The Original Sewing and Quilt Expo came to Raleigh for the first time last week. This is the Raleigh Convention Center where it was held. I couldn't be more proud of my city! The oak tree is made of thousands of tiny aluminum tiles that shimmer and seem to change shape when the wind blows. It's really gorgeous. Here's a video.
I was more than a little bit giddy to be there! I may have even laid out my outfit the night before and made that necklace just for the occasion.H & W Fabrics. The shop owner, Robert, is a seasoned expo expert so he gave me tons of great tips and things to think about for my show. (If you follow me on Pinterest this is no surprise, but I'm going to do my first real craft show in November!)
Some Art Fabric. Colleen Casey and her hilarious brother ran the booth. I wish I had taken a picture of the two of them, they were quite the dynamic duo. He is a burly man's man wearing a homemade shirt covered in sewing scissors (homemade by himself!) and she's a bubbly class instructor (I will definitely be taking a class from her next year!) Their booth was stocked with ultra unique fabric (think, Day of the Dead stuff), patterns and handmade things. They made these journals out of Golden Books together:
Another thing I really liked about them, aside from the way Colleen's brother spoke so highly of her, was that they didn't sell a pattern they hadn't made themselves with samples right there in their booth. Check out this Melly and Me pink flamingo. Awesome!
And I love this children's garment bag!
Wish Upon a Quilt. I need to head over there one day and do a whole blog post about them. I have to suppress a squeal every time I walk in there and you all NEED to see a picture of what I'm talking about.
I met the cutest lady who works at Wish Upon a Quilt. She and her 92 year-old Uncle Bob make these miniature ironing boards together, the Lil Buddy Pressing Board. He cuts the wood and she sews the reversible covers. Great for a small craft room!
Wish Upon a Quilt never disappoints with their selection of fabric. Cathy had just returned from Quilt Market (By the way, that's on my bucket list... Quilt Market and Gift Market and I want to see a whale, I digress...) and she had tons of great new things.
I came away from the Expo learning a lot about some things I wasn't expecting. I wore my necklace and carried my camera, which made me stand out a bit. I was given the opportunity multiple times to speak to what I write about on my blog and what I make... things I'd usually much rather type about than talk about. Armed with a back pocket full of business cards I would hand them out to anyone who asked about my camera and my necklace. At the end of the day I'd almost given away every one of them! Funny, I gained so much confidence realizing that my blog is legitimate and the things I make are both admired and desired by others. I like moving my online passions in to "real life" conversations and interactions. It gets me so excited for November! Yippee!!