Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quilt Market Report: The Personal Experience

Hey all, I'm back with the my second last Spring Quilt Market report (in the next one I'll show all of the awesome goodies I picked up)! In case you missed it, in my last post I shared the first of the designs that I took with me to Market - check it out if you missed it! I decided to write this little post because I wanted to share the more personal side of what it was like to be a (young) first time Quilt Market attendee... and also, I have more pictures that I haven't been able to share with you all!

Let's start from the beginning... (I'll skip over the part where my plane was delayed) I landed in Minneapolis and found my way to the (not-so-) Super Shuttle. A bunch of other ladies got on the shuttle and it only took me about two minutes to realize that EVERY lady on the shuttle had come to Minneapolis for Market - we had quite a nice time on our little ride chatting and wondering what the weekend would bring us.

I was greeted at the hotel by the sight of Jennifer and Doe waiting for me; I jumped out of the shuttle and was immediately embraced by the two of them - let me tell you, it felt great! It was so cute, they wouldn't even let me carry my bags and I'm pretty sure the garment luggage (which has no wheels) was bigger than Doe! When I got up to the room I found presents from the two of them - Jennifer made me the pillow case which can be seen in this post, and a cute little kawaii bag (the tutorial for which can be found on her blog), and Doe gave me three new outfits for Alice Kate... there was a also a whole bunch of chocolate!

After a bit we headed out for lunch to The News Room with Stef and ended up running into Monica and Pam - the six of us all headed to giant Target together for my first experience; it was great! At about 4pm we went over the convention centre and got into line to wait for Sample Spree to open - I was the first person in line in the third line and it was awesome! Lots of people stopped by and visited with us including John and Jennifer so the four hour wait went pretty fast! I didn't get everything I wanted at Sample Spree, but it was so fun and I had a great time looking at all of the wonderful goodies that were up for sale.

That night we headed to Fabric 2.0 where I got to meet and hang out with some very cool peeps including Angela and her super-awesome mum Karen. Alright, I'm going to "re-share" a picture, but only because it's the only one I have from that night. Here, once again, are John and I, yay!

The next day (Friday) was the first official day of Market. Jennifer, Doe and I walked the entire convention centre and were very tired by the end of it, but we did meet some pretty awesome people, including Anna Maria Horner, that day. Anna Maria complimented me on my dress and I was able to tell her that Kensie (a company which Juliana apparently loves) is Canadian.

The two photos above were taken by the lovely Doe, and I'm so glad she was there being all "camera happy" because she got some great shots! I love that second picture of us both laughing/smiling at each other, but I can't for the life of me remember what we were talking about - it's all such a blur!

Oh look! A better picture of me in the Amy Butler booth (again taken by Doe) and I don't think I mentioned in the post where I was originally talking about her booth that the little purse I'm holding is from Amy's new book, Style Stitches, which will be available in October.

After a long first day at Quilt Market I'll admit I was feeling a little homesick and a little down. I left Jennifer and Doe at the convention centre and headed back to our hotel for a little alone time and so I could call Alex. Alex (of course) made me feel a bit better and so I got dressed to go to the Moda party. Jennifer and Doe decided not to accompany me, but John saved me a seat and we ended up at a table with the awesome ladies from Fat Quarter Shop and Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts. The dinner was pretty good - we had chicken (there was a vegetarian option too), grilled zucchini, and mushroom risotto and for dessert we had sort of a deconstructed apple crumble. There was also an open bar and I'll admit that, on the recommendation of John, I did enjoy my share of sangria.

I met so many wonderful people at the Moda party and got to meet some peeps that I've talked to over the Internet but hadn't met in real life including Kate Spain and Vanessa Christenson.

(photo courtesy of Vanessa Christenson)

After some dancing with my girls Vanessa and Angela, I headed back to the hotel where Jennifer, Doe and I had a bit of a slumber party; we ordered pasta (which we ate on Jennifer's bed) and watched the first Sex & the City movie - pretty great way to end the night if I do say so myself!

The next two days were spent in a whirlwind of Market walking, picture taking, and cake eating at Lizzy House's cake party (I think Lizzy might have been the only person there younger than me)! 

 (Julie, Kari and I at Cake Party. Photo by John Adams)

On Saturday night Jennifer, John, and I decided that a trip to the Mall of America was in order but first we needed to find the infamous burger joint we had heard so much about, Ike's (which John mistakingly thought was called Art's when we had tried to find it earlier) and boy was it worth the wait! I think I had quite possibly the best burger of my life there; it was amazing (and just in case you ever find yourself with a layover in Minneapolis, there are actually two Ike's in the airport). I can't remember whether it was John or Jennifer who came up with the nickname, but eventually Jennifer and I became John's Fly Girls... so here's a picture of the Fly Girls at Ike's for you...
(photo by John Adams)

At the Mall, Jennifer and I found a shark cage and John kindly indulged us by taking pictures with each of our phones.

Gosh, I can't even remember what Jennifer and I did on the Saturday night, but I can tell you what we did on Sunday! After stopping by and saying hi to Melissa and getting in some last minute pictures of some booths I'd missed when I forgot my camera on Saturday, we headed to Crafty Planet! Crafty Planet is a wonderful little shop located in NE Minneapolis that is owned by one of the ladies behind One Yard Wonders. It is such a lovely place and I had a great time helping two girls who were picking out quilt fabric for the twins that one of them was having. Back at out hotel Jennifer and I packed, ordered pizza, and watched Miss Marple on PBS - it was such a fun relaxing night! I was up early the next morning to head to the airport and I'll admit that I teared up a little when I saw Toronto out the window of the plane; I had a great time in Minneapolis but it was so wonderful to be home! Alex was waiting for me at the airport and it was so wonderful that he could be there considering the fact that on Saturday while I was gone he ended up having to have emergency dental surgery (root canal, boo!).

Okay, so I've talked about all of the good times that me and my awesome peeps had but what I haven't mentioned yet are some of the bad/kind of heart breaking things. I'll name no names since I don't think that's cool, but there were a few people who were quite nasty to some of us younger people. I heard a few times that we "didn't belong there", that "younger people think they can just come in here and take whatever they want", etc. It was pretty disheartening to hear those things since I've always found such a nice community among other quilters, but I guess that happens everywhere. There were even personal attacks made on people because of their Internet presence (blogs, twitter, etc) and some quite slanderous gossip was circulated by some of the more ill-intentioned women.  More often than not, it became evident, that you were just ignored if the person didn't think you should be there.

Lucky for me I met quite a few lovely ladies who thought that it was wonderful that "younger people" were there, including Connie who is just an amazing lady and paid me a great compliment when she told me that my handshake reminded her of Eunice Kennedy's. What strikes me as odd about the way that those women who didn't think we should be there acted is that we are the next generation of quilters (and as such are the customers of some of these women) and at one time or another they themselves were probably us. Oh well, even with the negativity that we received from some people, there were some really great people who made up for it and all in all I had a great time!

Here's one last picture I want to share with you and I think it really speaks volumes about the end of Quilt Market. To me this statue of Mary Tyler Moore seems to be saying so long, good luck, I had a great time!


  1. Why do women do that to each other? I've had that experience with some older women in my male-dominated career field. It's interesting to know it exists in the quilt world too, but I'm glad you've found a good community of like-minded people anyway.

  2. Awwwww... sounds like a great time, girl! And I love those pics of you, you look gorgeous (as always). And the booths all look darling.

    Pooey to those old women. They're obviously just jealous, and also upset that things like this weren't around when they were your age. Those meanies!

  3. Great recap. You and Jennifer and Doe didn't waste a minute! Come back again soon and we'll hit Crafty Planet and Treadle Yard Goods. I'm so glad we met and thanks for making a place for me in that crazy line for Sample Spree!!!

  4. Hi Kaye-

    Thanks for blogging about your Quilt Market activities!

    As a vendor at Quilt Market, I do not always get out and look at all the beautiful booths so thanks for sharing!!

    That's pretty cool you let your readers know what went on!!

    Douglas Eagleson
    President, Kona Bay Fabrics

  5. Awesome posts on Quilt Market! Really enjoyed reading them, and yay, I've discovered a fellow Canadian :)

  6. Oh dear! I was enjoying reading your post until that not very nice bit at the end.

    Sounds like a whole load of jealousy to me, you're way too young, pretty, talented and the whole online thing means you've made sure you are well connected too. These people obviously see the young crowd as a threat.

    It's a shame they can't see beyond that 'cause you had every right to be there.

  7. Sounds like a lot of fun! And it sounds like you did a little bit of everything while you were there!

    Sorry to hear about the bad times, as a young quilter myself, I feel for you! :)

  8. Thank you for posting about Quilt Market in such detail. I'm so sorry to hear about the bad bits, and especially wanted to thank you for being open and honest about your experience. As a woman in my mid-forties (but new to quilting), I can honestly say that I am thrilled beyond belief to see quilting, fashion sewing, knitting, felting, and crafting of all types going through such an amazing renaissance. This rebirth is due in large part to young women embracing these arts, and bringing fresh new perspectives to it all. Honestly, since I'm a beginning quilter, a lot of what I'm learning is coming from women much younger than me and I'm seriously grateful for it. You'd think that aging would add a certain measure of grace and generosity, but this just proves you can be a selfish ass at any age. You just keep on creating & blogging, sweetie!

  9. Wow, is all I can say...I followed you on Twitter thru market and gosh if I didn't have two little kids at home, I'd been down there with a sign saying I'd schlep boxes for free just to get in (since I live in MSP) but I am just absolutely shocked at the other issues since you had the documentation/credentials to get in. We can only go forward and just do our own thing...glad you had a good time, though.

  10. Love reading your posts about market! Wished I could have been there..But reading and seeing the pics was almost like it!!......And I'm an 'older' quilter...And hun..your just adorable! Don't let them or anyone get to you. You just keep on doing exactly what your doing! Your refreshing and a rare delight..Not only what the quilting world needs...But the world in general. Many Blessings to you and yours in all your endeavors :-)

  11. Kaye, thank you for your wonderful posts and photos on quilt market. It sounds like it was a wonderful experience, in spite of the unpleasantness you experienced. You don't expect that kind of attitude from quilters.

  12. You won, you won darling girl!! :)
    Please mail me your address and shipping details so i can send you your "oh Deer" give-away goodies!

    Congratulations sweetie!
    Bear hugs,
    Hidden Eloise xxx

  13. Great market post...some issues you mentioned are things I wouldn't have even thought of...thanks for sharing all the fun pics!

  14. kaye! i had no idea you were going and cheers to you. it's my dream to go one day. looks like good times. i've been away, very busy these days so i have missed a lot online. pout. loves!

  15. Hi Kaye,
    thanks for the mention in your blog. I certainly hope I didn't upset you at market. I just have to say that my first market experience last October was less than stellar...I mean it was cool on the business side and I came back for spring..but on a personal side..not so good. After the last market experience I have put up major walls. I trust very few. It's sad, but true. I apologize if I seemed standoff-ish. As well, there are stories out there about lots of "people". Remember, no matter how flat the pancake, there are always 2 sides. Or another way to look at it is, 3 sides, their's, yours and the truth LOL. It's too bad you and Jennifer (sweetliberty) couldn't join us (Steph, Cara etc.) for dinner that Sunday...but we understood. We could have been able to talk 'outside' of market. Anyhow, I hope you come to's double the size of spring market..seriously.

  16. Looks like you guys rocked it Kaye! You have to brush off the negative comments. Jealousy is a bad thing. Don't give them a second thought. Keep being your wonderful self. Positive people will surround you when you are positive. All the negative stuff will just fall to the wayside. Age is not an indicator of worthiness. Talent is talent at any age. It evolves with time and at every stage is a personal expression of where you are in life. Enjoy your art no matter what anyone else may have to say. Love ya!

  17. All in all it was a great trip! I'm enjoying quilting again. My crafting mojo is back in full force. Yay!

    I hope all is well with you, pretty Kaye!

  18. I just found you through a la mode fabric's birthday celebration. Hey, I'm a young quilter too and a young businesswomen, so I totally resonate with the challenges. When my mom and I go to market, some have trouble adjusting to the realization that I'm the leader of our business. Oh well!