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What I Learned at Quilt Market

Quilt Market, the quilt industry’s premier trade show, took place in Minneapolis May 21-23. Minneapolis always seems to welcome us with warm weather and this year was no exception. Thursday, I think the temperature was in the low 80s. Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I discovered at Quilt Market:

1. Quilters Newsletter and Quilts Inc. presented the latest results of the Quilting in America™ 2010 survey. This is the sixth in a series of studies done since 1994 with the intent of measuring the amount of time and money quilters spend on their hobby in addition to profiling the key segments of the market. Some findings: Estimated dollar value of the quilting industry is $3.58 billion. Total quilters in the U.S. now exceeds 21 million. In 2010 dedicated quilters spent a total of nearly $2.5 billion. The dedicated quilter has $8,542 in quilting tools and supplies and owns on average $3,677 worth of fabric. Watch for more details on the survey findings in the Summer issue of The Professional Quilter.

2. Demos are becoming more popular and with good reason. Demos sell. If you don’t demo, here’s an idea I saw in the Thangles booth – use a digital frame to play a video. While the sound was low, you could watch what was happening. It’s another way to engage your booth visitor. MB Hayes with Thangles credits Fabric Café with the idea.

3. Do you want to keep your rotary blade sharp? Try The Cutting Edge ruler system from Sullivans and Pat Sloan. The ruler features full see-through, non-skid frosting and a unique red grid system that highlights the 1/2 inch marking. What is most unique about the ruler is it has an inlaid diamond powder edge that continually sharpens the blade that runs against its edge.

4. Ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles. Michael Miller Fabrics introduced white, raw-edge ruffles, cut on the bias at 3 inches. To showcase the idea, they had a tuffet made from ruffles. And, once I saw the ruffles here, I was seeing them lots of places, particularly on patterns.

5. Clover introduced a new wrap ‘n fuse piping. All you do is cut your fabric, wrap it around the piping, press to fuse and when cool, you have instant piping. It comes as small as 3/16 inches. Clover also introduced a line of eco-friendly bamboo handled notions.

6. Lots of wonderful fabrics: Rue Saint Germaine, Robyn Pandolph’s new line from RJR; an organic cotton line from Kauffman; Ricky Tims’ new Oodles of Doodles line from Red Rooster; Timeless Treasures‘ Tonga Treats, 2.5 inch strips and 10 inch squares from its Tonga Batiks line;  a color wheel line from Avyln; wonderful new pieces from Kona Bay, Moda, Benartex; Clothworks, Northcott, and others. We are so lucky to have this much quality fabric to use.

7. Kaufmann has released an ipod app that’s a quilting calculator.

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.

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2 Responses to “What I Learned at Quilt Market”

  1. Allison Aller said:

    Thanks for the rundown. This was a great peek!

  2. Jean M. Judd said:

    Thanks for the quick overview of Market in Minneapolis, Morna. The Cutting Edge ruler system sounds very interesting.

    I have been seeing more people using the digital picture frames to show demos. Many artists were doing just that at the American Craft Council show in St. Paul, MN in April. It was a good way to show them working in their studios and a wonderful conversation starter.

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