Setting the stage -- close your eyes and imagine you are transported into a massive warehouse filled with aisles and aisles and thousands upon thousands of bolts of fabric.
Checker Distributors hosted their 65th annual Open House this past weekend and asked me to be a vendor. Checker is located about 2 1/2 hours north of me so I grabbed friend, Rumi, packed my car and off we went on the great journey. It was such fun to hear shop owners say they know of Loft Creations and tell me about teaching my patterns as classes.
Open House weekend is for shop owners, manufacturers, and long arm quilters to come and shop the fabric aisles as well as meet (and shop) the vendors and see the products available. It's like a mini Quilt Market and there are demonstrations and schoolhouse type sessions. Marti Michell was the big draw this year. No photo of her booth but she and her husband are nice as can be. She has a new ruler out I can't wait to try.
Kathy of Hemma Designs was one of my neighbors. Her patterns are fun, fresh and adorable and the fabrics are her first collection with Red Rooster called Summerhome.
Julie of La Todera was my neighbor on the other side. Her flower brooches/pins and gorgeous.
I met "new to me" designers as well as "new to me" products. Rolando has some terrific products for quilters/crafters and I can't wait to receive my sample box and play. Bosal has a foam product similar to Soft and Stable I can't wait to try.
Across the way there were colorful booths and friendly faces. This is Eazy Peazy Quilts.
Fun and friendly Poorhouse Quilt Designs. Kristine and
Carol of Aunties Two Patterns shared a wealth of information about doing shows and quilt markets.
I would love to have Valdani thread sets just for eye candy. They're so gorgeous.
There were several misters in attendance as well. Bernie and Sue were a fun couple and don't you love the cover of her book (lime green plaid). Whistlepig Creek is all about whimsy.
It was work but there was plenty of fun. I didn't get to personally meet everyone but it was tons of fun to be surrounded by so many creative people.
Now go get some paint and decorate your sewing machine! I briefly thought of doing mine lime green with white polka dots.
30 vendors, nearly 400 shops owners and shopping carts stacked with fabric and supplies that compared to cars and cars on a cargo train.
My review of the weekend -- inspiring (and tiring.) Checker really rolled out the red carpet welcome for one and all. They kept us fed and watered and booth sat when we needed a break. I no longer have cankles (swollen calves and ankles) from standing. Abby was happy to see me. It seems that quilters love sharing their pet photos as well and we all seemed to have them on our phones.