How to Run a Successful Quilt Show part 2

Part 2

The raffle quilt took weeks to piece. A few members had to redo their blocks several times before I reluctantly let them in. This slowed our progress considerably; however the end result was well worth it. And the bonus is that these quilters are now much better at paper piecing, needle turn appliqué, & reverse appliqué.

I must add here that the raffle quit chair, Emiliana (Emi) actually surprised me with incredible designs and patterns for the quilt top. Emi chose only the best organic cotton batting and somehow found organic cotton thread to compliment the colors of the quilt. She had the quilt quilted in record time. Amazing, simply amazing. I don’t quite understand why Emi refused membership I the Quilt Police. She would have made a most excellent addition to their highly skilled ranks.

Next I searched high and low for raffle prizes, the likes of which have never been seen. For the sewing machine it came down to two shops. Ooooh, it was so hard to choose. Do I go with the shop offering 10 free classes or 100 yards of free fabric with the machine? Choices, choices! I finally settled on the free fabric, after all good teachers need to be paid and paid well. (As an aside one of the free classes was my highly publicized binding technique that took the quilting world by storm! I just couldn’t have that.)

For the second prize one quilt shop owner out did herself by adding 4 hours of long arm quilting to her basket of notions. She did amazing work putting the basket together including several books, only the best cotton (Egyptian long staple of course!!) and all of those items we quilters just adore. Did I mention she included her own signed copy of my book “Great Binding Techniques”? (When I sent the book for publication the original title was “Simply Stunning Bindings”, however the publisher thought that “Great Binding Techniques” offered the quilting community a better idea of the book. After this flurry of activity, book signings, lectures & lessons I must agree with her assessment.)

The Boutique at any Quilt Show is a challenge. I thought that Josephina was going to pass out when I handed her the latest market research paper entitled “What’s in at Quilt Shows – How to make the most of the Quilt Show Boutique” and links to 6 websites. Good grief, the report was only 100 pages and I did give Josie 4 days to go through it, highlight what she thought might work and give a power point presentation to the guild at our next meeting on the items necessary for having our boutique be successful. I wasn’t asking her to make and bring samples. Josie actually managed to get this done and went so far as to include a great sound tract with the presentation. Maybe she’s after the chair position; I think I’ll keep my eye on her for the time being.

Solomina’s application said she wanted to chair the Raffle Quilt Committee. I seriously considered this until she gave her presentation. I won’t describe her quit here (mere words would not do it justice!) let’s just say the Quilt Police and I were not amused. How I managed to conceal my disappointment should win me one of those fancy dancy awards for acting. I used the old actor’s trick of using the mentholated rub used to relieve congestion and “cried” I was so moved. Then as a bonus she made triple chocolate fudge brownies for us. I knew immediately . . . FOOD . . . she needs to chair the Food Committee. It was after all a highlight of many great shows these days. And what a coup, she knows two trained chefs who are willing to donate their time. How much better than that does it get? The chef’s will prepare the pre-show buffet, the food for the show and the post-show wine & cheese for the ribbon winners. The pre-show buffet will include Solomina’s brownies.

A quilt show is only as good as its advertising and vendor committee chairs. They must, must, must have a great rapport with people, work at a local quilt shop (teaching of course), be internet savvy and know a few key people. Well it didn’t take a long time to find Marguerite Barber Thompson (MB) for nothing. MB works full-time in the advertising department for a major and I do mean major sewing and notions corporation & she’s very well connected. I’m hoping to groom MB for the Chair position so that when this show is over she’ll step right in. MB’s first job included wriggling out of 4 vendor contracts. She did such an excellent job they weren’t angry at all. (I think the Champaign and caviar and 2 pages of ad space helped.) With the space for new vendors new available MB contacted several of her friends. Not only would they vend, they offered to give demos. How cool is that!

The ad campaign began with a tv blitz detailing our charity campaign and goals. She followed this up with a 2 page, 4 color ad in three national magazines. Wow, I’m impressed, very impressed. I can hardly wait to see what comes next.

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