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Expo Reviews > Original Sewing & Quilt Expo

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Posted by: PegL

About PegL star
Member since: 2/18/04
Reviews: 31 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 14 people
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Posted on: 10/18/05 3:27 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
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October 13 & 14, 2005 (the Expo ran through the 15th also) was my second time to attend the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Overland Park, KS (Kansas City). I was amazed at how much it had grown in both size and attendance from when I was there two years ago! This was my first time to take classes and doing that really enhances the experience! The Overland Park Convention Center is spacious, well lit and connected to a Sheraton Hotel, where many of their very nice meeting rooms served as classrooms. Everything was a very short walk from everything else and easy to negotiate.

I met ''Penelope'' (aka Joanne), another PR member at the Expo and had a great time sharing the Expo experience with her! (We ''met'' via PR but this was our first time to meet in person.)

I have to commend the folks running the Expo as they seemed to be very organized and efficient. I signed up on-line for a ''value package'' which included 5 class sessions and 3 days general admission for $82. Since daily admission is $10. and classes at the door are $19. each, this was a great deal! I was able to add an additional class for only $16. When I registered and paid I was emailed a ''Bring a Friend Code", which I shared with Joanne. She used the code when she registered and included in her package was coupons for a free class for each of us which we were able to add with no problem. We opted to pre-pay for our lunch each day too and got tickets that made the lunch pickup process very quick and easy. The lunches were pricey for what we got but they weren't too bad for convention center food and they included fruit, dessert and drink along with the selected entree. We received our ticket packages which included door prize coupons, name tags and lots of other information regarding Expo by US mail very quickly after registering on line.

I took 7 classes during the two days I attended. These are my impressions of my classes:

''Fast Ways to Sew Better'' with Kathy Ruddy -- this was my least favorite class/teacher! I think she forgot to read her class description as it was mostly an ''infomercial'' for the products she sells in her vendor's booth. Kathy is a representative for Unique Patterns and sells her own booklets and brochures in addition. She was 10 minutes late to class on Thursday and after waiting for 20 minutes on Friday for another class I had unwittingly signed up for, the Expo staff came in and gave us the opportunity to leave and exchange our class tickets for another class of our choice. I leaped at that opportunity and never looked back!

''Sewing Sophisticated Knits'' with Emma Seabrooke -- I had never heard of Emma but the class description intrigued me and I really enjoyed Emma and her class! Emma is a certified Palmer/Pletsch fitter/instructor and also trained in French Couture. She's very knowledgeable and sharing. I didn't discover Emma has her own line of patterns until visiting her vendor's booth later in the day! She wasn't selling during class -- she was teaching techniques! She measured me and fit me in three of her patterns -- a basic T-Shirt, cardigan and one seam pants. She had garments in a variety of sizes to try on in her booth and one of her T-Shirts was the absolute best fitting shirt I've ever put on! I can't wait to make my own! I also bought some beautiful knit fabrics from Emmaa along with several packages of Super Fine Fusible Bias and Stay tapes, highly recommended by both Emma and Lyla Messinger. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a web site but I encouraged her to get one going ASAP!
Her company is called ''SewKeysE, Inc'' -- as she lives in the Florida Keys!

I took two other classes with Emma and enjoyed them also:
''Making Designer Tees'' and ''Emma's Easy Seams Etc.'', which was on making cute one seam pants!

''Up My Sleeve" with Shirley Adams -- I took a class from Shirley almost 20 years ago and she hasn't aged one day since then! She's a very elegant and talented lady with much to share. In this class she showed a lot of different ways to change or embellish sleeves in blouses or jackets. I also attended one of her stage presentations and enjoyed seeing her beautiful clothes. I probably wouldn't wear a lot of it -- I don't dress up that much that often but the clothes were beautifully sewn and fun to see!

''The Graceful Details'' with Cynthia Guffey -- Wow! What a stunning and brilliant woman! She has a lot of self confidence and is very funny and sharing. She covered a lot of techniques with easy to see samples and explanations in this class. I now wish I could justify taking her 4 day workshop some time! Since it's $900. plus travel and hotel, I'd have to come up with a really really good reason to need to go!

''Successful Sewing with Knits'' with Lyla Messinger -- Lyla is the designer/owner of LJ Design Patterns. Between Lyla and Emma I learned a tremendous amount about sewing with knits and slinky's! Lyla showed some beautiful clothes including several pieces from her newest patterns including the ''Margarita Top''. She gave class attendees coupons worth $2. off anything in her booth so I came home with the pattern for that top! She promised that my figure type could wear it! We'll see!

I also attended a stage presentation (trunk show) by Jan Bones of ''Lingerie Secrets'' and really enjoyed it! I've never had an interest in sewing lingerie but she came close to tempting me!

There were many other classes I wish I could have taken! I knew from previous experiences attending shows and classes that my brain could only handle so much on any given day though. Next time I'll take more classes with Cynthia Guffey and add Louise Cutting, Lorraine Henry, and Linda Lee to my list to see what I can learn from them! (That's assuming the same instructors return next year.) There were many other instructors at the Expo covering all kinds of subjects. You can find descriptions of both classes and instructors on the Expo web site. I was more interested in sewing classes rather than any of the many serger, embroidery, quilting or home dec classes offered.

To top off my two days, I stayed for the Friday afternoon door prize drawing before my 3 hour drive home and won a big tote bag full of prizes! Yeah for me! It included a Dakota Collectibles embroidery CD (which I can use) and a great Taunton Press book called ''Sewing 911'', which has been reviewed here on PR twice that I could find.

I thought the vendors were plentiful and well balanced in offerings. I tried my best to share my funds with a lot of them!

I highly recommend the Overland Park, KS Sewing and Quilting Expo. I can't wait to go again next year!

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KaySews said... (9/25/06 3:50 PM) Reply
I just returned from the Round Bobbin expo in St.Charles, MO. Kathy R offered the same class and I agree with your comments; however, I did enjoy the changes she made by emblishments and different fabrics. She had samples of all. You may be interested to know that Kathy is now designing for Simplicity and her new patterns should be available soon.
intostitches said... (12/5/05 11:41 AM) Reply
I attended the expo this year, and found it to be quite a bit smaller than one I attended there a few years ago, as far as vendors go. I think the class selection was just as diverse. I attended several classes a few years ago, and learned a valuable lesson that the reviewer touched on. The sessions that were sponsored by big name sewing industry companies & reps. were mosly a sales session, and I felt I should not have had to PAY to attend those. I wanted to expand my sewing knowledge and not learn about what certain companies had to sell, I can do that on my own time. SO, I wised up and am now a lot more careful about the sessions I will sign up for in the future. Sessions that are specific to a certain sewing machine brand for example, are out. Sessions that teach TECHNIQUE are in. (Cynthia Guffy is great! She has so much knowledge, I just wish she had hand-outs, so I could remember all she had to share!) I have to add, that the Vogue fabrics booth is my favorite. I can't find nice fabrics like that at my home town, so I go to the expo and buy, buy, buy. I hardly ever purchase fabrics from our local chain stores anymore. I find the quality to be less than satisfactory and always wonder why the chain stores can't or won't carry the sort of fashion fabrics that we see in ready to wear trends. They obviously ARE available. I have found so many unique, gorgeous fabrics at the expo from Vouge and a few other booths, that my stash looks like a fabric boutiqe. Now, when I'm in the mood to make some beatiful garment or need something for a special occassion, I don't have to go any farther than my sewing stash. (AND, you'll never find bargain prices like those offered at the expo in your local chain! - It's amazing!)
JDpenelope said... (10/19/05 5:57 PM) Reply
Oops, Sorry to see this message posted somehow while I was writing my comments.
JDpenelope said... (10/19/05 5:54 PM) Reply
Peg, This is an excellent , thorough review; since I agree with your observations, there's not much to add. I can also recommend this expo. Soon (I'm out of town right now) I'll review the fitting class that I took "The day before" from Cynthia Guffey, a high-energy instructor, who's also quite a character, as you say, and fun to spend time with. Like ridinstyle, I partook of the opportunity to shop the Vogue fabrics booth--to name just one vendor who profited from my attendance--and I'm delighted with some wool/rayon boucle I purchased there. This expo was my first , but I learned so much from the classes that I'm looking forward to attending with you again next year.
JDpenelope said... (10/19/05 5:49 PM) Reply
Peg, This is an excellent , thorough review; since I agree with your observations, there's not much to add. Soon (I'll review the fitting class that I took "The day before" from Cynthia Guffey, a high-energy instructor, who's also quite a character, as you say, and fun to spend time with. This expo was my first , but I learned so much from the classes that I'm looking forward to attending with you again next year.
MaryBeth said... (10/19/05 8:03 AM) Reply
Great review, PegL! Thanks
PixieCat said... (10/19/05 4:55 AM) Reply
Thanks for the thorough review. I go to the Cleveland Expo every year and always enjoy it. I absolutely agree with your comments concerning Emma Seabrook. I've taken classes from her and purchased her patterns and fabric too. What a terrific and talented lady.
ridinstyle said... (10/18/05 11:14 PM) Reply
I also enjoyed this expo. I took classes with Cynthia Guffey, Lorraine Henry and Linda Lee and they were all excellent! I really enjoy the hands-on type classes - having something to take away with you just helps to cement the concept in my brain. I especially like shopping in the Vogue fabrics area. They have wonderful fabrics that I can't get where I live. They weren't the only ones with fabric, but they have lots of it. This was my 3rd or 4th year and it's been good every time I've gone.
KitKat said... (10/18/05 8:57 PM) Reply
I liked your review. I love going to the shows. What vendors did you like the best, and were there any new products I should keep in mind? I like gadgets and fun feet. I am hoping to go to Puyallup if the airfare is reasonable (stay with relatives), although I think that may be run by someone else.
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