In a word, QuiltMarket was I N C R E D I B L E. And look who I got to meet! Those of you who are quilt fabric officionados know Amy Butler, but for those of you who don't let me just say she's like a rock star in the fabric world. Amy was the one who pioneered the transition from basic ho-hum calicos to what the market is today = full of lively, diverse, and exciting colors and prints to create not only gorgeous quilts but garments and purses as well.
Despite all her success and fame, Amy remains astoundingly approachable and genuinely NICE. I couldn't believe how kind and complimentary she was to me and everyone around her, and she didn't seem caught up in herself at all. I was very impressed. What an amazing woman she is! I'm so excited about some of her latest prints coming out - there's one in particular that I can't wait to get my hands on to make things with. Hooray for Amy Butler!
I also got to meet Sandi Henderson, which was very fun - after emailing back and forth a bit over the past few years, it was great to meet her in person. Doesn't she (and her booth) look great? Sandi just finished her first book, Bits and Pieces - a huge congrats to her on that! She's also got a new line in the works that she's super excited about - I can't wait to see it.
And you may recognize Heather Bailey and Laura Gunn (Heather's sister-in-law) in this shot. Heather's another superstar that the fabric world just can't get enough of, and Laura isn't too far behind. Heather didn't have a booth this time, she was here supporting Laura for the debut of Laura's new line of easy-to-sew patterns.
I got a little tongue-tied and bumbled my way through a couple of mini conversations with Heather, but oh well. At least I didn't ask where she lived (see previous post for that story).
Camille Roskelly's booth nearly took my breath away, it was so full of gorgeous quilts from the fabric line that she and her mom work together to design. They also do all the quilt patterns that were in their booth. This photo simply does not do these quilts justice - they were so incredibly light, airy, and cheerful and the handiwork was fantastic.
This photo is terrible, but I had to show it to you anyway. I really loved this quilt, not only because of the adorable images and my favorite colors, but because of the fabulous quilting job the artisan did. It's hard to tell from this picture, but it really was an amazing, traffic-stopping quilt. I hope I'm right in saying that it was in the Chitter Chatter booth, which sells quilt patterns. Just lovely, lovely work.
I'm kicking myself for not taking more photos of people's quilts while I was there. I think I was so busy just taking it all in that I forgot about taking pictures. It was seriously a sensory overload walking through the enormous number of booths at QuiltMarket. There were so many jaw-dropping exhibits and incredibly gorgeous quilts on display that I got a bit overwhelmed and didn't end up taking pictures of much of anything. Bummer! Next time, next time.
Here's my new friend Emily Taylor of Riley Blake Designs (yes, I cut myself out of this picture - I happened to look ridiculous in that one). She and I spent quite a bit of time strolling down the aisles together on Friday, which was lots of fun. We discovered that we have very, very similar taste in regards to what we do and don't like - we kept on pointing to the same things and even said the same things in unison (jinx-pickle!) a couple of times, which was hilarious.
Emily designed the fabrics you see behind her and in the darling skirt she's wearing - isn't it great? I love the lanyard she has too - it was made by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish (Herring? Fish? Get it? Love the name!)
If you're a quilting junkie and haven't heard of Riley Blake yet, you soon will - they're rising fast and it's no wonder. The fabrics they print are fresh and contemporary with just the right amount of whimsy. Their booth at Market was so great - but of course I don't have a single picture of it. Ack.
Here are Anne (Maxfield) and Valorie (Pillow) of Pillow and Maxfield showing their new line for Michael Miller called Pretty Bird, and pretty it is! Love those birdhouses. I had such a wonderful time talking with those two ladies, they were so sweet and such fun to talk to. I monopolized their time for quite awhile as I showed them my portfolio and they gave me helpful hints and insights into the business, which I really appreciated. Yet another example of the incredibly approachable and kind people I had the opportunity to meet at QuiltMarket. Everyone was so nice and happy to help - it was an absolutely fabulous experience all the way around. Quilters are awesome.
I also got to meet Joel Dewberry, another super, super nice and very talented designer, who took a lot of time to look at my portfolio and gave me some great feedback (thanks, Joel!) but I don't have a photo of him. Or Lizzy House, whose upcoming line Castle Peeps is simply awesome and looks fantastic in the quilts she made for the occasion. Lizzy and I have been emailing here and there for a couple of years now, and it was so fun to meet her in person. That girl is a riot! She taught a class on Thursday and it was completely packed, with people stuck outside because they just couldn't fit in the door. Her sense of humor made everyone roll with laughter. Go Lizzy, go!
So how did my portfolio review go, you ask? Well, on the whole it was received pretty well and I have several promising prospects to pursue in the next month or so...I'll keep you posted!
And last, but certainly not least, are the 3 very awesome ladies who made my trip to QuiltMarket possible. We had such a fun time together!
Karen, Trisch, and Carol are going to be starting up a quilt store in Springfield VA in the fall called Quilters Retreat so this was the first QuiltMarket any of us had been to.
As you can see, they like their little hand-held communication devices very much. I was making fun of them for how engrossed they were in texting or whatever else they were doing right before the plane took off on our way to Minneapolis. They were telling me I need to get on the bandwagon and get a phone that they can text me on. I've never texted in my life, isn't that pathetic? I'm simply not a phone person, and since I don't have teenagers to keep track of yet, I see no need to engage in such things.
I was proud of Karen and Carol on the way home from QuiltMarket - look, no phones! They were working on the newly-learned technique for making rag rugs instead of being engrossed in digital communication.
Thanks, ladies, for all the good times, long talks, and happy memories! I admire you all so much, and really appreciate you giving me the chance to come along for the ride. It was just what I needed and I had an absolute blast.
I did miss my kids a lot, though, and especially at first I was always glancing around in a bit of a panic, thinking, "Where's Hazel? She's disappeared again!" Hazel is almost always with me, and it felt very strange not to be keeping track of where she is at every given moment.
Although it was a wonderful and much-needed break to go on this trip, I was looking forward to seeing my kiddos again and snuggling with them as I tucked them into bed at night. I shouldn't have worried about how Steve was going to handle being on his own with all the kids for so long - he did a great job and even had the house clean and the kids all bathed by the time I came home Saturday night! I was very impressed - gee, I should do this more often!