#90 The Houston 2012 Wrap Up


This is our fourth Houston International Quilt Market. I have to say it was one of the first times I was not nervous or anxious. I approached market will a good amount of confidence. That is new for me. Most times after I arrive I ask myself…what are you doing here? You don’t belong here. But this time I was relaxed and felt I was in the right place. So I guess for those of you following this blog from the business aspect – it took me three years on the International Platform to feel comfortable.

The Booth

We faced the challenge of featuring three new large quilts in an already cramped 10’x20′ booth. We came up with what I thought was a brilliant concept! We used cross bars across the whole booth and featured one large quilt hanging from the top bar and showed a second on the center cross bar – folded in half. We were able to show twice as many quilts! It worked great! We displayed everything and we had ample space for customers to walk around the booth freely. We had two narrow tables on one end in which we stowed our empty suitcases. Oh yes, this time we managed to edit our supplies in order to get everything into carry on luggage. That saved money on shipping. Basically we took quilts, catalogs, lights, and a sparse amount of patterns. It is very important to keep the booth open, well lit and inviting. This market we were on the opposite end of the exhibition hall. We were near the quilts. That worked out great. We got to run to look at the quilts anytime we had a few slow moments.

The Attendance

I noticed an overall drop in attendance. I gave two schoolhouse series and noticed the sheer volume of people was just off. If I had to guess I would say 25-35% off. It was noticeable. Regardless of the lower numbers Zebra Patterns still generated great interest. The Holiday Houses, Sealife and the Appliqué Animals Book went over very big.  A new exhibitor told me she asked the quilt market staff why was the attendance low. They told her it was because it was an election year. To me – that made NO sense. I guess you can never tell what will happen year to year. I am sure the economy and possibly the weather influenced some.

The Trends

Of course I am not in the quilt media but I did come home with distinct impressions of trends. The first year, 2009, I exhibited in Houston I noticed a plethera of country homespun vending exhibitors. Every where I looked there were the autumn-like country colors with that primitive and country feel. The following years 2010-11 I noticed a slowing of the prairie/homespun trend and an insurgence of the Amy Butler bold large colorful flowers. There were aprons and children’s clothes patterns everywhere!

This year I have to say it was the “Modern Movement” that took center stage. The modern movement in quilting is characterized with unique clear strong pastel color palettes all on white backgrounds. Most of the motifs are geometric shapes on white. I was shocked to see Moda, typically traditional, was all over the Modern Movement with their entire booth featuring strong pastels on white. I was happy to see that most of the aprons and kids clothes on their way out. I have also taken note of the crossover in mixed media that is happening. As a vendor, I have recently been invited to exhibit at many traditional Sewing Shows, that are now being referred to as “Sewing and Quilting.” Patti Rusk and I attended a Sewing/Quilting Expo in early fall in the DC area. We took note that there were many more sewing booths than quilting booths, but the quilting booths were much busier than the sewing ones. We are planning to try a Sewing/Quilt Expo in Baltimore next May. It is the first quilt show in the Baltimore convention center. We are looking forward to that.

That is my wrap up of the 2012 Market. The Spring Market will be held in Portland Oregon. We are planning to attend as we would love to have more of a presence on the west coast. Until then – back to more designing here at Zebra Studios in Maryland!




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. maggielou
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 17:20:11

    Love your stamps


  2. Debra Neiman
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 18:22:22

    BLOG TOUR CONTEST. Love your Block, I want to WIN!


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