Friday, March 30, 2018

Fair and symposium

On Monday I returned from a four-day job at the h&h, the international craft and fabric fair in Cologne. Handi Quilter had asked me to join their staff on the stand for some linguistic input and I gladly accepted because I had always wanted to go to that fair just out of sheer curiosity. It was a very interesting experience, if hard work. Long days, standing on hard floor, demonstrating and explaining - I found it much harder work than standing at the stand with my own fabrics, selling, rearranging the display. I was even more tired after the days in Cologne than I ever was at the consumer fairs I have been to. The ideal package for such a job should include a one hour massage every evening!

Before the opening of the show: two of my own quilts, and one from the
70,273 Project, which I quilted, decorate the stand

Mounting a fabric for demonstration purposes

Negotiations with Chuck Fresina from Handi Quilter

I had a bit of time to look around, too, and was amazed at the importance of knitting yarns at the show. 

From what I saw, you would think everybody in the world is knitting, and a lot. With some of the design pieces I saw 

Detail of the vest above - this is crochet, I assume worked in two steps,
first a black grid, and then an overlaying second pattern.

The edges of the circles are worked with individual threads,
no threads are carried over on the inner side.

Patchwork knitting...

I did wonder who would knit that kind of a project, and even more importantly, who would go around wearing something like that.

But I was very pleased to see so many interesting and high quality yarns around. 

This company became one of my favorites - perhaps because
their stand was just opposite from ours?

Another one I really liked (and got some of their skeins at the end of the show) was Check them out, their range is marvellous! You just hope that the trend towards knitting does continue, and that these smaller companies can keep it up.

When I returned home I had a rather unpleasant surprise, however. Over the four days at the show I had not really checked my mails on the computer, only on the phone, because in the evenings I was simply too tired to open the mail program. Because of some refugee-mailing-list that I have recently joined, the incoming messages have multiplied and it has become much harder to stay on top of the stream of messages, especially on the phone. So I had missed one message which seemed rather important. The evening before I left for Cologne I had finally sent off my application for the symposium that I had briefly mentioned a while ago. On the evening before the deadline, so almost last minute. Imagine my dismay when I found a message from the organizer could I please resend my attachment because he could not open the file. Monday evening is three full days after the deadline has passed… I did resend my attachment right then and apologized for not doing so earlier, but in my heart I started building a wall against disappointment at probably not being chosen because of late entry.
Waking up on Tuesday morning, however - I slept late, until 7.30! - there was a reply already, “all is good, my wife could open it after all, you’ve been selected, we will be in touch!” What a relief, although it did take a few hours to sink in completely.
By now I have started planning and preparing and am looking forward to the event. Even though it is going to be rather risky thing. We will be working in public, under a tent, yes, but if it is pouring rain, as it can be at that time of year, we are going to be cold and miserable, and how is my machine going to like that…? I will make sure to find out whether there will be a bad-weather-option available that we could relocate to.


  1. I am glad you got into the symposium!
    I did outdoor demo with my machine. I just had a gazebo sort of tent I had borrowed, with only one long side wall. At one point we suddenly had a downpour and hail and very high winds!
    I was glad I had taken a flannel sheet with the idea to use it for pinning work to, but instead, I used it for a wind break. I had all my layers, sweatshirts, jackets, coats and gloves.
    I was soo cold, but my machine was fine. It was my pfaff connected to the food kiosk by an extension cord. Are you doing a domestic machine or your longarm?

    Now I have my own gazebo with 3 walls! and I have demoed outside with the same machine on a nice sunny day.
    So, basically, I would worry more about you being as warm as you can be, and not worry so much about the machine as long as you are under cover.
    Hope everything works out!

    1. Thanks, Sandy. The whole thing will take place about a 5-minute-walk from my house (if that much), so the preps for keeping warm don't need to be that thorough because I can go home anytime. But as weather tends to be on the unstable side at that time of year, better be prepared for anything! And I do appreciate the confirmation that your machine did it all - it will be an interesting experience!

  2. Just mind if you pin work on the outside of the tent. It is a good idea for drawing people in, but if the materials in your work might even possibly start to bleed colours...don't put them outside!
    I had a red old book spine on a piece, which bled into a white and blue piece that used tissue I had sewn as well as some painting. in the end I had to repaint some parts, including painting over the red with white on the background. And it was only wet for a small amount of time. But I laid one work on the other.