Ever wonder how all those beautiful fabrics, books, and patterns, end up in your local quilt shop throughout the year? Most likely it’s because your local shop owner has attended an International Quilt Market, held twice a year in the U.S. The spring show travels to a new destination each year, while Fall Market is always held in Houston, Texas.
These shows are not unlike a consumer show you may have attended except they are for the “trade only”. The exhibitors are fabric, pattern, and quilt designers, notion manufacturers, and book publishers and authors. Shop owners from around the world attend the shows to bring their customers the latest trends for the upcoming year. And believe it or not, when a shop owner attends Quilt Market in the spring, she will be shopping for fall fabrics. It isn’t an “instant gratification” shopping experience!
Preparing For Quilt Market
This year, Spring Quilt Market will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Landauer Staff has been working diligently to prepare our exhibit space for the show. Our booth is BIG—30 feet long—and everything that will be displayed needs to be packed into a van, then unpacked at the convention center and set up in a matter of hours. All of our prep work will make it easier to set up once we have arrived in Pittsburgh. Two of our staff, Kitty and Jeri, will drive a van with all our new book titles, quilts, props, and fixtures. Once they arrive, they will begin the daunting task of setting up the booth exactly the way it was set up in our warehouse!
We created a “mock up” of our Quilt Market booth in our warehouse, so we could see exactly how everything would look once the quilts were hung, the shelving was put together, and the demo table was set up.
What Happens at Quilt Market
Not only does Landauer showcase new book titles to the quilting industry, it’s also an opportunity to meet new authors and designers that may be the future authors of our books. So we sell our products and at the same time, look at the trends to see what subjects might be important to quilters and sewers, to determine what books we’ll be introducing at future Quilt Markets.
In addition to hundreds of vendors to visit on the show floor, shop owners have an amazing number of educational opportunities when they attend Quilt Market. There is one whole day devoted to “Schoolhouse” sessions before the show even opens. These are brief 15- or 30-minute presentations about everything from best practices for running a retail quilt shop to learning all about a new tool to information on the latest techniques. There are also longer, more in-depth, hands-on classes that a shop owner can sign up for called “Take & Teach” sessions, in which she can work directly with an author or designer to learn a new technique or project. The shop owner can then bring that technique or project back to her store to teach her customers.
Remember how exciting it is to attend the first day of a consumer quilt show? Shop owners and vendors feel that excitement as well, and look forward to previewing all the new trends that are so important to their customers. For vendors like us, it’s a hectic four days; for shop owners it’s a time to look forward, and begin planning to prepare their shops for the coming seasons.