Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo - Shaumberg

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Sewing Expo. You might remember my post about it last fall. My guild's doll quilt challenge quilts are traveling with the Sewing Expo quilt show - so it's super exciting to be able to see them on display!

Pretty examples of quilting. By Lisa Sipes!
This time around I was really lucky to be able to take a longarm quilting class with Lisa Sipes (you might recognize Lisa's work - she quilted the best of show from QuiltCon, as well as many other awesome quilts at the QuiltCon show). I love Lisa's work and her crazy spirit - but I wasn't able to sign up for the class. Lucky for me though, my friend Sara had signed up for the Thursday class, but she had to be out of town that day -- and without being able to get a refund for the class she passed it on to me! Do you guys understand how sweet Sara is? Totally sweet! (Thanks Sara!!!)

My FMQ sample from Lisa's class - much less inspiring than her quilting... I have a way to go!

So I headed to class Thursday and it really was a blast! I had taken a longarm quilting class with Angela Walters at QuiltCon so I had a little experience with the machines beforehand. Lisa was great - crazy and fun. It was a lot of fun to play on the machines too. 

As far as class went I feel like I learned a bunch, built upon my previous knowledge, and I"m a little bit more comfortable on the longarm (remember my goal is to quilt this - renting time on a longam). In comparison to the class at QuiltCon I can say that I liked the HandiQuilter machines at QuiltCon better than the Gammil machines at the expo. We had some repeated thread breaking issues on our machine at the expo - eventually it was helped (but not solved) by having a new needle and a new bobbin... but that was class time wasted if you know what I mean. I can say too that at QuiltCon they were VERY generous with materials... we were pretty limited by materials on Thursday. -- micro quilting anyone? :) 

My FMQ samples from the QuiltCon Class - big!

Here's the thing though - the inspiration of meeting Lisa, and seeing her amazing quilts was enough to make me want to quilt something. It was a lot of fun. And... I shared a machine with a fellow Juki lover. 

So where does this leave me? I'm not yet ready to tackle that big quilt on a longarm... I'm still too nervous to do it. BUT - I'm pretty sure I'm ready to play around and try some things on a smaller / less precious quilt. I'm going to look into it and maybe this spring I'll rent some time to do a simple quilt on a longarm. It's a start. I certainly don't have the means (or space) to invest in one of these machines but I think they'd give me the ability to add a bit more personalization to my quilts. 

For those of you who longarm - any tips? 


  1. I don't longarm, of course, since I don't have a longarm machine. Every once in a while, I play $1 on the lottery in the hopes that I'll win big so I can build a big house and have a space (and the money) for a longarm machine :)

    Your samples look great!

  2. That looks like fun. Oh to have time on a longarm!!!!

  3. Emily! I am just now seeing this post! I am so glad that you enjoyed the class! There's a story behind why we had to be careful with the materials (there was some confusion on who was supplying what and when I showed up for Thursday class, I had NOTHING, and had to come up with something on the fly, so I'm sorry for that!) And they had you using Omni thread. Which I also don't like. :)
    BUT! All that aside, it was a pleasure having you there and I'm so glad that I got to meet you. Hopefully (surely) we will reconnect in all of our quilty adventures!

  4. Em, they look awesome. Hope you win soon!

  5. long arming seems so complicated. Big learning curve. But, your stitches look very good as an early effort, and I vote for the lower left photo as smoothest work. keep stitchin. yay! and so lucky to get to learn from the quilty maven!!