I’m finally recovered from my Spring Quilt Market “hangover” that I can finally blog about it! This is only my 3rd time attending market (including a brief visit way back in 2008 and then again last fall). My goal for the trip was two-fold: order new precuts for our store and connect with several industry folks to firm up relationships that had already been established and seek out new ones. Jason and I divided and conquered our tasks – he took care of meeting with the vendors while I was able to put on my “designer” hat and mingle with many of the movers and shakers in the industry.
I have to tell you – from a business perspective, it’s worth it to attend market whether you are an aspiring designer, shop owner, or other quilting professional. You just can’t beat the one-on-one face-time that’s possible at an event like this. I was able to firm up previous commitments I’ve already agreed to, and several new opportunities were presented to me as a result of attending. So yay for business networking! Here a few fun highlights from the show:
I was able to meet one-one-one with two of my machine quilting heroes: Angela Walters from Quilting is My Therapy and Leah Day from The Free Motion Quilting Project. These women are incredibly successful and they are very passionate about what they do! They are also generous with their knowledge and it was fun to chat quilting and business with them. I have a feeling you will be seeing more amazing things from these ladies in the future, so be sure to follow them, if you don’t already. :-)
The day before market opens for business, dozens of 15-30 minute schoolhouse presentations are offered so that shop owners can get an overview of the latest and greatest at market. Schedules are handed out a few hours before the event begins and everyone quickly scrambles to choose which lectures they’d like to attend.
It was fun to see smiling friendly faces from the likes of Becca from Sew Me a Song, Amy Friend of During Quiet Time, Leanne Chahley from She Can Quilt, and Sharon McConnell of Color Girl Quilts. We spent the day bumping into various online friends and having lots of great impromptu chats between schoolhouse sessions.
The hardest part was choosing which school houses to attend. So many of my friends were sharing their new books/fabrics/products at the same time! One of the best presentations was from Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting. She has a new book out and her schoolhouse was packed! She enthusiastically shared quilts from her book along with tips for shop owners on how to market it and make kits from it. I took lots of mental notes so that I’ll be ready to roll with my presentation, come fall!
Here’s a little montage of just some of the booths and people I met. Even after 4 days on their feet, these designers kept on smiling! Below from left to right: Bari J., Kimberbell Designs and Amanda Herring (The Quilted Fish), Atkinson Designs, Brenda from Pink Castle, Deb Strain, Sherri McConnell (new Moda fabrics), Carolyn Friedlander, Eleanor Burns, and Elizabeth Hartman.
I took more pictures which I will share in a future Craftsy blog post, so stay tuned for that!
By far, my favorite moment was getting to share sneak peeks of my book and a few quilts from Machine Quilting With Style along with a demo. This was a great practice run for me, as I’ll be able to do a schoolhouse and several book signings in the fall at the next quilt market.
My publisher, Martingale, had a huge booth with a demo area for their authors, plus plenty of quilts on display to showcase their current catalog of books. It was a great setup!
If you were able to participate, either in person, or virtually through social media, what were some of your favorite quilt market moments?