Saturday, November 18, 2017

Quilt Market Trends

Shopowners attend Quilt Market to learn about the latest trends.  They want to have the newest items in their shops.  Vendors also bring their newest designs and products.  The fabric that is showcased at Market won't be available in quilt shops until the Spring.

Each morning before the doors opened, I walked the aisles to get an overview and see the trends.  I noticed a few.  
1.  Cork - cork that can be used like leather was everywhere.  There were natural colors, colors and prints.

Cork was mainly used for accents on handbags and bags themselves.

2.  Blue & White
This is so exciting.  I love blue and white.  I have a collection of Willow Blue dishes.  My walls are painted blue.  Even my car is blue!  Blue has been on the outs for the past few years.  I'm so glad it's back.

3.  Brights
Bright, clear colors have been on the store's shelves and there is more coming.  Believe it or not, this is a Block of the Month (BOM) called Cadence Court, with instructions to create a wedge a month.  Pretty clever.  It was designed by Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane Designs with her fabbric line - Foundation.

4.  Clothing
There were a bunch of patterns to create clothing, plus knit fabric and double gauze.  It's interesting to see what we think of as quilting fabric appear as a shirt or skirt.Have you started making you own clothing?

Did you take a Quilting In America survey a few months back?  It showed up on many websites.  The results were presented at the beginning of Market.  
       Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry
       There are 7-10 million quilters in the US
       Each quilting household spends an average of $442 annually
       Dedicated quilters are defined as those spending more than $500 or more a year.  The demographics of the dedicated quilter is female, 63 years old, has been quilting for 19 years, is well educated (70% attended college), affluent with average household income of $95,900 and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles.

Not surprising, is there was almost a 40% increase in those who get information from quilting related websites, online classes and videos and participation in social media since 2014.

The good news is there is a growing group of Dedicated quilters under the age of 45.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quilt Market 2017

The decision to be a vendor at the largest quilting trade show was an easy one to make this year.  My Mini Mosaic Quilts have been so popular at quilt shows and quilt guild meetings, so I knew I had to share them with shop owners.  I had a feeling that the pros (exposure and orders) would outweigh the cons (travel and booth expenses).  

My plan was to keep my booth simple so that I wouldn't need a lot of decorative elements.  I felt my quilts would speak for themselves.  I was able to pack everything in 3 suitcases, each pushing the limit at 50 LBS, including a step stool and 4 foot table!

I loved the way my booth turned out including my interactive mosaic.
and my wall of the pattern covers:

There are several opportunities to share your wares.  I figure - in for a penny, in for a pound - so I try and do them all.  Schoolhouse is a series of presentations that occur the day before Market begins. There are multiple presentations taking place at once. I chose to do a 15 minute presentation and that flew by.  Thank goodness I had some helpers, including my buddy, Joyce Hughes.

I was excited to see this sign outside my room:
And here's a long view:

That night, I was a vendor at Sample Spree.  It's a crazy 2 hour frenzy where shop owners/teachers/designers can purchase items at wholesale prices. This used to be the only place where items can be purchased  individually, but that has changed.  I chose to sell 4 of my kits, so that shops would have easy access to create a sample for their shop.  (It also helps to defray the cost of my booth.) I sold out before it was over! That also gave me some time to shop.

The show starts the next day and I spent 3 days in my booth sharing and taking orders.  It was a whirlwind.  Shopowners, distributors, book and magazine publishers stopped by.  They come in waves and then there is a bit of time to catch your breath, but never enough time for lunch. 3 days flew by.

One morning before the show opened, I did a walking tour video of just a small part of the show.  The video is a bit long, but you will see a glimpse of what you will see in the quilt shops come spring.

Breakdown stakes a fraction of the time of set-up.  We were done in 30 minutes.  Kind of like the preparation that goes into a meal which disappears in no time, with the satisfaction of a job well done.

The next blog post, I'll share my view of Market trends.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

In And Out

I never thought I would be a road warrior.  That was my husband when he was VP of International R&D at a major pharmaceutiical company.  I enjoyed staying at home.  So how did it happen that I returned home from the International Quilt Market in Houston on Tuesday and now I'm flying out of Philly at 5:30 AM Sunday morning, heading to Galveston, TX to teach on a quilting cruise?

I returned home, unpacked my bags and then had to repack to teach 3 workshops on that cruise.  I am the queen of making sure that my 2 bags that I'm allowed on Southwest Airllines weigh just under the allowed 50 Lbs.  It ain't easy.

I have so much to share about Quilt Market.  It's the largest trade show for the quilting industry.  This is my second year having a booth.  This year I focused on my Mini Mosaic Quilts.

I am on a tight budget and brought everything I needed for my booth in my suitcases.  I kept it simple to showcase the patterns and technique.  Here's a wall of my pattern covers:
I also set up an interactive mosaic for shopowners/teachers can try out the technique, complete with chiclets and tweezers.
There are 2 events that occur before the doors,open for Quilt Market.  My attitude is, if I've travelled to Houston and went to that expense, I was going to do it all.  During the entire day on Friday, there are Schoolhouses.  Basically they are Show & Tells.  Fabric companies debut their collections for the coming months.  People like me, share a technique and publishing companies share their new books and authors.

My Schoolhouse,
was a very short 15 minutes.  It was wild waiting for the prior group to leave the room, setting up and sharing all my Mini Mosaics in that short of a time!  Thanks to my friend and helper, Joyce Hughes, I did it.
I do have too share that I had a dream/nightmare a few days prior to Schoolhouse, that only 3 people showed up! Fortunately that wasn't the case.

Friday evening is an event called Sample Spree.  In many years past, the purpose was for shop owners to buy patterns and samples for their shops.  The purpose of the samples was to promote the patterns and fill classes.  Now, it's mainly an opportunity for them to purchase one or two of an item at wholesale prices.  I offered Mini Mosaic Kits so they could make their own samples.  It's also a great way to offset the cost of my booth.
Sample Spree opens at 7:00 PM.  We can start setting up at 5:00.  When we arrived to set up, there was already a crowd of shoppers waiting in line for the doors to open.  When the doors open, it's a mad dash to the fabric companies, especially Moda.  I know that I can relax for a bit because after people get their fill of fabric, that won't be available in the shops until Spring, they head to the other tables.  And I did happen to mention during my Schoolhouse that I would have kits at Sample Spree.  I sold out in a little over an hour and then was able to shop myself!

The next day Quilt Market opens.  In my next blog post (after the cruise), I will share some trends and videos from the floor.  You won't want to miss it.