Thursday, November 17, 2011

Packing fever

The good news is you got into a show!

The bad news is then you have to get the quilt to the show.

Yesterday was a bad news day.  I had to ship two quilts off, which shouldn't be too big a deal.  I own plenty of pool noodles on which to roll things, plenty of long boxes, plenty of dowels and sticks for hanging rods, plenty of screw eyes in case I have to make a new rod.  I have a roll of clear package tape in every room of the house, with a scissors nearby.  But it took me the better part of an hour to get those two quilts on their way, not counting the drive (in the rain) to FedEx.

Didn't take too long to find them because I'd recently packed up almost a hundred quilts, leaving only those in current circulation on the bed.  But after trying 35 different pre-existing hanging rods, finding none to be the right length, I had to cut a new one and set screw-eyes.  I did find two rods of the right length for the other quilt, but one required a little remedial maintenance. 

Only had to root around for a minute or two to find the right length noodle.  Found a box just the right size quite easily, since the larger quilt had come home from another show in it and it was at the front of the box stash.  Found a nice fabric tube to put the roll in, because I had recently cut up an old sheet and made THREE such tubes, each one already labeled with my name and address.  Did I feel proud of myself!  Found several nice cords to tie up the roll and the package, because I had recently cut the hems off some curtains and made a dozen ties of various lengths.  More proud of myself.

As packing days go, this was a walk in the park.  Sometimes I have spent an entire morning on a frantic, prayer-punctuated expedition to find the quilt in the first place -- looking in drawers, boxes, rolls, piles, straightening up my studio to an alarming degree before the damn thing shows its face.  Sometimes I can't find a noodle long enough, and have to construct one by joining two shorter ones with a dowel for a spine.  Sometimes I have to build a box by cannibalizing cardboard from other sources.

Perhaps you have noticed that the operative verb in this narrative is "find."  It's not that any of these steps are difficult or even time-consuming -- once you have your materials and things at hand.  I remember fondly the mail room at my old place of employment.  Big empty counters where you could spread out your stuff and pack your boxes, sealing tape right out there on the counter 24/7. 

I suppose that in an ideal world I would have a big rack for my hanging rods, like at Home Depot where dowels of different lengths each have their own little compartment and you could instantly go to the 35-inch space.  It would go right next to the big empty counter with the sealing tape, under which would be a dozen empty long boxes in assorted sizes.  I'll invite you over when I get this all organized.  Perhaps in the next century.


  1. What! You don't have a Martha Stewart room dedicated to gift wrapping? Or in our case quilt packaging? Wouldn't that be nice.

  2. @ Norma - LOL and Martha's staff to jump up and do it for you.

  3. I just sent a quilt off folded up in a box with tissue paper, and asked the gallery to provide a hanging rod.

    Thank you for the reminder about pool noodles and all the rest. I've printed this post off so that I can follow your very succinct (and funny) directions on how to pack up a quilt for display.