The Downton Abbey Schoolhouse: Quilt Market Houston 2013

Well, schoolhouse started off with a one of a kind event. There was only one room open: the ballroom. Instead of people all milling around to twenty or so different simultaneous sessions, Andover Fabrics made a big splash with a Downton Abbey special, featuring appearances and talks by the award winning Costume Designer for the series, Caroline McCall and Production Designer Donal Woods (who also does Homeland and did 24).

Hearing them talk about the design process and decisions on set was cool. There was a sizzle reel of season 4 snippets and pics of a visit to the castle and the set by Andover president David Weinstein and design director Kathy Hall. We loved hearing what it was like behind the scenes.  It was…fun. And different. And well done. Show biz meets Quilt Market.  Here are pics of projects using the fabrics from the Downton Abbey fabric collection from Andover.  There are collections within the collection for the Dowager Countess, Lady Edith, Lady Mary and Lady Sybil.

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Downton Abbey nesting oval boxes and storage boxes by Quilted Koala

Downton Abbey nesting oval boxes and storage boxes by Quilted Koala

Authentic 1920's Hat and One Hour Dress Patterns by eVINTAGEpatterns using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

Authentic 1920’s Hat and One Hour Dress Patterns by eVINTAGEpatterns using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

Abbey Star Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

Abbey Star Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

detail of Abbey Star Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

detail of Abbey Star Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabrics by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Counterpoint Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Counterpoint Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of Counterpoint Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of Counterpoint Quilt by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

9 Easy Pieces quilt pattern by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

9 Easy Pieces quilt pattern by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of 9 Easy Pieces quilt pattern by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

detail of 9 Easy Pieces quilt pattern by Mountainpeek Creations using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Edith's Grand Entrance Quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Edith’s Grand Entrance Quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Edith's Grand Entrance Quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Edith’s Grand Entrance Quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Regal Mary Quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey Fabrics by Kathy Hall

Regal Mary Quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey Fabrics by Kathy Hall

Regal Mary Quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey Fabrics by Kathy Hall

Regal Mary Quilt by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey Fabrics by Kathy Hall

Birds of a Feather Quilt by Lucy A. Fazely using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

Birds of a Feather Quilt by Lucy A. Fazely using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

detail of Birds of a Feather Quilt by Lucy A. Fazely using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

detail of Birds of a Feather Quilt by Lucy A. Fazely using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

Simply Sybil Quilt using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

Simply Sybil Quilt using Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt pattern by Tiffany Hayes using Downton Abbey fabric by Kathy Hall

Lots of bags! Including Tahiti Tote, Manhattan Handbag, Tuscany Tote by Pink Sand Beach Designs

Lots of bags! Including Tahiti Tote, Manhattan Handbag, Tuscany Tote by Pink Sand Beach Designs

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The Kathy Hall, designer of the Downton Abbey fabric collection

The Kathy Hall, designer of the Downton Abbey fabric collection

Downton Abbey

There was a HUGE crowd. I heard 1000, and then I heard 1500. The seats started filling up at 9:15, and the house was pretty full full at 9:45. We were captivated from 10-11, transported to Highclere Castle.  And then there was the filing out where everyone got a  tote bag. (even me and I don’t usually go for those things..)  All I can say is I can’t wait for the next season to start!Downton crowd-01

Quilt Market Houston 2013

Phew!  That was a fun ride, but I am just a little exhausted.  It was my fourth time at Houston Quilt Market, and some of the fun in going back is that I get to see people that I have met before, or collaborated with on fabric/project trades, AND meet new people.  Well, and you just notice new things every time. Of course there ARE many new things every time, as every exhibit is different market to market.

It all started out with the Quilt Market sign-up catalog..and what is that on the cover? Hey that’s Tara‘s quilt! I know her!  How did her quilt get on the cover?  She submitted it to the exhibit. It was accepted and the powers that be chose it for the quilt image of the show for all their materials. Pretty exciting.  It was part of the “Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2013”. A fabric designer by day working directly for Michael Miller Fabrics, Tara‘s avocation has long been quilting. She started quilting when none of her peers were. These days she primarily uses solids and is known for her original designs and modern yet detailed compositions, and use of metallic threads.

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Tara Faughnan and her Fireworks Quilt

Tara Faughnan and her Fireworks Quilt

So what were the trends this year?  I remember last year seeing such a large amount of white everywhere.  This year everyone was touting their color ranges.  There are so many companies now with new lines of solids, blenders, tonals and batiks and there were swatch installations everywhere showing the ranges in colors in these lines.

There were also a couple big splashes made at Quilt Market.  One was at schoolhouse with the Andover Fabrics Downton Abbey presentation. More on that later on this blog.  The other thing was the debut of Cotton + Steel, a new division of RJR Fabrics. From a small corner booth the 5 women making this happen made a surprise intro into the market –their collections will debut at spring Quilt Market. The big intro to their company is this absolutely stunning video. You MUST see it. Nothing like it in this industry. It is… dreamy.  Everyone from the designer community is excited for them and looking to see what comes next. Cotton + Steel video 

Cotton + Steel

The designers of Cotton + Steel: Kim Kight, Rashida Coleman-Hale and Melody Miller. Not shown: Sarah Watts and Alexia Abegg

What was fun for me this year is having friends at the show to meet up with in between our respective events and tasks. Fabric designers Kim Andersson and Caitley Symons were running the gauntlet meeting with fabric companies to discuss licensing opportunities. They both do great work, and I look forward to seeing their designs on fabric in the future.

Kim Andersson, Tara Faughnan and Caitley Symons

Kim Andersson, Tara Faughnan and Caitley Symons

And then I find Becky from Patchwork Posse and Heather from The Sewing Loft.  Yahoo! I met these two in Salt Lake City at The Creative Connection Event in 2011 and then again at The Sewing Summit in 2012. They both have great blogs and sew fantastic original projects, and its been fun doing some collaborations with them.  And in the middle is Caroline from SEWCANSHE, another great blog and I can’t wait to collaborate with her too.

Becky from Patchwork Posse, Caroline from SEWCANSHE, and Heather from The Sewing Loft

Becky from Patchwork Posse, Caroline from SEWCANSHE, and Heather from The Sewing Loft

Oh, oh, oh, and there I see Diana McClun and Laura Nownes new edition of Quilts, Quilts, Quilts, hot off the press!  I met Diana in my class at fabric design school and she has become a friend and mentor. Commonly known as “The Quilting Bible”, the previous versions of the book have sold a quarter of a million copies and they continued to write several more books. Breckling Press worked with them to create a new edition using more modern fabrics and palettes, so they redid the entire book with new quilts. I got to see most of the quilts in person and they are stunning. (Those are a couple of them on the table)IMG_0896

Ok, so this is a little about my personal experience at Quilt Market, but I have is a TON of photos and will be posting photos of cool booths, fabric designer booths and lots of photos of the quilts from the exhibits. It will be just the facts ma’am from now on with Quilt Market Houston 2013 coverage. So stay tuned…

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sore feet….