Spring Quilt Market! Top 10 trends

Martingale Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer, Jennifer KeltnerQuilt Market is a trade show where shop owners, designers, and quilt industry professionals gather to show the latest and greatest offerings coming soon to quilt shops near YOU. You might say it’s where independent quilt shops go to shop—looking for new fabrics, notions, books, club ideas, and more!
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Spring Quilt Market 2015--Martingale booth
The Martingale booth, where we shared our latest offerings.

This May, Quilt Market was held in Minneapolis. Martingale sent a team of 10 employees to the show, not only to scope out potential new authors, but also to showcase authors’ books that are soon to be released. In addition, our team was looking to spot new trends. So what did our team find at this latest Market? Here are 10 top trends you might want to keep your eye on:
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1. It’s all about the HOUSE—house blocks, houses printed on fabric, embroidered houses, wool houses, no matter where you live, you’ll want to be quilting a new neighborhood that’s uniquely yours! Author Melissa Corry is right on trend with her quilt “The Village Square,” from her just-released book, Irish Chain Quilts.

The Village Square quilt
“The Village Square”
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2. Big animals were BIG: Think supersized lions, foxes, deer, and elephants. The bigger the better—and we’re thinking they’ll be a big hit!

Jungle Abstractions Lion Quilt by Violet Craft
“Jungle Abstractions Lion Quilt” by Violet Craft; a show favorite in the Michael Miller booth
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3. Tradition is back in vogue. In blocks and in fabrics, traditional patterns and looks are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. In patterns, think classics such as Log Cabin, Nine Patch, Ohio Star, and Churn Dash. In colors, think fewer superbright palettes and more traditional colorways, especially those involving browns and tans.

Civil War Remembered4. Reproduction prints? Hot, hot, hot! Big quilts, little quilts, and every size in between. Quilts that appear to be from the past are very popular in the present. Need a little something to help you get started? Check out the latest bestseller Civil War Remembered from authors Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene.

5. Color trends? We saw fashion hues coming on strong around the market—coral, mint, purple, and blues, to name a few.
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Stitches to Savor 2016 Wall-Art Calendar6. Got wool? If so, you’ll be seeing plenty of books and patterns to put your wool to work. The tactile nature and ease of stitching wool seems to be catching on. Even if you’re not a wool stitcher, get in on this trend with a copy of Stitches to Savor: 2016 Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo from Martingale. Its rich, detailed photographs will have you oohing and aahing every month and maybe even petting the pages! Trust me, you don’t want to miss getting your copy of this limited-edition calendar. Buy one early before they sell out!

7. Handwork is hip. Embroidery and English paper piecing continue to capture the attention and imagination of quilters. For those of us who juggle multiple projects at once (and really, who doesn’t?), consider always having at least one handwork project in your repertoire. If you haven’t yet joined the hexagon craze, check out the best-seller The New Hexagon from author Katja Marek. You can join Katja’s Millefiore quilt-along on Facebook.
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Karen's rosette from The New Hexagon
Director of sales and marketing Karen Johnson’s rosette from Katja’s quilt-along, based on blocks from The New Hexagon.
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Machine Quilting with Style8. Machine quilting. Learning to finish your own quilts—whether on a home sewing machine or long-arm quilting machine—is what everyone is talking about and learning to do! Have no fear, there’s plenty of advice coming in books from your favorite authors. And if you’re thinking, “I’m no artist, I can’t do free-motion,” have no fear. You won’t have to wait long. In September 2015, author Christa Watson’s Machine Quilting with Style book from Martingale includes an entire section of walking-foot wonders that take you beyond stitching in the ditch. Who knew?
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Primitive Style9. Primitives are popular again! It’s been a while, but dark wool, primitive motifs, and rustic designs are everywhere. Stay tuned for a Martingale book in December, Primitive Style: Folk-Art Quilts and Other Finery from author Jenifer Gaston.

10. To go along with the machine-quilting craze, we saw fabrics go beyond basic to help you in developing your machine-quilting muscle memory. We loved Robert Kaufman’s DRAWN fabrics by Angela Walters. Her fabrics incorporate some of her favorite quilting designs. For your part, drop the feed dogs and practice free-motion quilting over the printed designs until you get the rhythm and confidence you need to try it on your own. Brilliant!

Those were the top trends we spotted at market. Which ones make your quilting heart beat faster? We’d love to hear the top trend or two you’re most excited about.

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