Thursday, May 21, 2015

Quilt Market Part 2

As a newbie, Quilt Market was overwhelming in the sense of scale and diversity. It is the place where quilt shop owners from around the world meet manufacturers in the industry all in one place for three days. It runs the gammet of fabric, books, patterns, needlework, notions, embroidery, sewing machines, thread, wool and crafts in 27 aisles lined with booths. We were in row 25 between Penguin & Fish selling embroidery kits (and based in Minneapolis) and Pieces From My Heart fabric designs.
April, me and Melissa
We had a steady stream of visitors to our booth inquiring, buying and placing orders for quilt labels. They loved the colors, variety and the option to customize and buy as few or as many as they wanted. It gave me the chance to see what designs they liked best and how I'd design them differently in the future.

This was actually the first time I met April, the owner of Modern Yardage and her husband Jay since working with their company for over two years. It also gave Melissa from The Linden Tree the chance to meet them, too, since she supports and purchases my fabric for her shop. Melissa and other friends sewed many wonderful items for me out of my fabric. A special thank you to Carole who made the lovely Poppy Hop purse for me. I love wearing it and admire the craftsmanship of her work.

Lindsey modeling the backpack made by Melissa using my City of Lakes panel
The City of Lakes panels really resonated with customers, along with Modern Yardage's other panels for Milwaukee, Vancouver, Austin and Pittsburgh. But they'd ask...what about Seattle? Alaska? Colorado? Atlanta?  We will continue to expand out designs and make them available. I made a lot of great contacts so I can collaborate on what imagery they'd like to see their city represented by and also pass along information to our other designers.

April made a large cheater quilt panel out Modern Yardage labels and added funny custom names to them. It made for a fun conversation piece but also showed that they can add custom names to quilt labels, too.  Here's a couple up close.

Having a booth at Quilt Market was a wonderful experience!  I'm so lucky that it was held in my hometown and that Modern Yardage decided to exhibit. Next year it's in Salt Lake City which is Modern Yardage's hometown, so look for them with all new designs.  Until then, shop their online retail fabric here. Contact them about wholesale orders, too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quilt Market Debut

Fab fabric everywhere! Minneapolis hosted the International Quilt Market last weekend and I got to experience it all. Thanks to Modern Yardage who decided to exhibit there and concentrate on selling our quilt labels and panels at wholesale to retail shop owners.  I've done art shows with booths and trade shows in New York, but this one was very unique. Modern Yardage owner, April, had been to several in the past and worked with me via email for a few months on creating the look of the wall panels, what to use for props and sewn samples. While she was busy printing up quilt labels, I was upholstering my dining room chairs with them.  While she was making quilt label bunting and a creative quilt label quilt, I was draping quilt label sample packs over my art show frame. There are 13 designers with Modern Yardage and many of them design quilt labels and panels and kits that were shown in the booth.

It all came together on move-in day with a few adjustments once everything was in the booth. My side had sewn projects using my panel designs from The City of Lakes, Poppy Hop and Amelia Harper Collections thanks to my many talented friends who can sew and embroidery.

That night was Sample Spree where customers wait in line to be the first ones in to purchase items directly from the companies. Anticipation was high for both attendees and sellers. The doors open and customers rush to their favorite table first for the best selection. We had a table ready with our packs of quilt labels and a banner menu of what was inside the packages. We kept extra packets under the table to replenish as they sold.

Here's another Minneapolis exhibitor, my friend Alyssa of Penguin & Fish and her embroidery kits, sample products, books and fabric samples. I really like her style.
 Here's another view of one aisle and the big stacks of fabric waiting for the doors to open.

I'm glad April took this picture showing how busy it was!
 We found out pretty quickly that we were selling something unique that customers were loving. Quilt Market attendees are just the nicest people, too, having a good time while shopping for their stores. 

We were off to a great start and looked forward to the next three days of the Market. More to come about my experience.