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Behind the scenes at Quilt Market 2018

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018


International Quilt Market was filled with inspiration as usual. Fabric. Notions. Quilts. Friends.

I filmed several Facebook Lives during Market. They are on our Facebook Page, so take a look and get a closer view at some of what inspired me. I toured Moda Fabrics, FreeSpirit, Northcott, RJR, and Benartex on the Market side of the floor. I also did an interview with Cathy Wiggins about her leather saddles in the Festival side of the floor.

Overall, I found that while I still found some brights in familiar lines, eg, the lines from In the Beginning and Westminster/Free Spirit, I did notice that colors were more pastel and a bit dustier. Backgrounds had more cream/beige than whites, as in the past. I saw also saw more small prints.

Garment patterns continue to be a strong addition to Market.

And tuffets were everywhere. It seemed every designer had a specially created tuffet to match her/his new line.

Here’s just a bit of what I saw


Michael Miller introduced 38 new color ways to its Color Couture line, which now features 214 colors for 2019. The colors seem to be a bit dustier or toned down, so it’s a swing from the very brights that we’ve seen in the past. I did a tour of the booth showing several new lines, which you’ll see on Facebook.

Forest Gifts, from Axelle Design and Michael Miller, is based on a family walk through the woods. The prints feature mushrooms, nuts, berries, leaves, and birds.

Susan Emory’s fun new line with Michael Miller is called Goat Island. She was inspired by an island in the Lake Gaston (NC) area of Pea Hill Creak. The line features, of course, goats, as well as a plaid, small prints, fish and sailboats.

In the Beginning Fabrics has digitalized its Dit Dot collection with the Dit Dot Evolution line with 40 colorways. The tiny dots make a great blender fabric.

Paula Nadelstern is celebrating 20 years designing with Bernartex. Her newest collection is More is More. The 22-piece collection includes an exquisite medallion panel to cut apart, a complex “fusion” allover, an interesting stripe, and lots of rich, textured allovers in brilliant colors. To celebrate the designer’s 20 years, Benartex hosted a scavenger hunt throughout Market. In addition to the fabric, Paula had two of her quilts on display as well as some large opulent beaded ornaments. 

Modern Quilt Studio in conjunction with Bernartex’s Contempo Divison has released its 18-piece Warp + Weft collection. These yarn dyes are full of color — reds, pinks, yellows, and greens — and texture — plaids, stripes, and wovens. They pair wonderfully with MQS’ Dots Crazy and Printology collections.

Northcott Fabrics is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Stonehenge fabric brand. The newest collection is called Stonehenge Solstice. It features a panel representing the Stonehenge in England and 22 other complementary pieces. 

Linda Hahn introduced her first collection with Northcott’s Banyon Batiks brand. Titled Island Vibes, the nine pieces have a definite beachy vibe.

Machines + Notions

Bernina has introduced the Q 20 foldable table. This longarm sit-down machine opens to 47.25″ and folds to 9.” The size is perfect for those who need to put your machine out of the way at the end of the day. The SRP is $8999.

Quilters Select™ and Alex Anderson introduced Free Fuse, a semi-permanent fusible powder. This powder creates a semi-permanent bond between most fabrics, battings, and textiles. The bonding agent is activated by a medium heat iron and is needle-friendly and easy to use. It comes in a 2 ounce shaker and refills are available. Available in 2 ounce shakers.

Pudgie Parrot LLC has added four new colors  to its Your Nest™ line. Your Nest is now available in Martin, Flamingo, Hummingbird, Peacock, Bluebird, Cardinal, Raven. Your Nest is perfect for sewing or office supplies, even your phone, to keep yourself organized. It’s handy is so many places beside your sewing room. SRP is $18:95.

Special Exhibits

In addition to the premiere os Quilts: A World of Beauty, the judged show of the International Quilt Association, the show included nearly 50 special exhibits of quilts and more. Some of the exhibits that I enjoyed were the Power of Women; OURstory: Human Rights Stories in Fabric; the Best of Dinner at Eight Artists; Rising Stars — Jill Kerttula and Cecilia Koppmann; and Tactile Architecture™. You can see pictures of the winning quilts in the IQA exhibit here.

We were also treated to exhibits that were not quilts. Quilted Leather Art Saddles featured quilted, one-of-a-kind art saddles. You can see a video on our Facebook Page with Cathy Wiggins, the artist. And Cheryl Sleboda shared her Adventures in Comics and Cosplay. The exhibit featured Cheryl’s new cosplay-centric product line and her quilts, which were based on a series of techniques of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby and reinterpreted.

It’s your turn!

What did you see at Market that struck you?


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.”

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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


What’s New at Quilt Market, Part 2

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

This is a continuation of all the new fabrics, notions, and other products I saw at Quilt Market this year. You’ll find last week’s impressions on our blog.

1. Clover introduced a number of new products this fall including a 18 mm rotary cutter. The cutter is slender, easy to hold and perfect for cutting out small curved pieces. Also from Clover are “Door Knob TIps” by Judy Hansen. This series of six sewing and quilting reference guides hang like “Do Not Disturb” signs on a door knob. Topics include Binding, Machine Piecing, Machine Quilting, Paper Piecing, Fusible Machine Appliqué and Quilt Measurements.

2. YLI has introduced a new set of threads from Elly Sienkiewicz to celebrate her new book Elly Sienkiewicz’s Beloved Baltimore Album Quilt and the exhibit at International Quilt Market and Festival “Baltimore Album Review II: Baltimore’s Daughters – Friends Stitch Past to Future.” The threads are designed to be used for embellishing after appliqué and are available in at set of four 30-weight silk in variegated colors and also in a set of six that adds two 100-weight silk twisted with metallic. Plans are for the threads to be sold individually.

3. New from designer Robyn Pandolph is her “Scarborough Fair” collection influenced by street festivals, carousels and maypoles. Robyn has also opened a studio in Galveston that features her fabric collections, quilts and other treasures.

4. Pinmoor is a product from Loretta Ivison that lets you use straight pins to baste. After pinning through the fabric you push the pin into a small, pliable plastic tube. This system is easier to use, takes less time to use and also easier to remove than safety pins.

5. If you missed Quilt Festival, you can still get some behind-the-scenes looks at some of the exhibits, new fabrics and ideas for small projects and quilts in International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene, a special publication from Quilting Arts and Interweave.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Quilting Industry Value Exceeds $3.5 Billion

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Every few years Quilts Inc. (producers of International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Market) and Creative Crafts Group (publishers of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine) commission the Quilting in America ™ survey to determine the size and dollar value of our industry. They also look in-depth at 2,500 qualified “dedicated” quilters to learn more about their buying habits. Here are some of the key survey findings:

  • Total U.S. quilting industry value is $3,580,000,000 ($3.58 billion).
  • Total quilters exceed 21 million, an average of 1.3 quilters per household
  • Quilting households spent an average of $219 on their craft in 2010, up 27 percent from 2006. Dedicated quilters spend on average $2,442 per year on quilting for a total of $2.5 billion.
  • Dedicated quilters estimate the average dollar value of their “stash” to be $3,677 and their quilting tools and supplies to be $8,542.
  • Dedicated quilters own an average of 2.7 sewing machines and 25 percent own more than four machines. In the last 12 months of the survey period, 19 percent purchased a new machine spending $2,679 on the machine.
  • Currently 91 percent of dedicated quilters own a personal computer and 73 percent regularly access the Internet. They average two hours per week on quilting websites, 56 percent go online two or more times a day and 28 percent belong to Facebook.

You can read more about the survey, including additional results in the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join

Do Your Customers Know How to Find You After the Sale?

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Over the weekend I stopped into Bath and Body Works to purchase some hand cream, and it was packaged in a nice paper bag with the company name in large letters. What struck me was below the name was “Shop 24/7 at” Great idea. Of course I knew the company would have an Internet presence, but I loved the not-so-subtle way they reminded me I could find them after the sale.

This also reminded me of an experience I had many years ago vending at a major regional show near my home. I knew lots of the area quilters, and they stopped by the booth excited to show me all their new finds. One product in particular – and I can’t remember now exactly what it was – was a new notion. Everyone who saw it wanted to know where to get it. The receipt had the company’s name and nothing else. The show catalog listed the vendors, only not their locations. I didn’t know where they were, and the only option was for someone to go up and down all the aisles until she found this particular vendor. As I recall, the vendor ended up being in my aisle, though I didn’t know it at the time. I suspect this vendor missed a lot of follow-up sales during the show.

How can you put my experiences to use? When I did that regional show, as well as other larger shows, including Quilt Market and Festival, I had a stamp made with my booth number on it. I think the stamp cost less than $5. Since I used handwritten receipts, I pre-stamped that booth number on the customer copies in my receipt book. I hoped that when all those quilters went back to their hotel rooms and shared their purchases, anyone who wanted to purchase from me would be able to easily find my booth.

Today many people use computerized or printed receipts, and you have the ability to print a message on those receipts. You can add your booth number if at a show, your website, or some other message to encourage repeat sales. One idea that came to mind for a shop was to advertise an upcoming sale or even to offer a small discount for a return visit with the receipt.

As for the shopping bag idea, this would be easy to accomplish when you need to reorder bags. Another option would be to print adhesive labels with the additional info and add them to the bag.

I’m sure you have other ideas to let your customers know how to find you after the sale. Please share them here.

Entering Quilt Shows

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Barbara Dann/FSQ ShowAttending the Friendship Star Quilters show over the weekend reminded me of the variety of reasons quilters have for entering shows. For many,  it’s a chance to share what they’ve accomplished with others.  It’s a chance to support your guild’s efforts, and for many guilds this is what pays for lectures and workshops.  For teachers, it’s a wonderful opportunity to share what their students have accomplished. If you are a professional, it’s a chance to get your work seen by a larger and potential buying audience or to increase your exposure in the quilt or art world at large. For some entering a local show is a stepping stone to a larger show.

Do you remember the first time you entered a quilt in a quilt show? I do.

I was a member of the Charlotte Quilters Guild in 1977, and several of us decided to enter our work in the annual NQA show, which was held at Georgetown Visitation Prep in Washington, D.C. Of course, it wasn’t enough to just enter, we had to go to the show. It was very exciting stepping into this larger venue. I remember that my grandmother met me at the show. I was thrilled she could see my work, and she was quite impressed with all the variety of quilts. (Of course, she did cast her viewer’s choice for one of my quilts!)

Of all the reasons to enter a show, though, I think the best is the opportunity to grow as a quilter and an artist. Why do you enter shows and how does this stretch you?

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

Meet Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

The Summer issue of The Professional Quilter includes a profile of Joan Hawley, owner of Lazy Girl Designs. I’ve known Joan for years now, first meeting her at Quilt Market. Isn’t that where you make some of the best connections? Anyway, here’s an excerpt of our interview with Joan.

Why did you decide to start Lazy Girl Designs?
I started Lazy Girl on a whim. I was between jobs in my  planning career due to relocating for my husband’s job. Sewing, quilting and writing patterns were something to do while sending out résumés and waiting for interviews. When quilt shops showed interest in my designs, I decided to give it six months and see what happened. That was 1997, and I haven’t looked back.

I think your business name is quite creative and distinct. How did you decide on it?
I was struggling to find a name that fit my style and approach. I searched high and low. I read the dictionary for inspiration. I checked out the thesaurus, too. One day, I picked up a cookbook and started reading. I saw a recipe for Lazy Girl Soup and my search was over. Lazy Girl fit.

How large is your product line?
In addition to 50 patterns, I have three books and one DVD. I also created the Lazy Angle ruler and market a “no math needed” Flying Geese x 4™ ruler. To complete the bag line, I also designed Bag-E-Bottoms, acrylic bases in several sizes to give our most popular bag, purse and tote patterns a sturdy bottom, and Handy Tab™, ready-to-sew fabric strips used to attach accessories, such as handles or D-rings, to the bags.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business?
The single biggest and ongoing challenge is achieving my goal of not having the business force life changes on me. I structured the operation and functioning of the company to fit me, not the other way around. For instance, I don’t want to manage employees. I’ve done that in my previous career. It’s administrative and emotional overhead and takes away from the time I need to run the company. I hire contract labor as needed for specialty tasks. For instance, I pay my acrylic manufacturers to package my items for me rather than create warehouse/assembly space and hire workers on my end.

You can read more of the interview with Joan Hawley in the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter. If your subscription is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page.

Spring Quilt Market

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I’m back from Market. It was exhilarating and exhausting. It was great to catch up with other professionals, and I met lots of new people in the industry. I enjoy seeing the new fabrics. I love the beachy colors – blues, greens, yellows, oranges – clear, crisp, almost sherbetty colors. After all, the oranges did make me think of mango! OK, most colors make me think of food!

Just a bit of what I liked: The Authentic line by Sweetwater Design from Moda. It’s filled with typography and newsprint fabric; must reflect my journalism background!


Also showcasing Moda‘s line is Joanna Figueroa with Fig Tree & Co.


Avlyn fabrics also has several nice new lines, including Belle Fleur, a white, green and black graphic collection from Karen Combs. Karen also introduced here Batik Cascade line.

And always a favorite for me is the Michael Miller booth, with bright happy colors.


And, while I didn’t get a photo, Kona Bay always has a wonderful fabric selection.

And I liked what Valori Wells did to decorate her booth. She took swatches of her lines and sewed them onto a canvas cloth and hung that. It was simple and effective.


One of my favorite designers is Robyn Pandolph, who designs fabric for RJR. Here she is with Barbara Bradley. They’ll work together from a new design studio soon.


I caught up with a couple of my favorite bag makers. Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs was delivering her newest girl Claire for display in several booths. And Terry Atkinson has two new books, including Big Bags, little bags, which includes ideas for using yo-yos for a little zing and for using oilcloth for your bag. Both Joan and Terry have great tutorials on their blogs.

Here are a few shots from my row at the show. Susan Cleveland with Pieces Be With You was on one side of me and Karen Montgomery from The Quilt Company was on the other. Karen’s got some great shots of the floor on her blog.


Across the aisle were Janine Burke and Amy Walsh from Blue Underground Studios.


And here’s one last shot with quilt artist and author ReNae Merrill and Leslie O’Brien, PQ advertising rep.


I did pick up some new notions, so look for some reviews in the future. The big item I think was the bias binding maker from Simplicity/Wrights/Ez.

And, what coverage of Quilt Market would be complete without a mention of Sample Spree? This is the most hectic event, everyone’s first peek at what’s new. People line up early to get first chance to buy fabric in particular. Here’s a shot of the line waiting to get in. The doors open at 8 pm; the first person was in line at 2:30!


And, as for our location, we were at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. It’s a fabulous facility with lots of natural light; everything looks good in that lighting. Pittsburgh is a great city, too, with friendly people and terrific food – any city that puts French fries on a sandwich or salad ranks high with me! I hope we’ll be back next time we go to the East Coast.

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