Fall Quilt Market 2013 Trend Report

on Oct 31, 2013 in Quilt Market | 302 comments

Fall Quilt Market 2013 was held last weekend in Houston, Texas. This open-to-the-trade wholesale show takes place twice per year. Houston hosts the Fall show which is then followed by Quilt Festival (open to the public). Each May, the Spring show rotates between 5 cities located across the US making it more accessible to quilt shop owners in different regions of the country.

I attend the show to keep current on market trends, network with other shop owners, and breathe! It’s so easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day operations of the shop that I forget to do all three. As a bit of an introvert, it seems odd that traveling to a large industry show would give me the solace I need to think but it works. I’m topped-off with enthusiasm, ideas are swirling, and I’m feeling centered and balanced. All these things fuel my effectiveness as a small business owner.

Based on a feeling I got from everything I saw and what I’ve been turning over in my brain for the last several days, following are my three big take aways from market:

1. The Word Modern

At last year’s Fall Market, vendors appeared to be incorporating the word ‘Modern’ into their product labeling everywhere I turned. To the point I had no idea what meaning the word held anymore. Since the tag line for Pink Chalk Fabrics is ‘cloth, pattern + tool for the modern sewist’ I’ve always had a few opinions about this topic!

When I started the shop 5 1/2 years ago my use of the word ‘Modern’ related to attitude over aesthetic. An attitude of fearless experimentation, pushing boundaries, redefining what it means to sew, personal expression through our work, and defining for ourselves what we like and how we go about making it. A passion for individualism and unique creative endeavor.

This is not to say I’m the only person that has an appropriate definition of the term. Exactly opposite. Other uses of the term Modern within the quilting and sewing world embody the idea and further expand and define it. I’m going to refrain from shouting out my opinion with examples on this point because it ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. There is no single way to define the word and no one owns it. I do think I can spot a good use when I see it and vice versa, when it’s maybe a stretch and used for marketing rather than to genuinely express a point of view.

Well, I’m here to report, that I observed an almost overnight cessation of the practice of plastering Modern on anything and everything. I saw some amazingly great new things that were tagged ‘Modern’ and that gave me hope that the movement in its truest form will continue on. It will evolve, grow, progress, and become what it will. Just as we do as sewists.

2. Market Innovation

I have about a gazillion experiences on why this theme emerged for me. I’ll try to convey it in words:

From the heart. I attended a class entitled The Success of Passion. The panel included Jo Packham creator of Where Women Create, Kaari Meng of French General, Nancy Soriano, and Eileen Hall. Each shared their story of creating a business and making a living through their creative passion. Incredibly inspiring. It reminded me that I have gifts and, equally important, choices on how I use those gifts. Often times it’s a wild ride of intuition, doing the next right thing, and nurturing our creative vision through persistence, hard work, and perseverance. And, of course, a few lucky breaks sprinkled in along the way to keep the faith. Innovation comes when we combine courage, faith and action.

Kaari Meng recommended two books both by Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit and The Collaborative Habit.

In action. Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight, and Sarah Watts teamed with RJR to launch Cotton + Steel, a new division of RJR Fabrics. Fresh, innovative, brave. Watch the video for the story.

Simple, practical, perfect. Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids, 75 modern solid essentials hand-picked by Denyse Schmidt from the Free Spirit Fabrics Designer Solids collection. Pre-cuts and bundles will be available in 2014. This was an announcement, no specific dates on when they’ll ship. I can’t even order yet.

Community. Every time I turned around I was having a conversation with someone about a retreat, a class, an online sew-along, a guild event, you name it, it is being planned, organized and executed by quilters and sewists all over the world. It’s about bringing us together to share our passion. Do good works. Connect as individuals. Positivity through creativity. Cristy Fincher was handing out buttons she made that carried the message ‘Quilting Matters’. It truly does.

3. Slower, Fewer, Better

Whew. It was getting to be a little crazy there for awhile. So many new collections being released in rapid fire. Multiple collections from the same designer in a single year. I literally have not been able to keep up. Uncle! Well, I think the manufacturers got a little tired trying to set that pace. I observed a marked reduction in the number of collections I was being shown and in the number of designs in each collection. Thank goodness! I saw many well curated, thoughtfully produced collections. Let’s hope this trend has legs!

Now of course, there’s also a lot of cool stuff to highlight. Fun new products coming soon:

1. Moda Slice. Delicious 10″ triangles. A layer cake cut in half diagonally. Some of the collections will be available in this pre-cut. I was most excited about this Make a Splash set that contains 48 10″ triangles of 12 assorted Bella Solids. Quilt pattern included.

2. Modern Quilt Relish. Two new quilt patterns, Torte and Cutlery. Cutlery features 12 Solid FQs for the throw size.

3. Carolyn Friedlander. Botanics, her latest collection for Robert Kaufman fabrics was the talk of the town! Fabulous samples and presentation. New patterns too including one with a center medallion applique design. (pattern coming soon to the shop)

4. Monaluna Knits. Jennifer Moore is both a talented designer and organic fabric manufacturer. Exciting to see the addition of knits.

5. Lizzy House Cat Nap. One of my favorite collections from market. Also one of my favorite people along with her extremely talented and lovely mom Cherri House who I got to see too.

6. Modern Solids II by Alissa Haight Carlton for In The Beginning Fabrics. Modern Solids from ITBF is my favorite new basic in 2013. The addition of these brights designed by Alissa push my LOVE over the top. Yahoo!

7. Sew Serendipity The Jordan Jacket. Totally caught my eye. Totally want to make it. Kay Whitt’s fabric selection and workmanship always impresses! (pattern coming soon to the shop)

8. The Color Call by Modern Quilt Studio. A set of 30 tone-on-tone basics spanning the color wheel by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle. Supports the value techniques they teach in their patterns. Innovative – taking things to another creative level.

9. Bella Duster. New pattern from Amy Butler. (pattern coming soon to the shop)

***

See full gallery of pictures on our Pinterest Fall 2013 Quilt Market Board.

***

Are you still with me? I brought back a couple of goodies for giveaway (really good stuff!):

  • A signed copy of 1-2-3 Quilt by Ellen Luckett Baker!
  • Make a Splash Slice Stack from Moda (used to make the anchor quilt above)
  • Botanics 2 1/2″ charm pack by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

Leave a comment sharing what you think is most exciting about the trends coming out of Fall Quilt Market 2013.

Thanks for being a part of this community and sharing my creative journey. I love you all. xoxo Kathy

    302 Comments

  1. I can’t wait for Botanics. I really like her style if fabric.

    View Comment
    Karen E

    November 1, 2013

  2. I love that the focus seems to be shifting to simple substance again

    View Comment
    becky

    November 1, 2013

  3. I am super excited to see more knits! I have tried a couple of patterns from Octobre magazine and love working with knits!

    View Comment
    Dena Shepherd

    November 1, 2013

  4. I am soooo glad to hear a potential slowdown in the number of collections hopefully for the next year! I have many favorite fabric designers and that glimmer gives me hope!
    Thanks for sharing your view of Houston!

    View Comment
    Jan

    November 1, 2013

  5. The colors and designs work so well for quilting and apparel. I am anxious to begin my fabric journey.

    View Comment
    Barbara Jordan

    November 1, 2013

  6. the color call sounds interesting

    View Comment
    Teddi Munslow

    November 1, 2013

  7. What excited me the most was the Monaluna Organic fabrics. The fabrics have really eye catching designs and the styles are classic, which is a great combination.

    View Comment
    Nanette

    November 1, 2013

  8. Love to hear that Weeks & Ringle are coming out with more fabric lines and are continuing their magazine. Thank you also for your well written report — so interesting topic about the word modern.

    View Comment
    Lonnie

    November 1, 2013

  9. Thank you so much for this terrific post. You made me feel like I was actually at market. So many of your points are what I’ve been seeing coming out and I so agree with all of them. I too really appreciate that there is less but much nicer fabric lines being released. I too was getting really overwhelmed with all that was coming out in recent years.

    View Comment
    Michele

    November 2, 2013

  10. Delighted with all your pictures and thoughts on and about quilt market. Modern – I’m loving it!

    View Comment
    Marty Mason

    November 2, 2013

  11. What a great review – thanks! Looking forward to Botanics and am also interested in The Color Call by Modern Quilt Basics.

    View Comment
    Diane

    November 2, 2013

  12. I absolutely adore the richly detailed and saturated colors of many of the new fabrics. Can’t wait to get my hands on them!

    View Comment
    Kathryn

    November 2, 2013

  13. Love the trend in seeing the solids in a bundle. I’ll be stalking the Denyse Schmidt solids!

    View Comment
    Shari

    November 2, 2013

  14. I love collections that are carefully curated. And in the last few seasons we have seen that more isn’t necessarily better. And I am smitten with adding a random block or two with solids in most of my quilts now so it’s lovely to see all the new lines of solids.

    View Comment
    Mary Ann

    November 2, 2013

  15. I must admit, I miss the photos of the wonderful projects you used to share on your blog a few years ago. (I know I can check the “toot your horn” for project photos, too.) But now I see that you are still sharing your projects; the projects are no longer table runners, they are aspects of your business. Congratulations on all of the learning and growing that you are creating in your life! You still inspire me!

    View Comment
    char

    November 2, 2013

  16. Love the bundles of solids, see a new quilt in my future

    View Comment
    Diana

    November 2, 2013

  17. I was do thrilled to see booths at Festival full of modern fabrics, books, and fabrics. Do exciting. Can’t wait to get home and get started.

    View Comment
    Sharon Coleman

    November 2, 2013

  18. the cotton and steel fabric line! I love those designers!!

    View Comment
    Nicole

    November 2, 2013

  19. Simply put… The beautiful colors… Where to start???

    View Comment
    Julie Kaufmann

    November 2, 2013

  20. Thanks for the fun re-cap of market. Lots of
    fun new things coming soon. Also, thanks for a chance to win some of your goodies.

    View Comment
    Jan Richards

    November 2, 2013

  21. Carolyn Friedlander’s booth and samples were inspiring. Looking forward to seeing her Botanic collection and her new patterns.

    View Comment
    Marla

    November 2, 2013

  22. I see solids used in many ways and am excited to try a projects with solids. Thanks for the report and inspiration.

    View Comment
    Beth B

    November 2, 2013

  23. It like a lot of brighter colors. And I love the new bright solids also.

    View Comment
    Patty

    November 2, 2013

  24. What a great recap. As for what I’m most excited about? It’s always about the fabric. I love seeing all the new lines and where it’s all headed in the coming months.

    View Comment
    Connie H.

    November 2, 2013

  25. Botanics and The Color Call sound as if they might be VERY appealing.

    View Comment
    Lauren

    November 2, 2013

  26. What a great recap! Difficult to pick just one. Looking forward to Carolyn Frielander’s creations.

    View Comment
    Dorothy

    November 3, 2013

  27. I so look forward to your report, Kathy. Thanks for doing this! I’m inspired by much of this, but what holds my attention is that collection of solids by DS. And they way it’s laid out graphically doesn’t hurt! It looks like a fun bunch to play with. Also… I see myself making a Butler duster!

    One of the most interesting things you noted was the cessation of “modern” terminology use. It’s so fascinating that the cultures’ language adapted so rapidly.

    Also, I LOVE The Creative Habit. I’ve now added her other book to my read list!

    View Comment
    Rachel at Stitched in Color

    November 3, 2013

  28. I’ve been sewing for a long time. I’ve been quilting for maybe 15 years. Not in this year’s Market, but I’m so encouraged by the continuing interest of “younger” folks in sewing! Glad to see an upsurge in enthusiasm for making garments and for handmade items, period!

    View Comment
    Deborah M

    November 3, 2013

  29. oops…it didn’t come out the way I typed it…meant to say, “…not new in this year’s Market”

    View Comment
    Deborah M

    November 3, 2013

  30. I am most excited about what you had to say about the definition of “modern”, since I, too, have been having issues with it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    View Comment
    MandyMandalei

    November 3, 2013

  31. What an excellent review. I am glad to finally see a winnowing of all the too many fabric lines too fast. No dedicated fabriholic could possibly keep up. Fewer, more thoughtful and unique lines will be an improvement. There is too much similarity in the lines now, both in design and color. Thanks!

    View Comment
    jan canyon

    November 3, 2013

  32. I love that they’re going to slow down fabric releases. I can’t sew fast enough to keep up with all the fabrics I love, and my closet is overflowing!!

    View Comment
    Sarah

    November 3, 2013

  33. Wonderful article. Looking forward to color call, I took a color class from Week in August and loved her class and approach to color.

    Leona

    View Comment
    Leona

    November 3, 2013

    • Weeks & Bill came to Bainbridge Island in July. I took the class with Bill and was incredibly inspired by his perspective on color and value. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a class! xo Kathy

      View Comment
      Kathy

      November 19, 2013

  34. Not sure about modern – reminds me a bit of the 70’s. LOVE the anchor quilt!

    View Comment
    Lori Olson

    November 3, 2013

  35. I like that fewer collections are being released so we aren’t overwhelmed. I also love the solid collections and the tone on tone from Weeks and Ringle.

    View Comment
    Brenda Stultz

    November 3, 2013

  36. I’m involved in a “modern” quilt guild and we are having a hard time with defining and promoting the modern movement to members who are entrenched in the traditional world. Thank you for your take on that modern word and the trends at market. Thanks also for your giveaway opportunity.

    View Comment
    Regina DeMatteo

    November 3, 2013

  37. Excited to see Botanics and the Denyse Schmidt solids (and of course all the new fabrics). Thanks for sharing your pics and thoughts.

    View Comment
    Anne J

    November 3, 2013

  38. I think it’s quite interesting to see how the “modern” movement is evolving and being defined. I ‘m so grateful for your thoughtful review of Market. I got the chance to go for the very first time and now realize just how overwhelming it really is. Afraid I missed so much by not having the inside scoop on how to “do” market.

    View Comment
    Anne

    November 3, 2013

  39. Cotton & Steel, definitely exciting!

    View Comment
    Nancy Klatt

    November 3, 2013

  40. What a great tour of the market. The colors being presented are so bright and playful. I am looking forward to having greater choices in solids that kona. Thank you for sharing with us.

    View Comment
    Hannah Henley

    November 3, 2013

  41. Wow, so many things are exciting but to pick one I love all the modern solids that are coming out. I think adding a solid to any quilt design gives it a real pop. Thanks for the chance

    View Comment
    Cathie

    November 3, 2013

  42. I like the idea of a slowdown in the number of collections coming out. I want to keep buying fabric and can’t keep up with making quilts!

    View Comment
    Elizabeth G

    November 3, 2013

  43. I love the new solids but really love the idea of a slowdown in the number of collections and the collections being better curated!

    View Comment
    Ginny

    November 4, 2013

  44. I like the idea of “Slower, Fewer, Better”, when collections are released in such quick succession they begin to blur together. I always appreciate your thoughtful interpretation of your experiences, thank you.
    Wishing everyone at Pink Chalk a wonderful November!

    View Comment
    Melanie

    November 4, 2013

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