quilt market peeps

quilt market peeps

By Patricia Belyea

PORTLAND OR  It was easy to get to Spring Quilt Market this year—just three hours down the road to Portland. I met up with personalities and pals to learn what's new in the quilting industry. Here are some of the people I caught up with as I tootled around the expansive show floor.

Enthusiastic designer Pat Bravo talked with me about her passion for color and showed me her original creations for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I chatted with hand-stitching guru Sue Spargo of Sue Spargo Folk Art Quilts. Not only is Sue adored by her legions of followers, she is loved and supported by her own squad of adult children. What a blessed woman!

Joe Langman showed me a book that’s hot off the presses at Schiffer Publishing. Think lemonade and Southern Quilts as the perfect combo to while away a sunny afternoon this summer.

Valori Wells was not in her award-winning booth which showcased her 40th fabric collection, Marmalade Dreams. Instead I met up with her renowned mother, Jean Wells, and admired Valori’s bohemian style.

Look who I bumped into—my neighbor, Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade! Blair was also taking advantage of the close proximity of this year’s Spring Quilt Market to connect with industry folks.

Veronica Salazar of Clover Needlecraft smiled as I once again let her know that Clover’s fine patchwork pins are my fav for curved piecing.

Laura Jaquinto, one of the style leaders at Windham Fabrics, warmly welcomed me to my first Quilt Market in May 2010. It’s always a pleasure to see Laura.

Finally I met Marcia Derse, a creative force with her eclectic designs. Marcia exhibited her new collection for Windham Fabrics, Art History 101. I also learned that Marcia shares a retail space on Whidbey Island with my friend, Peggy Juve.

The lovely Melody Miller was manning the Cotton + Steel booth when I dropped by. Her responses about what's next for the creative team that built the Cotton + Steel brand were minimal yet I sensed a quiet determination from this leading-edge designer.

Can you catch the mischievous look in the eyes of Tina Hilton, the luminary behind Turtle Hand Batik? Here's a woman who's committed to fair trade with her Malaysian batik and hand-dye artists, but who’s also full of spunk!

Designer and company president Jason Yenter of In The Beginning Fabrics introduced his newest fabric collection, Calypso, with a dreamy watercolor undersea world.

It was great to see the brilliant Robin Long of Robin Ruth Design with her revolutionary rulers that enable quilters to make strip-pieced mariner's compasses. What a breakthrough—no paper piecing needed to sew together those tricky blocks!

The booth for Mary Koval Antique Quilts was full of fans. Who doesn’t appreciate venerable quilts and the engaging Mary Koval?

Elena Gregotti, the belle of Italian Aurifil Threads, joined her team in Portland to present a private label thread program and a bevy of new products.

The celebrated Tula Pink hammed it up for the paparazzi who swarmed her booth. For this event, she displayed her new FreeSpirit collection, Zuma.

A big smile from designer Brigitte Heitland beguiled me into striking up a conversation. I discovered that she traveled from Germany to attend Spring Quilt Market! Her low-volume Zen Chic fabric collections for Moda play nicely in modern quilt designs.

Crossing paths with Breanna Farner of Quiltfolk reminded me that I wanted to subscribe to this appealing quarterly magazine. So Breanna signed me right up!

Just before I left, I checked in with Pati Violick of Studio 37, a brand of Marcus Fabrics. Studio 37 has been a great partner for the Okan Arts monthly giveaways—for which I am truly thankful.

My whirlwind trip to Portland reminded me of how much I appreciate the people and companies that contribute to our vibrant quilt industry. From the tiniest appliqué pins to the freshest fabric collections to the largest longarm machines, inspirations and innovations abounded.


You may also like

summer fun: koinobori
summer fun: koinobori
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA Koinobori decorate the landscape of Japan from April to early May, culminating in the ...
Read More
my one-yard challenge
my one-yard challenge
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I challenged myself to make a baby quilt using just one yard of yukata cotton and sti...
Read More
four garden quilts
four garden quilts
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  On April 13, Jane Sassaman wrote this Instagram post: I have put together a few texti...
Read More
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
By Joe Cunningham SAN FRANCISCO  When I started making quilts 40 years ago I learned that there were certain tech...
Read More
allie aller: the happy quilter
allie aller: the happy quilter
Editor Note: I asked Allison Aller what makes her happy. Allie had lots to say about this topic! PB By Allison Aller,...
Read More
iron talk
iron talk
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Last week my iron gushed all over a quilt project. The good news—it wasn’t rusty wate...
Read More


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


10 comments


  • bluebearquilts
    I enjoyed this article. Thanks for sharing your market experience with us.

  • Breanna from Quiltfolk
    Thank you for the feature! So glad we got to chat, and that you had a good time at Market! Happy Reading!

  • Susan Mayer
    I attended market as well. Great fun and wonderful new designs. This was a great way to see again and be inspired!

  • Martha Wacker
    I almost felt like I was there with you! Thanks for taking the time to send this email full of interesting links and ideas❤

  • Wendy Welsh
    Well thank you! That was a great virtual tour around Quilt Market. You’ve reported on people I never saw mentioned on Instagram.

  • Janet Schayer
    You’re the best….I,m always inspired by your posts

  • David Owen Hastings
    Wonderful! Thanks for taking me along with you to Quilt Market in Portland!

  • maryFrances Painter
    Always enjoy your commentary & photos; this was really full of great notes, thanks,

  • Leotie Richards
    Loved the photo essay for the Quilt Market. Thanks for the overview!

  • Janet Wright
    Fabulous inspiration! so many creative souls in the industry.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published