Monday, September 30, 2013

Janome Institute - Part I of III

Last month I represented SCHMETZ needles at Janome Institute in Las Vegas.  And wow what an event! 

As I approached the exhibit hall I saw this guy "fixing" the world.  Yes, Janome is an international sewing machine brand and dealers from around the world were in attendance to Janome's tri-annual meeting.   Couldn't help but wish the world's challenges could be fixed as easily as this guy preparing the global display.

The SCHMETZ booth was very easy . . .  and quick to set up.  My big news for needles is that SCHMETZ is color coding home sewing needles by needle type and size.  Hallelujah!  These new color coded needles will be available to consumers in early 2014.  Yahoo!  And of course as color coded needles become available, I will let you know.

Dealers from around the world gathered to get the latest news on Janome machines.  This is just the tail end of the crowd moving into the ballroom awaiting news on the newest machine............

The Janome Memory Craft 15000.  What a machine!  It connects with WIFI and iPad.  Really!  The touch screen was huge with crisp vibrant colors.  Huge workspace.  A new needle threader.  And the machine is fast, twice as fast as earlier models.  But mostly I loved the lighting.  The entire sewing project is illuminated on this machine.  Super cool!

Monday, September 23, 2013

How Could I Have Nothing NEW To Wear?

That's the question:  "How could I have nothing NEW to wear - something that I made?"  Wednesday I leave for one of my favorite sewing shows, the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI.  I will be greeting visitors into the Social Media Lounge as they recharge batteries, take a few minutes to Face Book, blog and meet sewing celebrities.  So what am I going to wear?  Yes, I have been sewing, but this year I have been quilting more than garment construction.  I certainly cannot wear my quilt blocks.  :) 

This is what I intended to stitch and wear ..........

Jacket Express #218
Janet Pray, Islander Sewing Systems

. . . . but the fabric is still folded neatly in my sewing queue.  I have this beautiful navy with shades of blue and white vines and just a hint of green cotton fabric with just 1% Spandex that should sew easily and wear comfortably. 

I love Janet Pray's Islander Sewing System patterns with tested well written instructions and especially for this pattern has an expedited construction order.  Now, doesn't that sound interesting... expedited construction order.  To learn more about how Janet constructs this pattern take her Craftsy class.  Her class went live this summer and already has had over 3,000 students. . . . and I too will be one of her students.

Meet me this weekend in the Social Media Lounge at the American Sewing Expo.  What will you be wearing?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Baby Lock Ovation Serger Video

Guest blogger Rita Farro sergers ahead at Baby Lock Tech: 
My video skills are still in the development stage. (Yes both sarcasm and understatement.) But regular pictures did NOT tell the story about the new Baby Lock Ovation serger. In this first little video -- you see how different the Ovation is from any other serger on the market. Kelly explains some of the features...

And in the second little video -- you will get to see and hear the Ovation at work. GREAT JOB, Kelly!!

Thanks Rita for your Baby Lock Tech updates.  I will also add that the new Baby Lock Ovation uses a SCHMETZ ELX705CF available in sizes 75 and 90.  This is a special needle with a  chrome finish, slightly larger scarf and a long groove on the front AND back side of the needle.  SCHMETZ ELX705CF needles are available from your local machine dealer.
Let's give Rita Farro an ovation for checking out all the goodies at Baby Lock Tech.  If you want to know more about Rita, check out her Rita's Sew Fun blog.  Rita has a creative soft spot for refashioning t-shirts and loves to blog about her life in Iowa. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Baby Lock Tech: Famous for BREAKS and SERGERS!!! Part 3

Rita Farro continues with her report about attending Baby Lock Tech in St. Louis.
Of course, any sewing machine convention is ALL ABOUT THE SEWING. But Baby Lock also understands how important the EATING can be.  The dealers are working hard, attending classes from early in the morning until late at night. THEY NEED A BREAK. So, every day, at 10:00 AM and again at 3:00 PM -- the food is phenomenal....

But, of course -- as extraordinary as the food was at BLT -- the thing Baby Lock is most famous for is their INCREDIBLE SERGERS. And the real reason everybody was so happy in St. Louis was the launch of Baby Lock's brand new, ground-breaking serger -- the OVATION.

It was SO EXCITING to be a part of this exciting event. And words and pictures really don't do it justice. So in my next post, I hope to share a video demonstration...YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT...

Rita Farro

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby Lock Tech: Look Who's at Baby Lock!!! Part 2

Guest blogger -- Rita Farro, has a lot more to say about the 2013 Baby Lock Tech in St. Louis, Missouri...

Rita continues.... One of the BEST THINGS about Baby Lock Tech is seeing all the great outfits!! Baby Lock dealers from all over the country come to BLT -- and they can be kind of competitive. But THIS OUTFIT stopped me cold. I was trying to take a secret picture of the back of her jacket when I realized I knew the woman wearing the embroidery!!

The woman in the great embroidered outfit was Margaret Moorhead. Rhonda Pierce (who normally writes this blog) was recently a guest at Margaret's Virtual Sewing Guild webinar...

Margaret was so interesting, and our visit was so animated -- I wanted to do a video...I am sorry that I talk too fast...but Margaret did a GREAT job...

Rita Farro


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baby Lock Tech: Party in St. Louis!!! Part 1

Welcome to Rita Farro, our guest blogger for a few upcoming posts.  Rita recently attended the annual Baby Lock Tech in St. Louis -- and this is her unofficial report...
The opening night of Baby Lock Tech is a HUGE PRODUCTION. The Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel in downtown St. Louis is a beautiful venue. Steve Jeffery, President of Baby Lock Sewing Machines, used to be a member of Up With People. So he ACTUALLY DOES SING AND DANCE...

Baby Lock takes over the Hyatt Hotel. They set up tons of classrooms and bring in the finest teachers in the industry. Eleanor Burns was there, Mary Fons, Sue Hausmann, Mary Mulari and many more. It really is a STAR STUDDED event.

Baby Lock headquarters is in St. Louis -- so the entire staff moves to the Hyatt Hotel for the dealer training.
They COMPLETELY SOLD OUT of the limited edition 2013 Baby Lock Tech t-shirts.  There were TWO different designs...and I think they should have a t-shirt-recreation contest!!

My job was to set up the SCHMETZ needles booth in the vendor hall. Of course, Rhonda sent a beautiful, perfectly organized pallet from Chicago which made my job EASY. See the posters hanging in the back of the booth? THAT WAS SO EXCITING..
You can't quite read the poster -- but the big news was that SCHMETZ will be COLOR CODING needles. And the dealers were all delighted to hear that because customers have wanted it for a long time...

The dealers were very busy during the day taking classes. But when they came into the vendor hall, they all wanted to have their picture taken with the giant SCHMETZ "SUPER" NEEDLE...

From Sew News -- Beth Mauro (in blue) visiting with one of the Baby Lock reps at the reception

It was fun to hook up with some friends I've known for a long time -- like Sue Hausmann.  And then, too, making NEW friends. Here, Sue is smiling with my favorite vendor neighbors (who I called Marie #1 and Marie #2.)

Kris and Terri, the original DIY Dish duo, insist they are not related to Marie Osmond.  But it really is hard to believe!

Rita Farro

Friday, September 13, 2013

Social Media Lounge

Fall is finally in the air, well at least today with cooler temperatures.  So that means that one of my favorite sewing shows is just around the corner - The American Sewing Expo.  I love this show with all the creative energy of sewists from around the country, Canada and other far away locations converging just outside of Detroit to beautiful Novi, MI.   

This year Janet Pray, the founder and owner of American Sewing Expo, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of this fabulous show.  Janet is always on the look out for new talent and delivers venues through ASE to further develop and promote creativity in our wonderful world of sewing.  This is where I come in - this year Janet and her team have created a Social Media Lounge on the show floor.  Most importantly while you are blogging, Facebooking, doing Instagram or charging up your device, you can meet with representative of McCalls patterns - especially if you are looking to create your own patterns;  Meet the lovely Ellen Marche of Sew News and SewItAllTV; Talk with sewing expert and blogger Gertie along with Tiffiany and Shannon of Create Kids Couture.  There is so much to see and learn!  And . . . . I will be greeting you at the Social Media Lounge.  Yahoo!  Plus I can answer any SCHMETZ needles questions you may have.

So get ready. . . finish your sewing projects and meet me along with 1,000's of sewing friends in just two weeks in Novi at the American Sewing Expo!  It is not too late to sign up for classes, but do it now by visiting
September 2013-3
2013 ASE logo 

Like us on Facebook
 New! 2013 ASE
 Social Media Lounge 
Don't Miss Out!
  The following classes have less than 6 seats left:
Sewing Machine IllustrationThursday Workshops
The Perfect Fit
Friday Seminars
Basics of Pattern Drafting     
A Place in the Sun Placemat
Saturday Seminars    
Sleeve Drafting and Fitting
Two for One/Knit Jacket
Sunday Seminars 
Beyond Seam Finishing Sample
Wonderful World of Paintstiks
Last day to pre-register - Thursday September 19th.
Happy 20th Birthday ASE!
To celebrate our 20th year we will be posting trivia questions about ASE logos, events and special guests. Prizes will be awarded!   

Who provides sewing machines prizes for contestants and the audience at the Passion For Fashion Finale?
Three people who get the answer correct will win the prize. Winners will be chosen at random.  
To send your email answer (include full name and mailing address) click on Diane.
Last weeks question:
In the all day workshop, Fitting the Four B's; What do the four B's refer to?
Answer: bellies, boobs, backs and butts 
Winners: Mary Gillette, Hannah Troupe, Roberta Hoag
2013 ASE logo 
 Teaser Alert!
The ASE birthday celebration begins at 8:00 AM Friday and Saturday.  
Registration Brochure 
Download by clicking on cover above.
 To go directly to registration click above.
To support our friend Simon Haskins, ASE is sponsoring an exhibit of Sunshine 4 All quilt blocks. You can send us your quilt block, bring it to the expo or you can even sit down and sew a block when you attend ASE this fall. Please read below and follow the link to learn more about this very special project to help find a cure for this  dreadful disease!
Join us in the Sew Party Cafe' to sit and sew a block or two. Fabric provided by our good friends at Coats and Free Spirit! 

And bring several pairs of comfortable shoes and tote bags to fill with all the enticing fabrics, trims, patterns  - lots of goodies to take home.  Yes, the shopping will be very good!  I look forward to seeing you!