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A Quick Trip to Spring Quilt Market

Last week I had the opportunity to make a quick trip to Minneapolis to see all things quilt at the Spring Quilt Market. I always look forward to the chance to meet face-to-face with our designers and it's always a lot of fun to see what new things everyone is working on. The other exciting thing about Spring market is that it moves around so that each time I go, there are a wide variety of new exhibitors. The Fall market in Houston may be too far away or too big to attempt for the first time, but the smaller Spring show is just right. Still, there's a lot to see and do even at this "smaller" show. This year I felt like there was more traffic and more buzz in the air.

That probably started with the Schoolhouse on Thursday afternoon. I flew in very, very early so that I could get over to the convention center in time to see a few of the afternoon sessions of Schoolhouse. The afternoon before the show many designers and companies sponsor a 30-minute session to tell shopowners about the new products they have coming out. It's always a lot of fun because everyone's excited to be there and to have a chance to hear from a favorite. Here you get to see new fabric lines and hear from the designers, see the quilts for new patterns and techniques, find out about new tools and you might even be lucky enough to get a great sample to take back home. Two of our designers that I managed to catch, Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie's Pattern Company and Pat Sloan, had cram packed rooms for their sessions. Carrie was showing off her new books (as well as an upcoming fabric line with Henry Glass) and Pat was debuting a new rotary cutting system (rulers, cutters, and mats) that she designed for Sullivans.

After the excitement of Schoolhouse, I was ready to touch base with old friends and to meet new ones at the show. I started when the doors opened and nearly closed the place down. In nearly every case, edging into each booth was a challenge because of the crowds, but what a great problem to have! In between I met with Carrie and Pat as well as Barb and Mary from Me and My Sister. They were all set to do book signings in the Checker booth. I also saw Amy Hamberlin from Kati Cupcake and Amanda Herring from The Quilted Fish, two of our newest designers who'll have books out soon (and already have their own fabric lines!). Kristine Poor from Poorhouse Quilt Designs was also there, exhibiting at her first market, and it looked like things were going well! I snagged just a minute to talk to Delores Storm from Lakadaisies who had a full house. I know that means great things for her upcoming redwork books. And I bumped into Linda Lum DeBono in the aisles (we usually find each other on airport shuttles for some reason) and visited Lazy Girl Joan Hawley while she did a demo on her new zipper technique for her fabulous bags (as well as the benefits of the iPad just for me) in the Checker booth. On the way home, I realized I missed a few friends so I'll be sure to visit them first in Houston. It was a busy show and being unable to chat for long because your booth is busy, busy, busy is such a great thing! (Click on the links to visit each designer's blog to find out what she thought about Market).

I also had a chance to meet a few people that might be interested in books...always exciting, but we'll have to wait a while to see how that turns out. Oh, and of course...it IS a quilt show! You can't forget the quilts. It seems like I always save those for last at Fall Quilt Market and end up running through them on the last day at the last minute. At this show, they're up front and center, difficult to miss! This one's called "Spring Field" by Akiko Kawata.

It really was a quick trip but it's great to see how much exciting new stuff is happening in the world of quilting. You can find out more about all these designers and their beautiful quilting books at LeisureArts.com.

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