This was my first quilt market, and I’ve been struggling with this post. Why, you might ask? I learned a lot which I want to share.
1. There is so much to absorb.
2. The facility is huge, and so much to see in 4 days.
3. My feet hurt for a few days after I came home. Tip: I wore comfortable, professional looking shoes. Eventually, I had to change into sneakers.
4. When I arrived home – I had a lot of stuff. No, a really, really lot of stuff. Catalogs, brochures and information. (Only purchases – Two pairs of scissors, a book, which I can’t wait to review, and a pattern).
5. And I had to catch up on mail, e-mail, unanswered phone messages, do the laundry, take care of a pet issues, get a least one really good night’s sleep, and then….
6. Process the experience.
I took tons of photos and collected lots of literature and business cards from so many people. Fortunately, I was organized. Every night when I got back to the hotel room, I sorted out all the papers and cards, and coordinated them with the map of all the booths.
I have no idea how large the space was where market was. But it felt as large as a football field. The area of the center where The International Quilt Festival was seemed even larger.
Market itself was certainly a feast for the eyes. Every fabric booth looked beautiful and colorful. You could say some of the booths looked like little presents, each with their own themed wrapping paper. Each one was different and reflected the personality of that company. I was mesmerized at times.
Publishing houses set up little mini bookstores. When it came time for Angela Walters to sign her books, the line wrapped all the way around a few booths. My calculation was that the end of the line was at least in for an hour wait.
Sewing machine companies, including longarmers were busy all the time, and there was a noticeable hum from them in the air. I noticed booths from Spain, Australia and Brazil. I’m sure there were others from more foreign countries
I visited the Kona booth more than any other booth. They had a match game going, and I tried to beat my score everyday. Each player had 2 1/2 minutes to try and match the name with a Kona solid. There were four different boards, and I tried each one, which became progressively harder.
Then the player spun a prize wheel. There were fat quarters, canvas bags, color cards and charm packs. ( i may be missing something). For me it was less about the wheel, and more about seeing how many colors I could get right.
One of the most intriguing things for me was before and after the “official market.” I wrote a bit about that and posted a lot of photos on facebook about that. The day before market begins, everyone is in jeans or shorts and sneakers, working hard to put up their booths. Small truck lifters are driving carefully through the aisles with huge crates. Thick yellow electrical cords are being snaked through curtains and hidden from view.
The next morning when market opens, every booth is finished and looks like it just had a perfect makeover from a fashion stylist. Nothing seemed out of place. Then on Monday at 4:00 PM an announcement comes through a PA system saying that market is officially closed. It reminded me of when the clock struck 12:00 AM and Cinderella’s beautiful gown disappeared. But at market, everyone quickly changes back into work clothes and the booths come down and are packed up again. Some of them stay open through Quilt Festival.
Speaking of Quilt Festival we did get to see it before it was open. It is enormous with amazing work done by quilters all over the world. I can’t post any of them here, except the red quilt display that has been travelling in many festivals. If I post any quilts, I must write who made it, and I forgot to take note of that. I will not forget next time.
All in all it was an incredible experience I will never forget.