The International Quilt Festival 2021: the Recap


now that this year’s International Quilt Festival is in the books and we’re safe and sound back at home with our fur buddies, its’s time to give you a recap of how the show went for us, and here’s the deal… we can literally sum up the show in three words…


But having said that… let’s back up a few weeks!

The lead up to this show was REALLY stressful! The Houston Show is normally a two-week event. First there’s a wholesale show (the International Quilt Market), followed almost immediately by the retail show event known as the International Quilt Festival, and just so you know, these are historically the two most important shows on our schedule.

So when the organizers abruptly cancelled the Quilt Market in mid-September due to a “low attendance projection” it was very concerning! Because if customers weren’t willing to travel to Quilt Market… why would they be willing to travel to Quilt Festival?

But here’s the deal… when our vendor packet arrived we had EVEN MORE reason to be concerned, because that’s when we found out that the normal 24 FULL rows of vendors had shrunk to only 11 uneven rows for the 2021 show!

At this point however it was clear that we only had two choices to make… we could back out entirely and lose our non-refundable booth payment of $1800.00, or we could travel over 1100 miles to Houston and hope that we could sell enough product to recoup our show expenses plus all of our travel costs. To be honest, neither option seemed attractive to us!

And so it was, with great trepidation that we set out for Houston.

And when it turned out that the Houston Astros won the American League Pennant and would be hosting the World Series in Games 1 and 2, it was cause for even MORE concern for us!

After all, our hotel room, and the Convention center for that matter was going to be within sight of the “Juice Box” or Minute Maid Park, (seen at left from our hotel window), and the games would greatly complicate parking, AND access to all area restaurants and the GRB Convention Center itself!

So… with all of this as a backdrop we arrived in Houston and dutifully set up our booth and our Sneek Peek display (at right) in time for Preview Night which honestly was a WAY less than stellar night for us, (but also coincided with Game 2 of the World Series taking place less than 200 yards from the Convention Center)!

In short, the cards were totally stacked against us and everyone else at this show! There was every reason that it should have failed miserably…

Only it didn’t!

So is it any wonder that when the first full day of the Quilt Festival dawned,(with full masking protocols in place), our expectations were quite low BUT… it turned out as the show opened we couldn’t have been more wrong because the aisles were as clogged with shoppers as we have come to expect at the Quilt Festival and when it was all said and done, Day 1 of this show turned out to be…

the BEST 1st Day we’ve EVER had at ANY show!

We were thrilled and quite honestly in shock, but that didn’t last long, because as successful as Day 1 had been, it turned out that Day 2 was an even BETTER day for us than Day 1 was!

And the last two days of the show?

Oh… well both of those days turned out to be on the mediocre side, but by then we were so pumped about this show that it really didnt matter to us! And guess what, even so, this Quilt Festival actually turned out to be the 2nd best Show we’ve EVER vended at. In short….

No one was more shocked or pleased than us!

At this point I gotta wonder… maybe all this world needed was a really great Quilt Show??? No that’s silly… but regardless, we drove home with smiles on our faces and a load off our shoulders! the 2021 Quilt Festival was just what the doctor ordered for us and in the coming days I’ll tell you even more about it!

So stay tuned for that?

And now, it’s YOUR turn!

Are you as surprised as we were by the turnout at the Quilt Festival? And are you ready to attend a large indoor function such as this? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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  1. Sharon Engel on November 11, 2021 at 7:12 am

    I have a friend who also had a booth at Festival and also went with the same trepidation. She also had a fantastic show. Quilters were very ready to spend money. Enjoy your blog and products.

    • Kat on November 11, 2021 at 7:57 am

      Thank you so much Sharon and I agree. Everyone I spoke with at the show agreed. Folks seemed to be happy to just be there again and to see the new things they had missed for 20 months!

  2. Mary B on November 11, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Hip, hip, hooray!!!! So happy for you!

    • Kat on November 12, 2021 at 6:13 am

      Thanks Mary- It was a happy ride home! 🙂

  3. Barbara on November 11, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Not surprised. With no shows available to attend for a year and a half, quilters were ready. Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in September was similar. Much smaller in every way than in the before time. But, the vendors I talked to all said they had a great show.

    • Kat on November 12, 2021 at 6:14 am

      Its so good to see things starting to come back to our lives, isnt it? 🙂

  4. Peggy King on November 15, 2021 at 10:47 am

    We came in for preview night. Got to the Marriott right about 4:30, in the midst of all the traffic for the game. No problems whatsoever. Got checked in, went and put vehicle in parking garage. We did not valet park. Figured we could spend that money shopping as we stayed until Sunday. Had two friends with me that had never attended before.
    We had a ball. One of them had to use scooter and she adored it.
    Missed some old vendors but met some new people that were so happy to be there. Nicest time I have ever had there and I have been to a lot of them back when it first started, stumbled on it, and then since 2000+ teens.
    Great show

    • Kat on November 15, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      I totally agree Peggy! It was SO great to be BACK! 🙂

  5. dad & mom on November 15, 2021 at 10:59 am


    • Kat on November 15, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks Dad! 😐

  6. LINDA BAXTER on November 15, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the quilt show and all the vendors. The talents and art works were beyond my imagination. It was lovely to meet you there. Have followed your blog for years and made many of your purses. Too funny that you pointed out that I didn’t make the one I had with me. So pleased to hear that you had a good show. It was a very happy time being around people who love fabric and thread as much as I do.

    • Kat on November 15, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      That’s what I enjoy the best about the show too! The comraderie! 🙂

  7. Barb Flowers on November 15, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    So glad the whole show and festival was a resounding success. Yes, I think all of us quilters and bag makers out here are waaaaay past ready for a glorious show in any area of the country. You owed yourself a huge pat on the back for all of the encouragement and kind words you have shared with all of us quilt crazies. Keep up the good work.

    • Kat on November 15, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Barb! I SO agree! 🙂

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