We’ve all been admiring Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill’s quilts from screens for months. They’re striking even in pixelated form, but seeing them on display — in a Quilt Market booth, at that — is an entirely different experience.
This past weekend, Sheri, our Quilt Designer Fellowship winner, got to show off her quilts in person to thousands of quilters at Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. And, as the pictures prove, her booth definitely does her designs justice.
“It’s been insane in the best way possible,” Sheri said.
That might be because Sheri was busy as a bee from the moment she arrived: She and her husband Jason got to Houston on Thursday night, and on Friday morning they started the big set-up.
“I think ‘organized chaos’ is the best way to describe it,” she said of the set-up process. Luckily, Sheri considers project management one of her strong suits, so she was prepared. She and Jason shipped out supplies the week before, and Sheri came ready with a digital illustration of how she envisioned the booth (pretty close, huh?).
Once all the details were perfectly in place, the real fun began. At heart, Quilt Market is an industry event where distributors, local shop owners and other quilting professionals can connect with the makers who want to get their work to consumers. Sheri was at Market to get down to business and sell her patterns.
Unsurprisingly, Sheri had huge success when it came to sales: She sold plenty of patterns to small quilt shops and big distributors alike. (So keep your eyes peeled for her designs anywhere you shop for patterns!)
It helped that Sheri’s quilts have been catching eyes online already. “I’ve had several people say, ‘Oh, I recognize that quilt,'” she said. And a few even knew her name from our Quilt Designer Fellowship program.
Beyond making sales, Sheri also made lots of connections and introduced herself to the quilting community. “It was a great way to just get the word out,” she said. “You can have a presence online, and that helps, but there’s nothing like a one-on-one connection. Being here was important for solidifying those connections.”
What’s next? “There’s a lot to follow up on.” Sheri has orders to fulfill, emails to send and conversations to continue — but she’s looking forward to all of it. “Quilt Market has opened up some realistic possibilities for me. I have big ideas of where I’d like to see things go in 2017 and beyond.”
And who knows where Sheri could go next? She’s already dreaming of fabric lines, publications and teaching gigs. With the momentum of a successful Quilt Market, there’s nothing stopping her now.
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Want to know what else caught our eye at Quilt Market? You can see all the best and brightest from the industry’s biggest event of the year right here on Craftsy.