We asked some of our favorite quilters, sewists, designers and shop owners to reflect on the sewing industry in 2010 and offer predictions for 2011. We’ll share their interviews as we look ahead to the new year, and we want to hear from you too! Answer any or all of our questions. Your participation enters you in a drawing for one of five $15 Sew,Mama,Sew! gift certificates on January 15th.

Today Susanne Woods tells us a little about her thoughts on the sewing industry in 2010 and 2011. Susanne is an acquisitions editor for C&T Publishing and Stash Books; you might remember her post about publishing your own book here at Sew,Mama,Sew! Read her ideas about the sewing industry from a publishing industry perspective!

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?
Susanne: I think we saw the online swaps gather more and more enthusiasts. 18 months ago I would have said that modern quilters were not really joiners. Well, it turns out that we are… We just needed the right club!

I am thrilled that Little Birds hit such a strong cord with everyone as the birds trend really held in 2010.

Tote with Penguin & Fish embroidery, courtesy of Penguin & Fish.

I loved seeing so much embroidery this year and think that will continue to grow. Other 2010 trends: typography & turquoise, burlap & banners, laminated cottons & linen, and some fabulous fabrics on Spoonflower.

SMS: What were some of your favorite things?
Susanne: Here would be my awards for 2010:

    Sewing Ambassador of the Year: Elizabeth Hartman because she is so generous with her information and her work is flawless.

    Searching out the Unexpected: Kim Kight and her True Up blog because she often features fabrics from Market that I never even saw.

    Telling It Like It Is: Lizzy House because… Well, because we all need a dose of the truth.

    Biggest Overachiever: Alissa Haight Carlton for everything she has done to create and promote The Modern Quilt Guild.

    Book I Wish I Had Published: Wee Wonderfuls

    Industry Leader/Professional: Betz White because I love everything she makes, she is always thinking outside of the box, she takes the industry and her role within it very seriously, and she is a true innovator.

    Where Did that Come From?: Parisville by Tula Pink.

Cameo Sky from the Parisville fabric collection by Tula Pink for Free Spirit.

SMS: What was the best thing you made in 2010?
Susanne: The ‘best’ thing I made will be one of our first quilt patterns on PatternSpot.com but I can’t reveal that until we begin our beta testing! But, my second favorite thing is this fox I made for my younger son’s third birthday.

The face is based on the fox in Countryside Softies by Amy Adams but I made a different body so that mine has long legs for my son to drag around. I used thrift store felted sweaters and fabric from a thrifted suit for the body.

SMS: What do you think 2011 has in store?
Susanne: I think that quilters are going to get more adventurous with their quilting techniques (as opposed to piecing). I think our newest venture, PatternSpot.com, will be successful because I believe the trend in individual patterns will continue to increase. I also think that with so many talented artists discovering fabric as their preferred medium, we will start seeing a division between occasional crafters and dedicated designers.

I’m kind of a ‘watcher’ by nature (and profession), so I hope this won’t sound glib… As we all become more skilled sewists, it is exciting to see who will begin taking more and more risks with their work to drive the creative innovation that is vital to inspiring and maintaining the energy of our industry and craft. I have my guesses, but am not ready to tip my hand quite yet! If we don’t start seeing it in 2011, then I feel sure it will happen in 2012.

SMS: Any bloggers, quilters, sewists or designers who you think will be rising stars in 2011?

Susanne: 2011? I’m looking at 2012 and 2013! I’d love to tell you whom I am really excited about, but you’ll just have to wait and see our new releases on our StashBooks.com blog. But, for the moment, here are a few designers who I wish would write a book for me: Mimi Kirchner, Tamar Morgendorf, Simply Robin, Valerie Goodwin and Kathy York.

SMS: What was your very favorite fabric collection or print?
Susanne: Without a doubt, Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda. Moda had the fabric printed in Japan and the hand on the collection is divine! To me, Aneela’s fabric lines have the same appeal as Heather Ross’ designs.

Angela Walters quilting for the Fall 2010 Quilt Market Parisville/Tula Pink booth.

SMS: What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?
Susanne: Again, that’s an easy question: The free-motion quilting done by Angela Walters for the Parisville/Tula Pink booth at Fall 2010 Quilt Market. Breath-tak-ing.

SMS: Anything you’re ready for the world to get over? 

Susanne: Weird/Ugly/Subversive softies.

SMS: Any thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
Susanne: I spend most of my time interacting through social media. I do hate that because there is such a sensitivity to who might be reading what, that there is often a total lack of opinion. I am a massive advocate for professionalism, but I object to the concept that the world of social media is an insular, shiny-happy place. That’s a lot of pressure and, come on… We all know that isn’t reality.

I am rarely on Facebook, I try to blog for Stash Books 3-5 times a month, and I keep up my own blog, but it’s a lot to maintain and I protect my evening/weekend time with my family (gotta get those Lego ™ marathons in at some point!). I do love Twitter though. I tweet at @craftyeditor and I usually tweet for @stashbooks too.

SMS: Predictions or wishes?
Susanne: There is a lot of content, a lot of talent, and a lack of time. I believe that trusted editors of content will become more important, not less. Sites that showcase and select a wide variety of work like Whip Up, Craftzine, The Crafts Dept, The Long Thread and, of course, Sew,Mama,Sew!, will become more and more relied upon by sewing enthusiasts who can’t spend all day trolling the blogs, but still want to see a wide selection of quality projects and receive daily doses of inspiration.

SMS: Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2011? Any big projects, life changes or goals you can reveal?
Susanne: As I mentioned, I am excited about C&T Publishing’s launch of PatternSpot.com in the next few months. PatternSpot.com is an online marketplace for downloadable PDF patterns. Whether you design 2 or 200 patterns, this is the place to sell your digital patterns and where shoppers can download them instantly. It is a familiar model (like Ravelry.com and Patternfish.com), but focuses on selling patterns made using fabric: quilts, bags, clothes, whatever as long as it uses fabric. It is an un-edited, non-exclusive, available-to-everyone marketplace, so anyone can upload and/or buy. We prioritized ease of use, a strong search engine, and intuitive design as key components of the site (sneak peek above). Email me at susannew (at) ctpub (dot) com for more information or sign up to receive updates on our beta launch at www.patternspot.com. Feedback and questions welcome. Really!

Thanks, Susanne! Remember, you can play along too