Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sugarland Fall Festival - The (Not Grand) Finale

It was 3:00PM and 85 degrees, which is particularly unpleasant when you are on hot asphalt of a parking lot and have 90 minutes to kill.  Cee was still busy setting up her table and wares.

Other vendors were setting up their tables. Some of them had tents.  Most were just modest tables and had large plastic bins.  There was free water and lemonade.  I had a little lemonade with a lot of water and then I walked around to see what other vendors were doing.  At least four jewellery vendors, one hair accessories, one mascara/eyelashes, one gaming etc., one Halloween outfits, one cupcakes, one self-defense for women.

My first impression - Where are the others? Woodworking, Homemade Soaps, Handmade Bags, Lotions/Creams etc. Birdhouses, Gardenware?
It was a very small festival with few vendors.

Tentless Booth & Me
And that is Paul's towel rack in the foreground.

I went and sat in the shade of a tree at the edge of the parking lot from where I could keep an eye on my wares. I began listening to a TED talk on my iPhone and imagined interested people oohing and aahing over my quilts.  That is when I saw Paul return to the parking lot.

What happened?
Why did he come back?

He had returned with a tent, a bag of chips, and a cooler full of ice and water bottles.  I was dumbfounded.
After I rolled my eyes at him for spending money unnecessarily, I helped him set up the tent over my table.

Paul: I could not let you wilt in the sun, my delicate flower.
Me: Thank you. I love you.

With the tent!!!
Paul's sweet gesture that provided cool shade also warmed my heart.  I am such a lucky duck!!!
Honestly, that was the high point of the day.

Yes, it was.
Quilts - Arranged and Rearranged

No, I did not sell anything. Nobody said that they were interested but did not have the cash.
Because I would take checks.

There were a few people mildly interested, three moderately interested, one asked if I made t-shirt quilts, and only one who wanted to see every quilt that I had on display.
"Are those crib quilts", one woman asked.
"No, these are smaller; baby quilts", I answered.

I gave away about a dozen of my business cards.  I still have all the grocery bags.

I sat on my plastic chair, under the brand new tent and doodled on my sketchbook.
A dear friend Mauna stopped by and that definitely lifted my spirits.

At 6:35, I texted Paul - please come get me.  He showed up just before 7:00 and we were packed and ready to leave shortly thereafter.

Me: Let's go to Olive Garden for dinner.
Paul: Sure.

Paul was very supportive and offered comforting words.  I understood that the size of the event was not conducive to selling quilts.  May be this whole setting up a booth etc. was not for me. Atleast not yet.

Me: I am sorry. I could not recover the cost of the tent.
Paul: I had been meaning to buy something like that for some time now.  Set up in the backyard for a  barbeque etc.
Me: I am glad, I provided an excuse for you to buy a tent.
Paul: Yes, you did. Can I have my towel rack back now?

When we got home after dinner, we brought in the quilts.  But left the cooler, the folding table and the chairs in the car for the next day. They were just too heavy to move right then.

I had spent the first part of September frantically working for the festival.
After the festival, I was so disappointed that I did not touch my sewing machine for a whole week.  I am such a "All or Nothing" kinda gal...
I organized my scraps, arranged and rearranged fabric, doodled a few designs but was unable to get into a mood to sew...till I saw this post on M* forum.

... established a group in 2013, for providing a remembrance quilt for grieving families experiencing a loss of a newborn, (or too young to be born). 
Your response and generosity was overwhelming.
I can't BEGIN to tell you what it means to parents, to have a tangible remembrance! 
And for nurses, to offer up any kind of remembrance, in the moment is PRICELESS!
Since then, our hospital has grown. Another building going up, offices being shuffled around. 
Somewhere along the line, my quilt cupboard was displaced. I have PLENTY of minis, mediums, etc...I'm REALLY low on the 32X32, (Newborn sized). 

32 inches square? That is tiny. I can do that. This is just what I needed. A quick project to lift me out of my funk because there are others in the world with bigger problems.

Get over it, Preeti.
Life (piecing, quilting, and binding) must go on.

I gathered my scraps and got back to work.

Purple + Green = Magic
Purple (looks bluish) backing
These purple/cream scraps belonged to Sylvia. Remember Sylvia?  She was probably working on a rail fence quilt and she gave me these slivers left over from her rail fence blocks. I added some green strips and it began to look like a quilt top.  Paul approves of the purple-green pairing. I agree.

When I pulled out the greens strips, I noticed that were other colored strips. Hmmmm who said that I cannot make more than one.  So off I went sewing, cutting, squaring, matching, trimming and arranging.

8" blocks, arranged 4 by 4 = 32" quilt!!!
This is the same pattern as Life's Embrace, but uses white strips.  Life's Embrace for Stillborn Bereavement Group - yes it is bittersweet.  
I do believe that it is life that we celebrate, however short it may be...

No, I do not work on one quilt at a time. I am not capable of it.  So, here are three quilts in process.
Three quilts in process

Orange Backing, Paisley Binding
Completed tops - Ready to be quilted
I will complete these three little ones and send them to their destination before the end of the month.  Thank you Sue. I needed this.

Some of you asked about the quilts I made for the Festival. Yes, I will share them. Each one of them.
Out of the 15 that went to the Festival, I have 14 (already blogged about Whispering Window) quilts that are waiting their turn to be shared with the blogland. And that is exactly what I will do. In the coming weeks, I will discuss two-three quilts per week.  I am sure that each one of them will find their way to the right recepient in due course of time.  Actually, five out of 14 have already gone, but those details belong in following blogposts.

Waiting to be blogged...
I apologize to all of you - my dear readers, for this anti-climactic end to the Sugarland Fall Festival.  Forgive me for raising your hopes and then crashing them.  Please let me know if you ever lost your sewing mojo and please please please tell me how you got it back.


  1. I'm sorry you worked so fast and furiously to then have no one purchase. However, those quilts will not go unused -- you will find someone to love them or buy them. Your small quilts are so beautiful. They will cheer the broken hearts of parents in need of comfort.

  2. I'm sorry things didn't work out for you at the Fall Festival. I love you quilts that are waiting for quilting and l'm looking forward to your future blogs.

  3. okay. This happened to me too. I didn't make the 12 booth fee. I traded a bag for a hat with another vendor so I didn't leave empty handed. One has to match the festival with your type of wares. There are countless other venues coming up like Christmas shows at Baldwin Hall Crafters.
    On to the real connections here... the infant group donation is such a connection of love flowing from you to the saddened parents. My pet project is foster care... those kids have nothing when transfered from place to place, and having even a small quilt would mean something. The tent is really useful for the future, but the thoughtful actions by a husband are priceless and being reminded of his love is too.
    Lookie here girl, you now have business cards. You have a tent, inventory, and bags to put them in which was a great idea by the way. You only need a venue more suited to your wares and they are out there. Love, LeeAnna

  4. I feel for you! My husband is always trying to get me to do something like what you had the courage to do, which I do not. But, I have lost my will to quilt a time or two and like you it just took reading a variety of blogs and finding that one post that sparked my heart and got my juices flowing once again. I really do applaud you for taking this opportunity and going gung ho and trying it. I am sorry that you did not sell any of your quilts, but at least you tried and you gave out some of your cards and began getting your name out there for people to know what you did and who you are. All of that is a great big giant step that deserves thunderous applause! I do understand the disappointment, but I hope that you will try again. If for nothing else to encourage other people to make quilts to give to charities! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  5. Preeti, I'm sorry your experience selling your quilts at the craft fair was so disappointing. It most certainly was NOT because you did anything that fell short. You pulled out all the stops! It might help you feel better to know you are not alone. Everyone I know who used to be quite successful at craft fairs says that it is hard to break even now. Don't give up hope that your beautiful quilts can earn some income. You just need to find the right audience.
    I really love what Paul did for you. His actions speak very loudly of love and caring. :) And what you are doing with the quilts for bereaved parents is so beautiful.
    There are times when I lose my sewing mojo too. Life is like that. Sometimes quilting helps me get my life mojo back and sometimes making a quilt to express love for someone helps me get my quilting mojo back. What you did Preeti, with finding a great cause to sew for is the perfect way to lift yourself up again.

  6. Oh, I am so sorry about your festival disappointment. It can be really difficult, I think, to determine how such a sale is going to go. (I had a similar experience a number of years ago.) But you never know how just exposing yourself to that kind of a sale can open other doors. And, of course, there is that sweet part of your story that you can hold onto--the thoughtfulness of your husband. And the great "ending" in finding a new beginning. I think you answered your own question about getting your mojo back. You found a need you could fill. I do lose enthusiasm at times (writing on the blog has helped me keep going just to have something to write about), but usually it's finding a need that gets me excited again. I'm looking forward to seeing your quilts in the next blog posts. Your work is lovely--and your beautiful story telling makes it more so.

  7. Oh sweet Preeti....take it from this old "crafter, quilter, knitter,, i could go on but you get the point!! The world is so different now. People don't have the spendable extra income for anything that is really worth it,, and if they did, most of them do not have a clue of it's true value!
    All your work is pristine and the thought you put into each and every quilt shows... I so enjoyed your prep story leading up to this event and am blown away at how quickly you pulled all this together..
    You Paul is a real keeper,,,, he truly appreciates you passion for quilting and will support you because his love is deep and true...
    I have been from making everything i could for "gifting" because we could not afford otherwise, to making for profit to bring in a little extra, to giving up making for profit because it was insulting at the prices people offered when i asked them "how much they would pay for something"... I am now at the place where i've a lifetime of collected fabrics and yarns, supplies and machines that i can spend every day, all day doing whatever i feel like and choose to make quilts, sweaters, hats and various crafts to donate or give to my Sis to sell... It is pure joy to send to our friends at M*Forum... Blondie, Marilyn, the Cyper Elves, and there are so many more i have yet to give to..but plan to try harder in this coming year... Reading the stories on the Groups page at M* can be very inspiring... but also know that i'm hear watching your every move because i am wowed by your talent for "patterning"...Hugs, GrammaBabs:))

    1. No, I am not Preeti, but what you had to say was WELL SAID.= and right on the money. The average person see how much a quilt sells for at Wa%&^* or another big box store and assume (ass-u-me) we only have a dime's worth of time invested in our nickel's worth of material. How sad. We quilters and other crafters have more than "interest" invested in our product. Good old hard work, sweat, money, and yes, even tears have gone into them. Don't allow others' improper opinions of what they think our time, work, etc., is worth color your own opinions or even tarnish them. You are a very talented quilter and worth every penny YOU think you are worthy of receiving - probably more from the efforts I have seen! You are awesome Preeti!

  8. Just the wrong venue probably. You weren't wrong. It was wrong for you. I love how kind your husband was. I love the fact that you now have a good tent if that's Sugarland, Texas. You'll definitely use it. I'm very glad to be out of the heat of Texas. Your new baby quilts are beautiful. What a wonderful thing to give. My daughter mourns and mourns her miscarried child. I brought her a little stuffed toy and I'm so glad because it means so much to her. I was clueless to how devastating miscarriages are until her's. Those little quilts are validation of the baby they lost. That someone else in the world acknowledges their loss. The quilts you made are beautiful for them. You and your husband are beautiful people. I don't know,if you will eventually find a place to sell your quilts, but I think that the beauty you bring into the world is so important. Sometimes, I guess, we have to wait to,get our sewjo back. I'm so,glad,that you are re-finding yours. Artists are not always in a place or time where they are understood but they are still artists. It sounds like you are feeling better now and all of us who follow you are very glad :)

  9. I'm sorry for your disappointment, but I am thrilled with the actions of your sweet husband. Now you will have time to see what you want next. Maybe another venue or another cause. I love the little quilts you are making for the grieving parents. I also think that sometimes a break from quilting can be healing. I need little breaks frequently when I have had deadline sewing. I feel quilted out. What usually brings me back is the simple joy of creation and finishing. Take care!

  10. So sorry to hear of your disappointing time at the festival, Preeti; I'm sending you a big quilty hug across the lake and east and more south to you. As for sewing mojo, I think you're getting it back from seeing these 3 adorable quilts you whipped up. Playing with fabric does it for me. just rummaging around, putting colours together, petting it, ironing some, refolding others, and then making something pretty fast and easy and mindless. Giving to others after being hurt like this speaks volumes as to the kind of person you are. :-)

  11. I'm sorry the festival was a bust after all your weeks of frenzied quilting. I thought for sure you'd sell a couple. Bless your man for being so supportive. I'm sure you've considered etsy? People are going there purposely looking for handmade items, as opposed to just wandering around in the heat at a small festival. You might get commissions there if that interests you.

    Yes. I've list my mojo on and off. It happens with blogging, cooking, painting, gardening--every artistic endeavor sooner or later. I just ride out the lull. I often get my sewing mojo back by cleaning my sewing room and tidying my stash. It's like bus icing old friends. Puts me in a better mood. But like you, the thing that always compels me to sew is someone else needing a lot of comfort, and it's very therapeutic for me.

    1. Bus icing? Where did THAT come from? I meant "visiting."

  12. Sounds like quite a day for you!! I've sat at those kinds of things with my handmade items and it is very hard not to get discouraged. Making charity quilts is the PERFECT answer to loosing the sewing mojo!

  13. I'm so sorry your day was disappointing, but as others have said, there's nothing wrong with your quilts, this just wasn't the right place, right time. What you are doing now, playing with scraps and making things for people who really need them sounds like a good way to retrieve your mojo to me.

  14. I know from a similar experience how exhaustively disappointing your day became! I am so sorry for that! Yay for your wonderfully thoughtful husband and a dinner at Olive Garden! It seems I run out of fabric, and fabric budget, long before I run out of sewing mojo! But I find it is good for the balance in life to not be sewing all the time! Hugs!

  15. The festival sounds so disappointing no wonder you lost your mojo. I'm glad you found the memory (that's what we call them in my guild) quilts program to help lift you out of your funk. You are lucky to have Paul in your life. He is so supportive.

  16. what a bummer, Preeti! I am so sorry it turned out the way it did. I have actually never set up a booth at a venue like that because I worry about that same outcome. Your hubby certainly sounds like a keeper though! I have lost my sewing mojo before and I think you are doing exactly the right thing to get it back. Find a project that isn't too big that you can pour your heart into.

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  17. Sorry about the Festival. I've been there too, and completely understand what you're feeling. An experience like that certainly takes the wind out of your sails. But chin up, keep doing what you're doing as your creations are lovely.

  18. This post is just beautiful Preeti. The honesty about how you experienced this whole thing is wonderful. Yes, it didn't turn out how you expected but it feels like you learned from it and you are looking at new ways to use your talent. And the kindness of your husband is just wonderful. What a great guy. Work on those baby quilts and you will be inspired by the next need that comes along. I love your writing!

  19. Sorry the festival was such a let down. It is hard to get back into the sewing room after so much hard work. The newborn quilts are really sweet. Hopefully they will get your sewing mojo back.

  20. join a quilt guild and ONLY sew for charity quilts, that is how you get the love of sewing back. it really does help. I absolutely have wanted to make quilts for parents who have lost children in the "just beginning" stages of life. i need to look into your link. I lost my first baby to stillborn & could have used a quilt oh so many years ago.

  21. You are blessed with a wonderful talent and a one in a million husband. This was just not the right or well advertised setting for your quilt products. Just wait until summer or the holiday craft fairs. Might need to print more than a few dozen cards and have pics of all your other quilts (and prices) not on display that day. Eventually you will be in the right spot at the right time. Patience in this instance really is a virtue. My best to you and your husband. Happy New Year!