I returned from the wholesale quilt show in Houston last night. It was certainly a whirlwind 2 days packed with tons of new ideas, inspiration and friends. I was thrilled to meet many of the people from Martingale that I have worked with over the past few years working on my books. It was so nice to put faces with names. They also don't seem so intimidating now.
I spent the first day checking out the vendors. There were lots of fabric manufacturers with lots of booths and lots of tables for shops to order fabrics. The fabrics will be out in the quilt shops in the Spring. The booths were filled with samples of finished items from quilts to bags to iPad covers.
Since it was a wholesale only show, there was not much to buy. Most companies were just taking orders. I was able to score a few freebies. Lots of tote bags.
There also were a bunch of independent designers selling their patterns. Covers for techie gadgets were very popular. I was able to connect with a few thread companies. They were generous with their samples and one even wants me to make samples for their booth next year in exchange for free thread. Whoppee!
There were some new products there as well. One of my favorites is for embroidery, which I do a bit of. I really am a monogrammer. About 2 years ago I was taught the beauty of using spray adhesive for positioning a towel to embroider. I had been struggling with hooping due to the thickness. Your hoop gets pretty grotty with all the spray adhesive and lint. They invented a plastic molded shield to keep the adhesive from gumming up the hoop. The simplest things are the best. What I also like is that she manufactures them in the US in her hometown. The distributors want to know why she doesn't have it done in China because it would be so much cheaper. Because her gadget is so popular, she has given the local factory a lot of work and is proud of it. (www.econceptmall.com)
A bunch of publishers were there. The magazines in particular are looking for projects to publish. One even had a daily get together to encourage designers to contact them. So......... if you ever had a desire - look for their submission guidelines in their magazine.
Options was a great booth with lots of really cool products for storage. (They also make tackle boxes for fishing -Plano).At 11 and 3 each day they gave away a bunch of stuff via a business card drawing. I didn't win anything. On the last day of the wholesale show they were going to hold a drawing and give away all the stuff in their booth! Awesome.
Elephants are hot. Lots and lots of fabric with elephants on it.
This stuffed elephant was in the booth of Valeri Wells.
The Olfa booth was giving away these rubber erasers. And you ask for what? They said it would remove any threads and bits stuck in your rotary cutter mat. What a great idea, I tested it when I got home and YES! it really works.