The Denman Island Artist Studio Tour is coming up on Saturday and Sunday and I’ll be participating with a few of the other local quilters. This will be my second year and I’m way more relaxed this time around.
Why is that? Well, a couple of things come to mind. Last year I knocked myself out getting new pieces made. It was kind of frantic. In the end, sales were slow and most of the things came home with me. This year I’ve got a couple of new things, but I’m also going to try to sell some quilts that I made a while back and am now ready to part with.
It’s really hard, maybe impossible, to know what’s going to sell, and that can be frustrating. There are always lots of kind comments, ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and people saying that they’ll stop in at the end of the tour – they never do because they’re heading to catch a ferry. The trick is to hook them early, and we’re in a good place for that. We will set up in Downtown Denman, between the Art Centre and the General Store. This is where people will pick up their tour maps and plan their route; pretty much the start line.
I’m more comfortable accepting that not everything will sell. Maybe nothing will sell. My style and colour/size choices won’t appeal to everybody. Some may not like my prices. That’s all OK, as I’m still enjoying the process of imagining and creating.
As a group, we’re more organized this year. We’ve talked about how to display our quilts, how the traffic should flow and how to engage the ‘tourists’. We’ll have a small demo table, where we’ll show the different steps involved in making a quilt. In addition to cash and cheque, we’re going to accept VISA.
This is all great and I feel confident that we’ve taken steps to make a better experience for those who take the time to stop by. The one thing that has me concerned is something that I have no control over – the weather. Last year was awful. The rain was torrential and the temperature was cold. We had to cram our quilts under tents and then take many home to dry after the first day. To top it off, on the Sunday there was a propane leak at the General Store and traffic was shut down for over an hour, keeping everyone away.
I put this post away for two days, while we had company. Now it’s the day before The Big Tour and it’s pouring rain. Thunder and lightning are overhead. I’ve checked the weekend forecast and it looks promising. Something like the photo below, from a couple of years ago, would be a good start. Right now I’m going outside to do a sun dance. If you read this post in the next 18 hours, perhaps you could do the same. Thanks in advance!