Right after the DCSMLA, I disappeared! That’s because Quilt Market was quickly approaching, and I needed every spare minute to quilt.
Most of the work that I have been doing over the past week I am not allowed to post up, but if I can snap some photos in front of the quilts while I am here, I will do that and post them on my Facebook page. You do “like” me, don’t you?
It’s funny though; no matter how much work I do or how many times I’ve been here, I always feel a little unworthy of attending. I’ve paid my dues, I’ve worked hard; technically I should belong, but I still feel slightly outside. I’ll talk more about that later, but not now. Not in this post.
You wouldn’t believe the laundry list of things that I had to work on over the last few weeks. I had four quilts to make from scratch for Benartex – cut, pieced, quilted, bound, and sleeved – and ship them in time for Market. I made it, but it was extremely close. Two quilts got shipped to New York on the 4th, but the other two quilts had to be overnighted directly to Portland on Monday the 13th. And these aren’t small quilts; I mean, one of them was a baby quilt, but the other three ranged from near-twin to near-queen.
In the midst of that, I’ve been helping my friend Mary with her book project. I quilted a queen size for her; it was 90% straight lines, so that took a while. It was a brave thing to freehand them, but it turns out that I’m pretty good at freehanding horizontal lines, and Darcy rides like a champ when I keep his wheels and tracks clean.
One additional quilt that I worked on was a promise fulfilled from a year ago that I made to Marianne Fons; she wanted to make a QOV for a veteran and present it here at Market, and I promised to quilt it and attach the binding. I had to bring it with me on the plane, which forced her to spend last night binding it! I doubt the person it’s meant for reads my blog, so here’s a photo of it.
I’ve really been practicing my feathers, and I decided to go whole hog on this one. I like them well enough, but the spines still bother me. I need to ask my long arm friends for advice, because I’m still not sure I’m doing them right.
Initially, I wasn’t going to attend Market, because I don’t really have any new products ready, but a couple of friends convinced me to go. If nothing else, it’s a way to maintain relationships and keep my name out there.
On that front, I worked with Brian Boehm to create a glossy brochure to help me promote myself while I am here, but it’s also set up to be able to mail off to quilt guilds and shops if I want to do that.
I love the way that it turned out; Brian has such an eye for design and he really knows me well. You can tell that this was something we just pulled off recently; notice the brand-new Sizzix Big Shot and the cover of AFDC? This also had to be shipped directly to Portland.
Packing for Market is always dicey for me; I never know what to bring, and I usually bring a lot of stuff I don’t need and not enough of the things I do. Case in point: remembered to bring copies of BLB, but forgot to pack pants.
I did remember my fabulous striped bag that my friend Donna made and gifted to me. This is my Market staple. It looks small, but it’s bigger on the inside than you think. It’s also super well-made; I stuff it with lots of heavy stuff, and I haven’t popped a stitch yet. You would think that I’d make my own bag by now since I do design handbags, but… the cobbler’s kids have no shoes.
If I had really been thinking, I would have shipped a case of books over instead of lugging them in my suitcase, but at least I brought them.
My fancy brochure is very much focused toward retail consumers – so they will get passed out to people that I meet in the aisles and at lunch. Because this is a trade show, I also worked up a little flyer to hand out to the vendors at my appointments. The flyer basically talks about the types of things that I can do for companies like what I do for Benartex and Sizzix – designing and making quilts, long arm quilting, and writing.
I also found some time on Wednesday night to make a wrap skirt and a handkerchief top, and then right before I was ready to leave the house, I decided to whip up a few last-minute gifts. Then I ran some errands before leaving for the airport – the printer (for my flyer), the post office, the quilt shop, the bank, and the drug store. It’s a joke among my friends that I can’t go anywhere without going to a CVS or Walgreens before I leave or sometime during the course of a trip. 🙂
I came in to Portland last night, and was about to take a cab when I decided to see whether the hotel had a shuttle. Turns out, they have a train that goes from the airport to the hotel, so I thought I’d be adventurous and take the train.
Portland reminds me a lot of Zurich, Switzerland. Their train is basically on the honor system. You buy a ticket, you get on the train, but you don’t put your ticket anywhere and nobody’s checking. I’m sure they do spot checks, but of all the times I rode the train in Switzerland, and here in Portland this time, nobody checked. I love cities that trust their citizens to do the right thing. It says a lot about the people who live there I think.
They also have no sales tax here, so as far as I can tell, there’s no need to play games with .99 prices. I got to my hotel a little late to adventure out for dinner, so I sat down in their bar to cobble together a meal. It’s hilarious that when Portland thinks of bar food, it’s stuff like onion consomme or Caesar salad with prosciutto. Even the tater tots are wholesome – sweet potato tots with an aged cheddar dipping sauce. And no, that’s not ketchup, it was some custom concoction that was very good.
I think I’m having tater tots for dessert every night while I am here. Even though I am lactose intolerant, that dipping sauce is totally worth the toots. 🙂
And on that note… it’s time to get ready for Day 1 of Market!