What’s It Like at Market, Anyway?

We talk about it all the time – Quilt Market.  You might be wondering what is it and what all the buzz is about.  In the most basic of terms, Quilt Market is a retail trade show.  It’s where quilt shop owners go to find the latest products, trends and inspiration for quilting. We really get rejuvenated at market.  We find out what we have been doing right and what we can do better. In order to attend Quilt Market, you must have a retail business, or in my case, are affiliated with a shop. It happens twice a year; the fall show is always in Houston, TX, and the spring show locations change.  Karen and I just got back from fall market; take a look at what it was like this year.

Day One – Market always kicks off with an all-day event called School House.  School House is made up of mini classes that last about 30 minutes.  You hear about new books, patterns, techniques, and fabrics in a lecture setting lead by well-known designers, authors, and businesses. We learn from all of them.  Overall, School House is a bit like high school – Karen even got in trouble for talking, which I’m sure that happened a few times for her in her teens!

Day Two – The trade show opens and the fun begins!  We try to scope out the hundreds of vendors on the first day. If you’ve been to a quilt show with vendors, it looks very similar to that setup except on a huge scale.  This year I took notes on my new iPad about what vendors we wanted to revisit.  It’s kind of like buying a new pair of shoes – you don’t want to buy the first pair you like just in case you find something better at the next store you visit.  After the show closes at 6:00 p.m., the work begins. No, not at the bar! We headed back to our hotel and sorted through all our notes and photos and discussed what vendors we wanted to revisit and what to order.

Day Three – Mixed in with vendor revisits we had appointments with fabric reps.  The fabric we buy at market arrives anytime between one week and eight months later. Some of the fabric we picked out this time around is for Halloween and Christmas fabric for 2012. Wow!

Day Four – The last day of market usually closes early so the pressure is on to get our last few appointments wrapped up and do a final lap around to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  Usually we find things on the last day that we hadn’t noticed before and this year was no different.  We stopped to look at fabric from some new designers called “dear Stella.” Their booth was fresh and modern.  Check out the nautical prints in the top photo – it will be coming soon in our shop.

We also checked out Blend – a new collective of designers under Anna Griffin.  Babysaurus is a fun collection in both the pastel and primary colors that we ordered.

Since we got back to Boise, a lot of people have been asking me what the latest trends are that we found at market. I would say gray is still dominating the color field.  For little girls we saw lots of ruffles.  Dinosaurs and cars were also a popular favorite for boys.  Now that we’re home, the big question is where we going to put all that new fabric when it finally arrives! I know it’s only been a few days since we left Houston, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s market – I’m ready to go again.

— Posted by Della


3 responses to “What’s It Like at Market, Anyway?

  1. Sooo jealous!

  2. Thank you!! What a treat to get a peak inside Quilt Market!
    Beautiful fabrics!

  3. This was fun. Always wished I could attend Market and I just did without hurting feet at the end of the day.

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