Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Home from SLC Spring Quilt Market! What fun!

Hello everyone! I’m back from market and had a wonderful time. First of all the weather was very nice to me. I had just come from 90 degree weather in Las Vegas, NV and so the cooler, overcast, misty weather was a great welcome! Apparently it had just changed from the day before, where it was 80 degrees and sunny. I couldn’t complain. :)

The ride from the airport was quick to the SLC downtown Hilton, where I stayed in a Diamond/Executive room (thanks to my husbands frequent travels–thanks sweetheart!) So…that meant a great breakfast each morning in the Executive lounge….muffins, bagels, toast, pastries, cereal, granola, yogurt, juices, etc……..and fresh fruit to die for….we don’t get fruit like that in Vegas!

I spent my first day at the show visiting many of the schoolhouses. There are about 18 different classes to take in a 15 minute or 30 minute time-slot. So, it is very hard to choose. Many attendees have their’s all mapped out ahead of time. This is a fun day of learning about new products, fabrics, books, and designs and designers! Everyone is so generous with samples….I came away with great fabric bags, books, patterns, and tips on how to boost sales….mostly for store owners and web stores, but I took it to heart as a designer selling products. I went to a schoolhouse presented by Westminister Fibers, Calico Carriage Quilt Designs, by Debbie Maddy, another quilt designer. She designs quilts that have no “Y” seams by using half-square triangles.

I also attended a schoohouse by JWD Publishing, designer Joen Wolfrom started a publishing company for many other designers, including herself. She publishes Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims, etc. I have a couple of pictures from that class, below:

I attended a couple of Krause’s schoolhouses (Krause is my publisher, too), one was for a book by Margrit Hall, called “Chameleon Quilts.” Learn a fresh, new innovative look and feel using traditional patterns. Create multiple quilts with unique appearances using a single pattern. It’s amazing what you can do with one block. I love sitting on the floor or using my design wall to rearrange my blocks to see what surprise I come up with…my recommendation is to take a digital photo of each arrangement—so you can keep the different “looks” available to go back to…:)

I attended a class presented by “Little Mountain Designs,” called “Finish As You Go” Block-of the Month. I was so impressed with the number of customers that participate in this store’s BOM program. They have 3 different BOM’s going on at one time. AND 150 customers that participate in each one! I know that is a lot of fabric, (They said that they plan ahead and buy enough fabric to have enough.) with the $5.00 charge at the beginning and some not always completing in the month, they pay again for the next block (they are recouping some or all of the costs), They have figured the costs to be about $1.00 per block, so basically 5 months are taken care of. At the beginning the customers are aware of the “finish packs” and can purchase those or not…. These “finish” packs” are purchased as they go….so, let’s say that we have completed 3-4 blocks, then there is a finish pack that may cost approximately $15.00 or more…you’ll use the finish pack to sew the 3-4 blocks together….making the “top”almost finished….you’ll make 3-4 more blocks and buy another pack…and so on….So, eventually when the BOM is done, you’ll have a finished quilt top! Gotta Love IT! I have THREE sets of BOM’s unfinished! When the women come and show off their blocks, they are also learning about a new tool or supply….increasing sales! I would’ve loved this program when I was doing the BOM’s here in Vegas! I took lots of notes….I’m thinking I need to have a block of the month program on my website!

Okay—as you can see, I have learned a lot so far! I’m just beginning! I attended a class on BLOGS,! yes, I love learning and learned a lot here. It was presented by the girls at “Quilter’s Buzz.” I love that blog, they have so much information, so I’ll be using what I learned to increase traffic to my blog….so check them out!

I also attended a class presented by Electric Quilt Company. I have EQ5 and just bought EQ6 upgrade. I’ve played a little, but I know I need to set a time aside to really teach myself this great software. If my 22 year old daughter can design a custom quilt top in one evening, using the software, you’d think, Mom, who is the quilt designer could do the same…so there’s the challenge presented before me now! I also bought their latest fabric stash CD. Spring 2007! So…….What is stopping me now!

There are over 5,000 prints to play with!

Okay, the last class I attended was presented by Andover Fabrics. I really like this company, they are a lot of fun and have some great prints to quilt and sew with. They also have a really cute print called, “Duck, Duck, Goose.” They were giving away large bags from their new prints. I was able to take home a Duck, Duck, Goose bag. I found out later during the Sample Spree, that they were sought after! My daughter loves it….! She has always had a passion for ducks and chickies!

Don’t you just love this panel!!!???

More about the Trade Show floor in another report! Look forward to the Sample Spree report!!!
Happy Quilting! Denise

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