I really enjoyed the Amish Quilts from the Esprit collection displayed at QuiltCon this year. The story behind the acquisition of these quilts feels incredibly genuine and speaks to the greater purpose of QuiltCon, which to me is inspiring others to make things by hand.
From what I've read, Doug Tompkins, one of the co-founders of the California based clothing company Esprit, first saw Amish Quilts on display at the Abstract Design in American Quilts exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the 70's. He was so in awe by the simplicity, strong graphics, and workmanship of these quilts from Lancaster County, that he started to collect them and display them in the Esprit offices. Can you imagine how inspiring these quilts must have been to young designers working at Esprit?
I'm also in awe of the seemingly simple color combinations and design of these quilts. When you look closely, the quilting details are incredible.
There were many more amazing quilts on display at QuiltCon. Click through to see the winners in each category. Quilts are such a tactile art form, I feel like these photos really don't do them justice.
As for me, I picked up lots of inspiration! I loved snooping around the neighborhood we stayed in to see what folks were growing. Lots of agaves and pebble rock gardens.
Here's my haul from the show! I managed to buy only a half yard of fabric, a book, a magazine, and some fun notions.
Here's a few old buddies and new acquaintances you should click through and check out!
Reprint + Repurpose
Bianca block prints on up-cycled fabrics. She had them packaged in these bundles that were so popular at QuiltCon, they sold out! Through her site you'll find a mini course on design and a subscription service for a bi-monthly fabric bundle. Cool!
Tacy Gray Pattern Designer
My friend Tacy lives in California and is a pattern designer and long arm quilter. Check out her site for quilt patterns and her blog for some awesome tips and tutorials; like this one: 8 Tips for Making Pet Quilts
The Maasai International
Minala Grace lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia and designs beautiful African inspired fashions. She uses wax prints, batiques, and linens from Africa and Italy. I saw so many amazing dresses and fabrics, I couldn't decide what to buy! I'm glad she's in Atlanta because I'm visiting soon!
Mountain Thread Company
Katherine's shop is in Blowing Rock, NC, and she's all things rope! These little rope kits were a huge hit at QuiltCon.
I'm a fan girl of Brooklyn Haberdashery. Look at these lovely notions and fun notebook kit (that kept me busy on the 15 hour drive home) I got from her shop!
Pantera is a fellow printmaker! She taught two classes on block printing and we heard from so many customers about how wonderful they were. I love her handled bags and layered prints.
Swoon. Beautiful Liberty quilting cottons and other prints by English designers. Lizzie picked up a sweet stash of hand-printed fabrics from ColetteK and also gifted me a sweet ceramic brooch! (thank you Lizzie!)
Sarah Hibbert is a hand-stitching queen! I love following her projects and hand-stitching on Instagram, so it was wonderful to put a face to the name. :)
A Gathering of Stitches
Samantha runs a slow-stitching retreat in Maine. On my bucket list to visit one day. I love seeing what she's up to on Instagram. Slow fashion and thoughtful design inspiration.
Shout out to Lizzie who helped me manage the show! We shared our booth where she sold her own work under The Small Circle. Have you seen her recent bias bindings, pincushions and tidy trays!?
Our booth setup really came together this year. Here's a few shots:(a couple of sneak peeks on some upcoming launches in these shots! Just saying.. ;)
QuiltCon will be in Atlanta in 2021! If you're a fan of fabric, fiber art, pattern, sustainable sewing, and nice people, I highly recommend you come! There are loads of workshops, lectures, quilts, and vendors to see!