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Expo Reviews > Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, Chantilly, VA

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Posted by: dbsewer

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Member since: 1/16/04
Reviews written: 32
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expos reviewed: 2
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Posted on: 10/1/05 10:19 AM
Rating: starstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 4 people   
I've been to a lot of these Expos - including one in Worcester - so I've seen them go from big, exciting events with lots of stuff for couture sewists to a mishmash of quilts, crafts and a bit of something for couture sewists. This year I took Cynthia Guffey's three part fitting series, which I've taken in the past. I would have liked to see more variety in the classes for folks who like to sew clothing but I only had one day and this was the best offering. I've taken classes from Lorraine Henry, Peggy Sagers and others and didn't feel they were worth a repeat, though they're both excellent teachers.
Overall, I would have to say the quality of this Expo has gone downhill. Gone are the days when Bobbie Carr (now retired), Linda Lee, Shermaine Fouche (gone to France) and Judith Rasband attend these Expos. Only Cynthia has stepped in to fill the gap. Some of these teachers just don't want to travel and others got fed up with having to hold classes where there's so much white noise from the hall you couldn't hear them. It's also ridiculously expensive and the smaller vendors can't afford it. The Wool House from Canada was there as was Vogue Fabrics and Hancock. Wool House and Vogue are great additions, but I wish the locals like G Street and Curran would come. I wanted more sewing books and notions. Nancy's was there but it looked like they were trying to dump their overstock. The Button Shoppe wasn't present, either, a real loss, though Louise Cutting had lovely buttons. Some of the local shops that did show up were woefully understocked - I could not find one embroidery disc for my Bernina 165E and the CDs were no bargain. One highlight was the lady selling lace from France. Gorgeous stuff.
I noticed flagging interest in the fashion shows and other stage events, probably because we've seen it all a dozen times before. Needless to say the food was awful. Bring your own.
I think the Expo folks are trying to do too much to please too many. There were even knitters present this year and weavers. There were also some no-name brand irons. I wish they would banish the folks selling those ironing board covers. I bought one years ago. Forget it. Everything slides off.
Overall, I've been to better Expos and I think it was much more interesting before it became such a corporate money-maker. The folks who run this need to do some freshening, encouraging new vendors and more couture experts. They should also look for a better venue. Worcester's expo center is so much nicer. Chantilly's is cavernous and ugly.

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roz blair said... (7/14/06 10:55 AM) Reply
This was very helpful
Toni39 said... (10/16/05 1:58 PM) Reply
I went to t expo in Chantilly also. I just went for the day. I did not like this one as I have been to some held in Honolulu HI and they were much better. The one in Chantilly did not have the right kinds of classes and they were being held at the wrong time of day for working people. There was not enough local talent and the prices were quite steep. I did purchase the Stone Styler and a massage pillow. I hope it is better next year.
dbsewer said... (10/4/05 3:35 PM) Reply
Ann, you're right. I've thought of heading to Atlanta and if I can find someone to go with might do it next year.
annsew65 said... (10/2/05 7:40 PM) Reply
Bernie, I've been to the expo at Chantilly several times, but the past couple of years I've gone to the one at Atlanta. Much better venue and more seminars, vendors, etc. It is a long haul, though, and with the price of gas by next March, that could cut into my plans to attend again! You're right about the facility at Chantilly - most uncomfortable and noisy. The center in Atlanta is large but comfortable and the individual classrooms are wonderful - and free parking to boot! Of course, Chantilly has free parking but I understand some don't. It's got to be tough to travel like the vendors and teachers have to for these shows! I'm sort of surprised that as many particpate as they do, given the "pay" (or lack thereof)! It does keep their names out front, which I'm sure helps in the long run.
Danvillegirl said... (10/2/05 11:17 AM) Reply
Had thought about going. With gas prices so high, and seems to me cost of everything else, I decided not to go. Sounds like I did not miss much. I would like to take Cynthia's classes though.
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