Final Prep for the Quilt Show Second Time Around booth

I have a relaxing morning (for an hour at least) before the buzz starts.  This weekend is the quilt show with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  (See previous post – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild presents Birds Blooms and Butterflies Quilt Show  )

Today I have to make a run to the church where our guild meets and “double check” the storage closet for items I might want to take to the show to sell.   We store things at the church for Second Time Around in between meetings, and I honestly don’t remember what I left in the closet since our March meeting.  After this leisurely morning things are going to “get hectic” !

This afternoon I have 3 people coming with their SUV’s to “load up” boxes.  We have over 40 boxes of fabric prepped for the show; so that takes a lot of space. ( My big lesson is to use the “SAME BOXES” so they stack and store easily.  I purchased bankers boxes last show and “between” shows they fold up and go into a couple of plastic totes.) My “drivers” will transport the boxes tomorrow morning to the school and  I will be there with a cart and a dolly to unload and roll into the small gym where my booth is located.  Three of us will do a lot of “staging” and preliminary set up of the booth before lunchtime.

I have 6 volunteers coming in the afternoon to help set the booth for the show. It is a VERY large booth so there is a lot to do.  When the show opens on Friday morning my volunteers will work in 2 hour shifts (5 or 6 at a time) in the booth helping shoppers; checking out customers; bagging purchases etc.    I’ve spent the last 2 months “organizing” all those schedules; booth plans etc in between getting the fabric ready.  Thank goodness for the people who have come once or twice a week in the last year to iron; trim; measure fold and price fabric donations.

I’m an “organizer” and I make lists and spreadsheets to keep it all straight; use a 3 ring binder and hope for the best results. The best part of our guild is that people volunteer readily. We have about 275 members and I am guessing I have had 30 different people helping me throughout the year. During the show I have close to 40 volunteers helping just with my booth. Amazing people, so willing to sign up and SHOW up.

My co-chair and I worked several days last week getting the final bits ready for our Second Time Around Booth.  Yesterday we got together and made up some “starter kits” to build your own wreath.  Back in February some of us got together and had fun with wire wreath frames; odds & ends from the sewing room and the hot glue gun. (See the photos and story at – Fun with buttons and more   )

We made 8 starter kits with instructions and the wire wreath.  In the kit we included some ribbon or lace to wrap the wreath; some old spools of thread, lots of buttons and other notions like bobbins and embroidery floss.  Our “marketing plan” is to display 3 or 4 of the wreaths we made in February near the kits!

I needed some signs for the quilt show to “promote” some of the unusual things we have to sell –

Scrap sign

We have a PLAYPEN full of BIG scraps and wanted to give people ideas on how to use them!


We have a PLAYPEN full of neckties too —

Signs for ties

Nancy made the zipper pouches, small purse and glasses case all from ties.  She is so creative.  Yesterday she sent me a picture of a wreath she made with ties. We will hang it at the show to inspire others!

You might remember that I have been sorting buttons for a while. I mentioned it in March on this  button post  . (It is like a “zen” time for me sorting buttons; by color and type etc….) I have had trays of buttons and cupcake tins and small containers on my dining room table for over a month. I bagged up all the “same” buttons in groups of 10 and 6 and the “unmatched buttons” all ended back into a shoebox sized plastic container.  At the show we will have about 15 baskets of buttons for sale that are bagged or carded along with the “loose” buttons.  I struggle with how to sell them and settled on a “fill the bag” method.


We all have those buttons at home; and wonder how to “use” them.  A few months ago I made a little “button art” project on a 4″x6″ canvas – and I thought I would set it on a tiny easel at the show to inspire.

Button art

After dinner I “played” with buttons for a bit.  I had a  styrofoam Christmas tree and got the glue and straight pins; a paintbrush and tweezers out.  I used the paintbrush to apply the white glue on the back of the button and the tweezers to hold it to keep my fingers from getting glue all over them.  This little button tree took me about an hour and I was just playing. In hindsight I think I should have painted it with green “before” I started.  I really enjoy playing with buttons with interesting shapes.  

Button tree

I hope we inspire the quilters to venture beyond the fabric and do something with buttons and ties and scraps at the show. I have been having fun with these little projects.  I know the blog has been pretty quiet these last few months too.  I am still recovering from hand surgery and hope to be “back to myself” soon.  (Typing with that one finger in a splint has ruined my  60 words a minute skill!)  My quilting efforts have been on the back burner for months too.  After the quilt show I am taking some time for “me to sew” again.   Thanks for following and your comments too!  Feel free to share the info on our quilt show with your friends.


Do you love buttons?

I can’t bring myself to get rid of all these containers of buttons that are donated to the quilt guild.  Shoe boxes, metal tins, ziplock bags, all full of buttons.  Hundreds and hundreds!    I am guessing I have over 20,000 buttons around, waiting for someone to love them!

They are HARD TO SELL at the meetings, because everyone seems to have a bin “just like it” at home. I’ve had “notion” sales at the guild meeting and the buttons sell here and there, but not a lot at a time.

And not all Quilters are crafters!  (I am the first to raise my hand and pronounce I am ‘not crafty’)

I was in Old Town Alexandria Virginia in January and saw “VINTAGE BUTTONS” for sale.

Vintage buttons for sale

There were many on cards, and I thought hmmm…..maybe I am underpricing my carded buttons.  I can’t give them away for 50 cents for 6 buttons or 10 cents for 3 buttons. Maybe I should RAISE the price…..

I’ve sorted and bagged matching buttons. I’ve got 4 cupcake tins full of sorted buttons right now to bag up.  Talk about labor intensive.  The more I sort, the more I love the buttons!  Should I raise the price and rebrand them as “vintage”.  Surely they are!  The metal buttons are my favorite!

  What to do???

My 2nd Time Around Co-chair and I have been pondering the question!  How to get people excited about buttons and ways to use them, beyond your typical garment sewing. How to sell them?   We are getting ready for the  Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show   on April 26 & April 27, 2019.  My 2nd Time Around committee is going to have a huge booth with lots of fabric for sale.  We are also going to SELL these buttons!  But before they sell, we have to INSPIRE people to buy them!

We’ve been looking at ideas  for crafting with buttons on Pinterest – and I have a “few pins” – Button Fun!

We made a few projects and I wrote about them here Feeling a little crafty   and here Fun with buttons and More!

Carole at  From My Carolina Home  has a great blog post today called Buttonmania Strikes Again !!  Over the years she has posted some very clever projects using buttons.  Oh, yes, she has a Pinterest board too and gives you “fair warning” about going down that rabbit hole!  (I have to set a 20 minute timer when I start on Pinterest).

So, all that said, there is no lack of creative ways to USE these buttons!

We have decided to sell the loose buttons at the show in a “fill a bag” manner.  A big bin of buttons to look through and square snack bags to load up with your treasures for $1.  We are going to display our “sewing room wreaths” to inspire others, and between now and then perhaps make a few more “button crafts”.

The other fun thing we are going to do is make “wreath kits”. Quart size bag full of assorted threads and notions, buttons and lace so you can build your “own” wreath.  We will make just a limited number and see if there is an interest.

Do you have a button box?  What do you save them for?  Have you done any button crafting?  Would you share your ideas?

Don’t forget to hop over to Carole’s blog post and when you comment, tell her I sent you there!

Happy crafting with buttons!

Be sure to check out the  OWQG SHOW  page.  Victoria Findlay Wolfe  is coming and has a special exhibit and lecture and trunk show! She is a spectacular quilter and teacher!  Check out her website –                                     


Visiting the 2018 Quilter’s Unlimited Show

Fair Warning — PHOTO INTENSE!

In early June I had the opportunity to attend the Quilters Unlimited Show, held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly Virginia. Our guild, Ocean Waves Quilt Guild took a bus full of members and guests  to the show.  It was a great opportunity to look at a LARGE show put on by a single guild.  

QU has many chapters and has a very strong foundation in place for this annual show.  Of course, like most big shows, there were lots of vendors, and I indulged myself and purchased a few fat quarters (ahhhemm). Shhh…don’t tell how many!  I had a good time walking around and seeing new products and watching demonstrations .  

A quilter I have mentioned in the past, Cheryl Lynch, of Cheryl Lynch Quilts had a booth and was doing a demonstration of her mini mosaic patterns along with the technique and her special ruler for cutting those little 3/8″ chicklets.   Cheryl also sells her unique ruler called Curvalicious.

You might remember my post in April when I was working on a mini mosaic – (which is still a UFO….the mosaic is finished, I just need to get back to it to put on the border and get the grouting done……)

Cheryl is also the one who taught me the technique to make my quilt, Mittens, which was all I raved about during 2016 & 2017. One quick search for the keyword, Mittens, on my blog will keep you busy for an hour!  

 Anyway, I am rambling….I like Cheryl, and her design techniques and products and methods.  So, it was FUN to run into her and chat for a minute.  She had a VERY busy booth, so I hope that meant sales were brisk!  

I had free motion quilting at the front of my brain when I was looking at the beautiful quilts in this show.  This is the 3rd time I have been to a Q.U. show, and the work is always impressive.  This time, I decided I would take photo’s of the quilting, close up, to help me when I start looking for ideas of how to quilt an area on my own quilts.  I’m going to share a lot of photo’s….after all…it WAS a quilt show!  There were a few quilts that I liked the overall design of and were inspiring.  This first quilt was interesting because of the way the light was hitting the cross.  I thought it was well executed.

Resurrection Morning by Janice Kibat

Resurrection Morning by Janice Kibat

This next quilt I liked because of it’s unusual quilting on such a modern quilt –

quilt at the Quilters unlimited show, Chantilly VA - June 2018

I failed to snap the maker of the quilt’s name.  At a distance the quilting almost looks like chevrons, but up close, the design becomes apparent. 

Interesting quilting design

The next quilt was a tumbler block quilt.  The diagonal quilting with a variegated thread was interesting.

Diagonal quilting on a tumbler block quilt

It looked to me like the wavy stitch went from corner to corner of the neutral tumbler blocks, and was one of those built in machine stitches.  I have several on my Janome 8900 that I have used like this wavy stitch.  The circle flowing line and circle was done free hand and I like that there were 2 rows of that motif between the wavy stitch. 

I liked the overall look of this whimsical modern take on applique 

Modern approach to applique

What really caught my eye was the folk art design, and the whimsy of the birds or flowers, or stems  “escaping” from the confines of the block!    

A close up look at the border will show you how those circles that are appliqued on and are just floating over the edges were quilted.

Love the pebbles and the circles.

I would need a LOT of practice before I tackled pebbles on a big quilt like this!

This underwater quilt was a great project for using large scale prints of a similar motif.  

Fish quilt

Sorry for the blur, but it is an underwater quilt…..  😉  What I liked about the quilting is it “felt like waves” giving the quilt movement, softening up the hard edges of the blocks.  What I like about the overall look of the quilt is that the maker used colors from the focus print to make the surrounding border of the block. The quilter took all of these uniquely different fish fabrics and now they swim in harmony.  

waves and bubbles

 I loved the “wavy lines” and the “bubbles” in the quilting. 

bubbles and waves

I could be inspired to do this once I master circles.  Love the variegated thread too. It doesn’t jump out at you, it just subtly changes color. On some of the busier prints, you almost can’t see the quilting. 

The quilting in the next quilt gives great complexity to what might otherwise be a very simple quilt –

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg Outstanding

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg 

The description on the display card give you information about the quilter and her process –

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg

Did you notice the little wooden birds stitched onto the quilt? While my friends and I were looking closely at this quilt and admiring it, talking about all the elements we saw in the quilting (the hearts, flowers, birds, etc) we were overheard by another quilter who indicated she had met the quilt maker. Next thing we knew, we were being introduced to Marisela !  We were also told Marisela had another quilt on exhibit and we should go look for it too!  

Quilted birds - A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg

Turns out, we had just seen it – and I was photographed with the quilt.

"I can fly" by Marisela Rumberg

“I CAN FLY” by Marisela Rumberg

Where I am standing the quilt was blank. My friends suggested my shirt color was perfect to become “part of the butterfly”. 

I don’t want to overwhelm you so I will save the remaining photos for another post.  I admired a lot of lovely quilts, and studied the quilting, knowing I had a long road ahead if I wanted to quilt like any of these.  I do believe you “have to start somewhere & practice”.  

What do you look for when you go to a quilt show?  Is it something different each time?  Do you spend your time studying the quilts or more time shopping with the vendors?  Are you often surprised at the quilts you see on display?  I know I am!

DISCLAIMER – These photos are of quilts made by SOMEONE else….not me!  Please don’t ask me for the pattern.   When I was able, I photographed the information card next to the quilt. All credit for the quilts goes to the quilter and the guild. (Read the captions and the story about the quilts from the beginning please!)