Houston Quilt Market Report

I’m back from Quilt Market in Houston, and what a wild ride it was! Kimberly and I had a great time traveling and rooming together, with much laughter and fun, even during the rotten flight over. The flight on Lufthansa was just plain painful, and not nearly as nice or comfortable as the one to Des Moines on Northwest. The only thing that made the flight to Houston even sort of okay was this:

Lufthansa freebies

Lufthansa serves either Cognac or Bailey’s Irish Cream after the main meal during the flight, and it truly was the only good part aside from good company!

meerkatThe best part: watching Kimberly perk up like a curious meerkat when the cart with the Bailey’s came into view! 😉 She’s just so funny! The main meal on the flight was some weird pasta thing that was barely even passable as “food” in my book, and my thought was “This is really not very good, is it?”, but Kimberly, being the “glass is half full” person that she is, says “Boy, we’re really going to enjoy dinner tonight!” 😀 We kept each other laughing.

I can’t begin to tell you about all of the new things I saw (and in some cases, bought!), but I’ll try to touch on some of the “new and notable” highlights, things I thought were just plain cool and other fun happenings.

Everything in the quilting world is “foody” right now. Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and new Sweet Rolls (like Jelly Rolls but with 1 1/2″ strips) and Turnovers (5″ x 5″ stacks of fabric like charm packs, cut diagonally into a turnover shape) from Moda. It’s not just Moda with the food thing either; the other manufacturers are on that bandwagon too, I just can’t remember the names of all the other foody things I saw. I visited the Moda Bake Shop, and ordered charm packs for the DreamWeaver’s Quilts Studio (eeek! I actually ordered stuff for my online shop, which was a little scary!). The Moda rep gave me the most adorable little box with two teeny tiny “Sweet Roll” fabric rolls, each about 2″ across. I think they’re just too cute to use!

Mini Sweet Rolls from Moda

I played cards with Ricky Tims and won the deck, including his autograph:

Ricky Tims Playing Cards

Hmmm. Maybe pictures of my quilts will be on a pack of playing cards one day, but I’m not sure I want my face on the Joker cards. As for other celebs, I did see the winner of Season One of Project Runway, Jay McCarroll (though because I don’t watch TV at all, I’m clueless and I didn’t even know who he was until I read Kimberly’s blog just now. I do remember seeing his hair at the show though! ;)), but I missed seeing Marie Osmond at the show by two minutes. C’est la Vie!

And one other notable celeb sighting: Kimberly invited me to accompany her to the Robert Kaufman reception on Saturday evening (which was very nice) where I met Mark Lipinski, who is just as real in person as he is in the pages of Quilter’s Home magazine. Of course I couldn’t come up with a witty response (or any response at all for that matter) when he said “I know your name! Why do I know your name??” I can’t imagine why Mark Lipinski thinks he knows who I am. Not a clue. Who knows? Maybe I’m an “It Girl” and I don’t even know it.

I bought lots of embellishments; beads, fibers, hand dyed floss, threads, micro beads. You name it, it was there at Quilt Market, and I sampled heavily for both the book and the DWQ Studio. I viewed new fabrics from Hoffman, RJR and Robert Kaufman Fabrics, with an eye toward including some of the newest fabrics in my book, and let me tell you, the newest fabric lines are awesome! The batiks in particular from Hoffman and Robert Kaufman are really wonderful! I also met the folks who should probably be held responsible for my bead addiction, Edward and Ruthmarie Hofmann, creators of Hofmann Originals Bead Mixes. I brought home some of the newest additions to their Bead Soup Starter lineup, and a few totally new, limited edition mixes called Soup du Jour. See, more of that foody stuff, yummy!

Here are some of the other goodies I brought back with me:

Houston goodies

Notable faves: Hot Ribbon Art fusible ribbon (bottom center), Valdani 3-strand hand-dyed floss (top left), Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 software (bottom left), Diva Cord Maker (top center), Yazzi organizer tote (top right).

I picked up so much stuff, including a small mountain of literature from many different companies, that it almost didn’t all fit in the suitcases to get it home. I’ll get to play with some of it while I work on my book, but a lot of what I was after at Quilt Market was for the DWQ Studio, and I have to put that on the back burner for a month or two. In fact, I have to put everything on the back burner for a month or two, and work on nothing but the book, so I can get the manuscript done asap. I hope to have it done and to the publisher by mid-January at the latest, so if things are a bit quiet here until then, that’s why. I’m just going to have to ask forgiveness ahead of time for being too busy to write much here! Exciting times ahead!

Epic, yet small

I’m beginning to get past some of the confusion and uncertainty of direction on my current project, which I’ve dubbed Epic Insanity Elemental Changes as a working title. I settled down to really play with some of the fabrics I sorted the other day, and I have these to show for it the last few days (click for a bigger pic):

Deep Water Inchies

I really love making Inchies! I’m afraid I’ve become completely addicted to these lilliputian works of art, which is a very good thing, since my big plan for this project calls for no less than 510 of the little suckers. 😮 And this project comes with a show deadline attached too: October 1, 2008! 16 down, 494 to go!

Needless to say, there will be Inchies on the brain and in the blog for some time to come. I’ve been digging through tubs and boxes of embellishments that I’ve stashed away over the years, and cruising the Arts & Crafts shop for anything new, unusual, and usable in such a small scale. Three of my favorite finds: Artistic Wire colored copper wire, Robin’s Nest Dew Drops, and Hoffmann Originals Bead Gravy.

Wire, Dewdrops, Bead GravyThe wire is great (as any of you who do scrapbooking surely know already), because it’s easy to shape into swirls, zig-zags, hearts, even a treble clef! The treble clef was ITMan’s idea, believe it or not!

The Dew Drops were also a scrap booking department find, and I love them as well. These little flat-backed, domed plastic bits are appropriately named, and are the perfect size for Inchies. I do still have to hunt up a more effective glue to attach them, something that will permanently adhere them to the fabric, but dries clear so the fabric can still show through the Dew Drops.

Bead Gravy comes in small packages of many assorted glass beads in coordinating colors, so you get a lot of variety without breaking the bank. I’ve been filling in the color gaps in my bead stash with these little packs of seed beads, bugles and small cubes that are the perfect size for Inchies.

I have 20 more Inchies in similar colors to the ones above sitting on the table ready to embellish, so I’ll be spending the day on them while the kids have some Dad time! If you know of an adhesive that might fit the bill for the Dew Drops, “dew” let me know! 😉 Happy Quilting on this lovely Sunday!