When I posted earlier this month, I shared a lot of my personal experiences as a first time vendor at Quiltcon. If you haven’t read it yet, click here to a get a little bit more background about the convention and our role at the show. As much as I appreciated the opportunity to showcase our Barn Blocks, as well as our Wonky shirt, the whole weekend would not have been nearly as much fun if I hadn’t had the time to wander the vendor hall as a quilt/fabric lover myself.
First of all, I would like to pat myself on the back for not buying ALL the fabric, despite staring directly at it for nearly four days straight. Directly in my line of sight from the booth were two fabulous looking fabric shops. Island Quilter was amazingly well stocked on so many of my all time favorite Heather Ross and Anna Maria Horner prints. Their shelves were arranged in such an aesthetically pleasing manner by color and designer, it was clear that their focus was solely on all the pretty fabric. Private Source Quilting was another well stocked fabric shop with tons of notions, tools, bundles, patterns and my favorite fabric designers.
And speaking of pretty fabric, you would not believe the total needle in a haystack fabric collection that I found at the booth for The Patchwork Co. Flying in all the way across the country from Windham, New York, this little shop had stacks and stacks of a long out of print Heather Ross for Hancock Fabrics collection based on illustrations from Heather's books featuring Crafty Chloe.
I remember picking up some of this fabric years and years ago (according to a Google search, it looks like it was around 2012!) Without hesitation, I picked up one yard cuts of each of the designs. My 3 (almost 4) year old daughter fell in love with the Crafty Chloe books and when I returned home from Quiltcon, I proudly presented her with these special fabrics, and she was quite pleased. If she didn't love them so much, I would have been tempted to hoard them myself forever, but she actually really likes them and lays them out on the floor to create her own "blankets".
One other item I'm sure that my daughter would have been happy to see come home with me would have been the adorable little Binding Babies by Doohikey Designs. Did anyone else at Quiltcon stop by Shari's booth? It was so sugary sweet and well put together. I've never tried these Binding Babies, but judging from a quick demo, they look like they would make a fun addition to my sewing machine. Another item in this booth was the Ruler Roundup. This looks like an incredible organizer for your sewing table set up. I have quite a collection of rulers, and I can never seem to find the right one. I think I may actually have to pick up one of these soon! (The website appears to be temporarily under construction, but I did find the Binding Babies available for purchase here. or the Ruler Roundup here.)
If there was an award for the booth having the most fun at Quiltcon, it would definitely be handed to the team at Crimson Tate. I was in the area and I couldn't help but hear the buzz around the booth and wonder what was going on. Everyone in the booth had a great energy and there was an unavoidable draw to stop in and shop. I loved the Design your Own Aurifil boxes but I was afraid of the cost. While writing up this post I visited the blog for Crimson Tate and saw that they were continuing their Aurifil sales with an amazing coupon code to save $54! I always sew with Aurifil, and since my local quilt shop closed last year (wimper, cry) this is a fabulous place to stock up on all of your favorite colors!
There was one booth at Quiltcon this year that I knew I could not miss. In the days leading up to the show, Sarah Watts best known (to me) for her designs with Cotton + Steel, teased a new business launch making its debut in Pasadena called Crafted Moon. Her booth did not disappoint, but even more than her brand new line of "crafty homebody" art prints, greeting cards and other fun goodies, I was super impressed by Sarah and her husband's kind nature. As you probably saw in my earlier Quiltcon post, I had an extreme amount of help from my husband, so to see another wife and husband team working together at Quiltcon to launch a new business made them feel like we were all working towards similar goals. I'll never forget the tiny moment towards the end of Quiltcon when Sarah, and she probably wouldn't even remember this, walked past my booth and wished me continued success and good luck with my new business. As an admirer of her work, it meant a lot to me personally just to hear those few little words.
I could go on and on about all of the kind folks who were so encouraging to us throughout the show, but I truly felt like we hit the jackpot with our booth neighbors. To one side were Quiltcon sponsors, Modern Quilts Unlimited. Vicki Anderson founder/publisher was one of the first individuals we met on load in day and she was quick to welcome us in and offer her tips on making it a successful show. I am a subscriber to this magazine and find it full of interesting articles to read that you won't necessarily see if you simply scroll through Instagram for your quilting inspiration. The Modern Quilts Unlimited booth had some amazing quilts on display and we were only responsible for knocking down their booth wall once (yikes!)
Our neighbor on the other side was Sizzix. The ladies there were a lot of fun to joke around with and they were also great "booth coaches" as they provided some honest and helpful tips to help our booth look more approachable.
Have you heard about Curated Quilts? It is a brand new quarterly journal that focuses completely on modern quilts in something like a print version of that hip, minimalist art gallery in the coolest part of town that you are always curious about, but maybe don't take the time to walk through. When I spoke with Christine Ricks (one of the creators of Curated Quilts) she described the publication to me as more of a "journal" than what you might initially imagine a quilting magazine. Case in point, there are no ads! The feel of the paper is rich and heavy. This is one journal that you will not want to toss in the recycle bin. Instead, sit in your comfy chair, grab a cup of tea and take your time perusing all of the work by the fine artists of our craft.
Last but not least, the Modern Quilt Guild's own little pop up shop at the show. I was unfortunately too late and missed out on the Quiltcon sweatshirt, but I was able to get my souvenir t-shirt plus this amazing pin! I think everyone who attends the show deserves one of these pins because there is so much to take in. Even if you're not running a booth or showing a quilt, it is an unforgettable experience being surrounded by so much artistic talent and savvy business people. I applaud everyone who takes that leap to start a new business, create a one of a kind quilt piece, or just strikes up a conversation with someone new.
On Saturday evening there was a great event when the MQG hosted the book party for their new book Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century. I picked up my copy at the show and, after seeing it making the Instagram rounds for weeks, I was completely blown away by the hard cover and size of the book. I did not realize that it was a full size, hard cover, coffee table style book meant as more than just a flip it and forget it.
During the book party, artists who had quilts featured in the book were mingling and signing everyone's books. I thought it was a great way to get everyone starting up conversations as well as a natural platform for these quilters to discuss their work. Most of us quilters work long days and nights in near solitude alongside our machines, so the opportunity to have meaningful conversation about our process is rare but vital. If it were up to me, I'd tell the MQG to put out a new book every year for just this scenario; the perfect roundtable to put artists together in informal yet intimate discussion. Side note: I first discovered Tara Faughnan's work two years ago at Quiltcon and I've enjoyed following her projects on Instagram ever since. I was excited to see her at the book party -she was extremely friendly- but I think I might like her even more now that I see her signature is very similar in style to mine ;)
Are you exhausted yet? Do you feel like you took a long walk through the vendor hall along with me? Tell me about your favorite booth to explore at quilt shows.
Thank you for following along with me. If you'd like to see our currently available Barn Blocks, including those that debuted at Quiltcon, click here.
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