Sunday, May 17, 2009

We Survived International Quilt Market

This edition of the newsletter comes to you from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, site of the Spring 2009 International Quilt Market. We've had a jam-packed weekend full of sightseeing, shopping, planning, and creative inspiration.

We're experiencing an unusual combination of complete exhaustion mixed with exhilaration, and it's hard to regroup. We're packing and repacking our overstuffed suitcases, filled with the most amazing array of lovely fabrics, fat quarter bundles, books, and great quilting tools. But, it wouldn't be Sunday without a newsletter, and this week I have a special treat for you... guest authors!

As for me, I'm on my way to a long hot bath and an early bedtime. A full edition of the newsletter will follow next weekend, overflowing with new ideas, products, and our plans for the months to come.

I'll leave it up to Wesley, Ellen, and Laurie-Ann to share the best part of our trip with you...

Ellen's Impression: This was my first year at Quilt Market. As we looked down at the convention floor from the second level, there were booths everywhere filled with color and beauty, and quilt after wonderful quilt. It took three long days for us to go up and down each aisle, picking what we thought was the best of the best. I hope you will love our choices as much as I do.

Laurie-Ann's Impression: I always love the opportunity to attend quilt market. I experience so many different emotions when we are here, that I find it hard to sum up. There is the pure excitement of getting to see all the newest items the quilting industry has to offer, the challenge to cover every inch of market and see every booth, our complete exhaustion at the end of our 14 hour day, and remember all the great ideas that we had during the day (long enough to write them down), and agonizing over the latest fabrics hoping that you are all pleased with our selections. I can't wait for you to see all the beautiful new products that inspired us at market.

Wesley's Impression: There are far too many things to potentially try to share in a few words. Please bear with us, as we try and get things up to speed over the next few weeks. One thing that I would like to share was the texture that was evident in many quilts. Is there any texture that you would like to use in your next project? Please take a moment to delve into your quilt dreams and find a challenge to yourself, for the next medium that you might like to try with your quilting.

Many new collections will be brought to your quilting e-mail in the next months, where we will try adding in some new things along with the wonderful fabric to stretch our quilting limits. There will be many patterns and wonderful ideas to share in the coming weeks. Some of our favorite designers this weekend that had new things to share were: Miss Rosie's, Mountain Peak Creations, Fig Tree Quilts, Big Fork Bay Cotton Company, McKenna Ryan and Mount Redoubt Designs. There are many others that we have added some of which used mixed techniques. Some of the techniques that I noticed were all of the texture. Including: embroidery, threads, wool, pin-tucks, pleats, many embellishment techniques, and even some silk in some of the quilts.

The other aspect of market, that the public does not see all of the time: is the opportunity to visit with many other quilt shop owners and take business classes, where some of the newest quilting opportunities are shared and motivational speakers give their best talks to keep us, as shop owners, inspired and motivated to come up with new and creative ideas to share with our customers. For myself, one of my favorites was listening to Barbara Wold speak about customer service experiences from all over the world. Ms Wold speaks to Chambers of Commerce, Main Street America, and many other groups from all over the world about marketing strategies. If anyone has an opportunity to listen to this dynamic speaker, as president of our local Chamber of Commerce, I would definitely recommend her presentations. There were also many other business classes that we attended, which have given us many ideas to implement in the near future.

As always, if there is anything that we can help you with, please do not hesitate to let us know. If there any emails in the last few days that haven't been answered, please accept our apologies, as we will be catching up shortly over the next few days.

Please accept our sincere, THANK-YOU for your past business and we promise to do our best to meet your quilting expectations for the rest of the year.

A BIG thank-you goes out to Rose, Barb and Gayla, who worked through the last week to keep your orders coming to your home, without their help, this week would not have been possible. Matthew has had the wonderful good fortune to spend the week with Grandma, who had the most important job of all. And also received a crash course: working at the Quilt Store while Matthew was in school. Can't wait to get her impression of that. Until next time. . .