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An Insider’s Look at International Quilt Market

If you are in the quilting world, chances are you’ve heard of the International Quilt Market.  It is held twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall.

Fall Quilt Market is always held in Houston (yay for me since I live here!), and the Spring Market rotates locations each year.

As of today, October 23rd, 2019, the Fall Quilt Market opens in a couple of days.  Since not everyone who is a quilter can go to Market, I thought I would share an insider’s perspective, a glance behind the curtain, if you will, into all things Quilt Market.


WHO CAN GO TO QUILT MARKET?

Quilt Market is NOT open to the general public. There are a few groups of people who Quilt Market is made for.

1. Distribution companies and individuals.  These are the people who pay for and set up a booth in hopes that people will discover their product and/or have customers place orders.  This group ranges from some large and established companies to individuals.

2. Buyers. This group of people consists of quilt shop owners, online shops, or anyone who is purchasing large amounts of quilting supplies.  They are attending market to discover the next big thing in quilting, place orders, and learn.

3. Influencers.  This group is broader, and includes teachers, designers, sales and marketing representatives, book publishers, and longarm quilters.


HOW DO YOU GET IN? 

There are some credentials you have to provide to get in to quilt market.  Depending what group you fall in, the requirements are different.  From the official Quilt Market webpage, here are the requirements.

1. Distributors –

2. Buyers –

3. Influencers –  Two of the items from the list below:


WHAT IS IT LIKE AT QUILT MARKET?

Quilt Market is a LOT of fun and is totally exhausting.  It is also not what it was just a few years ago, which I will cover in the next section.

For a quilter, being at Market is like being a kid in a candy store.  Everywhere you look, you see fabrics, projects, patterns, notions, and PEOPLE.  It’s amazing to be in the same space with these designers and business owners I’ve admired from afar.  I may have had my fan-girl moments at times during Quilt Market.  I’m not proud of this. 😉

One draw-back for me is I feel like I need to be “on” the whole time.  I realize that’s just me.  But that leads to afore mentioned exhaustion.  You know when you meet a bunch of new people and you want to be your best self?  Now imagine that from sun-up to sun-down for 3 days in a row.  To say that I need a week of hibernation after market wouldn’t be too far off!  With that said, Market IS a rush.  It’s energizing, magical, and all the things.  To see so much talent and beauty all for quilters?  There are no words!

NOTE: I plan to update this with photos and hopefully a video of market after I visit this weekend.


HOW MARKET HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS

I have been going to Quilt Market since Fall 2015.  Keep that in mind when I talk about MY experience with Quilt Market.  I only have 4 years of PERSONAL experience at Quilt Market.

I do, however, hear a lot of people chat about Market who have been going for 20+ years.  So what I’m sharing comes both from my few years’ experience, plus what I have heard from others with a lot more experience.

“Quilt Market is not what it was,” I’ve heard people say.  That blew my mind!  As I said, to me it is still magical.  But even in the past couple of years I have noticed a change at Market, a shift in the feeling.  It feels smaller, less attended, and less . . . of a big deal, if I may say that.  I know some companies feel like Quilt Market may be a dying thing.  I personally hope NOT.  There is something to meeting people face to face, having human connections, and seeing a product in real life.

Quilt Market started changing when blogging boomed in the early 2000’s.  It used to be that people had no idea what new fabric lines and patterns were coming out until arriving at Quilt Market, or waiting for it to arrive at their Local Quilt Shop.  Market was a bigger deal then.

Quilt shops also had to decide at Market what to buy.  (This is still the case with some companies due to pre-orders and securing you get a certain line.)  But instead of shop owners choosing for themselves what to purchase by browsing fabric at Market, there is pressure to buy what influencers are using.  Thus we see the bloggers (I see the irony here . . . ) having a larger influence on what fabrics shop owners purchase.

There are also fabric and pattern reveals on social media before market.  Buzz about “I NEED that,” starts before Market even opens!  Influencers share what they love, and then their followers want that fabric, and that’s what shop owners are buying and selling more of.

Because of social media, blogs, and online quilt shops, it is no longer the Local Quilt Shops controlling what products we know about and have access to.  We can see a fabric online or on social media, click a few buttons, and the fabric arrives at our door the next day.  Gone are the days of only having access to fabrics by walking in a quilt shop, browsing their selection, and working with what they have.  I’m not saying I LIKE this change, but it is happening.

These changes in technology and how people shop absolutely are affecting Quilt Market.  Some companies feel like Market isn’t necessary any more.  People can do all the same things (see fabric/patterns/notions and place bulk orders) online.  Time will tell if Quilt Market will continue, get smaller and smaller, or eventually be a thing of the past.


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT QUILT MARKET?

I would love to hear your thoughts and questions about Quilt Market.  Have you ever been?  Are there more things you want to know about it?  Do you think Quilt Market will stick around or become a thing of the past?  Leave your comments below.

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to PRESSING YOUR FABRIC

It sounds so simple.  “Press your fabric”.  But if done wrong, it can really mess up your quilt!

Let’s look into what proper pressing is and what you need to do it.

First off: What pressing is NOT.  Pressing is NOT putting your iron on fabric and moving it around.  This is ironing.  Ironing your fabric can warp it and make your points not match, your fabric to be wonky, and mess up your careful fabric cutting.

This is ironing.  NOT pressing.

What pressing IS: Placing your iron on your fabric, holding it in place, then removing your iron.
NOTE: I like to finger press my fabric before I press it with an iron.  Finger pressing is when you open your seams and press them open with your finger.  I show you this in the following video tutorial.

It’s tempting to move the iron along the fabric, especially when there’s a long seam that needs pressing.  But when you move the iron around your fabric, it actually warps the shape of your fabric.  This is no good.

When tempted to move that iron around, remind yourself, “I don’t t want wonky fabric.   I don’t want wonky fabric.”  Just hold your iron down, press, lift it up, and repeat.

WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED? Really, all you need is an iron and a surface to iron on.  Those are the basics.  There ARE some pretty cool tools to help you, though, and I’ll share my favorites.

IRON – My favorite iron hands down is my Oliso Pro. Not only is it super hot, but it is a smart iron!  You can leave it down and when you aren’t using it, little legs come out of the iron so it stays hot but doesn’t burn your surface.  How sci-fi is that?

oliso
Notice the legs that keep your iron from burning your surface?

SURFACE – An ironing board is the most traditional surface to iron on.  But there ARE ways to keep an iron close by your sewing machine without having a clunky ironing board.

You can use a pressing mat.  There are a lot to choose from, but I love using my Paca Pressing Mat ®.  I like that I can set my iron to the hottest level of heat.  With Wool pressing mats, you need to keep your iron on the Wool level of heat.  With a Paca mat, you can crank it all the way up.  I’ve also noticed with my wool mats that they get scorched and leave marks from my iron over time.  (It may be because my iron was turned all the way up . . .) But when pressing, I want my iron to be as hot as it can be.

I also love that I can put my pressing mat on any surface and transform it into an ironing board.  Not only is that convenient, but your pressing mat redistributes the heat from your iron.  Your fabric is basically getting pressed twice.  Once from the iron, then twice from the heat in the pressing mat coming back up into the fabric.  Pretty nifty!

WATER BOTTLE – If I want a REALLY pressed and firm fabric, which I always do, then I spray my fabric with water while pressing.  I’ll show you just how crsip and flat it makes the fabric.
NOTE: To save the life of your iron, avoid putting water in your iron.  Instead, keep a water bottle you can refill next to your iron.

With water + pressing, just LOOK how flat my fabric and seams are!

And that’s it folks!  With an iron, water, and a pressing mat, you can get perfectly flat fabric.

Things to remember when PRESSING:
* Hold iron still, do not move iron back and forth.
* For extra “Umph” for flatness, spray fabric with a water bottle.
* Finger press your seams open before pressing with an iron.
* Use a pressing mat to add extra heat to your fabric, and transform any surface into an ironing board.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Also feel free to share any of your favorite products or personal tips for pressing.

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Cool Creations with Art Gallery Fabrics

I am SO excited to share the 4 makers that were selected to make something unique with their Art Gallery Fabrics!

Here are the makers, what they made, and what fabric they used:

NUNCIA FABRICS by Art Gallery Fabrics
1. Wendy of The Weekend Quilter | @the.weekendquilter – ‘Lioness Quilt’ (FREE PATTERN here)

2. Mara Harty of The Quilt In Progress | @quiltinprogress – Makeup bags and makeup brush holders.

SELVA FABRICS by Art Gallery Fabrics
1. Kaylee of 31 Rubies Quilt Studio| @31rubiesquiltstudio – Picture Frames Quilt and matching pillow.

2. Jess of Coral Bunny and Lo | @coralbunnyandlo – Aprons.

Let’s take a closer look at each person’s creations!

Wendy of The Weekend Quilter

theweekendquilter_Lioness 8

I LOVE this fabric used in the new ‘Lioness’ pattern that Wendy designed.  She definitely had Nuncia fabric in mind while creating it.  The contrast of the black background fabric with the bright colors is stunning.  If you look at the photo below that Wendy took of the Nuncia fabric before she cut into it, you can see some of the stunning pieces in this line.  I love the black and white checks and prints, along with the aquas and yellows.  Well done, Wendy.  I absolutely love your quilt and use of fabric.  ❤️

theweekendquilter_Lioness 1

 

Mara Harty of The Quilt In Progress

QIP 4

WOW and wow!  This kind of making is totally different from quilting, and totally beyond my capabilities.  I LOVE these makeup and brush bags that Mara made.  I can’t think of a better (and more beautiful) way to store my makeup.  Notice all the details of the zipper, the little toggles (is that even what you call them?) at the end of each zipper, the ties and string, the sewn lines between each makeup brush.  I also love how she mixed each fabric from the Nuncia line.  Mara definitely has a good eye!

Kaylee of 31 Rubies Quilt Studio

31 Rubie1

I LOVE how this pattern shows off the cute details of the Selva Fabric.  You can see the jungle animals and feel the inner child.  And the pillow she made to go with it?  That fringe is everything, I just need to convince Kaylee to make one for me now! 😉  I also love if you zoom in, you can see her squiggly line quilting.  Everything about this quilt and pillow is playful, fun, and makes me so happy!

Jess of Coral Bunny and Lo

Coral6

Can you even?  These aprons are amazing, and make me want to go to the kitchen and bake some cookies.  I LOVE the details of the ruffles, buttons, neckline that is adjustable.  And with these fabrics?  I LOVE the fun and creativity in the mixture.  Well done, Jess!  These are just stunning!

So what do you think?  Aren’t these makers amazing?  Which of these fabrics would you want to sew with?