quilt shows


As I am forcing myself to prepare for a show which from this point of view is looking potentially “disasterous”, I find myself once again questioning.  That ever present question – “is it time to quit?”  And as the years have progressed, I seem to have been gathering evidence for “yes”.  I guess it’s simply a matter of time until those reasons outweigh the one that has kept me going – that being “out and about” is better for my “health and well being” than to remain “home alone” in this small space.  It is beginning to feel like the wear and tear on my aging body is overcoming the “ego perks”. 😦

And then there is this – I can not continue to be a kind of “traveling museum”.  That is, displaying a skill that was once ‘honored’, so to speak, and valued.  Handwork, like clocks with hands, is becoming extinct in terms of a skill anyone wants to learn – let alone master. And while the ‘oohs & ahhs’ feel good, they don’t pay the bills, so to speak(again^_^).  And, as we all know, everything required to produce a product and get it to a location, and into a space – all of those “expenses” have gone way up.  While “income” has continued to decline.

And that leaves the issue of ‘intent’ – why am I doing this in the first place??  Yes, I certainly need to make money!  As noted above – there are those built in expenses.  There are also the what would be called ‘overhead’ expenses, except in this case – it includes ‘living’ expenses!!  So, there is that.  However, there has always been the joy of creating and sharing.  I have refused to do things/designs just because they would sell – so to speak. (again)^_^  I have only done what has called to me – my favorite flowers, etc.  And, until recently, only using hand, needleturn applique’!  Yes, there are those two new patterns!  They are done with machine applique’.  And you might be thinking – well, then, why not just go in that direction?  And I can only say – because that would not be being true to me.  It would feel like ‘doing it for the money’ – and then it would truly become a “JOB”!  It’s hard work and hard enough to do ‘for the love of it’!!

And there you have it – my unanswered question.

It has been a long time since I found myself moved to do this – write a blog.  However, having completed my normal morning routine of coffee, journaling, reading and browsing email/FB – I sat for just a moment before getting up to begin the ‘doing’ of the day.  And as my mind kind of reviewed all of the above – it came to rest and ponder one particular area and then I heard that voice – the one that tells me ‘what to do’ and the one I have learned to follow. So, here I am at this keyboard and I shall attempt to type something that may be of value to someone in some small way.

I am a quilter – more specifically, I am a pattern designer and I design patterns for “applique”, which is just one ‘phase’ of quilting. I sell my patterns thru a website and by vending at quilt shows. To become a vendor requires submitting an application, paying for a booth space and then doing the physical labor required to actually set up the booth to display my wares, so to speak.  Sometimes I receive an invitation; sometimes I request an application.  Often I return year after year to the same show(s).  Sometimes I get ‘dropped’ from the list – intentionally or accidentally.  The shows of which I speak are the ones put on by local guilds; all who do the work of producing said show(s) are volunteers -folks who also have ‘real lives’ and responsibilities in addition to their guild ‘job’.  And in most cases the jobs are handed on every year – or every other year.  Lists get lost, etc.

I, like perhaps 99% of us on this planet, continue to struggle with/attempt to heal my very personal issues around ‘self-worth’.  So, attempting to sell something that I have created carries with it the same issues – no big surprise. ^_^  Thus, having to request acceptance into a show (i.e. ‘group’) carries with it all of those challenges around my evaluation of my ‘worth’.  Most of the time this is not a real ‘in my face’ kind of challenge/issue – I’m just acknowledging that it is lurking somewhere in the background. ^_^  As it is each day of the show as I stand in the booth with all my wares on display. It is often a HUGE challenge not to be drawn into the world’s evaluating systems – the ones that judge you based upon all the outer stuff – size, shape, color and bank account.  You know – if I have a great day (read that, ‘take in lots of money’), I am worthwhile.  Don’t think I need to type the alternative.

It’s the money part that brings me to what I really wanted to say.  What I noticed this morning was how lost I had become in the ‘making money’ aspect.  I had lost my passion for what I do – the creating part.  While calling myself an artist is still a carry over struggle from early decisions about myself – let’s just say I AM an artist and that is what I had managed to bury under my apparent need for money.  As every artist knows – if you are not creating from the pure joy of creating, inspiration soon dries up and you find yourself in the desert called lack and limitation, struggle and unhappiness.  And believing that money is the water of life, you will continue to thirst!!  And slowly die.

And so today if feels like I have reclaimed my artist and am ready to create again.  And I looked at a couple of recent interactions with ‘vendor chairs’ – those folks whose job it is to enroll vendors in participating in their show.  For some, it’s more a process of elimination – picking and choosing from the many applications.  For others it can be a struggle to find people to fill the available spaces.  And sometimes they find a vendor they really want and then must enroll them into the possibility their show represents.  As you might suspect – it’s a whole different experience on this side between those who seem to have a ‘surplus’ and those who are coming from an authentic appreciation for what you have to offer.  If I forget who I am and get caught up in the outside evaluations – it’s really easy to be invalidated by an attitude!!  And it gets even worse when I am having my usual financial struggles and don’t even have the booth fee for a show I really want to be a part of.  How embarrassing and shaming it can be.  How nice when there is understanding and a willingness to work out an agreement.  How belittling when not – IF I let it.  As I reviewed the two interactions – one of each – I found myself able to authentically let the one go and to appreciate the other.  And for me – that’s something like a breakthru!! ^_^

And the point of this long blog – where might it be time to let go?  Let go of people and situations where you feel invalidated, or that tend to cater to your perceived lack of worth??  I have been hearing, in the ‘Spiritual arenas’, that 2016 is the year of miracles!  I for one have chosen to run with that and keep a keen eye out for any opportunity to create one in my life!  If you have read all the way to here – perhaps you are also up for that??? ^_^

i haven’t created any new designs – or even samples, so haven’t written anything in quite some time.  this one is part ‘business’, part ‘personal’.

so, the watsonville show was very good for me – a good bit better than last year.  and it was much needed.  i was also between 2 lovely women – new vendors (for me), and that made it even nicer.  plus, the weather was just about perfect -(sometimes it can be very wet),  and that meant i could park right next to the bldg – which made caring for sophie easy!  and that brings me to the more personal news.

a couple week ago i discovered my dear, little sophie dog has diabetes.  and, something called “cushings disease” – which, believe it or not, i find much more troublesome.  it does explain the hair loss, as well as the total change in her hair in general.  also explains why her tummy still looks ‘fat’ even tho i am feeding her ‘bare minimum’.  and in addition, explains howcome she can no longer jump up, etc.  i don’t yet know the full extent of that one – we are still in the first part of treating the diabetes.  she goes back on thurs. for the whole day.  they do a glucose level ‘curve’ to assure current dosage is correct, etc.  yes, more $$$.

so, all of that on top of the van repairs done before and after the trip to tucson – well, a good show was very welcome!!

as for business ‘news’ – i am finally actively working on ‘the book’, yea!  i think i have the first 3 chapters completed – now it’s time for “lights, camera, action” and a lot more words about actual stitching!!  for that, i need ‘help’ – my friend tammy has volunteered.  so, next ‘play day’ at her house will include that along with fabric dying and long arm quilting!!   i have a ‘turning 20 again’ that i want to use and that means fairly heavy quilting to handle frequent washings.  doesn’t much matter what the quilting looks like.  other than messing around at a show – have never even tried to use a long arm!!  haven’t even quilted on a regular machine!!  don’t expect to be seeing it posted on here! ^_^

ok, just so there is one picture – here’s one of the surprise snow we had recently.  this is how they usually are – very wet and stick to every tiny twig.  usually gone within a few hours.  this lasted over night and into afternoon before the sun finally got to it.  it was very pretty.

snow6

 

 

 

 

 

onward & upward!

just finished doing a fused sample for the cone flower using white with green centers.  several years ago my friend bobbie did a pattern called “Irish Eyes” – wow, never heard of those!  Love ’em!  Then last year i spent a night at a small bed & breakfast and there were wonderful clusters of them growing in the lovely gardens!  the other day i got one of those ‘messages’  “do the cone flower in whites” – hmmm, ok, i can do that.  chose to fuse just to make sure it got finished before the next show. ^_^  i will admit it – i think those tiny pieces are easier to sew than cut out! ended up having to use 4 different whites instead of just 2 – 2 for outside of petals and 2 frosted ones for undersides.  helps define the petals better – looks less like a ‘blob’.

white cone

 

 

 

 

as usual, the framing fabric does not photograph well – it’s the more olive one that i often use – a moda marble.  overall, looks better ‘in person’. ^_^  you can see it at the show in watsonville on feb 23,24.

bought some new fabric the other day cause just don’t have anything in my stash for this one.  not been anything available lately that turns me on enough to buy a whole bolt!  i love these colors – hope someone else does as well. ^_^

new #2 peacock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i’ll be in watsonville, ca end of this month – stop by if you’re in that area.  show is at the santa cruz fairgrounds, feb 23,24

not been posting since i stopped stitching!  had to concentrate on getting ready for tucson – and then there was the driving and doing of that show! ^_^  it was ‘ok’ – while i managed to make a little profit, and it was way better than last year – still not what is was a few years ago.  the new ‘norm’, i guess.  it’s ok.

as i looked at titles of the last few posts, didn’t see one that indicated i had posted pictures of all 4 of those new small blocks – the La Petite ones.  so, here they are as they were first mounted.  i have changed the order and painted that molding strip black – looks much better.  they didn’t sell as well as expected – perhaps due to being at show in desert???  we shall see how they do in watsonville.  the tiger lily did sell well – that’s a good thing. ^_^

i taught a class yesterday and while in the quilt shop purchased some fabric to do a new #2 sample – will post when done.  it will just be fused, so probably by tomorrow.  the other project planned is to put together a second collection package for the mini’s.  while i have the first 15 in one set/package – the remaining 12 are not in one set and it gets confusing for someone who really wants them all – so will do that today.

and here’s the picture

la petite 4

i had hoped to get started on one of these – alas, no background fabric do i have.  ok, i do have some, but not willing to use on one of these.  the one i normally use for the regular ‘susan’ i also use for the fuchsia and it is in ‘short supply’ – as are the funds to order ‘bolts’.  the one i used on the new tiger – same story.  i am probably going to replace them both with something from tammy.  however, will have to wait till tomorrow to do/get.  going  to go ahead and cut what i have for the tiger kits – the full-size ones.  then can get it published!

so, i am hoping these are not so simple as to be ‘boring’ – that they will fit for those who want something small and less challenging than the big guys – but more ‘interesting’ than my “super simple, beginner patterns”.  as i stated in last post – they will be offered only as kits, just like the beginner ones – only definitely more than $5. ^_^  they will be 8″ squares and will debut in tucson in january.  the way it’s feeling right now – there will probably be more. ^_^

just thought i’d keep this blog a little more current than i have for the past year or so –

so, piqf was a good show for me.  i can honestly say that being up front has made a difference.  i’m certain part of it is ‘self-created’ as i do believe we create what we think, etc.  however, there is definitely a little different energy at the front.  and it’s amazing on day 1, when they do that silly count-down and all those nearly hysterical women come rushing thru all those doorways!  ^_^  it’s a little less crazy each day after.

so, as a result of good sales i am feeling ok about next year.  am able to at least make deposits on all the shows i really want to do.  have made the decision to return to tucson even tho it was a disaster last year.  it has always been good before that, so will give it one more chance.  i won’t, then, be doing san francisco – not because of dates -just finances.  can’t really justify san fran based on last time.  am still waiting to hear from watsonville – not sure what’s happening there???  perhaps today i will update the show schedule on the webpage – keep forgetting to do that.

here is a picture of the fabulous plant/flower that showed up in my garden this summer.  i think it’s going to be the next new design.  i will just have to make sure it’s very different from my good friend bobbie’s design!!

 

 

 

 

tammy even dyed some commercial fabric for me that i hope is going to look perfect!! ^_^

 

 

 

 

 

stay tuned.

and so my time is essentially up.  i have worked really hard the past few days – mostly because i didn’t work hard enough last week. 😦   i finished 3 of the 4 jackets – barely.  have never had so much trouble.  the first 2 went ok, #3 gave me fits and after a few tries, i finally gave up.  had the same trouble with the fourth one today and probably lost at least 3 hours on it.  was determined.  still not sure what was happening – fabric stretched or something.  not the machine – even changed, still same problem.  so, here they are and they will be available in the booth at piqf.  what doesn’t sell will still be available. ^_^

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

still have a lot to do before heading out tomorrow about 11:00 – at least the van is loaded!  just personal stuff left.

i am now down to just 2 full days before i leave for “the big show” on wed.  am i ready??  nearly.  should be able to complete all the patterns and kits today and regain possession of my bedroom!  full of tubs at the moment.  then i will tackle those jackets again – i have 4 ‘in process’ – 2 of them ready for the final step=hemming.  the 3rd one gave me all kinds of fits and i eventually had to just give up.  will finish the last one before i go back to that one!  not sure what the heck i’m doing “wrong”, have never had this much trouble with that neck trim piece.  grrrr

oh, so what’s the show, you may ask – it’s Pacific International Quilt Festival. (aka PIQF) if you live anywhere ‘out west’, you’ve probably heard of it.  a really wonderful show – amazing and true ‘art’ in the quilts and lots of great vendors – like me. ^_^  you need at least 2 days to see and appreciate it all – more if you take advantage of classes and/or lectures.  i did a couple of those before i was a vendor – very enjoyable and informative.

i don’t have much in the way of new designs, but do have some new samples – as i posted last time – using my friend tammy’s hand dyed fabrics. check her out at alwaysuniquefabric.com    and here’s one of the samples – there’s also one of these in ‘purples’ (just as there are both in the commercial fabrics.

hope to see you there – stop and say ‘hi’.

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