Quilt Market & Festival ’22: the Shows in Review


now that the 2022 Quilt Market & Festival are in our “rearview mirror”, it’s time to review both the success of the Shows themselves and of the Booth Setups we chose to use.

First, let’s critique our “setups”.

And now for the closeups…

  • At Market– Our buyers are retail store owners. They are at Market to buy products they can RE-SELL in their own stores back home. That would be patterns, hardware and zippers. This year we decided to display our hardware pieces and take orders at Market to be shipped to the various stores back home. We also had pre-packaged hardware kits if store owners wanted to take home the hardware they needed to get a bag sample made for their stores.

    This was a big change for us but it helped both us and our customers in TWO ways… first, hardware is SO heavy to cart to the show AND its also very heavy for store owners to take home on airplanes with those strict weight requirements on luggage. So I think our customers appreciated us mailing their hardware order to them (free of charge) after the show.

    The Verdict? We’ll probably keep this going in next year’s Market.
  • At Festival– We removed the individual hardware pieces from our display for Festival because most of our customers prefer to pick up a discounted, pattern-specific hardware package instead of trying to gather all the individual pieces they need for a bag while jostling among a throng of other shoppers. (This helps us as well.) We did have a very limited amount of individual hardware pieces available for purchase because we do have a few customers who are shopping for a specific item they haven’t been able to find elsewhere, so it worked out for us all.

    In place of the hardware we’ve added a collection of pre-cut fabric pieces we have used for our various bag samples. It’s been very clear to us of late that some of our customers really want to duplicate the look we have achieved in our bag samples so again, this worked our well for us and our customers.

    The Verdict? This worked out well for us here and at other shows as well so we’ll continue this going forward.

And finally, here’s how our 2022 Sneek Peek Display looked

for BOTH shows!

And here’s a brief synopsis of these shows:

  • The Quilt Market– Since we haven’t had a Quilt Market since 2019 I think everyone involved was more than a little nervous about how successful it would be, and there were some pretty BIG changes since the last show, most notably, in the “look” of the show. Past shows were almost legendary for the “over-top-look” booth displays. I’ve actually seen things such as full-sized cars involved in displays and it wasn’t at all uncommon for some vendors to take up the space of 8-12 booths. I distinctly remember that the first time I walked into Quilt Market it literally took my breath away. But that was NOT the case this time!

    It seemed everyone opted for a minimal & conservative setup and I guess that shouldn’t have come as a surprise given all the pre-Market skepticism, but here’s the deal… although it seemed as if the customer traffic might have been down a bit, it was also obvious that the merchants in attendance were serious buyers, and for many of them, this was their very 1st Quilt Market.

    The Result?: as far as we are concerned, this year’s Quilt Market was a great success! As a matter of fact, of the 20 Quilt Markets in which we’ve participated, it was very nearly our BEST EVER!
  • The Quilt Festival– The turnout this year was much stronger than last year and even though the show floor is still about “8 rows” less than the 2019 show was, and even though we really miss seeing some of the folks we’ve befriended thru the years (due to store closures or retirements during Covid), the show floor looked stronger and more diverse than last year. There was a happy and excited vibe throughout the floor and all in all the show was… in a word… GREAT!!!!

Now its YOUR turn!

If you happened to have been an attendee at one or both of these shows this year, I would love to hear an “attendee’s take” (which can often be quite different). If you have comments you’d like to share or questions you’d like to ask about either of these shows, please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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1 Comment

  1. Pattie Cockerham on November 15, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Was at the festival and enjoyed our little chat,Gemini flightbag And hope to attend the next one