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2019 Schedule!

There are just 25 days left this year. Yikes!! Time to share the plans for the new year. Click on the links below to get more information and Sign Up!
Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival: February 28 – March 3.
Metro Modern Quilt Guild, New York, New York: Saturday, April 6 (Vending)
Quiltfest Lancaster: May 9 – 11 at the old ‘Host’. Class: Transparent Illusions, Saturday, May 11.
Dynamic Disperse Dyes class at Peters Valley School of Craft, July 26 – 30.
Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild: Trunk Show and Class: No Muss, No Fuss Thickened Dye Exploration, August 10.
(updated 2/21/2019)

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Dye Cadets, at ease.

Dye Boot Camp is coming up at MQX – the Machine Quilters’ Festival in Manchester, NH. I will be teaching and lecturing there all week – the first class is Dye Boot Camp on Wednesday, April 5 at 8 AM! It will be a quick four-hour version covering everything you need to know about dyeing cotton quilt fabric – AND about washing it out! #MQX
Sign up here! (It’s the third on the list.)

Class hard at work, learning something new. 🙂
 Colors, colors and more colors!
No hat this year, but the whistle might have to be pulled out!
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One time event!

This week is the Quilt & Sewing Fest of New Jersey. It’s in Somerset, at the Garden State Convention Center. I’m teaching on Saturday, and it’s the only time I’m taking this class on the road. There are only three seats left, and you can sign up Thursday and Friday at the show. Here’s a peek:

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It’s show time!!

The spring quilt shows are here!
Join us at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, February 22 – 26, booth 605.
Join us at the Quilt and Sewing Festival of New Jersey, March 2 – 5, booth 604.
Join us at the Machine Quilting Exposition, April 5 – 8, booth 180.
If you receive our newsletter, you already have a coupon you can use in the booth. If you don’t get it – why not? You can sign up here in the box to the right. Thanks!

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A bigger booth

Today the invoice came for my show booth at the Mid Atlantic Show. It is both scary and exciting. I have a bigger booth this year, so my location has moved. The new booth number is 605, and it’s very close to the front door, and across from wearable art! Woo-hoo!
I’ve posted the schedule for the year here: DippyDyes Calendar

This is a partial view of the first booth I ever set up, in 2008, plus my neighbor’s booth behind.

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Mixed news, mostly good

Well, where to start? The big news – the Kickstarter campaign was a success, and my first coaching call happens next Tuesday! I’ve been shaking things up around here in preparation – it’s time to get

One thing I realized in writing this post is that I share different information on different sites. One thing that never made it to the blog is that I entered two works for jurying into “Material Matters” at the Union Street Gallery in Chicago. Neither was accepted, but that means I have them here when I speak to the Denton, Maryland Heartland Quilters tonight. Here’s the new work:


One thing that’s not too visible is the needle felted distressing on the fabric. This was an upsetting (or distressing – grin) work for a lot of boring reasons, but it was also fun to make. Nothing like focusing on process to get through the tough stuff.

detail, Impaired

And I’m working on stenciled painted polka dots on a polyester organza for a wedding gown. Sounds nutty, but the piece I’ve finished so far is fun! Using paint is a little outside my usual comfort zone, and using black paint on white fabric requires real diligence in the cleanliness department! So far, so good.

And we’re getting ready here for the show in Oaks, PA. If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list, click here, or follow the link at the upper right, and you’ll receive a coupon to use at Oaks in the next newsletter. Preregistration ends tomorrow, 9/5, and is available online. I’m teaching the pipe wrapping class again, on Friday afternoon – it would be great if you could join us! And I will be teaching next March at the Mancuso shows, so I have been working on samples for those classes.
Show and tell at pipe-wrapping class

We’re also returning to Chautauqua, New York at the end of the month. The day we head home is our 35th wedding anniversary – where did the time go?! There will be another newsletter and coupon for that, so click the sign-up link if you’re not already on the list.

One thing that has resulted from the Kickstarter campaign – I have folks coming here to dye. Candy will be here for a week to play, and Gail will be here the following Monday. Margaret and I have yet to set a date. I’m so looking forward to all of those visits! 

Now I need to stick price tags on some items before they go with me to Maryland. Thanks very much for reading!

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A Good Week

Last week was a good week. Finished the layout on the ten-year-old quilt and started assembling the top (more below.)
The progress on the Kickstarter campaign, or experiment, has been gratifying – I’m halfway there and have 11 days to go. So, if you can, please use this as an opportunity to add to your stash of dyed or PFD fabrics, or schedule a one-on-one class. And if you can’t, can you share the link? I’m going to use the funds for coaching to make my business better. I love what I do – the making, selling and teaching – and really want to keep doing it as long as possible. I need to do it better. Do I deserve the support I’ve already gotten? It has been humbling to have so many folks give me such a vote of confidence. Deserve – no, not just as a matter of begging. But the other way to look at it is as a ‘sales drive’ with the proceeds earmarked for this specific project. So I hope you can “shop-pledge” through Kickstarter before Friday, August 8.
My sister came to visit for a couple days (so I actually cleaned) and we went to the Quilt Odyssey show in Hershey. I took a few photos with my phone:

This quilt is made with Radiance, and the sheen is wonderful. And of course the design and execution are awesome. Margaret Soloman Gunn made this.
Also saw this quilt by Lee Ann Paylor – nice to see an online friend’s work in person.

And – almost forgot! My Pythagorean Prism quilt (made of hand-dyed and commercial Radiance, and it’s a reward on Kickstarter) will be part of the BAQS exhibit at Chatanooga! Here’s a detail:
Thanks for looking – and sharing and clicking and re-posting!
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Life After the Latest Quilt Show

It’s Monday afternoon after the West Virginia Quilt Festival and we’ve been home about a day. Laundry is done, suitcases unpacked. Still have to move the booth stuff in, once the road-weariness has had a chance to abate. (And if my language is a little stuffy or odd, that’s a side effect of fatigue.)
Recently, I’ve been getting emails from Alyson Stanfield of In her video series, 6 Tips for Improving Your Art Business, she speaks about creating ‘ecstatic encounters’ between people and your art. I’ve seen two such encounters at shows this year – customers who were visibly moved by a piece of my fabric. That’s really gratifying and awe-inspiring. And it’s the kind of feedback that makes me keep going back to shows.
That said, all the ego-enhancing experiences I’ve had at shows over the years don’t impact the bottom line. But, lest you think I’m planning on throwing in the towel (which is often how I feel when I get home), I’m considering how to get more buck for my bang. Another vendor who was at the show selling hand-dyed fabrics also sold commercial fabric, which accounted for 85% of her sales. And she did four times what I did in sales. What do you think: would adding select bolts of commercial fabric dilute my brand? Or enhance it?

Finally, I was thrilled to see the Dare to Dance Art Quilt Challenge hanging at the show. Here’s a picture of me with the book and some of the quilts, including mine, of course!

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Home again, and some news

Last night I spoke at the meeting of the Berry Basket Quilters in Medford, NJ. My usual speaking engagement is a trunk show, starting with some early quilts, and ending with the latest quilt in the works, with lots of hand-dyed fabric in between. It was fun, because I can always talk dyeing!

PA Guild of Craftsmen logo

My friend Karin is in the guild, and I stayed the night with her, and we talked quilting, fabric and dyeing most of the time we were awake. I also spoke about my business and the recent craft show experience. One goal with a real deadline was applying for state-wide juried status with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. So, the deadline is tomorrow, November 15, and I got my submission done today! And, by the way, I have already been juried at the Lehigh Valley Chapter level.
One of the quilts I am submitting for jurying is not currently in my hands. It is with Shannon Shirley, and it is going to be included in an upcoming book to be published by Schiffer Publishing. But if I am selected for the jurying session (no guarantees) I’ll be able to get the quilt here in time. And the really cool part is that Shannon told me it will be included in the exhibit at the upcoming Quiltfest Destination Savannah in the end of March, 2014. Keep your eyes open for it, and I’ll post a picture of it on this site when the exhibit is unveiled.

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The show that wasn’t

Recently I posted on some of the several lists and groups I belong to asking for feedback on whether or not to vend at a fine craft/art show. Here’s what I wrote:

I just got back from a fine craft show for which I wasn’t prepared. The booth cost $100 and I sold $55, and I slept at home. I didn’t promote it to my mailing list. There’s another one November 8-10; DH thinks I should stay home and I’m on the fence. I’ve already paid out $400, but if I go, there’s lodging and travel (which is painful for hubby) – say another $500, plus a door prize that I’d have to make. I can learn from my mistakes and advertise it to the folks on my mailing list – there are lots in the area – and go there anyway and take a chance. Will quilt show attendees come to a fine craft show?

I got a lot of great feedback on both sides of the question – 33 emails and a phone call. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to reply. The bulk seemed to be on the ‘stay’ side; on top of which I went to the show’s website and Facebook page, which in my opinion didn’t do anything to instill confidence. Plus there’s another show with a similar name about 80 miles away that is competing head to head for a lot of the same attendees.

The final result – I decided to stay home and work. I told hubby he could feed me. (Is that just cashing in too much on his guilt?) Then I told him seriously – “let’s try another, bigger show that’s close to home.” And of course, we’ll be at Hampton, VA and Somerset NJ in the late winter again next year!

2013-10-26 10.11.57Here’s a view of my booth at the Lehigh Valley chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show – the Holiday Marketplace at the Swain School. There’s a new look for me – a canopy 2013-10-27 13.56.30frame with black drapes.

Here’s a new idea – matted pieces of fabric displayed on an easel. One of the good ideas I picked up at the Allentown show.

The show was very nice, and many vendors had good sales. Maybe next year I will too! Thanks again to those who responded, and thanks for reading!