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Expo Reviews > Puyallup Sewing and Stitchery Expo

Washington, United States
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Posted by: blythebyname

About blythebyname
Member since: 1/23/13
Reviews: 6 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Beginner
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Posted on: 3/5/14 0:44 AM
Last Updated: 3/5/16 1:10 AM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 5 people   
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Update March 4, 2015:

I just wanted to update my review, since I went to the expo this year and got to take classes, as well as shop. This year was my second time attending, and I went for full days on both the Friday and Saturday of the expo weekend (the expo runs each year around late February from Thursday to Sunday).

Whereas my previous visit was just on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I found the expo not to be crowded, this time it was really crowded. There are two main parking lots for the expo, which is held at the Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, WA, and by the time I arrived around 10:45AM on Friday, the "blue lot" I went to was packed. I parked very far in the back and joined the many people heading to the expo--it felt like I was attending a big football game, except with hundreds of sewers and quilters!

The expo has classes that are rated from 45-minute "one-needle" lectures to 4-hour "four-needle" intensive workshops held on the Wednesday before the expo starts. I signed up for three different 2.5-hour, "three-needle" classes and one 45-minute "one-needle" lecture. In the three-needle classes, you get to do a project within the course of the 2.5-hour class on a class machine provided by the sponsor (Bernina, Pfaff, Viking, Babylock, Brother, and Janome were all sponsors). The fun of the three-needle classes, besides learning, is that you get to play on a fancy machine (for the Bernina classes, they had 770QE machines and for the Pfaff classes, they had the Creative 4.5--so fun!). I made a monogrammed pillow (for my dog :D ) in one class and a zipper pouch in another. In hindsight, I would have signed up for no more than one class a day. I was recovering from a sinus infection while I was there, and I found the schedule I'd signed up for to be quite hectic. So much so that by Saturday night, I decided to skip a lecture by Mary Fons that evening, even though I'd already bought the ticket.

The vendors are definitely one of the big highlights of the expo. There are hundreds of them, spread between two different buildings, so it can be a bit overwhelming. The vendors include ones selling quilting fabrics, apparel fabrics, lingerie items, notions, wool embroidery items, machine embroidery items, sewing tables--really, a huge variety. I was surprised at how little I ended up buying, though, considering how many vendors there were! But I've been quilting for long enough now and am fortunate enough to have good quilt shops near me, so that I didn't find too many things I felt I "had" to have. But it was still fun to look! I did a walkthrough of all the vendors on Friday afternoon, making a few purchases and taking note of vendors I might want to return to. Then on Saturday, I planned out exactly which vendors I wanted to see, circling them on my expo map, and returned to them. If you're looking to buy a sewing machine, they offer very good deals there, especially if you go on Sunday. I was offered a very good deal on a Bernina 570 (so tempting, but still not in my budget!) and found a fantastic deal on my Elna 760 at the show two years ago.

Location and Lodging:
I flew to Seattle for this trip, rented a car, and stayed in Puyallup. Puyallup is about 40 minutes south of Seatac Airport. From what I saw of it, Puyallup is a pleasant suburb community for Tacoma and Seattle. I felt quite safe traveling around there by myself. If you plan to go to the expo, hotel rooms do get booked quickly, so it's wise to book early.

I would definitely go again to the Sewing Expo--it's very fun to get to "geek out" on sewing with other sewers/quilters. I would sign up for fewer classes next time, and perhaps try to attend on Saturday and Sunday instead of Friday and Saturday, since Sunday seems to be the best day for deals (it's the last day, so vendors are trying to get rid of what they have left).

Original review:
This was my first time going to a sewing expo, and I can only speak to the shopping part of the expo, as I only went for a half-day and didn't see any of the shows or attend any classes (I was in Seattle for a conference which, coincidentally, was the same week that the Puyallup sewing expo was taking place--yay!).

I had a great time and would love to go again in the future. I went on a Sunday, the last day of the expo, and though I'd read that it gets very crowded, it wasn't too bad. There were plenty of people, but no jostling, and people just seemed friendly and happy to be there. I tried out machines of many different brands (Janome, Elna, Pfaff, Bernina, Juki), tried out scissors at the Kai scissors table, bought a beautiful wooden clapper/point presser, admired the fabrics and notions. It was fun to see in person the different kinds of notions/sewing products I've only read about online. Since it was the last day of the show, many of the sewing machine vendors were offering deals on their show models that seemed comparable to what I've seen online. I was very tempted but resisted, as I don't need a new machine (at least, not yet).

I went with a friend who doesn't sew, and I was worried she might get bored, but she had a lot of fun, too, checking out machines with me and getting as excited as I did while we watched the Bernina 750QE sew through leather (cue the heavenly music). Overall, it was a lot of fun, and I'd love to go again and try out some of the classes.

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blythebyname said... (3/6/14 9:14 PM) Reply
Yes, that could have been part of it. Good thing the vendors were all indoors. I've read that Sunday tends to be the least crowded day, too. Worked for me! =)
michellep74 said... (3/6/14 3:53 PM) Reply
I was there on Sunday, too, and was pleasantly surprised by it not being overly crowded. Maybe the weather kept people away?
blythebyname said... (3/6/14 2:54 PM) Reply
No, I went to the AWP conference. Lots of conferences going on!
sacjeanie said... (3/6/14 9:57 AM) Reply
I could have written this same review except I went on Saturday. Did you go to the Drive 2014 conference like I did?
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