Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sugarland Fall Festival - The Build-Up

My dear friend Cee is a jewelry artist. She often participates in art/craft fairs and is pretty successful too.  Her designs always bring a smile to my face. One time we were shopping together at an arts store and I (in my usual hyper-excited state) exclaimed - "Oh those peacocks are lovely"
This is what Cee did.

Peacock Earrings from Cee

Naturally, when Cee mentioned an upcoming fall festival in her neighborhood, I was intrigued.  But when she asked me to join her, I was over the moon.
Cee: I have a free table and you are welcome to join me.
Me: Wow! yes, I will.

Heartfully Cute

And then I had the following internal dialogue
I have exactly four weeks.  How many quilts could I make in four weeks?
Wrong question.
How many quilts do I need to set up shop? 10?
At least.  20 would be better.
Is 15 acceptable?
Oh fine.

Mushroomy Cuteness

I needed a game plan. That I am a planner in my day job often comes in handy.
1.  I already have 3 quilts made.  Need to make only 12.
2.  That means about 3 per week.
3.  All quilts will be baby quilts.
4.  All quilts will use simple designs.
5.  Incorporate existing WIPs/audition blocks, if possible.
6.  Since the designs will be simple, make sure that the fabric is super adorable.

Monstrously Adorable

For the next four weeks, I was a piecing/quilting/binding machine.  I ignored all my chores. I exercised only when I felt too stiff from being on the sewing machine.

I pieced two quilts at a time, alternating the blocks for one with the other and I made bindings using the one fabric for two quilts.

Bindings - Oh so Neat!!!
I basted three quilts at a time. It was a lot like assembly line.
I had to be very careful that the quality of my work did not decline. The simple designs were definitely helpful.
I can guarantee that binding 12 quilts in one month period definitely improved the neatness of my bindings.

Yummy Cuteness
My friends on the M* forum cheered me on.
"I am sure you will sell them all"
"Oh, I wish you all the very best"
"You work is so beautiful, you will have every grandma drooling over your quilts"

Sell each one of them???
I needed bags. So I went to the grocery store and bought 15 reusable grocery bags.
How green of you, Preeti!
And I patted myself on the back.

15 Reusable Grocery Bags

My friend at Curves, Pat asked me - Do you have a business card?  
Make sure you put your business card in every bag.
I ordered 250 cards from Vistaprint.

Paul gave me this box to hold my 250 cards.


The Fall Festival was on Saturday, 9/19.  The fact that Labor Day was a holiday was definitely very helpful. I took Thursday, 9/17 off and managed to complete all the 12 quilts.
I did not have the time to do a happy dance because I had to photograph each one of them.

I photographed some on Friday and others on Saturday morning.

Paul's Towel Rack

On the morning of the festival, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation, with two slides for each quilt. Each quilt had a name. One slide had quilt stats, a picture, and the suggested price.  The second slide had more pictures.

Paul placed the PowerPoint presentation on his laptop to run in a loop.
My iPad mini had the back-up.

Sample Slide

Suggested price? 
Of course, I would be open to negotiation.
I imagined myself saying - "Since you love it so much, I will knock off $20 for you. Enjoy!!!"

Wait a minute. If you did that, won't you need change???
The internal dialogue never ceased.

Quickly, I made a trip to the bank and withdrew $200 in $10 and $5 bills to make change.

There were times when this internal dialogue was not very internal.  At such times, I was talking to myself - out loud.  Paul was quietly supportive through this super-crazed, frenzied Preeti period.

I placed a few basic supplies - scissors, thread, seam-ripper, and cheater needles in a cute little box.  Just in case there was a loose thread that needed mending.

I also carried a lint-roller.  I imagined myself using the lint-roller to quickly remove loose thread bits before putting the quilt in the reusable grocery bag (with my business card) and handing it to the buyer with a big smile!!!

I had the laptop, the iPad, the business cards, the grocery bags, the water bottles, my sketch book just in case someone asked me to design something for them on the fly!!!

Paul kept the folding table, the chairs and the table cloth in the car.  He watched amusedly and patiently, as his frenzied wife got in the car with all her craziness before driving us to the venue.

Cee and I were the first ones to arrive.  I displayed nine quilts on the quilt rack, three on the towel rack and the last three on another quilt rack that was Cee's gift to me.

Once my set up was done, which took all of 20 minutes, Paul left. Cee's took much longer with all the little jewelry items that needed to be displayed just right.
Do you need my help, Cee?
Nah, I got it, she said.

Can you see the grocery bags, the lint-roller, the laptop case and the business cards on the table?

Yes, I was READY!!!  All I had to do was wait... for 90 minutes till the Fall Festival officially started.
What happened in the next 90 minutes and during the festival is my next blogpost.