To Market, To Market…

To market, to market – that’s where all the shop owners, fabric manufacturers, pattern designers and publishers flocked a few weeks ago.  Surrounded by the snow capped mountains (ok, I STILL can’t get over that – snow capped mountains in May!), Salt Lake City hosted the spring Quilt Market this year.  And it was a great market!  It is always amazing to see what new products, designs, fabrics and books are coming out.  And I am forever impressed by the continued creativity of designers – for patterns, for fabrics, for products.  Market was brimming with fabulous new fabric lines – and there seems to be something for everyone.  Soft, romantic florals.  Charming vintage inspired prints.  Whimsical juvenile patterns.  Edgy modern textures.  And organic lines seem to be expanding, great news for the green-minded quilters.  Patterns also ran the gamut (gee, kinda like quilters!), with everything from traditional applique to terrific fusing techniques.  Embellishment seems to be the strong trend right now, and there were numerous tools and techniques introduced (gosh, I’ve got to take better notes next time!).  I walked around, mouth wide open, eyes glazed over, mind racing at the possibilities – talk about a kid in a candy store!   Just wait until you see:

Rulers: Such a clever idea – and so simple, once  you see it.   This ruler will make your “must have” list, and quickly become a favorite.  Creators of the Quilt Ruler Connectors have taken things one more step, and designed a Guidelines ruler to rulers that have a snap on guide for quick reference in cutting.  This will eliminate most, if not all, of those pesky cutting mistakes.  No more 2 1/4″ strips when you meant to cut 2 1/2″ strips.  The guide is movable, and you can easily place it on whichever line you need for quick referencing while cutting. AND it acts as an edge to set the fabric against for increased accuracy when cutting.  Yep – your mind is already going to that project on your “to-do” list that has all those strips to cut, isn’t it?  And they have these cool Seam Allowance Additions and Quilt Ruler Additions (half and quarter square triangle cuts) that snap on to the edge of the ruler – now you can make any block any size – really!  Love it – and they are already on my “must have” list.  Can’t wait for this new and improved version of the Guidelines ruler to hit quilt shop shelves!

Clips: The clever people at Clover have these terrific little binder clips.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Binding clips have been around for a long time – big deal.  But these are a big deal!  Not only are they cute little clips, but they sit flat on one side, raised on the other.  And they are cleverly marked with a 1/4″ mark so that once you have machine stitched your binding to the front of your quilt, you can clip your binding down with the flat side against the bed of your machine, set the edge of the binding against that handy dandy little 1/4″ mark, and  then (magic!) machine stitch down the back of the binding while stitching IN THE DITCH OF THE FRONT BINDING SEAM!  Ah!  Nirvana!  I’m thinking less time hand sewing means more time I can spend on another project!  Another item on the “must have” list.

Fabric: Where to start with fabric?  It was sensory overload as usual.  But one item in particular stands out.  Ok – so we have 3-D movies.  And now you can have your very own 3-D t.v.s.  And now, thanks to Hoffman, you can quilt with 3-D fabric.  Yep, that’s right – fabric goes three dimensional.  And the very cool thing about this fabric – if you aren’t looking at it through 3-D glasses, it is still wonderfully lovely, beautiful fabric.  None of the blurred images traditionally associated with 3-D images viewed without the special glasses.  How did they manage that?  I don’t know – pure Hoffman magic, I guess.  But then, I would expect nothing less from Hoffman than pure perfection – and they always deliver!

Other cool items: Imaginisce, a scrap booking company, was there with their i-rock tool (which neatly and easily heat presses adhesive backed gems onto fabrics – or paper – instant bling!), as well as their very cool i-top maker, which lets you quickly and easily make custom fabric covered buttons.  Buttons that you can put on quilts, purses, rings, bracelets – whatever!  Very fun – and the possibilities are endless.  And Innovative Crafts was there with their line of fusible batting and fleece products, but also with inn-spire, a new product that is not only a stiff stabilizer, but is moldable, so now you can fuse fabric and shape it too!  Very very cool.  Can’t wait to play with that one!  Just think of the possibilities!  And Dream World has a fantastic Bendable Bright Light that attaches to the side of your sewing machine and gives you an almost unbelievably bright light (just like the name) right where you need it.  This tiny little light on a flexible arm allows you to position the light to just the right spot for sewing.  Love it!

Your local shop owners are back now, and hopefully you’ll being seeing some of these new designs and products on their shelves soon.  You’ll have all kinds of fun projects to fill your summer!  So enjoy – and as always, happy stitching!

Tammy Silvers

About the Author: