New Conference at Quilt Market 2019

Quilts.com.pngQuilts, Inc. is offering a new conference at Quilt Market 2019 titled Threads of Success.

The educational experience will run concurrently with the Quilt Market in Houston, TX happening October 26-28, 2019, targeting those new to the industry and those trying to make a breakthrough in the industry too.

The conference will focus on four areas including writing, online retail, and fabric and pattern design. There will be 36 classes geared toward those topics, along with others covering the basics of copyright law, accounting, and finance.

In addition to the classes, the conference will also include three breakfasts and two luncheons with keynote speakers, and a mentorship program who can help guide you along the process of turning your passion into your career.

And don’t worry about missing out on the Market fun, you’ll have time to enjoy the trade show floor on the last day!

This conference provides opportunities to network and get all your questions answered so you can avoid making costly mistakes when you get your business up and running. Any question you need answered—how do I get published, how do I increase my online presence, how do I manage money, and more—is what this conference is all about.

“Threads of Success will bring together our industry hopefuls and our most successful and respected industry leaders,” said Director of Education for Quilts, Inc. Marcia Barker. “It is truly a win-win for all. The participants will have access to those experienced in all aspects of the industry, providing answers to their lingering questions and perhaps some they haven’t even thought of yet! Because isn’t that the true strength of gathering talent? To learn from each other in ways you could never anticipate. We are very excited to be providing that forum.”

More information will be released as the date of the conference approaches. If you’d like to stay updated, subscribe to this email, or check out their website.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

The Creative Balance

If only someone had the answer to the age old question; how do I make a career as an artist? The harsh reality is—you can’t.

Owning your own quilt shop is about the closest thing to monetizing a creative endeavor as you can get, and I’m sure we all count that blessing when we take time to appreciate the things we have.

But some days it’s really hard to appreciate! Being a small business owner is a lot of work, and there are both mundane and difficult tasks that need to be done in order to keep the business going.

The next time you have ten minutes to spare, watch this video with advice from Elizabeth Gilbert where she outlines the difference between hobbies, jobs, careers, and vocations.

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Gilbert outlines that out of those four words, the only thing you have to have is a job. And doesn’t that stink! But at the end of the day, everyone has one, regardless of if you were born into gentry or not. Don’t view your job as something that you have to love, because you don’t. That’s where hobbies come in. A hobby is something you like to do. But hobbies are also something you don’t have to love, just things you enjoy.

Now a career is a job that you need to love. If you’re in a career and you don’t love it, I’m sure it’s terrible. A career is a job you’re willing to put more time and effort into because you truly believe in the cause. It is more than just a transaction where you put in work in order to get money to survive in the materialistic world.

The thing that lets you contribute to the artistic world—the world we all so badly want to be more involved in—is a vocation. A vocation is the thing you were born to do. Although it takes a lot of self-discipline to remain true to your vocation (especially if you have a job), our vocation is the thing that provides the most meaning and fulfillment into our lives, and others.

If you find yourself confusing what each of these words are to bring to your life, go back to the video. Hopefully it will bring you as much peace of mind and clarification the second time around.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Quilt Market Audience

Believe it or not, quilting is a $3.7 billion industry.

With a number that large, it’s easy to feel optimistic about the futures of our businesses. The next step is to figure out who is contributing to that market, and cater to their wants and needs.

There are anywhere from 7 to 10 million quilters in the United States, and 72% of them are dedicated quilters showing this industry has both quality and quantity within it’s following.

The average dedicated quilter is a 63 year old female with a household income of $93,000 according to this report. They spend over $3,000 a year on quilting and prefer traditional quilting over modern techniques.

To keep in mind the future of the industry don’t forget quilters aged 45 and under, otherwise known as new quilters. Although they are not considered dedicated quilters due to time constraints with work and family, they still spend about 10 hours a week quilting and have an average household income of $98,000. They get their information mainly from video and social media and prefer modern quilting techniques.

By 2020, 72% of all social media posts will include video. Even though video can be a daunting task, it is what the industry is moving to—better to start now rather than later! Making your own videos will make it more likely that new quilters will attend an event in shop considering only 26% of new quilters attended a quilt show last year.

This article isn’t trying to persuade you to only cater to dedicated quilters or new quilters, variety is a good thing! Keep doing what you’re doing and continue to be your community’s expert on all things quilting.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Fall into Autumn

Labor Day weekend has come and gone which means it’s time to start transitioning your store into the season of warm colors.

Check out these latest trends to help you update your layout, products, and events.

  1. Plaid is this season’s biggest trend and we couldn’t be happier about it! Think 80’s plaid — or houndstooth, herringbone, and glen’s plaid to be specific.
  2. Bigger is better this fall so grab your baggiest coat and encourage your customers to go for the quilt that’s one size bigger than planned. (And don’t forget to stock up on extra bolts of fabric too!)
  3. Hint of sparkle. This can be especially fun for your layout around the store, think about what decorations you already have for other seasons to save you some time.
  4. It’s game time! Football season is just beginning and your customers will for sure fall for the cutest way to rep their team. Don’t limit your inventory to just fabric, try to include ribbon, buttons, and even a craft day for an easy event.
  5. Speaking of events, scarves are in season again (as if they ever went out of style). Throw an event to make scarves for those in need when the holidays get closer.
  6. Muted flowers are going to be everywhere. Take a look at the next wedding you go to and you’ll see we really mean it. Pastels are going to be the colors to choose from. Muted flowers

Fall doesn’t have to be all bad, have your store reflect the season that so many people look forward to. Yes, the weather starts to cool off but pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and leaves changing colors are definitely something to look forward to.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.