{FUN} Sewing and Quilting Expo

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve actually written a blog posting. WOW! Time flies when you’re having fun. I had the pleasure of attending my FIRST ever Sewing and Quilting Expo in Atlanta, GA March 12-14. I learned so many new and exciting things and immediately started implementing some of them.

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The Sewing and Quilting Expo had many exhibitors from the world of quilting; however, the larger sewing machine companies were represented also. In addition to the exhibits there were classes….lots of classes!

The coolest thing is that the Expo is a “traveling” Expo. If you weren’t able to participate in Atlanta, GA you could participate in Lakeland, FL or Worcester, MA. There are a total of 7 hosts cities.

Sewing & Quilting Expo: Day 1

On my first day (Thursday), I enjoyed Leather and Lace taught by Carol Steinbrecher (you can read more about Carol here). The class description was intriguing “At seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum, both leather and lace are intriguing textures to sew and wear. Adding style and panache when used in everyday garments, learning how to work with them will inspire you to give them a try. Explore sewing techniques and the necessary tools, and pick up styling choices for how to wear them to best advantage. Learn about stitching, pressing, glue, needles, notions and more. See examples of leather and lace in skirts, pants, tops and jackets. Techniques are very helpful when altering ready-to-wear garments fashioned with these special fabrics, too.” Most of the leather techniques discussed were familiar to me from sewing handbags; however, the techniques about lace were foreign. I felt like a sponge just soaking up ideas! The best advice I learned in that class was to purchase an edge joining foot for the sewing machine. If you don’t owe this foot, you must purchase it! What’s so great about this foot? It is perfect for even-sided stitching when joining two pieces of fabric, lace, or trim. It’s also great for narrow edge stitching and stitching seams directly into the ditch. If you’d like to see the Edge Joining Foot in action click here.

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The second class was Sew What You Want with Kathy Ruddy (you can read more about Kathy here). Kathy’s class taught me all the things about sewing ready-to-wear clothing that I’d been missing. I learned how draft the pattern, add facings, seam allowances, hemlines, smooth curves, and so much more. This class was absolutely perfect for me! It was the bridge that covered the gap in sewing for myself! Kathy also covered ruffles, pleats and pockets. A little extra can sell the garment.

The third class was Pattern Alternation Can Seam Easy with Lorraine Henry. The class description “The seam method of pattern alteration is a technological break-through in achieving a good fit! Tested and proven to be the easiest to understand, it eliminates distortions often caused by other methods. Learn how to correct combinations of figure variations — most of us have more than one, and 88 have been identified. The solution requires a looks at how “one thing leads to another.” Change your perspective on alteration, and learn to correct one thing without distorting another!” I will admit this class made me feel a little lost. However, next year, I intend to take this one again to further polish my skills.

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To finish out my day, I “window” shopped at Vogue Fabrics. The selection was enormous! If you can dream it in fabric, Vogue Fabrics has it! The current bestsellers (according to website) are:

Yes, the selection is that enormous! Think athletic wear, historical costumes, medical scrubs, bridal, crafts, knits, and leather. Seriously if you dream it Vogue has it! The sewing notation selections is awesome also.

Sewing & Quilting Expo: Day 2

The second day started off with a bang! Her name is Linda Lee (you can read more about Linda here). “It’s the small things that make a difference. You know how to sew, but disappointments abound. The focus here are the fine, subtle details that make your work better; the techniques that are never in guide sheets and are buried in too many books. You’ll rethink your tools and your stitching, pressing, marking and finishing. Guide sheets are basically an order of construction; support them with your ability to make smart choices based on the fabric at hand and the equipment you own, adjusting your processes on demand.”

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I can’t label the pictures in the slider efficiently. Basically, you can see the different collar/neck finishing options. The pictures are taken in relation to standing in front of the wearer and the interior if standing in front of the wearer. There were so many useful, applicable techniques and tips!!! I would share, but prefer having the upper-hand knowledge…LOL! If you ever have the opportunity to sit and listen with Linda Lee, you really, really MUST!!! Pick her brain to help advance your sewing!

The second class of the day was Guide to Modern Tailoring: Constructing the Jacket with Cynthia Guffey. I must say that out of everything this was the most disappointing class. Cynthia didn’t really show how to construct a jacket. She did however talk in depth about intersecting seams, clipping to the stay-stitch line, and matching convex curves for collars.

The last class was perfect for me! Sarah Veblen (read more about Sarah here) taught “Essential Tips for Fitting Yourself.” Absolutely, one of the most useful classes for me. Fitting yourself can be difficult, since any movements you make impact where the fabric falls on your body. Sarah demonstrated how to place mirrors to help, using a grid on the muslin to help reference points, using a camera to take photos of the hard to reach places, how to pin efficiently, and knowing when to stop. Sarah was so in depth, I purchased her book “The Complete Photo Guide to Fitting.” She also offers personal fitting appoints and sewing retreats.

To round out the second day, I visited the Quilt Wall. The quilts were gorgeous!

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My first experience with a Sewing and Quilting Expo was a lot of fun. I cannot wait for next year! Maybe I’ll even be brave enough to visit the Pullyup, WA one!

 

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