Wow. Really, wow. Where oh where to begin? How about the what: Spring Quilt Market is currently being held here in Portland, Oregon. Five years ago was the last time Quilt Market was here and where my career as an independent designer really took shape. I may have already told this story, so bear with me for just a moment if you already know all of this.
My mother, Melissa, is a quilter. An amazing quilter who formerly owned a quilt shop in Montana. I didn't grow up with my mother and so our love of fabric and sewing was something we had in common when we became re-acquainted several years ago. She was coming to town to attend market and I, having just started Kung Fu Bambini on a one-of-a-kind basis, tagged along.
Now, a love for sewing we may have in common but our styles are another thing entirely. She's a Montana quilter. She likes moose and bears, oh my! I'm a midwest transplant to the city. I love the saturated colors of candy, flora, fauna, glass, you know, almost edible or covetable or .... let's face it, I can't describe it. But color makes my heart sing. And thus why I'm Lowes' mis-tint best customer. That's another story entirely.
Anyhoo - she was deep into some evergreen tree prints when I stumbled, quite literally, onto Amy Butler's booth. She had just launched Gypsy Caravan and I stopped dead in my tracks causing a half dozen people to crash into each other and me in the aisle. My mouth dropped and I walked right up to the lovely tall blond woman in the booth. Being a complete newbie and having not really thought about the situation at all, I totally thought she was a sales rep and launched into how refreshing it was to see something so new and vibrant in such an evergreen tree-esque environment. Yeah, it was Amy Butler. She was as amazingly nice then as she was again yesterday, but we'll get to that. I quickly took myself right over to Roy from EE Schenck, my local distributor and customer service rep-extraordinaire, and ordered the whole kit and kaboodle. Every print. I still have at least a fat quarter of each and every print from Gypsy Caravan and I have most of Temple Flowers, Ginger Bliss, Charm and Charm II. Jealous? hehe.
Okay, so fast forward five years. Kung fu bambini is a thriving little operation and here I am at market again. Only this time things are quite different. Market is different, I am different.
I am always continually amazed at how much possible visual pleasure I can get at specific tradeshows. I gear up for them expecting a certain amount of visual bliss, but I love the satisfaction in being caught off guard with the abundance of it all. I am a visual person. I can walk the aisles of market and literally feel my mood change based up on the colors, patterns and textures. Each large fabric company has a sectioned off area where their reps sit at tables for appointments to purchase their lines. Most of these areas can be distinguished by the color of their carpet as well as their booth displays. Michael Miller has white carpet and I feel instantly lighter and happier being there. I walked through one company's area that had hunter green carpet and dark fabrics draped everywhere and told Michelle (my design partner on a new project that I'll hint about later) as we walked through that I felt like I was dying inside walking through it. That's how much it affects me. I should get pics of that tomorrow as well.
I'm going to try to cover as much as I can from market, one blog post at a time. The very first thing I need to do is apologize for my lack of photos and their quality. I am going to try for more pics of everything tomorrow. For now, here is quick sneak at Amy Butler's booth. Stunning, as always!