Saturday of Sewing Expo, I went by myself. I loaded up on classes this year, so I would feel more confident about my current and up-coming craft projects. Fortunately, my first class wasn’t until 11:30 and traffic had cleared up by the time I made it to Puyallup.
Since I arrived so early, ran over to the Quilting Loft booth to by a quilt kit they designed based on the Sweet Safari fabric and jungle animal embroidery designs from Penguin & Fish. The final product is just a smidge bigger than average crib size, but it will make a good baby gift for our new niece/nephew due to arrive in July. We still need to figure out what we want to do for a quilt for our nephew.
The first class I took on Saturday was given by Tammie Bowser, called “Choose Quilt Fabric with Confidence”. She was a professed non-quilter, and claimed to be more of an artist. Given the quilt “art” she does, I suppose that made sense.
Let me mention that during these classes (the shorter, 45-minute classes, that is), the teachers are usually taking that time to hawk their wares at their booths, since they aren’t paid for their time for the shorter classes. That’s fine, they do have to make a living, and generally, they’re pretty subtle about it, by giving the audience a taste of what’s in their books, DVDs, et cetera, and then telling them they can learn more from said book, DVD, et cetera.
Tammie’s class was probably the most infomercial-like class I took all weekend. Most of her time was spent talking about her two software programs: one that will sort your fabric by color value (requiring you to scan in your fabric stash), and another that would allow you to create your own fabric and quilt blocks and print out the fabric, so that you could cut out the pieces for the block and then sew them together. She did say how to get cheap ink and how to get muslin to adhere to sticky paper to feed through your printer, so if you wanted to go this route, you could potentially save a bit of money.
The best point I learned from her class was that if you were unsure of how to pick fabrics for a quilting project, start with a mid-tone fabric that you liked, and draw out other colors already in that fabric for complementary fabrics.
Immediately after, I rushed off to the first of two bag making classes I would take that day. “Crazy for Bags” was given by Annie Unrein, who has many patterns for bags and purses and such. She discussed the use of a batting that she created especially for bags called Soft and Stable, and the use of a product called Texture Magic, that will allow you to “shrink” fabric down to give it a textured look. I definitely picked up a few good tips from that class.
I had a long break until my last two classes of the day, so I wandered around the vendors again, bought some black viscose from Vogue Fabrics for another Cynthia Rowley dress I plan to make, listened to Suede tell the free stage crowd that this was Puyallup’s Fashion Week, checked out Cheryl’s sample bags before I took the class later that afternoon, and tried to stave off a cold I felt coming on.
After my break, I headed to my third class, which I half-jokingly told my mom I would take notes for her: “Revamp Your Sewing Space & ‘Make It Work'” by Debra Justice. She talked a lot about how we should efficiently set up our sewing space to make it comfortable for us, like having the right chair and sewing at the right height. We also looked through some photos of sewing spaces women had sent her so we could glean ideas from what they had done. One woman even used an organizational technique similar to what I do! I use large Ziplock bags to hold everything I’ll need (provided it fits) for a project (i.e. pattern, fabric, notions, et cetera) until I’m ready to work on it. This woman had a whole drawer system dedicated to it!
Lastly, I took “Designer Handbag Details” that my mom and my friend had taken the day before, from Cheryl Kuczek (a local gal). Her handbags are just BEAUTIFUL! I’m definitely inspired to make my own to replace my worn-out purse. I ordered her Anna Bag pattern (smallish purse), and found her free Slouch Bag pattern (you’ll need to log into Sew Daily in order to download this pattern). Now, I just need to find the hardware and fabric I want to use for them.
In the end, I think it was a very successful Sewing Expo, and I had more hits with the classes I took than misses!Share on Facebook