Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Köln Hobby & Handarbeit

Speaking of fabrics... this past weekend I traveled to Köln (Cologne) and met Juliette for the annual Hobby & Handarbeit convention where companies within the trade gather to introduce new fabrics, patterns, ribbons, yarns, wools, buttons, zippers, sewing machines, and everything that a crafter could ever dream of. "Oh" and "Ah" are common phrases that one would use for such an event and I left totally inspired by what I saw.

... even though knitting, crocheting, and wool crafts are not usually my medium of choice, these projects inspired me to reconsider adding one more hobby to my list.

... it's hard to say if I'm more of a ribbon girl or a button girl... I think more of a ribbon girl. Who wouldn't be with these beautiful jacquard ribbons?

... no, no, wait, I'm definitely more of a button girl... or at least until I stumble on more fabulous ribbons that cause me to teeter on the verge of fair-weatheredness.

But for me the thing that excited me more than fantastic fabric, colorful wools, beautiful ribbons, or detailed buttons, was meeting someone in person that I really admire.
Do you have anyone that you really look up to, hold in high regard, and really inspires you? You've heard me talk endlessly about the brilliantly designed fabrics from Amy Butler... I would probably even consider her the benchmark for quilting fabric designers, but after having met her in person, it became clear to me that there is a reason she is so successful... I guess I believe that a good part of who a person is often shows up in ones work.

It's been rumored by others that have met Amy, that she is authentic, real, and down-to-earth, but as I was chatting with her at the show I found that I could not agree more. What I expected to be quick in and out talk with maybe an autograph, actually turned out to be a lengthy and interesting conversation. I got the feeling that she was truly interested in meeting the people that are a part of the dream that she is living out. She had talked about balance... working really hard at what you do and enjoying it, but taking the time to enjoy "the fruits of your labor". So true... and as Amy said herself, "Beauty is in the way you live. Enjoy your surroundings. Let them inspire you. Follow your own path, and approach everything you do with love in your heart".

In addition, it was really great to hear first hand about a few projects that Amy has in the works... which only leaves me eagerly anticipating the next brilliant thing she puts her hand to. Want to hear more about the show? Check out Juliette's post..


  1. Yes, those ribbons are the best. In all my travels I've never found any that compared ... I have included quite a few in some of my quilts and carry a substantial part of the line in my shop. They're one thing I don't mind selling the last inch of because I know they bring so much joy :)

  2. Yes indeed - partner in crime! =) Too bad you live so far away! =(

  3. I am glad to know that they have these craft fairs. I have seen the fabrics in the German stores and boy oh boy do they leave something to be desired. So old fashioned and not in a good retro way. What is with the bold orange prints and dark blue.

  4. Jovita, I have seen these ribbons before and fell in love with them then. I forgot the name... do you know?

    Juliette... Hamburg really is a beautiufl city ; )

    Kellyen, that is the exact reason that I started in fabrics here in the first place. While I really have an appreciation for many styles of fabric and even love old fashioned fabrics, I'm a color and bold pattern girl... which is what the U.S. designers are doing right now. I've definitely found what worked back home doesn't necessarily work here.


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