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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sample Spree at Spring Quilt Market 2010 in Minneapolis

Edited 6/3/10

Who ever named this event at Quilt Market "Sample Spree" ....well lets just say....I would have called it
First you have to pay 10.00 to go to Sample Spree and then people begin lining up at 5:00 for an event that does not start until 8pm and ends at 10pm. 
 So you must be wondering what on earth could be so wonderful and cheap/free that a person would be willing to wait 3 hours to go inside, right?

Do you really want to know?  Are you sure?  Really sure?  OK....but only if you are extra sure.
Nothing that you can't order and have shipped to your shop or business.  NOTHING!!!  I'm no expert and I'm sure there are others with much more experience than me.....but several of the vendors I spoke to at Sample Spree said they don't understand it either.  One told me he witnessed a woman push and shove her way swinging elbows to get to the MODA table at one Sample Spree.  (NO I did not wait in line.....I went in at 9:30 to show Rosemary....otherwise I would have been in bed!!)
If an attendee were so inclined they could purchase the EQ Upgrade for more than you could order it for your shop.  I guess then you could brag that you had it first....but really they would not be the first because most of the first to have the software were the testers and they were sworn to secrecy.
Oh, maybe you could purchase some GO! Fabric Cutter Dies? could watch a demo and get a free (very pretty) tote bag.
You can see the pretty green bags at the top of this photo.
The best part for me is to see some very wonderful people working their fannies off.....such as Lady Eleanor and Orion Burns!!!  ( I secretly think I was one of Eleanor's children and she put me up for adoption.....cuz you know I'd be having a ball wearing those outfits....oh yeah baby!!)
You can see all the books and patterns....the same ones that can be ordered and delivered to your store.
Aurifil Thread was available for purchase too.  The individual spools were a little less than they typically are wholesale.....but to wait in line for 3 hours?  I would have if they were $1.00 per spool....otherwise....I'm good, do you know what I mean? 
I had heard that Cozy Quilt Designs were going to be at Sample Spree (they also had a booth at Market).  I had never met anyone from Cozy Quilt Designs before in my life.  However, I knew one of them knew a dear blogger friend, Darlene Simmons, who visits their shop frequently.  Well, I was not going to miss the opportunity to give this gal a great big hug and have her pass it along to Darlene.  So now you know Darlene  why your ears were a burning :)
Many shoppers from Sample Spree will gather outside the hall and show one another what they have purchased.  Many of the Gals have several tote bags and they are overflowing.  What do I see people purchase mainly?  Fabric....yes fabric......Quilt Shop Owners and Employees with bags stuffed full of fabric.  You and I both know these same Gals have tons of fabric at home as well as in their shop so why do they wait in line for hours to purchase more?  When you find out, please let me know too....LOL.
I may be over-simplifying here....but not too much.  If I were going to wait in line at Sample Spree for 3 hours you know what I would want to find inside when I got there?

  • Free Wine or Margaritas

  • Free Finger Foods 

  • Small samples of threads, fabrics, notions etc. (like the old Avon Lipsticks....remember those cute little white tubes?  My grandmother brought them to me when I was a kid and I LOVED them)

Well, maybe some chocolate too!!!  Ok, LOTS of chocolate :)
That is my take on Sample Spree.  I'm sure other folks have other versions or descriptions....but this is what these eyes see and what this brain cal-cu-ma-lates.
Edit:  This post was not intended to be negative....Sample Spree is a tradition and I think it was intended for Shop Owners to be able to get single kits to make up Samples for their shops.  I just think it funny and because I was so tired last did not sound as playful as I had intended....forgive my exhaustion.....I picked up a van filled with EQ 7 and EQ 7 Upgrades yesterday and I've been packing my fingers off so they could get into the mail.


  1. I am with you, I would have stayed in and gotten a few extra ZZZZZZZ's.

  2. I love your post. Made me chuckle. Great insights too! So happy that you were able to meet Daniela of Cozy Quilt Designs (and Shop). She is such a delight. And glad to know you also saw Eleanor and Orion. Are you aware that Eleanor has a beautiful retreat in the So. Cal. Mountains? You could come and wear your farmer outfit anytime!

    And I'm with you on wondering why everyone waits 3 hours in line for Sample Spree. I guess they didn't get enough time standing on their feet at Quilt Market, during the day!


    PS - I'll see Daniela this coming Saturday when I go to Fat Quarters Anonymous.

  3. Yes, free samples. Of course "sample" being the key word here! I haven't thought of those little white tubes of lipstick in years! Are we showing our age here?

  4. Golly....GEE.......I also cannot understand people standing in line for what you described. I'd rather go at the very end when all the crazies were gone!!! LOL I agree with YOUR version of what a Sample Spree should be.......*sigh* As for Eleanor and Orion, I saw their "show" at the Lancaster AQS show in March. Those two are a real HOOT!!! After the show, my friend told Eleanor she thought Eleanor must be a kindergarten teacher on steroids!!! We all laughed at that one!

  5. I'm like you Kelly, you wouldn't find me standing in that line either. I don't even do black Friday sales, I send the hubs, ahaha

  6. OOOH, loved those little white tubes of Avon lipstick. Especially the pink ones! My old piano teacher was an Avon lady. She kept me in samples and Sweet Honesty as a child.

    I'm not a crowd person, so I'd be with you in the corner drinking margaritas, eating chocolate, and people-watching.

    Oh, and giggling....lots of giggling!

  7. Oh my! I am all for the extra sleep ( or free chocolate and margaritas!)
    if I did go it would be later after all the crowd was thinned out!

    Yes my idea of samples are like yours. A small size usable product that is free or ReALLy cheap.

  8. I think you hit just the right tone with that, I didn't pick up anything negative. I always heard about the sample spree and I thought they GAVE you samples. I'm with you, if I wait in a long line there had better be free chocolate at the end.

  9. So it's called Sample Spree cause at first it was a place to get kits and make shop samples before the actual fabric arrived? It's never been anything like "free samples" that I think some people have been led to believe.

    Now that you've explained it (and very well too) it really makes NO sense, does it?

    More Orion eye candy would have been nice tho.....hehe

  10. Loved the pics & your take on the event - came out more "bewildered" than negative...but, to me, I'da loved to have been there, done that. And, yeah, I have more fabric in my RV than you'd think possible, but I'm always on the lookout for new stuff! And being there (to me) is like going shopping at the mall, on Christmas Eve, even when you know all your stuff has been bought & wrapped by Thanksgiving. I LOVE it & don't even know why! Hubby thinks I'm NUTSO! But, he goes along for the ride anyway (and pays for all the fabric, too, God love 'im!)

  11. I never get any show that charges you to come in to buy things, lol. Personally, paying money to go to a show, only to be barraged with sales pitches, I can stay home and answer the 800 calls for free;)



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More Later-Beth


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