Portland: Day 3

First off, we want to reassure you that we've gotten your e-mails about the error messages that show up when you try to comment on our blog posts. Although you get an error message, not to worry, your comments are still being published, and you are still in the drawing!

Back to business....today was our last day at Market even though it continues through to tomorrow. Unfortunately we've got about a day's worth of traveling so we can be back in our offices on Monday.

After reading through your comments (yes, all 593 of them!) we realized, we never explained what Market is exactly, and some of you want to know. The International Quilt Market is a biannual trade show where all the magic happens, so to speak. Vendors and manufacturers of everything quilt related (textiles, notions, etc.) set up booths in a huge convention center, and we retailers navigate the area for three days, handpicking what will be in our stores for the upcoming season. (So it's only open for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers--sorry guys.)

At Fat Quarter Shop, we are constantly on the lookout for new trends, fabrics, and patterns, keeping in mind what will appeal to our customers. Most of Market is spent in meetings with our fabric vendors. If you've ever called into our store and spoken with any one of our friendly gals, they remember what you want and try their best to accommodate those requests when picking fabrics from our manufacturers. For example, on this trip, we looked specifically for more masculine and children-oriented lines at our Market appointments based on feedback we'd gotten from you all. Here we are at two such appointments with Lecien and Lakehouse Fabrics (psst, that's the Holly Holderman we're with!). See the piles of swatches we're forced to go through? ;)

We get to see the trends before they hit store shelves and plan for them. This year, cupcakes were the motif a la mode! They're everywhere--totes, pincushions, fabrics--and we looooove it. Capital L. Hint hint, watch for these on our Coming Soon page!
We also get to meet fabric & pattern designers in person and discuss potential projects with them. You'd be amazed at how may club and BOM ideas formed in these two days! Also, we are always scouting new talent at these shows and come away with stacks of cool patterns to try. Oftentimes, we finally get face-time with designers we've corresponded with for months or years, which is wonderful. Many cherished friendships come about this way. Here we are with Bunny Hill's Anne Sutton (who won first place for her booth, congrats!!) and Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek.

All in all, it was a busy and sleep-deprived but successful Market, and we celebrated with a nice dinner afterward. We ate at a great restaurant called Stanford's, where Cheryl tried their Texas Pecan Pie. Being a native of the Lone Star State and an aficionado of pecans (she has a freezer full of them right now), she gave it an authentic two thumbs up.

Thanks for staying with us....remember, the bundle giveaway is still going on! Keep commenting (once per person please) for your chance to win, and although you may get an error message, your comment will still show up. Good night!

the Fat Quarter Shop crew (minus Kevin, plus Bonnie Olaveson & Camille Roskelley)