Amanda Clark
Amanda Clark

My First Houston Quilt Market!

An Only on QCN 3-Part Series, following new quilter Amanda Clark's journey into all things quilting at the 2010 International Quilt Market in Houston, TX.
Part 2 - Dinners, classes and meetings behind the scenes

Amanda Clark - QCN


'Swoon' by Melissa Averinos (Andover Fabrics)

Just one section of the Market show floor. There were a lot of steps to count for Andover Fabric's ‘Guess how many steps in takes to walk the entire show floor?’ Facebook ontest

The first night my Aunt Laura and I arrived in Houston, we headed to the FabShop Market Kick-Off Dinner Party. These dinner parties were some of my favorite experiences of the trip. A delicious dinner was served, followed by a speaker from FabShop who introduced some special guests. The theme of the party was ‘Undercover CEOs’,(inspired by the TV show ‘Undercover Boss’ -  where CEOs spend a day in the shoes of their employees). In this case, CEOs from Windham, Checker, and Michael Miller Fabrics spent the day at 3 different fabric shops, experiencing a day in the life of a shop owner. They shared some interesting thoughts about their experiences.  They then  took questions, which sparked a really good discussion. I didn’t understand all the business talk, but I still found it interesting. Oh, and we got party favors! I got an awesome Bali Pop from Hoffman Fabrics.

On Friday we attended the ‘Schoolhouse Series’. It was a day full of classes, each class being 15-30 minutes in length. The classes are designed to introduce new books, fabric lines, notions, and other fun stuff. There are 267 classes in all, but you will only have time to attend 15.

I had a lot of fun at the Andover Fabrics ‘Introduction of New Designers and Lines’ class. It was a double room, and packed. Gail Kessler led the show, (which was filmed and will be on YouTube), assisted by several reps that were very comical. They showed us the new lines, and quilts. My favorite of the bunch was ‘Swoon’ by Melissa Averinos (her debut collection for Andover Fabrics - check out the picture of it to the right). It had some beautiful, bold colors. Gail also announced a Facebook contest: ‘Guess how many steps in takes to walk the entire show floor?’. Gail was going to measure herself with her pedometer for the official ‘step reading’. I did a little step-counting myself, and entered the contest. From my figures, a walk-thru is nearly 2 miles! It’s huge. We all got some exercise this weekend.

Before everything got going on the show floor, I had the opportunity to attend a dry-brush fabric painting class with Melanie Chang. I had a blast! Melanie guided us through painting a lovely poppy on a square of fabric. We then received a bag pattern to use the painting on. My project turned out nice, and was a lot of fun to make. I will definitely try Melanie’s technique again in the future.

We hit the show floor everyday when it opened at 9am, and stayed until closing at 6pm Saturday and Sunday.
Our objective was to find and order cool new fabrics and patterns for the shop. Whew! It was work! But it was fun work. Besides walking around and just taking everything in, we had appointments with reps from various fabric companies throughout the day. These were appointments were a lot of fun. We sat at a table (decorated with cool fabric), and watched the pile fabric after fabric on the table. Then we worked down from the top of the pile, deciding which of the fabrics we wanted to order. I got to sit and say, ‘Oooh I like that one’, or ‘No, that one doesn’t really catch me’.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

Our objective was to find and order cool new fabrics and patterns for the shop.We saw some nice batiks from Hoffman (left), and a great mix from Anna Marie Horner (right).
Click on either image to see larger

A lof of quilts were on display in the show hall

In my next article I will tell you what caught my eye, trends I noticed, and what they thought of my designs!

sue beevers headshot

Amanda Clark
is a lifelong artist, and emerging quilter. With her art career beginning in painting and drawing, Amanda has now jumped into the quilting world with both feet. Amanda is the 'Under 30 Advisor' for The Fig Leaf quilt shop in Fort Collins, CO. When she's not quilting or making bags, Amanda continues her love of painting in her free time.

Stay tuned for more from Amanda right here at QCN :

Leave a Comment!

Nationwide 24 Hour Phone Support
ms friends ad banner
With your support,
you can be a friend too!

Click for more info