Shipping Quilts & Textile Works

Another challenge of travelling exhibitions is the travelling part. Entrusting quilts and textile works to postal and courier systems always seems an act of faith but, fortunately, I have never had a piece go permanently astray.

Nearly three years ago, I packed up my Twelve by Twelve Theme Series collection in an Aboriginal print travelling case for the ultimate walkabout:

  • Australia to Diane in California – personal delivery :-)
  • Diane to Lark Books, Asheville, USA for photography for our book Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge
  • USA->Australia to start its international exhibition tour
  • April 2010 Australasian Quilt Convention, Melbourne, Australia
  • May 2010 Gosford Regional Gallery, NSW Australia
  • June 2010 Textile Art Festival, Brisbane, Queensland
  • September 2010 Craft & Quilt Fair, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • September 2010 Craft & Quilt Fair, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • April 2011 Midsomer Quilting, Chilcompton, UK
  • August 2011 Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK
  • November 2011 International Quilt Festival, Houston, USA
  • April 2012 International Quilt Festival, Cincinnati, USA
  • July 2012 International Quilt Festival, Long Beach, USA
  • September 2012 North West Quilting Expo, Portland, Oregon, USA

And today my Theme Series arrived home:
Theme Series back from Walkabout
They weren’t alone. My quilts travelled in a big box with the Twelve by Twelve Colourplay Series:
Colourplay Boxed Up
You might think that a box this big would be obvious in a tiny post office agency but, no, it had a two day sojourn at Copacabana Post Office before it was discovered today. The box was battered and had a hole but all was safe and sound inside:
Colourplay Revealed
Now they are all packed up again, ready to continue their exhibition tour downunder in 2013:

(Sorry Diane, the pink suitcase is already taken.)
Colourplay Suitcase
My international shipping tips include:

  • shop around – I have been well served by express international mail services offered by the Post Office;
  • use a service that provides tracking
  • pack watertight and securely with address details inside and out;
  • DON’T INSURE unless you are willing to pay customs based on the insurance value;
  • complete the customs declaration “wall hangings for exhibition & return.NOT FOR SALE. Nil commercial value“;
  • allow a time buffer for shipping and customs delays;
  • have a vigilant sender and recipient with clear lines of communication; and
  • pray.

Do you have a shipping story?