Since I’ve been entering a lot of quilt shows lately, I’ve had to find a good way of keeping track of show deadlines, when various quilts are gone, etc., so that I don’t accidentally find myself trying to send a quilt to two shows at the same time. I tried keeping track of it on my Google calendar, but it cluttered up my regular non-quilt-related calendar, and entering all that information somehow seemed to take more time than just writing it down, so I got myself a cheap monthly planner from OfficeMax. It’s best to get the longest-term one you can find; I found a two-year monthly planner for about $6.
I received a Silhouette Curio (a totally awesome electronic cutting machine) for my birthday last year, so I went into planner cuteness overdrive, but it works just as well with a few colored pens and some highlighters, which is how I handled it before. There’s a picture of that below, too.
The “quilt show planner” decal was cut with the Silhouette. You could also use Sharpies or a paint pen to decorate.
Next, I thought about what I really needed to keep track of when it comes to quilt shows.
- Of course, the entry deadline and, if you’re accepted, the subsequent shipping deadline are most important.
- I also wanted to keep track of whether a show has a modern quilt category, since that is often an important consideration in whether or not a quilt of mine is well suited to a particular show.
- I need to keep track of the full range of dates a particular quilt will be gone so I can make sure that it will arrive at the following show in time to be judged.
- Finally, I get impatient about the results, so I want to be able to quickly check when I’ll find out whether a quilt has gotten into a show, and when the show is (i.e., winners are announced).
With that in mind, I designed some little stickers for my planner.
I color-coded them and left myself some room to write information about which quilt or which show it is.
Now, I can just stick them onto the appropriate dates and have all the information for the month available at a glance! Here are January and February of this year:
Even if I don’t end up entering all the shows I put in the calendar, I still like to check out the winners, so it’s worth keeping them there.
Before I had my Silhouette, I used different colors of pens and highlighters to keep track of the same information. Here is October from last year’s planner.
Here, I used green highlighter to indicate show dates, red pen to indicate an entry deadline (I’d include an asterisk to indicate that the show has a modern category), and yellow highlighter to indicate when a quilt is gone. So far I haven’t been highlighting in this year’s planner, but I probably still will do so when a quilt is gone only part of a month. I also use the “Notes” field to keep track of any additional information—not all monthly planners include such a field, so it’s worth looking through a few to find one that does.
Now go forth and enter shows!