Quilt Market, the trade show for the fabric and quilting industry which was scheduled to return as an in-person event in Houston October 23-25, has been postponed. In an email released this evening, Karey Bresenhan, president and CEO of Quilts, Inc., the company that owns the show, wrote:
“It is with great regret that I must announce that the fall edition of International Quilt Market in Houston, scheduled for October 23-25, has been postponed.
Our Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee has made this difficult decision after weighing many crucial factors over the past few weeks. Ultimately, we feel strongly that this is in the best interests of our exhibitors, attendees, faculty, volunteers, and staff.
Since I founded this trade show in 1979, Quilt Market has been the place for our industry to gather and see, display, and shop for new products; to learn better and more efficient ways to run businesses; to enhance the creativity of customers; and to gather for the camaraderie of what I still feel after decades is the absolute best industry in the world.
The past 18 months have seen a seismic change in the world, especially as it relates to large meetings and conventions. So many companies—including ours—have had to pivot to meet everyday challenges from the most basic to the most complex aspects. And to adapt on the fly as well!
We had hoped and planned to be able to bring Quilt Market back and back strong to a live in-person show next month….a “return to normal” that we all wanted. But it’s just not realistically feasible given the current climate and conditions. We would not want to produce a show that is not beneficial for you, or not up to our company’s high standards.
Our Market exhibitors, faculty, and registered attendees will be contacted separately by the appropriate department concerning next steps. And our public show, International Quilt Festival (Oct. 28-31, with events beginning Oct. 25) will go on as scheduled.
I wish for everyone reading this a safe and healthy fall and winter. We will come back. And I look very much forward to a true “return to normal” at our 2022 Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, from April 12-14!”
Earlier this week, Checker Distributors, a leading distributor of quilting fabric and notions, pulled out of the show citing a lack of registered vendors and customers. Prior to Checker’s announcement, several of the larger fabric companies has also pulled out. Others chose not to register for the show at all.
Returning to an in-person show in October 2021 in Texas raised a variety of concerns that likely led to the decision by vendors and retailers to withdraw. Concerns over the COVID surge in Texas and the Delta Variant were an issue for some, while the mask requirement at the show was an issue for others. The Texas abortion law passed last week spurred some companies to demand that the show be moved out of the state. Yet another contributing factor may be that some manufacturers and retailers have adapted to doing business without an in-person trade show over the last year and a half.