Giveaway! Free Value Package A for Quilting LIVE!


Will you be at Quilting LIVE! at the Cobb Galleria Centre September 11, 12 & 13 2014?

You can take Classes & Workshops, explore quilts in the Display Gallery, and check out other Features and Events at the Ultimate Quilting Experience!

Value Package A includes 6 class sessions, 3 days of general admission and a Quilting LIVE shopping bag! Yay!

Leave a comment at the bottom of the blog thread for a chance to win! Comments will close on Thursday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m. EST.


Mary Fons + Quilting LIVE!

Happy Summer from Original Sewing & Quilt Expo & Mary Fons, the featured guest blogger today!


Like all die-hard quilters, I love sitting at the machine and hearing the purrrrr of the motor and the nips of my needle as it makes those glorious stitches. I like cutting my pieces out, too, because I get to handle all my fabrics for the first time since purchasing them at the quilt shop — cutting is the time when color and design choices are made, and I’m a designer at heart. When I lead workshops or talk with fellow quilters about process, however, I am usually the odd man out: my favorite part of patchwork is pressing.

“Pressing??” they say, horrified. “Not me. I hate standing at the ironing board.” Most people think I’m nuts. But there’s something about pressing.

Embedding that stitch. Giving a blast of steam when it’s called for. A little starch, if I’m feelin’ nasty (or wrinkly; whatever.) The moment that seam is set and I foooooold back the unit and give it the crisp finish it deserves, well… It’s what this quilter lives for. It’s hard to say why, but it must have something to do with my need to polish, dust, or otherwise tidy that which I feel is grimy, dusty, or messy. Taking a scrap of fabric from deep within a drawer of pinks (I sort my stash by color) and bringing it to light, making it sparkle, making it pretty for the party inside a gorgeous quilt block is next to heaven for me.

I guess you could say that I like a fabric’s potential. And pressing reveals potential.

I’ll be seeing you all a lot in 2014. I’ve got Quilting LIVE! on my calendar for September 11, 12 & 13th and I’m thrilled about it. I always have a blast with everyone and get so inspired by the quilts in the show. My first book, “Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century” has come out  and I’ll be teaching things from that, sharing wisdom from Quilty, and hopefully winning a few folks over to the pressing fold.

Get it? Press? Fold? I kill me!

See ya soon, friends.

Mary Fons is the editor and creative director of Quilty. She also co-hosts the PBS program Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, along with her mom, famed quilter Marianne Fons. Mary lives in Chicago and New York and blogs daily at her popular blog, PaperGirl. Get more of Mary at


The Expo & F+W

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is now a proud member of F+W, a Content and eCommerce Company.

As part of the Events Community, the Expo provides the live experience for sewing and quilting enthusiasts. They enjoy all the inspiration, instruction, products and services found throughout F+W’s vast media and eCommerce network.

Imagine it this way: The Expo takes everything from the screen and the pages of publications, videos, books and shopping sites and puts it into 3-D, adding the sounds, smells, sights and feelings!

Here’s a preview of some of OSQE’s F+W partnerships:

Fons & Porter
Keepsake Quilting
Stitch Magazine
Quilter’s Newsletter
McCall’s Quilting
Quilting Arts Magazine
Martha Pullen Company

Blog is back up and running

Our blog was under repair but it seems to be back up and running. Whew! Just in time for our kick off in Indianapolis, IN at Marriott Indy East. If you are within a thousand miles, come check us out this weekend. Meanwhile, click over to our websites at:        

Best wishes and see you at the event . . .

Expo Staff

Brightening Lives at the Baltimore Expo

What could be better than spending a little time with your sewing friends creating a cheerful pillowcase for a sick child?  ConKerr Cancer is coming to Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Baltimore (Hunt Valley), Maryland!  Together we can stitch fun pillowcases to bring smiles to sick children.

ConKerr Cancer is a non-profit organization with a mission to brighten the lives of children battling cancer and life threatening illnesses by giving them colorful, cheerful handmade pillowcases.

Even if you’ve no time to sit down at a beautiful Bernina sewing machine while you are at the Expo, you can make a monetary contribution or join a local chapter.  Check out their website at

Cindy Kerr, the founder, is an avid quilter who started ConKerr Cancer after her son Ryan passed away from cancer. She made him a cheerful pillowcase each time he was hospitalized. Then Cindy made them for the other children in the oncology department.  It is truly an inspirational story which she has taken her love of sewing and has created an international mission for children.  More information may be found at


Giveaway! Free Value Package A for the Schaumburg Expo!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Schaumburg, IL at the Schaumburg Convention Center March 27, 28 & 29, 2014!

You can take Classes & Workshops, explore quilts in the Display Gallery, and check out other Features and Events at the Expo!

Value Package A includes 6 class sessions, 2 days of general admission and an Expo shopping bag! Yay!

Comments are now closed. Congrats to Francine M!

Add Some ‘Magic Dust’ to Your Quilt

If you’re an avid ‘The Maker’s Experience’ blog reader, you’d know that Nelly Vileikis and her Almost Whole Cloth class was featured in a post last fall.


Well, here’s another (re-vamped) look at Nelly’s new and improved version of the class! She’s offering the class in Lakeland, Florida! Be sure to check it out!

Here’s a step-by-step look at what the class will consist of:

1. Start from a pre-made kit.

2. Press everything and understand where each piece goes.

3. Stitch the pieces together, then press.

4. Throw in some ‘magic dust’, as Nelly calls it.

5. Adding more ‘magic dust helps you decide what to quilt on your piece.

6. Let the magic happen!

We all have the power to produce ‘magic dust’! Sometimes we just need a little help.

Come to Nelly’s class and she will help you release your magic!

Check out all of the classes and workshops, and see more of what Nelly’s teaching in Lakeland at !

Mitering Like Magic!

Want to see some magic from Expo faculty “wizard” Debby Kratovil?

Special thanks to the special guest blog from Debby this week!
Magical Mitering – Attic Windows with Savannah Fabrics

Lovely garden themed fabrics: Savannah Collection by Benartex

One of my most requested techniques is that which I refer to as “Magical Mitering.” The Savannah Collection is perfect for this in that I will treat groups of 4 small panels as a “window” unit. For example:

 Two sections of 4 small panels
Two groups of panels with “attic window” strips

Each set of 4 panels measures 9-1/2″. I commend Benartex on making sure that the black sections between each panel measures 1/2″ so that I didn’t have to destroy one panel to cut out another. I was able to get the required 1/4″ around the outside.

I cut the two contrasting strips (yellow and black prints) at 2-1/2″ x wof. Because I am mitering, the strips have to be longer that the 9-1/2″ sides by at least 2-1/2″ twice. So, I cut them at 9-1/2″ + 2-1/2″ + 2-1/2″ , which equals 14-1/2″. You can throw in an extra inch for safety. So, what does this look like?

The first strips extend at least 2-1/2″ beyond the two sides as shown

Center the first two strips (yellow) and sew with 1/4″ seam to panel center. Note that my stitching goes BEYOND the end. We do NOT begin and end 1/4″ away as in traditional mitering. This is important, as you will see in the next photos. I used black thread for demonstration only, so you can see the seam.

Press seams TOWARD the center, so you can see the inside edge of the strips
You now see the extended stitching AND the inside edge of the strips
This stitching will be your visual guide when placing the next set of strips.

Now it’s time to add the next set of strips. Using the extended stitching as your guide to place your sewing machine needle EXACTLY, begin sewing at the stitching and end at the stitching on the other side.

Begin stitching as shown; it’s ok to backstitch to lock in place

How do we press the seams of this second set of strips? AWAY from the center. Then we fold the black strips at a 90 degree angle as shown, which amazingly resembles a miter.

This magically forms the miter without having to wrestle an alligator
Remember I told you that pressing the first set of strips TOWARD the center was important? Here’s why: You use the raw edge of that strip as your guide for aligning the second set of strips (in this case, the black floral). That’s how you get a true 90 degree miter:
Notice how the fold begins right at where you dropped your machine needle
This works on ALL corners
All corners can be folded in the same way
Fold back, pin and get ready to stitch.
Yes, this is stitched with a tiny zig zag and monofilament thread.
Wait? Can I see the back?
Look closely; you can see the stitching. Trim away the excess folded under fabrics.
And now for the reveal of the entire block using my Magical Mitering technique:
Magically mitered strips. You can call this Attic Windows, also
Remember: First two strips get pressed TOWARD the center. The last two strips are pressed AWAY from the center.
I made 4 of these panels. Two of the blocks have yellow on the side and two have yellow on the top and bottom. This way the same colors don’t touch. Well, what does it look like?
13″ blocks and YES! I mitered the borders, too!
 For some reason I get carried away when I start sewing. I almost never make something small. Don’t these Savannah panels look like window panes viewing a lovely English garden?
Want to see more from Debby Kratovil? Come see her at Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Baltimore, Atlanta, Lakeland and Schaumburg! Debby will teach Vortex Quilt (BYOF) and other piecing and quilting classes.

The Expo in 2014: What do YOU look forward to?

What do you look forward to at the Expo each year?
What is your highlight each time you plan your sewing get-away?
How can Original Sewing & Quilt Expo make 2014 the best year yet?

Three of the Expo’s 16 cities of 2014 are now online! Join the Expo in Baltimore, Atlanta and Lakeland this March! And check out the full calendar of events to see the other Expo locations.

Do you love the Classes and Workshops? What’s your favorite?
In Atlanta, Georgia, Original Sewing & Quilt Expo has over 130 class titles for you to choose from! Register today!






Do you love the Quilt Display Galleries?
In Baltimore (Hunt Valley), the Expo will be showcasing Mary Kerr‘s curated quilt exhibit, ‘Quilt as Desired’. Click here for more details.






And shopping? Of course! What’s been your favorite Expo purchase?
In Lakeland, Florida, shop at over 100 vendor booths!






Leave a comment with your favorite thing that ever happened to you at the Expo, and be entered in a drawing to win 4 tickets to any 2014 event. What a deal!

Drawing will be held on January 17. 

Looking forward to seeing you this year at the Expo!

Giveaway! Free Value Package A for the Overland Park Expo!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Overland Park, KS at the Overland Park Convention Center on November 21, 22 & 23!

You can take Classes & Workshops, explore quilts in the Display Gallery, and check out other Features and Events at the Expo!

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, an Expo shopping bag and a limited edition neck wallet! Yay!

Leave a comment at the bottom of the blog thread for a chance to win! Comments will close on Monday, October 14th at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Giveaway! Free Value Package A for the Tinley Park Expo!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Tinley Park, IL at the Tinley Park Convention Center on November 14, 15 & 16!

You can take Classes & Workshops, explore quilts in the Display Gallery, and check out other Features and Events at the Expo!

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, an Expo shopping bag and a limited edition neck wallet! Yay!

Leave a comment at the bottom of the blog thread for a chance to win! Comments will close on Monday, October 7th at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Giveaway! Free Value Package A for the Birmingham Expo!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Birmingham at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center on October 10, 11 & 12th!

You can take Classes & Workshops, explore quilts in the Display Gallery, and check out other Features and Events at the Expo!

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, an Expo shopping bag and a limited edition neck wallet! Yay!

Comments are now closed. Congratulations to Marva Goodman on being the Value Package winner! 


Tuesday Tip Q & A from New Expo Teacher Rachel Griffith!

What a pleasure it is to have a little  Q & A time from the lovely Rachel Griffith for our Tuesday Tip! segment, today. Owner and designer of P.S. I Quilt, check out for more from this creative lady! She will be joining us for her first show in Pittsburgh, so let’s give her a hand!

And please don’t mind the lower-case letter style of Ms. Griffith. It’s totally her thing :)

What/ who first introduced you to sewing? Was it love at first sight?
it was my home ec teacher. in class, i made a simple baby “quilt” that used 1 yard of fabric for the front and 1 yard of fabric for the back. it was more of a blanket, honestly. and i still have it.

Tell us a bit about your blog and how it all got started.
ps i quilt was started because i wanted a place to share my thoughts, inspirations and projects. i also wanted to be able to talk with other people.

What was your first project ever made?
the blanket from question number 1. 

What have you always wanted to make but haven’t had the chance to yet?
i’d like to make a quilt like my great grandmothers did. something vintage, but with a lot of heart. i think about them a lot while i design. whether it comes out or not in the end result, who knows. so, maybe the correct answer would be a dresden quilt of some sort. 

Your favorite color combination? 
oooh. grey, aqua & coral.

Your favorite sewing/quilt pattern?
 hmmm. this is a tough one. i’m a sucker for simplistic designs. and i love pinwheel blocks. i know that’s not a specific pattern, but it’s the truth. 

Your design inspiration?
i like to think of myself as a nowadays quilter. i like to mix traditional with modern. it depends on the design itself. it could be a shape within an old door or window frame or even the way 

Why you do what you do—what motivates you to be in this industry?
 i do this because i love it. and because it helps provide for my family, i can devote myself to it completely. 

What you’re most excited about in teaching with us?
i love teaching. i wanted to be a home ec teacher. i love the interaction. and i love the satisfaction of helping people. 

Favorite food?
 i’m a pasta/bread/potato kind of girl with a sweet tooth. my favorite meal is beef stew with white rice. and my favorite desert would be cheesecake or peach pie. mmm.

 Favorite hobby apart from sewing?
 the correct answer would be reading. or baking. or maybe photography. 

Favorite holiday/day of the year?
 i’m a fall/winter girl. my most favorite day of the year would be the day after thanksgiving. it’s the perfect mix of fall and christmas. we eat leftovers, shop and decorate the christmas tree.


Rachel will be teaching three classes in Pittsburgh, Georgia Quilt Show, Fredericksburg, Fort Worth, Minneapolis and Overland Park!

Next week’s Pittsburgh Schedule:

Thursday, August 22: Impromptu Quilt








Friday, August 23: Pinwheel Sampler Quilt








Friday, August 23: Facade Quilt








Thanks, Rachel. See you at the Expo next week, everyone!

Giveaway! Free Value Package A for Georgia Quilt Show!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo and Georgia Quilt Show is excited to see you at the Georgia Quilt Show at the Cobb Galleria Centre on September 19, 20 & 21!

Explore dozens of wonderfully made contest quilts and additional quilt displays! You can take workshops, , and see tons of other Features and Events at Georgia Quilt Show!

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, and an Expo shopping bag! Yippee…

Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Cindi C, the winner of a Value Package A!


Tuesday Tip: Cotton Sateen

This week’s Tuesday Tip comes from Original Sewing & Quilt Expo staff member and super-star seamstress (a pro at anything ‘wedding’-related), Liz!

Today’s Tuesday Tip:

From figuring out tricky dilemma’s to jacket linings, to finely tailored shirts, Liz tells us her best tip for her new go-to fabric: Cotton Sateen!

Liz says,

“It all started when my son picked a dark blue map print for his Drunkard’s Path quilt, which left me with a dilemma.  How could I combine it with white and not have little blue thread ghosts show through the white? Cotton sateen is so perfectly opaque.  The white is so white it makes the blue even “bluer”.  It felt so great that I even used it on the back.  The end result is a lustrous, high contrast quilt that feels like butter.”

Cotton sateen as a jacket lining? Why, yes!

She continues…

“Meanwhile, I was looking for jacket lining for a cotton jacket (yes, it was repurposed quilt fabric).  After having the Drunkard’s Path in my hands for weeks, the choice was clear.  Cotton sateen is an ideal lining for those of us who have achieved a certain age, perfect for those on again, off again moments.”

Tailored shirts?

“When my favorite pink tailored shirt bit the dust, my only consolation was I could now make a new one in petal pink cotton sateen.”

And she even goes far enough to say…

“This week is the ultimate – cotton sateen sheets.  Ahhh . . “


This sounds just lovely! Thanks, Liz!


Also–be sure to check out our Pittsburgh show, happening THIS MONTH! See you there!

Make Me Over!

In case you haven’t heard, Original Sewing & Quilt Expo has started a new initiative this year called the Style Makeover!


Yes, you read right. Attendees who come to our Style Makeover event at the show have the opportunity to participate in style transformation right before your very eyes!  This is an unforgettable opportunity to refresh your look! One of the lucky attendees will be chosen to working with one of our talented Expo designers to create a whole new, flattering look with style, color and pinnache. See the “before” and the fabulous “after” and learn how to create a new look for yourself this season.
Do you want to be part of the Style Makeover?

Well you can! Our designer will work with you to find the most flattering styles, colors, fabrics and details to make a whole “new” you. If chosen, you will receive a $100 Expo Shopping Spree so you can start creating your new fashion trend right away.


If you would like to become part of the Style Makeover, be sure to attend this unforgettable event at the show! Check the The Spot and Studio schedules at the show to see when it’s happening, or ask one of our staff members for more information. 


Check out some of the transformations that have happened so far this year:

Meet Ruth– our participant in Atlanta! She was so encouraged by stylist Carol Steinbrecher!


Meet Tami–our participant in Cleveland! Overall, her experience was so positive, she even said this about it:


I just wanted to say thank you so very much for the style makeover! [You and] Carol were wonderful. I learned a great deal. Again thank you! Next year we are going to bring a larger group to the show. It was beautifully set up and very inspirational!



See you this week in Schaumburg! To see our up-and-coming locations, visit us at!


Giveaway! FREE Value Package A for Baltimore Expo…

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Baltimore at the Baltimore Convention Center on May 9-11, 2013!

You can take classes, see amazing quilts in the Display Gallery and enjoy all kinds of activities in The Spot.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a FREE Value Package A. 

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, an Expo shopping bag and a limited edition neck wallet! Yippee…

Giveaway ends on Friday March 29th at 3:00 PM EST.

The Giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to Gee Maszczenski who won the Value Package A!  See you in Baltimore…

Giveaway! FREE Value Package A for Worcester Expo…

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is excited to see you in Worcester at the DCU Center on April 11-13, 2013!

With classes, shopping, displays and all the sewing and quilting enthusiasts in your area, you’re sure to have a wonderful time!

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a FREE Value Package A. 

Value Package A includes 5 class sessions, 3 day general admission, an Expo shopping bag and a limited edition neck wallet! Yippee…

Giveaway ends on Friday March 1st at 9:00 AM EST.

Comments are now closed.

Congratulations Fran!  You are the lucky winner of a Value Package A for the Worcester Expo!

Even More UFOs…

That’s right, we have MORE UFOs!

Ellen had countless UFOs to pick from, but this coordinated, wrinkly trio represents the most recent additions to that bottom shelf that might someday get quilted…

Aly is just jumping into quilting, working away on this bright, paper-pieced project…

Holly brought this cheery blue and yellow fabric into the office a few weeks back.  Technically it wasn’t even a UFO yet, just supplies gathered for a duvet project.  That said, Holly had a deadline, and it looked like she was going to finish her project before anyone else…

She had already made a cover for her sewing machine and serger.

Along with some coordinated window treatments.

And, just in time for her house guest, Holly finished the duvet!

More UFOs!

Variety is the spice of life and our staff dabbles in all kinds of stitchy projects.

Kari is an accomplished doll maker.  Like quilts and garments, dolls take time to construct too and they can creep into the UFO category.

It’s amazing how Kari manipulates the fabric to create this expressive face.

As Kari works towards finishing her dolls, Liz is knitting away on a great hat.  The yarn is leftover from a cozy sweater that Liz wears on cold days, and soon she’ll be so chic with a hat to match!

Liz is also in the midst of making a pink blouse with some pink cotton sateen.  She even had enough fabric left over to make some house blocks for a project she’s working on with her quilting group.

All this pink and red, will Liz be done by Valentine’s Day?  When will Kari finish the dolls?  Keep sewing Liz and Kari!

UFOs – We all have them!

The initial rush of starting a project is ohh-so-exciting!  Sometimes you just can’t stop, and sometimes, well weeks, months, even years can fly by before you make your way back to finish it.  Unfinished objects, lovingly referred to as UFOs by quilters, sewers, and crafters alike are everywhere…

Just around our office we discovered many projects waiting patiently to be finished.  Over the next few days, you’ll see a sampling of the projects that haunt us!

Cindy is almost finished with a great batik apron.  In fact, it even looks finished in this picture, but the bib and apron aren’t sewn together just yet…

And, why sew just one apron?  Cindy has three others started!

The ruffled edge is a great detail.

While Lynn may have an abundance of UFOs, she is very organized with this tote labeled and ready for a rainy day, or week!

Lynn’s oldest UFO is from a few years back.  A friend gave her embroidered flower blocks as a wedding present. Lynn pieced the blocks together and dreamed of using similar flowers out as the quilting motif.  Now, Lynn has all the tools to digitize this design and finish the quilt!

Who will finish their project first, Cindy or Lynn?  What UFOs are you hiding?

BYOF: Bring Your Own Fabric

People who sew LOVE fabric.  From batiks to novelty prints to reproductions and beyond, quilters have endless choices when it comes to fabric.  With choice comes a difference in taste, so while the neon trend might be your favorite thing, your fellow quilters might be leaning towards a more restrained palette.

Because we know you know what you like, and since you probably have yards and yards and yards of it in your stash, we are offering some of our classes as BYOF, which stands for Bring Your Own Fabric!  Look for the BYOF icon online or in the class catalog, and use this as an opportunity to use your favorite fabrics in a classroom setting!

Besides making something that fits your unique aesthetic, BYOF lets you see what other quilters think looks good together, who knows, you might be surprised that you like an unlikely combination of fabrics.  Here’s a sampling of what a few ladies from our office would use for a BYOF class:

Kari chose a palette of warm and cool batiks for a quilt for her sister.

Ellen dug into some new prints!

Liz is planning a project with this rich fabric she picked up at Some Art Fabric at an Expo a few years back…

Marlene’s fun prints are ready to sew!

Bonnie had these fun prints leftover from an apron project – perfect for BYOF!

Fingers crossed that we all sew, sew, sew this fabric up!

If you are interested in a BYOF class, here are some options:

The Chameleon Block Quilt with Holice Turnbow is offered in Atlanta, Lakeland and Cleveland.

Debby Kratovil’s Arrowheads Quilt also allows you to pick your favorite fabric!  Join Debby in Atlanta, Lakeland and Cleveland

Peruse the full class catalog for Atlanta, Lakeland and Cleveland to find more BYOF classes, and stay tuned for more classes and more cities throughout 2013!

Class: Sewing Machine ABCs and 1-2-3s

Is it a new love, or are you in an enduring relationship with your sewing machine? Either way, do you really know all it can do?

Join me and cover the basics in Sewing Machine ABCs and 1-2-3s.  Your machine may be able to take you to projects and places you never dreamed possible.  Did you get feet with it? Why? What do they do?

Learn bobbin basics, essential stitches, standard and advanced settings and, well, why are there so many different needles?

Lynn Lunoe has a lifetime of experience maximizing her sewing machine.  Learn her tricks in Atlanta, Lakeland, Cleveland and Schaumburg!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo presents…The Maker’s Experience!

There seems to be a magnetic field between people who sew and people who blog that is only growing!  Sewists, sewers, seamstresses, quilters, piecers, whatever you want to call them, there are millions of people who make meaning in their lives through sewing. 

In many ways, sewing is a solitary pursuit.  Whether you have a sewing room or a little nook you’ve carved out your dining room table, once you are in front of the machine, time stops.  You can forget to eat, clean the house, whatever is on your list, just to complete that new outfit or the quilt you’ve been wanting to finish for weeks! 

Many people who sew also spend countless hours online perusing fellow sewing addicts finished (or not-so-finished) projects.  Inspiration is endless online…

But, inspiration also exists outside your sewing room and off your computer screen!  Original Sewing & Quilt Expo hosts 15 events a year around the country to inspire and engage makers who sew and quilt.  We invite you to join us, both online and in person, to explore what people are sewing and why…

So, to embrace the relationship between sewing and blogging, we are diving into the blogosphere, but hopefully you’ll join us at the Expo too!