A few of us went to the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach on Friday, and it was just an awesome experience. The Long Beach Convention Center was full of excited consumers (the aisles were absolutely jam-packed!) and various booths representing anything from quilt shops to lint-removal devices.
(Click here to view our photos of the festival. *Note: We decided to use large images to capture all the color. The slideshow may take a few seconds to load.)
We saw tons of cool stuff, like one-of-a-kind art quilts that make you ask "How did you do that?" as well as other creative projects like bags and aprons. These kinds of original projects really stood out, but we also noticed a few trends that seemed to define the festival. First of all, we noticed that most of the fabrics were in the form of pre-cuts and quilt kits with very little being sold directly off of the bolt; the creativity was consequently more in how these materials were packaged. We also noticed an overall abundance of bright solids, often partnered with white.
In this light, it seems that the quilting industry is shifting a bit - catering more to the simple, contemporary style. And that actually makes a lot of sense; more people want to use kits with instructions that allow them to make a quilt in two days rather than spend much more time creating their own designs from an endless supply of fabric. There is no shame in that. In fact, some of the more generic quilts that feature geometrics in solid colors actually appeal to a wider, younger audience that not only like what these contemporary quilts look like, but also appeciate how little stress is involved in creating them.