No sewing to follow this month, just a little insight into what goes on behind the scene before you visit an Exhibition. In the group I belong to – Cornwall Beacon Quilters – we hold a Exhibition every 3 years, whereas lots of groups hold them biannually. Our key roles on the committee hold posts for three years. 2018 is our Exhibition year and my last year as Group Secretary.
My work on the Exhibition started over two years ago, making sure the venue was booked for the dates to suit most members (as they are very important too) and ensuring the traders were available for the dates.
The Chairman gives the committee ideas what she would like for the raffle quilts and the committee vote which ones will be made. Then follows the sourcing of the fabrics and booking the venue for the day so all the group can come to help start the process. The photos below are from the end of the first day.
The quilts progress over the next few months to create the first prize quilt. Getting the layout right was the hardest thing. Once the top is completed, the next step was to source a longarm quilter relatively local to quilt it. We chose Sarah Wickett from Ambleside Quilting and are always very happy with her work.
Next stage was to start the second prize quilt, which was to be a Disappearing Courthouse Steps. Our group are lucky to have Mary Norman of Patchwork Dreamer as a member and serving her term as our present chairman. Once we had chosen the fabrics, Mary then spent the time cutting all the squares and strips ready for our members to construct the block.
The quilts were well on the way, venue and traders all sorted, or so we thought. Until a message came from the Church were we hold it telling us a wedding had been booked for the Friday afternoon and we had to vacate the church for the afternoon!. So we had to change the date, lucky the raffle tickets had not been printed, so we managed to get the date changed just before the print run.
We as a group decided to have our own Quilt stands made this year and that was started last October, and I must say what an excellent job done too, so now in future we can make the money back by hiring them to other groups in the area for their Exhibitions.
Another thing was getting our members to make things for the sales table, sometimes I felt I was nagging them a lot. I also wanted some nice prizes for the Chinese Raffle I wanted to try out, a first for our group. Getting members to let me know what quilts and items they were going to exhibit was an important job so I could print and laminate them. I think it looks better if they are all the same.
Well the week of the Exhibition arrived and not a lot of sleep was had by the committee I have to say. Arranging help to hang all the quilts, or I should say we use husbands and partners, was important too. Set up started the day before the doors open, but all was completed in 4 hours. More nerves kick in with lots of negative thoughts are going through your mind.
The first day arrives, the doors open and what was all the worrying about, three days of lots of lovely people visiting. The ladies of the church sorted the refreshments and the members of the Cornwall Beacon Quilters were there to help manage the stewarding.
Lots of money was raised for local charities and taking down it all only took 45 minutes. Below are just a few pictures of what was on show. Our members excelled themselves this time as always. There will be many more shown over at UK Quilters United too I am sure.
Thank you for reading my blog and hope you found it interesting.