Tag Archives: quilt show

My First Quilt Show Vendor Experience

Well I now have one quilt show under my belt. I signed up (for the first time) to be a vendor at our local guild’s quilt show. This show happens the first weekend of May each year. It is a pretty good size show with maybe 250 quilts to look at and about 1100 visitors coming through over the course of the show. I was a bit nervous as I had absolutely no idea what to expect.  Overall, I would classify my experience as a huge success!

We set up my 10′ x 10′ booth on Friday afternoon.  My sister, Patti, came up for the weekend to help me. It was such a  treat to work with her and just be able to hang out with her over the long weekend. She came up Thursday morning and we spent the afternoon doing a bit of a dry run in my garage. We laid out the tables, hung the banner, and selected a few smaller props that I had gathered to see what we could fit. On Thursday night, with the help of my wonderful husband (a packing genius who can fit so very much into small, tight spaces), we got everything packed up in our two cars. Ray has a truck which would have fit everything but I really don’t like driving it so we decided to use our two smaller cars.

Hard at work!

Friday morning found us wrapping up a few details and drinking way too much coffee before heading out to pick up Julia from school.  As luck would have it, she had an early dismissal. Having the three of us to unload cars and set up the booth was great. If I had done it myself it would have been a lot more work. Strength in numbers, right?

Thanks for all of the help Patti!!

The show ran from 10 am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. It took a harrowing 45 minutes for the first sale to occur. I was sure we should just pack up and go home (maybe I was being  a bit overly anxious?)

Oh no! Where is everybody??

Once that sale happened, it all just started to flow. We had steady customers up through the last hour. Hurray!!  By the end of Saturday afternoon we were ready to go home and have a glass of wine. We reviewed the day and thought of a few things to change for Sunday.

One thing I noted was we were selling so much yardage and very few precuts. The precuts were too low, out of the line of vision for our customers. Additionally, the FQ’s and FQ bundles were packed too tightly so it wasn’t enjoyable to look through them.

On Sunday morning we moved a few things around. I took the FQ bundles and stacked them on top of the bolts I had cut them from. This way if a shopper was admiring a bolt of something or other, the bundle was right there. It worked out wonderfully and Sunday we sold both yardage and a lot of FQ bundles. I also moved a few of the collections around to see if I would get better attention to some of the bolts that we had not seen any action on Saturday. This was also successful.

While at the show I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the vendors were with each other. They encouraged me and answered any questions I had once they knew I was a newbie at this. I shouldn’t have been surprised since we are all part of this quilting community, which we all know to be incredibly kind. I had thought since we were (in some ways) competing with each other, it might not be this way.

Also, three different quilt guilds invited me to have a booth at their shows! It had been my hope that I would make some connections and it certainly happened. I have a show scheduled for September, another for November, and the third is next year. This means I have some time to work out any kinks from this show, making the next experience smoother.

As far as selling fabric, I was pleased to see how receptive my customers were to the lines I am carrying. I had a great deal of positive feedback. There were no other vendors carrying Andover or Art Gallery fabric. I live in a traditional area and normally one sees lots of repro and novelty fabric at this show. There was also a booth featuring brightly colored Timeless Treasure paired up with black and white bolts. The most popular fabric in my booth was the Maker Maker linen/cotton blend line and the Gossamer line by Sharon Holland. I completely sold out of a few bolts which was delightful. Also, the newest line I have, Dreamer, by Carrie Bloomston (Andover fabric) was very popular.

I had fun posting progress pictures on Instagram. All of you were so encouraging to me along the way. Now I have a significant amount of tidying up to do in my shop as this week gets back to normal.

I will be posting an update soon on the Sew Along that will commence at the end of June. I want some feedback on the pattern choice.  Also, at the very end of May, I will have the fourth installment of my Meet the Designer series for you (and there might just be a giveaway involved in this one!) Enough for now, I have lots of boring housework to do after ignoring it all of last week. I keep telling myself if I get the chores done today, I can sew tomorrow. That seems fair, doesn’t it?

Getting Ready

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend preparing for a quilt show coming up this weekend. I decided to attend the show as a vendor and several months ago, I bought a booth for the vendor area. I got the smallest size booth they have and will give it a go.  My wonderful sister is coming to help me – this way if it is busy I will have help and if it is slow, she will commiserate with me.  Win-win for me!  She has great ideas and is very talented as a decorator so she has been a huge help as I collect what I need for the booth.

I used some green Ta Dot fabric (Michael Miller) and a piece of Crescent Bloom by Anna Maria Horner to make two work aprons for Patti and I to wear.   (Both of these fabrics are still available in my shop, though there is very little left.) The aprons were really a quick project and I just sort of made them up as I went. Check out the measuring tape twill that I used for the waist and the apron strings.  So cute! (Have to say the apron looks a whole lot cuter on my model than on me!!  🙂  )

Using the same fabrics, I made a bunting to hang across the front of one of the tables. Love these colors and they coordinate well with my logo.

Because this is my first time, I am trying not to spend tons of money. I did have to get a few things though. I am going for a bright, colorful look which will hopefully invite those shoppers to come and browse. You probably remember the banner I posted a few weeks ago.  My husband made me a frame with PVC pipe yesterday to hang it from.   People will definitely see that banner!

Pricing, oh my gosh — all the pricing that needed to be done. I have a small assortment of stitchery kits and a few projects for kids to make. Summer is coming and I thought it might be fun for some of the women to work on simpler projects with their grandchildren or children, as the case may be.  I made up a sample of this little pincushion kit. Isn’t it sweet? The kit includes everything needed so I think a young person could be quite successful making this. I have also marked a large assortment of fat quarter bundles and had to put pricing on the bolts (something I don’t normally do since it is just me down here in my little shop.)

Fat quarters! I have cut all sorts of fat quarters. This is a gamble because I have no idea how many will sell. I hesitate to cut too many because than my fabric is chopped up. But I have a good size collection. I think I would rather run out than bring home a billion fat quarters. If you are a local reader, I hope you will come by and say hi on Saturday or Sunday at the quilt show.  Members of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild will enjoy a 15% discount this weekend. Hurray for being in the guild!

Finally, let’s all congratulate Sally! Her name was pulled as the winner of the giveaway of a copy of No Scrap Left Behind. Sally, I have sent you an email.  Please respond in the next day or two. If I don’t hear from you, I will pull another name on Wednesday. Thanks so much for all of the comments and ideas on scrap storage. So many of us do keep scraps but there were a handful of honest quilters out there who don’t choose to keep them. It’s all good!  Those that don’t want them seem to give them to their guild members or other quilty friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! There are still more bloggers sharing their projects on the blog hop this week. Keep checking them out and maybe you will still add a copy of the book to your library!

I doubt I will post again this week. I still have quite a bit to do in preparation for the show. Hopefully, I will be back to tell you of a successful experience after the show!

Linking these finishes up to my favorite linky parties. Check out the tab Link Ups at the top of the page.

 

Downieville Quilt Show Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of working at the quilt show up in Downieville. I recently joined their quilt guild, Mountain Star Quilters, so that I could meet some of the women in town and get to know more quilters. One cannot possibly have enough quilting friends! The MSQ guild holds a quilt show every other year. On the alternate year, the guild hosts a quilt retreat in Downieville. It was at this retreat last fall that I found the little house we bought and have been renovating. (You can read about that experience here and here.)

This quilt show is such a nice event. MSQ is a small guild located in a charming small town. There are about 25 active guild members. This year’s show held over 100 quilts which is impressive considering the size of the group. In addition to local quilter’s showing their pieces, we also had the treat of hanging a traveling collection of challenge quilts from a 2014 Hoffman challenge. This is the second show we have had where we shared a traveling collection. I think it is really wonderful to have access to collections like this in such a rural area. It is a long ways (maybe 2 hours?) to the nearest large city so it isn’t easy to attend the larger shows that might feature quilting from artists such as these.  Here are two of my favorites from this collection.

This one, titled Big Top, held my attention for such a long time. The quilting on it is spectacular.

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Some of it must have been done with an embroidery machine but other parts were thread sketched. The precision of her stitching is fantastic.

hoffman close up

Titled, Free Floating, this piece features appliqued jellyfish that sparkle. The quilter used great thread choices and placed tulle over the top of this piece. It exudes a peaceful feeling. I especially love that the coral extends into the border.  Just lovely.

hoffman jellyfish

Looking at the quilts, I was surprised that my favorites were really the simplest quilts. This blue and white quilt with clean, crisp lines is gorgeous.

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The quilt below won Best of Show in its size category (visitors voted for their favorites since this was not a juried show.)

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The quilter appliqued small. roughly circular pieces of floral fabric and then hand stitched embellishments and outlines to define them into flowers. The entire background is hand quilted with random stitches which provided a great texture. The background thread was lightly variegated for a fantastic effect.

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I kept coming back to this piece to look at all of the hand work. I can’t really imagine doing something this intense. It was gorgeous and the viewers kept returning to it as well. There was a short story posted alongside of the quilt explaining the the quilter made this while sitting with her father who was very ill. He helped to pick out the floral fabrics and shapes with her. I am sure this quilt holds a great deal of emotion for her.

The show was a lot of fun and I met so many appreciative people, wandering the show and oohing and ahhing over all of the work put into the quilts. One thing that really impressed me was when I went back to the show at the end of the day to help tear it down. As I said, this guild is quite small. I was truly surprised to see how many people came to help at the end. There must have been at least 25 people (including many guild members’ husbands) there to take everything down and sort the quilts for return to the owners. It took about 30 minutes to do. Amazing.

While we were up there, Ray and I took a hike. It was a gorgeous fall day. While walking along the river, Ray spotted this Blue Heron standing oh-so-quietly off to the side. He was gorgeous.

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We watched him for a long while and then I asked Ray to make some noise so he would fly off. It was spectacular to see his wingspan. The picture below doesn’t do him justice, but I am sharing it anyway.  🙂

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Wishing everyone a wonderful week with some creativity mixed in!

Linking to Connie at Freemotion by the River and Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts. Both sites have links above, click on Link Ups.

The Plan for May

OK, May is going to be busy. We have my daughter’s 14th birthday (yikes!). I have a family trip planned that lasts nearly one week and we have my daughter-in-law’s graduation from medical school (double yikes!!)  Lots of activity going on so I am trying to be reasonable.

My main goal for the month  (which will by my ALYOF goal for May) has to be the completion of my Allison Glass Mini Quilt. The swap has to be mailed out in the first part of June so this needs to be at the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a problem as the top of the mini is done. I need to make the back and quilt it up. I want to make the quilting shine and as I still consider myself a newbie, I need to spend some time with this. I also want to make an “extra” giftie to include with the mini using some of the Allison Glass scrap.  Here is what I have left to make the backing with as well as an extra. I should have plenty of fabric.

IMG_20150504_3260 Second to the Allison Glass Mini is a custom order I am doing for a friend. She frequently has her granddaughters for the night and they sleep in bunkbeds. She asked me to make two hanging bags so they can have books and stuffies up on the bunk with them. The bags will hang from the rails of the beds. These are already cut and 1/2 way done so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing them up. Hoping to do that this week. I am using a polka dot twill by Riley Blake and lining the bags with the lovely “Wander Woods” print from Wee Wander.

Third on the list is to make this month’s row for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt that I am doing with Mari over at Academic Quilter as my RSC15 project.  Tomorrow she will post the block that is to be made for this month. Luckily May’s color is green – I love green and have a bundle of scraps for it.

That is it for goals. Anything that is accomplished beyond that is a bonus.

This weekend was our local quilt show. It was great fun and so inspiring. I want to share the quilt that won Best of Show. This local artist, Sandra Bruce, is amazing. I posted about a class that I took with her last spring to learn her process called “Material Matrix”. It is a great process that takes a photo and divides it into patchwork squares by overlaying a grid on it. Sandra is an excellent teacher and a brilliant artist. Her portrait of Clair is approximately 4′ x 5′. Really striking, it is a perfect portrait of this sweet girl. When I was oohing and ahhing over the portrait, Sandra pointed out Clair to me. I asked her to pose for a picture and, while she probably thinks I am some sort of stalker, she did it for me.

IMG_20150503_3257Below is a closer look at the quilt. Sandra’s ability to create the human expression with bits of fabric never ceases to amaze me. If I remember correctly, she used 2 1/2″ squares to create this. Click on the link above if you want to check out her gallery. She does travel and teach so you never know, maybe she’ll be in your area some time. If she is, it’s totally worth your time to work with her for a day or two!

IMG_20150503_3258Finally, have you seen the list for some of the instructors at 2016 Quilt Con??? This was in today’s issue of the Modern Quilt Guild  Newsletter. Absolutely. Amazing. I am so excited and am considering whether this might be my first time attending. It is in Southern CA in February of 2016 so it would be fairly easy for me to attend.

quilt con teachers

Big question is, how would a person even choose which one(s) to take a class with??? Most of my quilty heros are in this line up. It’s too good to be true!!  Are you going?  C’mon, you have a nearly a year to figure it out!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, FreeMotion by the River and ALYOF at Sew Bittersweet Designs.

 

 

 

Putting myself out there

This weekend is the annual quilt show for our local guild. I love this event – wandering around and looking at everyone’s work is absolutely inspiring. It is also intimidating. Depending on my mood that day, I might come away thinking, “wow, I want to make something like that” or it might be, “dang, why can’t I quilt like that?” Hopefully I can refrain from comparing my abilities with that of others this weekend and just enjoy all of the gorgeous quilts that will be displayed.

I am pushing myself a bit and hanging two of my quilts. I didn’t enter them to be judged, they are just being shown. I don’t think it is a good idea to have a quilt judged unless that was the plan from the get go. There are so many little details that need to be done properly if a quilt is to be judged and since I didn’t make these two pieces with that in mind, I am only showing them. This is the first time I have shown my quilts at our local show (or any show, for that matter.)  It is a little scary and makes me feel kind of exposed. I have a quilting buddy that is also entering a couple of her pieces to show for the first time so at least we are in this together!

Today I made hanging sleeves and labels for them. I decided to show my modern quilt, Garden Patch, because I think it is unusual and I am very happy with it overall.

Garden Patch May, 2014

Garden Patch
May, 2014

The other quilt that I chose is the Aurifil BOM quilt that I finished in December. The colors are bold, vibrant and eye-catching. I love (most of) the blocks and the scrappy binding sets it off well.  I regret having washed this quilt as it is soft and crinkled now. Does that affect how it will show?  Not sure…. I will have a go at pressing it to see if that helps.

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At the quilt show we always have a silent auction booth. I made a fabric basket using the “one  hour basket” pattern over at Kelby Sews. The fabric was actually a piece leftover from a tablecloth that I have. I accidentally bought the wrong size tablecloth so I had to cut a substantial length off of it. The fabric is heavy and strong so the shape of the basket holds nicely.

fabric basket Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it when I filled it.  It was stuffed with five fat quarters, a new Easy Quilts Magazine, loads of chocolate, a sweet pair of embroidery scissors and some of those pins with the flat flower heads.  Hopefully it will bring in a few dollars for the guild.

I am looking forward to this weekend. Lots of friends, quilts, and of course, fabric vendors. Sounds good to me!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion by the River, and Let’s Bee Social.  Links to all three of these sites are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups. One more link up – Show and Tell Tuesday.  Hope you’ll stop by some of these sites and peruse some of the projects that are shared on each.