Spring Quilt Market 2012 Trend Report

on May 22, 2012 in Quilt Market | 600 comments

Spring Quilt Market 2012 has come and gone. The largest wholesale trade show in the quilting industry is held twice each year. Spring Market rotates between 5 different regional locations: Kansas City, Portland, Pittsburg, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Fall Market is always held in Houston.

Quilt Market is different things to different people. As a shop owner I’m focused on assessing trends, clearing my head, and using my social time to network with other shop owners, vendors and designers. 4 days away from the bustle of running a business gave me time to think strategically. I always return rejuvenated. This market left my head spinning with new ideas!

Here’s my take on Quilt Market Spring 2012:

– Relatively new designers releasing their 3rd or 4th fabric collections have really hit their stride. There seems to be a comfort level with who they are that translates into confident designs. Collections appear original, polished and well-curated.

– Blogging is most definitely a gateway to entering the business. I made note of lots of pattern designers, fabric designers and shop owners that started their journey via that first lonely blog post. The online world has opened up the market in a way that is positive for every person in this industry. No need to be an insider. Just create, share your gifts with the world, and take flight!

– The speed at which the industry is growing and changing is mind boggling.

– Social media has left everyone wondering how to do it all and where best to put one’s energy.

– Color, Color and Color!

– Veterans in the industry are extremely gracious, humble and genuinely nice people. In addition to talent, it’s clear that being grateful for and respectful of your customers is a ticket to success. I waited 3 deep in line to talk to Amy Butler. She talked with each person one at a time in a relaxed, non-hurried way. Engaging them in a lovely conversation that was a delight to eavesdrop on. It was clear that the opportunity to talk with her was a special experience for each us. I just have so much respect for that and it makes me admire Amy more than ever!

– Cloud9 Fabrics took orders for their debut of organic canvas. Yay!

– Moda announced two new pre-cuts:

  • Candy – 2 1/2 inch squares in a pack of 42
  • Junior Jelly Rolls – 21 strips in a pack vs. the traditional 42
– The Kansas City/St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild Meet Up needed a bigger boat. The day of the party things got switched to a large ballroom. Holy Moly, what a turn out! Modern quilting (however you define it) is alive and growing. A very passionate group!

– Customers shopping in the internet age still value service. Yay for the thoughtful, passionate, conscientious shop owner (both online and bricks & mortar). She is appreciated and will thrive!

– The retail climate is healthy. Shops seem to be spending again and focusing on strategies to grow and thrive vs. just survive. Positivity swirled around the convention center.


I have some super fabulous items of market loot to share (plus a few carry overs from Fall 2011, oops on that one!).

Leave a comment telling me what you think the market trends are. I’ll pick winners next Monday. Giveaway is open worldwide!


  • The complete set of new pattern releases from Serendipity Studio including The Bebe Dress, The Sally Shirtdress, Artful Bags & Accessories, and Fashion Formula Dresses – a HUGE thanks to Kay Whitt who generously provided these! (patterns coming soon to the shop)
  • Modern Quilts Illustrated #1 and #2 from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr at the Modern Quilt Studio.
  • Chateau Rouge by French General – 2 1/2 inch Candy squares
  • Mini 2 1/2 square pack of all 28 new Kona Cotton Solid colors! (we’ll be getting all 28 when they ship in June)
Vendor booty:
  • Moda Apron featuring the canvas text print from the upcoming Odds & Ends collection by Julie Comstock
  • Moda tote featuring the canvas tape measure print
  • Moda linen tote printed with the quote  ‘As Usual, Unusual’
  • City Scenes by Jane Dixon promotional tote from Andover Fabrics
  • Eco Messenger Bag featuring the Triangle Jubilee Quilt from Deploy that Fabric by Jen Eskridge for Stash Books

ps In the top photo, I’m standing in front of my Modern Cross quilt from the new book We Love Color. Pretty exciting. Will be back later to talk more about that. Visit our Flickr page to view all 227 photos I took at market. I’ve also pinned some of my favorite images on Pinterest.