Monday, March 2, 2009

Sewing and Stitchery Expo

I've been on a little blog hiatus, but not because of a lack of things to blog about...more like an abundance! This past weekend I went to The Sewing and Stitchery Expo (with my close friend, mom & her best friend). It claims to be 'the nation's largest sewing show'. We had a great time browsing the exhibits...which took nearly the whole day. This was my first time at the expo, so I wanted to see what it was like. Next year I'll either be taking classes or an exhibitor! We had four favorite booths...Reets' Rags to Riches, Faux Chenille, Bonnie Sullivan & Kathy Schmitz (Bonnie & Kathy are sisters that both design!).

- Reets' Rag to Riches: Hip folk art & whimsical applique, totes, punch needle, dolls and other misc. patterns. A pattern that my mom wanted (but they were out of) was called, "Tooth Fairy". The pattern includes a little tooth fairy pocket pillow and an appliqued scrapbook/wall hanging hung on a little wooden hanger. I love the bright colors that the designer uses. You have to check out her hand dyed wools, which is what she uses for her projects. It is a bit pricey for a larger project, but I could see using it for smaller accents. I really liked a large bag that was on display. The designer used fabric from Sanae's newest line Arcadia (from Moda). It made the bag just pop! I couldn't find the pattern on the Reet's site, so I am assuming it is newer. I'll have my eye out for it, because I think it would make a great carry-on or weekend bag.

- Faux Chenille: This is the first time I had seen faux chenille that didn't require 6-8 layers of flannel material. Nannette Holmberg has created chenille tape using rayon and cotton fibers in lots of different colors. You only have to use one layer! Two layers will give you a fuller chenille. Here is an excerpt from her website, "STITCH-IT, WASH-IT, YOU'RE DONE! Simply stitch one or two layers of this new product wherever you want a chenille accent and your're done! Continuous roll of chenille for chenille as fast as you can sew with no more cutting!". Nanette has several patterns, especially for wearables. I really like some of the jackets, because they were so lightweight and beautiful. They are fun accents for jean jackets and make pretty baby blankets. My mom bought an advance copy of Nannette's new book, "Re-Inventing Chenille: Fresh Sewing Techniques and Project". It has several great patterns including the shrug featured on the front cover, an easy baby blanket, a wall hanging and much more.

- Bonnie Sullivan/All Through The Night: First off, Bonnie's booth had such a warm feeling with her beautiful quilts and wall hangings. My mom and her friend had talked to Bonnie & Kathy at Kathy's booth (I was at another booth with my friend). Through talking to the designing sisters, my mom found out they designed fabrics as well and mentioned that I was an aspiring mom is the best at talking to people. So when I met up with my mom, she took me to Bonnie's booth to meet her. After browsing through her booth we got to talk with Bonnie and that was a treat. I love talking to people in the indusry. A big thanks to Bonnie! Not only does Bonnie make wonderful patterns, but she also designs fabric that looks like wool, but it is actually flannel. You can find her fabric on the Maywood Fabric site. It was hard to pick just one pattern from her booth, but we ended up picking out a lap quilt/wall hanging called, "Its a Wonderful World".

- Kathy Schmitz: After meeting Bonnie and drooling over her booth, we headed over to Kathy's booth. Like Bonnie's booth, it was very warm and full of beautiful quilts and wall hangings, except Kathy had embroidery patterns rather than applique (though you could always use either patterns to do one or the other). Kathy is a gem! She was so nice to talk to and I think we could have talked for a lot longer than we did. Luckily, both sisters are now in Oregon, so maybe our paths will cross again. Kathy gave me a lot of useful insider information (she designs for Moda). It was worth the whole trip to the expo and I'm so grateful for Kathy & Bonnie...I can't thank you two enough! In Kathy's booth, we also had a hard time on picking a pattern out. I decided on a clip art cd with lots of images that can be used for embrodiery, applique or staionery (my mom actually bought it for me as a 'treat', so thanks mom!!!). I was anxious to look at it, so it was the first thing that I did once I got home. I loooove it! My mom purchased the pattern, "Ring in the New". 'This embroidery pattern includes a separate illustration for each month of the year. They measure a petite 4"x 6" so they are quick and easy'. Kathy had displayed the illustration in a frame and it looked like it was embrodiered! Then you are able to enjoy it instantly and take time to stitch everything. Kathy also has started a blog, so check it out!

Well as you can tell we had fun and it was a very inspirational day!

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