We just returned from Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. Quilt Market is an industry convention that happens twice a year. Companies new and old in the sewing and quilting industry set up shop to sell us fabric, patterns, books, notions and everything in between. We typically order fabric for the next six months at these events. It was a whirlwind weekend of AMAZING fabric, connecting with some really cool people, and going like crazy to make sure we saw it all. Hopefully you followed along on our Instagram feed. We would love to share photos of some of our favorites, but first here are the top five things you didn't see on IG's #quiltmarket. 1. It's not all awesome. Quilt Market is for the entire industry, not just modern shops. In fact, I think the majority of the show is geared towards a more traditional or main stream shop. Which completely makes sense. Right now the majority of the industry sales does not come from "modern" sources. But that means there is a lot of things that are just not our taste that you have to filter out. It's a full weekend of sensory overload! 2. Fabric design celebrities are just regular people. Well sort of. They are just like you and me but with really cool jobs that may or may not pay the bills. I found this blog post from a few years ago extremely interesting about the financial side of design. I hope Quilt Market is an exciting experience for these folks. They've put so much time, effort and money into being there and I'm sure it must feel like their future is riding on how the people at market react. And then they go home and get back to the real world where no one knows them at the grocery store and no one needs to take a selfie with them on their way to the bathroom. But the work they do inspires us all in our craft, and we are forever grateful that they've followed the dream. 3. Sales Reps are the unsung hero of quilt market. We have 4 main sales reps that come to see us at our shop a few times a year. We assume they love us the best and we are their favorite customer (mostly because they are really good at their jobs and make us feel that way)! So imagine if all your customers feel like that ... and then you shove them all in one room! Our reps work really hard to find out the information that they think we want to know, weed through the stuff they know we won't like to save us time, and generally just encourage us as business owners. And twice a year they run themselves ragged at market to make sure ALL of their customers are taken care of. We are fortunate to work with them and truly appreciate the great job they do. 4. What frustrates us the most? Imagine amazing samples in a booth, made from a fabric line we just bought a TON of. You chat with the designer (maybe take a selfie or two with them. Cause you know, we're dorks like that)! Then you ask them what pattern they used to make the amazing dress/bag/quilt/life-size stuffed octopus on display in their booth. And they say "oh I just made it up" or "I don't really know" or "I kind of mixed a few different things together". Argh! We just want to make the cool stuff and share it with you so you can make the cool stuff too! 5. We are among the youngest shop owners there. I certainly wouldn't say the youngest, but it's close. Want to know why that's awesome? The hard-core "sales people" (you know, the annoying ones) ignore us because they assume we don't have any buying power. On the other hand, there are a few "established" execs in the industry that really care about what we are doing and are curious about our thoughts and experiences - which really just means that they care about what YOU want! This is a great sign for the industry and we hope they are even more and more involved in what we do as we grow. BUT, there's always a bad side, right? The downside to being among the youngest shop owners at market is that businesses you might actually be interested in don't take you seriously. We get asked a lot if we are bloggers (not that there is anything wrong with that) or if we are buyers for our mom's shop or some similar comments. We get it, we aren't the norm. The other problem we see is the aging population of the typical quilt shop owner. These women are some of the nicest folks we have ever met. They have shared their business secrets, encouraged us, and just overall have welcomed us to the industry with open arms. But what happens when they're gone? Can the industry survive without them? Okay, enough deep thoughts. Ready for the good stuff?! Here's a few more shots of some of our favorite finds at market. Be sure to look through our Instagram feed as well to see it all! Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Euclid - a collection of overprinted Essex Linen is arriving in August. Nani Iro Market is one of the few times we get to see Japanese fabrics in person. It's always such a treat. Print Shop by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Cotton + Steel We are in love with this collection! Expect to see the full line along with the other Cotton + Steel collections in July. Of course, Les Fleurs by Rifle Paper Co for Cotton + Steel. We've ordered the entire collection, multiple bolts in some cases and actually have it available for pre-order here! My Small World by Jen Kingwell I can't wait to dive into this quilt! Expect to see the pattern booklet in the shop soon. Meeting Jen Kingwell was definitely a highlight for us. She was just the sweetest, kindest person with a great sense of humor and accent! Her next pattern booklet is called "Jenny from One Block". Ha! And yes she totally gets why that's funny and named it that on purpose. Love it! Adorable projects are everywhere at Market, but these cloth diapers in the Birch booth made from organic cotton fleece were just too much for us! Secret tidbits about what designers have coming next is another fun element of market. This print is a little teaser from Lizzy House and Andover. Lizzy is bringing her print making skills into her fabric designing world. We're told it's going to be amazing. We are confident she won't disappoint. We'll let you know at the next market! Watch for new market fabrics to start arriving right away in June! Questions about Quilt Market? Ask away in the comments!