I returned home yesterday after spending a few days at the Houston Quilt Market. It was quite an experience! I have been to Quilt Festival once before, but this was different; Quilt Market is before Festival, and it is the wholesale market for quilt shops. Since my friends and I are teachers at our local quilt shop, the owners offered us the chance to attend market. It was a lot of fun, but many of the vendors weren't selling directly from their booths; they were taking orders to be filled after market. And the minimums in many of the booths were too high for individuals. But we still found things to buy; just no fabric and very few books.
My biggest purchase at market was probably paints and supplies for painting on fabric - really cool stuff and I can't wait to play with it. But the biggest expense of market for me is going to be the fact that I've decided I really want a new sewing machine. I was able to sew on a Bernina Aurora 440 QE with Stitch Regulator. What a nice machine! The stitch regulator will allow me to do free motion quilting and keep my stitches even.
It was MUCH less crowded at market than it is at festival (you could actually get into the booths and see what was for sale). The quilt show was up and almost empty of people, so you could really see the quilts. While I enjoyed the whole experience, and I'm really glad that I had the chance to go this time, I doubt if I will want to go again.