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Expo Reviews > Original Sewing & Quilt Expo 2009

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Posted by: Lucy in Virginia
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About Lucy in Virginia star
Member since: 12/20/07
Reviews: 44 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 4 people
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Posted on: 10/5/09 2:15 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 5 people   
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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.

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Lucy in Virginia said... (8/20/10 3:35 PM) Reply
Kim, I know you will have a blast!
nascarflipper99 said... (8/11/10 10:35 AM) Reply
I will be going to Chantilly this year & very excited about going to classes. I hope to meet some new friends & learn a lot when I'm there. I'm only going Thursday 9/30/10, so I will take 1 class for sure. Wish me luck. Kim Becker-Howe
roz blair said... (10/12/09 11:35 AM) Reply
I went for the first time. My daughter lives close so I was able to stay with her and go for 2 full days and one class in the morning the 3rd day. I truly loved the Ilander sewing methods by Mickey. She truly was a great teacher. I believe I have used some of her ideas before but it makes you feel more confident to know someone else uses the idea all the time. There were many things that she said that were new ideas for me for example the "tuck" that she makes at the bottom of the lapped zipper and she does not sew the blind zipper all the way down. It always looked like that on ready mades but it was great to have someone show you that that is the way to do it. It was amazing to me to learn that pattern companies actually leave out complete steps and sometimes give you wrong information which makes sewing that much harder. I should have bought her system but I want to try to remember as much as I can first since I have been sewing for a long time and already used some of her steps. I hope to go again next time they have another show.
Nancy Rhodes said... (10/11/09 10:08 AM) Reply
I went to the Chantilly show -- traveled out of state because I couldn't go to my local show in Cleveland O the previous spring -- and very much enjoyed the setting - easy easy easy free parking, one level. Easier (other than the traffic! very different than my corner of the world). Glad you had a good time & sounds like you single-handedly will end the recession! fun to shop at those!
JEF said... (10/6/09 9:08 AM) Reply
I "ditto" everything you said. I love the Chantilly show (just spent 3 days there taking classes). Mickey Hudson-Sandoval is an inspiring teacher (took her class last year) and Islander methods are great. I was also thinking PR needed a booth - maybe we'll get one set up for next year!
Bunsnpigs said... (10/6/09 7:43 AM) Reply
I wish I could have come to that. I was out of town! Thanks for the review.
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