Tuesday, 8 November 2011

so, market

john deciding which school houses to attend
thomas outside starbucks
katy and jan 
it is very odd to think that this time last week katy and i were just about to come into land at heathrow after a whirlwind 4 days in houston. we flew out with aneela, who until last week i'd been friendly with on the t'internet for a while but not met. we spent 10 hours getting to know each other pretty well on the way over, my throat was already sore from yapping when we landed...

after checking in at the hotel we literally threw our bags in the room and set off to meet a bunch of people (including our roomie, tach, of fat quarterly magazine) at the local mexican restaurant. i don't think i've ever been so tired or less felt like mexican food (it was 3am to us!) but meeting folks like jan of daisy janie, john quilt dad, the always hatted thomas knauer of andover fabrics, the wonderful in every way sarah fielke, and her quilt sherpa damo and honestly the most adorable person in the world, amy seriously woke me right up!

the quilt market itself takes place at a huge convention centre and we spent friday hanging out there and bumping into lots of internet pals and drinking starbucks. i'd got a couple of meetings with moda fabrics where i was introduced to the distributors and company reps. i also got to meet ellen of the long thread and malka of stitch in dye, both of whom are new moda designers. they were so lovely, we got on terrifically well. they certainly made a lot more sense than i did in their talks; at this stage i could barely string a sentence together as i'd not slept for 48 hours (i never sleep well from home.)

then friday afternoon and evening! oh my god! school house first - this is where designers and authors give 15 or 30 minute talks on their new lines. it's aimed at store owners and gives great advice on how to promote books and fabrics lines. it's an amazing and somewhat strange experience; many talks you might like to see go on at the same time - you have to choose which one you *really* want to see, then run down the maze of corridors trying to find the right room for the next talk...it's bloody exhausting, but tons of fun. to see the talks i went to, katy has written a great post called 'schoolhouse sessions' that goes into greater depth.

sample spree came next and this is where you rush around like demented loonies buying fabric that's not due out for a *long* time...at least, that's what everyone else did - i managed to lose everybody immediately and spent the next half hour trying to find them...

then fabric 2.0. this is a party for quilt bloggers. i met SO many people, including the very wonderful patricia of a little hut, and finally, *finally* i met a very dear and longtime internet friend, michelle of cloud 9 fabrics.

saturday and sunday were mainly spent at the moda booth chatting to quilt store owners about the line and generally having a good time. the other moda designers were a total joy to spend time with - as well as ellen, malka and aneela, there was julie comstock of cosmo cricket, joanna of fig tree quilts and kate spain. so many laughs had, from an outsider's point of view, we must've really looked like we were having a ball! saturday night is party night. you basically ping pong from party to party (all seemingly held in different rooms at the hilton hotel) aneela and i spent some time at the moda party where we had delicious food (and i shared cheesecake with joanna, and drank iced tea which was absolutely disgusting) there was some pretty funny entertainment (THE.RHYTHM.OF.MAGIC!!!) ohhh, hysterically, they have a facebook page! then we crept out to go to the bar where there was another party going on. this is where i met the totally delightful owners jen and jan of lola pink fabrics and i was a little bit wobbly meeting melody miller and her sidekick, allison. lovely lovely girls. we even had cocktails with them the day we left (we actually kidnapped melody outside the lifts in our hotel and forced her to come to joannes and michaels {both american stores, non US peeps} with us, it was hilarious. well, it was to us, perhaps you had to be there.) so, that's it in a nutshell. fall market: exciting, exhausting, exhilarating & bloody good fun. til next year, houston.