Sunday, July 22, 2007

CHA Summer, part 1

As I mentioned in my first CHA post, I've never visited the summer show in Chicago. I expected something like the winter show, only a little smaller and seriously hotter. I thought Chicago in the summer to be a little like Little Rock in the summer. H-O-T with a sizzle at the end. On the plane, the temperature in Chicago was 60 degrees. I was afraid. I had spent an enormous amount of time pondering how to wear as few clothes as possible, still look somewhat professional, and work with my crummy, comfy shoes. And now I thought I might actually freeze. It all turned out very well in the end. The weather was nice. Beautiful, really, for the approximately 32 seconds I was out in it, walking from convention center to hotel.

As we all know, I'm sort of a dork. I'm still impressed by the hotel rooms I stay in while traveling for Leisure Arts (with the possible exception of the Ramada/Thunderbird Motel in Minneapolis. I'm not sure impressed is the proper word for that one.) The convention center Hyatt is beautiful with the most fabulous bed...aching feets and back both appreciated it. And here's the outside of the convention center.

I will say that I had no idea that the world needed as many papers and stickers as could be found inside that building. Finding anything faintly quilt related was akin to finding the proverbial needle in the paper haystack. No real fabrics or even books to be seen. Our booth had a good selection of quilt books and there were a couple of other publishers there wtih books, but I guess that quilting is a little unusual to have such a large tradeshow of its own. Even the knit and crochet opportunities were few and far between. The yarn companies, who all have very large booths (and even fashion shows) at the winter show had scaled down operations here. Of course, they also had lovely new yarns to show and new colors as well. This was definitely a scrapper's paradise.

For those of us there to see the trends, it was interesting to see how all those paper makers work to differentiate themselves...colors, styles, graphics. And for a quilter's eye, it was fun to see which patterns had already shown up in fabric and to try to guess which ones might.

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