Hello! This is Megan, your intrepid reporter coming to you from Quilt Market in beautiful downtown Pittsburgh! It’s been drizzling and raining all day, but that didn’t stop lots of shop owners and industry professionals from heading over to the convention center for Schoolhouse.
What is Schoolhouse, you ask? The day before the Market show floor actually opens, a series of small presentations are held in meeting rooms, where fabric designers can talk about their new and upcoming lines, pattern designers can reveal the new designs they’ll be shipping in the following months, and book authors can show off their brand-new publications. It’s a way for shop owners to get a feel for some of these things, and the savviest presenters really play to the shop owners, letting them know just how their products can appeal to their market and what tools they have to help them sell.
As you may be aware, the GenQ team has put together a book, Stitch ‘n Swap, that offers great ideas for projects perfect for swapping. More then that, the book offers a lot of advice about how to host and run a successful swap. Most of the GenQ team was in attendance (and many of them have projects in the book) as well as some of the other designers who contributed, and our Fearless Leader, publisher Jake Finch led the presentation, assisted by our other Fearless Leader, editor-in-chief Melissa Thompson Maher.
(And I apologize if my photos are a wee bit blurry. I had not seen most of my GenQ peeps for well over a year, and I had some misty-eyed reunion hugs right before things got started.)
Jake and Melissa showed of projects from the book, and a Power Point presentation outlined ways for shops to incorporate swaps into their store activities, building community and having fun at the same time.
Kitten Wrangler Tracy Mooney also showed how her project was perfect for kids, and explained how a swap could be done with little ones.
The presentation was a lot of fun and, as usual, took place in front of a pretty sizeable crowd. And, most importantly, the AV equipment all worked and no one had massive coffee stains to hide. (In other words, we weren’t visited by the ghosts of Schoolhouses past.)
Tomorrow the show floor opens and we get to meet more people and see more stuff and just generally exhaust ourselves with all the awesomeness. Wish us luck and send chocolate!