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Posts Tagged ‘International Quilt Festival’

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.

I’m Coming to Pittsburgh – May 14th

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I’m giving my lecture “Boost Your Quilt Business With Internet Marketing” on May 14 at International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. We also have a booth – No. 1524. Here’s a link for more information: International Quilt Festival. I’ll look for you there.  Be sure to stop by!

Thoughts from International Quilt Market & Festival

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I mentioned some about my trip to International Quilt Market and Festival a couple of weeks ago. At Market, fabric colors still seemed to be clear and bright, though I did notice some browns creeping back in. Lots of large designer prints, a la Amy Butler; lots of young new designers, including Jay McCarroll, Project Runways’s 2005 winner, now designing for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Also fans of Robin Pandolph will be thrilled that she is now designing for RJR. The other thing that struck me was food: lots of jelly roll, turnover and layer cake fabrics, books, patterns. Nice to have a non-caloric choice!

One of the niftiest new products I saw was Clearly Perfect Angles from New Leaf Stitches. This vinyl template sticks to your sewing machine table via static cling and lets you sew 45 degree angles. It also has 1/4 and 5/8 inch seam guides. These static-cling products remind me of the Colorforms I had as a child. My favorite was the repositionable fashion model. I remember drawing around the model and then creating dress designs on paper.

Quilts Inc. has released the following attendance figures for Market: 3,321 attendees and 551 exhibitors taking 1,144 booths.

The quilt show featured a number of special exhibits, most notable the more than 30 quilts in the “The DAR Museum Collection: Quilts From a Young Country.” These quilts have never traveled outside the Society’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. I feel fortunate that I live in the DC area and have seen quilts in the DAR collection.

As for attendance, final figures from Quilts Inc. show that total attendance was 52,542, down 1,704 from last year’s recording-breaking numbers. Considering the economy and Hurricane Ike, the drop in attendance was surprisingly moderate, said Karey Bresenhan, president of Festival’s producer Quilts Inc.
I’ll share more of my thoughts and other products in the upcoming issues of The Professional Quilter. If your subscription expired with the Fall issue, be sure to renew shortly.

Quilt Festival

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Quilt Festival is always so inspiring to me. I’m floored every year by the quality and creativity of today’s quilters. I always return with my creative juices flowing. Just wish that came with unlimited time!

Tuesday evening before the show opened was the IQA Winner Circle’s Celebration. Best of Show, sponsored by HandiQuilter, went to Sharon Schamber for her “Spirit of Mother Earth.” Here are some details:

I particularly liked Trellis of Red Flowers by Deborah Kemball, the quilt that won the Founders Award, sponsored by International Quilt Festival. Here’s a full shot and a detail:

One of the newer awards is the Future of Quilting Award, sponsored by C&T Publishing. It went to Gina Perkes for Silken Defiance. Here’s a full shot of the quilt:

I always love Quilt Festival, not just for the outstanding quilts, but for the energy of other quilters and for the chance to catch up with quilters I haven’t seen for a year and to make new friends. If you’ve never been to the show in Houston, the scale is hard to appreciate. It takes up all five halls of the convention center.

Here are some overhead shots:

Thursday was the final premiere of the Bernina Fashion Show. Here are the two winning garments. The one on the left is the viewers choice, High Tea at the Broadmoor by Jenny Raymond, and the one on the right is the creme de la creme, Midnight Waltz by Ludmila Aristova:

Here is a shot of me with Alex Anderson, who received the Silver Star Award on Saturday, Ricky Tims and Eleanor Burns. Alex’s and Ricky’s booth was close to mine, so I saw them in passing a lot:

I also took a turn in the Priority Alzheimer’s Booth on Saturday. I don’t know the final numbers, but I do know they raised more than last year and went home with less than 100 of the 1000 quilts they brought.

Susan Ennis is the artist who created the second quilt I had in my booth. It’s titled Oasis.

And, finally, here’s a shot of Karen Bresenhan, the force behind Quilts Inc.

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