A quick stop in today to share my #quiltmarket shopping. So there is all the fabric I bought and brought home, Cotton & Steel, Heather Ross, Karen Lewis, Elizabeth Hartman, Tula Pink, Carolyn Friedlander, April Rhodes, and Heather Jones - Fabric from Robert Kaufman, Windham, Free Spirit, Art Gallery Fabrics, and Cotton & Steel (a division of RJR).
At Quilt Market, one can pay a nominal $20 (or something like that, I don't have the receipt handy) to attend Sample Spree and then buy whatever is on offer for the prices set out which are generally wholesale or less. The next day some of the manufacturers put up pop up shops to sell any left overs, and to sell other bits and bobs.
I occasionally attend quilt market as an Industry Professional, having had my credentials as a long arm quilter and pattern designer accepted by the Quilts Inc. folks. I have been to Market at Pittsburg (2014), Minneapolis (2015) and now Houston (2016). Market happens twice a year, in the spring in May in a number of different cities and in the fall in Houston, attached to the Houston International Quilt Festival.
Quilt Market is not open to the public, but rather is the market for quilt shops and quilt professionals to interact with manufacturers, designers, printers, distributors, supporting companies and each other. It is a chance to see and order the upcoming fabric, thread, books, notions, patterns, sewing machines, etc. It is busy and the people there are present to work. So while I get to visit briefly with my favourite designers and other people, one does not monopolize their time. Having said that, it was fun to reconnect with many of my favourite folks in the quilting business, including some of my lovely blog sponsors.
You can get a great idea of the booths and products and people at Quilt Market by searching #quiltmarket generally or on instagram.
I should point out that several of the folks in booths gave me small free items. I have already shared all of those with my Modern Quilt Guild as door prizes to the November meeting and I forgot to take a photo. But I did want to say that my guild friends were very appreciative of the generosity.
I say that I mainly go for the thread. Given the cost of shipping thread, it is great to be able to buy a year or half year's supply in one go and since I fly a lot for my day job, I get a substantial free baggage allowance. So this time I used up my customs limits for a three day trip and came home with 3 heavy bags.
So I have a few things I want to share, because it is not my intention to boast or to make others feel inadequate, I am just sharing my own quilting journey, such as it is. So:
- I try to never apologize for having a substantial amount of quilting fabric, thread, and supplies. These are my "paints" and I need a lot to inspire. But others do not need so much - everyone should do as they like. I encourage you, however, to be comfortable with your own investment, small, medium or large.
- Besides the money I earn quilting via patterns, show winnings and sponsorships, I do have a good day job where I work really hard for long hours. And my kids are older, the youngest two in University now with only one full time at home. Not everyone is the same, and nor should they be.
- I love the inspiration of these brilliant colours and creative new fabric designs. I am excited to play with all of this, to create, to learn and to share.
Now, I am off to spend the day pre-washing all that fabric and quilting. I have a quilt on the long arm to work on and I have projects to start piecing. And bee blocks to finish, and to request.
Enjoy your Sunday.