Thursday, October 27, 2011

CreativFestival - Toronto CAN

This was my second year to teach SCHMETZ Needle Education at the CreativFestival.  I love this show!  It is by far one of the most diverse consumer shows.  Inspiration came from a menagerie of vendors and classes - fashion sewing to quilting to fibre arts, knitting, crocheting, beading, jewelry making, home dec, cake decorating and so much more all under one roof.

The CreativFestival takes place in the huge Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  Signage, as above, is especially important because it is very easy to get lost with sky walks, bridges and a variety of escalators.  I know it is odd to have a picture of a show poster in the blog, but I find this one a bit amusing.  Look closely and you will find a woodpecker - a giant woodpecker - in the background - part of an art installation from the front of the south entrance. 

Thanks Dawn for helping in my class.
One of my favorite garments from the show is Dawn in this wonderful jacket made from a recycled wool blanket that she dyed. 
She used a variety of machine stitches to create textural leaves and stems and with needle punching and applique created vibrant poppies.  She even created the front button by weaving beautiful threads through a curtain ring.  Dawn's jacket was quite stunning.

In the teachers' lounge I ran into Ron Collins with his wonderful rack of perfect menswear.
Ron's workmanship is skillful along with impeccable fit.  I was sorry to miss taking one of his classes, but he did point out a few sewing techniques that he enjoys including top stitching not only with 2 threads in a topstitch needle, but with 2 threads in the bobbin.  This topstitch method certainly is handy when topstitching lapels and jacket fronts.  The above jacket was topstitched using a sashiko stitch.  So refined......

Every trip should include good food and friends.  Linda McGehee, Ghee's, and I  found a very special Thai restaurant, Khao San Road.  Fried squash fritters with a red curry sauce, Pai Thai and the most delicate Tapioca Pearls in sweet coconut milk .... well every bite was a worldly delight.

Toronto was energized all weekend with visual delights that only a vibrant urban setting can provide.  My camera could not snap all the sights quick enough -  The CN Tower Climb, Toronto Zombie Walk, Fashion Week, and the CreativFestival.   Thanks CreativFestival and Toronto for a very special trip.
Rhonda - My all time favorite airline!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo - Kansas City, MO

"Kansas City Here I Come!"  Last weekend with my colleague, Rita Farro, we marveled at the delightful examples of sewing. From multi-media to garment construction to machine embroidery, we saw a wide array of sewing projects. In my opinion, the most creative fabrication for machine embroidery was a screen door. Yes!  How adorable and creative! I'm thinking every screen door in America should have a personalized screen door with embroidery.

Thanks Betty!
Another sewing project that stood out was the raincoat ensemble created by a young talent! Look at the fabric - oilcloth with a comfy purple contrasting lining. This project continues with the cap sleeve blouse, skirt and even a wonderful wallet.

Macy, you are an inspiration to all of us!

Another few standout projects are Florilegium multi-media postcards and fabrics, the ruffled handbags, choi fish and the list goes on.  Enjoy the pics . . . .

No trip to Kansas City could be complete without a few good meals. Thanks to Virginia from the local American Sewing Guild for introducing Rita and I to fried chicken at Stroud's and the best BBQ around at Ricky's Pit Bar-B-Que. Delicious!

Those port ribs do not stand a chance with Virgina and Rita!
See Rita's interview with Ricky at 
Thanks Kansas City . . .  and special thanks to the best tour guide and sewing enthusiasts, Virginia!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo 2011 - Chantilly, VA

I love the word C.h.a.n.t.i.l.l.y..... as it rolls off my tongue.  I know it is silly but sometimes words amuse me.  When I hear Chantilly I think of beautiful fine lace and . . . . Jerry Lee Lewis - Chantilly Lace.   Chantilly, VA is actually named after a Civil War battle - Battle of Chantilly.  The area is rich with history and located only 24 miles from Washington DC and home to Dulles International Airport.  Last weekend I gave two lectures, SCHMETZ Machine Needle Education,  in Chantilly for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.     

Rita on the right with class participants
My colleague Rita Farro taught two classes - Quick Gifts That Are Faster Than A Speeding Bullet and Life Is Not a Dress Size.  Rita's classes are always full of great doable ideas - plus students leave class feeling good with a few laughs.

I am always scouting for beautiful sewing and embroidery.  Above I found Barbara Jones, Brother National Product Training Specialist, wearing this dynamite and finely detailed embroidered butterfly on the back of her jacket.  The workmanship was really breathtaking - no puckers, every stitch in its place.

Here is a gallery of wearables seen in Chantilly.  I love the variety of ideas, garments and the final design execution.  Rita and I are now off to the next Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Kansas City, MO.  We get quite giddy when we talk to sewists about their sewing projects. . . . and I love to take pictures!  Drop by to say hi! 

PS:  There are even more pictures from the Chantilly Dancing Ladies Challenge that can be seen on the home page of Creative DRAWings.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quilting Around Chautauqua 2011

Two weeks ago the roar of Niagara Falls reminded me of the beauty of sewing. Like a little droplet of water each creative sewing project begins with a single stitch on a journey that is sometimes unknown, yet can converge into a roaring display of creative magnificence. 

Niagara Falls USA
Thanks to Judy Fenton for inviting me to Quilting Around Chautauqua 2011 in upstate New York and only 70 miles from Niagara Falls. Judy is the owner of Millcreek Sewing and Fabric in Erie, PA and organizer of one of the most glorious quilt shows I have ever attended or lectured. Held on the beautiful Chautauqua Institute campus with winding brick trails, majestic full grown shade trees and quaint cottages, all roads led to the Athenaeum Hotel overlooking Lake Chautauqua. Well, there were so many twisting roads that once I found a route to my campus destinations, deviation was out of question since being lost could take a huge chunk of time to recalculate. Judy took over the lobby of the Anthenaeum with other vendors in the salons and sprinkled among other historic buildings on campus. My SCHMETZ table was located perfectly between the waiting line for the picturesque dining room and Judy's Baby Lock and Jinny Beyer's displays. 

The Athenaeum Hotel, Chautauqua Institution
Besides giving 3 lectures on SCHMETZ needle education, my mission was to answer machine needle questions, sell needles and showcase the new and very cute SCHMETZ Gift Box. I enjoy meeting fellow sewists and take great delight in learning about their sewing adventures. Check out a few inspirational sewists and their creative projects. 

Thanks Judy and your staff - especially Eveyln and Sandi - for a special sewing experience!