Tracking trends on foot truly a sole search

Brass, copper and aluminum zipper teeth are formed into jewelry by Indygo Junction in an edgy new trend. Watch for zipper trimming on shoes and handbags, too.

Hundreds of exhibitors set up for the recent International Quilt Market, a trade show at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

Fashion stops at the knees, said the enrollment form for the recent 2011 International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.

“Be sure to bring a couple of pairs of comfortable, supportive shoes to keep that spring in your step,” because you’ll be covering so much territory at this professional trade show, the organizers’ tips read.

Good advice, it turns out. After three 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. days scouring hundreds of tricked out exhibitor booths at the Salt Palace Convention Center, my two pairs of tennis shoes truly saved my soles.

All the newest fabrics and sewing products, quilting notions and top industry designers under one immense roof — sensory overload threatened more than once, like 3-D movie characters lunging off the big screen into my startled face.

With my daughter, Loyse Hinkle of Grand Junction, as photographer, the two of us managed to stick to a plan and glean as much as possible from the media experience.

Here are five of the top trends spotted at the mid-May quilt market:

1. Zipper jewelry made from a mix of brass, copper and aluminum zipper teeth. Bracelets, necklaces and brooches are formed in floral, spiral and wave motifs from recycled metal zippers or new zipper trim sold by the yard. Indygo Junction is introducing the patterns.

Also, an accessories report in a fashion magazine shows zipper teeth on purses, shoes and headbands.

I expect this “zip” in our wardrobes to stay around awhile.

2. Paper doll quilts were the focus of Riley Blake Designs, where two large ones were displayed and given away at the end of the spring market event. The promotion, All Dolled Up in Salt Lake City, was compliments of the company’s 30 participating designers, all from Utah.

Each made a block, dressing a fabric doll to the nines and adding all types of cute and clever details. Then the blocks were sewn together to form big quilts. Each doll was about 11 inches tall, and market attendees could pick up free templates and instructions at various booths.

In one block, a girl in pajamas has a blanket and holds a pillow under one arm. Embroidered above her is the saying, “Dreams are free, so free your dreams.” You can download this pattern and others for free through

3. Fashion fabrics and clothing patterns abounded for women, including skirts, tunics, blouses and dresses in modern, ethnic and retro styles. Jess Goldman of Idaho, owner and designer of Bananafana patterns, modeled her newest retro ‘50s-style garment.

Called “Betty,” the black-and-white striped skirt with a petti skirt and fitted waistband looks flirty yet tailored. Goldman accessorizes with yellow heels and jewelry. Instructions for her coordinating headband are included in the pattern.

The young and highly successful designer Amy Butler goes beyond cotton and presents her fashion fabrics in rayon, corduroy and voile, all versions of her India-inspired prints from her Soul Blossoms collection.

4. Designer laminated fabric, in which a soft and glossy protective film is adhered to cotton (this product is not vinyl). It’s pliable and easy to wipe clean for items such as raincoats, hats, shower curtains, baby bibs, diaper and tote bags, tablecloths and even umbrellas. Go to for tips from Amy Butler on how to sew with laminates.

5. Baby clothes and accessories and nursery decor dominated many of the booths. Examples of crib quilts showed animal-themed prints, sailboats and soft-colored patterns called “Sugar & Spice” and “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe.” Those were joined by matching or coordinating floor rugs, curtains, lamp shades, diaper bags, bibs, play mats, soft baby toys and even tiny footwear. Yes, footwear for those who aren’t yet walking: quilted ballet shoes, quilted Mary Janes, even quilted cowboy boots.

This listing barely begins to encompass what all was seen and heard at quilt market. I’ll be sharing more insider tips in future columns.

Meanwhile, I’m putting my feet up for a well-deserved rest.

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