Welcome to Wednesday StitchyMites….
Today for me is all about PACKING, because tomorrow afternoon I leave for International Quilt Market in Houston! For those of you who don’t know, IQM is the largest wholesale quilt show in the world. It’s in Houston, Texas every year. IQM, is just “Houston” as everyone in the industry calls the show, is where all the secrets for the following season are revealed by all the fabric companies, notions companies and designers. All the new fabrics are shown, the new gadgets, new books and new everything! Only retailers and designers can go, people with quilting businesses.
It’s followed the week after by International Quilt FESTIVAL, which is the retail arm of the situation. That’s for anyone to go to, theres loads of stalls from quilt stores all over the world, and a huge quilt show of international quilts from just about everywhere.
I don’t usually go to Festival because the quilts are what I really want to see and they’re hanging at Market. And Market is why I’m there, for work. I used to go every year, but these days I only go when I have something huge and new launching, like a fabric collection or something so sneak secret and exciting that the company I’m working with flies me over!
Which brings me to why I’m going…. Ok you can’t tell anyone yet, you promise? This is the other thing I mentioned a few weeks back, that I’m doing with a different special friend than the Stop, Thief! quilt.
If you know things about me, things that aren’t just the quilts, you will know that one of my best friends happens to be Tula Pink. I’ve known Tula for a very long time, since before she was TULA PINK SUPERSTAR and just my mate T. She’s a very special person to me and I know I am to her too. We have been playing with an idea for how to work together for a long time now, and we finally made it happen.
SO drumroll! I have designed the 2024 Free Spirit Block of the Month, using all Tula’s fabrics. We are going to do all the video tutorials TOGETHER, so when you log in each month you will see Miss T sitting in my very own studio (gawd, I’d better clean it up before she gets here hahahaha), sewing on her own version of the quilt and giving me trouble while I try and teach you things. We’re so excited. It’s going to be fab.
The quilt is called Big Woods. The blocks are BIG, so the appliqué is meant for confident beginners on up. The fun thing I’ve done with this one is that the blocks are customisable! So this is the base version of the quilt, which if you haven’t appliquéd before or you want something simple is the perfect project!
Then each month there will be other things you can add to your block to flesh it out if you want it busier and are willing to do more appliqué. There will be little projects along the way too, that you can add the forest critters and insects and mushrooms to. And hot pink template sets! And needle minders! And a special Aurifil thread set!! Fun? Fun!!
Free Spirit is doing complete fabric kits, and the BOM will run the same way as it always does, through my website. Stores can order the kits in (make sure and tell your local patchwork shop!!) and then you sign up at my website and do the BOM through your account as usual.
You may start to think that I am a little excited, and you would be correct. The bummer is that it doesn’t start until August 1, and the signups don’t open until April.
But in the mean time, you can do Stop, Thief! to keep yourselves busy, and dream of wolves and bears and squirrels, oh my! Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone, I’m not supposed to have told you until Friday :) I was just busting at the seams to tell SOMEONE, so the Smite peeps have the scoop.
The other fun thing going on around here is the Liberty EPP cubes I have at the website, have you seen them? Dang they’re sweet, and handy too. They’re flying out the door so if you want one for Christmas, get your skates on! Theres a little video I did about them at the website, and on my Instagram too if that’s easier for you to hunt out.
OK peeps I’m off to put my new hot pink Superga sneaks into my suitcase and cut out some EPP for the plane! Next weeks StitchyMites will be all the news from Market, I promise to get you all the hot scoops. Stay safe x