Friday, October 14, 2016

Original Sewing & Quilting Expo 2016

The Original Sewing & Quilting Expo is happening this weekend in Schaumburg, so of course I had to check it out. This is my 3rd time to the Schaumburg Convention center, which I really like for easy (and free) parking, little walking (unlike Opryland), and best of all, it's only 15 minutes from my house!

As usual I first checked out the display galleries to take photographs of some really beautiful quilts. If a quilt attracts my eye, it's usually because I find the color combination really pleasing. Browsing through my photos, besides my usual modern aesthetic, I seem to have a liking for black-white-color quilts today.

Disclaimer: Although I didn't see any notices about photography in the exhibit, I'm going to assume that it's for personal use, so no printing or copying or things that disrespect the artist's copyright.

Left: Bull's-Eye - pieced and quilted by Alexandra Wright
Right: Mending Broken Hearts - pieced and quilted by Gloria Welniak

Left: Yellow Journalism - pieced and quilted by Rebecca Schmitt
Right: Crossroads and Cornerstones w/ Words To Live By - by Marjorie Walker

Left: Golden Web - pieced and quilted by Nancy Dorl
Right: Weaveworld - by Gigi Khalsa

Left: Not Xanthophobia - pieced and quilted by Carol McAdow
Right: Bias 4 - by Alissa Carlton

Left: Flounce - by Melanie Tuazon
Right: Under the Radar - by Corinne Sovey

The show was sufficiently small that I had lots of time to just play, and I stopped at a variety of booths and watched demos and even tried machines. Here the highlights of my day:

  • At the HandiQuilter booth (by Quilting Connection) I played with rulers with the Sweet 16. I already own one straight ruler, but I tried out the curved rulers, which are IMO much harder to use than straight rulers, and I have trouble enough with those. I also tried the Simply Sixteen which is a standup machine, and I'm further convinced that I don't like quilting with handlebars. There's so much momentum on them that I find it hard to execute.

  • I finally decided to try out stencils. I normally prefer freehand, but I would probably use them for when I want to do larger scale designs, as that's so much harder on my machine freehand. I ended up buying the starter pack from Hancy Creations, and got a greek key design (lots of straight lines!) and a baptist fan, to play with. We'll see if I like stencils enough to buy more.

  • I checked out the BurdaStyle booth and I was intrigued by garment sewing again. In the past, I disliked it mainly because dealing with that pattern paper (ironing it, and later folding it to store) was awful. But with Burdastyle's digital patterns that is digital and printable, at least the worst part of garment sewing for me is evaded.

  • I sat down and tried a Bernina sitdown quilting machine, similar to the Handi Quilter Sweet 16, but of course this one is quite a bit fancier. The fanciest feature on this is the Bernina Stitch Regulator, which is a lot better than TruStitch. However ... though I think the machine is lovely, I hardly use stitch regulators anyway, and I'm very happy with my Handi Quilter, and don't see a need to upgrade. I also saw the Bernina 790, and I think though I'm not in the market right now for a new sewing machine (and certainly not the Bernina 790), when I am, I might try saving up for a Bernina.

    And what's a good quilting show without plenty of fabric and supply hoarding? When I walked up to the register at one shop, someone asked me what I was planning on making with the pretty fabric, and I replied truthfully, "I have no idea." But that's the great thing about quilting ... I really don't have to know what I'm going to do with it, I don't have to worry about running out of fabric as I can always supplement with other fabric, and scraps do get used.

    As always, I take pictures of my pretty acquisitions all gathered in one pile before they get put away. Here it is:

    I don't think I have another quilt show to go to until April of next year, but who knows what might pop up. After all, I have a habit of finding out about a show a day before the show.

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