A Guest post from Elizabeth Rosenberg, the Quilt Whisperer. Elizabeth attended Threads of Success at Quilt Market in October. Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to write, and share your experience of this Inaugural Threads of Success. Note: all photos courtesy Elizabeth, used with permission
Quilts, Inc Press Release
I first became aware of the Threads of Success (insert link) event when I read about it in an email from Quilts, Inc. some eight months ago. My very first impression upon reading it was “This is what I need!”
I’ve wanted to write a quilting book for a very long time. My long-burning desire had its seed in a comment made by my first quilting instructor, about thirty years ago. (Time flies, doesn’t it?) During the second of a six-session class, I asked her if I could please use my sewing machine for the rest of the piecing on the blocks we were making, instead of doing all the piecing by hand. She hemmed and hawed a bit before finally grudgingly giving her consent, and from then on I flew through constructing the blocks, making a twin-sized quilt top instead of the lap quilt she had designed for the class. I was on fire! My quilting obsession had begun! At the final session, my teacher had us all show our finished quilt tops. When my name was called, I walked up to front of the class proudly. After the requisite oohing and aahing had died down, my teacher announced that she looked forward to buying the quilting book she knew I would one day write.
Well, as I said, time flies. Somehow, thirty years or thereabouts have gone by since that day, and though I’d spent countess hours teaching quilters machine techniques, even inventing some new techniques myself, my quilt book dream had never come true. Somehow, something always got in the way, and I’d let that dream wither and almost die.
“Now,” I told myself. “This is it. Now is the time. This is what I need.” With my new quilt-teaching business settled into a comfortable routine, steady customers, and a schedule that allowed for plenty of time to explore my Venetian Lace Quilt obsession, I decided that Threads of Success would the perfect thing for me to help me take my teaching business to the national level. I took a deep breath, and registered for the event, choosing to pay for it by the installment plan Quilts, Inc. so generously offered.
I’ll let you read the announcement by Quilts, Inc. about the program. They can describe their plans for it much better than I can:
Threads of Success is a unique stand-alone conference bringing industry hopefuls together with industry leaders of today. The premier edition will run concurrently with the 2019 Quilt Market in Houston and will feature sessions, networking events, and lectures geared specifically toward new or budding entrepreneurs.
35 individual breakout sessions will provide content for the four Focus Tracks of Fabric Designers, Pattern Designers, Writers/Teachers, and Retailers/Inventors, with additional general interest offerings in copyright law and accounting/finance concepts. Finally, three breakfasts and two luncheons will feature keynote speakers who are leaders in the industry and beyond.
The event lived up to what was promised, and more. While there, I met other women (and two men!) who were, like me, interested in becoming part of the quilting industry. We exchanged more than business cards — we exchanged ideas, formed relationships, but most importantly, discovered our strengths and weaknesses, and how to address them and use them wisely. We learned so much about the industry. It was an exhausting but exciting time in Houston’s (seven football fields long!) downtown convention center where Quilt Market and Quilt Festival are held. The speakers and instructors were super-knowledgeable and shared their own experiences freely, giving advice and making us all feel as if we belonged in their world, with them.
On the last day of the event, we were given access to the Market floor, where we were able to make contacts with the people who can make dreams come true. I used my time to approach a publisher I’d like to work with, and was encouraged by her excitement about my idea for a book. I also approached people with thread, fabric, interfacing and batting businesses to talk about my ideas and start relationships with them that I hope will flourish as I go forward in the quilting business.
My dream of expressing my own ideas about quilting, featuring Punto in Aria (Stitches in the Air) lace, in my very own book is more real now than it’s ever been. The hard work to make my dream (and my teacher’s long ago comment) come true has begun, with the knowledge I’ve gained and with the help of the people I met through Threads of Success.
If you have any desire to become a part of the quilt world’s wonderful group of business people, give some serious thought to attending this fantastic event in 2020. You’ll be glad you did!
Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to share your Threads of Success experience. As an active part of our mutual admiration society I am looking forward to watching you grown and reading the book I know you’re going to write.
Quilts, Inc will be running Threads of Success at Fall Quilt Market 2020. If you want to get into the business of Quilting this is the best place to get the foundation for making that leap. If your business is struggling in any way this is the place to hear the reminders we need to move forward, or take a new direction.