More than 1,000 vendors exhibited their wares – from fabrics to sewing notions, patterns to ribbons, book publishers to sewing machines, buttons to batting – and many thousands more buyers and store owners flocked to the Lone Star State to see the shape of things to come.
The scene was bustling across thousands of square feet of floor space, a convenient “networking lounge” was created for attendees, and dozens of wide-ranging classes, workshops and seminars were held on numerous business and creative topics.
|Michael Miller Booth|
Yep, the well-run Oct. 27-29 trade show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston showed the future for the homemade crafting community is bright.
“There was such a lot of choice everywhere and people seemed upbeat about the business climate going into the holidays,” said Bianca Howell, the co-owner of Owl & Drum.
|Tula Pink and her new collection Salt Water.|
“It was really nice to say ‘Hi!’ again to the people from ArtGallery, Birch, Monaluna and other companies we buy from and to see their great new designs.
“And, while we were there, we picked up some new lines from cool companies like Windham Fabrics, Lecien, Cloud 9 Fabrics, Andover, Riley Blake and BlendFabrics, who are all doing some great work,” she added.
“We also found a new ribbon resource, as well as some wool felt, that we think our customers will like.”
Among the prevailing trends in the field of fabrics are woodland creatures, bright colors (especially neon), distinctive chevron shapes, and nautical themes and imagery. So, look for some of those designs in the store in the future . . .
“I liked that there were so many organic materials being used by so many different companies,” said Owl & Drum co-owner Dani Weaver, who was attending the twice-yearly trade show for the second time.
“Organic cottons are becoming more and more popular with people. It’s good, because you can make great products with them and they're better for the environment. Our customers have been asking for them.”
The International Quilt Market is staged by Quilts, Inc., which produces three consumer shows and two trade shows each year that “set the standard for both the art and the business of quilting,” according to its website, quilts.com.
The next International Quilt Market will be held from May 17-19 in Portland, Oregon.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Portland," Howell said. "It's where I lived for five years and where I established the Urban Creatures’ recycled T-shirt jewelry and furnishings business with my great friend, Carla.
“There are so many great designers and different stores in Portland. It’ll be fun to see the new places that have opened since I left town.”
Also next year, the spring edition of the International Quilt Festival will return to the Chicago area after a three-year hiatus. The event will run from June 21-23 in Rosemont. The last time the event was held in 2010 more than 20,000 people attended. Other festivals will be held in Long Beach and Cincinnati in 2013, too.
For more information about the International Quilt Market, visit quilts.com, www.facebook.com/quiltfestival or www.twitter.com/quiltfestival.
Owl & Drum stocks more than 175 fabric bolts made by more than a dozen different designers and manufacturers. More fabrics are added on a regular basis, and they can be bought in the Tulsa store or at www.owlanddrum.com.
The 2810 E. 15th St. store also sells unique handmade gifts, jewelry and other items made by Tulsans, Oklahomans and artisans from Portland, Oregon, plus a wide variety of craft books, equipment and supplies.
Owl & Drum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and from 12-4 p.m. Sundays. It is closed on Mondays.