At five locations around the area, groups of volunteers worked for 4 hours to check in all the quilts entered in the show. More than 480 were expected!
Besides ones that were delivered from local quilters, there was a huge number of quilts that were mailed in. Those all go to one address, and are then divided up and given to volunteers who take care of the quilts as though they were their own: they open the box, remove the quilt and examine it for any problems, then bring it to a Take -In location. When the show is over, they gather their charges and mail them back to the owners.
Every quilt, delivered personally or mailed in, have to go through the same take-in procedure. One by one, the quilts are carefully opened up and spread out on a sheet-covered table.
Measurements are taken to be sure the quilt is entered in the correct category (and sometimes they're moved!) and to see that it is clean (lint rollers are part of the Take-In supply kits) and make note of any stains or damage.
Critical is having the top of the hanging sleeve at 90" from the bottom of the quilt. That means on very large ones the top edge is folded back over the hanging rod, but it allows the bottom edge of the quilt to NOT TOUCH THE FLOOR.
Can you guess that is really important? It is, because if the quilt touches the floor it can be soiled or damaged. In past years we would pin the bottom up...but that was a terrible job, and no one felt right putting that many pins into somebody's quilt.
This year some quilts had to be returned because the sleeve was not 90" from the bottom. If the owner could move the sleeve before Take-In was over, then it was accepted. Other wise...I guess they have a start for next year's entry!
(and for those wondering, this is clearly stated on the entry form, complete with a diagram!).
Plenty of hands make handling the quilt a smooth process as the front and back are examined, then carefully re-folded and put back in the cloth bag it came in.
The owner gets a receipt for proper pick-up at the show's end, and the quilt's bag has a big tag attached so it can quicly be identified by it's number.
The number tells the quilt's category, and they are all stacked in order until it's time to be loaded in vans and delivered to the judging location.
This picture was snapped early in the day! By the time all the quilts came in, this entire area was covered.
Pictures I didn't take:
1) the entire pile of quilts!
2) my van and one other crammed full of quilts
3) the quilts piled up on rolling carts at the hotel ...
4) and the quilts being sorted by category in the large room where judging will start tomorrow!
All the quilts assigned to our location came in except one.
And there is always somebody (for once, not me!) who needs every single minute up to The Bitter End to get her quilt binding finished!
No names, please! This could be any of us...one finishing the binding, one moving the sleeve.
I salute you valiant quilters, stitching on until the job is done so your beautiful creation can be part of the show!
Judging starts tomorrow at 7:30 am.
I'll be there...all 3 days. But I am not allowed to report anything about what is said, or what quilts get prizes, or basically anything.
I will try to get a picture or two, but it won't be easy to take a photo that "doesn't show anything". And I'll tell you about the process, even if I can't reveal any info about the quilts themselves...
you will have to make it to QuiltFest Sept. 24--6 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville, FL!
Or keep visiting this blog (and here's a big "shout out" to my fabulous readers around the world! Hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes!)