|This expo used to be hosted by Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore, and 2009 was going to be the last one. Then UW-Platteville (also in SW Wisconsin) stepped up and took over, much to my relief and delight. I always thought this was the hidden regional gem of sewing expos!
The thing I've always liked best about this expo is the wide variety of classes (full and half-day on Friday, 1-1/2 hour classes on Saturday) for garment sewers, quilters, embellishers, home dec folks, and kids. In past years I've taken classes in silk dying from June Colburn, industrial sewing techniques from Rosebud, and a hands-on Hmong embroidery class. This year I'm taking a pants fitting class with Marta Alto and a bodice fit class from Trish Pulvermacher. I'll be staying in a dorm "pod" with other women, but with my own room.
One of my favorites is a trunk show of independent patterns presented by the proprietor of a Gayfeather Fabrics in Madison - Virginia makes up unusual patterns from Sewing Workshop, LaFred, Lorraine Torrence, Folkwear and others. This year she's doing a kids' version featuring Oliver S, Portobellopixie, and Pink Fig. And Virginia always has a great selection of fashion fabrics and independent patterns with her at her booth.
At the Friday Night dinner, Margaret Jankowsi will be talking about The Sewing Machine Project, which she started in 2005 after the Southeast Asian tsunami. She and her team collect donated sewing machines and supplies and funnel them to women who have lost theirs in natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. I'm eager to see how I can help.
Another favorite feature is the Fabric Resale Room. Again this year, I'll be taking some well-aged fabrics from my stash and am guaranteed to take some lovely pieces home! And of course my sewing scissors will get their annual sharpening from the on-site vendor, ready for the new projects that I know the weekend will inspire.
So for you Midwest seamstresses (and seamsters) hankering for a sewing fix, check it out! It's a reasonable drive from Chicago. This close to the expo, it's probably best to call to register.
I'll update this with a review of the 2010 expo and share my experiences next week. NAYY.