Thursday, October 7, 2010


In my last post, I promised to expand on the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo that I attended last Wednesday to Saturday.

We drove up Wednesday night in the rain, late, because we had both signed up for an 8:30 am class on Thursday.  Since it's a 4 hour drive, we really didn't want to get up and do that on Thursday morning.

My first (of 6 classes for the weekend) was a machine quilting free motion class.  Hmmm...  now that I think about it, I think I will review this one LAST!

There were many classes available and tons of vendors!  I love going to quilt shows with all the vendors...  So many neat ideas and gadgets and fabric and, well, you get the idea.

My second class was called "No Stress Color Theory" by Marty Moon.  I really liked her, but made the mistake of taking this class at 6:30 in the evening after a loooooong day.  So I was actually a little stressed.  The class itself was helpful, since I'd never really paid attention to the color wheel, much less used it in a practical setting.  This class had me walking away with a better understanding of colors.  Now I can break the rules!

Friday morning, I took another color class called "Get Creative with a Color Activist" by M'Liss Ray Hawley.  I was glad to have taken Marty Moon's class the night before, cause now I understood when they were talking about tertiary colors, shades, tints, analagous, and so many other terms that were thrown out.  But again, I learned a lot about color and how to break the rules!  I didn't know I was breaking so many to begin with!

Friday afternoon, I took a class called "Laptop Case or Project Portfolio" by Cathy Gandy.  This class was outside my comfort zone, but hey, isn't that what classes are supposed to be for?  Learning new things?  I'll also say that when I got there and saw the fabric selection, these weren't colors or fabrics I would have chosen.  But somehow, it all worked, and turned out kinda neat.  Mine isn't technically complete, as I ran out of time, but it's close enough.  And I don't think I'm going to finish it the way it was intended.  I usually do have to put my own spin on things.  To steal a line from American Idol, "I have to make it my own"!

Here's a couple pics:

At the end of my Friday class, I had to run out to the daily drawing to see if I won one of the Super Grand Prize drawings.  I'm sorry to say that I did NOT.  Although I did win one of the consolation prizes which was a tote bag full of stuff.  Fat quarter bundles, patterns, kits, etc....

Three pics of some of the haul:

Saturday morning, I took another class with Marty Moon.  It was "Easy Microwave Fabric Dyeing".  It wasn't really a "hands-on" class, since it was only an hour, but man was it cool!  Of course, I had to leave and go straight to buy fabric dyes.  I CAN'T WAIT to try this out!!  This may, in fact, have been my favorite class, which is ironic since I signed up for it last, kind of as a whim.  I haven't really ever had any interest in dyeing my own fabric.  Go figure.  I'm thinking that will be a post of it's own when I give it a shot....

The dyes I bought:

Also Saturday morning, I took my last class, which again was more of a lecture, in a very loose sense of the word.  It was called "Notions Commotion" by Kim Montagnese.  Kim went around to all the booths before the show started and looked for the all of the cool notions or gadgets or things that would otherwise be looked over.  So, of course that called for yet another trip to some of the previously visited vendors!  

Now back to that first class.......  The dreaded "Machine Quilting: Basics and Beyond" by Debbie Kratovil.  Now first off, I have to say that Debbie is a very talented quilter and a great teacher.  I also have to say that I learned a great deal and a valuable lesson in her class.  The main thing that I learned is that I'm not cut out for free motion quilting.  At least not in the traditional sense.  And after demo-ing products at different vendor booths, I am GREAT at free motion quilting on a long-arm machine, or something similar.  I have to move the machine and not the quilt while free motion quilting.

Here are my to practice pieces.  Ignore that one really good section in the upper left of the first pic.  That was done by the sewing machine SALESMAN after he re-threaded the machine.  Again.

I test drove every single long-arm machine at the show, and managed to do great on every single one.  From the cheapest to the most expensive.  

So now you see why I have to save my pennies, and decide which one to work toward.  

I also picked up some little tips and tricks throughout the show.  One teacher suggested using kid's washable crayola markers for marking pens.  Since they're washable, they rinse right out of fabric, and they are a LOT cheaper than traditional marking pens.  Someone else suggested using a decorative stitch when attaching your binding.  I think that's one I'm going to use almost immediately.  And on that same subject, I thought, since I "stitch in the ditch" so much for my quilting, why couldn't I do some kind of simple decorative stitch for the quilting too?  I think I'm gonna have to try that one real soon as well.

I think that about covers it.  Lots of ideas, tips and a few projects came out of this show.  I can hardly wait until the next one!!



Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

That's why I love going to quilt shows - inspiration!

I'm toying with the idea of making Miss P a laptop bag for Chrostmas. How hard was it?

Sounds like you came away busting with enthusiasm. I'd love a long arm machine but they're WAY out of my price range at the moment. Maybe in 5 or so years?

I am basically rubbish at FM quilting. I need to practice because I cant quilt in straight lines forever .

Thanks for sharing your expereinces of the quilting retreat! I really need to get to one and to start to be confident enough to take some classes (I'm not a group person really )

AMW said...

Thanks Mrs. P. The laptop bag wasn't particularly hard, but I'm not sure I would pick that pattern again. Or if I did, I'd adapt it again.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to the quilt shows. I do get so inspired and excited. But then I get home and I have ALL of the ideas that need to GET OUT, and not enough time..... FRUSTRATING! But fun....

Joanne Lendaro said...

The LA machines are wonderful, but not easy to master. It take time to practice and tons of it! Your review of the classes and venue was wonderful, congrats on your haul (win). You need a "follow me" button!! I'd follow you...appreciate your insites and humor. Found you because you are a follower of my blog, Insanely Cheap Quilting.

AMW said...

Thanks for your comment, Joanne! Came across your blog from the Selvege Edge Blog. And thanks for the suggestion of a follow button. DONE! I've heard that the LA's take a ton of practice! I'd love to find a local store that would offer classes and then rent the machine. Kind of try before you buy, but haven't found that yet.....

Anyway, welcome to my randomness! Not always about quilting here, (as you found from the "fish" post) but fun for me anyway!