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Thread: What's happening with quilt shows?

  1. #26
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i am one who goes to shows primarily to see the quilts.
    i consider it a great success if i leave the show without having bought anything.

    a good success is when i leave having bought only something i really need at a price too good to pass up.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    The Houston Quilt Festival is somewhat smaller than it has been in previous years. There are a lot of online vendors that show there are well as brick and mortar. As far as "seeing their stock over and over" I go to the Houston Show every year and have favorite vendors. I never feel like I see the same stock over and over. After all, there is new fabric coming out every year so there's always something new. And I love the quilts. They are just awesome every year. I always think I don't know how they can top last years, but they always do.
    I love going to the Houston show also. And, like you, I have favorite vendors that I enjoy visiting with each year. And there are always new one vendors to see and new products and fabrics to explore. It seems like there are more shows and so vendors are having to chose which ones to go to; they just can't do them all.

  3. #28
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    'There is a quilt show here in Jax, FL. in Sept.. 7 guilds help with volunteers. Some of the vendors are not going to be there this year, and some have cut down their booth size. If the vendors have a store, and do a show, they have to pay someone to be at their store those days, and then the store doesn't have much left in stock in case someone shows up there. A vicious circle for vendors. Most quilters have their favorite stores or online sites, and unless its a real good price you don't buy that much anyway. I'm like Patrice J, I go to see the quilts, and who won the prizes. LOL
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

  4. #29
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I know a lot of vendors chooses one or two big shows to go to a year. They go where the biggest crowds are. Paducah and Houston are the shows of choice for most of them. It is a big expense to vend so unless a profit is made to make it worthwhile many of the smaller vendors cannot afford to go to smaller shows. Paducah is full of vendors from the Marshmallow, quilt show floor, to the empty store, to the mall and all in between. I have never been disappointed with the amount of vendors there.
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  5. #30
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Well, I can tell you that there are so many vendors at Paducah, you will be tripping over them. They sell everything you thought you wanted and thousands of things you didn't even know existed. They even have vendors at the mall, so don't forget going there. I love Paducah in the spring, it's just a fabulous place and you get to meet many of the famous quilters. And that is a lesson by itself, they aren't quite what you expect sometimes !

  6. #31
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    I have never been to the Paducah Quilt Show but hope to maybe next year. I think it is so successful because the community is so involved. There is transportation to and from many locations to the convention center. Different organizations offer meals so it is easy to find a place to eat outside of the center. And it's held in spring time!
    There seems to be so much to see and do in Paducah which is what makes it so successful, it seems. Other shows just don't have this and may be why people don't want to invest the time and money to attend and why vendors don't see the sales to make it worth their time and money.

  7. #32
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    In Paducah you aren't confined to one big arena. The town is the quilt show. It's easy to drive, no traffic jams. LOL Easy to get around if you don't drive using the shuttle buses. Remember to tip the drivers! Many are using their day off to drive the buses.
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  8. #33
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    One thing that bugs me: Went to a local show in Vicksburg MS and at least HALF of the quilts were ones I had seen at another MS show the year before. They were great quilts, but if I had known, I would have saved my money and my day. Don't shows have rules about 'previously shown' quilts?
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  9. #34
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ View Post
    i am one who goes to shows primarily to see the quilts.
    i consider it a great success if i leave the show without having bought anything.

    a good success is when i leave having bought only something i really need at a price too good to pass up.
    ha-ha-ha-ha
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  10. #35
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    A question for the Paducah show attendees: Are there any great "show specials" on fabric, thread, batting, or other essential supplies? I went once, back in the mid 1990's and there were vendors with good deals on fat quarters and charm packs. From what I am understanding now, most vendors have their items at regular price at the show? I know there are sales at Hancock's and other locations, but what about the quilt show vendors? Thank you for any information or advice!

  11. #36
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    I feel the same way.
    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ View Post
    i am one who goes to shows primarily to see the quilts.
    i consider it a great success if i leave the show without having bought anything.

    a good success is when i leave having bought only something i really need at a price too good to pass up.

  12. #37
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm in a guild is involved in 2 shows--one is our own, local show that we've done for 32 years--we do get a couple of vendors, but due to size, we don't get many. When we ask, most are unwilling to vend due to expense of dragging all their items and manning it (and maybe a store too)even though the rental is only $25! The other show is the Kansas City REgional Quilt Fest which is held every other year (our 2nd one is THIS June 15-17 in Overland Park KS). The KCRQF was conceived by 14 area guilds that joined together to host a big regional show as many guilds are finding hosting local shows rather draining. KCRQF sponsoring guilds decided that a large show, hosted at a very nice facility with lots of amenities, many quilts and 135+ vendors (at a stall rate that makes sense--$600 for a double space, plus electrical and Wifi charge) would be a draw to those wanting a good quilt show in the MidWest. And since the guilds provide ALL the workers (we do pay to have a company set up and provide the quilt standards and drapes--but my guild will be hanging all the quilts with the exception of one of the 3 special displays), costs are held to a minimum. this is lots of work--with guilds participating in profit sharing based on volunteer hours--but we'll have 135 vendors, 14 opportunity quilt raffles, demos, 3 days of classes of all types, 3 special displays, guild display quilts, and judged quilts. So while it's possible for there to be great vendor participation, the show has to work to draw them in and make it worth their while.

  13. #38
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynnBBQ View Post
    A question for the Paducah show attendees: Are there any great "show specials" on fabric, thread, batting, or other essential supplies? I went once, back in the mid 1990's and there were vendors with good deals on fat quarters and charm packs. From what I am understanding now, most vendors have their items at regular price at the show? I know there are sales at Hancock's and other locations, but what about the quilt show vendors? Thank you for any information or advice!
    I went last year and plan to go back this year. From what I saw, most vendors at the show charge retail. A few had bolts of fabric for $6 a yard... or a good price on several fat quarters. But most are not there offering bargains. There are better deals to be had OUTSIDE the actual show, like at the Hinkle (Finkel?) building and the local stores like QIAD and Hancocks and the pop up shops around town. I still like to look at everything the show vendors have, tho I don't buy much from them.

    There were people selling heated seat cushions everywhere I went. Or maybe they were vibrating cushions... I thought that was the dumbest thing ever. So much vendor space just to sell seat cushions.
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  14. #39
    Senior Member melodyr's Avatar
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    There are bargains in Paducah if you pay attention. Like others have said, much is retail, but you have to take into conside4ration that If you ordered on line, you'd have to pay shipping...and there is such a variety of items, you always end up with stuff you didn't know you needed. Then, there are the 'outside sales' I know of 2 semi-local quilt shops that simply move their whole store to Paducah...one super sale is right across the street from the Museum...the Murray Sewing Center has deeply discounted fabric...there's a wide range of selection and the whole warehouse is packed with shoppers all day. Eleanor Burns runs deep discounts on fabric too. (her tools are retail, but much of her fabric is $5 a yard) There are show specials on some equipment like irons and ironing boards, but the sheer volume of vendors in Paducah is astounding. Like others have noted, the whole town is the show. Vendors set up in any empty space and you'll find lots of things you want. The old Finkles building has the book sale...$5 for thousands of titles of quilting books. Many of them were retail at over $20, so that's a huge bargain. Here's a few pictures of some of the offerings.
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  15. #40
    Senior Member melodyr's Avatar
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    Oh, and there are perks like if you've lost the little 'washer' for your Olfa rotary cutter, the Olfa folks will just hand you one. I think they cost about $10 with the shipping added if you have to request one to be mailed to you, but the Olfa folks will give them for the asking at the show.

  16. #41
    Senior Member melodyr's Avatar
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    Hancock's has their bolt end tables that are a couple of dollars off the regular price too...I always find great stuff there...they also discount the 108" bolt ends deeply...and there is usually a couple of yards in each cut.

  17. #42
    Senior Member melodyr's Avatar
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    You can also buy things like a specialty table made to fit your Featherweight, batting made from silk, bamboo or corn. There's a special scissor man who sells wonderful products and will sharpen scissors you bring in. Pro Chem brings their great dyes and techniques for putting color on fabric (I spend a ton with these folks) You can buy replacement bobbins for older machines and all sorts of tools. Many demonstrations urge you to step in and try before you buy. Like the computer programs such as AccuQuilt but afraid to take the plunge? They'll sit with you and show you how it works.

  18. #43
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rl2b-Roseanne View Post
    I'm hoping to go to the Chicago- area Quilt Festival next Saturday. I hope it's not disappointing - I've never been to a big quilt show before. I'll be happy to report!

    I went to this show yesterday. It was very nice and had plenty of vendors! It is expensive for a shop to set up a booth at a show PLUS pay extra for employees to work in the shop and, perhaps in the booth.

    I see shops closing lately too. The owners want to retire, they are burned out, the landlord jacks up the rental fee when the lease is up, caretaking of elderly parents has become rampant, they want to be "grandma" to thise precious grands, etc. Did anyone interpret any of these reason imply "business is bad?". I did not. Life goes on....

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  19. #44
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I've never to any major quilt shows, but have enjoyed the local ones...I go to spend time with quilty friends, appreciate quilts, get some ideas, maybe enjoy a lecture and the time away from home. I've always enjoyed my day trips! It's a bonus if I find fabric or other quilty related stuff I really don't need! I've yet to come home empty handed! I hope to go to Lancaster within the next few years!
    Go forth and sew!

  20. #45
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    Thank you for so much information, Melodyr! Wow - I'm sure I will be overwhelmed, and over budget :-)

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    I counted 90 vendors total in Lancaster of which 60 were fabric, rulers etc. balance were machines and long arm. we also went to Lancaster this year and was very disappointed. so much so that we will not go back next year. were done! use to be 3 floors. not its 1. I don't really go to see the quilts. I go for the vendors, the demos and whats new. cant say I go for the fabric either. I have so much I can start my own sale seriously. we went to goods up by shady maple and got fabric for under $3. now usually their fabric is good enough for charity quilts. but the fabric offered for $2.79 was great. and I'd put it up against a $10 fabric anytime. I wrote to aqs about my disappointment in the show. have yet to hear a reply. now when we are interested in a show, I count the vendors and see how many of them are long arm and machines vs vendors. we were also very disappointed in somerset this year. I find that you see the same quilts. some have never been washed and you can tell. I wish the shows well as I enjoy them and would hate for there not to be any shows for us to go to and enjoy. as I posted prior maybe there are just too many of them. after all, do we really need 2 in Paducah?

  22. #47
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puma View Post
    . as I posted prior maybe there are just too many of them. after all, do we really need 2 in Paducah?
    2 shows in paducah came at a cost. They shut down Syracuse NY and Phoenix AZ. As AQS HQ is in Paducah this was a huge cost savings to them. I feel it was a net loss to attendees, especially ones who live in these areas and can't travel to Paducah. So for two years I was able to attend a major AQS quilt show in my area. Now I can't.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieH View Post
    I love going to the Houston show also. And, like you, I have favorite vendors that I enjoy visiting with each year. And there are always new one vendors to see and new products and fabrics to explore. It seems like there are more shows and so vendors are having to chose which ones to go to; they just can't do them all.
    That's true, Janie. I just noticed your in Houston, too! High five for Houston ^!

    Quilts Inc. puts on a Chicago show as well as Houston Quilt Festival. Cari seems to be a wizard at putting on a good show. She has lots of vendor rules but it seems to pay off.
    Last edited by cashs_mom; 04-07-2017 at 09:13 AM.
    Patrice S

  24. #49
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    Very disappointed in the Lancaster Pa quilt show, been going every year for the last 10 years. Next year will go to
    Lancaster but not the show. It is very inconvenient to go into the city of Lancaster, the parking, not enough vendors.
    I plan on going to Lancaster next year and do the fabric stores and the vendors at the continental . I will not do the quilt show until they change

  25. #50
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triplerosa View Post
    Very disappointed in the Lancaster Pa quilt show, been going every year for the last 10 years. Next year will go to
    Lancaster but not the show. It is very inconvenient to go into the city of Lancaster, the parking, not enough vendors.
    I plan on going to Lancaster next year and do the fabric stores and the vendors at the continental . I will not do the quilt show until they change
    I hate going to downtown Houston to the Quilt Festival. The parking is awful and very expensive. Traffic is awful, there's always construction, but when I get there and see all the quilts and the vendors, it's worth every bit of the effort. For me, going to the Quilt Festival is magic.
    Patrice S

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