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Thread: I am going to my first quilt show next Thursday. What should I expect?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
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    I am going to my first quilt show next Thursday. What should I expect?

    I am very excited to be going to the quilt show in West Palm Beach, FL next week. I do not know what to expect other than the opportunity to see many beautiful quilts. Should I take a camera to take photos of quilts I like or is that unacceptable? I saw a photo of a tote someone made to take to the Houston Quilt Show this weekend and am wondering what types of merchandise there will be for purchase. Can someone please help so I will be totally prepared for my day? Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what quilt shows in USA are like, but the small local quilt shows around Sydney Australia usually feature a stall selling items donated by the local quilt group -- sometimes small gift items, unfinished quilt tops, but best of all are the fabric bundles of unwanted material! I race past the quilts on display -- they will still be there in half an hour, but the fabric bundles sell out fast.(And there will be no more to replace them!) I have purchased yardage to use for quilt backs as well as lots of fabric pieces for only a dollar or two. There are usually great bundles of back issues of quilt magazines -- 3 or 4 for a dollar, which give me hours of pleasure and then get passed on to others at my group who can't afford magazine subsciptions.(At that price it doesn't matter if they duplicate issues I have already seen).
    Then there are all the wonderful quilts to examine, sometimes to discuss with other viewers, sometimes to silently comment "I wouldn't have used that border". I have found that the more shows I attend, and the more quilts I study (as opposed to just photos), the easier I can decide my own taste in styles, colours and designs. Finally, there is always morning tea/lunch with lovely home made sandwiches, cakes and slices (I even take a small plastic container so I can buy a few home made items to take home).
    Can you tell I am anticipating eagerly the next quilt show?

    (Regarding photography: there may be local rules, but it seems that as phones with cameras have proliferated, most shows here have given up the battle to stop photos -- I leave it to others to comment on the rights/wrongs of that issue)

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in FL View Post
    I am very excited to be going to the quilt show in West Palm Beach, FL next week. I do not know what to expect other than the opportunity to see many beautiful quilts. Should I take a camera to take photos of quilts I like or is that unacceptable? I saw a photo of a tote someone made to take to the Houston Quilt Show this weekend and am wondering what types of merchandise there will be for purchase. Can someone please help so I will be totally prepared for my day? Thanks so much!
    You will be like a kid in a candy store. Take your camera but ask at the if taking photos are permitted. Take a friend, AKA an enabler, to help you make your purchases, its more fun that way. I am sure you will see some awesome quilts that will inspire you and so many goodies at the vendor's booths that you think you just have to add to your quilter's tool box. Wear comfy shoes. That is just a few hints for you.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Junior Member pandamommy's Avatar
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    First and foremost expect to have a really good time! Be prepared to spend lots of time at the show. Most shows have a vendor mall where vendors have lots and lots fun things to buy. As mentioned before, ask before taking pictures. Most vendors do not allow pictures of items in their booths. The WSQ show in Spokane, WA has Cd's for sale with pictures of most of the quilts on them----nice to have as you don't have people walking in front of you when you are taking a picture.

  5. #5
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    What a great time!

    I am envious. I only get to one show a year, if that. The best advice is to wear good walking shoes, take a credit card and a big tote, and don't forget a bottle of water. Pace yourself. There is so much to see, both from the vendors and the exhibitors, you wouldn't know where to turn. If you have projects in mind, take yardage requirements and snippets of any fabrics you plan to use. If you are on a tight budget, try to keep your expenditure totals in mind as you go along; it's so easy to keep buying because, if there are vendors from afar, you may see great fabrics that are not available in your LQS and you'll want to buy them all. At least I do.

    But mostly, have fun. Think of all of us who would love to be there with you! (And remember where you parked.)
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  6. #6
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    I went to my first Quilt show in Ohio in April. I took a large sturdy tote bag that I can hook over my shoulder to keep hands free. I used this for purchases, water bottle, and camera. I used a fanny pack for wallet. I did buy a large assortment of fat quarters and ended up with another bag, but I bought them before I finished for the day. The show I was at had signs on quilts that were restricted from taking photos. Most of those were Baltimore style quilts, and they were grouped mostly in the same area. I did see a quilt at a vender booth and asked permission to photograph, and she said 'sure'. When I shopped the vendors, I started at one end and worked to the other. The best was at the end, so get there early and plan to be there as long as you can. I had a budget, so I went through and kept cards of those I wanted to return to, with their location #. I went 2 different days, Thursday and Sunday. I went with a friend who invited me to stay at her house and we had a ball. Enjoy. This was my first and I am hooked.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Take a camera for pictures, water because it is expensive to buy there usually, a tote bag for all of the goodies you will buy from the vendors, cash and cards for the vendors

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    some venues allow you to take pictures---some do not- be sure to ask at the table when you pay to enter.
    remember you are not allowed to touch the quilts- there will be (workers) around wearing white gloves = who will lift a corner for you if you want to see the back of a quilt.
    wear good, comfortable walking shoes- plan on doing alot of walking- once in a while you will find a show that has chairs, benches placed here & there for you to take a rest---others do not include that-
    as for what could be available-
    everything quilting related- from patterns, kits, fabrics, notions- machines- sometimes there will be classes/demonstrations going on- frames set up to see/try hand quilting, long arms set up to try out-
    all depends on how large the show is....many have drawings, raffles, silent auctions. it is so great to visit shows! have fun!!!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy
    Colleen's custom quilting; longarm services and custom quilt commissions.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Jan in FL's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh, you ladies have me even more excited than I already was! Thank you very much for the tips! I never would have thought of water or going through the vendor booths first. That makes sense, though. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Member bkayw's Avatar
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    Jan, I went last year and it was great. Lots of vendors lots of ladies setting at tables who take your dollars for the raffle quilts, so if interested in that take several singles. The water is a good idea as maybe taking your own lunch. There is a food service but quite expensive for just a sandwich. I plan on going up on Sat. you will have a jaw dropping time.

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