Whether you're looking for unique fabrics, inspirational classes, or a way to sell or exhibit your own sewing projects, there are events across the country where you can find just that! We've assembled a list of some of the biggest and the best conventions, expositions, and conferences of 2018. Check them out below!
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1. World Quilt Florida, January 18-20th
This exhibition is far more than just a show. If you're a quilter, it's worth a visit just to see the World Quilt Competition on tour, with entries from across the US and beyond! Entries in the Florida Quilt Competition will also be on display. Fill out your days with classes and a visit (or two!) to the packed merchant hall.
2. Creativation, January 18-22nd
Creativation is a unique trade show geared toward makers and crafters of all types, as well as suppliers that cater to them. You're likely to find papercrafters and bakers as well as fashion designers, quilters, and other sewists in the booths of this show. Register for classes, host a booth, or just visit to explore and get inspired!
3. Phoenix Quilt, Craft, and Sewing Festival, January 25-27th
Start the year off right with a trip to the Phoenix Quilt, Craft, and Sewing Festival. This year mark's the show's 24th season, and it's the biggest so far, featuring more than 350 vendors. Check out the latest in fabrics, patterns, tools, and techniques. One ticket gets you into the show for all three days, so be sure to make the most of your time!
4. Military History Fest, February 2-4th
If you're a fan of historical sewing, you don't want to miss this festival! Held each year in Chicago, Military History Fest includes all aspects of historical reenactments. One of the biggest, of course, is clothing and accessories. It's a must-see show for clothiers and milliners who recreate items from other eras, but also a good event for costumers who might be looking for a little historical inspiration.
5. Stitches in Time Quilt Show, February 23-24th
Though primarily a quilting event, you'll find plenty to explore at the Stitches in Time Quilt Show even if you prefer other fiber arts. Check out the latest offerings from sewing machine companies, try out new tools and techniques, and get inspired by the quilts on display. From intricate quilting techniques on monochrome backgrounds to traditional piecing, there's lots to learn from!
6. The Sewing and Stitchery Expo, March 1-4th
Held at the Washington State Fairground in Puyallup, Washington, the Sewing and Stitchery Expo includes a wide range of makers and suppliers for textile and fiber arts, ranging from fashion design to quilting and on to knitting and crochet. Sign up for a booth, or just make a point to visit and get inspired!
7. Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, March 8-10th
Quilts, classes, a live fashion show, and more! This Atlanta sewing expo features a wide range of events sure to appeal to sewists of all kinds. It also includes extended workshops before the event itself, so if you want a chance to improve your skills and get some inspiration, plan for a long weekend and make the most of it.
8. Denver Quilt, Craft, and Sewing Festival, March 22-24th
If you've been thinking about expanding your horizons as a sewist, check out the Denver Quilt, Craft, and Sewing Festival. Browse the equipment, sewing machines, tools, and more at the vendor booths, and even take some of the new toys for a test drive with make-and-take projects. There's lots to see and do for crafters of all kinds, whether you specialize in embroidery, quilting, fashion, or other needle arts. Need another incentive to check out this festival? There are daily door prize drawings!
9. Quilt Week, March 21-24th
Quilt Week of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is hosted by the American Quilters' Society. Register early to reserve your spot in the sewing classes on offer, ranging from applique and piecing to longarm quilting. You don't even need to bring your sewing machine along, just some basic tools you can use to practice new techniques as you learn.
10. Craftcation Conference, April 4-8th
This one might not be right for you if you're looking to host a vendor booth, but if you're contemplating taking your sewing from a hobby to a business, you should definitely consider Craftcation. With lots of hands-on workshops, you'll be able to hone your skills as well as get some valuable inside information about the ins and outs of actually running a handmade business. Past presenters include quilter Ashley Nickels and Dana Walsh, the event and community coordinator for the DIY website creation platform Weebly.
11. Quilt Festival Chicago, April 12-14th
Created as a northern alternative to its larger cousin, Quilt Festival Houston, Quilt Festival Chicago connects sewists of all kinds to like-minded fellows as well as instructors and suppliers. For Midwestern sewists, especially those running handmade businesses or looking to start one, it's a great chance to network and meet with suppliers. If you register for classes, you won't even need to pay for daily admission!
12. The Quilt and Sewing Festival of New Jersey, April 26-29th
Home to the Tri-State Quilt Competition, this festival is a quilter's paradise. Register for classes in basic quilting techniques all the way up to more advanced skills like thread painting and quilting with alternative materials like leather and cork. Don't miss the exhibit hall, where the competition quilts will be on display. If you're a resident of New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, yours could even be one of them!
13. Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace, May 1-5th
If you live in the western US, it might be worth a trip to the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah this spring. The Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace draws competitors, visitors, and instructors from across the world, and is the largest quilt show in the region!
14. Quilt Show Reno, June 21-23rd
If you'll be near Reno this June, don't miss Quilt Show Reno! With more than 400 quilts on display and more than 70 classes and workshops to attend, there's something for everyone. Can't wait until June? Get started early by entering the fabric challenge and get creative!
15. American Sewing Guild Conference, July 12-15th
The American Sewing Guild's Annual Conference is packed with things to do, see, and learn! Vendors are on hand selling everything from notions and fabrics to patterns and finished items. There are hands-on classes and informal lectures and lots of fellow sewists to learn from as well. You don't even need to be a guild member to attend!
16. Martha Pullen: Modern Methods & Classic Heirloom Touches, July 22-27th
Martha Pullen sewing retreats are a unique combination of practical experience and business networking. This retreat is geared toward combining contemporary sewing techniques with the timeless touches that make handmade items stand out from the crowd. Sign up to meet other sewists, learn new skills, and come home with lots of fun new fabrics to add to your stash!
17. Sewing, Quilting and Fiber Expo, September 7-9th
This Midwestern Expo takes place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The draws crowds from multiple states for a weekend of demonstrations and a wide range of vendor booths.
18. Northwest Quilting Expo, September 27-29th
Competitions, classes, and crafts, oh my! The Northwest Quilting Expo of Portland, Oregon, is one of the largest in the pacific northwest. At its heart is the quilt competition, with a $2,000 prize for Best in Show! Even if you're not sure your quilting is showroom ready, there's still plenty to do. Check out the displays, browse the vendor mall, and get inspired for your next big project!
19. Quilt Festival Houston, November 8-11th
Quilt Festival Houston is the largest quilt festival in the US! Hundreds of exhibits and booths, quilts from all over the world and right around the corner. If you're only going to pick one event to attend, exhibit, or have a booth at this year, this might just be the festival to choose.
20. Novi Sewing and Quilt Expo, November 15-17th
For sewists based in the Midwest, check out the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Novi, Michigan. Vendors will have everything from tools and supplies to finished items on hand, and you'll be able to get inspiration from a wide range of quilt displays, classes, and even a live fashion runway show. Be sure to check the registration deadlines if you'd like to exhibit your items; this one is going to fill up fast!