By Patricia Belyea
HOUSTON TX Everyone experiences Fall Quilt Market differently. For me, I saw the whole event through the eyes of a Fall Market neophyte and a busy new author. I had a full schedule with a Schoolhouse session, a class, book signings, and demos.
Being a featured guest in a booth and having quilt shop owners visit was the best. I met gals from Fairbanks to Dubai to Wellington. I can say that the world came to me! What a lovely and dedicated group of quilt enthusiasts.
My main hangouts were Aurifil (I used their No. 50 cotton thread to piece and stitch-in-the-ditch the projects in East-Meets-West Quilts), Hobbs Batting (their Natural Cotton with Scrim batting was my choice for all the quilts in my book), and EE Schenck (the Northwest distributor of my books).
During my minimal cruising around the show floor, I met up with some old and new friends. Here's Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession in Australia with her current fabric collection, Horizons, produced by Free Spirit. Kathy has visited Okan Arts in Seattle and used some vintage yukata cottons in her eclectic projects!
My buddy Bari J was presenting her joyful floral line, Wild Blooms, with Art Gallery Fabrics. I thank Bari J every time I see her for being so kind to me when I attended Spring Market 2010. I was there showing major manufacturers my early ideas for fabric collections. Nothing came of my efforts but Bari J was so helpful and generous that my gain was a friend in the industry.
What a surprise to see Cheryl Kuczek of Paradiso Patterns in Houston! We only live 5 minutes away from one another in Seattle. Cheryl creates bag and clothing patterns.
One of her shoulder bags would look great in vintage kimono wool so Cheryl has promised to make a sample for my Book Release Party and Holiday SALE on December 2. (I hope you can come!)
Look at the African fabric that Wendy Dufour of French Connections was leaning on! Those bold colors and outrageous patterns made my heart swoon!
Famed Kaffe Fassett, now with Free Spirit, has a good trick for avoiding all the hubbub around him at public events. He keeps his head down and does needlework. I unabashedly sat down and chatted with Kaffe, and also got him to look up!
I was honored to attend two special evening events at Market. The first, hosted by Lecien from Osaka, featured world-renowned quilter, teacher, and designer Yoko Saito. Here is a fan photo of me flanked with Saito sensei (R) and her assistant of 32 years, Funamoto san (L).
The next night, Aurifil USA celebrated its tenth anniversary with all of the Italian family attending. Shown here is founder Elena Gregotti with her 80-year old father reviewing a commemorative quilt made by select quilting luminaries. Food, frivolity and dancing were all under blue lights—the company color.
Fall Quilt Market was not complete without the HUGE quilt show. The judged show, as always, was presented by International Quilt Association. In addition, there were lots of special exhibits with exciting innovative works and accomplished traditional masterpieces. The retrospective of Yoko Saito’s work, My Quilt Journey, was stunning.
I had my breath taken away by the pure simplicity of an exhibit titled Pioneer Quilts—presented by the Triplett sisters, Kay (L) and Lori Lee (R). The sisters own and share the Poos Collection—a collection of historic quilts. This past summer C&T published Pioneer Quilts, by Kay and Lori Lee, with instructions for making five of the antique quilt designs.
Lastly, the most important person for me at Fall Market was Annie Green at the Package counter. As an itinerant author with no booth on the show floor, Annie checked and unchecked my rolling luggage and satchels throughout each day. I can still hear her encouraging voice as I left Annie with my suitcase yet another time, "I got you, Baby."
What a wonderful introduction to Fall Quilt Market. If I get the opportunity to return, I know it will be a completely different experience! I look forward to that, too.