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Archive for the ‘Quilt Market’ Category

Are trade shows worth your time?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018


Quilt Market, the quilting and soft crafts industry trade show, starts in a few weeks. I’ve been going since 2004. I’ve gone as a vendor, a member of the press, and an educator. Today when I’m not teaching, I spend my time walking the floor, networking, and making connections.

I have always been a fan of trade shows, partly because I love all the tchotchkes. I have buttons, coffee cups, pens and even a couple of stuffed animals from the trade shows I have visited. I have developed quite the reputation among my family and friends for enjoying trade shows.

If you are on the fence about going to Quilt Market or any trade show, here are some reasons why you should make the time.

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The under 45 quilter

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The 2017 Quilting in America™ study took a specific look at a group of younger quilters, those under the age of 45. The complete study indicated an average age for the dedicated quilter of 63, down from 64 in 2014. Over time the average age had been increasing. This was the first time that the study delineated results for this subgroup.

The study reveals some important observations about this younger group of quilters. They are more likely to be an occasional quilter and less committed to the craft, largely based on time and work constraints. Here is what the studied showed about this important group:

  • Educated (4-year college graduate 35%; Post graduate degree 23%)
  • Affluent ($98,000 average household income)
  • More likely to be an occasional quilter, however, they still devote on average 10 hours a week to quilting vs. 13 for the total sample, which is substantial given the other demands on their time. And, this group is two times more likely to be employed full-time while devoting this time to her craft.

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Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

HOUSTON- October 27, 2017- The results are in for the Quilting in America™ 2017 Survey. The survey shows that the annual industry value in terms of consumer spending is $3.7 billion. Quilting in America™ is presented by The Quilting Company and Quilts, Inc., but conducted independently by ORC International and Advantage Research, Inc.

Highlights of the Survey show an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S., the total number of households with a quilter at 6 to 8.3 million, and an average dollar spending per quilting household at $442 annually- that’s a 48% increase over 2014. Modifications to information gathering for the 2017 Survey also reflect an even more accurate assessment than previous editions.

“Dedicated quilters are spending more time and money than in the past. It’s also exciting to see that over the past few years there has been a tremendous increase in the number of quilters who are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital resources to learn about quilting and buy quilting related products,” says John Bolton, Senior VP and General Manager, F+W Media.

“I know that quilters create with their hands, but they often speak with their dollars. And I am very glad to see that they are speaking loudly with their purchasing power,” adds Quilts, Inc. CEO and Founder Karey Bresenhan. “I am honored to be involved in such a creative and artistic community. An added bonus is that quilters are just some of the warmest and most generous human beings I’ve ever come across.”

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Sights and Scenes from Quilt Market

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I spent most of the past week in Houston at International Quilt Market. I have been going since 1994, so I’ve seen quite a lot of changes over the years. I was talking with another vendor about how sophisticated the booths have become. In the “old” days we hung quilts on the poles and maybe did a little decoration. Today, some companies build an installation to showcase their products. It’s very exciting to see this energy in the industry. Here’s a bit of what I saw, both in words and pictures. If I had to narrow my impressions to one word, it would be streamers. More on that later.


This is an appliqué pressing sheet developed by Sharon Bradley of New Zealand. The sheet has a “honeycomb” structure that traps the adhesive so it doesn’t spread. The transparent mat is tacky so your appliqué stays in place. It is also easily cleaned. You can watch a video of this product here.

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Impressions from Spring Quilt Market 2017

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017


The Spring 2017 edition of International Quilt Market took place in St. Louis this year. As always I’m inspired and energized by what I see. Overall, I thought the colors looked clear and fresh, which I like. I saw several lines with words and/or letters. And, the inclusion of clothing patterns continues. Here are more specifics.

Michael Miller

A major theme in Michael Miller booth was Paper Doll, which featured four wall quilts with fabric (as opposed to paper) doll bodies. You or your children or grandchildren create clothes and stick them to the dolls. A wonderful way to encourage connection and to introduce children to sewing.  Also new from Michael Miller is the vivid 21-piece Hello collection by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design. The line features an old telephone print (remember those!), scissors, exclamation points, and fun letters to cut out, along with blenders and tonals in graphite and aqua colorways. Free patterns and kitting instructions are available. The line ships in June and promotions include a summer blog hop followed by an Instagram hop. (

Moda Fabrics

Moda introduced its 40-piece William Morris line, which was inspired by the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The prints are from the wallpaper and textile designs of William Morris, 1834-1896). A kit of a 72″ medallion quilt is available. (

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Behind the Scenes at International Quilt Market

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016


I got back from International Quilt Market in Houston on Monday. Quilt Market was founded in 1979, and I’ve been going since 1994. That’s a long time and I’ve seen lots of changes in the industry over the years. The industry continues to change with the times. We’ve seen times of prosperity and times of adversity. Yet, quilting continues to thrive. I came back inspired and optimistic about where our industry is headed. Here is just a bit of what I saw.

Michael Miller Fabrics. During its Schoolhouse presentation, co-owner Kathy Miller talked about color trends in the real world. Navy is the new black. Olive green is a new comfort color. Gold is big as throwback to the 1890s, 1990s and early 2000s. Nice blue greens show up as neutrals. We are also seeing richer colors. Kathy also shared an exciting new product. Michael Miller Fabrics has partnered with EZ Fabrics, designers of Minky, to offer a new line of its prints on a Minky.

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Quilt Market Roundup

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016


I got back on Sunday evening after four days in Salt Lake City, which has to be one of the friendliest cities around. Yes, I just confirmed that it ranks second in a Travel + Leisure poll. I started my stay with a trip to Harmon’s Grocery to pick up flowers for my room, and a young woman actually took me part of the way so I wouldn’t get lost. As for Market itself, I loved catching up with long-time friends and making some new ones. I loved being inspired, and I definitely was.

In a few words, the themes that kept popping up for me are flowers — large flowers — glamping/camping, handwork, and navy and gray.  Here’s just a bit of what I saw.

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More from Quilt Market

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

More From Quilt Market

Last week I shared some of what I found at Quilt Market. Since the show is so large, I couldn’t possibly cover it all in one newsletter, so I went back through my notes and stacks of literature to share more.

  • RJR was recognized for its outstanding booth winning the First Place Best Booth Award in the Multiple Booths category. The booth featured hundreds of beautiful Origami cranes made from the newest RJR collections. Collections included Safari from Jinny Beyer. Safari is designed to bring awareness to the seriousness of animal endangerment. Jinny says she was inspired by the brightly colored garments of the African Maasai tribe and the hues of the Serengeti skies. If you are looking for neutrals, Audrey Wright with Legacy Patterns designed a gray scale collection called Neutral Territory. I saw a few kitchen themed lines and Patrick Lose has designed In the Kitchen featuring designs with oven mitts, forks and spoons, mixers, coffee ups as well as some tone on tone and small scale prints. Also from Patrick is Millefiori, an addition to his Basically Patrick collection.
  • BERNINA introduced its Q-matic, its longarm automation system. The Q-matic is designed for the BERNINA Q series machines and features a 23″ all-in-one touch PC mounted to the side of the frame for easy access to designing. The Q-matic comes with more than 200 designs included. Bernina also announced its partnership with American Quilters Society and its initiative of online quilting instruction.
  • Moda celebrated 40 years in business at Quilt Market this year. Luke Haynes created his debut line, Dapper, with Moda. It includes 30 woven that have the quirky feel of a well-loved vintage shirt. Also new with Moda is designer Wenche Wolff Hatling of Northern Quilts. Wenche is a Norweigan quilt designer and introduced Jol, a collection of yule-themed graphics in gray and red. I’m a word person, and Sweetwater Designs know for its text prints didn’t disappoint with its Volume II collection.
  • On the pattern front, I saw lots of new patterns. Some that stuck with me were the collage patterns from Laura Heine of Fiberworks especially Pinterton, a pink flamingo, and Flaura Vintage Trailer, which is the vintage pink trailer that Laura uses to travel to shoos. I also saw that Joan Hawley had her two new patterns in a number of booths helping to showcase both the pattern and the fabric lines. Patterns included Sweetpea Pods, a small angled bag; and Fabio, a lanyard-style key fob.
  • Clover Needlecraft introduced a number of new products that quilters and sewists will enjoy. Added to the Press Perfect by Joan Hawley line is the Hot Ruler, a ruler that can be used with a hot iron. Clover also introduced a wedge iron that easily gets under layers of fabric with its narrow tip. And if you’re interested in adding crochet to your store, I loved the Jumbo Armour Crochet Hooks with the bright handles. Clover also has free project instructions for using fabric scraps with the hooks to make baskets and rugs.
  • New from Floriani (RNK Distributing) with Alex Anderson is Quilters Select stabilizers, fusibles and battings. The product line includes cotton and wool batts as well as a machine batt with a water-soluble fusible coating.
  • New from Michael Miller is Nature Walk by Tamara Kate. I heard Tamara talk at Schoolhouse where she shared that the inspiration for the designs came from family walks on the weekend. Part of the collection is a panel of the alphabet, each letter featuring something nature inspired. Into the Deep by Patti Sloniger features 27 SKUs shown in two colorways, Laguna and Tropical. Michael Miller also introduced some new flannel and gauze lines.

This was just a partial look at what I saw at Quilt Market. I can’t wait to see some of these fabrics in new quilts and garments. Please share what else you saw that was new.



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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


See the ICAP blog at


What’s New at Quilt Market

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

What's new at Quilt Market


If my math is correct, this is my 44th visit to International Quilt Market. I’ve been going since the fall of 1994, mostly with a booth and walking the floor for the last year. I always return invigorated by the sights and activities of Market and Festival. I love reconnecting with the friends in the industry I’ve made over the years. It’s like a family reunion! Here’s just a bit of what I saw that was new this year.

    • New from Andover is the Little House on the Prairie collection. Walnut Grove features prints from the era of Laura Ingalls’ childhood, Prairie Flowers is a rainbow of calicos inspired by the TV show, and Scenics and Icons features iconic imagery inspired by the novels. Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) and Charlotte Stewart (Eva Beadle) made an appearance during the show to promote the line as well as the release of the DVDs of the restored and remastered original series and a recently released documentary. “The attic and the cellar were full of good things once more and Laura and Mary had started to make patchwork quilts.”
    • One of the hot patterns on the floor was Pop-Ups from Fat Quarter Gypsy. This 6″-tall collapsible container is created with a fat quarter, and the pattern includes the spring you’ll need to complete the project. A second pattern is available in 8″, 10.5″ and 15″ sizes. The designer, Joanne Hillestad, came up with the design at the Creative Arts Business Summit in 2015. She also teamed up with several designers to show you how to feature their designs in your Pop-Up.
    • Springs Creative introduced the Small Wonders fabric collection from Mary Fons. The Small Wonders debut line was curated from Springs vault of vintage art and fabric swatches, The Baxter Mill Archives of antique designs dating back to the 1800s. The line features six country collections each with distinct small prints.
    • In general as I walked the floor I looked for color trend and what came back to me again and again was the use of less pure white across the fabric lines and a move to more of a broader neutral palette in the white range. The motifs that stuck with me were elephants and bicycles.
    • Mary Ellen’s Products introduced two new scents to its Best Press line of clear starch and sizing alternatives: Winter Magic, an evergreen scent, and Frankincense and Myrrh. The product comes in a spray bottle, so it’s environmentally friendly and you can see how much product is left. Best Press doesn’t flake, clog or leave a white residue on dark fabrics.
    • Prym-Dritz introduced its espadrilles program so you can start making your own shoes! They offer everything from the soles and fabrics for lining and tops to the notions needed to sew your shoes. You can get an idea from the short video tutorial “How to Make Espadrilles by Dritz,” on You Tube. Seeing the options that you can make is fun.

I’ll share more from Market next week.



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


See the ICAP blog at


Are You In a Market Frenzy?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

quiltmarket2014In the past few weeks several of my clients have talked with me about what I am calling trade show frenzy. They are going to Market for the first time and do not know what to expect, what to bring, etc. I thought I would share some of my tried and true tips.

  1. Set an intention before you go. Of course, it would have been good to have done this a few weeks back, but it is never too late to set an intention. What do you want to have happen as a result of your going? Is it more sales? Is it more names on your contact list? Is it to pick up a distributor? Is it to fill holes in the shop inventory? Is it to make connections? The clearer you are about what you want, the more likelihood that you will be focused in that direction and it will happen. I also think it would be productive to start each day with a focus on what that intention is. This puts you in charge.
  1. Be open to all the possibilities in front of you. While you have an intention, you will be confronted with many, many opportunities. You may have the chance to chat with someone you admire. You may make a connection with a distributor who is interested in your patterns. You may have a chance meeting with a shop owner looking for a teacher or vice versa. You do not have to make a decision about the possibility, just make note of it and follow-up later.  P.S. Be sure to have business cards/handouts with you.
  1. Watch for energy drains. This could be too much noise (and Market will be noisy). It could be that you are hungry or thirsty. It could be too much chocolate from the stash every booth seems to offer. Maybe you have a headache. It could be general stress. Look for where it shows up in your body. This is about awareness. You probably already know where your energy drains come from so be prepared. Have water and healthy snacks available. Know where you can head when the noise gets to you.
  1. Most of all have fun! It can be overwhelming — and remember if you do not get everything done you want, another Market comes around in May.



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


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