I just got back from Spring Quilt Market and thought I would share some of what I saw with you guys. I have lots of photos so I’ll do it in two blog posts. For those that don’t know…Market is held twice a year, Houston in the fall and changing cities in the spring. This year was St. Louis and next spring is in Portland OR. This is a trade show for quilting businesses. Quilt shops come to see what is the newest and latest items from fabric companies, notion peddlers and pattern designers. It’s sort of like a large (VERY large!) quilt show but on steroids. This show was held in a convention center that was four blocks long. My hotel was at one end and my booth at the other…I got lots and lots of walking done! There were 32 aisles of vendors. I was in aisle 29 right next to the networking lounge. Here’s what my booth looked like when I arrived and the finished product.
My booth was a little skimpy compared to most of the others because everything I needed had to fit into the two suitcases that I flew with and they couldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs. It was an engineering feat. I had to bring carpet, drapes, quilts, patterns, lots of flyers, table cover, chair cover, decorations, etc. I also had to squeeze some clothes in there somewhere…and deodorant, everyone was glad I could fit the deodorant! It was also a little skimpy because I’m not a large corporation with deep pockets…
The first day is set-up of the booth areas. There are dozens of fork-lifts whizzing around, huge crates in the aisles, litter and debris from unpacking everywhere…it’s controlled chaos. Very exciting. This poor lift driver had to maneuver through our aisle. Once all the fork-lift work is complete then they lay the red carpet in the aisles. It’s amazing how everything gets done.
Day two is Schoolhouse all day and Sample Spree at night. Schoolhouse is 15-30 minute classes all day. You get the program in the morning and have to choose your classes. Each time slot has about a dozen classes to choose from. Here are all the shop owners looking over their schedules waiting for the first classes to start. Some of the classes are companies or designers showing off their newest items, others are how-to classes for all the business things we need to know.
I helped out a few friends during their schoolhouse sessions. Here’s Tammy Silvers of Tamarini’s showing off quilts made with her new line Batiks Go Retro from Island Batik. Also a shot of her booth on the Market floor. The purple and orange bag on the floor is one I made in her fabrics!
Here’s Ebony Love showing off her new block of the month program made with her new line Sakura, also by Island Batik. Also a shot of her booth on the Market floor.
Here’s my friend Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters showing off her new EPP templates along with her Vanna White Kelly Ann Richardson of Kelly Ann’s Quilting. I’m very excited that Penni will be a special guest celebrity in my booth during Maine Quilts in July! You’ll get to see her in action and check out her really cool new EPP templates.
Sample Spree is two hours of madness. Think day-after-Thanksgiving shopping for quilters but you only get two hours. Some of the tables are piled high with thread, fabric, pattern kits…all kinds of stuff. The shop owners swarm in and start grabbing.