Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The show is over and all that is left to do is the final report, pack away pvc pipes and hooks, and pay the bills. It was a resounding success and all we heard were compliments. The only thing that could have been improved was the parking situation. Apparently a lot of students leave their cars on campus when they leave for Spring Break and those cars took up places that we could have used. Maybe next time we will offer valet parking, I think there are many people who would take advantage of that. Not me, I'm too cheap. And I can still walk without problems.

So here is the gym pre-setup. Very nice place, room for lots of quilts and vendors.

The truck from Reber-Friel showed up at 12:45PM, a few minutes early. I was overjoyed to see them and could feel the anxiety drain out of me. I could even eat my lunch.

The company is located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania which is near Philadelphia. It's nearly a 2 hour drive, so obviously they are willing to travel.

Unloading the equipment from the truck. The drapes were already threaded onto all the pipes. They came in and I pointed them in the right direction. Three hours later the system was entirely up and off they went.

Quilts began arriving at 3PM and my setup teams began hanging them. Every quilt had already been assigned a position and runners delivered them to their proper cubby.

You can see the tape on the blue floor mat. We did this because in previous years people caught their feet in the gaps on the mat. There is a tape designed specifically for taping these mats. It sticks very well, is quite sturdy, and comes up easily when you need to take it up.

Here is another view down the aisle. This looks sooooo professional.

The vendors were located around the outside wall of the gym.

Plenty of space for viewing the quilts.

This was serendipity. Because I could use 10 foot wide hanging walls, instead of only 8 with the previous system, there was a lot more room to hang the 285 quilts in the show. The original plan was to have a demonstration area along the outside wall, taking up 2 vendor slots. I was able to give them space on the quilt floor, more than what they had, and free up 2 more vendor slots. If I had figured that out sooner, we could have done more with this space than just demos. Next time, Make It and Take It classes!

Joan and Barb are thrilled with their space.

Attendance was better than ever before. Early reports on the receipts are extremely good. Everybody was just ecstatic about how wonderful the show looked. And it did look good. Having a professional pole and drape system makes a huge difference; takes the whole show out of the local-type show and puts it into a much higher category.

I sold some t-shirts, bamboo socks, and a 4"x4" mounted quilt in the Quiltique, the members' sale table. And oh joy! one of my quilts that was on display was purchased. The quilt is committed to the QSDS show in Columbus, Ohio at the Riffe Gallery, so she can't have it until late summer, but being in a show just enhances its value.

It was a strenuous weekend and I'm glad it's over. But it was a tremendous ego-booster for me. I got compliments all around on both the hanging of the show and my quilts that were featured. It was the perfect reward for all the hard work that went into the show. Not only my own hard work, but all the other committee chairs. In particular, the Publicity Committee did a spectacular job on publicizing the show. It doesn't matter how good the show looks or how many vendors are there if no one comes to the show. Publicity is the foundation that the rest of the show depends on. So thanks to one and all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My local quilt guild's show is this weekend. I am filled with anxiety. Why? Because my volunteer job is to plan and carry out the hanging of the quilts. This is the third time I've done this and don't ask why I keep re-volunteering. A perpetual problem for guild shows is the system used to hang the quilts. Years ago we made stands out of pvc pipes. They were a bit difficult to work with, they broke fairly easily so someone was always running out to Home Depot to buy new ones as we were hanging, and we had the problem of storing them for two years until the next show. As you can imagine, no one wants to store a truckload of pvc pipes in their attic or garage. We finally ended up paying someone to store them in her barn. Of course, when they were brought out for the show, they had to be washed. The hanging process would go on into the wee hours of the morning.

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.

The configuration of the poles and stands was confusing and weird things ended up happening:

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.