Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Most(ly) Satisfying Day!

Last September, I set up a booth at a local flea market with some of my quilts and other fabric crafts to see if I could peddle some of my wares. Nothing sold, but one of the many people who stopped by my booth was a woman who was part of the committee that runs Old Middlebrook Village Day, an annual event about 45 minutes from my house that features live music, an antique car show, and crafts and demonstrations, all by local people. She invited me to come to their event as an exhibitor, so I marked it on my calendar and that's what I did today.

Now, injuring myself earlier this week made me cross some of my plans off the list because I just couldn't move fast enough to get it all done, but I managed to get myself and my wares there today and set up shop. While selling stuff would have been nice, my focus today was promoting quilting, particularly to kids. So, I threw my Orphan quilt down on the ground to make an inviting spot for people to sit and:

  • I had 4 mini design boards made of flannel taped on the back of a clipboard, and had two little bins of solid fabric in squares and triangles so kids could design their own quilt blocks.

  • I had two hoops prepared for anyone to learn/practice hand quilting.

  • I had an embroidery hoop plus lots of colorful DMC floss and fabric squares for anyone to learn how to backstitch.

  • I brought my kids' quilting picture books to read stories to kids.

  • I meant to photocopy blank quilt blocks and bring crayons so kids could color their own quilt blocks, too, but that is one of those things I ran out of time for doing.

It was a HIT!!! There were kids in my booth non-stop! I read stories. I taught about 6 kids how to do a hand quilting stitch. I taught about 4 kids how to do backstitch, and they were able to keep their projects - one girl made her mother's initial with one color thread and made a heart around it with another color thread to give to her mom for Mother's Day. About 20 kids designed quilt blocks on their own little design walls.

And with kids came grown-ups! With money! I sold this hand quilted composition book cover:

I sold this flannel play quilt:

I sold a crayon roll, not one of the ones pictured, but I couldn't find a photo of the actual one that I sold:

AND a woman commissioned me to finish this quilt for her!

Beyond those customers, so many other people came to look around and ask questions and make me feel REALLY GOOD about myself and my creative output. My head is so big right now I could barely fit through the door when I got home!

My kids came, as did my husband and my brother with his family. It was such a fun day! The kids were able to make rope, milk a plywood cow, use a hand pump to draw water, ride a pony, crack corn, spin yarn, all kinds of fun stuff! Other booths featured pottery, wooden toys and puzzles, penny rugs, candles, basketry, wood furniture, rag rugs, folk art, handmade custom greeting cards, and on and on. There were several exhibitors from the local Frontier Culture Museum. There were beekeepers and people who made homemade ice cream and animals to pet and wagon rides and...can you tell that I think it was a FANTASTIC event! What a fun way to spend the day!

But now, I'm exhausted, especially since we went to the drive-in movies last night and didn't get home until 1 AM. And joy of joys, I don't even have to prepare supper for the family because my hubby took the boys directly from the event out to dinner and to another movie. I just finished a bowl of soup, and put on my PJs, and now I'm headed down to our movie room to watch as many episodes of Brothers and Sisters as I can before I fall asleep.

Oh, I just noticed my title and that reminds me. The reason the day is only "mostly" satisfying is that a rock hit my windshield on the ride home, so I'll need to replace that. Bummer. But the good news is that I'm pretty sure I made enough money today to fix that. How cool is that?

I'll leave you with photos of some of the kids who stopped by and the quilt blocks they designed (don't worry, I asked their parents for permission to put their photos on my blog).

In case I don't make it on here tomorrow, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!