Monday, November 25, 2013

Elegant Threads Sale Part Two

lavender bird hand woven fabric

We were fortunate to have good weather for our sale and that always encourages good attendance.   We have a great cadre of regulars who attend our sale each year.  Some are friends others are just lovers of fiber arts and hand crafted items.  They come every year to see what we are up.  This year we welcomed many people who were visiting our display for the first time because our event was part of the Winter Art Walk.  Many people stayed to chat and some even tried our demonstration loom with its rainbow warp.

Anne's demonstration loom with colour gamp warp

The annual show and sale is a major undertaking for the guild.  The small sales committee starts planning for the sale early in the new year.  The hall must be booked and timetables coordinated with other groups participating in the Winter Art Walk.  Promotional plans need to be in place in September, which means designing and printing materials.  There are always props to build, repair or locate.  The sales committee is too small to staff the 3 day event so the entire guild gets involved.  Just organizing the volunteers to work during the show is a major task.  We are fortunate that so many people (even those who do not put anything into the sale) come forward to help. 
two shawls

Pat's shrug with red hat
Dressing the show is one of the most difficult tasks and also one of the most sensitive.  The set up group have no idea what will arrive.  One year we might have a few skeins of hand spun yarn or like this year we may have an abundance of yarn for sale.  Some times we have shawls but few tops but another time it may seem that everyone in the guild wanted to make a scarf.  This year we had more tops than usual but fewer tea towels.

shelves full of scarves

It is difficult to impossible to make sure that every item is shown to its best advantage when the doors open.  The best compromise we have found is to move items around over the course of the show in order to bring items that may be in the shadows for a time into the limelight.  The sales committee re positions the show at the start of each day.

This year we had an abundance of everything.  That meant lots to see and a lot of choice for shoppers.
wool & mixed fiber shawls
hand woven rugs

It is great that our members have been so productive over the past year.  It was also nice to see items from newer members or those relatively new to spinning and weaving. We had positive comments from visitors from other guilds.  It is always a bonus if another fiber artist appreciates your work.
tops and hats were very popular items
red hat hand spun yarn
open work knitted scarf
Weaving and spinning/knitting skills were both well represented.  We had plenty of knitted items, scarves of many kinds, shawls, caps, mitts, slippers and purses.
A selection of funky knitted scarves
Selling a item that you created is a bit like giving away a puppy.  You want it to go to a good home.  You hope the person that purchased your piece values it and can see it as you do.  Many items left our sale over the 3 days.  Some were immediately united with their new owner but many will go into gift boxes for others.  Where ever they end up we hope they will be appreciated and enjoyed.
table mats & runners
knitted tam and scarf

tea towels galore

So, now that it is over what are we up to?  Well eating and visiting is high on the list as our pot-luck lunch takes place in December.  After that we need to get busy again.  Next year we have to produce items for both our annual sale and a gallery show. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elegant Threads 2013

This past weekend the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners guild held their annual show and sale at Rotary House in Qualicum Beach.  We had plenty to show and tell and sell as you can see in the photos. 

Early in the morning guild members arrived with their boxes of goods.  It was like opening Christmas presents and finding surprises but without the messy wrapping paper.  But as kitchen counters, chairs and appliances became covered in scarves, tea towels and shawls we began to panic.  How are we going to display all this?? 

It happens ever year and some how the set up elves find a place for everything.  While we are busy in the kitchen opening checking and sorting things the display group are busy with tables and lights and props.  In the photo below they have cleared the hall and put up the tables.  The props are sitting waiting to be put in place and dressed.
This can be heavy work and we are always grateful for friends and spouses who show up every year to lend a hand.  It helps to have tall people and strong backs at this point.  Thanks to Mark and Paul and others

I've included the photo of Linda putting on the lights in spite of it being a bit fuzzy because I liked the effect.

 Eventually all the lights were in place.  We learned where the circuit breaker was hidden.  Nothing really caught fire and we started dressing the show. 

Dressing the show is a reiterative process.  The first items may be moved several times as more things emerge from those piles in the kitchen and we realize we really need two stands for tea towels or we have a plethora of shawls this year but not so many scarves.  This year we could see the influence of our guild project on mixed warps.  Several weavers were inspired to make yardage and sew it into "Hapi wraps".

John waiting to take shopper's money
As always the first shoppers were at the door before we had finished setting the items out but one never turns away some one who appreciates fiber arts and is in the mood to shop.  John remained calm through the chaos and was ready help those early shoppers.

The pictures that follow show a small portion of the items on display.  I'll put more pictures up when the sale is over.
hand towels

A trio of shawls with Linda's Bags
keep feet & hands warm
colourful sweater
a small selection of hand spun yarn
funky bag from the silent auction table

We had a good selection of hand spun yarns.  The picture above shows a small selection of what was available.  A lot of local knitters took home some unique yarns for their hand knit items. 

More to follow so check back soon!!!