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Trend-spotting: Fresh from the (Spring Quilt) Market

It’s been almost a week since I returned from Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, but my head is still reeling from all the color, creativity, innovation, and inspiration. My purpose for attending was to promote A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue, a Martingale & Company spring release that I co-authored with my long-time friend, Christine Porter.  Once my Schoolhouse and book signings were history, however, I was free to roam the show floor, primed to ferret out the latest trends.

So…what did I see?

Young people..and lots of them! Not only shoppers (and bloggers!), but youthful entrepreneurs, bringing their fabric designs, pattern lines, and innovative products to Market.

The children's party hats, mounted on fabric-covered headbands, were a huge hit at the busy Quilted Fish booth.

  1. Perhaps as a result of the youth infusion, and boosted by such TV shows as Project Runway and similar home-design challenges, a larger-than-ever showing of fabric and sewing options for home decor, personal accessories, clothing, and items for children was evident on the show floor.

Accessories were given prominent placement in the booth of Amy Butler, known for her trendy, large-scale fabric prints

Personal and home-dec accessories, as well as clothing, were prominently displayed in Amy Butler's booth.

Remember jewel tones? Country colors? Earth tones? Well, hold on to your memories, because the newest palettes to dominate this Market were anything but.  Yes, you can still find those 19th-century repros, richly colored batiks, and pastel 30s prints, but the hottest new looks are bright, bold, and refreshing: think lemon yellow, lime green, tangerine, teal,  “true” blue, grass green, cherry red, watermelon pink…with sparkling white (rather than off-white or cream) backgrounds or motifs.

Here's a closer look at the children's party hats that were such a huge hit at The Quilted Fish booth. Designer Amanda Herring showed that she really has a handle on the latest color trends.

Another creation from The Quilted Fish showcases the "hot" new palette.

BTW: Seems retro now embraces anything from the 50s forward (Mad Men, anyone?), so you can look for turquoise, avocado, and chocolate brown too.

Large-scale prints are still hot, and getting hotter (and larger!), with many simply pieced quilts (for grown-ups and children), pillows, table accessories, and totes on view to showcase and suggest applications for these striking over-sized motifs.

Quilting continues to “go green” with the emergence of affordable organic cottons. Both established players, such as the trendsetting Amy Butler, and new(ish) kids on the block appear to be at the forefront here.

In addition to "Organic Soul," her new line of organic cotton, Amy Butler introduced lines of rayon and cordoroy fashion fabrics for home-sewers and fashion buffs.

Whimsy! Watch for more large rickrack, pompoms, trims, buttons, and other fun embellishments to appear on the shelves of your favorite quilt shop.

The mountains of Park City, UT: altitude 7,000+

With so much stimulation, my weary brain needed a rest, so on Saturday, my husband and I rented a car and drove to nearby Park City, a lovely little mountain town about 35 minutes from SLC, perhaps best known as the home of the Sundance (Indie) Film Festival. The difference in altitude was just enough to put us into snow, and whom do you think we spotted on the slopes?

Sunbonnet Sue Goes Skiing (22" x 26") from "A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue." Visit to see a gallery of all twelve Sue quilts.

None other than our girl, Sunbonnet Sue 😉

I’ll have lots more to share on who and what I saw at Market in future posts…and some great product reviews too. Come back soon, and–’til next time–have fun with fabric. After all…it’s what we do!

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