Thursday, August 9, 2012

how small can I go?

Now normally, when I do a craft show, I get a space that is 10x10 feet. Not too big when you think about it--a mere 100 square feet. But it is square. And usually a standard size that is often the most affordable of the options. Plus if I get a booth that is larger it never looks full of shoppers and lets face it, shoppers beget shoppers. So I make do. The booth seems small at first, then large as I erect it, then small as I hang the quilts but I know the booth and I make do.

But not at the Berkshire Craft Fair. No, this show--now in its 39th year--is set in a public high school--the gymnasium, the auditorium, strange nooks and crannies. Indeed it is run by the teachers of that school to provide money for those additional things that no public school--not even one in a relatively well-to-do district can purchase without some spare cash. These teachers are dedicated--after all, this is summer. School is on vacation. And the students who help as part of their public service requirement are also dedicated. So glad to help me load my work in. Stopping by my booth often to see if there is anything else I need. I do like to be appreciated.

But the problem is that since the fair is in a public high school, the booths are small. Nominally 6 x 10 feet. And let me tell you how hard it is to set up in a different space. Especially such a small space. Especially since my quilts are--shall we say--large.

With the help of the students I did load in my booth and work this morning. This will be my home for the next three days. At least during the day time. The other good aspect of this show is that I can drive home every night. Sweet, huh?

Now my booth is composed of steel pipes--five foot steep pipes to be precise. So I know that my booth will actually only be 5 x 10. Ouch that reduction also hurts. But I set up the booth. Do you see the basketball hoop above it?  Adds atmosphere doesn't it? Luckily I was one of the first ones there so I could store my quilts in the aisle.

Then I start to hang my quilts. This one is spring garden. Somewhat different from the quilts I have been making recently but it just came back from a gallery and will be perfect for a smaller booth I hope. Indeed it is from the same series my quilt summer which is in the collection of the American Museum of Art + Design. What fun I am having revisiting an old friend. Seeing fabrics I had long since forgotten. And design aspects that I am no longer exploring.


Fun, isn't it? Yes, I should work on the lights a bit though they look more extreme in this image than in real life. Time to finish adding work to the booth. Not everything I have. There is really not enough room, to put it mildly. But luckily the customers at this show are well-informed and patient so I know I can find quilts that will work for them.

Not bad for 5 x 10. A little tweaking. Can you see how I tucked in the drapes just a bit more?

Still need to do a bit more neatenng I think. Tomorrow. I will get there just a bit early and tuck in those hang tags. Straighten just a tad more. Probably should have brought a rug. Oh well. They are supposed to look at the quilts not the floor.

And the other booths. Oh there is some very interesting work there. Some of my very favorite craftspeople. And new bird houses that are so very cute I know I must spend more time looking at them.

The show runs Friday through Sunday 10-5. For more information check out their web site: What do you think? Will I see you there? Have you ever had to make do with a smaller than usual space?


  1. Hi Ann, very creative of you and lovely quilt! The worst thing for me is displaying my art canvases outside. The wind comes along and wants to knock them down. Hard on the wires, also a disaster if it rains. Glad you will be indoors, and good luck with your show.

  2. I think it look fabulous!!! How I wish I lived closer...I adore that kind of show! We recently returned from a quilt show ourselves. Three Tin Lizzie Long Arm quilters, several quilts...not easy to set up. I was beat. But I love to look around and the organizers kept us hydrated. Next show will include several sewing and embroider machines, in addition to the long arms. We now have a completely enclosed 12 ft. long trailer. In the Oregon Coast you never know what the weather will be. Best of luck this weekend!

  3. Small, but perfectly formed...