Then several years ago we decided to dump the pvc pipe system and rent poles and drapes from a professional pole and drape company. Except we still had to do the setup ourselves and those suckers were heavy! Too heavy for a bunch of middle aged and older women to be hauling around. And the hanging still went on into the wee hours.
Next we decided to rent a hanging system from another guild. They had wooden poles and stands and white sheets. They didn't deliver. So now the setup involved renting a truck, driving to the next county, loading up the truck, driving back, setting up the poles, then hanging the quilts. And we also had to wash all the sheets ahead of time. This was the first year I volunteered to chair this committee. I tapped into a skill from one of my former careers: working with databases. I was able to assign a location to every quilt and put that information into the database. Now I could manipulate it and print out reports. Every little hanging area got a printed page with information on what quilts were to be hung there, their exact position, and which type of hanging pole to use. Once the poles and stands were up, the hanging of the quilts went fairly quickly and we were out of there by 9pm. Of course, when the show was over, the poles, stands, and sheets had to be taken down, loaded back into the truck, and driven back to their storage locker. Costs involved the rental of the poles and the rental of the truck. We needed a fair number of husbands and sons to help with the heavy work.
People improvised when they couldn't figure out what to do. Some quilts had to be pinned to the sheets, which is not a very good presentation.
Something had to be done. So this year is going to be different. I contacted another pole and drape company, and it just happened to be one that has done the Mancuso shows in Philadelphia. They will bring in the system and set it up. Oh Joy! All we will have to do is hang the quilts. When the show is over, they will come back and take the poles and drapes away. More Joy! We will have hooks that go over the top poles and connect to the hanging pipes and nothing will need to be pinned to the drapes. Tomorrow is the big day. My anxiety level is pretty high mostly because this is the first time we've done this and I can easily think of a million things that can go wrong. I will be taking lots of pictures, not of quilts, but of the process. I think it will look very professional. Of course, it will cost more than the previous system, but when I think about all the labor involved and recruiting people, it's going to be worth it.