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Expo Reviews > Original Sewing & Quilt Expo

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Posted by: PixieCat
Friend of PR

About PixieCat star
Member since: 5/5/04
Reviews: 66 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 10 people
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Posted on: 3/20/05 10:41 AM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 8 people   
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I attended all 4 days, including more-the-day-before, and my head is spinning. I gave this 3 stars because of the quality of instruction and number of vendors, although if you don't have an embroidery machine or are not into quilting that does eliminate about half of them. Still, I managed to spend my limit (okay, a little beyond) and was surprised at the number of non-quilting fabric sellers. Gorgeous silks, wools, linens, knits, and Vogue had quite a variety. Although the shopping area was crowded it didn't seem so bad since they banned the rolling carts.

The location was fairly convenient to hotels and most of the instruction rooms were adequate for the class. The food was expensive and lousy but I packed a lunch every day (past experience) so that didn't really matter to me. You'd think they could do a better job with food given the number of people who attend.

Parking was fine except for Saturday when the IX Center also had a Sports and Auto Show and Baby Faire the same day.

Wednesday I had an all-day fitting clinic with Cynthia Guffey that was the highlight for several reasons. Probably because I'm numbers-oriented and lack an active creative gene I found her fitting method spoke to me. I like the process of applying a set of measurements to a flat pattern, altering, making a muslin, then tweaking and sewing. It makes sense to me and is something I can do alone, unlike tissue fitting (for me, anyway). I may not do this for everything but definitely for those more complicated items like jackets or princess seamed dresses.

I now have an accurate set of complete body measurements. This alone was worth the extra expense and the key to making her fitting method work.

Also, spending the day in a leotard with a bunch of women naturally lends itself to bonding and I enjoyed having a group to hook-up with the rest of the week.

One of many memorable CG tips: if the shoulder slope and upper back curve is accurate, that solves 50% of fitting problems.

2 classes with Sewkeyse - Designer Tee Party and Easy Keys to Sophisticated Knits. As a relative newby to knits these classes were very enlightening. Emma Seabrooke has beautiful knit tops and is just a sweet lady. Her patterns have a draft option for the full bust and she had gorgeous knits for sale in her booth. I was determined to try an independent designer pattern and she's the one I selected.

CG's hand's-on Signature Seams class. This was an evening class and we learned to make the butt seam, the Guffey seam, and one other (brain-dead at this point). I'm learning that most of what she does isn't terribly difficult, it just takes time and I plan to take the time to do this on a special jacket or dress.

Notions Commotion with Mac Berg is always fun. She trolls the vendor booths and presents a class on the interesting or new notions she finds. Those that she likes and those she thinks are a waste of money. Mac is fun to listen to and I always leave this one with something new added to my shopping list.

The Shell Game with Shirley Adams. This was about taking a basic shell pattern and embellishing it with various details like applique, stitch details, burnt silk (that was a new one) and many others. I bought her shell pattern and instructions. After buying a few CG patterns I thought this would be a nice retreat to something with more immediate gratification.

Photo to Fabric with Mike Callahan. I walked out of this one after 1/2 hour because I thought it would be all about ideas, not about how to operate a software program. Plus, the room was too small, warm, and overpacked with people (coughing, sneezing . . . yuk!). Still, I did stop by his booth and got some ideas. I'm sure it was a great class, just not what I was expecting.

Wing Needle Wizardry by Barb Callahan. Her wing-needle work was on the cover of Threads issue 115 Oct/Nov 04. She demonstrated the technique for finishing a neckline, hem, napkins, and for decorator touches on a shell. She used mostly linen but it could be used on other fabrics as well. Great ideas from this class.

Other CG classes including Individual Emphasis which involved making the most of your features by replicating your own facial line in your garment; Hidden Zippers and how they can "disappear" in your garment; and Precision Princess Construction that included some great tips that really wouldn't take much time but would result in a much more professional finish. Plus, she gave us her crock-pot fudge recipe!

I was thoroughly pleased with this Expo and plan to make it an annual event. I did mention PatternReview to quite a few people and expect to see additional Ohioans join the member ranks.

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stitched4u said... (9/2/06 2:50 AM) Reply
Thanks very much for the detail on classes. It does help for those of us who are going to be taking classes for the first time, and don't know the instructors personally.
NanaSew-n-sew said... (8/19/05 0:09 AM) Reply
It's time for me to select my classes for the Show in KC in Oct. Thanks for a run-down on which ones you went to. It helps me do a better job of choosing.
Maryks said... (7/23/05 4:23 PM) Reply
I will be attending in Chicago and am considering Guffey's all day program so I was glad to see this review as well as the other class reviews. Thanks PixieCat!
Nutmeg emb. said... (4/30/05 4:53 PM) Reply
I was expecting an opinon of the actual show, since I go myself and noticed some changes I didn't like. I did want someone else's opinion of the show. I didn't want or need a description of every one of her classes, and her personal opinion of each instructor. More like she was writing a promo for individual classes and instructors. Mostly Cynthia Guffey! Most of the comments she did make about the actual show could have come straight from the show brochure. She commented on hotels etc., but it sounded like she didn't need or use lodging herself.
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