Fall 2015 Quilt Market: arrows, elephants, rainbows, and more

Right before Halloween we were in Houston for Fall Quilt Market, and it was blustery and rainy all around town. But inside the exhibit hall, new ideas and inspiration were everywhere.
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Martingale sent a team of seven employees to the show to scope out new authors, showcase soon-to-be-released books, and spot new trends. So what did our team find at this latest market? Here are eight great trends we spotted.
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1. Blue was the all-star hue! Whether it was the trendy Cotton + Steel booth with an entire wall of all-blue hues or the fresh, clean look of two-color embroidery in Snow Happy by Robin Kingsley of Bird Brain Designs (coming in January), blue and white seemed just right for just about everyone.
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Left: the blue wall at Cotton + Steel. Right: Robin Kingsley with her new book Snow Happy.

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2. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like things were pointing in one direction: ARROWS are hot. One of our fave sightings was in the Sassafras Lane Designs booth with their “One Way” pillow pattern. Arrow-inspired motifs appeared on fabrics too. We spotted arrows in Moda Fabrics Valley collection by Sherri & Chelsi. Too cute!
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3. Big animals continue to be BIG, and no animal was more prevalent than the elephant at this market. Appliquéd, fused, or pieced—elephants were in abundance. Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts offers an elephant stencil in case your tracing hand gets tired creating her elephant quilt.
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Edyta’s elephant quilt and stencil
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And be sure you don’t miss “Pachyderm Pals” inside best-selling author Cheri Leffler’s lastest book, Animal Parade 2. Three enchanting elephants parade across a patchwork quilt that’s as cute as can be.
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See more from
Animal Parade 2 >
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4. While we’re on the subject of animals, there’s one trend that’s had major staying power: woodland creatures. Raccoons, foxes, hedgehogs, and owls all found their way back to Market. No one summed it up better than Elizabeth Hartman in her newest pattern release: “Fancy Forest,” featuring an adorable range of forest friends in a rainbow of colors.
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Elizabeth Hartman’s “Fancy Forest” quilt
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If the forest is where you’re searching for inspiration for your next baby quilt, again check out Animal Parade 2, where you’ll also find happy hedgehogs, sweet songbirds, and raccoons making some “Masked Mischief.”
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“Masked Mischief” from
Animal Parade 2
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5. Thread and texture ruled the weekend. Whether it was embellishment, embroidery, or machine-quilting stitches, colorful and specialty threads stole the show when it came to adding beauty to quilts. Check out these colorful hanks of threads shown at the Aurifil booth.
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If you love embroidery and texture as much as the makers at Market did, look no further than the Stitches to Savor coffee-table book and 2016 wall-art calendar by designer Sue Spargo to inspire you. Get one for yourself and another for that special quilter on your holiday gift list!
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Top: from Stitches to Savor. Bottom: from the Stitches to Savor 2016 Calendar.
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6. A rainbow of colors and color walls could be seen from one end of the show floor to the next. V and Co. kicked it off right using her range of “Ombre” fabrics from Moda (below left), showcased on a brilliant tuffet pattern by Tuffet Source (below right).
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In Martingale’s booth, the rainbow trend was sky high as well with author Jackie Kunkel’s Splash of Color book.
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Jackie talking to quilt-shop owners at Market about her new book
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7. Handwork is still hip. Embroidery and English paper piecing continue to capture the imagination of quilters. If you haven’t yet joined the hexagon craze, check out The New Hexagon from author Katja Marek. She has a new-for-2016 “Blocks on the Go for Quilts on the Grow” quilt-along starting in 2016.
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Katja at Market signing her #1 best-selling book
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Moda All-Stars All in a Row8. Quilt-along, row-along, round robin, block-of-the-month: being part of a community with other quilters is still a favorite focus. A new opportunity for coming together in the name of quilts is Martingale’s first book in the Moda All-Stars series: All in a Row. Featuring 24 top Moda designers, the book contains 23 row patterns and 9 blender-row patterns to choose from. All in a Row is coming in December—and soon to follow is Moda and Martingale’s #allinarowquiltalong in January. You won’t want to miss the fun!
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Quilts from the gallery of
Moda All-Stars All in a Row
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That’s our recap of top trends at Fall Quilt Market. Did you discover a trend or two to spark your creative fire? We’d love to hear what is inspiring YOU right now—tell us in the comments!

14 Comments (leave a comment)

  • Blue has never been my favorite color to use in quilts, but the new trend toward blues with the gray, aqua looks – I’m starting to look at blues in a whole new way!

    —Patty on November 5, 2015
  • Wow, I can’t decide which book to chose so I will chose them all. They look very interesting. So many wonderful ideas.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on November 5, 2015
  • Love, love, love the woodland creatures and the elephants!!!!! Also would like to see more of the row by row!!!!!! Exciting new projects.

    —Pat D on November 5, 2015
  • Totally inspired by the row by row quilts. I am always looking for scrap quilt ideas.

    —Elizabeth Thompson on November 5, 2015
  • OMG! Loved them all. Especially the elephants. And the row by row. Too many cute quilts to mention. Thanks for sharing all you share.

    —Arliene Zeigler on November 5, 2015
  • I really enjoy your blog/newsletter in general, but I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    —Moki48 on November 5, 2015
  • Hi– I really like the all in a row idea–It would be a perfect way to put those left over and trial squares to use–I really enjoy your site–keep up the good work.

    Bea Donald on November 5, 2015
  • This post is inspiring. I love the creativity it presents but must admit that I am most inspired by the "all in a row" segment.

    —Alison on November 5, 2015
  • I have loved elephants my whole life. I wish I could have been there to see them all. Thanks for sharing.

    —Diane S on November 5, 2015
  • Stitches to Savor and the New Hexagon books really caught my eye. They both look like they would keep me busy for a while making gorgeous quilts.

    —connie b on November 5, 2015
  • For all of us who are unable to attend the big quilt shows, thank you for bringing them to us!! All the new trends are so exciting and inspiring….

    —grammaOldBones on November 6, 2015
  • Thank you for posting these inspirational ideas! My favorite is the row by row and the elephants that I plan to use.

    —Carole on November 6, 2015
  • Great ideas – love the arrows & the fab colours in the rainbow of colour are amazing.

    —Suzanne Keal on November 6, 2015
  • I think the Splash of Color would fit my stash very well. I am trying to reduce it so I am looking and think about ways to use odd yardage in ingenious ways.

    —Marilyn Koestler on November 19, 2015

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