It was 3 years ago that I met Jane McMillen at the East Poultney Fair in Vermont. My business was new and I was trying to sell my quilts at Craft and Art Fairs. I was selling some of my quilts on-line, but I hadn’t sold any at the 2 Fairs I had been to so far.
That was when I came up with the idea of making potholders. I thought that If I saw my quilts, I probably wouldn’t buy one because they were too expensive for me. But if I liked them, I would like to take something home with me to remind me of them and maybe, in the future get one.
The potholder seemed perfect. It’s basically a small quilt, and not only functional, but something everyone who has a kitchen can use. Then I thought about how much I would be willing to spend, and $9 came immediately to mind (I have raised my price since then to $15 -$20 which allows me to make more than the minimum wage) That Autumn I made and sold over 300 potholders on-line, but it was at the East Poultney Fair that I first sold my potholders.
Jane bought one of them. She was selling her Pincushions and my mother, who was at the show with us, bought one for me. I was so taken with Janes work I kept her card in my desk draw for 2 years and when I had my second show at the Pig Barn Gallery last Fall, I emailed her. I wanted her pincushions in the show.
So tomorrow Jane and her pincushions are going to be back at the East Poultney Fair. And I’m going to get a new pincushion. I’ve used mine 5 days a week for 3 years and as attached to it as I am, it’s a bit worn out and I’m ready for a new one. So we’re doing a trade. A pillow for a couple of pin cushions. The hardest part about getting one of Jane’s pincushions is trying to pick one out, I want them all. But I have a couple in mind that I saw at the last show she was at. I’ll be sure to let you know which ones I get.
You can see some of Jane’s work on her website Little House Home Arts.