Quilt Market: Schoolhouse Sessions


For those who can not or have not yet attended Quilt Market, Quilting Contessa gives you her take on the Schoolhouse sessions.

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Quilt Market: Schoolhouse Sessions

Schoolhouse takes an entire day. After general assembly, there are 18 tracks of classes from 11:00am to 6:00pm in half hour segments. A map handed out at the general assembly shows the classes in a time schedule format, but there is also an index by vendor. Some attendees even skip lunch to maximize their exposure to the latest and greatest.

Quilt Market: Schoolhouse Sessions


Introductions to the new cotton fabric lines form the bulk of the offerings, but I also noticed sessions on leather, silk, and velvet. There are sessions on tools and sessions on techniques. Adhesives and fusing seemed to be big on the techniques list this year. Rulers and scissors are perennial, as are Block of the Month (BOM) and Row by Row. Choosing colors and designs are covered.



Selling is always a big topic. Increasing your sales, carrying new lines, better demos, teaching classes, kits, social media, and training your staff are always available. There are sessions on how to use books and patterns to increase sales and sessions on training your staff.


One of the more unique approaches was a session discussing making kits with free patterns to increase sales. Upon further investigation, the teacher was providing free copies of her own patterns, promoting the sale of fabric.


Another session I saw was on lighting. All quilters know how important this is, but I suspect we could all use a good lesson in the science of lighting. Another focused on inventory and another on loss protection.


Because there are more than 240 schoolhouse sessions in all, a shop owner told me it takes a few years to figure out if a session is going to present you with some meaty content. Otherwise, she says, it can be just another sales promotion for a specific line.


I did notice that two of my favorite experts teach only at Schoolhouse. Neither teaches sessions for the public at festival. I didn’t get to attend Schoolhouse this year, but there’s always next year!


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The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
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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