Friday, February 26, 2010

Tampa Bay Sewing & Quilting Expo

This past week my mom and I went to the Tampa Bay Sewing & Quilting Expo. It was a blast and I learned a lot of new techniques and made some great projects. Oh, and let me add almost all of these projects are now on my UFO list. Three hours for a class is just not enough!

My first class was with Karen Pharr, entitled "Zany Zinnias." This class opened my eyes to new forms of quilting. I always see quilts with straight lines, blocks, strips, etc. Zany Zinnias let us create more of an artistic quilt. We used applique to create the zinnias. The original format we were following had the zinnias floating in space. I decided to add stems so they appeared to be growing. This piece still has a lot of work to go, including finished the flowers and then quilting and binding. It was a great start to the class weekend!My second class was "Purrfect Fun with Kitty Claudine." I have always wanted to try a "Melly & Me" pattern but never got around to ordering one. This class included the pattern and materials to make the cat. Again three hours is not enough, but she will be finished eventually! Reading through the pattern gave me some ideas on how to complete and finish my pattern. For example in the pattern the designer had you hand stitch on the ears at the end. For me, the less hand stitching I have to do, the better! I added the ears in when we sewed the bodies together. The class was taught by Colleen Casey, who runs the Some Art Fabric internet store. Great person and great fabrics! I shopped at her booth at the expo, but more on that later.

This year my mom and I decided to add night classes to our list. We tried to get in as many classes as possible! My first night class was with Allen Smith from Keep Me In Stitches. He was a great guy, whose store donated the use of Janome sewing, embroidery, and felting machines for the expo and classes. In his class we use three different machines to create this felted purse.

I enjoyed the class so much I got an early birthday present from my mom! A brand new felting machine! But sorry Allen, were Pfaff girls. We are loyal customers of Tess's at Scrap and Sew. The machine is just so pretty, the Janome version doesn't have a butterfly! I foresee felted monsters in the future!
Day 2 - woke up exhausted but so excited for more classes! My first class was with Nelly Vileikis to create her "Small Whirligig" pattern. The pattern we used was a miniature of her larger pattern. The pattern was pretty simple to make, and again without enough class time I wasn't able to add the 'whirligig' part. At each point is a pocket, and imagine these pockets slightly stitched over to create more of a curve. That way the pinwheels will appear to be in motion. While doing this pattern I had a great idea result from its making! Each point triangle is folded over to create a pocket. Monsters can have pockets!
In the afternoon I had my least favorite class of the weekend. The class was well taught and many of the other students enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I expected at all. The class was called "Mixed Media Meets Machine Embroidery." To me I expected playing with different types of fabrics and adding embroidery designs. I didn't expect a pillow out of it. Going back on the site I see an image that looks exactly like what I created, so shame on me I guess! The class was fun and I will more than likely give it to my husband's grandmother for Christmas. I did learn you could curl fleece, how cool is that! And besides, unbeknown to me, my faith in the instructor Pam Damour will be completely fulfilled in a class on Saturday.
For my second night class, mom and I not knowingly, signed up for the same class! That of course made it extra fun. The class was "Mixed Media Journal Quilt" with Kim Montagnese. This class was a lot of fun, we started the quilts with stamping a saying we had brought with us. My mom did a cat saying and I chose a quote from the Cheshire Cat! WE also used iron on transfers from vintage photographs. I found this moon girl and thought she just looked extremely out there! The angry eye on the moon was a pure happy accident occurring after I transferred the image. Next will be quilting, a fun binding and fun holder. Mom plans on adding some cat toys to her holder. What would a mad person have, a mad hat perhaps?
On to the final day, day 3. At this point I can't wait to be able to sleep past 6:30 am (morning classes start at 8:30) but also sad that it's the final day.

The first class was with Debby Kratovil teaching "Coffee Filter Fans." This was a bring your own machine class, and luckily mom had a class with her right after mine where she needed to bring it too. This was my first attempt at paper piecing. Her technique using coffee filters broke down into such easy steps, I found it very easy to accomplish! I was a little sad to add the points to the fans, never have I had such good points before! She gave us a pattern to use with these to create a 'Drunkard's Path' quilt, but I see crazy lollipops instead!
My last class of the expo was by far my favorite, and again as I mentioned, refueled my faith in Pam Damour. This class was called "Thread Painting" and was exactly what I had hoped for. I have always wanted to try thread painting but never experimented with free motion before. The class started a little hectic due to confusing/conflicting schedules, no fault to Pam. But once we got started I was hooked! She gave us options of flours to paint onto fabric. There was an assortment, one of which was daises in a vase. As soon as I saw it, my brain screamed "Vangogh!!" Since I knew I wasn't yet comfortable with free motion, I could make my base painting layer much looser to fit with my thread style. The painting as rather fun, we used Fantastix applicators that I have never used before instead of straight brushes. I used a yellow, blue, and red to create the base fabric print. Then after drying we went to sewing machines and did free motion on top of the painting. I started with the vase first to get in to the motion, since I knew it was the most controlled line I wanted. Then I kept switching thread colors and went to town! I have one layer left of a bright orange to add a bit more highlight. Again this being a class with Pam, her use of the fabric was to then create a pillow. But me, no way! I'm framing this baby. This is too cool to be a pillow I'll never use. I just adored this class and want to do more like this!
So after all the classes, it was time to shop at the vendor's in the expo. What fun! I got a lot of precut fabric from Some Art Fabric's booth, a dog Christmas jelly roll quilt kit from The Gypsy Quilter. I got Amy Butler's Liverpool pattern, fabric to make it, a book on needle felting, and a most surprised find "Quilting with the Muppets!" Who knew!!

All in all it was a fantastic three days and I must thank, thank, thank my mom for helping it happen! After this rough last year, with out her support I would not have been able to go or gasp, shop! Love you mom!




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great time. I did too. This event should become a 'same time next year'. Love you too, Mom.

Kirsten said...

Very cute and clever items!

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