my market moments :: Okan Arts
my market moments

my market moments


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.
I also met Jessica Swift, a fresh face from Portland, at Art Gallery Fabrics. I love her new line, Tallinn, and the fun dolls her mother made to promote her fabric collection.
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.

leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 comments to “my market moments”

  1. Katrine Eagling says:

    Patricia, How exciting for you to have your own booth at Houston. Wish I could attend tomorrow, but alas I have doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day, so can’t make the trek up to La Conner. Kae

  2. Renee Atkinson says:

    What a wonderful time!!! Thanks for sharing your fabulous moments! Yoko Saito! the Tripletts, the fabric! the quilts!! Sensory overload?

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Renee—You may have come up with the reason that I was exhausted at the end of each day here: sensory overload! It is non-stop excitement to see everything and everyone. Best, PB

  3. Mary DeRay says:

    Loved your photos and blog on Houston. Have never been there YET, one day I hope to. We met Yoko Saito at the Tokyo show and visited her shop also. Came home with a stash of her textured fabrics. Congrats on your book!

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Mary—Well you have made it to the other major quilt show in the world. I haven’t made it to Saito sensei’s shop yet so good for you! Best, PB

  4. Janet Wright says:

    What a great experience for you!!! I am saving up to go to Houston next year. Some local quilters have worked on an exhibit that they hope will be accepted next year–The 1876 Quilt. It took the group 18 months to complete.
    Looking forward to May in LaConner with you.

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Janet—How cool if your group’s 1876 quilts are included in a special exhibition next year. They are definitely worthy of showing to the whole quilting world! PB

  5. Georgia says:

    Thanks for posting these pictures of Quilt Market so we can all “attend.” Congratulations on your new book.

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Thanks Georgia. I understand it wasn’t until quite recently that Quilts Inc. allowed bloggers in the media pool. PB

  6. kathy doughty says:

    So fun to have a chat and a good look at your new and interesting new book! Congratulations!

  7. Lori korell says:

    Such a awesome booth…I’m retired and hoping to get these next year ,
    ,

  8. pamela Hastings says:

    I LOVE Quilt Market…taught there a couple of different years and brought home SO Much great stuff!

  9. Giuliana Nakashima says:

    As always enjoy your posts. I’m swooning after falling down the rabbit hole looking at all the fabrics. I have a few of Cheryl of Pardiso’s patterns and you are absolutely right; Japanese fabric would be an incredible choice. See you in December with my shopping bag empty 😉 and again thanks for sharing. Giuliana

  10. Brenda says:

    I can no longer travel across the pond. It was so good to read of your time at quilt market. Very envious of seeing all those beautiful fabrics (and touching them). Would love to see what Kaffe is up to now. Have met him couple of times in the UK.

follow okan arts

Receive a monthly email with info about quilting leaders, learning experiences, giveaways and sales.