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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Houston Quilt Show Experience

In early November, Outback Fibers decided to have a presence at the Houston International Quilt Festival.  This is one of the largest Quilt shows in the nation, and we wondered how much impact the needle-felting machines had made on the quilting world. 

We were pleased by the response to our booth, and I had an opportunity to demonstrate the basics of wet-felting for 2 hours at their "Open Studio" station.  I had a constant stream of people watching, and was able to convey several simple aspects of felting to a fairly interested audience.
Suzanne Morgan was with me at the show, selling her wonderful dyed silk yardages.  She also took time to demonstrate at the "Open Studio", and generated interest in the needle-felting techniques she uses to produce her beautiful journal covers featured at the back of the booth.

Perparation for the show was enormous, and the 5 days of vending were exhausting.  Both Suzanne and I agreed we would not undertake such a venture in the future.  We were mobbed with customers, such that we got to see little or nothing of the wonderful quilt works on display at the show.  Sales were fair, but you have to sell a lot of $5-$15 items to cover the exhorbitent booth fees and related expenses.
Chalk this one up to experience!  But we were encouraged to see how much headway felting has made in the surface design world.  At least our customers were coming to purchase... and not just to view the 3-headed novelty "feltmakers"!

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