What Will Your Focus Be?
Are you looking for a particular fabric, kit, thread, or simply inspiration from the quilts on display? The answers to this question will help guide you in regard to what you should take.
If you are looking for fabric, is there a certain color, scale print, or amount of yardage? Do you need for it to match other fabrics that you already have in your stash? If so, it might be a good idea to fix up an index card with samples of the other fabrics and the necessary yardage requirements. If you are just looking to get more yardage for a project, make sure to look at the selvage edge and write down all of the information from the selvage to help you know for sure that you are purchasing the right fabric.
If you are in search of a particular pattern, do you know the name of the pattern and designer? Do you just have a picture of a quilt you would like to make, but no designer name or pattern name? Take everything you have with you on your smartphone so that you can get help from the vendors or your friends that are attending the show. Sometimes help will come just by looking through the show you will see the quilt and be able to find out the pattern name on the display card.
If Thread Is Your Focus
Have you been looking at your local quilt shop for a special thread and just not been able to locate it? The quilt show can be a great resource for you as you have plenty of vendors that come ready to accommodate you. Make sure to take a scrap of the fabrics that you are trying to match or contrast and if you have a tiny battery-powered Ott Lite that you can take along that will also help with matching if the vendor is in a darker corner of the show. Also make sure to write down the brand and weight thread that you are using on the rest of the project, or what works best with your machine. Some machines only like certain brands of thread and you don’t want to find “just the right thing” and take it home to find out that it won’t work in your machine and that the show is now over and you can’t go back to try again.
Inspiration can come from seeing a quilt that you just love, or even from a color pallet that is particularly pleasing to look at. Make sure to take your camera or smartphone with you so that you can take a picture or make a note of the designer and pattern name so that you know what to look for later if you can’t find the pattern or fabrics at the show.
A few final thoughts, no matter what your focus at the show will be make sure your phone is fully charged so that you can take pictures or keep notes of things you would like to go back and see. Remember your glasses, there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to see details on a quilt and realizing that your glasses are at home! Take plenty of money and a credit card, but you can leave your checkbook at home since most vendors prefer cash or credit. An empty lightweight backpack can also be helpful in keeping your hands free to look while still keeping your purchases close.
Head out to the show and have some fun!