Quilting Blog

“My Most Memorable Moments of 2017 Fall International Quilt Market”

It was one year ago that I not only attended my first International Quilt Market, I exhibited as well. Thanks to Craftsy’s Quilt Designer Fellowship, I was able to debut my first booth at a professional quilting trade show. If you missed it, you can read more about my 2016 Quilt Market experience here and here.

Fast forward one year later and I decided to attend Quilt Market again, not as an exhibitor but as an industry professional.

Having a booth in 2016 was great. I sold my patterns to shops, promoted my workshops and made a lot of connections with industry professionals. But, I hardly left my booth.

This year, I was able to reconnect with those I met last year and make new connections. These types of relationships are critical to growing a business.

While walking around observing the new fabric collections, products and trend,  I spotted some of my quilt samples displayed in various booths. Both my Sun Salutations and Sew Speedy quilt patterns launched at Quilt Market (and they’re available on Craftsy).

Sun Salutations quilt pattern. Shown in the Paintbrush Studios booth. Pattern available at http://shop.wholecirclestudio.com/

Sun Salutations quilt pattern in the Paintbrush Studios booth. Photos via Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio.

Sew Speedy quilt pattern. Shown in the Aurifil and QT Fabrics booths. Pattern available at http://shop.wholecirclestudio.com/

Sew Speedy quilt pattern in the Aurifil and QT Fabrics booths.

Let me share with you some of the highlights from International Fall Quilt Market 2017.

1. The venue

George R Brown Convention Center in Houston Texas

The sheer size of the George R. Brown Convention Center, where Fall International Quilt Market takes place, is impressive.

Quilt Market Floor

It was also amazing that Houston and the Convention Center were ready for us quilters just months after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area.

Houston Strong Art Installation

Right outside the Convention Center, visitors were greeted with colorful art installations made out of common materials like tablecloths and shower curtains. These canopies were created by two Texan artists, Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom, and were the perfect welcome to Quilt Market participants.

Canopy outside houston convention center

2. Beautiful booths

Fabric manufacturers and pattern designers not only show their latest designs in their spaces, they tell  stories through their booth design and styling. It’s amazing the immersive environments that are able to be created with only two days to set up.

(Here’s some behind-the-scenes scoop: many exhibitors will augment their booths with purchases from the local Ikea, Target and Home Depot. This year there was a furniture drive at the conclusion of Quilt Market. Many companies and designers donated items from their booth to a local organization serving those in need.)

Check out these beautiful booths and displays showcasing new fabric, patterns and products that you’ll be seeing in stores soon!

Monaluna Organic Fabric

Monaluna Organic Fabric

Alexia Abegg Melody Miller and Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel

Alexia Abegg & Melody Miller and Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel

Flower Shop by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics

Flower Shop by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics

FreeSpirit Designers Showcase

FreeSpirit Designers Showcase

Fabric and quilts by Tula Pink included in the FreeSpirit Showcase

Fabric and quilts by Tula Pink included in the FreeSpirit Showcase

Amy Butler for FreeSpirit Fabrics

Amy Butler for FreeSpirit Fabrics

Shayla Wolf for Windham Fabrics

Shayla Wolf for Windham Fabrics

Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

Detail of garland Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

Detail of garland: Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics

Flower Child by Art Gallery Fabrics

Flower Child by Art Gallery Fabrics

Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics

Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics

3. The latest and greatest gadgets and products

Every quilter knows that you can’t make a quilt with fabric and patterns alone. You need great tools as well. Here are some of my favorites (some of which I bought while I was at the show!)

Thread Cutterz

After learning about this product on one of my favorite television shows, Shark Tank, I was excited to see them at Quilt Market. I bought my own Thread Cutterz, a handy thread cutting ring.

Applique needles on display at quilt market

I got to see the latest needle offerings from Tulip. Their big eye appliqué needles are my go to tool for handwork.

New Quilting Books

There are lots of new and interesting books coming out in 2018, including “Making Faces in Fabric” by Melissa Averinos (QuiltCon 2016 Best in Show winner) published by C+T Publishing.

Cork Fabric

Cork (yes actual cork) is definitely a big trend this year. Makers are incorporating it into their bags, pillows, cording and other sewing projects. Fabric Funhouse was just one of the many booths to feature cork in sewn projects.

Buttons on Display at QUilt Market

Skacel Buttons was just one of the many button vendors.

Yarn on Display at Quilt Market

While quilting is the main focus of Quilt Market, some companies featured additional materials too. Cloud 9 had a beautiful display of their new yarn offerings. I love the framed swatches!

4. Pop-up shops

Quilt Market is great way for buyers to not only see what’s new, but buy small quantities of samples to share with their customers before the products are available for mass distribution. Some of the fabric companies had small, cute pop-up shops for buyers to purchase small bundles of fabric, patterns and other products.

Windham fabric pop up shop

Windham Fabrics pop-up shop

5. The quilt show

The week following Quilt Market, Quilt Festival is held in the same convention center. A big part of Quilt Festival is the quilt show that contains over 35 quilt exhibits.

Quilt Exhibits in Houston

One of the nice things about attending Quilt Market is that you can see the show. It’s virtually impossible to see all of the exhibits, so I concentrated on those I was most interested in. I even put together a video of all 25 quilts featured in the Modern Quilt Showcase exhibit.

Modern Quilt Showcase Exhibit

6. The after parties

Quilt Market is a time when colleagues, collaborators and industry friends come together. After Quilt Market officially closes for the day at 6 p.m., there are many dinners and parties sponsored by different organizations.

Quilt Market Aurifil After Party

As an Aurifil Artisan and collaborator, I was fortunate enough to attend a party thrown by Aurifil to celebrate their 10th anniversary in the United States.

Above, Angelo Gregotti (one of the original founders of Aurifil) and his daughter Elena Gregotti (current co-owner of Aurifil), spoke at the even. Mr. Gregotti came all the way from Italy to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Aurifil in the United States.

7. Emerging quilt industry professionals

Last, but not least, I was able to visit Sylvia Schaefer, the designer of Flying Parrot Quilts. I was excited to pass the Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship torch to Sylvia and this year she had her debut booth at Quilt Market.

Sylvia Schaefer and Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

It was great to see Sylvia, her sample quilts and patterns. She did an amazing job and I know first hand how much work goes into designing and producing a booth.

That’s a wrap! The next Quilt Market will take place in Portland, Oregon in May 2018.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a designer, pattern writer and award-winning quilter. With the help of books and the Internet, she taught herself how to sew and discovered her love of designing and making quilts. As a trained and practicing graphic designer, her quilts start with a concept and research shapes the design. Her work is inspired by her everyday life and experiences. Sheri strives to make beautiful objects that inspire others to make and learn by providing clear instruction and encouragement. In 2016, she was awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designer Fellowship. Learn more about Sheri and her work at wholecirclestudio.com and on Instagram or Facebook.

7 Comments

Evelynne Halvorson

Looks like everyone had beautiful displays at Quilt Market. I’m looking forward to starting a new project for the winter and will be able to find inspiration on Craftsy.
Cork? Really?!

Thanks again for the photos.

Reply
Randall

LOVE the idea of bringing all together who love to quilt and am thrilled it will occur near my home in 2018 so I can attend! Thanks for posting this! (Excited already!)

Reply
Elaine Chapman

That was so interesting. Your narrative made it real. The display by Alison Glass was beautiful. When I lived in Houston, I was not quilting, what a wasted opportunity. Thank you for your lovely pictures and storytelling.

Reply
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

You’re welcome! The Alison Glass garland was actually a combination of paper and fabric. It was stunning!

Reply
Glenda the good stitch

Hi Craftsy,
You know I love you! I didn’t make it to the quilt show, but maybe next year.
I looked at the photos of the Craftsy booth. It looked great. I can’t believe this was your first year. Congratulations.
I’m curious about your Quilt fellowship program. Just curious.

Reply

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