Sunday, June 30, 2013

Laid Out and Hung Up

My quilt guild just wrapped up QuiltFest 2013 last weekend. About a year's worth of planning goes into an event like this, not to mention the individual work on all those quilts.

I was in charge of layout AND hanging. Not my first time either.

I know.

You are saying, "What kind of crazy is that?"

At take down, one of my faithful crew members asked why quilts aren't hung in numerical order. The more I explained, the more I realized that layout is quite a complex task. But I'm a bit crazy that way anyway.

To get started, you need a few things.

 dimensions of Oak Mountain Middle School gym

a calculator

lots of colored pens and a pencil...and an eraser

You also need to review previous year layouts hoping that you will remember how this process happens and will be able to make it happen again.

To insure the utmost concentration, you cannot begin this project until the clock strikes at least 10:00 pm. Before then, you are distracted with mundane things like fixing dinner, walking the dog, and perhaps vacuuming the living room. You must also find your local public radio station and hope that they are playing some light background music. If not, you can proceed in silence.

Next are required the category lists. One is sorted by length, the other by width. Both are used equally as much. It is best to color code them and number the pages so you don't get them mixed up. That would be tragic.

Also required are copious amounts of Dr. Pepper. Sugar and caffeine are essential tools to keep your mind sharp and keep the project moving forward. 

Then comes the tediousness. Category by category you match quilts by length and width for placement. It's best to write every measurement on the page so you don't lose track. It also pays to count after you have placed a category to make sure you haven't left a quilt out. This does not always work when you have to make changes. Be prepared to shift on the fly on hanging day.

One might also have to call in the elves for a bit of a binge. This assists the Dr. Pepper in its job.

After many days of late nights, the layout is complete. All 290 quilts and a special exhibit have each been given a place of honor in the show.

Individual row layouts look something like this and are distributed to the quilt display chairman and the capable ladder captains and map readers to interpret for their crew members.

The show went up in about four hours and was a sight to behold. Lovely quilts in all directions and nice wide aisles from which to view them. Two days later it all came down in 55 minutes.


June Calender said...

Our quilt guild is about to mount a show (first weekend of August). Wonderful curators have been busy, as you explain, planning and planning. Yes it's important what hangs where, what is next to what. I admire them. Fortunately we have lots of hands to help hang and take down.

SarahZ said...

THAT is amazing! What a great explanation...I will be sure to appreciate all that work, all the more, at the next quilt show I attend!!!