Quilt Market Part 1: Fabric 2.0

I’m back from Quilt Market! It’s still going on today, but I’m back in Austin. I could have used another day there, but I’m happy to be back with my family. Seriously, my son aged like two months in the two days I was gone!

For me the whirlwind began with the Fabric 2.0 Meet and Greet. The event, first held at the Spring 2008 Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon, is the brainchild of Caroline Devoy of J.Caroline Creative. To quote the invitation, Fabric 2.0 is “a mixer to enable the network of sewing, fabric and crafting bloggers to meet each other before the start of Quilt Market. You are the next generation of fabric designers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers using the web for collaboration, sales, marketing and creative inspiration.”

This incarnation was also co-hosted by Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics, Lissa Alexander of Moda Fabrics, and Christina Batch-Lee of Etsy.

Walking into a party where you know who everyone is but have no idea what most of them look like is weird and fun. I quickly settled in and met so many great people. I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, and half of the ones I did take were blurry, of course! But there were a million cameras flying around so unfortunately you’re bound to see more of me from other people in the days to come.

The City Quilter Folks with Christina of Etsy

This is Jeremy, April, and Kristy from The City Quilter in New York, with Christina Batch-Lee from Etsy. Christina and I were both Market newbies and outside of the fabric buyer-seller loop, so we naturally stuck together for a while. She and the City Quilter people were awesome.

Speaking of out-of-the-loop, Patricia of A Little Hut was there and I was excited to make her acquaintance. But since you’ve actually designed fabric, Jessica, I don’t think you can claim to not be a “fabric person”! We got along swimmingly with Jessica Jones .. and Jessica, I totally relate to your brain circuits.

Caroline Devoy is AWESOME and hilarious. I officially love her. Lucky for her I live three hours away because I’d probably be an annoying hanger-on if we lived closer together.

I could talk to Michelle Engel Benscko (Cicada Studio) forever. And I wish I had been able to spend more time with her. I got to see her fabric portfolio in person, which was a real treat. I was jealous of her cute cozy red coat and aqua blue scarf — damn it got cold up there on the Hilton rooftop deck.

Lizzy House is just as cute and nice as I expected! Another person I could definitely spend more time with. Same with Melissa Averinos.

Jane Sassaman is graceful, gracious, cool, and inspiring. Have you seen Prairie Gothic? I can’t think of a name more fitting for a fabric collection and for her weird/dark/beautiful aesthetic.

Elinor Peace Bailey

I didn’t get to talk to her much, but Elinor Peace Bailey is as interesting as you might have guessed from this picture! She designs fabric for P&B Textiles. She’s Heather Bailey‘s mother-in-law! Heather was there at the party, but it was already late when she arrived, so I didn’t get to meet her till Sunday.

Debi Porecca and Weeks Ringle

Finally meeting Weeks Ringle of FunQuilts face-to-face was a long time coming, and of course she’s wonderful. And a dynamo! That’s her on the right, and that’s Debi Porecca on the left. Debi was a founder of Freespirit Fabrics and is now with Michael Miller. A very cool lady.

I spent a lot of time with the illustrious Diane of Bee Square Fabrics and her super nice husband talking about the fabric business and babies. Diane let me tag along with her on a fabric-buying appointment, which will be posting about later this week.

Me and Jay McCarroll

And … of course … Jay! Jay! Jay! If it wasn’t for Diane grabbing him and introducing us, I might have been too shy to go up to him myself. But that’s silly because Jay McCarroll is just as awesome and friendly and fun as you’d expect. After I got over my nervous giggles we got to talking about his collection and about the unfortunate negative associations of the term “granny.” And he knew about True Up already! Hopefully he’ll consent to an email interview later, because during the market things seemed too hectic and loud to sit down for an old-fashioned Q&A.

Patty Young and her husband were hilarious. And sassy. They helped us shut down the party around 10:30.

This week I’ll be posting about all the new companies and collections I learned about and all the other Market goodness I can cram in. Stay tuned!

11 Comments

  1. Tia says:

    YAY! How awesome for you! I can’t wait to read what you write. Someday I will go to Quilt Market too.

  2. It was so wonderful to meet you, Kim! I wish we had more time to sit and chat- it was a great time!

  3. Tara says:

    I’m so excited about Jay’s new line. He and Leanne are my favorite designers from PR. I’d love to get some slices and sew it up. I’m so jealous that you got to go to Market. Houston is my hometown and I so wanted to go, see my family and check out the market. Alas. Glad you had a good time!

  4. Diane says:

    I love how you used the Jay-requested-funny-face picture of the two of you. He was really fun, and I hope you take him up on the offer for an interview. I can’t believe I have to wait until December to get his fabric in my shop!

    I loved watching everyone ooh and ahh over your blog once they put face to name. You’ve got a great thing going here, and I’m looking forward to the next 6 months and more!

    :) Diane

  5. Jona says:

    Aaaaargh! I can’t believe we were at the same party and didn’t get to meet!!! Noooo! I’m apologizing right now because if I had known you were in the crown I would’ve shaken every hand until I found you!

  6. Patricia says:

    It was wonderful to meet you too!! I guess what I mean is that I’m not really into fabric because I’m so new to it. :)

  7. Amber says:

    How fun! Can’t wait to see all your posts on Market!

  8. Nanette says:

    Wow, so much going on. I bet your head is spinning and so many fabric “celebs”.

  9. Kim, it was so cool to meet you! Is your brain function starting to return? Mine’s coming back a little bit.

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