Big! Big prints, big patterns, big quilts. That’s what hit me when I walked inside the exhibit hall at the International Quilt Market trade show held in Pittsburgh last week. Beautiful floral fabrics were everywhere, in bigger prints than I’ve ever seen before. And what better way to show off those gorgeous fabrics than big-block patterns! Almost every booth I visited displayed large-scale patterns showing off those colorful floral prints.
If you are a tote bag lover like me, you would have been in heaven. Beautiful tote bag patterns were everywhere. One that caught my eye was made with separating zippers on both sides. But when you opened it up and flattened it out, it turned into a picnic mat, complete with pockets for your knife and fork. Very clever!
Did I mention the silks? Dupioni and silk taffeta in every color imaginable abounded. Had I not seen the actual quilts made with these luscious fabrics, I would not have believed it possible. So, yes, I had to buy some. (Be sure to read Della Quimby's article on sewing with silk in the next issue of American Quilter magazine.) But to me, the piece de resistance was the hand-dyed wool. I salivated over beautiful mottled reds, purples, blues, oranges, and greens. One exhibitor had made up spectacular display pieces - pillows, throws, and table runners.
As you can tell, the spring market weekend was a terrific experience. There was so much to see, so many wonderful people to meet, and so many opportunities for learning. Virginia Robertson of http://www.virginiarobertsondesigns.com/ and I had a nice discussion about patterns and quiIting trends (that's Virginia on the left and me on the right in the photo). Then I discovered some really neat ways to use foil and fusible thread. And the Flip Flop Block Template by Kathie Alyce of Waterfall Quilts created some very interesting quilt designs. I bought one and can’t wait to try it. Upon chatting in the booth with Kathie, the friendly and energetic creator of the Flip Flop template, I learned she’ll be publishing an AQS book soon featuring 12 clever new ways to design quilts using the template. Be sure to visit the AQS Web site and publishing blog for updates on this book - you won't want to miss it!Submitted by Vivian Benton, contributing editor for American Quilter magazine