Fall Quilt Market

November 02, 2010

Just back from three days in Houston, TX at the  International Quilt Market.

Jinny hard at work on a sample for her trip to India
We LOVE TJ Lane sterling silver thimbles, chatelaines and more. Jinny makes some selections for the shop in Virginia and the website.
It wasn't ALL work.  Jinny found a treasure at one of the vendor booths!

This event is open "to the trade only" -- meaning that it's an exhibition for those involved in the quilting industry (no consumers allowed.)  Fabric companies, pattern designers, and companies who make and market all kinds of wonderful tools, notions and products for quilters set up their wares in the gigantic conference center. Then thousands of quilt shop owners from around the world visit the booths to find the fabrics and products they want to carry in their shops.

I go to each Market (there's one in the spring, as well as the fall) for two reasons: First, I'm always looking for fun and useful items for my retail shop in Virginia and my website. Second, I often do work on behalf of either my fabric manufacturer (RJR Fabrics) or my publisher (Breckling Press). For instance, this time, I taught two "schoolhouse sessions" (free instructional seminars for attendees) on my color philosophy.

Market also gives me a terrific opportunity to meet with shop owners who carry my fabric, and with RJR staff who tell me what shop owners are telling them.  Usually, I'm also able to fit in meetings with the Japanese firm which creates the final artwork for my fabric designs.  Since they are in Japan and California, and I'm on the East Coast, it's a chance for us to actually fine-tune the details in person.

It's always such a busy time, but this year I was able to get a quick look at the quilts on display for Quilt Festival, which follows Market.  Some of them were just fantastic!

There's lots more coming up this month, too.  Our local shop hop, Quilters' Quest happens mid-month, and I'm off soon to India with a group of avid quilters in a tour organized by Sew Many Places. I can't tell you how excited I am to return to India, the country where I made my very first quilt. I promise lots of pictures and stories as soon as I return!

Happy Quilting!