Okay. Can we have a quiet moment of truth? How many of you want to be at Quilt Market? Is it just me!?! On Instagram, there are sneak peeks at new fabric lines with sewists saying they are “preparing for Quilt Market”. (As I am writing this post, there are 486 posts under the hashtag #quiltmarketprep alone.) You can almost see the sweat glistening off of their brows, the dirty dishes in their sinks and thread all over their clothes.
But wait, what is Quilt Market??? The International Quilt Market is held twice a year. There is an International Quilt Market for industry members and a Quilt Festival/Quilt Show. The Fall Market and Festival is always in Houston, Texas and the Spring Market and Festival rotates locations. Next year, the Festival will be in Chicago, Illinois with the Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (By the way, if you were sitting next to me, you would have heard me say “minn-a-so-da”. I think my Midwestern friends would be proud of me!)
Why is Quilt Market so exciting? Quilt Market is when new fabric lines and quilting products are debuted. Schoolhouse classes present both the fabric and products. There is also a Sample Spree of those products for attendees at discounted prices. Not everyone can attend Quilt Market and the credential requirements are getting tighter.
The reality of Quilt Market for the industry (written from an outsider perspective)
Quilt Market is a trade show where people are trying to make money and fabric stores are spending money. While I’m sure that designers would LOVE to spend every minute with fangirls like me, the reality is this show is their business. Every minute of their time that I take up, means one less minute sells their products to a store or working on a collaboration. And while Sample Spree sounds fun, it also sounds like organized chaos. It is fun to be the first lemming to have fabric (me and Indelible) but the early fabric distribution is intended to go to quilt stores where they can make samples for when the new fabric lines come out. I write all this to say there are many ways to think about Quilt Market.
So what can you do if you are not going to Houston?
1) You can sit at home, turn off all facebook notifications and log off of Instagram. People will be overgramming Quilt Market and (trust me!) it makes you want to hop on a plane to Houston. So if you want to save money, you might want to distract yourself with another activity instead. Perhaps sewing! Last year, I participated in a sew-in for those of us #notgoingtomarket! 🙂
2) Put on your big girl panties and use the experience to plan ahead. I love, love, love seeing all of the new fabric lines and products. When I discover a line I really want, I note when it comes out and watch for stores with pre-orders. I tend to shop for a combination of lowest price/mom and pop store/trusted customer service and decide how to allocate my meager fabric stash funds. I also like to think about what I would make with the fabric lines.
Do you want to know about Quilt Market from an “insider perspective”? Katy from I’m A Ginger Monkey wrote a three part blog post series about her experiences preparing for this year’s event. You can read about them here, here and here.
So do you still want to go? Are you going to ignore all of the awesomeness of Quilt Market or embrace it?