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Here are the highlights from our first trip to Fall Quilt Market. My camera’s memory stick has gone missing, so I only had my phone to use for photos. My apologies for the grainy images.

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Favorite New Textile Designer: Marcia Derse. Alright, I confess… My mom knows her work, but she was new to me. Her fabrics are modern and colorful and beautiful, some with a batik-like flavor. She also had sewn up her fabrics from her new collection in a cool grid, each square separated by a strip of organza. Stunning.

Most Well-Represented Animal: Elephants! Who doesn’t love these intelligent creatures, with their complex, matrilineal social system? I’ve got a hunch that in 2012, they might go the way of the “Put a bird on it” trend. Elephants were everywhere, from Karavan to Kiyohara to Cloud9 (in their adorable Ed Emberley collection). And we fell for it, too… buying super-cool fabric (green and purple elephants, to be exact, with a white background) as well as this cute embroidery pattern from Penguin & Fish. Can’t find any pics of our elephant fabric, but it will be shipping from Japan in December and we should have it in stock by January.

Most Heartwarming Moment: Yes, Mom was giddy as a schoolgirl when meeting Valori Wells, who was ever so sweet. Love her! We enjoyed her Indian-inspired collection, coming this winter, which even includes some soft jersey material which she has made into a cute skirt pattern.

Cutest Kit EVER: SkipStone Creative had such an eye-catching booth (her logo? I adore it)! What I LOVE most is their Guinea Pig Tooth Fairy stuffie. Fingers crossed that it will be arriving just in time for our first show next week, and we’ll put it up on the site just as soon as we can.

Best Meal: Beef Pho from Huynh Restaurant. Living in coastal Florida, I miss all the delicious Asian foods we loved when living abroad and in Minneapolis. The pho was perfect for a blustery and chilly night, especially as I had neglected to check the weather forecast and didn’t think to pack a jacket, long pants, or even closed-toe shoes. Duh.

Only negative was that we had seats in the dreaded windowless row in the back of the plane on AirTran. For this reluctant flyer, it was almost too much. Yuck. AirTran did manage to redeem themselves (we flew stand-by on the way back, and we managed to make it home 9 hours earlier than if we had used the tickets I had booked, and without any additional charges).

Have a wonderful Halloween!