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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trends at the Fall 2011 Quilt Market

The quilt industry is huge and still going strong even in this depressed economy. To find out how large it is, all you need to do is google the word "quilt" and 85 million websites popup. A 2010 quilting survey found that the quilting industry in America is worth over three billion dollars annually with over 16 million quilting households. For more information, read "Quilting in America 2010 survey shows industry worth $3.6 billion annually."

The biggest and mind boggling quilt trade show (International Quilt Market) followed by an equally amazing retail show (International Quilt Festival) is held in Houston each fall. This year the Quilt Market was held October 29-31 and the Quilt Festival November 3-6 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Quilt Market is to sell fabric and related quilting products to retailers. It is not open to the public. The Quilt Festival is open to the public. Thousands of people attend to purchase fabric, quilting supplies, home décor items, jewelry, clothing and gifts from over 900 vendors. Both these events as well as two other quilting festivals and one other trade show are produced by Quilts, Inc.

For those not acquainted with quilting, it is much more than pieces of cloth sewn together to produce a bedspread. Quilted pieces are created as aesthetic and artistic works of art not only for the bed but to be displayed on walls, made into clothing, purses, totes, pillows and even into three dimensional animals and other objects. The fabric used is traditionally 100% cotton with a few exceptions such as crazy quilts. Today's quilters may incorporate many other fabrics into their projects and embellish them with lace, ribbon and beads depending on the type and how the finished pieces are used.

Unlike most clothing, bed linens, etc. manufacturers who purchase designs outright from designers, many quilts and craft fabric manufacturers license art. For information about licensing to these industries, read "Licensing Designs to the Quilt & Craft Fabric Industries."

According to the many articles that I read about the Fall 2011 Quilt Market, most of the manufacturers produce fabrics with traditional designs such as flowers, paisley, simple geometric icons, etc. The reason is because the largest quilting consumer base is of an older generation that wants those types of designs. The craft industry uses iconic themes for craft fabric projects such as holidays. More contemporary designs that are suitable to be used for clothing and home décor projects are starting to appear in manufacturer lines. Below is a variety of links to articles and videos showing booths at the Quilt Market, interviews with designers, discussions on the trends, and lots of "eye candy" - beautiful and stunning creations with fabric.

International Quilt Market - videos
a VERY fast moving video tour of "International Quilt Market Houston 2011"

many videos on of quilt market fall 2011 showing manufacturer booths, quilt designers, quilts, accessories used in quilting, etc.

International Quilt Market - articles
• Dana Willard (blog takes time to open but worth the wait) "fall 2011 Quilt Market recap - Houston" - many photos; describes the market and shows well known designers work.

• Diane Gilleland "A Slightly Massive Look at Fall Quilt Market" photos of quilts from the quilt exhibit.

• Ellie Joos "Fall Quilt Market/Quilt Festival: 2011" - article about attendance, designers, and trends

• Kathy Weller "Fall Quilt Market 2011: Beautiful Booths" - photos of booths

• Lindsay of The Cottage Home "International Quilt Market ~ Fall 2011" - photos of fabric, product examples, and booths

• Melonie Sullivan "Fall Quilt Market in Houston" - photos of booths, fabric, and product examples

• Phyllis Dobbs " Houston International Quilt Market" - photos of overview of show and unusual shaped quilts

International Quilt Festival - video
• video "International Quilt Festival / Houston 2011"

Comments are welcome. Enter them in the comment section (below).

1 comment:

  1. Joan, this sounds like a great show to go to.
    Thanks for the info.