Quilt Festival- Reloading for Retail


following our restful and much needed day off, we headed back to the Convention Center to reset and reload our booth for our very first International Quilt Festival.

You might remember from a previous post that we had planned for a slightly different booth layout for the Festival and that’s because the dynamics of selling directly to the consumer varies a bit from selling to retailers. The main difference for us is that we need to make the patterns themselves readily available because our shoppers, (many of which may never have heard of us or seen our products), will want the opportunity to handle them.
RetailBooth1Here (at left) you can see how our booth looked when last we saw it at the close of Quilt Market on Monday afternoon. We had moved everything back from the side aisles so that nothing would get damaged when the heavy equipment came in on Tuesday to ready the Convention Center for the many new vendors who would be setting up their booths.


We also removed one of the two 4ft side tables upon which our two notions displays stood for the Quilt Market. We ordered a 6ft table to put in its place to make room for our third notions carousel. Since there’s SO many more attendees at Festival, this extra space will be important.

In this picture (at left) the new 6 ft table is in place, and you can also see that I briefly considered locating our black & white pattern bins (circled in yellow) on this table along with the notions carousels. My initial thinking was that it would be good to have all of our products located on one side of the booth and the sample bags on the other. I ultimately decided against this idea though, thinking it was a better idea to place the patterns closer to the display bags themselves. Do you think this was a good idea, or should I have left them on the same table with the notions?

RetailBooth7So… here’s how our booth looked at the opening of “Preview Night” for the International Quilt Festival. You might notice that I hung a couple of extra Cosmo Convertible bags (that were displaced by the polka-dotted pattern boxes) on our left side curtain area, and I actually LOVE the way they look there (I wish I had done this sooner). I also located a couple of bags in the open area just to the left of the notions stands.

And if you’re wondering what the white tags are for that are hanging from the bag samples, we wrote the pattern name here and also which Bin # the pattern was actually located in. This system seems crude, but it actually worked quite well and required very little maintenance on our part, which was good. (We only had to restock patterns about once per day.) RetailBooth6We were VERY fortunate indeed to have been given an EXCELLENT booth position for the Quilt Market (heading up Row 300) and we got to stay in this spot for the Quilt Festival as well. This is the way we left our booth at the close of “Preview Night”… all stocked and ready for the opening bell announcing the start of the Fall Quilt Festival. I was so excited! (I knew I wouldn’t be getting much sleep that night!)

So…what I’m wondering now is….

how many of you have actually attended a Quilt Festival? AND… besides this one, which retail show would you suggest that we add to our agenda in 2014?


We actually LOVE comments and questions too, so if you’d like to share yours, please feel free to do so the section provided below!
Did you enjoy this post? If so, please feel free to share it via FaceBook or Twitter!


16 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I think the final set up is just perfect. I prefer to have patterns near the items. That way when you see something you like….you just have to pick it up….not go to another area and search thru a system that is not familiar to you.

    My only comment for improvement would be that the table skirt appears to have a different …. quite bold piece on the end near the aisle. It is distracting from the rest of the display.

    So happy to hear all went so well. Love your bags!

    • Thanks for your feedback Susan- and Yeah- I know that piece on the end is a bit different from the rest of the skirting. I should have positioned it so it began right at the corner. I see that now too! 🙂

  2. love your patterns would love to see you in Iowa in October at the AQS show?

    • Hi Lori-
      The Des Moines show sounds great-but the problem is that it falls during the 1st week in October, and that timing is really bad since it is during that week that we are prepping and shipping for the international Quilt Market and festival in Houston each year.
      Maybe someday they’ll change the week?

  3. One show I never miss is VQF Vermont Quilt Festival – it’s jam packed with great works and inspiration for beginners and advanced or those that just love to look at quilts 🙂

  4. I love the look of the new layout, it’s gorgeous!!!!!

  5. WOW! You had a great spot! I agree with Susan about having the patterns near the purses. This makes it very easy to shop.

    We go to the Paducah, KY quilt show every year in April. It’s awesome!

    As always, Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

    • Thanks Cynthia! We got in too late for the 2014 show in Paducah, but that show is definitely on our “to-do” list for 2105. 🙂

  6. I think it was an awesome and prudent idea to put your patterns closer to the purses. I hate having to search all over to find the pattern when it’s not by the sample. Like, I often times won’t! Lots of people, congestion, if it’s not convenient, forget it.

    Your booth looked really nice, lots of color, the black makes the bags really pop. I like the green, but the black looks like a better fit.

    I don’t have a suggestion for another show. AQS is adding new shows, dropping ones that aren’t profitable. Change is inevitable. Houston is the constant, but the others kind of run their course. I live in Iowa, so I go to the Des Moines show in Oct, but it’s also gotten smaller the last couple years. But that’s not all bad! Makes for better display room so you can see the quilts without being packed in.

    Dee W

    • Thanks Dee- We’ll definitely be at one of those new shows in 2014 (Charlotte). Since it was in our ‘backyard’ we HAD to go, right? But we’re considering the Chatanooga TN show as well. It’s close enough that we can drive and not have to ship our ‘stuff’, and thats a big advantage for us. 🙂

  7. I like having the patterns close to the bags–easy to find.

    I’ve been to Houston–in 1982! I loved it…I go to PIQF every year and would love to see you there. It’s in Santa Clara, CA, so maybe too far away.

    Good luck!

  8. Would love to see you at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, Calif. Mid October. Very large show , advertised as having 300 vendors.

    Held in a large convention center with hotels just across the street.

    Bev J

    • To Jan and Beverly
      The Pacific International Quilt Festival in California sounds like a good show, but since it falls in mid-October and we have a permanent commitment to the Quilt Market and Festival in Houston during that time, it’s unlikely we could come out there, sad to say.

  9. It is called Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. This year was the 25th annual one. the other one I have attend is in Chantilly, VA. 40th Annual Quilters Unlimited Show “Fabulous at Forty!” this one would be for Washington, DC area. My favorite is the Mid-Altlantic one. I was blown away with it. I liked that it wasn’t just quilts. Hopes this helps. Good luck with the show that you are at. Love, Phyllis

  10. I think your booth looks wonderful. I agree with everyone else that having the pattern right near the bag makes it much more efficient for the customer. I’m glad it worked well for you!