Monday, June 6, 2016

Spring Market 2016 Wrap Up

Spring Market 2016, Salt Lake City, Utah

After getting back from Salt Lake, trying to digest it all, making a trip to VA for a new grandbaby, I am finally writing my recap of Spring Market 2016.  Sorry for the delay!

My first impression – this Market was very lightly attended.  It seemed strange at first but then I realized this could very well be a good thing.  Manufacturers and reps were saying they were writing orders so they seemed happy.  Buyers were getting time with designers, reps, and manufacturers, so we were happy.  Seats at tables seemed to be full with shops placing orders.  So, maybe more lightly attended – but attended by the right people – is a good thing.

For anyone who follows me on Instagram, you would have seen photos of what I love best about this show – the beautiful attention to detail and creativity in each booth.  I like to search out the little details in each booth.  Trade shows can be overwhelming and Market is no exception.  Visually over stimulating, my search for the little details keeps me focused on why I came – to look for and eventually choose – the fabrics that I will buy for my shop.  Often times it is the details that capture me.

At this Market, as I was searching for those details, I was overwhelmed with the care, creativity and work that goes into a trade show.  These shows are extremely expensive, in time, energy and money, for a manufacturer to participate in.  Nothing is slapped together.  It is carefully planned and executed.  The manufacturers can gauge success by the number of orders written and the feedback they receive at these shows.  I personally felt that Spring Market 2016 displayed the purpose of this trade show better than others I have attended.  I hope the manufacturers feel the same way.  I love this business and this community and want to see it thrive.  

Another thing I noted was that there seemed to be less tension between the “traditional” world of quilting and the “modern” one than in Markets past.  Regardless of the flavor of each manufacturer, ordering seats were full.  Maybe this had a lot to do with the show being attended by mostly buyers and sellers.  I am not sure but I will be interested to see what happens in future shows. 

One last note before I get to what you really want to see – fabric – I am so very thrilled to see the explosion of garment sewing substrates and the support that is being given to this sewing sector by these manufacturers.  The quality is excellent, designs are wearable, and the manufacturers definitely showed their support to the garment sewers.  As a quilter AND garment sewer AND a sewer of bags and all things home dec, I was dancing the happy dance!  And my garment sewing customers will be happy to see our lineup of these substrates increase too!

Some other trends we saw … the continuation of metallic … gorgeous color including saturated jewel tones, pastels, and splashes of neon … collections with fewer large prints and more blenders … printmaking and block printing patterns … lots of swans and flamingos … a sense that some companies were playing it a bit safe this go around …

Thank you for letting me spout a few observations.  Now, on to what you really want to see – all the deliciousness that is Market!

I can’t say that there was any overwhelming new trend but there were pockets of really good stuff out there folks!  I wish I could bring it all in to the shop but I can’t.  Some of these collections will be available in my shop and others will be available from other shops.  But all were noteworthy for different reasons.

Presenting, in no particular order, some of the collections we loved.

Heather Jones’ debut collection, Color Dash, for Robert Kaufman, was one of our favorites.  Graphic and bold, as is her style, the collection comes together beautifully.  Also, each bolt can stand on its own.  Now that is a huge bonus for both shops and customers.

Carolyn Friedlander’s new collection, Euclid, for Robert Kaufman, does not disappoint.  A small collection (7 skus) of cotton/linen blends, some are printed and some are yarn dyed.  So many ideas swirling in our heads.

The Japanese importers and designers were fabulous once again.  We ordered flat cottons, double gauze and canvas, as well as some interesting new garment fabrics.  The next eight weeks will be far too long …

Libs Elliot made a splash with her debut collection for Andover Fabrics.  Black and white with splashes of bold color, it is graphic and edgy, just like Libs.

Luscious wearable chambray double gauze and metallic Manchester by Robert Kaufman. (already in stock)

Paint Box Basics, by Elizabeth Hartman for Kaufman is a rainbow of color on her memorable prints.  Perfect for stash building as well as using all together.

And, of course, no recap would be complete without the gorgeous Rifle Paper Company collaboration with Cotton + Steel.  This fabric shows the richness and beauty that made Rifle Paper so popular around the world.  In cotton, rayon, and canvas.  

Tula Pink celebrates her 20th fabric line with the release of Slow and Steady, her latest collection with Free Spirit.  In classic Tula colors and style, this line showcases turtles and hares.  Watch for the fun quilt patterns that go with this one too!

Some new designers were debuted by Windham Fabrics, including Natalie Barnes, Annabelle Wrigley, and Felice Regina.  From top to bottom, you have Hand Maker, Mirabelle, and Luna Sol, all so very pretty and so very different.

Love the yarn dyed checks and ginghams from both Cloud 9 Fabrics and Cotton + Steel.  Great colors in a variety of scales.  Being yarn dyed, these fabrics have great drape and will be so much fun for clothing!

Amy Butler stayed true to her esthetic in her latest collection, Eternal Sunshine.  This gorgeous booth won another prize for the “House of Butler”.

Though we did not see Denyse Schmidt at Market, we did see a preview of her upcoming collection, Stonington, for Free Spirit.  For Denyse fans, you will be happy to see her classic style in these prints.  Since I grew up near Stonington, this collection is near to my heart.

Dear Stella had such a bright and beautiful booth, as always.  Fun, tight, and clean, their collections were always among the top three favorites of people I spoke to.  With the introduction of illustrator Rae Ritchie, we think this little gem will continue to grow as a favorite.

Though we only saw it on paper, we are thrilled to know that Alison Glass is coming out with a new print collection for Andover, as well as her version of solids.  Rich in saturated color, I know I will own a piece of this entire collection.  And we are simply crazy about her new line of patterns, especially the Knit Essentials and Woven Essentials garment patterns made in collaboration with Karen LePaige.

Our favorite in the Art Gallery booth was, hands down, Hello Ollie by Bonnie Christenson.  This collection combined soft pastels with darks and it, well, it just works.  Beautifully.  Rich and sophisticated, this collection felt more brave in color choice than any other we saw.  

And last up, we just loved the prints in the Sidewalk collection of knits from Made by Rae for Cloud 9 fabrics.  These prints are fun and so versatile.  I love the Marianne dresses made by my friend Melissa from A Happy Stitch.  There are also prints for boys, which is so needed in the market place!  

There were so many others that we just don’t have time to talk about them all.  Just know there is some gorgeous stuff arriving over the next six months!

So that’s a (very long) wrap up of Spring Market 2016.  It was a wonderful trip, full of laughter and good conversations over great dinners, catching up with old friends and making new ones, and even a city wide blackout to keep us on our toes!