Thursday, 9 April 2015

To Market, to Market

I've got my first craft market in ages coming up in nine days, and I've been working like a mad woman, staying up till all hours getting things done. Each year, Canowindra, a tiny town of less than 2000, holds a massive, week-long, Hot Air Balloon Festival. 10,000 visitors come from all over to watch and participate in balloon competitions, take rides and photos, and join in the other festivities the town puts on. The week culminates in the Balloon Glow, an afternoon of markets and food and glowing balloons which stay grounded but look amazing. I signed up for this market at the beginning of the year, not because I was super keep to get into making and selling little things again, but because I thought it would be a fun way to participate in a new town, and join in with an artist friend who's sharing her stall with me.

The market has some challenges. We've just changed from daylight saving here, and it gets dark at 6pm. We have not power to our stall, because that's all been given to the food venues, so we'll be relying on battery powered lights. The market goes from 4pm till 8pm, and we're relying mostly on food traffic - people who've brought the family out for dinner. With that in mind, and also because I've had to temporarily drag myself away from other big projects in which I would just love to bury myself, I've made a real mix of items. I have three main ideas driving me for this market:
 - I have a WIP box full of half made dresses and quilts that could be finished with minimal effort.
- It's going to get COLD as soon as the sun goes down.
- I'd kind of prefer to be making other things, and I don't know how the market will go anyway, so I'm following my whims a bit. I'm partly making things I just feel like so I don't mind so much if it flops. I'm also thinking of things I can give as gifts if I come home and don't feel like listing it all on Etsy.

I've started to cut voile and flannel for kids scarves. I plan to sell them around the $20 mark. Autumn here has nice sunny days and the temperature drops at around 5pm. I'm trusting there'll be people there exactly like me who turn up at these things ridiculously unprepared for weather changes.

I've made a collection of quick, colourful baby quilts that I cut with my Accuquilt from scraps. I'm not sure if they'll sell, but I do have a Paypal card reader that I'm hoping will make folks more likely to make an on-the-spot purchase.

With the left-over Terra Australis quilt blocks, I've made oven mats. Where have these been all my life! I've run out of Insul Bright already but I could make them forever! I need to decide if it's worth heading to Spotlight tomorrow (an hour away) to buy some more.

All the locals I've talked to recommended souvenir-y items, so I've used these discarded linen dress pieces that I lost inspiration for years ago (the rest I cut into the checkerboard quilts), to make balloon pillows. And I find it so curious. I haven't enjoyed this at all! Why do I love pumping heat mats through the machine and not zig-zagging around balloons? Whatever the reason, I've made 6 of these and I'm done. I had notions of balloons on wraps skirts and mini quilts, but these are all I'm going to do. I'm super curious though! I wonder if they'll all go quickly?

When Karen from Karen Lewis Textiles sent me her Flowers for Eleni, she also generously included some of her hand-printed fabric scraps! So they've become the inspiration for these log cabins. These are completely in the 'whim' category. And my decision about going into town tomorrow will determine whether they become more heat mats or a baby quilt. Which would you choose?

I'll end with this - I have really enjoyed my name change in this project! Selling under Tickle & Hide (which would have had benefits because I still have banners and cloth tags), would have made me feel a bit stuck with selling kids things. I know I wouldn't have had to, but my new name has made me feel, for the first time doing a market stall, that I really can play and try new things out. Make what I feel like and what I think will sell, rather than keeping within a brand. So while I'd really like to be stitching flowers in this autumn sunshine, that's been lots of fun!

(And I'm so thankful to my Care Circle friend Gina, who's taken over 50 flowers for me to stitch over the holidays so I can get this done!)

Joining in with Wip Wednesday!


  1. Hi Jodi! Looks fantastic! I'm sure you're gorgeus dresses and all the other beautiful things will be loved and I hope you sell a lot! x Teje

  2. From one Godfrey to another, well done. Looks fab, sure you will do well at the show. Love Sue Godfrey from the UK xx

  3. From one Godfrey to another, well done. Looks fab, sure you will do well at the show. Love Sue Godfrey from the UK xx

  4. Go with the baby quilt and save yourself a trip.

  5. Oh my have been busy! Your dresses look amazing! Good luck and whatever you'll be great!

  6. I tried selling at craft markets (children's clothes) and I learned that people are very slow to part with their money. And a lot of people like to maul handcrafted goods. I would go with smaller, less expensive items that people are likely to buy on a whim, where they don't see themselves as taking much of a risk. I think the potential lack of light will be difficult--as the fabrics won't be shown at their best. Also, I like the balloon pillows as a souvenir--but I wonder if I would buy one. Not sure.
    It will be a good opportunity to feel more connected to your new community and you will likely meet some new people. You say you are sharing a booth--what is your friend selling? Is it compatible or complimentary. And lastly, I hate to say it, but be careful of shoplifters. Sad, but true.

  7. Sounds like you've got a good range of products that will appeal to a variety of people -good luck! I hope the evening goes well for you!

  8. I'm going to Canowindra that weekend as well, as my parents live across the road from where they are holding the markets and balloon glow. Looking forward to meeting you there!

  9. I love those dresses you've made - can you tell me what pattern you used for those? I don't have any experience of markets but I'd say make things you enjoy so it's not a chore, don't make too much of any one thing in case you get left with them, and I'd go small and cheap and cheerful where possible, perhaps little things kids might like to buy with their small change (eg pincushions which double as doll pillows). All your stuff looks lovely - will be interesting to hear how it goes. Good luck!

  10. Oh, you live in Canowindra! We visited there when in Australia a few years ago and loved it! We loved the Ages of Fishes museum and I bought fabric at the LQS (Quilting is my Plague? A plague of Quilts? Something like that) to make an "Australia " quilt in memory of our holiday! :)

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I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx