Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Day at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo

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.
There were tons of exhibitors, stage presentations, make and take projects, classes and some pretty well-stocked studios where you could try out the latest sewing machines, tools and notions that may not have even hit the stores yet.
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.
There were fabrics in designs I had never seen.  Like those from 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!)
One of my favorite booths was 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:
 And Owl kits out of recycled felted sweaters!
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! 

Believe it or not, there were actual quilts at the Quilt Expo... shocker, right!?  I just sorta stood there and stared at this one for a while.  It's called "Dare to Live Your Dreams" by Lynn Dell Swapp from Utah. (Is it just me or have you noticed that all amazing crafters are from Utah?)
Need a close up of that detail?  Look at those shingles.  I would probably have a hissy fit getting each of those just right.  My goodness!  And the "turned" banisters... that's amazing!  Lynn, I want to give you a high five!
Here's another one that caused me to gawk.... err, hoot.  It's called "Hoodies Owl on Green Tree" by Hoodie Crescent from New Jersey.
 People, I couldn't have said it any better myself...
After seeing all of that amazingness I needed to put my hands on some fabric.  Perfect timing... as I turned the corner there was the booth for my most favorite fabric store in Raleigh... 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 loved how eager everyone was to share their skills and techniques.  Quilting requires so much patience and time.  It could quickly become a lost art if someone isn't willing to take the time to teach.
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!!
Thanks for coming to Raleigh, Original Sewing and Quilt Expo!
 I'll be the first one in line again next year!


Meredith said...

Oh wow! Love the quilt from Up! Would be a precious keepsake for a child (or adult) who really loves that movie.

Christina said...

How fun! What a great opportunity you had going to this expo. The quilts look amazing and I love your necklace.

Kate said...

What a fun day! I'm doing my first craft show this fall, too! I'm a tad nervous, but I figure there's no better time to dive on in. Happy Thursday!

Kathy said...

I have enjoyed reading your blogs and looking at your wonderful work. I have just started blogging and would love for you and your friends to join me as sometimes it seems I'm alone. Thank you and I can't wait to see all that you do :) Kathy at www.sewcraftykathy.blogspot.com I just went to my first quilting show in Wilmington NC and I loved it. I really would like to go to this show!!

Kathy said...

For some reason I missed it was at Raleigh. I think that went on the same day as the one in Wilmington adn I'm only 1 hr. from Raleigh. I know I'll have to go next year. Where are you from as I'm from Moore County. Wilmington had a yard sale from quilters wanting to get rid of a few things and my friend Faye and I was glad to buy them:)

leaf and letter handmade said...

you're so cute! glad it was so much fun. i hate hate that i missed it- i'll try again next year!

Amy Milne said...

Sarah, I'm glad to be introduced to your blog. Thanks for featuring Lynn Dell Swapp's "Dare to Live Your Dreams" quilt! Lynn's amazing "Up" inspired quilt and the rest of the quilts in the exhibition you saw at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Raleigh are from our 2012 contest "Home Is Where the Quilt Is." Wanted to let your readers know that they can bid on all of these stunning little house-shaped quilts starting November 12 on eBay. Just search eBay starting on that date for Quilt Alliance. The auction benefits the Quilt Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to documenting, preserving and sharing the rich history of quilts and quiltmakers. Thanks again, Sarah! http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/projects/galleries/Home/gallery/

misplacedpom said...

Hello! I'm glad you liked my "this is hardcore" quilt!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I didn't know about this! How very fun. I want to stand first in line with you next year : )