Friday, October 12, 2012

American Sewing Expo!

On September 29, I headed down to Novi, MI for the American Sewing Expo. I'd been looking forward to it for months by then, especially after sending in my entry for the Out of the Box Challenge, and being picked to compete in the Quick Stitch Challenge!

Right when I got there, I had to head to the Quick Stitch area for my time slot. We were given Elna machines to use during the challenge, and there were all kinds of supplies and notions to use. Our theme was to create a Hostess Gift, using a Kaffe Fassett fabric swatch set. I floundered pretty miserably! I rarely host parties, and also rarely go to any. And when I do, geez, I'm supposed to bring a gift?? So I had no idea what to make, and with only 75 minutes to finish the project, I decided to make a wrist purse.

I was doing ok, till it was time to put the finishing edging around it. But there wasn't any bias tape available, so I had to improvise and use ribbon. But the ribbon wouldn't stay in place, so in the 5 minutes I had left to stitch it on, I got about 2/3 of it on, and very badly! So I did NOT win that, and that is just fine with me. I did get a charm set from Craftsy, a certificate for a free craftsy class, and a free seminar at the expo. Plus, we got to keep all the fabric that was left from our fabric swatch sets :)

After that disaster was over (notice I didn't show you a closeup picture of my project? Yeah, there's a reason for that!) I headed over to see how I'd done in the Out of the Box Challenge. Here's a little background: Back in June, in the ASE newsletter, the contest was announced, and they said that the first 50 people to mail in the entry form would get a surprise package from American and Efird, and we would have to use the items in it to create a "quick gift". So in early July, I got a package, and in it was....a zipper and three spools of thread. Um...WHAT?! And the colors seemed like a crazy combo to me. There was a thick shiny lime green embroidery thread, a very thin blue metallic, a denim weight varigated thread in eastery colors, and an orange (persimmon, to be exact) zipper. All I could think to make was a purse, what else would I use the zipper for? So I dug through my patterns and came up with the Apropos Pack pattern. (I'll skip my horribly failed attempt to design a purse myself LOL). Then I had to figure out how to use all this thread, given that I don't own an embroidery machine. So I used the thread to quilt some black fabric into a diamond plaid before constructing the purse. And here's what I came up with!

So like I said, I headed out to find the Out of the Box Challenge area to see how I'd done. My purse is pinned to the very left end of the left table (sorry for the photo quality, I only had my phone with me that day!)

And I was shocked to find I'd won an honorable mention ribbon!

I didn't expect to win anything, so I was pretty giddy! I was also disappointed that I'd gone to the expo alone, so I had nobody to tell my exciting news to! I hurried back to find one of the gals I'd met in the Quick Stitch challenge to tell her, since she was the only person I knew there, and we chatted for a while.

Then I went to find a seminar to take since I had a free ticket. I took a one hour seminar on Trapunto and Quilt As You Go, and I'm very excited to try all the things I learned in that hour :) I need to pick up some water soluble thread, and I have also suggested to Craftsy that they find someone to do a class on the Cotton Theory, which was also discussed briefly in the seminar.

Then I went and spent all the money I had at one booth buying up stuff I'd need for the stuff I'd learned, wandered around to see the rest of the expo, and went home. In all, I was there for 4 hours total, had sewn for 75 minutes, spent 60 in the seminar, and probably spent 20 minutes goggling at my fancy yellow ribbon, and talking to a nice woman I'd met while I was over there. I got a pattern, a book, a Quilter's Pounce (finally LOL), and an adhesive dispenser, got some free fabric and my disasterous project, and spent less than $70 :) It was a pretty good time!

I've been waiting for almost 2 weeks now to get my purse back. They said they'd mail back all the projects that weren't picked up Sunday after the show. So today, I find a package left at my door. It's way too big and heavy to be my purse, but it's from the expo. And inside, I found this letter.

The good news is they are now calling it the 6th place winner! And they sent me this really nice Fiskar's paper cutter as a prize (I wonder if it'll cut fabric? Hmm...) The bad news is they're going to keep it (and my ribbon!! I wanted that more than the purse ROFL) for a year and display it at trade shows. My purse gets to go to more sewing shows than I do!

Anyway, that's been my experience with the American Sewing Expo this year. I'm glad I entered both contests, and would do both again in a heartbeat (though I hope if I do the Quick Stitch again, that the theme of the projects is something I can do in an hour!) I had a great time this year, and I'm looking forward to next year already. I hope there's some good contests in store! (How about one for quilters? hint hint...)

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