Quilt Market: The Experience

What to say about (my first) Quilt Market. In a word: wow. What a spectacularly inspiring 3 days. I don't even know where to begin or how to share with you. To start, above is certainly a highlight . . . for so, so many reasons. This is us with the amazing Amy Butler. More on all of this later . . .

We drove up to Minneapolis on Thursday night, stopping in the Dells overnight and then made the rest of the trip early Friday morning. (I have to share one of our trip highlights—however unrelated to quilt-making it may be—a stop at the Norske Nook Cafe in Osseo, Wisconsin. It was like stepping into a little bit of a twilight zone, but once we ate the homemade jam, we were completely impressed. It was a 4-berry jam that we wanted to stop and buy some jars of on our way home from MN, but didn't because our route didn't take us back through Osseo. So, just a tip: if you ever see signs for Osseo, take the detour! There's a pretty nice quilt shop just across the street from the cafe as well. You won't be disappointed.)

But, I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

After arriving at the convention center and finding our way to the show, things got a little overwhelming. The sheer volume of aisles and booths of vendors just blew my mind. I was also surprised by how calm the gigantic room was. There were thousands of people but it wasn't loud and it wasn't crazy—so unlike Quilt Festival (which I'd experienced back in March). So, we set out on our merry way, making our first stop at the Yuwa Shoten booth just because it was in a prime location and it was the first thing we saw aside from the exhibition quilts (which were also gorgeous).

Throughout our three days of booth-hopping, we saw a lot of stuff. A lot of patterns and pattern-makers. Tons of fabrics and designers. Books. Notions. Interfacing. Distributors. Embroidery transfers, patterns and floss. Machines. Furniture. Oh, and did I mention . . . some of my favorite designers! :) There is so much out there that I didn't even know about. And, in general, going to Quilt Market opened my eyes to so many styles of quilting and fabric-crafting that I hadn't really realized would catch my interest. This was a good, good thing . . . and I wish I could share it ALL with you in photos, but I made the mistake of being so overwhelmed that there were times I forgot to write down what I was photographing and so I can't attribute everything (a rule of Quilt Market). So, I'll share what I can.


Her booth was gorgeous (as I expected it would be). When we came by, Anna Maria wasn't there but we got to speak with her lovely assistant(?). She was a perfect representative for Anna Maria which I discovered later when I finally met her at the Handmade Beginnings book signing at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul on Saturday night. Anna Maria has become (as you probably already know) one of my favorite designers. I'm drawn to her color and pattern and to her personality. Seeing her booth was fantastic and I am so excited about all she has going on. 

For those of you who follow her Anna Maria's blog, you'll be excited to see the covered couch she spoke of a while back. It was even more glorious in person than I could've imagined. And it was adorned with some fantastic pillows that I was completely in love with. 

In fact, I was head over heels for all of the pillows in Anna Maria's booth. I can't recall what they said about which of these were slated to become patterns but I'm fairly certain this rainbow one is scheduled to become a pattern as well as the twisted one that matches this quilt.

Anna Maria also has her new embroidered pillows out as well as her rugs. They are both gorgeous and I am hoping to add a few of these items to my collection . . . soon!

I also read in the back of one of the brochures that Anna Maria has a new velveteen collection coming out. I didn't get a chance to ask about it but I am eager to see what that's all about. Can you even begin to imagine some of her existing prints in a luxurious velveteen? Mmhh. That's what I thought. Neither can I! Brilliant.

And, while I'm here, I might as well share about two little comments that just completely made my weekend . . . a compliment from both Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler. These still makes my heart sing. :)

As I was standing in Amy Butler's booth (in awe), she was standing and talking with some Japanese men. I was talking with two others who were representing her at Market a bit about the new line, new books, new yarn, etc. A few minutes later, as we were getting ready to head out (I was pretty shy and really didn't want to introduce myself to Amy), Amy Butler herself walked over and said something to the effect of: "I have been watching you out of the corner of my eye for the last few minutes. Your blouse is so beautiful!" I think I turned all sorts of shades of red. It was sweet. This moment was magnified a few hours later, though, when I showed up at Anna Maria Horner's book signing and she echoed the sentiment from Amy Butler saying, "I saw you walking out of market a little while ago and wanted to run up to you to tell you how much I love your shirt." Yes, my love for these two fine designers continues. Glad I got a photo with both of them . . . in my shirt.

Here's a terrible (blurry) pictures of us with Anna Maria. That's me, in the white top with flowers on top, with the ridiculous grin!

And here is the inside of my signed book. I'm sure she signed the same thing in every book . . . but this really meant a lot to me right now.

UP NEXT: Amy Butler, Echino, Sue Sprago, Valori Wells, C&T Publishing, etc. The list goes on. And on. And on.

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