Monday, October 29, 2012

A little straight talk about Quilt Market

I went to Quilt Market.

 I got invited to Market by Lissa of Moda fabrics to participate in a couple of signings for the Sweet Celebration book. Since I live 10 minutes away and I was so thankful for that great opportunity to be in the book, how could I say no? I am really very spoiled to live where I live with the hobby that I have!
That's me between Stefanie Romans & Lissa Alexander

I have been to Festival and Market now and I can say I prefer festival. Market is full of people who are working for their livelihood. When you are a hobby quilter or a casual blogger, it can feel like you are in the way. I didn't snag any freebies and I didn't attend sample spree. I am still on a mission to reduce stash and buy on a project by project basis, so sample spree did not appeal to me. I didn't snag any free anything, really...I know a lot of people will think that's crazy but that's just how I roll.

I have a great experience with my "signing buddies".  They were a sweet group of ladies.  Of course the very first thing I did was hunt down my girl...SANDY KLOP!  Yeah, you knew that was coming.

Let me defend myself by saying that I don't get star-struck.  I have been around a few famous people in my day and I did not understand why people were clamoring to take a picture or get an autograph.  There are a few people who have brought me a lot of happiness despite my not having met them yet and she falls into that category...Paul McCartney, Jane Austen, Sandy Klop. BOOM.  Around those people, I would be a blubbering fool.  And I was.  But she was totally nice about it anyway.  Her new fabric reminds me of Breath of has a French Provincial flare.  I think my best friend Amie will love it.   I showed Sandy this picture:

This is my current quilt-in-progress.  It's a Great Granny Square with 1 scottie block keeping guard.  It has only her fabrics (minus the Kona Snow) from Building Blocks to ABC 123.  She said she liked it and then I told her she needed to make some scottie fabric...wouldn't that be presh?  My husband said that was super pushy so I guess I can be pushy with the right motivation!

One thing that really struck me about quilt market was that the most talented people were also some of the most humble.  They were there working to get their product out there but they didn't have to be gimmicky or over the top with it.   I really despise networking and often I feel like I will never go anywhere with quilting besides a hobby because I am so terrible at networking.  I let my love of quilting be affected by how much I dislike that side of writing patterns and running a blog.  I don't mind talking to people who have answers I need to know but there's another level of hustle that I just can't bring myself to do.  I'm not pushy.  Seeing how the people I respected the most conducted themselves, I realize that you don't have to do that to succeed.  These people worked on their art and their craft and even though they still had to work they didn't have to shove how awesome they were down other people's throats...people wanted to work with them based on their gift.  Sometimes I feel some people work so hard to promote themselves because in reality the emperor has no clothes...if that makes sense.  It showed me that I need to work on my craft and find my voice as a quilter and if anything else is meant to be it will be.  I have a long way to go to be at the level I want to be creatively.  I am really excited to challenge myself with new projects and become better at my quilting.

 I'm gonna do a market picture dump for another post but wanted to share my thoughts separately.   I also have a few books to give from me, one from a friend.  Stay tuned!


  1. I've never been to Market, but have always wanted to. I don't qualify, because I'm a small time quilter blogger. I'm a book professional and atted Book Expo America each year. I was thinking the two events might be comparable, now, I'm not so sure.

  2. I love your post, Mary! Wise words... thanks for sharing your feelings!

  3. I met Sandy Klop when I was at Market in the Spring. She is lovely, isn't she?

  4. Tell me the difference between festival and Market... are they 2 separate events scheduled during the International Quilt show... I could prob look this up,, but if you would 'splain it to me,, I will get it... BTW... I love the granny square quilt top!! Great job!

  5. Great blog post! I didn't attend this year. You really gave me a great perspective. I am often conflicted with quilting being fun or hobby and a business.

  6. Wow how amazing! I would just get lost looking! Hey I amnwith you on the whole not advertising yourself! I figure I am just me and I KNOW I am not everyones cup of tea! But I am not about to change that just to sell something! Especially if it is an extention of me! You know! I cant wait to see pics!

  7. Great post...I really enjoyed reading your ideas and thoughts about market...I'm just getting ready to do a post as well! It was so nice to meet you!

  8. I really get it. I do. We have some of the same perspective about market. I thought it would be nice to somewhat go and promote myself but I never gave out one card to anyone and I never talked about myself to people I thought I would. Then I found out what some of my friends did and accomplished and I felt a little bad. I'm terrible at really marketing myself beyond my scope of comfort. I do have an outlet for my PDF patterns and have been published so I'm happy with the success I have. I know I could take it further but I don't have the time or want to put out the front money to do more. I really appreciate your honesty. Lots of people won't put their real thoughts out there like this. Thanks.

  9. Mary! It was great to meet you! And yes, I am a little jealous of you living right there in Houston! :)

  10. I've never been to Market maybe one day. I am going to to Festival on Friday though.
    10 minutes away...Lucky you. I have to come in from Tomball but that's okay.
    Love your Scottie dog guarding the Granny Squares.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures.


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