Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On The Road.......AGAIN!

It's time to load the van again and point her nose 'northwest'~
The AQS Show in Des Moines ~ we'll be there with the rest
Of vendors and amazing quilts displayed to dazzle you.
But first I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of all we do.
[A look behind the scenes at what it takes to make a 'show']
We lift and lug and hang and drape. It's harder than you know!

  This weekend we'll have a booth at a small local quilt show and spend our time visiting with lots of quilters we know from our own geographic area.  Fun, but relatively relaxing.  As I'm planning that booth set-up, I'm alsew running through my mind the set-up and necessary product yet-to-be-ordered for the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines, Iowa next week. 3 of us are climbing in the Stitch Mobile on Monday and heading northwest.  Lots of fun!  Lots of friends! Lots of work!!
  These events are a big part of my business.  I just do them. I don't give a whole lot of thought to what it all entails.  I've been doing these shows and events for 20 years now, sew although no one event is the same as another, the process for planning, hauling, merchandising and decorating our own little bit of quilty real estate are somewhat routine.
  A couple years ago, at exactly this time of the year, I was again preparing to head to this same show in Des Moines. One of my employee-friends commented, as we lugged and tugged and stuffed yet more stuff into the weary Stitch Mobile, "You know, I'll bet people who attend these shows would be amazed at what it takes to go from an empty convention hall to the stunning and inspiring displays that they walk into when they attend the quilt shows.  Maybe we should take some pictures and document this journey."  I looked at her and wiped my brow. "I think we should share our 'fun' with them, don't you?" I replied, laughing.  Sew join me today as I take you on one of our 'routine' quilty adventures!
  We loaded up at our shop in Chillicothe, Ohio where it was sunny and 70ish. After several hours of lugging and schlepping, we had her stuffed-to-the-gills and ready for take-off!

 Notice I left an 'eye hole' sew I could see out the back using my mirror!.
We're ready for take-off!!
  After a little over 10 hours of driving, laughing, yakking and listening to audio books, we arrived in Des Moines, Iowa and began the weary task of unloading!

 We've staked our claim on our own little bit of quilty real estate and began the ginormous task of making it look inviting and enticing!
For the first time ever we have to unload our precious cargo in the rain!  I have last minute utilities to purchase, and of course the neverending phone interruptions!  Great.  Lovely.
  Now it's up the ladder and on to business!  Lots to do!

  It's been 7 hours and there's still sew darn much to do!!  I'm pooped.
  The good news is our neighbors aren't doing things any faster than we are!  Whew!

  Finally just about ready for the Grand Opening early tomorrow morning!  What would we do without the 'basement' for storage under our draped tables?!
  Now it's off to the hotel with my girls ~ a hot shower, dinner and several glasses of wine!  As one of my past employees once said (she having been raised Quaker!) ~ "Now I know why you and Jan drink when you go to shows!"  Cheers!  Stop by and say 'hi' if you make it to the AQS Des Moines Quilt Show!  We'll be spending our days in Booth # 710  September 28 - October 1!!

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