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.


  1. I am so amazed by your productivity and determination that I can't even remember to be miffed you've left us hanging!

  2. Replies
    1. (that means: "Really? You're leaving me hanging like that? Nooooo!"

  3. Talk about fast! Loved reading your adventure and cannot wait to hear how it went!

  4. GF, you are the best!!! If only i could ever be that organized:)) You are a natural for this stuff and i can't wait to read the next blog:)))) GrammaBabs M*

  5. OMG!!! Please hurry with the next episode ! I'm amazed at what you did so far!

    Jean Marie

  6. Hahahahah - you sure know how to build the suspense Preeti! Wow - that is quite an accomplishment to sew so many quilts in such a short period of time. I feel like this was the season cliffhanger for a favorite show!

  7. What a sly, but fun, way to keep the suspense going...I sure hope your next post is later on today! I sure hope that you sold every one of your darling quilts! Until next time, have a wonderful creative day!

  8. Your set-up looks great and I loved reading about your preparation. I can't wait to learn more. And I really hope we get to see pictures of all your quilts. ;)

  9. Love reading about your thoughts and the speed journey to get there. You have us all hanging on a cliff now!!

  10. Preeti!!! You left us hanging!!! How exciting, I am so impressed that you got all of those quilts finished in such a short time AND they look fabulous!! Such a fun post :)

  11. I'm exhausted after reading your post! Your quilts look great on the quilt racks. I sure hope you will be telling us that all of your hard work was worth it!

  12. Fantastic post! Quite captivating. The quilts look great. Sure hope you profited!

  13. Really, 12 quilts in 4 weeks? That alone is amazing!

  14. You certainly WERE a "piecing/quilting/binding machine"! Whoa! Did you only take off one day from work to do this Herculean task? I mean, I don't see how even a Labor Day and weekends and evenings would be enough time to make 12/month. I like how you made some boy quilts, too. The fabrics are all adorable! Can't wait for the rest of the story.

  15. Oh, wow! And now I feel like I'm waiting for the next television season after a cliff hanger. I hope your follow up will show all the pictures of the quilts, too.

  16. Wow, Preeti: a one woman production line! That must have been a race against the clock to get so much done. I'm looking forward to reading the next instalment!

  17. way to build the anticipation! LeeAnna

  18. I'm dying to know what happened! You tell such good stories and you make beautiful quilts!