While the complete list of vendors isn’t up on QuiltCon West, what is there is enough to do some serious plotting about where to go and what to see! Showcasing a wide variety of goods and services, it’s a good idea to take a look at the list if you’ve got limited time (or, like me, want an idea of how to budget.)
I usually take the chance at shows to buy thread that can be otherwise hard to find locally, or to stock up since sometimes there are show prices. Aurifil, Coats, Sulky, Superior, and Wonderfil will all be there, and if there’s been something you’re hankering to try, make sure you stop in and ask questions and see what’s on offer (personally, Wonderfil has very bright perle cottons I hope will be there). Lots of good stuff here! In addition, you can also stop in to some of the other vendors such as Connecting Threads, Crafts South, Free Spirit, French Home, Sew Modern, and Sublime Stitching for other thread choices.
Quilt shows can be a good chance to check out longarm machines if you’ve got that floating around int he back of your mind (and even if you don’t, they’re fun to drive!). At this show, there will be several longarm companies including APQS, Babylock, BERNINA, Gammill, and HandiQuilter. My advice as a longarm owner is to drive each one back to back and come to the show with all your questions, from discussing thread paths up to and including financing and shipping.
Fun little shops
There are some fun things out there outside of quilting, such as Purl and Loop, where you can find adorable mini looms to make sweet little things from fiber or fabric.
Also, if you’re an indie designer (or even if you’re not) looking to make your mark with well designed patterns, self-published materials, or what have you, be sure to stop by Lucky Spool’s booth and chat with Page + Pixel, a new company formed by a dynamic duo whose aim is to support independent designers with good design for a variety of needs. You’ll be glad you did!