With just a few weeks left until Festival of Quilts 2019 opens I thought I would share some experiences from last year with you.
So what can I say about working at the Festival of Quilts? It is amazing, it is overwhelming, it is very sociable and it is very tiring – these are just some of the ways to describe it.
Festival of Quilts starts for me on the Monday when I deliver my quilt/s for entry into the competition. It’s a far cry from the hubbub of Opening Day!
2018 was the second year that I had worked at FoQ and I was demonstrating and teaching on Pinhole Quilting’s stand. They are the UK distributor of Handi Quilter longarm machines. This was the brand of longarm machine I bought in 2015. In 2017 I started demonstrating for Pinhole Quilting and in 2018 I became one of two UK Handi Quilter Educators – some journey!
Anyway, back to Festival. As I lived 1/2 hour away I was asked if I also wanted to help set up. Well this is a real eye opener!!! Truly the events world is an unbelievable industry that I had never encountered before. At 1.30pm on Tuesday afternoon there were very few stands erected and people still in forklifts, hard hats and high viz.
By 10am on the Thursday it is all done and ready for the public – it’s unbelievable that it happens but happens it does!
The excitement builds as the opening time draws near: rubbish is cleared from the aisles; lasy minute adjustments to the stands are frantically being done; announcements over the tannoy start a countdown to opening time; the man with the chequered flag banters with those at the front of the queue … and what a queue it is; and then it starts ….
A wonderful bonus of working during the show is that you are able to come in before the doors open and get to look at the quilts with very few people around. You can really see the quilts and also take great photos!
If you ever do get the chance to help on a stand then I would definitely recommend you do. It is a great way to really immerse yourself in the show and you meet lots of wonderful quilters. Talking about your passion to someone else whose passion is the same – now is that really work?!