I recently attended the October Brisbane Quilt and Craft Fair. (you might notice the new quilt behind me, its the new pattern for the Botanicals and Flower Templates, I have just re-released these as a set.)
I took a small selection of our products and we made heaps of new customers, and met lots of lovely quilters.
We made time to look around the Fair, and the most impressive were the quilts in the exhibition, lots of inspiration. The most interesting ones were when they were grouped by a theme. Its always interesting when you give a group a quilters a concept or theme, amazing how everyone can do something quite different. This is always good to do as a group.
We looked for what’s new, this was my first visit to a show outside New Zealand, I think my first impression was how many quilt shops were represented, from all over Australia. The other big thing, worldwide it seems, are the adult colouring-in books. A friend bought me one, with pencils, to do on the plane, I tried it, but decided it’s not for me. Give me a needle and thread anyday.
There were several merchants who also come over for the New Zealand shows, I thoroughly recommend Dianne at Tinkering Tools. Her scissors are so useful, and she will be at Festival of Quilts. I can’t resist her range of tools, they are excellent quality as well.
If you are thinking of going across the Tasman to a show, I would recommend allowing 2 – 3 days to do everything, I wish I had more time to really study the exhibition, and attend some of the classes.
And some tips for attending a large Quilt and Craft Fair:
– Wear good walking shoes and take a small bottle of water with you, plus a muesli bar for sustenance.
– First, walk up and down all the aisles first to check all the merchants out, make notes of the products you are interested in, the name of the merchant and the stall number so you know you can find them again.
– Bring a wheelie bag for your new purchases. This is heaps easier than carrying a large bag over your shoulder.
– Have lunch early, at 11:30, before everyone else thinks of it!
– And if you just want to look at the exhibition quilts, I have found that Sundays are always the quietest days.
– But if you want to purchase something new, the early days of the shows are the best, as the merchants quite often sell out of their popular products.
– And the quietest times for shopping: while everyone is at lunch, between 12 and 1, and an hour before closing, and of course Sunday.
– Finally, if you are a serious shopper who likes to plan: when you first enter the show, head out to the far corner first then work your way back to the entry. Because that’s the opposite of what everybody else does!