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Archive for the ‘Trade Show’ Category

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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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. (michaelmillerfabrics.com)

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. (modafabrics.com)

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Quilt Market Roundup

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

quiltmarketroundup

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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Create a Powerful Intention for Trade Shows

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

 

powerfulintention

 

Many readers of this post are preparing for Quilt Market, the annual trade show of the quilting and soft craft industries. Others are preparing for a retail show or other trade show. I have talked with several of my clients preparing for the shows about their challenges, and this was part of our discussion this past week on our monthly ICAP group coaching call. It seems a lot of people are in a frenzy about what needs to get done.

 

I think it comes down to being clear about your intentions for the show. If my math is right, this will be my 40th Quilt Market, either attending or walking the show. My first was in 1994, and I have learned quite a lot over the years about how to get the most from the show.

 

The biggest suggestion I have is to go in with a clear intention of what you want from going to any show. 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 specific connections? The clearer you are about what you want, the more likely that you will be focused in that direction and it will happen.

 

How do you know how big an intention to create? How big should you think? What I discovered was if you dig into the meaning of intention, the Latin root means “stretching, purpose.” Keeping that in the back of my mind is a help as I set an intention.

 

After you start to create a list of your intentions, go back and dig deeper. Why are these intentions important to you? Come up with several good reasons besides “it would be cool to have or do … .” It might be that a specific amount of sales are needed for immediate cash flow. It might be that you cannot grow without adding a distributor. It could be that you need to learn something specific to grow your business. (And, the cool reason is OK, too.)

 

What will happen in your business if you meet this intention? What will happen in your business if you do not meet this intention? These questions will really help you prioritize your intentions.

 

What do you need in order to make this intention a reality? Who do you need to become to make this intention a materialize? Many creative arts professionals are introverts and being “on the stage” is hard. Do you need to learn to put that introvert self on hold? Do you need to practice your “elevator speech” so you feel comfortable talking about what you do? Do you need to join Toastmasters to hone your speaking skills?

 

How will you meet this intention? Create a list of five actions. This could start with listing the booth locations of vendors you need to connect with. It might be to deliver 10 brochures a day to potential customers.

 

Once you have gone through this process, you might want to prioritize your actions or intentions. After all, you may have several intentions. Then start each day with a focus on what the intention will be and follow through. This puts you in charge of the process, and I know you will see better results.

 

I have shared the following story with many of my clients over the years. When I gave my first lecture at Quilt Market, I was more than nervous. I had set an intention to give a lecture and submitted a proposal for “Boost Your Business With Email Marketing.” I was thrilled when it was selected. If my intention was to do a great job at the lecture, get rave reviews so I would be asked back, to promote my business, to get people interested in a future class I was offering, then I definitely had work to do. I considered what actions I needed to take, what qualities I needed to develop, where I needed to shift my mindset, what I needed to learn. By being clear on my intention and what was needed to get me there, I know I offered a wonderful lecture to the more than 150 people who attended. Best of all, I have been on the Quilt Market faculty for many years, and I know I have been able to provide value to help shop owners build their businesses.

 

It did all start with an intention. Do you want to receive more information on how to effectively create an intention and plan your next steps? Get our free Intention Strategizer below.

 

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In the meanwhile, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with regard to setting intentions at trade shows you present at or attend. You are also welcome to leave a comment on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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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 http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

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Quilt Market Trends

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

I just love Quilt Market. It’s inspiring to see new fabrics, new notions, not to mention all those quilts! While space does not permit a full review, here is a highlight of some of what I saw.

  • Downton Abbey® was the rage, and not just on television. Andover Fabrics showcased its new Downton Abbey line at a packed, standing-room only Schoolhouse where they were joined by the show’s head of costume production and head of set design. The line features collections for the major characters.
  • Blue and navy are trends right now, as is gray as a neutral. Gray is also moving toward the warmer, tan side. You could see this in a number of booths, including Michael Miller, pairing the gray with citron.
  • Use of social media was big. Lots of people were shooting videos, posting on Facebook and Instagram, and using hashtags. Moda had a good time with hashtags shooting a video of its designers saying “Hashtag, show me the Moda!”
  • Bernina introduced several new products, including its new top-of-the-line sewing, embroidery and quilting machine, the Bernina 880, which features a full 12 inches to the right of the needle, a 1,200 stitches per minute speed, a bobbin with 80 percent more thread capacity and a seven-inch color touchscreen with scrollable navigation, and more. Also new, and available in the spring, is Bernina’s longarm machine, so watch for more on that.
  • Stella Lighting introduced its new Stella Edge, which clamps onto the table edge. This LED light features the same Tri-Color Spectrum technology as in Stella’s other two lamps.
  • Clover introduced its new Perfect Press Collection by Joan Hawley. This line of 10 products is designed to bring great basics back into your pressing station. I particularly liked the Hot Hemmer, a hand-size ruled, heat-resistant surface that lets you measure, mark and press straight hems, round, interior or miter corners. Also useful is the Dry Heat Pro Finish Pressing Sheets for use with heat-sensitive projects including vinyls and laminates. And, if space is an issue, you’ll love the 2×4 Mighty Mini Board, a compact ironing board that’s also perfect for small items.
  • LaviShea introduced new scents to its popular Lotion Bars. The moisturizing lotion bars melt with your body heat and do not leave a greasy residue making them perfect for handworkers.

Please share your thoughts on your favorite finds below.



More From Quilt Market

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Quilt market picContinuing my reporting from a couple weeks ago, here is more of what captured my eye in Portland at this year’s Spring Quilt Market:

1. As always Moda had lots of new designs in yummy colors. From its news designer, Gina Martin, comes bright, graphic and whimsical patterns depicting birds, bird houses and garden flowers in her premiere collection, Wrens & Friends. From designer Kate Spain comes Sunnyside, a bright collection of yellows, blues, greens and tangerines. The latest collection from Zen Chic an Brigitte Heitland is Barcelona, a cheery collection of graphic prints, tiles, strips and dots. Also loved the booth design. It featured more than 19,000 laser cut leaves in the top fall Bella colors sewn into a hanging forest. (www.modafabrics.com)

2. Sawgrass Technologies is bringing digital fabric printing to the mass market with its FabricMaker fabric printing system. The system, available in personal or professional packages, lets individuals or shops print custom Fat Quarters, 24″ or 44″ yardage in its unique 8-color ink set. (www.fabricmaker.com)

3. Island Batik launched Quilted in Honor, a fund-raising initiative for Operation Homefront, one of the nation’s top military fund-raising organizations. The flagship of the program is Island Batik’s Quilted in Honor fabric line designed by Kathy Engle. A wide range of retail products were designed and crated by Quilted in Honor partners to support the project. (www.quiltedinhonor.com)

4. New from Omnigrid is the On-Point™ Ruler designed by Donna Thomas. This ruler measures across the diagonal rather than the sides. This is great for cutting squares, triangles and rectangles that are to be set on point in a border or inside a patchwork block. (www.omnigrid.com)

5. ArtKloth is a canvas-like foundation cloth that can be used to create projects ranging from totes to wall hangings to roller shades. It’s versatile and you can fuse fabric onto it, glue or rubber stamp on it or paint on it. It’s available in sheets or rolls. (www.artkloth.com)

6. I always love the colorful display at the Michael Miller Fabrics booth, and this year I was not disappointed with the swan boat that graced the booth with its “Spring is in the air” theme. New from Tamara Kate is Flight Patterns, which was inspired by dappled light, fresh breezes and care-free summer days, and les Monsieurs, which is best described as all boy filled with whimsical cars, planes and castles. Laura Gunn’s Edges featured graphic circles, grids, lines and mosaics in a collection of springy brights and neutrals. Also premiering from Michael Miller is a new batiks line. (michaelmillerfabrics.com)

Please share your thoughts on what caught your eye below.  

What Do Judges Look For?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

20100827_checking-out-a-quilt_33You’ve just finished your latest quilt, are proud of your accomplishment and want to show it off. You first share it with your family, then with your small quilting “bee” and finally take it to show and tell at your next guild meeting. For some quilters, this is enough. For others, it is not. Many quilters want to see how their quilts stack up against the competition, whether that is hanging the quilt in a local, non-judged show or entering it in a major juried and judged competition. In addition to gaining recognition for your quilts, you also educate other quilters and the general public about quilting and its standards. For local guild shows, this is often a primary reason for holding a show. Additionally, if your quilt is entered in a judged show, you can set goals for improvement based on feedback from the judges or your own comparison with winning quilts. And, of course, you might just win a prize, either a ribbon, cash, or merchandise.

Impartiality in judging is important and one way this is done is through use of a panel of independent judges, usually three. Judges can be trained and certified by the National Quilting Association, or they can be trained through experience. They all adhere to similar standards of judging, although final results will be varied based on the individuals.

Judging can take place either before or after the quilts are hung, and each method has advantages. Judging quilts after they are hung allows the visual impact of the quilt to be better appreciated. Judging quilts before they are hung is usually faster, but visual impact takes second place to the ability to view the workmanship.

Judges often use scorecards or evaluation forms and either a point system, an elimination system or a combination of the two to evaluate the individual entries. The point system uses a predetermined maximum number of points to judge specific areas, for example, up to 20 points for the color and design, up to 20 points for construction, up to 15 points for finishing, etc., with the total equaling 100 points. Each quilt is judged on its own merits, and the quilt with the highest total number of points is awarded the first place.

The elimination system, on the other hand, allows each judge to evaluate a quilt, make comments on its technique and offer feedback for improvement. If the judge feels the quilt should be held for ribbon/award consideration, it is put aside. If not, it is released from the competition portion. After the quilts are judged in this preliminary fashion, the held quilts are compared to others in its category and the winners are determined.

Neither system is perfect. Regardless, judges evaluate quilts against the same standards. Here are just a few of the commonly held standards that judges use:

General Appearance

  • The quilt makes an overall positive statement upon viewing
  • The quilt is clean and “ready to show,” i.e., no visible marks, no loose threads, no pet hair, no bearding, no offensive odors.
  • The quilt’s edges are not distorted. This is easier to gauge when the quilt is hung.

Design and Composition

  • All the individual design elements of the quilt – top, quilting, choice of fabric, sashes, borders, embellishments, finishing – are unified.
  • The design is in proportion and balanced.
  • Borders or other edge treatments enhance the quilt appearance.

Workmanship

  • Piecing is precise, corners match and points are sharp.
  • Seams, including those of sashing and borders, are secure, straight and flat.
  • Quilting stitches are straight where intended and curved where intended.

As noted, judges consider certain “standards” when evaluating quilts – and the list is really quite extensive – but how do they decide which quilts are the prizewinners? And what is more important, design or workmanship? In the end I think it comes down to design, the quilt with the greater visual impact. But even the quilt with the greatest visual impact cannot rescue poor workmanship

The Professional Quilter has an ongoing column geared just for judges, but it’s useful for those who are entering shows. Scott Murkin, NQA Certified Judge, writes those columns. We also offer three resources recommended for those in judging programs. You can learn more about The Challenge of Judging by Jeannie Spears, Judging Quilts by Katy Christopherson, and a audio recording of a conversation on “The Judge’s Perspective” between Morna McEver Golletz and judges Jane Hall and Scott Murkin on our resources page. We also offer a package with all three of the resources. See the Resources for Judges page on our website. Use code Judge when you check out to save 15% on any of these resources through 3/15/13.

Please share your thoughts on support systems on the blog

 

Should You Go To Trade Shows

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Quilt Market, our industry’s twice a year trade show, starts on Friday. I have the honor of being one of the kick-off lectures. My lecture is on Pinterest. Not everyone agrees with the value of attending a trade show. Here are my top six reasons to go:

1. You need to stay abreast of industry trends. Sure you can wait for your fabric rep or distributor to stop by and show you the new fabric or patterns. Going in person gives you a jump on your competition and puts you in the know sooner than others. Plus lots of different fabrics or patterns, (i.e., the big picture), makes it easier to focus on the trends.

2. You make some fabulous connections. The networking opportunities are endless. You will never meet more people who are interested in your business than at a trade show. And, these people will be life-long connections and lead to more connections, all to the good of your business.

3. Attending or exhibiting builds your reputation. Many of us, other than shop owners, work in an isolated environment. Getting out and being seen by others in the industry lets them know who you are and builds your name recognition.

4. Trade shows gives you a chance to capture leads and follow-up with attendees. If you are exhibiting in a booth, you want to be able to make sales in your booth. Not everyone will buy and your next best option is to sell to them later. This is a great opportunity to gather names of potential buyers so you can contact them when you have a new product or to let them know of a sale. Be sure you have a system in place to collect those names.

5. Knowledge. Trade shows often have lectures and classes. You have a chance to learn how to market a particular product from its designer or learn about a topic that’s new to you.

6. Serendipity. You’ve heard me talk about the “bright, shiny object” syndrome. Well, here’s your chance to actually find some of that BSO; whether that’s the unsuspected new product you’ve been looking for, or the tchotchke you just happen upon, or the new contact you make on the shuttle bus.

What is your reason for attending trade shows?

Please share your thoughts below.

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