Quilt Market & Festival ’23: the Recap

Studio Kat Designs

So… with the 2023 editions of the International Quilt Market & Festival “in the books”, its time for a recap!

And here’s the deal… The shows this year had some great moments, some extremely frustrating moments, quite a few laughs, a little sickness, and a good deal of hunger, which all added up to a memorable two weeks!

To begin with, it seemed as though our shows were to be DOOMED from the start, because on the day of our flight to Houston I got up to a scary text message from American Airlines!

Our flight had been cancelled!

The airline had rescheduled us thru Miami which had us arriving at ~4 pm in Houston which sounded OK until we realized that we’d actually be overnighting in the Miami airport & arriving the NEXT DAY… which would NOT give us time to set up our booth!

So… we hightailed it to the airport & headed straight to the service desk to try for a better option but the best they could offer us was by first flying to… WAIT FOR IT….

Los Angeles!

Yep! 8 1/2 exhausting hours in the air to get from Charlotte to Houston (by way of LA), but it could’ve been worse…at least we got there on Thursday, with all day to set up on Friday, right?

and by Friday night (at 730pm), here’s how our booth looked for the opening of Quilt Market on Saturday morning. We still had some nit-picky stuff to fix, but as tired as we were, it was good enough to call it a night. 

One encouraging thing I noted about this Market (and Festival) was the large numbers of attendees who told me that this was the first Festival they’ve come to since before Covid. The attendance was great and there was a very positive vibe on the floor for all 3 days. (Here’s how our Sneek Peek box in the lobby looked)
The only negative…my husband contracted a bad case of food poisoning Saturday night and was pretty much indisposed for all of the last day of Market on Monday

At least we had all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday to recover while I reset our booth for Preview Night and the official opening of Quilt Festival on Thursday.

And as usual, there were huge crowds of attendees for Quilt Festival! We so enjoyed catching up with customers we haven’t seen in several years and introducing our products to many, MANY new ones!

The only thing was, the floor setup for both Market AND Festival was flopped… that’s to say that instead of the vendor booths running from right to left with the food court on the far left and the quilt displays on the far right, it was REVERSED… which it has NEVER, EVER been this way before. This was pretty disorienting to say the least, for both us AND all of the other attendees!

What you might ask was the reason for this change?

But even though we didn’t have to compete with with the Houston Astros & the World Series this year, it turned out that we did have to work along side a Collect-a-Thon Convention (above left) AND a Wheelchair Warrior Rugby Tournament (above right), all under the same roof as the the International Quilt Festival. To say there was a LOT of diverse energy in that building would be an understatement, but you know what? It worked out OK.

So in conclusion, even though it was a very successful Market & Festival, getting off to a rough start & having to deal with a food poisoning incident along the way easily multiplied our stress factor of this two week event by TEN!

Fact is, we’re both 15 years older that we were when we first got started in this “Show Business”, so this year we weren’t at all sorry to hear the closing bell so we could head toward home on a totally boring & uneventful direct flight to Charlotte, NC!

Studio Kat Designs

So bye bye Houston, until we meet again next year at this time, hopefully under more relaxed circumstances!

and to you and yours, take care and have a wonderful holiday season!

And now, it’s YOUR turn!

And if you have comments you’d like to share, suggestions you’d like to make, or questions you’d like to ask about these shows or about our booth set up in particular, please feel free to leave either or ALL in the space provided below.

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. Beth on November 13, 2023 at 8:27 am

    You definitely had some major challenges this year, so hopefully next year will go smoothly! I’m glad it was a good show and that now you are safely home again!

    • Kat on November 13, 2023 at 10:30 am

      So am I! Thank you Beth! 🙂

  2. Mary B on November 13, 2023 at 9:14 am

    WOW! Once again, you had to pull a rabbit out of a hat and you did. Well done! So glad you made it all happen and that you are both back, safe and sound.

    • Kat on November 13, 2023 at 10:32 am

      We’re glad to be home as well! Im thinking maybe next year we need to plan on flying down the evening b4. That couldve been disastrous for us!

  3. Gai on November 14, 2023 at 5:10 am

    I wasn’t at Houston, but bought things from you in Paducah. I love your patterns. I am sure your kitties were happy to have you home. 🐈

    • Kat on November 14, 2023 at 3:26 pm

      They were, but I was equally glad to see them! Thanks for commenting Gail and for your support! 🙂