The Free Motion Quilting Project: News from the Road

Friday, April 30, 2010

News from the Road

free motion quilting | Leah DayGuess where I'm blogging from?!

Yep, I'm curled up in bed enjoying the freedom of wireless internet in the Sleep In in Albemarle, NC.

We arrived on Friday around 4:30 and started setting up the booth. Whew! What an experience!

It certainly taught me never to walk into a place with expectations in mind because they will just be blown to bits the second I get there.

But it's not like we had any terrible surprises.

Mostly, I'd just tricked myself into thinking that I knew what my booth would look like and was then shocked senseless when it had to be totally rearranged due to a power conduit running through the center of the space.

Not wanting everyone to trip over the giant bump, I reorganized everything, but there were a few minutes where I just stood there and thought "What the &%*# am I going to do now!?"

Once I moved beyond that point, Josh and I got the booth set up, and realized that we had WAY more stuff than we had room for and started hiding the extra stuff under our tables.

There wasn't room for demonstrations at the booth itself, but I did have a time slot between 1:30 - 2 to talk about Reverse Shadow Trapunto in the demo area.

I did forget a few things in the chaos of leaving Shelby. The one most important was my camera, but Dawn from Dawn's Sewing & Embroidery (the most awesome organizer in the world) shot the candid pic of me above and then this shot and emailed it to me.

free motion quilting | Leah DayIt's nice to have some record of the booth and I think it came together really nicely. We had Release Your Light hanging on one side of the booth and Winter Wonderland hanging on the opposite.

We mostly had a lot of ooooos and ahhhhhs over the quilts and a lot of amazement over the fact that all of the quilts are quilted on a domestic machine.

I had my Juki set up, even though there wasn't room to quilt on it, and would point to it and say "YES! I made THAT quilt on THAT machine!"

I'm not sure why that is so hard to believe, but hopefully I dispelled the idea that you have to have a longarm for a few people at least.

I did meet some pretty awesome quilt store owners at this expo. Aimee Griffin owns an awesome quilt shop in Charlotte, NC called Overall Quilter.

Her booth was set up right across from mine, so we had fun chatting and sharing business ideas during the slow times of the day.

We talked a lot about the upcoming North Carolina Quilt Symposium, which I've been looking forward to since January. I'm craving a chill retreat where I can be a student again and relax into class like I did back in college.

I also met John Bryant of Featherweight Poppy, an awesome dealer of Singer Featherweight machines and parts.

John had a case of attachments with him and guess what was inside: a free motion foot! I had no idea a featherweight could stitch in free motion!

Ugh! I'm going to have to have one now!

Overall this show was a great learning experience for Josh and I. I learned that if I let go of my need for perfection and allow him to help me, we're both much happier and get loads done together.

Now I'm headed out to pack a few things in the car and head back to Shelby. We've got a lot of new things coming to the blog and the site this month that I'm excited about working on as soon as we get back.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Your booth looks great! I've been reading your blog since not quite the beginning of your project. I am going to the NC Quilt Symposium as well (as a matter of fact I heard about it on your blog!) - hope to see you there!

  2. After years of doing the quilt show vendor malls I absolutely KNOW what you are talking about! We always had to pack lots of "just in case" kind of stuff!

    BUT it was totally worth whatever it took you to get your booth up! It looks GREAT! Hope you had a GREAT show!

  3. Hope you have fun as a vendor - no doubt you'll be tired - but hope it's a happy kind of tired and you have lots of sales! Best wishes!

    I did my first machine quilting yesterday. First I did just free motion scribbles as I was in a class where the teacher was busy with other folks so I was left on my own... It wasn't fun - I was wondering if I really wanted to quilt after all...
    but as soon as I got home I found your site again and watched some of your videos again and was reminded of the things you suggested. My second round of quilting was almost fun. Now I'm looking forward to finishing my charity quilts.

    I learned why all the people who really quilt do not use cheap batting. I'm seeing the bearding on the back of the dark quilt - so I won't make that mistake again! (I think it's okay for hospital use though.)

    Using the charity quilt as a learning quilt is a good idea as I know they will not be looking at the details, but will appreciate the quilts I send them.

    I'm going to get the gloves you sell. I can see that would really help with controlling the fabric.

    Going to start up the machine again - I hope this time I can get the travel line a little straighter...

    Thank you again for making this site. It has changed since I first found it - but it's only now that I'm using your information.

    I have a new appreciation of quilting and hope again of finishing my projects thanks to you!

    Best of luck in your business.

    : )


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