Thursday, January 10, 2013

Houston Goodies

Here's some more of the mouth-watering workmanship I spotted at Houston Quilt Festival last fall, I loved the wearable art and also the art dolls! This year there was a special display by The Silk Experience, with beautiful garments, accessories and all sorts of fun stuff. The red lobster you see in the photo with the light-colored shibori-dyed kimono is actually also a vintage shibori piece, the dyer tied his item up to resemble a lobster, I thought that was just too clever. And I loved the new addition of the steam-punk dolls in the art doll exhibit, my daughter likes steam-punk, so she really enjoyed that as well. How about that big life-sized doll? Pretty awesome. Also including a pic of my Nuno-felted Shawl that won a ribbon at the Stitch in Time Fashion Show luncheon, this is the class I'm teaching on the Fiber Cruise next July (more info on the Schedules page of my web-site

Trend report: As a designer, one of the things I keep my eyes open for in Houston is upcoming trends. Houston Market is the big wholesale show of the year, and this is the place where many new trends are started, either in color, motif, fabrics, a new tool, etc. I took notes on new ideas, and here are some of the things I spotted:

* Wool...OK, I know I'm all about wool, but there was a ton of it at this show! Woolfelt, hand-dyes, you name it, it was there. Easy to work with, lots of designs on the market, and all colors.

*Vintage: I noticed a very strong trend for "mid-50's" motifs and colors, and I do mean the 1950's. Whimsical takes on 50's-style funky shapes, flowers, animals, clear happy colors like cherry red and that nice retro jade green (like my grandma's counter top), buttery yellows, black and white graphics. Have you noticed the little pictures of retro-looking women with tongue-in-cheek sayings like, I haven't had my cofffee yet, don't make me kill you! Like that.

* Polka dots. Ties in with the 50's retro look. They were everywhere: quilts, ribbons, buttons...there are even polka-dot zippers on the market! Try adding a bit to your next quilt for a bit of punch. I love the black and white ones.

* Color: pastels, soft brights, happy cheerful hues. Black and white graphics too. Turquoise paired with tangerine, I saw this combo in several booths.

* Motifs: Owls continue to be popular, also butterflies.

* Stitchery: by hand, or software for the machine. There was lots of redwork, much of it channeling that vintage feel. Another fun trend was tinted stitchery, where you stitch the outline of the design, then color it in lightly with very pastel shades of color like crayons.

* Modern quilts. I do think we're going back to simpler projects that don't take so much energy to make or view.

So that's just a few of the trends I spotted at the Houston shows, we'll just have to wait and see what lies ahead in 2013...I know I'm ready for some new creative ventures!

Houston Quilts

Finally getting around to posting more pics of the jaw-dropping quilts I saw in Houston, what a busy holiday season we had! I'm actually glad it's over, ready to start out a new year with a fresh new outlook. But I couldn't close the chapter on 2012 without sharing these pics of these gorgeous pieces, these were some of my favorites from the show. Notice the pretty ruched handles on the basket quilt, I thought this was a very clever technique. And I love the pineapples in this pineapple quilt, so bright and cheerful! The black and white and graytone quilt was so much fun with it's take on old-fashioned characters. And some of the quilts looked like classic paintings by the masters; note the arch art quilt, reminiscent of Monet, and the more graphic wave quilt brought to mind the vintage woodcuts by Japanese artist Hiroshige. So much inspiration, it was hard to take it all in!