I’m going to do this in two parts: #1 -Friends and Friends that are Designers and #2 Designers and Celebrities.
Feel free to shoot me for the lack of photos. Jeez, I got home and couldn’t believe how few I took.This is Susan Brubaker Knapp and me in the Moda store. Susan just had her quilt Home Planet accepted into the Quilting Arts calendar for 2009. Displayed in the Quilting Arts booth, it’s a true show stealer, love, love, love it! Her quilt, The Bluest Eye, won a Judge’s Choice award in the 2008 Quilting Arts Calendar Competition. She has a fabulous line of patterns distributed by Moda and also carried in her new online shop.
Susan and I met in a Yahoo group for quilt designers (yeah, they let me hang out in there). We traded e-mails before the show and planned to meet. As kismet would have it we literally ran into each other the first morning. The conversation was instantaneous, just like running into a dear friend you haven’t seen for a long time. I’d like to re-locate Susan, her family and her mother (who I had the pleasure to meet too) to Bainbridge Island.
To continue the ‘I’m totally tweaked out by meeting people on the internet and also really liking them in real life’ thing, I had dinner with Sarah of Ruby’s Daughter and Sarah of Still Life in Yarn not one, but two nights in a row. These gals are a hoot. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet them and share some laughs. Now for the totally lame part. No pictures. We were all so tired it just didn’t happen. I always regret these things once I get home.
Here’s Liesl in her TOTALLY FAB booth which was beautiful to look out, filled with her GORGEOUS Fall pattern line, and staffed by two of the most lovely and friendly women at the show, Liesl and her mom.
Now this lovely lady is Tracey Brookshier. You all remember my Bento Box quilt. I didn’t realize it at the time I made it but that pattern is one of the best selling quilt shop patterns EVER. Tracey’s line includes her own patterns as well as new designers she’s pulling into her empire (these BB Bags by Mickey Beebe are really fun). I just recently ‘met’ Tracey on the phone when I ordered her patterns for my shop last month. She’s been unbelievably encouraging to me and so generous with her advice, what a treat to meet her and her designers at the show.
I also wanted to throw out a few details about market in general. I was unfamiliar with it up until last year. After I published my first pattern, references lurked around every corner and then I wanted to know EVERYTHING.
International Quilt Market is the biggest trade show in the industry. It occurs twice a year. Every Fall it coincides with the International Quilt Festival in Houston and every Spring it rotates to a new city to provide regional accessibility. Quilt and fabric shop owners travel near and far to see what’s new and decide for themselves what’s going to be hot for their shop. It’s a production featuring fabric companies, independent pattern designers and anyone and everyone trying to squeeze products into the amazingly diverse and large world of quilting products.
The magazine style catalog for the show is 116 pages. I did some rough counts on the number of vendors in the following categories:
Batting, Stuffing & Basics – 12
Books & Publications – 71
Buttons – 14
Computer Systems – 6
Crafts – 16
Distributors – 20
Dollmakers – 4
Dyes – 3
Fabric – 95
Finished Goods & Gifts – 23
Kits – 26
Needlework – 21
Notions – 55
Patterns – 270 !
Quilting Designs – 14
Ribbons – 8
Threads – 23
Besides the straightforward aspect of walking the show and seeing each vendor there’s a whole universe of activity playing out in the background. Appointments between customers and their fabric sales reps. Pattern designers trying to meet distributors (hmmm, how would I know that). Schmoozing between various arms of the industry. Designers pitching their wares, creating an image, presenting their brand. Networking, networking, networking.
It really is quite an event and a very fun experience. I most enjoyed meeting all the individuals I’ve worked with, chatted with, and made connections with via the internet. I’m whirling with ideas and inspiration.