News and Trends from International Quilt Market






The past two years have been challenging on so many levels for a wide-ranging range of businesses and industries. For this piece, we solicited “survival stories” from brick-and-mortar shop owners, online retailers, teachers, and designers.


We dig into what challenges they faced, and how they addressed them. Hopefully, there will be some advice and direction that you can use if you find yourself in a similar situation! Note: Some answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Céleste Compion

Meerkat Shweshwe

Online Quilt Store

Elora Ontario, Canada





Fall Quilt Market

October 29-31

Classes/events begin October 27

George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston, Texas, USA





Spring Quilt Market
Dates TBA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


Fall Quilt Market

Dates TBA

George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston, Texas, USA


NOTE: Quilt Market is a credentialed
trade show only, and not open to
the public.

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The Challenge: We were not able to meet people face to face for open studio events, sewing retreats, and classes.


The Solution: I started the Tele-Sewcial group, with a weekly one hour Zoom meeting, and invited quilters from anywhere in the world to join in. A core group became good friends and that community gave rise to the "You've Got A Friend" BOM, which will run for 2022 with more than 360 quilters signed up. I have also been teaching and presenting trunk shows online.


Yvette Stanton

Vetty Creations


Walcha, NSW, Australia


The Challenge: I usually exhibit at a big craft show in Sydney Australia, each year. Without that happening over the last two years, my sales have dropped significantly. This, and not being able to teach has meant that I have missed the human contact with other stitchers.


The Solution: I started YouTube channel where I talk about embroidery, to give them something to look forward to, educate them, and entertain them during the difficult times. I have learnt a lot about videoing, including having now done many tutorials. It gave me the confidence to create my first online class, which has been and continues to be very successful. The YouTube videos themselves keep me in front of people and keep the sales ticking over.




Christa Marcotte

Second Story Quilting

Online Quilt Store

Torquay, Saskatchewan, Canada



The Challenge: Being able to provide the quality quilting products we were used to providing. There was such a shortage of batting and fabric availability, it was a challenge to keep up to the speed of which quilters were sewing in these pandemic times.


The Solution: We began to purchase batiks from Indonesia from small makers of batik helping them when tourists were no longer able to visit Bali and bringing them into the hands of quilters here in Canada and the USA. We brought in  a larger range of battings and kept up our stock. We really worked on making our website and blog more user friendly and inspiring.


Christine Cowan


Houston, Texas



The Challenge: I planned to participate in every quilt show I could find. Then everything shut down! Furthermore, I was 3D printing my product and wanted to find a manufacturer. However, with supply chain disruptions, manufacturers were not responding.


The Solution: I gave up for a short while! Then, I signed up for several online quilt shows. Through the virtual International Quilt Festival in late 2020, I was contacted by a distributor. I had to purchase a dozen more 3D printers to keep up with demand. Now I'm working with three distributors and I've developed my product design for manufacturing.

Betty Baker

Shadywood Quilts

Physical Quilt Store

The Villages, Florida




The Challenge: We had been making T-shirt quilts since 2006, and we did a booming business. But longarm quilting was our original business, and then we went back to just longarm quilting after we sold off the T-Shirt quilt part. You know what happens when quilters are stuck at home? They finish piecing their tops! Our usual longarm quilting business more than tripled during 2021.


The Solution: The biggest hurdle was customer interaction. We would put finished quilts in bags, and require three days before pickup. Local customers would schedule their pick-up times, back up the car in the driveway. They would honk, we would go out to the parking lot, and they popped their trunk. We would pick up the envelope with payment from the trunk, and then drop their quilt into the trunk!


Carol Schneider

Owl’s Nest Quilters

Physical Quilt Store

Grand Junction, Colorado





The Challenge: I had only just purchased Owl's Nest Quilters six months prior to the quarantine orders. Our shop remained "open" on a limited basis and mostly out of the parking lot. People needed fabric and machines to make masks, and the shop survived. It wasn't until the quarantine lifted and people were allowed to do other activities that we felt the crunch. Supply chains had halted during the quarantine period. Once everything opened up, the flood gates opened, and we were inundated with supplies rushing in. My reserves were depleted.


The Solution: Fortunately, I was able to take advantage of the government's assistance programs. My SBA loan was forgiven for numerous months, I received the PPP monies, and I was able to secure a grant from our local business incubator. People were apprehensive about coming back into the shop for classes. We tried the Zoom thing, but it just wasn't the same. Our county wisely devised a plan whereby businesses could get a 5-star rating, which meant that they were following best practices for maintaining a clean environment. We received our 5-star rating, and this helped a great deal to ease people's worries. Our classes started to fill up again.


Tracy Brittain Loyek

Purple KATZ Quilting

Physical Quilt Store

Rimbey, Alberta, Canada


The Challenge: We moved to a 2,500 sq. ft. storefront in July 2019. Covid restrictions mandated a lockdown in March 2020, and we had a shop full of fabric and no visitors.


The Solution: We started doing Facebook Live videos every day at the same time to show kits and fabrics and featured products. We started doing free online projects and posted it to our website blog as a way of keeping our quilting community connected. We started several online sew alongs. We offered curbside pickup and lowered our shipping rates and the free shipping threshold at the beginning. We offered virtual shopping appointments by FaceTime and Facebook Messenger.



Jaimie Davis

Loopy Tulip Designs


Portland, Oregon, USA




The Challenge: Losing all of my in-person teaching gigs.


The Solution: I learned how to teach virtually: what equipment I needed, what technology I needed, how to light my space well, how to use multiple cameras, and how to teach effectively.





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News and Trends from International Quilt Market