(exhale) Where do I begin?
I got back from launching Modern Quilts Illustrated at International Quilt Market on November 1 and have been processing orders pretty much all day every day ever since. Seriously. Just as I’ve sent off that last box to Australia or Connecticut, the phone starts ringing with more orders. It’s been quite the whirlwind.
We’ve been going to Market off and on since 2003. In 2003 we launched our first fabric line and watched across the aisle a then newcomer by the name of Amy Butler launch her first lines and hoped that her tremendous talent would convince shop owners that there would eventually be demand for modern quilts. Kaffe Fassett had a few lines but they were hard to find in shops. This was before fabric lines by Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Valori Wells and online fabric sales were just beginning.
It was a noticeably different tone to Market this time around. Modern quilts and fabric lines designed for the modern quilter were a significant part of every aisle. Even the household names among traditional quilters were showing an interest in modern quilts as were the shops. Shop owner after shop owner would come into our booth to say that although they had always had traditional clientele that they realized that they needed to order our patterns and magazine to keep the younger quilters coming in the shop. Time spent listening to shop owners is gold because everyone who comes to our booth at a retail show is already a fan. At guild lectures and workshops, the only people who show up are those who are already interested in what we have to say. So we never really know what’s going on in a traditional shop in Nebraska, for example.
It was also nice to have so many young Modern Quilt Guild members stop by for pictures and nice chats. I set up and took down the booth but Bill got a 24-hr break from Daddy Duty to come to Houston for 36 hours to help me and to promote his die with AccuQuilt (more on that in another post). We went to the Houston Modern Quilt Guild’s Meetup one night and met lots of new quilters, which is always heartening.
If you happen to be a member of Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims’ The Quilt Show, Alex and her husband came by and did a video interview with me, which is only available to members but it was fun.
I have a whole bunch of other news which I will write up one topic at a time but I did want to thank you for all of your kinds words and for your orders of Modern Quilts Illustrated. It was a leap of faith to put it together and we are encouraged that our efforts have been appreciated. I’ve heard comments that some were frustrated that you can’t just click a button here to order and believe me, that’s underway. It was supposed to be done and thousands of dollars and nine months later Intuit told us that they could no longer design e-commerce sites that synch with their own accounting software! Next year, once we move, we will be doing a whole new e-commerce roll-out. In the meantime, you can still call and talk to Bill or me and we will cheerfully help you at (708) 445-1817. More later.