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Expo Reviews > Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

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Posted by: Always in Stitches

About Always in Stitches
Member since: 11/5/05
Reviews: 1 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Expert/Couture
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Posted on: 11/5/05 7:21 PM
Rating: thumbsdown
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 8 people   
This was the second Chantilly Expo that I have attended. I go for all three days and take the 'day before' classes. I stay at a hotel and it is a very nice mini vacation for me. I don't quilt but my sister does and she went with me this year.
We had a wonderful time together but I have to agree that in just one year I also saw a decline in quality. It seemed that there were less vendors, hardly any local vendors and the prices were very high.
The day before class was the biggest disappointment of it all. I took the class Sew a slipcover like a Pro, with Karen Erickson. Basically I ate a terrible lunch and paid over $100 to learn another way to attach welting cord. Fortunately I have made slipcovers in the past, but I took the class to refresh or perhaps pick up a few helpful hints. WRONG The class was basically a venue for promoting DVDs, and her favorite fabric and sewing supply company.
We were held captive to her negative comments about everything from the deterioration of the ecology (again promoting a product) to competitive fabric manufacturers, and even making the statement of how "you all" on the East Coast are "hung up" with matching stripes and repeat patterns. It was difficult to remain in the class.
She was impatient with questions, sarcastic, and borderline rude to class participants. Not a good experience. Never again. Thank you for letting me vent.

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mireb said... (11/16/08 9:55 PM) Reply
Three years ago (2005) I attended the same slipcover class in Virginia that you did, but I have a hard time believing we took the same class. Only one class was offered so we had to be in the same class. I’ve made many slip covers over the years and I’ve gone on to change my way of making slipcovers based on many of Karen Erickson’s techniques that I learned in this class. I enjoyed her class and never heard the negative comments you talk of. I didn't feel she pushed any products, just showed things she used. In fact, I'd have been disappointed if she hadn't mentioned supply sources, shown samples, or briefly mentioned her videos. Her method for “another way to attach welt cord” you write of is actually pinning welting on your fabric as it’s laid over the furniture. The pinned welting creates the stitching line. Sew the welting in place and you’ve created the pattern piece. You outline the furniture with welting as you continue to lay fabric creating the slipcover. There is no measuring and cutting. It is faster, more accurate, and a more professional way to create a slipcover. It was a technique a friend of mine used to create slipcovers during WWII when gas was rationed and she had to create the slipcover in one trip to the client’s home. To call it just “another way to attach welt cord” does her and this technique a disservice. Her videos are very informative. I don't remember the quality of the lunch, but I didn't attend to eat lunch. Karen Erickson is ecology minded and comes across a little as a laid-back hippie. Now as I write this in 2008 I believe her 2005 view to be in step with the current “greening” of America. I don’t know if you were offended by her statement of “how all you on the East Coast are hung up with matching stripes and repeat patterns,” but I feel your review was misguided at best. I can only hope more individuals in the professional world of interior decorating will offer their expertise like Karen Erickson did in the Expo’s future.
LaurieEm said... (6/9/06 9:52 PM) Reply
Goodness, it certainly sounds like your comments were justified, yet I have been to more than one of these expos, treating as a mini-vacation like you, and also have taken classes from Karen and been pleased. Though, with Karen's classes I was a beginner in slipcovers, but not sewing, at the time. I hate to see these expos deteriorate. They have been such a boon to me - so stimulating and productive. There is a less fancy, less expensive expo each year in Denver, and it too seems less inspiring and smaller and more sales-y each time. The one by this Original Expo vendor is more expensive for people who come as visitors and also for the vendors. Perhaps the costs are going up fast, and they feel under pressure to sell a lot in order to not suffer loss. Don't know, but I am sorry you had this experience. I've been contemplating planning a trip to Chicago to coincide with the October expo, but will study the program carefully before committing.
cheryl186 said... (3/7/06 12:28 PM) Reply
I hope someone from the Sewing and Quilting Expo reads this and takes heed. Their competitition went out of business for the same reason. When I pay to go to class, I go to learn something, not hear what she and her friends have for sale. After teaching, then try selling your product.
Leslie in Austin said... (2/15/06 5:24 PM) Reply
I'm so sorry you had a bad experience with Karen's slipcovering class. I just took 3 1.5 hour sessions with her and although I see where you're coming from, I really appreciated her sharing her resources for fabric and zippers. It wasn't a hands on class, but I think I learned as much as if it had been. I'm sure the proof will be in my puddin' slipcovers.
PegL said... (11/7/05 10:40 AM) Reply
I don't mean to criticize but this seems to be more a review of the class rather than the Expo itself. Personally, I would never pay to take an all day class from anybody without checking previous reviews or critiques. Sorry you had such a bad time.
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