Fabric enthusiasts everywhere are looking over a list of show schedules within driving distance...or booking plane tickets!
Here are a few items to consider taking along for a great day at any show, large or small.
1. Comfy shoes: Quilters dress from the ankles up...when they are smart! Wear your quilted art clothing or decorated T-shirt, but good shoes are the #1 key to a good quilt show experience.
2. Cash or Credit: You have to pay to get in, and you'll probably need some lunch money. After that, it's up to you to deal with personal spending habits!
Once in Paducah, friend Rita and I came upon two women laughing hysterically. When asked why, they inquired back if we had started to use our credit cards yet. We said no, and they said, "Well, when you do, then you'll know!" Later that day, having used up all available cash, when we pulled out the cards our eyes met...and we started laughing hysterically!
3. Small bag: This is for your money or anything else you need quickly. Do not bring your "I -haul-everything-for -the-whole-family" style purse. A fanny pack is popular, and now many quilters are wearing the pouch that hangs around your neck.
4. Large bag: not too large! This is for your shopping. It's easier to carry a good tote than 26 plastic bags. I love shows that have a bag drop off area (also good for class supplies and stashing the rolling tote that is not allowed inside the show).
A favorite bag of mine is the European sytle string shopping bag (it rolls up very small, but expands incredibly!)
5. Personal needs: You might get away with a small water bottle. I also like to bring a chapstick...I must be licking my lips at all the beautiful quilts!
If you need your meds, please bring them, and we'll all feel better!
6. Camera: Ask about the picture policy, as it's different everywhere. Ask merchants before taking photos in their booth. It is not nice to take a picture and then reproduce the quilt without asking permission (and that's for your own protection).
Hmmm, I think this topic needs a whole post of it's own!
7. Cell phone to find friends: Yes, it is true I called 800 miles back home to get the cell number of a friend who was at the same show, in the same building.
But if you need to have a long conversation, please take it outside or, even better, don't answer the phone! You are at the quilt show, for heaven's sake!
8. Small notebook & pen: There's no telling how many ways this comes in handy.
9. Return address labels: I forget them every time, and at every show I am in awe of those who can buy raffle quilt tickets with such ease.
10. Shopping list: If you're looking for something, don't let the over-stimulation cloud your mind. Write it down (especially the amount of yardage if it's fabric) and you won't go home only to have your friend let you know she saw it there.
BONUS: Take a friend to the show. Or a carload. It's more fun, and you'll have someone to stop for pie with on the way home.
Even better, take a new quilter and enjoy sharing ideas together.