Friday, June 19, 2009

Shipping News

This box was not only ripped front and back, it was open when it arrived. The plastic shopping bags loosely wrapped around the quilt had come apart, leaving the quilt exposed and vulnerable to theft and damage.

Sending quilts to shows or publishers can be scary, for the quilter and the recipient. The horror stories you may have heard about quilts being lost, stolen or damaged are most likely true. This is one time when overdoing the safety angle makes excellent sense. We've written up the best practices in shipping quilts, so our authors and contestants can rest assured their treasures arrive at AQS safely. If you have additional suggestions, we'd love to hear them and will pass them on.

AQS Shipping Information

We know how much your quilts mean to you, so we’ve compiled this checklist of best practices when sending us (or anyone) your quilts.

Mail or ship them to:

(the contact name you were given on your entry form or email)
5801 Kentucky Dam Road
Paducah, KY 42003
(270) 898-7903

Email a tracking number as soon as you have it and let us know when we should expect your quilts to:

If you don't take any other measure suggested here, at least sew a label with, at a minimum, your name, the quilt’s name, and your address and phone number onto each quilt.

For quilts larger than 30” x 30”, sew a 4-inch sleeve across the back at the top. Be sure the sleeve is set down far enough not to show above the quilt when hung.

Enclose each quilt in some sort of plastic bag that you can close or tape shut to prevent water damage should the box rip or tear. Ziploc makes large-quilt size bags. Do not use anything that might be mistaken for a trash bag!

Include a color photo of the quilt in the bag with your name and contact information and why you're sending the quilt to us - the name of your proposal, book or magazine article or the contest or event you're entering.

Enclose a packing list with the box that includes your name and contact information and a list of the quilts in the box. Do not include any indications of your quilts’ values.

If you are concerned about insuring your quilts, have them appraised, and use a fine arts rider on your home owner's insurance rather than buying the shipper's insurance.

Do not pack your quilts too tightly. We have to use a sharp blade to open most boxes and the danger of damaging a quilt stuffed into a container is real. Consider adding a layer of cardboard on top of the bagged quilts as a safety barrier.

Do not indicate anywhere on the outside of the box that it includes quilts. Do not use the word “quilt” anywhere inside or outside, including the shipping label. Use “AQS,“ not “American Quilter’s Society.”

Send your quilts early in the week so they do not sit around a warehouse or loading dock over the weekend, or send them overnight so they arrive here by 2:00 pm CST on a Friday.

If you are sending multiple quilts or multiple boxes of quilts, consider packing them either one quilt to a box and sending them on subsequent days, or put two or three quilts in a box and send the several boxes on subsequent days. This prevents having all of your quilts on the one truck that gets into an accident or burns down in a warehouse fire.

If this seems like overkill, it isn’t. The condition in which many boxes reach us is terrible, and quilts have been known to get wet, become damaged or disappear in transit.

See additional good information about shipping sent in by Pat from Montana in the comments section. Thanks, Pat!

We hope you will take these precautions and we look forward to seeing your quilts.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calling All Groupies!

If you're a quilter, you've got books, and if you've got books, you probably have a few favorite authors. You can meet your faves during the Book Fair at any AQS show, collect autographs and buy the latest, greatest AQS publications. Here's the author line-up for the AQS Knoxville Quilt Expo July 22-25:

Pepper Cory, Pepper Cory's Quilting Pattern Collection
Margie Engel, Bodacious Applique a la Carte
Rita Fishel, Mystery Quilts
Klaudeen Hansen, Quilt Art Engagement Calendar 2010
Sandy Hart & Gudny Campbell, Piecing with Pixels
Deb Karasik, Quilts with Attitude
Rami Kim, Quilted Elegance
Ann S. Lainhart, Fussy Cut Mariner's Compass
Laura Patrick, Heart for a Hero
Marsha D. Radtke, A Baltimore Album
Florence Riesen, Heirloom Quilted Nursery
Sharon Sebrow, Kaleidoscope the Smart Way
Lynda Smith, Quilt This!
Helen Squire, Quilting UFOs
Alice Wilhoit, Crazy Patchwork

See you in Tennessee!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Being an Author with AQS

Thankfully, there is more than one correct way to make a quilt and to write the how-to instructions. This has given rise to several major quilt book publishers, and AQS is proud to be among the leaders.

If you're considering authoring a quilt book, this is what you can expect from AQS:
  • Clear, succinct proposal and manuscript guidelines
  • A fast consideration of your proposal
  • Transparency in the publication process
  • Generous contract terms
  • A close working relationship with editorial staff and individual attention
  • Retention of your author's voice; no cookie-cutter books here
  • Regular contact and communication, from concept through post-publication
  • Offers to teach at AQS shows once you're published
  • The opportunity to tape online classes that provide college credit for students
  • Expansive marketing and advertising efforts and assistance, wholesale and retail
  • Friendly support and advice every step of the way
We offer a lecture at every AQS show that details what it is like to be published by us. If you're considering writing a how-to quilt book, treat yourself to the facts and join us in Knoxville, July 22-25, for "Writing a Quilt Book: The Reality Show," or Des Moines, October 28-31, for "Putting Pen to Paper: Publishing with AQS." Our proposal guidelines are posted under the "Authors" tab at And you may always contact us at 270-898-7903 or There are a lot of talented, creative quilters out there! We look forward to hearing from you!