A Professional Guide To Quilt Market


Is your business quilting? Have you not been to Quilt Market?  Quilting Contessa covers some great newbie information for attending Quilt Market (1 of 2).

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A Professional Guide To Quilt Market

In order to attend the Quilt Market, you must be credentialed. The reason, of course, is to allow quilt shop owners to work with the vendors to order for their shops for the coming year. Vendors do need to know what buyers are coming so they can plan. One shop owner told me that if a shop owner really needs to talk with a specific vendor, they need to make an appointment BEFORE market starts. Time at the booths at market can be fluid.

A Professional Guide To Quilt Market


Why Not Public

If the public could attend quilt market, frustration might ensue when they realize that they are looking at fabrics that won’t be available for shipping 6 months or more in the future. Prices at Market are the wholesale prices for bulk orders. We’re talking large orders here. Minimum initial orders can vary between $500 and $5000. Accounts are arranged and shop owners might pay half now or half later. Some vendors add a minimum annual purchase of $2,000 for re-orders.




Credentials have evolved over the years striving for a better match between the quilt professionals and the vendors. A tightening of the credentials that occurred in 2014 resulted in decreased attendance over the ensuing years. Today, there are two basic categories: shop owners and industry professionals. The Quilts, Inc. web site has a good list of credential requirements. Under each broad category, there are several options and special notes for international visitors. The industry professionals’ category is for those whose business is not primarily retail. This might include designers, writers, teachers, authors, and quilting services providers.


Sample Spree

One of the first events at Quilt Market is THE most popular event, Sample Spree. Attendees line up hours in advance to enter at 7:00pm.



Sample Spree gives vendors an opportunity to sell packaged samples of the fabric lines for the following year. The purpose of this early offering of fabrics is to let shop owners create samples of quilts made from the new fabrics for their shops. The shop owners that I asked emphasized the importance of these sample quilts to their sales. Designers also need to know what is coming to design the latest and greatest patterns for quilters.





Rush For Popular Vendors

The biggest rush, of course, is for the biggest, most popular fabric vendors, but this year, the new popular item was cork!





Applying For Credentials

When you apply to market, it may take a day or so for a response to your application for credentials. Fear should not prevent you from applying. If you feel you are a match to their credentials, apply! The reasons will be discussed in part two of this series, where we will review the educational offerings for quilt shop owners.


My Tip

What was the best tip I heard about preparing for Quilt Market? Call your credit card company before you leave home!


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Check out the most popular tool on QuiltingHub. Use the search 'Map Of Resources' or the 'Resources Trip Planner' to the right (or below).

Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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