!). We finally had a quick meeting at the Kona from Robert Kaufman Fabrics‘ booth at Spring Quilt Market and through that and a crazy amount of FB Likes and comments, we’ve become friends of a sort. She was one of the first to post about my project and I’m super grateful.

And an enormous thank you to Shelly Figueroa, who was not only the first person to post it on her blog for me, she was also the first contributor to our Indiegogo campaign. Despite the fact that she lives locally, we hadn’t met in person,ut I had interviewed her, again for work, months before, regarding her fantabulous book Sewing for Boys book (written with Karen LePage). She’s currently raising funds for her sewing studio, so if you inclined, check it out here.

Again and again, I’m awed by the kindness of people. And I am always grateful.

P.S. If you shared the project, can you let me know? I’m trying to keep track of everything so I can link back to y’all. xo!

Oh my. The word is spreading!

First I found this and it made me pretty happy to see folks were re-pinning and posting about my little sewing drive:

Then I got a comment from Trinh saying that she’d found out about the sewing drive thanks to a post on Rashida‘s blog. Rashida? As in I Heart Linen‘s Rashida?  I had to check it out. And sure enough… she did!

Squeal! I cannot thank her (or Shelly or Kim or PMQG) enough!

I am awed, really.

(If you’re new to this project and want to get involved, you can join in on the sewing or donate cash–just email me and let me know!)