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Thread: Disapointing Quilt Show

  1. #1
    Senior Member Camille's Avatar
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    Disapointing Quilt Show

    Dh and I went to NH (1.5 hrs away) today to the Quilters Gathering show. I haven't been there in about 8 yrs. Last time I got some really good show prices on items. Today, there was nothing worth buying. The quilts were absolutely beautiful, but the vendors all had the same things, fabrics and patterns. Nothing exciting. I only bought 1 pattern on the insistance of dh and $125 worth of Superior threads. I just hope my Bernina's like the thread brand. They are very fussy about the thread I use. They hate Sulky. So between gas, parking, breakfast and lunch, admission and purchases I could have stayed home and did my shoppong on the internet. And....it was boiling hot in the hotel making my stay much shorter. If I sound like I'm complaining....I'm not, just disapointed. It seems like all these shows are moving in a different direction. My machine dealer sent an email apologizing for not having a booth at the show this year. And she is the largest dealer around. Is this happening all over the country? A very dissapointing day, at least my dh's company made it a good day. He's a trooper for putting up with my hobbies. Maybe cause I put up with his hobbies too.

  2. #2
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camille View Post
    If I sound like I'm complaining..
    So, no spectacular vendors?

    It is called a quilt show, not a vendor show.
    Just saying.

    I came back from Houston last night.
    Out of over ~550 vendors, I only bought from around 10.
    So 540+ had nothing I was interested in.
    And many of my favorites were not there this year (Sandy related or other reasons).

    I wasn't the least bit disappointed.

    Had a fabulous time (despite the travel related costs of plane, hotel and car).
    Last edited by MTS; 11-03-2012 at 07:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I could make the same observations as you regarding the last 4 or 5 shows I've been to, but I realized that as time goes on, I've become a better quilter, don't have any need or want for any new gadgetry, and can either figure out the patterns on my own or create what i want. It makes sense that the vendors have the same fabrics - they all have to purchase from the same manufacturers and they might understand that only certain types of fabrics sell well in your region. So, in other words, maybe it's not the fault of the show, maybe it's just that you're just in a different place than you were 8 years ago.

    I've gotten to the point where the American quilt magazines just don't do it for me anymore, everything they publish is the same old same old. Been there done that. However, the Australian and Japanese quilt magazines have some really innovative and gorgeous quilts, and I've been drawing a lot of inspiration from them. Maybe it's time to expand your horizons!

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    My complaint is usually that there are too many vendors and not enough quilts! Unless I'm looking for something specific, such as thread or longarm templates, I don't spend that much with the vendors.

  5. #5
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    When I go to a quilt show, I do want to see the quilts. There are rarely vendors that I will buy from because I hand quilt - I generally only looking for specific things - I want YLI thread, and stencils for my hand quilting designs. Occasionally I'll find something to surprise me. My favorite show w/ vendors was the international quilt show in Cincinnati last spring. I'll definitely go back next year.

    The last show I went to was way too crowded and I couldn't see or look at anything. I did get my scissors sharpened and I left pretty quickly.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  6. #6
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    Yesterday I took two of my sisters to a very small quilt show in Iowa. Neither of them had ever been to a show, because neither of them quilt. It was fun to see things through their eyes. Everything was new and exciting, and I'm sure I saw things I would have missed on my own. I think Peckish is right, we've been there and done that, and we keep raising our expectations. I hope I never tire of appreciating the beautiful quilts made by others.

  7. #7
    Super Member Just Me...'s Avatar
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    From a shopowner/vendor perspective...they need to make their money back on the booth fee, gas, food, etc., all the same things you spent money on. The easiest way to do that is to take the more popular fabric lines, patterns, books, etc., which leaves the consumer with less variety at the show. All the vendors have pretty much the same thing. It can be risky to take those items that are not advertised as well or that aren't the latest "craze". All the other shops around me carried Moda, so I quit carrying Moda. All the other shops around me carried Nancy Halvorsen Christmas fabric, so I quit. I started ordering fabric lines from Red Rooster, Andover, Wilmington, etc. so that my customers would have more of a variety. There were grumbles at first...but after a few months it was worth it. If we all carry the same exact fabric lines, it becomes an issue of who has it cheaper and you are left looking at the same ole same ole. Hard to do that at a show.... As is the case with pretty much everything these days, booth fees are higher, gas prices are higher....they have to take the items they know they can sell a lot of.....
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  8. #8
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    The first thing I do when I go to a QS is look at all the beautiful quilts. However the vendors are very important to me, as we have no LQS. Have to drive at least an hour to one and over that to others. So yes when I go to a QS I expect to see vendors there!

  9. #9
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    I seem to be the opposite of everyone else - I'm far more interested in the vendors than the quilts.
    Am a big fan of Superior Threads. My Bernina takes them fine - even will take Bottom Line (their 60wt poly bobbin thread) top and bobbin.

  10. #10
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I really don't understand how you can be disappointed at any quilt show.

    One of the quilt shows I go to only has about 30 to 50 quilts at the absolute most and usually 8 vendors. I go to that show every year and have a great time.

  11. #11
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I've learned at the various shows which vendors will be there that I like. I make sure that I buy something - anything from them to make sure they keep coming back. There is one woman from NE Ohio that drives 4 hours to be at a quilt show in March. I LOVE that she comes, she carries thimbles - and she's smart because she has sample ones that I can try on to see if they'll work for me.

    And yes, the vendors change over the years. I bought my quilt frame from a vendor at a quilt show years ago - have never seen another one like it - even online. I'm sooooo glad that I got it when I did. At the same time, vendors aren't bring things like this quilt frame to quilt shows either and that's too bad.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I just went to a small quilt show last week-end and was a little bit disappointed. There were only 5 vendors and about 75 quilts (most of them small wall hangings). I did not have to drive 1 1/2 hrs. so did not have that expense, but did have to pay parking and entry fee. One of the vendors did not have anything quilt related, and 2 only had very expensive stencils and no varigated thread (only lg. spools of plain). There were some really cute kits for Xmas items but that was about it. Oh well, the wall hangings were nice and I did get an idea for a guild project for the coming year.

  13. #13
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    nice to get a perspective from the vendor's view.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  14. #14
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    One of the reasons that "stuff" does not interest me any more is that I already have it all !!!!!!!!

  15. #15
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    Well, I also went to the Gathering. And yes it was just Blazing HOT. That part seemed to take away all the joy. I enjoyed seeing all the quilts.( something I will never be able to do and quite frankly do not want to do) I sew for the joy of sewing and not all my projects are successful. It is just for the fun...really a hobby. I also agree that it was a disappointment. I had to walk a mile from the parking garage..(probably a good thing haha) and there were no show specials..they always make one feel good. I am not so sure I will attend such a large gathering again. I think I will try some smaller quilt club ones.

  16. #16
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    every quilt show i've been to have been "vendor" shows. now it seems display of quilts is the last thing the organizer cares about. hanging them at ceiling height does not make me happy. i go for the quilts first, vendors second. and i 've found that too many vendors are only for long arm quilters, not me.
    quilt guild shows are great though!!!
    Last edited by nativetexan; 11-04-2012 at 06:31 AM.

  17. #17
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    Wish there was a quilt show that I knew of around me.

    I think seeing all the latest tools at the vendors would be great! Quilts- great! Simple quilts - The most important of all.(this is where I'm at in my quilting)
    The only quilt show I know of is a benefit auction for a camp.

  18. #18
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I go to shows for both .. quilts and vendors...I am always hoping for something new in both quilts and vendors.

  19. #19
    Senior Member BeckyB's Avatar
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    So sorry you did not have that much fun...I'll wish you luck on the next adventure!
    It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenR View Post
    Wish there was a quilt show that I knew of around me.

    I think seeing all the latest tools at the vendors would be great! Quilts- great! Simple quilts - The most important of all.(this is where I'm at in my quilting)
    The only quilt show I know of is a benefit auction for a camp.
    Not sure where in Minnesota you are, but here is a link to quilt shows in MN:
    http://quilterstravelcompanion.com/q...uilt-shows.php

  21. #21
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I think the major focus of Quilters' Gathering is intended to be the classes, workshops, and lectures (which are always ranked as outstanding). More so than the quilts and vendors even. It is not promoted as a quilt show, but rather as a quilters' gathering for that very reason.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  22. #22
    Junior Member marybs's Avatar
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    took two full day classes

    I took two full day classes at the Quilter's Gathering and had a great time. Mystery bed runner with Mollly Waddell and Choosing Fabrics with Annie Smith. both were really great!

  23. #23
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    I usually go to shows for the quilts first, vendors second, but in Camilles defense, For some people, going to LQS' is a rare thing, because of many reasons; distance, time to shop, or maybe health or mobility. So, they see a quilt show as an opportunity to see beautiful quilts, and get a little shopping in. When the vendors are not what they expect, then they are naturally disappointed. "To each it's own", we all have different reasons for attending shows.

  24. #24
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    Our guilt guild hosts a show, just last weekend as a matter of fact, and we have only had a few vendors. Some not even quilt related. A flameless candle line, an antique shop, our local quilt shop with precious few items (she is one of the people that works tirelessly on our show, so she brings what she can) and a lady that makes purses. Hmmmm, didn't go FOR the vendors, but it was nice to see some things I might not get to see if they didn't participate. We had a bazaar table and a silent auction table (3 featherweights donated raised some serious cash for charity) and an "opportunity" quilt (we can't call it a raffle) available. The show was open Friday noon to Sunday early evening. We had a paid judge, gave out cash awards and lots of ribbons. It was a good show. Not big, not stressful, no huge crowds, but we made some money for charity, we showed quilts from all over (last year was Civil War, year before WWII) and nobody was grumbling.

    I went to a show last year in a neighboring town, 4 of us drove in. We were soooo disappointed. No vendors (told because it was held in a church, they weren't allowed to sell anything), no ribbons (no judged quilts, just best of show voted on by public and not awarded during the show) The quilts were draped over 4 chairs on top of tables and hung from the 2nd story so high we couldn't read the signs or see the details of the lovely quilts. I won't go back...but not because of the lack of vendors! Could have been vendors lined up out the door and it was still a crummy show!

  25. #25
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    I can understand being disappointed in a quilt show - I stopped going to the festival in Houston for four years because it got to be the same thing, year in and year out, including seeing the same quilts for years on end! The vendors all carried the same thing, and frankly, it got to a point where it seemed like there were more "fringe" vendors (i.e., jewelry, beads, etc) than anything I would find helpful in my quilting.

    This year, I went back for the first time since 2007, and honestly, I was a bit disappointed. We looked at the quilts, and some of them were stunning, but there seemed to be fewer big quilts and more wall hangings, miniatures, and such. The vendors were giving show specials, and I enjoyed checking out some of them, but by and large, it was the same stuff I could get at one of my LQS.

    I do go to the shows to see the quilts, but at the same time, I go to check out anything new that might have hit the market. I am a gadget type of girl, so I love to see what someone has come up with in the way of innovative products, and I'm always disappointed when I find every booth selling the same thing as the previous 200 booths. I would actually think that the ones that have something different would do better business than the ones that are all selling the same thing.

    Some quilt shows, it's like walking through Stepford Booths ...

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