Some Wonderful Sellers at Fall 2007 Quilt Market

Allison Aller 2008

   
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First and foremost, Quilt Market is a trade show. It is held twice a year to provide buyers from all the quilt shops and online emporia with the opportunity to stock up their stores for the consuming stitching public. The focus of the show is on the business of quilting, helping shop owners stay profitable with classes and seminars as well as gathering every wholesale, quilt-related business imaginable for their semi-annual buying needs.

As I have never been in the business world, all of this was new to me as I attended "Market" with Barbara Blankenship and Julie Yonge in October of 2007. So as well as all the ideas, techniques, and supplies we discovered while there, the look into the business side of quilting was a revelation.

I was deeply impressed by how friendly everyone was. I discovered, too, that many of the businesses there were started by--and run by--families. Cousins, wives, husbands, children...many of the booths I visited were family affairs. To me the feeling pervading the show was one of enthusiastic cooperation among the vendors and the buyers. Business as it should be! It made me glad to be a patron and support their efforts.

Naturally I spent most of my time talking with the suppliers of crazy quilt materials, and I plan on featuring the wares of different companies in upcoming issues. But for now, here are some pictures and links to of some of the wonderful people and businesses I discovered at Quilt Market:

(Click on the company names for more information.)

Wonderfil Threads

This company makes a variety of sparkly threads in various weights for machine and hand sewing and quilting. Their rayon is particularly easy to work with and I already love it. The gals in the booth were obviously great friends and so knowledgeable about their product.


Wonderfil Thread is great for all kinds of quilting projects.

River Silks

Jean and Dr. Paul Krynicki started this company after Paul retired from a career in internal medicine. As avid knitters, needlepointers, designers, teachers and travelers, Paul and Jean are well qualified to produce their lines of hand dyed silk ribbon--after having personally scoured Asia for the highest quality silk. Their ribbon absolutely will not run or fray; this has been unique in my stitching experience. Their three daughters help out in the business when they are not busy with their jobs as stage managers for renowned opera companies here in the United States. Truly they are a delightful and creative family.


Jean and Jill Krynicki in the River Silks booth

Kreinik

Most of us know about the great variety of threads manufactured by Kreinik...but I was lucky to meet some of the warm people behind the scenes of this family company. Dena Lenham answered lots of my questions and showed me all their newest products. I particularly like their metallic 1/8" ribbon floss.


Allie is with Dena Lenham in the Kreinik booth. As Creatvie Director at Kreinik, Dena does product development, works with designers, handles PR and marketing.

Mary Jo Hiney

Mary Jo's designs--particularly her handbags--are truly some of the most lovely I have seen. She is herself a beautiful person, inside and out, very interested in the uplifting power of needlework. Her line of "Give Your Heart" cards, with all copy written by Mary Jo herself after deep contemplation, is truly inspiring. She was a designer for Bucilla for many years, and now is on her own, working incredibly hard to share her joy and creativity through dyed silk fabrics, ribbon, patterns, books, teaching....she is an amazing person, and it was a privilege to meet her.


Mary Jo is here with her great friend and sometimes business partner, Helen Gibb, who is known to many in the crazy quilt world for her own embroidery workshops and designs.

Weeks Dye Works

Miranda Weeks McGahey started dyeing threads in her bathtub in 1994. Since then, the company has expanded to create perle cotton in different weights, cotton sewing thread and beautiful wool fabric in consistent, hand-dyed colors (the same palette is used in all their fiber lines.) Miranda wasn't at Market when I was there...she was near due with her second child, but her proud and friendly husband and partner John was there to show me around. Great people!

Fairfield

We know Fairfield as the makers of the ubiquitous Poly-Fil brand of batting and stuffing. But at Market they unveiled their new environmentally friendly products that are made from bamboo, a renewable resource that I was told requires no commercial fertilizer or pesticides for its production. In fact, it is grown to prevent erosion as well as to produce fibers. The grandson of the founder of Fairfield very excitedly explained the whole process of the bamboo product manufacturing to me, while pictures of his baby son in a cozy cloud of bamboo stuffed pillows smiled down at us. "I am doing this for him," I was told.

That all sounds great, but what kind of product was it?

I can tell you the pillow stuffing was wonderful...it had more "give" than polyester; it felt more like down. I will definitely use it. And the quilt batting was fine...

These, then, are just a sampling of the fine folks I met at Market. Bottom line? We can feel really great about doing business with them!

 

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