Hey there fellow creators! 

Quilt Market has come and gone but before it's too late, I wanted to take a moment to recount some of the coolest /most surprising things about it. I for one, knew almost nothing about Quilt Market going in and would have loved a blog post to read telling me what I expect. 

For instance, it would have been lovely to know that you're on your feet the entire day walking the booths and meeting absolutely everyone you've ever heard of in the industry, with next to zero seating, so sensible yet stylish flats are a must. 

So I'll give myself a little "interview" for easy reading purposes and hopefully I can shed some light on the awe-inspiring, magical, and at times, overwhelming experience that is Quilt Market. Buckle up. 

What was most surprising about Quilt Market?

Absolutely everyone is there! All of those "sewlebrities" that we idolize behind a screen or sewing machine are there in all their glory. But what's more surprising is how approachable and regular they really are! Julia and I expected to see halos around these creative, influential women. Not so. Rather, they were surrounded by crowds of adoring fans.

But this didn't seem to make them any less approachable and friendly. I was ultra impressed by Natalie Malan's kind demeanour and Anna Maria Horner's gentle spirit. They all just felt like friends and people that you'd totally hang out with. And we feel like we're on a new level with Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal, who saved the Schoolhouse day and set the tone for the entire weekend. We are eternally grateful to them.What is Schoolhouse like?

This was the thing that rattled me the most about going to Quilt Market. I can put on a brave face meeting new people one on one and introducing my collection when needed, but standing up in front of a crowd of experts, having 30 minutes to sell what you've got is super intimidating. Thankfully, as I mentioned, Leslie and Jamie saved the day. They presented right before us and we totally helped each other out, which set the tone of comradery and togetherness. Schoolhouse happens the day before Quilt Market begins. The day is organized into 30 minutes lectures where designers that are at Quilt Market present their new collection and patterns, and answer questions... or if you're Tula Pink, make everyone laugh hysterically and idolize you. What a natural performer, that one. It's less formal than we imagined and fun to listen to the designer's process. Every schoolhouse is presented differently and every schoolhouse is great!

What was Sample Spree like?

Chaos. Pure chaos. First of all, just to get in is a struggle. We saw pictures of the crowd waiting to get in and it looked like US Black Friday at Walmart. Nuts. We showed up 10 minutes after sample spree had officially begun and no one was at the door anymore. Those crazy ladies were already surrounding tables and throwing money at vendors. We rushed up to the Cotton+Steel table to get a fat quarter bundle of Amalfi by Rifle Paper Co. and it was sold out. 10 minutes in! And apparently we heard from many that this year's Sample Spree was nothing compared to past years. Yikes. Cotton+Steel were putting on their jackets and leaving 25 minutes after it had opened because they were entirely sold out. Superstars.

What was your favourite part about Quilt Market?

Besides Phoenicia's you mean? Ok, seriously though people. Right around the corner from the convention centre in Houston is a "Sepcialty Foods" grocery store called Phoenicia's and it is THE place to be. SUCH amazing panini and salads and homemade foods. And little known fact: after 7pm, their pastries are $1!!!! Face-sized cinnamon buns, turnovers, danishes, just $1. That was our evening tradition. After a long day of schmoozing, we'd get an apricot turnover and call it a day. Heaven. 

So OTHER than the food (which was amazing EVEYWHERE we went), my favourite part about Quilt Market was making "sew" many new friends and cool connections in the industry. Lo and behold, the thing that I thought I'd hate the most, the networking and forced interactions, was the best part! These women are amazing. They're smart and successful; moreover they're kind and genuine, and just the sort of people you want to be working with and alongside. They couldn't have been more helpful and friendly to a couple of newbies from Canada and we loved every minute.