Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sewing Souvenirs

If you were following SCHMETZneedles on Facebook last week, you got a glimpse into my trip to International Quilt Market in Portland, OR.  This is a wholesale show where fabric companies, industry manufacturers, publishers, authors, designers and educators unveil the newest fabrics, notions, tools, block of the month patterns etc.  Quilt shop owners and machine dealers from around the world gather to sift through all the new products to deal and buy for their retail stores and special customers like you.  Yes, it's colorful and a feast for the senses.  Among 500+ vendors, no doubt I pick up a variety of sewing goodies, samples and lapel pins.   

A few recent goodies on a background of the ever soft and cuddly Cuddle Fabric by Shannon Fabrics.  Lapel pins by Swirly Girls, Craftsy, International Association of Professional Quilters, International Quilt Market, and a thimble from Blank Quilting

I have an expanding collection of pins not only from International Quilt Market, but other shows I have attended or taught including Sewing & Stitchery ExpoAmerican Sewing ExpoOriginal Sewing & Quilt Expo, Quilt Expo, Creativ Festival, Baby Lock Tech, Janome Institute, Shipshewana Quilt Festival, well you get the picture . . . Mementos galore!  What's a girl to do with them all?

There are a lot of memories and friendships around each pin.  Several years ago after finishing a fabric challenge with former quilt shop colleagues, I made a quilted wall hanging that just begged for my sewing memorabilia. 

Voila!  All my pins, badges, and  little sewing notions make their way to this little quilt hanging near my sewing machine.  Take a look....pins from Australia, I haven't been there yet, but I have Aussie friends that love to sew, shop hops, Come Quilt With Me.  There is even a delicate Swiss hankie with handmade lace from my dear sewing sister Zsuzsanna from Switzerland.  Meeting Zsuzsanna at Quilt Market was always a special part of my Quilt Market experience.  Zsuzsanna is no longer with us, but I always think of her skilled sewing expertise and exquisite design style when I look at that hankie.

This is a busy wall hanging with a quilt frenzy theme.  Adding my pins and show goodies, brings a smile to my face.

Of course, there are a few SCHMETZneedle pins.  After all, every sewing machine project demands a quality needle . . . . SCHMETZ of course!

How do you collect, save and showcase you sewing mementos?  Or are your sewing goodies tossed into a drawer like I used to do?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meet Holly Vlasak, Armored in Fashion

Last weekend the Haute Couture Club Chicago presented Elements of Glam Fashion Show celebrating the earth through fashion.  What a treat!  Wind, Water and Fog, The Tundra, Flora and Fauna, Precious Metals and Stones were just a few of the inspirational design categories.  My favorite theme was Water and Sky.  The Shades of Blue garments really captured the allure of daylight and midnight skies. 

I was so tickled to meet Holly Vlasak.  Holly is a design student at the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago.   She won a 2012 Haute Couture Scholarship.  Holly's designs were featured in a display at the entrance to the fashion show and of course she was wearing one of her designs.

Holly Vlasak, Armored in Fashion

Listen to Holly's design inspiration.... armor.  Really loved how she implemented the armor theme from the fabric selection right down to the thoughtful metal clasp on the removable shrug. 

The Haute Couture Club of Chicago is nearly 50 years old with members of all ages and interests.  Joining a club is a great way to refine your skills, meet new friends and widen your circle of inspiration.  Whatever your sewing interest, there is always magic when sharing stories and stitches.  Find a club in your community or start your own club.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend 2013

Nancy Zieman is a jewel.  And last weekend's Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam, WI was no different. . . a cherished weekend of friends and a love of sewing all brought about by Nancy's unwavering business savvy and passion for sewing.

From Nancy's humble kitchen table to this massive shopping and educational event, the Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend was impressive to say the least.  This was my first trip to Beaver Dam.  The product selection was extensive from Gingham Square bobbins to Roll The Gold Rotary Blades, SCHMETZ needles along with every notion ever made, fabrics, books, patterns galore and of course, Baby Lock sewing machines.  Designers, authors, educators and consumers from around the world found the love of sewing at feverish level.

Look at this pattern selection!  And this was just a single of multiple rows of patterns for garments, quilts, home dec, crafts and much more!

Nancy's Sewing Weekend is a three day event, but I stayed for only 24 hours, so I had a chance to catch up with Rita Farro and Mary Mulari of the Midwest Ya Ya Sisters.  Well, it was actually more than that since earlier in the day they volunteered me along with Nancy Zieman to model for their evening performance "All Wrapped Up".  Lots of laughs here as Rita and Mary unveiled their whimsical wraps and stylish shawls with stories.  Above Rita and Mary expose their high tech teleprompter - yes, you are right . . .  Magic Marker on scrap cardboard!  

Add this date to your calendar - May 1 - 3, 2014 for the next Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam, WI.  Now I'm off to go sew some of the fabrics and patterns I picked up last weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quick Threading Needle

I want to introduce or . . . reintroduce you . . .  to the SCHMETZ Quick Threading needle.  This is a Universal needle with a little slit off the side of the eye.  Just like the name suggests, the Quick Threading needle is very easy to thread - just slide the thread down the length of the needle until the thread pops into the eye.  Voila!
SCHMETZ Quick Threading Needle
Available in Sizes 80/12 and 90/14
The Quick Threading needle is a terrific alternative when a built-in machine needle threader is not available.  Kids who are just learning to sew find quick success when threading this needle.  The SCHMETZ Quick Threading needle is favored by sewing enthusiasts with arthritis in their hands hampering easy threading.  Low vision and blind sewists also use this needle to continue their passion of sewing.     

There is one important tip to using this needle . . .

S...L...O...W.... D...O...W...N.........

Reduce your sewing speed!  Easy to thread . . . easy to unthread.  Yes, the thread has a tendency to pop out of the eye when sewing at high speeds, so slow down!  The SCHMETZ Quick Threading needle is a convenient needle for your friends that may just be learning to sew or may have difficulty threading the needle on their own.