I’m not attending Spring Quilt Market this weekend like many of my peers. I had too many other commitments this time around. However, I do want to share a few “behind-the-scenes” pictures of a recent fabric show I attended locally. One of the things I love about living in Las Vegas (other than the fabulous weather) is the fact that we are a destination city, so smaller, regional fabric trade shows come here a couple of times a year, in between the big ones.
One of the most fun thing about attending trade shows, (besides the free lunch) is running into friends of mine who do what I do. From left to right are Linda from The Stitch Sanctuary, Stacy from Farm Road Quilts, and me. (Jason is kindly taking the picture!)
We swap stories and compare notes about which vendors we are going to see and who has the best stuff. Rather than viewing each other as competition, we network and encourage each other to succeed. Besides, there’s plenty of room for all of us in this business!
This picture is actually from the previous local trade show, but I forgot to get some “action shots” this time around, LOL!!
Meeting with my fabric sales reps in person gives me a chance to not only check out the upcoming lines, it also allows me to get to know them on a more personal basis. Now that our reps all know that we are dealing with precuts exclusively, they can tailor their appointments to show me what I’m truly interested in.
Seeing the precuts in person, rather than simply ordering them from our vendors online allows me to get a really good sense of the colors and see how big each bundle is. Plus, it’s always nice to touch them and play with the pretty ribbons!
The vendor booths also feature tons of scrumptious eye candy – lots of fabulous quilts to show off their latest fabrics and patterns. This quilt was in the EE Schenck booth (they distribute Maywood Studio fabrics, among others). I don’t know which line it was featuring or what pattern, but I sure thought it was striking, and I love the quilting!
Fabric companies also include plenty of inspiration images to go along with their fabrics and many of them will direct their customers (with stores like me) to their free patterns to help promote the new lines. Now that I’m getting to know more quilt designers, it was fun to see this pattern by my friend Kristy featured as I was shopping Windham’s fabrics.
If you ever get a chance to go to a fabric trade show, whether for your own business or as the guest of another company, it sure is a fun and inspiring place to be! I will be eagerly watching many of the blogs I follow over the next week or so for their spring quilt market reports. It will almost be like being there.