Vending at Shows is hard work…

I heard a rumor that vendors who set up at quilt shows are down by some 40% after COVID. I think that may be true. Not only do I not see the familiar faces I used to see in my travels, but when I do, they are as attendees and not vendors. Some retired, some went online, and some…. well, we won’t say.

This is what my car looked like earlier this year to go to a show. It took my husband and I all day to pack the car like this. Many people rent trailers and the like. To make my booth look like the very top of this page, it takes a good 4-5 hours. And that’s after schlepping it all inside the hall.

To head out to a show for most of us, it’s a business, not a hobby. We need to make it profitable. That means sales must exceed the amount of the cost of the booth, the cost of the travel to get there, the cost of renting electricity and tables (yes, that’s a thing), and any taxes you collect to pass on. All of the product in the booth has a cost too. So to head to a show, you have to KNOW (not HOPE) to make money at it.

It can be super disheartening to get to a show and have disappointing sales. This takes even more vendors off the road.

Needless to say, we need your support when you see vendors like us at shows. We hate hearing how you can get it on Amazon, or online later, or how you aren’t planning on buying anything new this year. In order for us to come back, we need to make money at that show.

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The local newspaper came by!

Right after we moved to Paducah, I decided to do some old fashioned marketing through a press release. I sent it to industry outlets, but also to local news here in Paducah. The newspaper asked to send a photographer and did an interview. It was a lot of fun.

The shots taken on our creepy third floor didn’t make the paper, but I thought it was awesome!

Charlie did a good job of photographing the photographer. 🙂

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Heirloom Afternoons

At the beginning of this year, we started a new video series called Heirloom Afternoon over on our YouTube Channel. It’s been a whirlwind to create, with our break in the middle because we moved.

I love finding weird sewing tools at antique stores, and then making something on the show.

If you haven’t checked out our series, check it out here on YouTube! Be sure to tune in LIVE on Tuesdays at 12 noon.

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My EPP Skull Ring Quilt

I wanted to make a skull charm/scrap quilt in 1930’s fabrics when my Skull EPP shapes came out. Basically, I wanted to make a “ring” style quilt that was like a double wedding ring style quilt, but with these skulls.

Essentially they needed to be a set of squares, since the skulls don’t curve very well. This actually made it easier to make.

I took the background I chose and folded and pressed lines to follow/line up the skulls on, and then got to making a giant bowl of skull pieces to choose from. I did not have hardly any 30’s fabrics, so I grabbed a charm pack or two, and some friends filled in when I ran out. I had to throw in some solids to break up the monotony.

Once the top was finished, it was time to quilt it! I recently quilted it over a two day period.

Now just the binding needs to be finished. I’ll be sure to post a pic when it’s all done!

Do you want this as a pattern? Or do you think you could tackle it without one?

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Fun with Tufting – an heirloom craft revived

Earlier in 2022, I came across a sewing tool I didn’t know anything about. They were metal, small, and even carried a patent. In looking into them, I came across a true craft that seems to have mostly died out.

Let’s start with what they are. These looked to me like foldable ninja stars, and while the shapes are neat, I didn’t know what you were supposed to do with them. I came across a digital copy of the instruction manual, which led me down the rabbit hole.

Known as Amish Stumpwork or German Tuftwork, this technique is a little like “chenille” in embroidery, where stitches are taken over a tool and cut open. People often ask me if this is like punchneedle, and the answer to that is no. Stitches are taken over the tool, and cut open, to remove the tool and create the effect.

We were able to investigate the patent, which has long expired, and also checked on if anyone was creating anything like this currently. Sadly, no one was teaching this technique anymore. That’s when I decided to create a new set of templates that are based off of the original metal versions.

I’m working on some thing really cool for these coming soon. Stay tuned!

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