By Donna di Natale
Donna di Natale
The countdown has begun, and the excitement is building.
International Quilt Market is the country’s only wholesale tradeshow for the quilting industry. It happens twice a year, in the spring and fall. It is not open to the public. Shop owners from all over the world attend market to order new products that will arrive in their shops in the next few months.
Of course, the most anticipated products, at least for me, are the new fabric lines. Last year, I wrote about purchasing a fat quarter of each of the fabrics in the new Downton Abbey collection. That was certainly one high point for me during that market. But this time, I’m anxious to see what new fabric the companies have to offer. There seems to have been a proliferation of new designers and manufacturers in the textile industry. It’s starting to be overwhelming, yet exciting.
New tools and how to use them are important to most shop owners. Anything that makes quilting quicker, easier and more accurate helps encourage people to quilt and helps teach new quilters. Many tools are introduced at the Schoolhouse sessions, which are held the day before market opens. There is always a whirlwind of activity. Exhibitors sign up for 15- or 30-minute sessions, during which they introduce their latest products.
Schoolhouse sessions run concurrently, which means there might be eight to 10 sessions all going on at the same time. Shop owners pick and choose which sessions they want to attend. Believe me, 15 minutes goes by quickly, and you must stay strictly within your allotted time. Shop owners only have 5 minutes to get to the next session, so they are up and running at the sound of the bell.
Kansas City Star Quilts will feature these books at market: Autumn Splendor: Folk Art Quilts and Projects, by Dawn Heese; Blooming Patchwork: A Celebration of Appliqué in Quilts, by Deanne Eisenman; It’s Elementary: Schoolhouse-Inspired Quilts for Home and School, by Kim Gaddy; Fabulous Wool Felt: Stitch 17 Fun Gifts and Projects, by Suzanne Cosmo; Just Treats, No Tricks: Bewitching Quilts and More to Celebrate Autumn, by Betsy Chutchian; The Little Things in Life: Quilted Projects to Brighten Your Day, by Heather and Elissa Willms; Optical Illusions: Innovative Designs for the Modern Quilter, by nine top designers; Stitches in Rhyme: Mother Goose Embroidered Quilts (and More!) for the Modern Nursery, by Donna di Natale and Amy Ubben; Then and Now Quilts: Yesterday’s Inspiration – Today’s Techniques – Tomorrow’s Treasures, by Joyce Dean Gieszler; Thistle Down Moon: Fresh Primitive Projects Inspired by an Old Quilt, by Maggie Bonanomi; and Where Poppies Grow: Quilts and Projects Honoring Those Who Served in World War I, by Denniele Bohannon and Janice Britz.
Look to the left of this blog post or click on the links above to see the covers of these beautiful books.
We will present Schoolhouse sessions on Friday and have book signings on Saturday and Sunday. These are always popular because shop owners enjoy meeting the authors in person. Some of the shop owners will take autographed copies of books back to their shops to use for special promotions or prizes. And, of course, the authors enjoy meeting the shop owners and hearing how they plan to use their book in their shops.
Each fall, International Quilt Festival is held the week after International Quilt Market. Festival is open to the public. Many of the exhibitors stay over and sell their new products directly to the public. I’ve never attended festival but have heard that it is the biggest quilt show and sale on Earth. That may be exaggerating a bit, but if it is anything like quilt market, I can believe it. Hundreds of exhibitors; thousands of quilters. What more could one ask for?
Stay tuned for exciting news from market. We will post photos of our authors and visitors to our booth on Facebook and Twitter while at market, and next week, I’ll tell you about some of the new products I found.
Donna di Natale is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Wednesday.