Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To market, to market to....

.....be completely overwhelmed by the huge variety of new stuff that will be marketed to sewers and quilters in the coming year. I have just spent the past few days at the Internaional Quilt Market which leads up tot the actual Quilt Festival. What a diferent place the market is when compared to the festival space. For one thing, there is very little purchasing of items to take home. Most of it is ordering stuff for future deliveries. In addition, there really aren't a lot of people at the Market, when compared to the Festival. Many store owners do not come to Market every year as they have reps from the companies visiting them regularly. In addition, there are usually just samples available in the booths rather than the bolts and bolts of fabric you see during the festival. The best part about the reduced number of people is that you can really spend a lot of time with the quilts in the display area without ducking out of the way of people trying to photograph the quilts.

Things I saw at Market that I am lusting after:

  • Fabric from Daiwoo that is infused with Lavendar, Rose or Herb scents. Very subtle and they say it will wash out after several washings but what luxury while it lasts!
  • Batting made from Bamboo or Bamboo/Cotton blends. There is something about the Bamboo that makes the cotton even more drapable than just cotton alone. I must find a good cheap source for this when I make my next big quilt.
  • Rulers - I love rulers and have many but I MUST have the one that makes cutting bias binding easier. Its really neat, folds in half, is florescent green and stretches completely from selvage to selvage for cutting
  • Bamboo and Cotton interlock knits distributed by Siltex of Canada. Silky smooth, very dense, very lightweight and soft as a cloud - I must find someone that carries this line!

Market is now over for this year. If I get a chance to go next year, I will know better about what's available for immeadiate purchase and what needs to be ordered. One thing that I will look forward to next year is the Friday long 'School House'. During 12 - 15 sessions that are between 15 and 30 minutes long, various designers and manufacturers show the attendees what's new in their lines.

This year Jay McCarroll (sic?) of Project Runway fame was there with his first fabric line. Its very cute but if you look too closely at his bunnies and such they look like they are all having a bad LSD trip while looking very innocent. He even showed some small quilts where he enlarged specific motifs from the fabric and recreated them with solid fabrics fused to the quilt. Very clever!

Mark Lipinski was also at the 'School House' and kept everyone in stitches with his tale of purchasing and wearing a girdle. Besides promoting his new fabric line (Krakow) he also did a session on growing a quilt or any business. He made the point ( and I think I have this right) that we need to market to ourselves and our children rather than to our mothers. We grew up in the sixties or later and reproduction prints and traditional quilt patterns are probably not our style.

Another vendor brought up Daddy and me classes rather than Mommy and Me as a business builder. I had a flash of all those divorced Fathers looking for new and different ways to entertain their daughters on their weekends with them. What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon rather than going shopping at the mall or taking in another movie.

The actual Quilt Festival starts tomorrow evening. Today my Northern Friend and I will be doing a little cruising around town... visiting Ikea and a couple of quilt shops. We may also take a trip down to Galveston to see how things are going. If we do, I'll try to take and post some pictures of what we find All in all, a lazy day so we are well rested before the real shopping begins.

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