|Fellow sewing enthusiasts,
I'm just back from the 2009 Sewing & Quilt Expo in Chantilly, VA and boy did I have a blast! This is the second one I have gone to.
I took a lot of classes and I did my best to help many, many, many struggling vendors through this recession!
Among the classes I took, here are my 3 favorites:
Easy Zippers, by Mickey Hudson-Sandoval--Using the Islander Sewing System, Mickey taught us how to use industrial techniques to sew in centered, lapped, invisible, and fly-front zippers. Although I was had the theory down for how to sew in all of these (the traditional theory), I had never actually sewn in anything but a centered zipper. I was blown away by the Islander Sewing Techniques and how easy they were. My first-time ever practice attempts came out fairly decent and I know I'll be able to get them down pat with more practice. There is a video that goes with this and a book, which I promptly bought. Well worth it!
Industrial Shortcuts, again taught by Mickey for Islander Sewing Systems. The philosophy of Islander Sewing Systems is to minimize the use of pins, which can distort your fabric and don't always give you the effect you want anyway, and maximize the machines natural pulling of the feeddogs against the pushing of the presser foot. Mickey is a fabulous and funny teacher and she went over proper seam width allowances and techniques for straight seams, curved seams (convex and concave), and my personal favorite-- flat-felled seams. Again, I bought the videos (already had the book from first class!)
I hope you'll be inspired to look into Islander Sewing Systems. I bought a couple of patterns and have delved right into the excellent book. Can't wait to watch the videos and get some time to actually try the techniques on my machine.
The last class I took was the Stabilizer Class by Debra Bohn. I confess I have been only a sometime embroiderer, but I took her class anyway and am now so inspired to embroider. I learned so much about stabilizers and techniques. PLUS, I got to sew on a Viking Tapaz Embroidery machine, which was so wonderful. Still like my Janome, but now its in for its 1 year check up and I can't put my inspiration to good use for another week! Debra Bohn is a wonderful teacher and I very much enjoyed her class and recommend it to others.
I also bought a new Babylock Evolution serger. Unfortunately, its on backorder. Review to come, some day.
Although I love all the new products you get to see, try out, and buy at the Expo, I primarily go to take the classes and learn new things about sewing. I really got my money's worth this year. I encourage anyone near a future Expo event to go. I know I'll be going back next year!
The only thing I can say that was missing was a PatternReview booth. I know Deepika was at the American Sewing Expo, but maybe somebody could represent her and PatternReview at the Expo next time.