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Archive for the ‘Quilt Festival’ Category

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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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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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


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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


9 Tips for Shopping Quilt Market

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Quilt Market can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for the first time attendee. Here are some tips to make your experience more productive.

1. Pack comfortable clothes and shoes. You can easily be on your feet for eight hours or more. Take to heart the Quilts Inc. admonition, “Remember at Market, fashion stops at the knees!”

2. Take some healthy snacks with you, like fruits and nuts. All the booths will have snacks of the chocolate variety and while a bit is fine, you want to be sure to keep your stamina up. Once you start walking the floor, it’s hard to leave. Something new or an old friend catches your eye. That sugar rush just won’t sustain you. And, don’t forget to bring water or an empty water bottle to keep hydrated.

3. Take advantage of the learning opportunities. Quilts Inc. has lectures and classes the day before Market opens and then the mornings and evenings when the vendor floor is closed. This is a wonderful opportunity to take back knowledge to share with your staff and customers and to build your business.

4. Don’t wait in line for Sample Spree. I always check the lines for Sample Spree and often find the same people at the front of the line every show. They get in line at 2 pm for an event that starts at 8 pm. They missed half of the Schoolhouse Sessions. Once the doors open, most everyone in line gets in within five to 10 minutes. Even latecomers get in. Last I heard they weren’t giving a prize for first one in the door!

5. Don’t forget your business cards. You are going to meet shop owners and quilt business owners from around the world in addition to ordering for your business. A good tip is to make a note or two on the back of the card as a memory jogger for when you get home. And, to make it easy for ordering, try printing the information on labels to make filling out forms easier.

6. Start with a plan to shop the floor. Spend time the night before going through the show program, marking those you must see. Set a schedule that includes any appointments you have with fabric companies or distributors. If you are shopping with a group, be sure everyone knows the schedule. Many shop owners walk the floor and collect literature during the first day, go over the material at night and then buy the second or third day. Other shop owners know what their shop needs and buy on the first walk through. Figure out the plan that will work best for you.

7. If you are traveling with a group, be sure you’ve got everyone’s phone numbers programmed in to  your phones. Market is really big, and it’s easy to get separated from your group.

8. Look for ways to connect. Everyone has to have lunch and/or dinner. Look for someone at a table, go join them. You’ll probably pick up a business tip and be able to share one, too.

9. Don’t forget to stop by our IAPQ booth and say hi. We’re in 2413.

Please share your tips on blogging here on our blog.

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.

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.

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.

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