Quilt Show success!

The quilt show for Ocean Waves Quilt Guild happened “last” weekend.  If you are a “regular reader” you know I have spent “months” getting ready as part of my role in the guild with the Second Time Around committee.

Lots of donated fabric came in; and lots of volunteers have been over to my house to press trim, measure, price and fold fabric for the show.  The end result was over  40 boxes of fabric to be set up and displayed and sold for the good of the Guild. This helped offset some of the overhead of putting on a very professional looking show by the Guild. It’s an expensive endeavor and the costs continue to climb for things like rental of pipe & drape; programs, insurance etc.

A guild holds the show for several reasons in my opinion – 1) to have a local place for members to display their quilts in a public setting; 2) to share with the community all of the amazing talent; 3) to raise money for the guild to offset the cost of the speakers and teachers  who come to  monthly meetings and to help finance  charitable efforts.  A show of the scale that our Guild puts on is huge. Over 300 quilts; 30+ vendors, and over 1300 attendees and a national speaker is a lot to manage.  Our show chairs did an amazing job.

You can see, the Second Time Around committee is just one of the many “moving parts” and without all the numerous volunteers, we could not have been as successful as we were.  If you were one of the volunteers working with Second Time Around, over the last week or year, I can’t thank you enough.  If you donated fabric to the Guild, your items were well received.

Here is a “peak” at some of the activity from my little part of the show!  2 days before the show opened, I had drivers come with SUV’s and “load up” with boxes and totes.  Banker boxes are the perfect size for our age group of 60+ backs to lift and carry. Fabric is HEAVY!

Loading up for the show

The morning before the show; those same drivers delivered to the school where the show was held.  I had them come at staggered times so we could get them unloaded and the boxes etc into the building. Preliminary set up of the booth was done by 3 of us.

Setting up for the show

We staged boxes where we needed them so when the “volunteer work crew” came in the afternoon they could start right up setting the tables. We used dollies and carts to get all the totes and boxes into the building; step ladders to hang our signs and display items on the pipe & drape, milk crates and baskets to create risers and elevation for display, and several bolts of muslin to “cover” the bigger school tables. Those tables that are provided for each “booth” by the pipe & drape company are narrow and short; so we arranged for additional “school” tables and that really helped to fill our  40 ft booth.  We also used 2 playpens for our “fill a bag” with scraps and ties.

Setting this all up and making multiple trips to the drop off point outside the school gave us ALL some exercise!

Fitbit busy day

Every one of us got a good “workout” for the set up day!

If you click in on the photo below; you will see some signs with our pricing and “suggestions” on how to use scraps & ties.  For more info, you can look back at my earlier post Final Prep for the Quilt Show that has details on those signs

2nd Time Around Booth for the Quilt Show

The string quilt top in the photo below is one of mine hanging to “spark ideas” for scraps.

Second Time Around Booth OWQG

We had a serger donated and we sold it; along with LOTS of fat quarters.  My team did a great job “marketing” the booth.

Serger for sale at show

We had lots of panels to sell and figured the drying rack was an effective way to put them on display!

2nd Time around booth

We even sold “wreath kits” for the wreaths we had made back in January. (More on those on my post here – Feeling a little crafty ).  They SOLD OUT!  We also sold 2 vintage quilts and were delighted when the appraiser came over and offered a pricing suggestion.

All in all; set up day went well, and the next 2 days of the show were a blur of sales. By 2 pm on Friday; all 40+ boxes of fabric were out on the table for sale.  The volunteers were restocking as fast as I was “ringing the cash register”.    The “shopping baskets” I got at Dollar Tree were a huge hit. The volunteers handed baskets to shoppers.  We sold bags and bags of scraps and ties and buttons.

My only opportunity to walk around and look at the quilts in the main gym was on set up day for a few minutes, while they were still being hung. I did get to look closely at the quilts in the smaller gym where my booth was located. My phone for taking pictures was unavailable to me because it was being used for “credit card” transactions. So; no show pictures to share.  If you are a Facebook user, you can take a peek at the photo’s shared by someone from a nearby guild – Quilters by the Sea Guild Ocean Pines MD

When the show ended on Saturday; the volunteers “did the work” boxing up anything that was left-over. We did NOT bring much home. Take down was in the hands of my co-chair, Nancy. She kept everything organized while I dealt with getting money counted and turned in. Thankfully my dear hubby was there for the worst of the loading and organizing into vehicles.  Those racks; baskets; step ladders; extra folding table; stool; cash register and empty boxes all had to be “brought back home”.

We had taken a load of boxes home on set up day; and after all was unloaded at home; we broke them all back down to store in a giant tote for “the next show”.  Leftover fabric will end up back at the quilt guild in September when we resume selling at the 2nd Time Around tables before the meetings.  I plan on taking a break for a month or more after the show. I want to do a little sewing!  More about that next post!

Thanks to the 280 members at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild for the fantastic work making quilts to show and for all your hard work putting on a very successful show. My eyes glazed over seeing the work of the members, and then I saw the quilts.  

Curious – does your guild do shows?  Have you ever been involved in the organization of a show?  Do tell.  

Stinky donated fabric

Regular readers know that I do the Second Time Around for my quilt guild. We take in donations, and preparing it to be resold to guild members at our monthly meetings.  I’m in my 3rd year of this activity, and I have run into a BIG problem!

I want / need ADVICE  —  Backstory – I picked up a giant container of fabric donated to the guild.  A SMOKER donated it to the church, who donated to the guild. Thankfully, the secretary at the church warned me it was smelly.  The container was so big and heavy, it took two of us and a cart to get it to the car, and then we split it into 3 containers, so we could lift them. We got our first whiff while we were standing in the parking lot.  I made sure to close the containers tightly when we put them in the back of the SUV.

When I got home, I had to get it out of my car and out of the garage due to the stench.  I opened the containers outside and further split the piles of fabric to get some fresh air around the fabrics.   It made my eyes water, and started me sneezing and coughing. I let it sit outside my garage for 4 hours in the fresh air.  Those boxes are going outside again this morning for another round of fresh air.

I did a little google research and discovered that VINEGAR is the trick, if the item is washable.  The recommendation was 1 cup of vinegar to a load.  (My hubby has lots of vinegar in the garage because he makes weed spray with it..another Google research project).

I sorted out one color, GREEN, and brought it in the house to wash. I soaked it for 2 hours in the washer with hot water, and 4 cups of vinegar.  I increased the quantity of vinegar because the stench was terrible.  After it soaked, and rinsed, I washed it with hot water and laundry soap, and softener.  I also put in 4 color catchers during the 1st soak. (Good thing too!!).   After the 2nd wash it did not smell, so I put it in the dryer, on the anti-bacterial setting, and added about 4 dryer sheets.  That setting is very hot and runs for about 1 1/2 hours.

I have to report it no longer smells like anything at all!   No smoke smell, and no smell from the liquid fabric softener or the dryer sheets.  I had to do some “fluffing and folding” because some of the really big pieces got twisted up. There were some 3 & 4 yard pieces, and they got a little tangled and the expected strings, but really, not to bad considering I had the washer on heavy duty/deep water wash.   There must have been 25 yards of fabric in just this one load. I considered the method a success, and since there was so much fabric, I think it was worth saving.

Down side to my new washer (Maytag top loader with no agitator) is that it doesn’t “fill up” above the fabric. It “senses” how much water needs to go in.   I cheated the machine, and added 3 “buckets” of extra water, to make sure everything was covered. I’m sure I confused the brain of the washer, but I feel like it needed that extra depth.

Green fabric

I decided to finish this pile up by putting the pieces outside on the porch, in the shade to continue to air.

Airing of the greens

There really were some very pretty pieces!

Pretty greens

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but this is a lovely batik!

3 or more yards of batik

Several yards of that batik, so WORTH the effort I think!

I’ve started the next “SOAK” load.  The pile of reds is in the washer, with the 4 cups of vinegar and a little OXYCLEAN. (I put that it, because 3 or 4 pieces had a bit of “stain” at the fold line.) Not as large a volume of fabric, but some good piece, worth the effort to save from the “stinky smoke”..

Now the question —-  HOW do I get the stench of smoke out of the small pieces??  From what I could see, on the first dig through the bins, there are squares, and blocks and strips .  I’ve got lingerie bags, but I wonder if there is a way to get the stink out WITHOUT washing those small pieces, and without really “touching them”.   I’m afraid that doing the heavy soak and heavy wash that I am doing with the large pieces will just leave me with a bag of strings and fuzz.  I am highly allergic to the smell, and don’t want to over handle the pieces if possible until they are neutralized.  So, share your wisdom and experience, please!!  

My volunteers will be steam pressing, trimming, measuring and folding the first 25 yards or more and getting it ready to sell at the September guild meeting in the next few weeks.

My daughter & I chatted about the Pros & cons of washing all this fabric. It is worth it, IF the ends justify the means.  Well, I think it was worth the washing, in spite of the the wrinkles, the cost of the washing machine wear and tear, hot water, drying, and laundry products.  Our Second Time Around sales at the guild meetings average over $400 at each meeting, so the effort pays off.  The members LOVE to shop our tables, where we are selling fabric for $2/yard.

Looking forward to hearing any and all advice.

ps…I’m sure most smokers don’t even realise how the smoke in the air clings to their fabrics.  I was married to a smoker for nearly 30 years, and he had no idea how bad the smell was, and didn’t believe what it did to his body. His death from Kidney cancer was attributed to smoking at age 53.  If you need help stopping, talk to a medical professional.  For your sake first and foremost, and for the sake of those who love you.

Twas the night before the show

and I wish I was asleep….The work has all been done, the entries are complete.  The quilts have been hung, the ribbons awarded; the 2nd Time around tables are overloaded.

Yes tables are loaded with merchandise galore.  The volunteers await the shoppers as bargains are explored. Those bargains await the savvy shopper, and the quilts will stand by as your flash cameras do capture!

The vendors, the quilts, the raffle baskets and lunch, the volunteers, the sponsors, the quilters, the crunch. We worked up to deadline, we sweated and labored, we primped and we labeled, we ribboned and smiled.

Thanks to the quilters and families who clear out a space; thanks to the shoppers who recycle the lace!

My 40 ft booth is overloaded with merchandise and deals, and now I just need you to come and complete the event!





Come out, see the show – the details to follow — https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show

This weekend – on Friday & Saturday in Lewes Delaware!!

Oh; the quilts, 300 and more, and other vendors to delight your shopping , your senses.

Come see the ribbons and be so surprised, at what has won in the judges eyes!  No secrets-no previews, you must come out to see for yourself!  Parking is free, and abundant, and cool air conditioning is apparent!  See you on Friday at the quilt shore I hope.

My labors have completed, the work is all done, the volunteers so numerous, I dare not name one. My special thanks to the brave ones who ventured forth in the weather, when man nor beast certainly should be not out in the sun!  Brave quilters go forth with boxes, and dollies, and set up this booth without question of my folly!