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Exhausted at Sew & Quilt Expo! Who knew sitting and sewing all day was so exhausting?

original sewing quilt expo bannerI’m so excited about going to Pittsburgh in a few weeks.. It will be my first time going to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Pittsburgh, PA. Is anyone going there too? Has anyone been there before? What did you like about it? What classes did you take?

I’ve signed up for some awesome hands-on classes. There are sooooo many classes that it was hard to narrow down.. And it was hard having to chose between two classes that was offered at the same time 🙁

But I’ve finally got my list of classes picked out and registered for them.. Thank goodness the ones I wanted wasn’t full yet.. Don’t wait too much longer to sign up if you’re still thinking of going.. Classes or not, I think it’s going to be an awesome time.
So after long hours of debating, here is my class schedule.

Day 1:

  1. Cosmetic Serger-y Workshop with Gail Yellen
    I’m excited with this class because I’ll be able to practice using a serger.  I’m trying to decide if I need a serger or not.  I know it’s used for finishing edges but there has to be more uses for a serger. So with this hands-on class, it will be a treat to actually use a server and play with it.. How often do use your serger?
  2. Mini Messenger Tote with Kathy Stachowicz
    Another serger class.. 🙂 Notice the theme for Thursday classes.. This class will include zippers and cover stitches.. So with a little research, I found that there are two types of sergers. One can do an overlock stitch and another to do cover stitch.. Most sergers only can do one or the other, but Babylock has one that can do both.

The Bablylock Evolution can do both overlocking and cover stitch on the same serger.. How cool is that.
On top of that, this serger auto tension and the air threading system that looks sooo easy to do..
Hopefully that’s the serger I will get to use in this class, I can’t wait to try it.

Day 2

  1. Mitered Corners and Setting Triangles with Nelly Vileikis
    Mitered corners is a technique I’m dying to learn.. I’ve watch tons of YouTube videos but it’s not the same as learning it first hand in a class.. I’ve been dreading to do blankets because I don’t know how to put the finishing touch on.. Wish me luck in this class, hopefully I will come out feeling confident to make a mitered corner on my own.

Day 3:

  1. Quilted Cosmetic Bag with Chris Dolinar
    I’m not too sure what to expect from this class but the description talks about “texture and dimension are the current buzzwords in all kinds of sewing projects. Learn just how easy it is to add texture in your embroidery.” I’m up for texture and dimension in my projects..
  2. Gifts in Minutes: Pretty, Practical Projects with Hope Yoder
    This class is all about binding.. Binding is also another technique which I desperately need help in. I’ve tried different binding methods but just can’t get a consistent way to get the binding to look straight… is it just me? Binding can’t be that hard to do, right? So binding, here I come..


Entering the Expo:


Welcome signWhen you enter the convention center, you’ have to get in line to get your daily wrist band and daily drawing ticket. This drawing ticket is very important. Each day at the end of the day, they draw a few lucky winners to win a grand prize of a sewing machine or a goodie bag filled with notions and gift certificates. They even pick two winners everyday to get free value package voucher to come back next year for free with classes included.
sew and quilt expo prize drawings
See the prizes below. They had 5 sewing machines that they are giving away.. I have one more chance to win a prize tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Day 1- I had two hands-on classes that I mentioned in my earlier.

Cosmetic Serger-y Workshop with Gail Yellen and Mini Messenger Tote with Kathy Stachowicz & Susan Zellers class both were serger classes.. I was right about the serger, they provided each person in the class with a Babylock Evolution serger 🙂

I was so happy to get chance to use this machine. It was a dream to try the serger that claims to be tension free and have auto threading system. They had a great deal if you wanted to take one home with you. Retail price is $4000+ but they were selling it for $2500 which includes the project book and the 3 year gold warranty..

The Cosmetic Serger-y was a great class because Gail basically taught you how to use the serger and what you can do with it.. This a great class for beginners and I had fun playing with the serger and all it’s features.

Then in the second class, the Mini Messenger Tote bag with Kathy and Sue, I got to use the serger for the rest of the afternoon to make my tote bag. It was a good learning experience to be forced to sew with the serger instead of a sewing machine. I ran out of time so my tote is 75% complete. I didn’t get a chance to put the finishing touches like the handles but it came out really nice. I’ll have to finish it when I get home.

Mini Tote Bag

I was so tired after the first day that I just went to bed early. Who would have thought that two 4 hour classes of sewing was so exhausting???

Day 2 – I had one hands-on class and left plenty of time to go around the expo to go SHOPPING!!

Mitered Corners and Setting Triangles with Nelly Vileikis was such a fun class. Nelly is so funny and had so much fun, I would come back to take more classes with her. She explains everything so clear and adds lots of good tips. There were a lot of mature quilters that commented that her techniques will make their quilting so much easier.

With this class, we had the Babylock Sophia 2 (sewing & embroidery combo machine). We only used it as a sewing machine but it’s a cute little machine.

Here is the sample piece that we attempted to make during this class. I was only able to finish 2 mitered squares so I’ll post pictures of my finish product once I get it done.

After class, I walked the grounds to check out the vendors.. I’ll post more about the vendors tomorrow.. I had some extra time so I went to visit the Make-it Center with Beth Bradley. There were 4 projects to choose from and I decide to make the Zipper Flower Brooch. Beth was so nice and patient with everyone. She would walk you through how to make the project you selected and worked with you on your own pace. It was fun just to sit around chatting with Beth and the other ladies at the table. Thanks Beth, it was nice meeting you..

Here is the finished product with Beth and I wearing our Zipper flower brooch 🙂

Sew it All magazine with zipper flower brooch

Here is my finished Zipper flower brooch with the latest version of the Sew it All magazine. I chose the white and black polka dot zipper combo. Beth had made one with just the red zippers. You can choose what ever combination you wanted to make. The pattern for the brooch is in the Sew it All magazine, so go get a copy before the next issue comes out.

zipper flower brooch

Here is a close up of the brooch. Option 1 is the way it is supposed to look but I wanted to play with it a bit and turned the larger zipper leaves inside out to get the look for Option 2. I think it looks great with both ways. Which one do you like better?

Day 3 – Last and final day

The first class was to make a Quilted Cosmetic Bag with Chris Dolinar from Husqvarna Viking. The main attraction for this class was a product called Texture Magic. Just like the name of the product, it will add dimension and texture to any fabric. it’s a steam-activated shrinking fabric made of polyester. The fabric shrinks 30% in all directions when steam is applied. You first sew your patterned lines on the fabric with the Texture Magic sheet. Then steam the back side of the sheet and watch the magic happens. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must try product.. I’m hooked on Texture Magic, I had to buy some right away in one of the vendor booths right after class.. Go to your local quilt or sew shop and ask for Texture Magic.

Quilted Cosmetic bag with texture magic

The second class was making Gifts in Minutes: Pretty, Practical Projects with Hope Yoder. For those who are not familiar with Hope Yoder, you’re in for a treat. She sells fabric button machines and has different size fabric button machines with different accessories for each size. In the class we made two types of buttons. The small one is a 1 inch button which turned into a keychain and the larger one is a 2.5 inch button which turned into a mirror. Who can resist a mirror especially one that says “Mrs Always Right”.. LOL

For these two buttons, we first embroidered the designs on 3 inch gross grain ribbon, cut them out and assembled on the button machines. It was pretty cool and very easy to assemble the buttons. Hope also sells very cute embroidery designs that you can put on the buttons. The second project was to make a tissue holder which was super easy to make. I loved this class because Hope combined piercing, embroidery, sewing and button making all in one class to make these cute gifts..

Gifts in minutes - embroidery buttons and quilted tissue pouch

So that concludes the end of the expo for this year. I found out that this is the first time the expo is being hosted in Pittsburgh. I guess Pittsburgh was a success since they announced that they were coming back next year. hooray 🙂

~~Words of Encouragement~~

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
Handmade gifts from the heart - Made by Bertha

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