Saturday, October 17, 2009


As a quilter, I feel, that everyone should attend at least one quilt show and if you can make it to one of the larger Quilt Festivals then take advantage of it. The quilts are no longer just quilts, with new techniques, styles and fabric designs it is amazing what these quilters create. There are also some great classes that you can attend to give a boost to what you already know or teach you something new. If you would like to share the experience of Quilt Festival in the comfort of your own home click on this link and see some of the excitement going on in Houston this weekend.

Our reservations for accomodations and classes to be taken were made months ago and work schedules have been adjusted so that nothing interferes with our yearly ritual. Cell phones, cameras and good shoes are at the top of our prep list because we know that we will be on our feet from the time the show opens till it closes. We have our shopping strategy planned and our class schedules worked out so that we can make the best of our time there.

We arrived in Houston just shortly after the doors at the George R. Brown Convention center opened up on Friday morning. Even though this is the 4th time I have attended I am still overwhelmed when I first enter the vendor's section. The aisles are numbered and start with 100 and run in increments of one hundred up to 1900 making it 9 aisles of booth after booth of fabulous displays. Our shopping started out with the purchase of a few fat quarters, and no this has nothing to do with body shapes. For non-quilters, a fat quarter is a half yard of fabric that is cut in half along the center lengthwise giving you a piece that measures approximately 18 inches by 22 inches. We walked along the aisles taking notes of booths we might want to return to for purchases and also picked up some good bargains on sample packs of batting at the Hobbs booth. A quick stop at the Handiquilter booth gave us some extra free shopping totes to fill up with goodies.

After a semi good nights sleep we will head out for the convention center today to finih up our shopping experience and then tonight head out to dinner with some friends from the Houston area. Tomorrow we will have cameras in hand with extra memory cards and batteries to take pictures of the quilts on display. This is an experience that is sure to take our breath away and we are definitely looking forward to it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday's Featured Shops

Every day I click and comment on Etsy treasuries and I find beautiful one of a kind items I would love to have for my very own. Of course if I hit the purchase button everytime I would definitely have the shopping police at my front door and would end up living in the poor house. I don't think that would be any fun so I can only "love from afar" and hope that someday I can afford to live in the lap of luxury and be able to afford anything my heart desires.

The first shop in this weeks selection is a repeat offender.

I love items with a Victorian flair and this pincushion found at DebiDesigns is definitely a beauty. Sitting atop a candlestick this pincushion would make a beautiful Christmas gift for the quilter, crafter, seamstress or pincushion collector in your life. Embellished in ribbon embroidery and beads this items is a true heirloom item.

Our second culprit is "Artsy Clay" with this beautiful blue bracelet called "Spectrum of Blue". With blue beads in every shade this lovely bracelet reminds me of the ocean, this would make a great accent piece to wear anywhere. You can find this lovely bracelet and other great items at

Rounding our lineup we have "Grace Pottery", with this beautiful pitcher called "S-Pouty Pitcher", and the best thing is that it is food safe. I can see putting this on my table any day of the week because it is both functional and beautiful. You can find some lovely pieces of pottery that would make great items for your home or for gifts at
If you have any "most wanteds" in your favorites list please share, I am always interested in finding more wonderful items on Etsy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Show Preparations

I have been so busy this last couple of weeks making last minute preparations for my shows. I participate in a local Trade and Market Days show once a month and it seems that every month I am scrambling to get everything ready to go. If it isn't inventory, it is displays that need to get revamped for each show, and this month is no different. This Saturday I will be kicking off the holiday season of craft shows with the Randolph Air Force Base Officers' Spouses' Club Holiday Bazaar, "Deep in the Art of Texas". This show is held every year and is their major fund raiser for their scholarship fund and other charity organizations that they help sponsor.

I first started doing shows last year, and not having any experience at it, I think I did okay, I was lucky. This time around I just want to give my booth space a little face lift with some new racks and table top containers. Where to begin?

Garage sales!

Last month our community had its annual fall garage sale and my hubby and I set off early just to take a look see. I am not really a garage sale junky but DH can browse all day if given the chance. We made several stops and found that other peoples trash was our trash also, so we passed on any purchases. We made our way through the maze of streets, the layout always confuses people that don't live here, and methodically worked our way from one garage to another.

Finally, paydirt, we stopped at what seemed a multi-family sale with racks of clothing and tables piled with anything and everything you could think of. Hubby made his way around looking at some tools, which he doesn't need and probably won't use, and picked up a couple of things. I on the other hand headed to a table full of sewing items, being a quilter I am always on the look out for fabric finds. Well, I didn't find fabric but I found what would normally be a $40.00 pair of scissors marked for $2.00, the first bargain of the day. At that point I had to remind myself what I was looking for and force myself to stay on track, "look for display items", I told myself.

Next stop was a table piled high with wicker baskets where I found this great basket perfect for displaying my baby blankets, I was on cloud nine. There was also several other baskets that would work for a variety of items so I payed for them and headed out. I bought four lovely baskets for all of $10.00, a great find at a great price.

I feel that you should never purchase anything new if you don't have to. Some items need special types of display setups but if you can make it or use items from a garage sale, or thrift store then go for it. This is a great way to keep your profits from flying out the door.

My next stop was the local hardware store, you know the one where everyone wears an orange apron. I picked up four 8ft lengths of 1X2 and some hinges, wire mesh and other assorted items of hardware and headed home to my garage. I had decided to make a hinged display wall where I could show off some of my smaller items. I had worked it out all in my head and on paper and so I set up my work space and proceeded to cut, screw and staple things together.

Each section of the display stand measures 4 ft tall by 2 ft wide and folds flat making it easy to move and store, very portable and it fits in my small car nicely. It is made to clamp to the edge of a table so that you add height to your display without taking up table space. If you wanted to, you could stand it on the floor but it is not very tall. The next step is to spray paint it white so that it will not be a distraction to customers. I want them to focus on what is on the display wall and not "the display wall".

Tomorrow is setup day for this weekends show at the civic center and I will be taking pictures of how it all comes together. I think I will also have a suggestion box at my booth and see what customers have to say about my merchandise and my setup.

What do you think of this display wall idea? If you have any cost cutting display ideas please share and comment.