BATIKS Etcetera & Sew What Fabrics

Quilt with beautiful Batik.


Help – There’s a Basketball Goal in My Booth!

What do you do when your booth at a quilt show comes complete with a basketball goal, bleachers, and wall structures that increase in size so you can't use full height on your backdrops? By the way, the lady in blue is looking at a quilt not the hoop - but her expression is about how I felt setting up! You get creative.

Notice the quilts hung from the basketball goal supports and lighting clamped onto the goal also!

The bleacher and wall challenges resulted in differing heights and more interest to the viewer. The booth was very busy and we had a ball. (pun intended)

Here are the happy, creative workers in our booth. From left is me Carol Britt, Susan Edmonson from Concord, NC, Joan Minnick who works at the shop, and Cindy Mostoller who helps for events. Susan helps in our booths periodically and we always have fun.



Booth Merchandise Squeeze

We leave tomorrow for Paducah, KY.  We have an 8′ x 20′ booth.  I usually reserve more; I like 10′ x 30′.  But this is all we can get in Paducah.  So we are getting ready for the booth squeeze!  The pictures below are from Lancaster, PA.  We had a 10′ x 20′ booth which is a little easier but 8′ x 20′ is all we can get!  So get ready to squeeze.

Trailer packed

Here is our 10' trailer packed to the gills! The van is loaded down also.

Here is Robin hanging samples. The booth tables, electricity, and samples are done first.

Samples are hung and bolts of fabric are placed on the tables. Next come the boxes of half yard cuts of batik, fat quarters, kits, and patterns.

All put together with not an inch to spare! We even put lights under the tables for more display area.

Robin, Anna, and me (Carol). We are all ready for the first wave of quilters. The booth in Lancaster was between two loading dock doors and our samples kept blowing around. As soon as the show opened that problem was over - much warmer then too!

My sister Kathe and me. I usually have 4 people working in our booth. Since we were in PA and close to Kathe she joined us for the show. We had a grand time together. And yes, she really is that much taller than me!


Interlocking Hexagons

Yum Yum.  I love this Interlocking Hexagon quilt that Anna made.  It measures 41″ x 50″.  We had a great time picking batiks for it.

We have a kit that includes the pattern.

The pattern is also available by itself.

You will want Marti Michelle’s great Hexagon ruler too.

Think how great this would be for an I Spy quilt.  It really shows off the fabric, too.

Anna made the quilt for our monthly Marti and Me Club.  This is a mail order club that features one of Marti’s rulers and a great new pattern each month.

Marti’s patterns are so complete with multiple projects and lots of pictures.  They are free with your membership.

Or you can buy the patterns, kits, and rulers by themselves without being in the club.

The Interlocking Hexagons quilt pattern also shows a great way to finish the edge of a quilt without binding.  That’s worth the price of the pattern!

Check it out!

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This is a corner of my new Snibbles Quilt.

This is a pattern by Debbie Bowles of Maple Island Quilts.

Snibbles uses up binding leftovers, strip leftovers, and pieces too good to throw out!

The diamonds are the foundation for the sew and flip strips.  Grand fun!

I’ve used several red batiks for the diamonds and half diamonds.

The “organizing” fabric is a red and white batik by Hoffman.

I just love the thought that red is the organizer and calming influence in a quilt!

The strips are from our Christmas 2010 Batik Jelly Roll.

Another great choice would be our Winter Batik Jelly Roll for 2010. Diamonds and half diamonds of a green teal would be perfect.


Life on the Road: Credit Cards

EGADS!  HELP!  At the Asheville show we had problems with a new credit card reader.  I spent the first hour or so on my cell phone with tech support trying to get it to work.  My calm husband Marty stayed at my side.  I had to find an analog line and thankfully the NC Arboretum’s fax line was analog.  They kindly let me use it.

Then mid afternoon it stopped working.  We broke out the old knuckle buster and ran old time tickets.  I knew I schlepped that around all these years for a reason.  The box would only take 100 sales and this was a good show!  Each day we broke out the knuckle buster.  My 20 something helper, Kendall was appalled at the old technology.  Thankfully Marty had used one before long ago.

Then at the hotel I couldn’t do the deposit.  I spent 2 plus HOURS on three separate calls trying to get things right.  The people were WONDERFUL.  The last two calls were the SAME person.  What are the chances?

Everytime we did a step the machine would spit out more paper.  Finally all was corrected and life turned to normal.  I think I’ll travel with my old box in the future!


AQS Knoxville, TN 2010

We had a grand time in Knoxville, TN with the AQS show. Our booth was very colorful and well attended. Great people, great food, great weather (but hot).

We meant to count samples because there were so many.  The shot above shows Carol demoing Bali Bowls and Baskets.  So much fun.  This technique has no raw edges showing.  Carol is making Christmas presents while she demos at the shows.  Smart!

The A+ Team

The A+ Team above are Anna Jones, Carol Britt, Kendall Price, and Laura Post.  Anna writes the Why Not Wednesday emails and is our website development person.  Carol is the owner.  Kendall is leaving us for Graduate School at Virginia Tech soon and will be sorely missed.  Laura recently moved to Wytheville area from Pennsylvania and is our gal Friday at the shop (and Tuesday, and Wednesday….).  The patterns in front are from Carol’s quilt pattern company, Cotton Dreams Patterns.

Marty and Carol Britt

We love when Marty can come to the show and help us pack up.  He makes it so easy for us and does all the jobs we don’t like.  That would be disconnecting and packing electrical and disassembling the fixtures.  He also gets into the trailer and loads stuff in the right place.  Yea Marty.  Marty will be with us in Asheville, NC and Jacksonville, FL.

We are glad to be home filling orders and welcoming people to our shop!


How to Load a Trailer

Lots of people ask us how we get so much in our little black Batiks Etc trailer.  The quick answer is experience and experimenting.  Everything has to be in assigned seats.  The right size box must intersect with another size box.  My dh Marty takes a picture of each row as he packs so we can get everything in the right place on the way home.  Too many times, we have had to repack late at night when things don’t fit!  Marty prints the photo and puts it in a holder on the back door so we can refer to it.

What we carry can change but the fixtures and boxes must maintain their relationships for all to fit!

Here is a step by step of our last trip.

We also put lots of stuff in the van.  That’s where the bolts go.  And 3 – 4 great workers!  Notice the photo sleeve on the door.  Our favorite trip is when Marty goes along.  We don’t have to think so hard on pack up when he is with us!