31.6 Spoils of war … err … what I got at the quilt show

July 27, 2013

I had this vague idea to try to purchase something from as many vendors as I could while at the local quilt show.  One of my favorite things is sitting down for lunch with the vendors and finding about their day or their ideas of quilting in general.

I went around to the vendors the first day, walked around to about each one of them, and scouted out things that I liked at each place.  Two vendors were from our own guild and were easy to talk to in between garage sale shifts because they were upstairs with most of us guild members.

The other vendors, I went around, talked with many of them about their processes and what they do.

And I would like to show you what I got, and maybe share some stories.

pressing board with modern fabric

The first was actually a commission from one of the vendors who is essentially my age who lives pretty close to me who runs her own online fabric shop I Don’t Do Dishes on Etsy.

You should be able to see a pressing board, which I know she wouldn’t be able to make & ship off for her regular Etsy purchasers, I think pressing boards would classify as “quilt show only” types of purchases. She had like 4 pressing boards that looked so cute at her booth, and she had a lot of pretty modern fabric, and again I stress she lives pretty close to me. I bargained with her to make me a pressing board like the ones she was selling with a specific very Darla-like fabric.  She agreed and we made the exchange this week and I am SOO SOOO happy about this.

And she said that she has 4 potential shows to go vend at in the future, so this could be really good for her. We talked quite a bit about the toils of “guessing what will be popular” part of opening up a shop, her general philosophy about being able to turn over fabric to be able to buy the stuff that is going to be the next big thing, purchasing entire ‘lines’ of fabric and why it’s not always a good idea. And how good or useful ‘go cutters’ really are to cutting jelly rolls and such.

I am going to have to save up my pennies to go get some more of this fabric before it is gone. She also had more pretty fabric, for which seeing the bolts travel to the show was quite unusual.  It sounded like a stress to move all the wire shelving (what I use to store most of my fabric, actually) from one place to another. Anyway, check out her shop, I am sure she would like the business.

i dont do dishes shop at eudora qulit show

Then right next to her was my last actual purchase during the show, and it was also very very nice to talk to this guild member too, she was definitely a sales lady, and she didn’t waste a minute of her free time. She had aprons, and bowls and she knew how to help package them.

Here’s the bowl I purchased, I kept eying the colors in it.

fabric bowl

She said this particular bowl she had this amazing argyle colored fabric and she did the thing with the strips around the clothesline.  Her website cherylshandiwork doesn’t have a ton of specific pictures of individual bowls, but is nicely done and shows her in action at several local events.

She has aprons that adjust, casserole carriers, bowl sets with fabric bowls, recipe cards, and an actual food bowl for chili. Several different sizes of bowls, some oblong shaped ones that are great at holding rotary cutters, pens, etc, and several sets.

During the show, she was making new wrapped strings, and it was fascinating to watch her work & interact with everyone.  She didn’t use bias strips in making her bowls, its straight cut all the way.

She has been making these bowls for so long she knew exactly how long of a piece she needed before gluing it to the cord, she knew what kind of cord she liked, how big of strips she needed to get full coverage and minimize the amount of fabric she needed.

Here is a picture of her shop. Well some of it.

cheryls bowls

And you turn a bowl upside down and stitched to the back is her name, and a variation of her business card.

bottom of bowl

And then the last of our own guild members, I bought another bowl from her shop that her husband made.

Out of wood.

wooden bowl

This is just the perfect shape, and I got to talk to him and her a little bit about his process.

I really liked some of the multicolored wood that he had for sale (another piece I didn’t buy), and asked him how he made it.

It sounds like a long process, as you have to create boards of alternating colors, glue them, wait, and then stack several boards together that all have alternating colors, and then glue everything down, wait, and then you can cut shapes out of it with the lathe.

guild member as vendor 3

It looks like I failed to get pictures of his part of the shop, and this picture was taken just before everything was packed up. In the picture above, you can see some of the quilts and patterns that Rose Cottage Quilts has for sale.  She does florals, pastels, uses antique linens, handkerchiefs, embroidery, and now wool applique (the bright stuff in the box in the front).

It doesn’t appear that the wooden pieces he had for sale are on the website, perhaps he is building up for his own separate side business. I know they have sold quilt racks at the local shop in the past, and they make a great team.

Did I fail to mention that she has put on the quilt show for several years, and although her role has changed for this past show, she still was instrumental in getting the whole thing put together?

A few more things, and I will let you go from talking about this quilt show.

The very first thing I purchased was something that was me but not me.

earrings and necklace

These earrings and necklace were made of recycled glass. I don’t tend to wear jewelery, but I found the process of making these fascinating, and I did want to find a way to support the lady who was making these.

The chain is my own, the pendant would work better with a silver chain, but this is what I had available.  Krazy Lady Designs.

She takes glass shards of discarded glass, lays them together in interesting ways, and then fires the pieces in a kiln and some of them turn out, and some of them don’t go exactly the way one would expect.

I love the teal and the purple combo.  And even if I don’t keep them, I can always gift these for one of my nieces.

The next picture to show is the beautiful hand dyed stuff!

hand dyed gradiation fabric

I talked to this lady a really long time about how she dyes, and her hand dyes, she does a little snow dyes, over dyes, and the whole process. She uses Procion dyes, and she has devised a way to get the gradation of the same color by taking the dye and diluting it, and then putting the next one in, and diluting it a little more. I think she said like half each time usually.

She had some wonderful textured pieces, and I liked these since they were a simple over dye. She has been doing this 10 years and I asked her if after setting up her business she has gotten tired of doing all the dying, and she’s STILL excited to do it, and keeps experimenting with things she is working on.

She came from the other side of KC, and she may have brought some of her friends with her, because I heard some people from the Missouri side attended the show.  I wish I could have bought more from her, her gradations were delightful!

Lastly, I think I’ll share with you my 2nd salt seller pincushion.

salt seller

This goofy fabric kept calling me back and calling me back, so I told her that I KNEW I had to have it.  She described how she made a yoyo like shape and then stuffed it, and she has gotten good at figuring out exactly how much will stuff the little pincushion well.  And then runs a little bit of glue around the edges to keep it all in place after putting the button on the top.

She had some other really cute pincushions for sale, some were in tea cups, and a couple in little glass birds.  It was fun to see all the combinations, and she enjoys making the little pins that compliment the piece.

And I didn’t buy one, but I kept talking to the guy who runs Stitches and Glass. I talked to them about how Sandi from Quilt Cabana Corner bought a featherweight from them, and they rightly remembered it was just before a storm coming (before hurricane Sandy).

I was interested to know how much business they got at quilt shows as probably not many people would be there to buy featherweights, but they find it important name recognition. I found it wonderful that someone close by has interacted with someone that I knew across one half of the country.

They were excited to give / sell? a machine to a lady who was traveling to Africa for some kind of mission work to help women in poverty through sewing. At least that’s the part of the story I remember anyway.

Okay, well, I have been doing a little bit of cleaning & little bit of sewing, and so next post will finally not be about the quilt show.  Hope you enjoyed learning about some of our wonderful vendors, and the rest of the show!


  1. Fun stuff! I love the fabric on your ironing table and the dyed fabrics too. The jewelry is gorgeous! I think you should keep it and wear it!

  2. Great choices! I love how you feel compelled to support local artists. It’s the only way to keep art flowing.

  3. Darla, I have so enjoyed your posts. Don’t stop. Your purchases and commentaries are delightful. Keep them coming.

    • Reeze, I don’t know if I have any more left about the show. This was all typed last Sunday except the post today about what I bought….

  4. It’s to read about your conversations with the vendors. I think it’s also special to find goodies at your own show. Does your guild have one each year? Sorry if you’ve said, I don’t remember.

    • We have them every other year at this time. We may end up doing one next summer because we’re coordinating with a few other guilds in the area for one in June of 2015, and then we could work around it better.

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