35 Ways for Quilt-Industry Hopefuls to Break into the Business

Ever wanted to break into the quilting industry with your designs, your inventions, or your business savvy? At Fall 2019 Quilt Market in Houston, Texas (October 25–28), there’s a new event that can give you the tools to make it happen: Threads of Success!

Sponsored by Quilts, Inc., Threads of Success is a unique conference bringing industry hopefuls together with industry leaders of today. The conference will run concurrently with Quilt Market and will feature sessions, networking events, and lectures geared specifically toward new or budding entrepreneurs.

Thirty-five breakout sessions will provide content for the four Focus Tracks:

  • Fabric Designers
  • Pattern Designers
  • Writers/Teachers
  • Retailers/Inventors

Additional offerings include copyright law and accounting/finance concepts. Three breakfasts and two luncheons will feature keynote speakers who are leaders in the industry and beyond. You’ll also get the chance to walk the Market floor with mentors on the final day of the show.


We’re proud to announce that Martingale’s Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer, Jennifer Keltner, will speak at Threads of Success about a subject near and dear to her heart: publishing one-of-a-kind books. With 30 years in publishing, Jennifer has experience in editorial, management, and marketing. She joined Meredith in 2000, overseeing American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilt Sampler, and Quilts and More magazines. With Martingale since 2014, Keltner has focused on strategic editorial planning that has garnered key partnerships with industry leaders. She is currently serving as President of the International Quilt Association.

In her Threads of Success session, Jennifer will speak about publishing models, pitches and proposals, and how publishing a book can help develop designer careers.

At Threads of Success you’ll get answers to questions, network with others facing similar challenges, learn to avoid expensive mistakes, explore how to market yourself and your talents, and learn to manage your money and business. In addition, you’ll gain knowledge on how to move from hobby to business, get your work published, increase your online presence, expand your creative and business networks, and gain unprecedented access to the hub of the quilting industry. Learn more about registering for Threads of Success here.

Are you a budding designer, or do you have a promising business in the quilting industry? What’s your specialty—or what’s your dream? Tell us in the comments!

6 Comments (leave a comment)

  • We are a smaller quilt guild in Shawnee OK, only 40 miles from Okla City. I there any way we could get a list of your folks who register? We would like to invite some of them to teach or put on a program. At Spinning Spools meeting we have 35 to 40 who attend. Our budget is not huge but we can offer travel and expenses. We can give them exposure, practice, and a warm positive experience. We are looking to fill our meetings with programs for the first Thursday of November 2019 and Jan. thru Sept. at 7pm. Thanks for your help.

    Hi Cindy, I’m sorry we don’t have a list of speakers at Threads of Success, but you can find them all listed here. You might also consider contacting the Threads of Success organizers directly at threadsofsuccess@quilts.com. Hope this helps! –Jenny

    —Cindy McVey on August 5, 2019
  • I’m excited to part of this as an author and presenter as well. It should be a fabulous event!! 🙂

    Whoo-hoo Christa, we all know you will be phenomenal! –Jenny

    Christa Watson on August 5, 2019
  • Always wanted to own a quilt shop. But, now that I am retired I don’t want to have to get up early every day = it would be to much like a real job

    —Linda Lee Ahn on August 5, 2019
  • I grew tired of modifying purchased patterns to fit my vision, so I now design my own paper piecing (foundation) patterns. I especially love creating blocks that form a secondary pattern where the corners meet L would love to publishsh / sell my patterns.

    —Linda Voltz on August 7, 2019
  • This event is very appealing to me. I have been sketching my own quilt designs on graph paper since I first began quilting in 2007. I aspire to one day publish my patterns and turn my passion into a business.

    —Krystyn on August 7, 2019
  • I am a pattern designer in New Zealand and it would be a dream to go to a class that helps me navigate the business of becoming more widely known but for now I will continue designing and making quilt and small projects that I love.

    Tracey Roberts on August 9, 2019

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