Thursday, March 10, 2011

On With the Show

Ahh… I can’t believe it. Sew Expo is over for another year. The booths dismantled, the boxes packed and all that’s left is the memories. Now is the time for reflections, pithy sayings and a recap of the week.
So here it is, my collection of vignettes from the show. Be warned, a sewing show from a vendor’s view is very different than that of an attendee.  My only views were of the booth, the people who visited my booth, and my classes. Pretty myopic.

This year I taught 5 classes and gave 2 talks on a free stage as well and I accompanied a young sew-ist down the runway in a fashion show that highlighted the future of showing.
The show had 32 time slots for classes and still managed to schedule me for the 8:30 timeslot every morning. It’s not that I mind speaking that early in the morning I love mornings. I’m one of those crazy people who greet the sunrise every day. (I know it’s unnatural but it’s the way I am.) What surprised me is that so many people came to see me that early in the morning. I’m pretty sure that at least 1 person in each class attended with eyes sealed shut and a drawing of an eyeball applied on the eyelid.

My classes were all full! In most, there wasn’t a single spare seat. In two of the classes people paid for standing room. Wow!

This year I strayed from my usual Quick Gifts Embroidery Style  class to teach a new class; Machine Embroidery Virtuoso. I covered ways for machine embroiderers to make their work even better. I am writing a book and the class is some of the concepts from that book. It’s always great when you attract a lot of people into the room but that’s generally the result of a good class description. What’s better is when the attendees love the class.

I’m used to people liking my classes. I show fun things, I’m a bit of a ham and get lots of laughs, and I try to have new information each time I teach. What’s not to like? But this class was different. It was like I had brought bread to the starving. Eyes lit up, smiles appeared, heads nodded. I couldn’t have had a better reception if I had been throwing out gold coins.

I heard, “Your class was the best one I’ve ever taken!” many, many, times. The best quote was, “Your class was worth the price of the class, the price to attend the show, and the price of my plane ticket here!”  (And yes I am preening as I write this). By the end of the weekend I had trouble getting out the door, my head was swelled so big.

The classes didn’t take all of my time. I also spent time in my booth, working. The best part about working the booth is that I get to see old friends, make new friends, and spend time talking about sewing.
We offer free designs to anyone who comes to our booth wearing our embroidery designs. I would have more pictures except, silly me, I didn’t think to pull out the camera until late in the show.

I only have two pictures from Naomi. She actually came by with three different outfits. The designs are from Crystal of the Month Club of which she’s a member. You can’t see it on line but these designs shine with crystals.  And Naomi shines, too. The stitch-outs ain’t too bad, either.

Jeanne also came by multiple times, wearing a variety of clothes, all with our designs. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of one. Luckily it’s spectacular. The designs are from our Brilliants collection.
Talk about versatile, Rosemary used the same  Brilliants designs. Look how different they are from Jean’s. Rosemary fell in love with the fabric she put in the hood. She added the embroidery to coordinate with the hood fabric. I love the finished look of designs coordinating with the jacket – without looking matchy-matchy.

Notice anything unusual about Janeen’s embroidery? It’s not exactly attached to her clothes. She really meant to sew up something for the show and didn’t get to it. she was determined to get the free designs so she stitched out this bear from Crystal Critters.  and hung them on a rope. Kind of sad for the bear, hung sideways like that, but good for Janeen. She received free designs.

On another note, I was let out of the booth on Sunday to accompany my young sew-ist, Mentee down the aisle in the charity fashion show. The show was designed to showcase the talent of young people who sew. The Sew-Expo folks paired up sewing professionals with sew-ists, supposedly for us to act as mentors. My Mentee, Mia, is 12 years old and incredible. I’d like to take credit for Mia’s work, but the reality is that I did very little. She’s so talented and such a self starter that I didn’t need to do anything. Her jacket has 5 zippers and used a double needle. Everything looked perfect. My only input was to offer an embroidery design for her to stitch designs on the back.

The downside to being a vendor is that I don’t get to visit other booths. I just don’t have the time. If you’re reading this expecting to hear all the newest, coolest stuff in the sewing world, you might as well as close the browser now. Not going to happen. It can’t happen. I didn’t get to see those things.
The show was a success. I was able to purchase three small things there. Luckily I have a helpful secret shopper, Cindy, (see the last post to see Cindy’s picture). She found a few things I couldn’t live without, things I needed.
And now we’re home and on to the next adventure.

1 comment:

Gracecat said...

You rock, Bobbi!!! (or is it, You crystal!....?....groan)...

The show sounds great, and I know why they loved you. Wish I were there. Hopefully, next year, I will be...