State of the Industry Presentation and Panel Discussion - FREE AND OPEN TO ALL

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 5:30-6:30 PM


What is occurring in the Quilting Industry today? Who, What, and Where are today’s quilters, what are their preferences, what are the current trends in quilting? Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, educator, blogger/influencer, or consumer, this insightful hour will provide relevant information to where the quilting industry is today and where we are heading in the future.


Suzanne Hyland 
Quilts, Inc. Director of Education and Industry Relations
Join us for a discussion with a panel of industry leaders and innovators as they share important insights from the 2020 Quilting Survey (sponsored by Premier Needle Arts) of more than 800,000 quilters, discuss the contemporary business climate, and offer advice on how to best align your strategy and navigate the ever-changing consumer marketplace. A short twenty minute presentation highlighting key information from the survey will be provided, followed by an open dialogue Q&A session, moderated by Suzanne Hyland, Quilts, Inc. Director of Education and Industry Relations.



Our panelists


Stan Gray

Chairman, EE Schenck Company


With 52 years of experience, Stan has witnessed major changes in the textile industry. He  started his career working in EE Schenck’s warehouse while attending college. In 1981, he purchased the company and grew it to be one of the largest wholesale distributors of fabrics and notions while servicing independent businesses worldwide. Responding to voids he saw in the market, Stan started several brands that are distributed by EE Schenck Company, including Maywood Studio, Galaxy, Elite, and EESCO Basics. Stan’s passion for the product and the industry has kept him involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, as well as serving on the Quilt Market Advisory Council.


Mark Hyland

CEO, Premier Needle Arts


Mark is a marketing, sales, and corporate executive with 27 years of experience building brands and successful organizations. Mark’s hands-on leadership style found him implementing branding, product development, consumer marketing,  strategic direction, and execution guidance for multi-million/billion dollar brands and companies. For the past 15 years, he has immersed himself in the quilting industry. Today, the Premier Needle Arts quilting community includes Connecting Threads, Golden Threads, Handi Quilter, Pro-Stitcher, Superior Threads, and Quilt Pro Systems. Mark sits on several industry Boards of Directors, including the National Quilt Museum and Quilt Market Advisory Council, and was a panelist at the inaugural Threads of Success conference.


Heidi Kaisand

Publisher, American Quilt Retailer


Heidi has more than 40 years of crafting experience, with 25 years spent as a professional quilter. She is the publisher of the bi-monthly American Quilt Retailer, a print and online trade publication serving independent quilt shop owners and industry professionals. Prior to that, she was the National Sales Manager for American Professional Quilting Systems and the Editor at American Patchwork & Quilting . Heidi frequently gives wide-ranging presentations and lectures about the quilting industry. And she herself is a retail store owner/teacher with Hen & Chicks Studio, serving quilters and scrapbookers. She also leads and facilitates class retreats, serves on the Quilt Market Advisory Council, and was a panelist at the inaugural Threads of Success conference.



Kris Thurgood

Owner, My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe


Kris is a shopowner in Logan and Sandy, Utah, and has been a monthly contributor to the home and lifestyle show KSL’s Studio 5 for the past 10 years. Formerly the co-host of The DIY Dish, she has also appeared on The Nate Berkus Show and The Rachael Ray Show. Kris, her husband, Mike, and their four children reside in North Logan, Utah.