Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Insider Scoop On International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh

The Kona Bay troops and I spent the past weekend at the semi-annual International Quilt Market. Held in Pittsburgh this time, it was a fun time to be had by all! If you’ve never attended, Quilt Market is the big daddy trade show of the quilting industry.

We always look forward to seeing customers, colleagues and old friends. In addition to our US customers and Representatives, our distributors from around the globe make the trek to see what’s new. Thank you mates for making the trip and for your business.

Once again, the Kona Bay tradition continued. We distributed the famous and sought after chocolate covered macadamia nuts hand carried by yours truly from the tropical paradise known as Hawaii. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think people flocked to the booth for the chocolates instead of me! Hmmm, chocolates or Doug…I won’t ask.

Issue #16 of Asian Fabric Magazine had come out just before Market. We had a beautiful display of quilts by Georgie Gerl, our quilt designer, on display in the booth. Customers were snapping up the fabric used in her stunning designs. Be sure to pick up a copy at your local quilt store. Be sure, also, to fill out the questionnaire and send it in for a chance to win fabric from Kona Bay!

My heart was going pitter patter seeing all the Kona Bay fabric used in projects and new books as I cruised the aisles. We’ll introduce you to two of new books from and FW Media in upcoming posts (make sure you subscribe—in the column to the right, so you don’t miss ‘em—it's free!)

Our group stayed at the Omni William Penn Hotel just a few blocks from the Convention Center and Market. Wow! The ultimate in luxury since 1916, the William Penn has been restored to its original grandeur and continues to live up to it’s long-standing reputation. It’s like stepping back in time to the gilded era.

I can hear all the foodies (and yes, I’m a member) singing in unison—Ah, yes, but what about the eats? First of all, we all took a vote and the room service pizza at the Omni was top rate. We also visited a Pittsburgh institution that had been featured on several TV shows we foodies dine vicariously on a regular basis. The Primanti Brothers serve up a whopping sandwich complete with French fries and coleslaw tucked between the bread walls. We visited the “original” restaurant. It was fun to indulge in more Pittsburgh history.

The Quilts, Inc folks always put on great show. They also orchestrate two very popular consumer shows—Chicago in the spring and Long Beach in the summer. They’re a must do for quilting enthusiasts and you can order tickets online for the Long Beach show, July 24-26.

Houston Quilt Market is early this year—October 10-12. That’s just around the corner in the fabric world. We’ll see you there!


  1. Pictures, restaurant critiques and fabric beautiful fabrics. Your blog is much appreciated and from one who was spent time on the Big Island... there is no place else on earth as beautiful as Hawaii. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trip to Philly. I hope to make it to Houston this year.

  2. Oh we also ate at Primanti Bros! We stayed at the Hampton...I am so going to organize a tweet up right in front of your booth at Houston, ok Doug?