The Free Motion Quilting Project: Amazing Days at Market

Friday, May 15, 2015

Amazing Days at Market

Wow! The last two days have been a blur of wandering happily around Minneapolis, meeting quilter's I've known digitally, but never met in person, and working with Island Batik to prepare for an excellent quilt market. Let's start with Minneapolis - this is an incredible city!

I love the ease of getting around with such an excellent public transit system. I was able to ride a bus to the Midtown Global Market, then ride another bus to check out Glad Creations Quilt Shop, then ANOTHER bus to Mall of America all for $1.75. Then I took the blue line back to Nicollet Mall and free buses back to my hotel. All told, I spent less than $5 to get to many places that would have been $50+ in a taxi.

Mall of America is definitely on attraction that can't be missed. I just wasn't prepared for the size and scale of this mall, and once I found the Lego store, I was literally in heaven!

I know I wouldn't have even tried going to all these places if it wasn't for the Minneapolis transit system and how easy it was to use the buses and light rail. Their website included videos and detailed fare information that made it easy to understand. I've been to cities that have systems, but simply lack the detailed information on how to use it for a total novice.

Yes, it sounds insane, but watching a video on how to buy a ticket and board the train or bus made me feel confident that I could do it without getting lost or accidentally not paying the right amount.

Back to market - yesterday the day of schoolhouse classes, which is sort of a pregame learning event before the main floor of Quilt Market opens. I'm working with Island Batik for this market and demoing in their booth so I stopped by to see if I could help set up.

This is what most booths look like when they unpack, but very quickly it transforms into a gorgeous booth filled with pretty quilts and fabric samples. I didn't have much to do Thursday morning so I met the awesome Bad Ass Quilter Maddie Kertay for lunch and had a great chat about branding, business, and maintaining a balance of family and work life.

Then it was back to Island Batik to load up gear and head to my first Schoolhouse class! This was a 15 minute presentation on using the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern as a block-of-the-month program in a quilt shop. My goal is to get more shops teaching free motion quilting on a monthly basis so more quilters can learn how to finish their beautiful quilts.

After the schoolhouse presentation, I headed to dinner and then right back to the show for Sample Spree. This huge event is for buyers to find cute items for their store and purchase before the main show opens. For a fabric company like Island Batik, this meant precuts!

These beautiful precut packs of 2 1/2 inch strips and 10 inch squares will be appearing in quilt shops very soon. My favorites are Pumpkin Patch and Feedsack. Whatcha think - should we do a quick quilt along with these precuts this summer???

So that's it for my adventures the last two days! Today the market will officially open and I'll be demonstrating in booth #2100 at 11, 1, and 3. Come and see me if you're coming to the show!

Let's go quilt shop!

Leah Day


  1. Looks like you are having a wonderful trip. Love the tiles on that restaurant :)

  2. Looks like a lot of fun Leah! I would totally watch the video before setting out on public transit. As a matter of fact, when my husband had to have surgery in Honolulu I got online and checked out all the bus line information I could get my hands on! That doesn't make us crazy, just well-prepared ;)

  3. So glad you got around our beautiful city!

  4. It was so great getting to chat with you! I can't wait to see what you are up to next! :-)


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