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One great thing about living in a big Southern city is the zillions of craft shows within a few hours’ drive. I love a good quilt show, sewing expo, or embroidery convention, and if the shows are local, I pick up my mom and 90-year-old grandmother, and the three of us make a day out of it!
My grandmother was a homemaking teacher for 50 years, so I tagged along with her to sewing trade shows starting in the ’90s. While I was more interested in the free samples (what kid isn’t!?) than fabrics and machines, I grew up going to conferences each summer.
While the inflexibility of life meant cutting down on traveling to shows as a young adult, my kids are older now, life is more stable, and I’ve started going to more expos in the last several years.
Want to find a fun sewing or embroidery event near you?
Check out this list I created showing all the upcoming sewing and embroidery events, shows, expos, conferences, meetings, and more that I could find for 2023 and 2024.
I’ve split them up primarily by embroidery or sewing and also included some popular quilt shows.
And, y’all, hit me up with your favorite local conventions and trade shows I missed so I can add them to this list to increase awareness for other crafters! I’m also happy to add any non-US shows if you let me know which ones are worth attending.
Apparel and Embroidery Conventions
This subset of trade shows is for the machine embroiderers out there!
Some of these are for home embroiderers, and others are geared toward embroidery business owners and focus on apparel design, including everything from screen printing to sublimation on clothing.
I’ve added website links so you can check out the classes offered and view the vendor lists to get an idea of what to expect.
Date: June 27-30, 2024 in Irving, TX
Applique Getaway is a multi-day conference for crafters to learn about all types of embroidery (more than just applique!) and digitizing with embroidery software.
And, you’ll also find classes about sublimation, vinyl cutting, and other crafts. (Although, there are a lot of differences between sublimation and embroidery and even HTV crafts.) The Applique Getaway Conference includes classes, demonstrations, a vendor expo, and fun with fellow crafters.
I went to Applique Getaway this year, as it was local and inexpensive to check out vendors and get a pulse for the latest trends. Plus, I got a fun swag bag at registration!
Applique Getaway also does a virtual event every year, but the October 2023 event has already passed.
- January 19-21, 2024 in Long Beach, CA
- March 21-23, 2024 in Atlantic City, NJ
- October 24-26, 2024 in Fort Worth, TX
Impressions Expo is a decor and apparel convention that showcases apparel screen printing, embroidering, sublimation, and other methods of design. It encourages business owners or apparel decor enthusiasts to learn new trends, find new suppliers, and chat with like-minded buddies. (I don’t recommend this show if you’re just a hobbyist.)
And, I tell you, everyone loves my beloved DFW area for conferences–I don’t have to leave for much.
I went to the 2023 Fort Worth show, and I definitely recommend going if you have an embroidery business or are looking to start an embroidery business.
Most major embroidery machine suppliers were there with their machines (At the FTW show, I met with Barudan, ZSK, SWF, Melco, Happy, Brother, and Tajima that I can remember), and I also visited with STAHLS, who had several presentations.
The cool thing about Impressions Expo is it’s free to attend only the expo hall if you register early. (Although, geez, it cost me an outrageous $20 to park in Fort Worth for the time I spent at the expo, so it was NOT totally free.)
Date: April 25-27, 2024 in Biloxi, MS
Everything Embroidery Market includes vendors and classes, focusing on machine embroidery, applique, sublimation, and even vinyl crafts.
I’ve never been, but the show’s website says you can find everything from heat press supplies to embroidery blanks.
It’s also perfect for learning skills like starting an embroidery, sublimation, or HTV business or expanding your current business.
Date: August 21-23, 2024 in Miami, FL
DecoSummit is a three-day meeting for apparel decorators (embroidery, sublimation, printing, etc.) to network, attend seminars, and catch up on industry news. Associated with Ricoma, the conference gives you hands-on experience with their machines and access to their staff.
- February 23-24, 2024 in Kansas City
- March 15-16, 2024 in Treasure Island, MN
- April 19-20, 2024 in Tinley Park, IL
Created for apparel decorators, the DAX trade shows focus on machine embroidery, screen printing, and other methods of digital garment decorating.
- March 7-9, 2024 in Irving, TX
- June 13-15, 2024 in Long Beach, CA
- July 10-12, 2024 in Greater Philadelphia (Oaks), PA
- October 3-5, 2024 in Indianapolis, IN
- November 7-9, 2024 in Charlotte, NC
The Graphics Pro Expo, put on by Graphics Pro magazine, helps businesses keep up with trends and products through exhibits and classes. Classes teach topics related to laser engraving, sublimation, screen printing, and more.
I don’t know how much it relates to machine embroidery, but I know that Barudan has exhibited at the Expo, so at least you’ll likely find Barudan machines there.
If you can’t physically make it to any machine embroidery events, you can still check out virtual events!
DIME offers virtual events all the time, and many of them are free.
While this show hasn’t happened recently due to COVID, I’m listing it here in case the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP) decides to restart their embroidery trade shows sometime soon!
Sewing Shows and Conventions
Most of these sewing expos and conventions also feature machine embroidery and quilting.
These differ from the above list in that they’re less focused on embroidery and more on sewing and quilting
Many include judged quilt shows and might be better suited to hobbyist crafters rather than some of the more business-focused embroidery and apparel meetings.
- Altlanta, GA: March 7-9, 2024
- Lakeland, FL: March 14-16, 2024
- Cleveland, OH: April 18-20, 2024
- New Orleans, LA: May 2-4, 2024
- Irving, TX: August 17-19, 2023 and August 1-3, 2024
- Fredericksburg, VA: September 28-30, 2023 and September 26-28, 2024
- Nashville, TN: October 5-7, 2023 and October 3-5, 2024
- Cincinnati, OH: October 12-14, 2023 and October 10-12, 2024
- Detroit, MI: November 9-11, 2023 and Novermber 14-16, 2024
I’ve loved going to our local Original Sewing & Quilt Expo and have done so for many years now!
In addition to a judged quilt contest, the event includes on-site classes and a vendor show floor. They also have door prizes (you must be present to win, which never happens because I have to be home to pick my kids up from school).
And, at least at the Irving show I’ve been to, all the local sewing dealers have machines and supplies for sewing, machine embroidery, and quilting.
I haven’t seen much about sublimation or digital cutting machines, though, and I sadly noticed the AccuQuilt offerings were sparse at the last show.
Unless you attend classes, it shouldn’t take more than a day to look at the quilt displays and booths.
Date: June 27-July 1, 2024 in San Francisco, CA
The American Sewing Guild’s annual conference has classes and shopping and will appeal to quilters, sewists, and machine embroiderers.
Their website says access to the vendor hall is free, so if you are local, you don’t have much to lose by stopping by!
Date: February 29 – March 3, 2024 in Puyallup, Washington
Per their website, the Sewing & Stitching Expo is the “largest annual gathering of the sewing community in the entire country.”
I’m super intrigued because I honestly didn’t think anything could get bigger than the International Quilt Festival I’ve been to in Houston!
Anyway, this seems to be a typical expo filled with a hall of vendors and lots of exciting classes covering sewing, embroidery, and quilting.
- January 25-27, 2024 Phoenix, AZ
- February 1-3, 2024 Albuquerque, NM
- March 21-23, 2024 Sacramento, CA
- April 11-13, 2024 Portland, OR
- May 9-11, 2024 Boise, ID
- May 16-18, 2024 Salt Lake City, UT
- May 30-June 1, 2024 Castle Rock, CO
- August 8-10, 2024 Roseville, CA
- August 29-31, 2024 Scottsdale, AZ
- October 10-12, 2024 Pleasanton, CA
- November 7-9, 2024 Tucson, AZ
- November 14-16, 2024 Puyallup, WA
Even though they do not prefer my beloved Oxford comma, the multiple Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festivals in the US are affordable and showcase fabric crafts like sewing, quilting, and other needle arts.
When I look at the website, they mention an exhibit hall filled with tons of crafty vendors, plus free demos with Make ‘N Takes.
Opening up online programs for different locations, it also looks like there are multiple free seminars at each city’s show.
- November 2-5, 2023 in Houston, TX
- October 31-November 3, 2024 in Houston, TX
This is the largest quilt festival I’ve ever been to, although I haven’t returned since moving away from Houston a decade ago.
It has a judged quilt show, tons of vendors, and so many classes and other fun things. This thing is HUGE, so wear comfortable shoes!
- September 21-24, 2023 in Florida
- August 30-September 1 in Tennessee
- Check out their cruises and retreats, also!
I first discovered this expo when we ironically happened to be in Grapevine the same weekend as the Texas expo.
Compared to other sewing conventions in my area, this was much smaller regarding vendors. However, the no-class entrance fee is fair, and there are many class options for sewing, quilting, and embroidery, which are a little pricier.
Date: February 22-25, 2024 in Raleigh, NC
Presented by the Modern Quilt Guild, QuiltCon is well-known as one of the more popular and best quilting shows.
I always try to check out the winners’ quilts online even though I’ve never attended because these quilts are crazy creative and fun. (Life goals, ya know!)
- February 21–24, 2024 in Daytona Beach, FL
- March 13–16, 2024 in Branson, MO
- April 24-27, 2024 in Paducah, KY
- August 21–24, 2024 in Grand Rapids, MI
- September 11–14, 2024 in Lancaster, PA
Put on by the American Quilt Society, these shows are also well-loved and include diverse vendors, a quilt show, and various classes.
In addition to sewing and quilting, their class lists specifically include a few for machine embroiderers.
- February 29-March 3, 2024 in Hampton, VA
- April 18-20, 2024 in Greenville, SC
- July 24-27, 2024 in Santa Clara, CA
- September 19-22, 2024 in Oaks, PA
Another well-known quilting show organization puts on these events, so you can check out these shows if you’re a quilter extraordinaire or sewing enthusiast.
Other Quilt Shows
I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so check out this US quilt show directory, which includes many, many local quilt shows and events.
And, international quilters can search for quilt shows in their countries on this helpful website.
Another resource for shows is to check with your local quilt guild (here’s a master list of quilt guilds). Many local quilt guilds will organize shows.
For example, one of the big metroplex guilds, the Quilter’s Guild of Dallas, puts on the Dallas Quilt Show each year, which is pretty big and worth attending if you’re local.
And that’s a wrap for my knowledge of sewing conventions and embroidery expos. Let me know of any other events you love in the comments, or feel free to lovingly remind me to update dates as time passes!