I've returned from International Quilt Market/Houston (http://www.quilts.com/)! My first report is on Jay McCarroll, winner of Project Runway, season one!!
You may have heard that Jay McCarroll has designed a line of fabrics for Free Spirit. I had already planned to go to Market when I heard that Jay had designed a line and was going to be there! Of course, as a quilter, up-and-coming textile designer, and Project Runway fanatic, I knew I had to go and meet Jay.
International Quilt Market, for those of you who don't know, is the main convention for quilt shops, fabric houses, and designers -- basically, anyone who has anything to do with the world of quilting. Fall Market is always held in Houston, while Spring Market is held in other cities. If you think this is not a big deal, think again. Each season, there are two shows in one -- Market for the trade, and Festival for the general public. In 2007, there were 54,000 people at Quilt Festival alone in four days. Yup, quilting is a big thing.
Thankfully, two of my favorite worlds, fashion and quilting have converged in the form of Woodland Wonderland and Garden Friends, Jay's new fabric lines! Jay was the first person I sought out when I hit the market floor full of fabric and sewing machine vendors. I was surprised to find that he had an entire corner booth to himself, but not surprised to see that there were several people who wanted to talk with him and take pictures. When it was my turn, Jay was so nice and so personable and easy to talk to. I told him that I loved his finale collection on PR and that I noticed that some of the pieces were quilted. He thanked me and told me that he grew up with quilting. He said that he found everyone in the quilting world to be really friendly. Jay was only too happy to take a picture with me and give me an autographed picture. He also offered me some button pins, made up of the lovable little creatures in his line.
My time with Jay was short, as a Free Spirit representative came up to talk with Jay about what sounded like a new fabric line or a twist on the current ones. It is a trade show, after all, and I wasn't buying, so I had to step aside.
I hope Jay's new endeavor does well and that we'll see new lines soon. Read about Jay and see his new line here: http://www.freespiritfabric.com/core-pages/designer_detail.php?des_id=56
(The title of this post comes from George Costanza on a Seinfeld episode... one in which I think Elaine and George's fiancee were becoming friends. George didn't want his worlds to collide, but I am only too happy to have mine do so!)