Tuesday, June 12, 2012

International Quilt Market Kansas City

It's that time of year again! The one where I make my pilgrimage to an unknown city with my gal pal, (aka Mom and Aunt Linda), and go to Quilt Market!! This year it was in Kansas City, MO and it was my most favorite city so far. What a beautiful place! I thought I'd document it more this time around so that when I'm 90 I can remember this 'thing' I did when I was a young mom.

So the question I get a lot is....drum roll please.....

What is International Quilt Market?

International Quilt Market is a trade show for the quilting and fabric industry. It is where the designers / manufacturers debut their new lines and where most quilt shops and store owners place their orders for new lines of fabrics, patterns, notions, trims, etc. Fabric is ordered by the bolt and most everything is sold at wholesale pricing. The show is not open to the public and you need to present credentials to get in. There are hundreds of booths showing off all things related to fabrics and quilting. We go as designers and show store owners new products for their stores. It's also a great way to make contacts in the business and to get your name out there to people who otherwise
 wouldn't know you from Adam.

The place is HUGE with so much for your eyes to take in. My husband, Devin, jokes that it's what the world would look like if women ruled it. I'd have to agree.

So it was up and at 'em the next morning to set up. We had all day Wednesday and all day Thursday. It was my goal to be done completely on Wednesday and all it took was me being a little bit of a slave driver. You'd think it wouldn't take long, but hanging heavy quilts with safety pin precariously on curtains is really, really hard. My shoulders still haven't recovered.

Trying to sort through the mayhem. It gets overwhelming really fast. And really really HOT. With everyone loading and unloading on the docks, they turn off the A/C and it turns into a sauna. Every year they do this to us! By the end you're a hot sweaty mess.

I had this vision of a really fun booth that screamed "kids" as you walked by. I wanted people to not only see the product I'd created, but to see them on little kids and see them using them. So I created fake canvases and lots of buntings to make it feel sort of like a kid carnival.

At the end of set up they do "Sample Spree" night where some of the vendors sell their items at a reduced price. Since none of us can actually purchase anything while there, it's always a huge hit. Picture thousands of fabric starved ladies just itchin' to get their paws on something crafty. It's mayhem. And it's a ton of fun. Usually we're the last in line, just their to check it out. But not this year. This year I'm not nursing a newborn while at market (Market 2007) or pregnant (Market 2010) so we were in it to win it! I sat in that dumb line for 5 hours to get us a good spot. We were so close to the front and I loved every minute!

The bottom of the escalators were the starting line and when they started those bad boys up, the race was on. See how close we were?!

Fat Quarter Shop took this picture from the top of the escalators, and I even found my mom and I chatting away amidst the chaos. And that line went back for MILES....thousands of ladies!

Opening Day! All set up and ready to go. I can only liken this experience to being in a zoo, behind the glass. Shop owners stroll on by, slow and steady, taking in everything your booth has to offer. And you just stand there. Like a zebra on display. It's all very awkward.

My mom had her new book come out, A Perfect Cut, which I'm proud to say Devin named. He's our go to guy for ideas I swear! It went over sooo well!

We even revamped our logos this year-I think my moms looks so much better!

My Aunt Linda is one of my favorite people in the world. She does our money and checks everyone out. And then I hide behind her whenever people come in the booth because I HATE to small talk with strangers. Most of the time I get away with it, but if my mom catches me, she gives me her serious eyes and out of the corner I go.


Sometimes we get characters in the booth who just go nuts for your stuff.....like this fine fellow below.

The second day Tara, our new amazing graphics gal came up to meet us for dinner. She just so happens to live in Kansas City and we'd never met before; just had long conversations over the phone. She was great fun and took us to this amazing BBQ place called Jack Stack.

We even had fun joking about how much she looks like my mom!

And how my Aunt Linda must be my real mom because we are SO much alike and even look more alike then me and the Dodster do.

We even like the same foods and we just had to order these ginormous onion rings and massive mushrooms. My mom isn't a foodie and doesn't like to try crazy foods like us.

After dinner we hoped on a carriage for a ride around the city. The driver gave us a history about the open air strip mall we'd come to know and love. It was amazingly beautiful!

By day three you're kinda bored out of your mind, having to sit there for 8 hours. You can't ever leave your booth unattended so usually it's me and Linda out for a few minutes here and there.

We snuck out to see if I could find any of my stuff and see what others had to offer. Here's some of my patterns at the MODA booth.

In the corner is one of my Sweet Seats that we made out of this manufacturers fabrics. As a designer you can talk to fabric manufacturer's and get fabric from upcoming lines of fabric. Then we make them samples using that fabric that's to be displayed at market so everyone can see our pattern made up in their fabrics. It's a win win for both of us because quilt store owners can see things made up in the fabrics they are going to order and then they can order the pattern.

These were some of my favorite booths this year:

Here's some of my things that were in the Riley Blake booth-I love this manufacturer and they are so wonderful about sending fabric to me! Love that I get to work with them. This picture was on the front of the fatquartershop.com blog-so fun!

Seriously, who gets to do fun stuff like this? Not a stay at home mom like me-but I count myself so lucky to have memories like this with these two cardigan loving ladies. No really, aren't they the cutest?!

FYI-I'm making a 10x20 of this picture for both of them at Xmas!!

And yes, while in strange cities I rock the colored pants. Thanks Kansas-it was a blast!

Hope you loved the tour..Meg and Dodi


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