Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shipping Quilts - Revised - A Long Post

The Previous Post information below was posted on June 19, 2009. So you don't have to click away to find it, it's copied here, along with additional information offered by Pat in Montana, who has 25 years of experience in shipping.

New Entry: When you ship quilts to AQS or when we return quilts to you, we strongly encourage you to request a Signature Required on the box(es).

It need not be an adult signature, but tracking undelivered boxes (which can be late, delivered to the wrong address, picked up by a well-meaning neighbor who promptly forgets to give the box to you, stacked in the shipper's overgoods department, or truly lost) is next to impossible without a signature.

Requesting Delivery Confirmation is another option, but is not as strong a tracking device. Both requests cost a little extra (at this time, UPS charges $3 for Signature Required, $2 for Delivery Confirmation; FedEx charges $3 for Signature Required, nothing for Delivery Confirmation) but are well worth the peace of mind.

Also, read again below the information about insuring your quilts, both from us and from Pat. Experience has taught us to use our company policy (a special fine arts policy) to insure every appraised quilt we send.

Once a quilt leaves our hands and is with a shipper, there is nothing we can do but hold our breath that your quilts arrive safely. And if something does go wrong, there's nothing we can do to help you if all possible precautions haven't been taken.

Encouraging you to be as careful and conservative as possible when shipping and receiving your quilts is our way of thanking you for loaning them to us for shows, books, calendars, magazine articles and marketing.

Previous Post: 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: Tracey@aqsquilt.com.

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 homeowner'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 below. Thanks, Pat!

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

Pat's comment: I just read your article about shipping quilts and I’d like to add some information. (I worked at a major shipping company for over 25 years, over half of which was in the package handling areas).

Do not go cheap on your packing materials, especially the boxes. Corrugated cardboard weakens with use; buy a decent box. Never, ever use masking tape; it is not strong enough to hold the package together. Again, buy some decent shipping tape. No string! It gets caught in conveyors. No brown paper wrap; again it can get caught in conveyors and ripped off.

As you stated, a label should also be inside the package, and I always put mine in a plastic baggie. If the package gets wet, the label will still be readable.

Do not ‘over stuff’ the package – use the right size box. Packages should be able to withstand a four foot drop on the corner of the box without bursting. However, the contents should not shift around in the package. Other packages will probably stacked on top of it, and empty space can cause the package to sag and break open.

Although literally millions of packages are delivered safely and on time each day, there are circumstances beyond the control of anyone that can damage or destroy a package. Remember that the ‘money back guarantee’ or ‘insurance’ will only reimburse you for the cost of shipping and the article. You will have to have proof of value. If something is not replaceable (great grandma’s wedding quilt that has been handed down from generation to generation) do not ship it. There is not a value that can be put on something like that.

Thanks for a great article,

Pat Hierl
Whitefish, MT

Thursday, February 4, 2010

National Wear Red Day!

On Friday, February 5, 2010, Americans nationwide will wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness on National Wear Red Day®. Heart disease is the No. 1 health threat for women. Wearing red is a simple, yet powerful way to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. Join thousands of women, companies and organizations, and cities across America to help support ongoing research and education about women and heart disease. For more information, here is a Google link that will take you to several Web sites.


Anita Shackelford in the Limelight

AQS author Anita Shackelford will be the cover quilter and featured artist in the March issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. There will be a sidebar about quilting with kids, a great tie-in for her recent book with co-author (and daughter) Jennifer Perdue: Teens 'n Tweens: Quilting Fun with Family and Friends.

In the March/April issue of Quilter's Home, Anita, Jen, and Jen's daughter, Amber, will appear in a story about multi-generational quilting. Keeping quilting alive for the future! That's great news for everyone! Rock on, ladies! AQS# 8026 at www.americanquilter.com or 1-800-626-5420.

Escape from the Quilt Police!

If you've ever longed to break free from traditional quiltmaking but weren't sure how to begin, Kathryn Schmidt's brand-new book, Rule-Breaking Quilts, is for you.

Using just six fat quarters and two simple cutting techniques, she guides you towards making unique, highly personal quilts that just don't follow the usual rules.

Her graphic, dynamic quilts are wonderful, the suggestions are fun, and the work can be as fast as you like or lead to lots of design contemplation. It's your choice, because there are no rules! And as she emphasizes, you cannot make a mistake with this style of quiltmaking.

If fat quarters leap into your shopping bag, here's a no-fail way to use them most effectively.

Loosen up your "by the book" mode and buy this book so you, too, can make rule-breaking quilts! AQS # 8150 (www.americanquilter.com or 1-800-626-5420.

A personal note: We not only publish but read a LOT of quiltmaking books day in and day out. None have spoken to me about taking off in a new direction like Kathy's book. If you want something a little different, I think you'll love Kathy's approach.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What You Can Do For Haiti


Paducah, Kentucky – February 3, 2010: Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are suffering in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. All of us want to do anything and everything we can to help. Since we are quiltmakers, our first inclination is to gather our fabric and thread and make a quilt. Though beautiful and comforting, a quilt may not be a practical donation for this tropical country at this time.

In all the reports we are hearing from Haiti, the most immediate requests are for water, food, and medical supplies. Organizations presently in Haiti are in a position to assess the most critical needs and they suggest that monetary donations are the best alternative so they can more easily fill these needs.

We would like to encourage you to make a monetary donation to a reputable organization of your own choosing so the people of Haiti can receive the assistance they desperately need. Be sure to choose an organization that has an excellent reputation for providing assistance during natural disasters. This will ensure your donation will go where it is needed and not be misdirected. Thank you, quilters, for your generosity.
By Sylvia Thomas

Monday, February 1, 2010

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Here's the perfect antidote to the Monday morning blues...a new book from AQS meant specifically to use on weekends! Or any day you have an hour to spare!

In Weekend Quilts Judy Laquidara has created 16 easy, colorful quilts that are a joy to make and use. The great thing is, she wrote the instructions for each quilt in one hour segments, and none take longer than a weekend to piece!

If you're a quilter who has to find bits and pieces of time for your passion, this is the book for you. Judy's tips on getting the most done in an hour spent quilting will work for anyone. And she even includes time-saving recipes so you're not stuck in the kitchen.

A real bonus in this book is Judy's knack for interesting borders. Never make a ho-hum quilt again, and get lots more done with Weekend Quilts!  Order it (AQS #8149) on the web or by calling 800-626-5420.