|Hanging with the BattGirls from |
Quilters Dream Batting under
my favorite Poly Select!
same time. It has been SUCH a fun time meeting so many people, connecting with all kinds of business owners, and learning more about the quilting industry as a whole.
Many times over the years I've heard, "You've gotta go to quilt market!" and many times I wondered why. Why must I haul myself to this event twice a year when I can forge these relationships online through email and social media?
But after going to market, I have to admit - this really is worth attending to experience the full force of being able to meet, shake hands, and talk face to face with sales reps and even presidents of the big branded companies that might be too intimidating to approach otherwise.
This weekend we met with Quilter's Dream Batting, YLI Corp, Quilting Creations (basically all the companies we LOVE already) and many, many other companies with amazing, interesting products. We've definitely got some work to do sorting and sifting through all the cards, notes, and photos we've snapped of cool quilting gear from market.
Market is also wonderful for meeting people who you might rarely or never see in your area. There are many quilters who I have wanted to meet for years, and I finally got to meet them in person.
Of course, we had to snap a photo of the whole group:
Yep, this is the amazing Angela Walters from Quilting is my Therapy, the multi-award winning Master quilter Sharon Schamber, Cristy Fincher from Purple Daisies Quilting, Sharon's super talented daughter, and me on the end. Yay!
I still have goosebumps from meeting all these amazing women in person.
Angela and I have emailed a bit, but we both agreed we already felt like friends before we came to market. I wish we'd had more time to get together, but there's always the next market to meet up and hang out.
Sharon Schamber's videos have inspired me since 2008 when I first started learning to make show quilts. Just to shake her hand and give her a hug nearly made me cry. I'm just so grateful for her videos and willingness to share her skills and talent online, and I know for a fact I wouldn't be the quilter I am today without her videos on the Sharon Schamber Network.
If that wasn't enough, I then ran into Sarah Vedeler, the amazing embroidery designer and digitizer and we went to lunch.
It's so easy to be intimidated by people you've seen in magazines, or in the case of Sarah, almost every single Brewer distribution flyer (which is a huge deal in the business side of quilting). In reality, we're all just creative women who love to connect and share. It was a wonderful lunch - though our waiter really wanted us to all have tequila shots on a Sunday morning.
In the middle of lunch The Bitchy Stitcher, Megan Dougherty swung by for a final hug. We'd planned to get together during market, but busy schedules got in the way.
I made her swear to come to AQS Quilt Week in Charlotte (I'm attending as a student!) at the end of July. Be there or be square, Megan!
It was so much fun to meet all these amazing, creative people. Like I said, I'm literally buzzing with excitement and happiness for all that happened at quilt market.
But really the stars of the show were my awesome crew: my husband Josh and Mary from Perfect Plan it in Pittsburgh, PA. Market is definitely an event you can't do by yourself, and even Josh and I couldn't have handled everything by ourselves. Thank you, Mary!
In the end, I can definitely say quilt market is worth attending. I'm glad I waited all these years to come - to get organized, to get our big book written and ready for quilt shops - but now I'm VERY happy to have finally been part of this awesome event.