Designer Joining the Expo!

Designer and teacher Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company will be presenting every afternoon at the Pittsburgh Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center stage on August 14, 15 and 16th .

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Not only does Karen design amazing quilts, but also the Creative Grid Rulers to make these designs quick and easy.  Always inspired by her customers’ desire to use their fabrics efficiently Karen has designed “Scrap Crazy” template sets.

Stop by her booth #216 and perhaps Karen will have a moment to autograph a copy of Quilts and More magazine with other of her fabulous new designs in the cover.

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Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Pittsburgh is just around the corner. Are you signed up and ready?

Have You Heard About Quilting LIVE?

Spring has sprung here at the Expo and the blog is back in action!

Have you heard about the new event, Quilting LIVE! happening September 11, 12 & 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia? You won’t want to miss this event…

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ICONS IDOLS

 

 

fons_porterbMeet and create with your favorite personalities, legends and superstars from the nation’s top quilting magazines, TV shows, e-media sites and blogs.  See them together, for the first time ever, as they converge in Atlanta to share with you all that’s new in quilting – LIVE!

EXPLORE AND DISCOVER

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Explore the latest trends, techniques and quiltmaking pleasures in workshops and at the Make-It Center.  Catch what’s happening on the Quilting LIVE! Stage, full of inspiration, ideas and how-to hints all day long.

 SEEK AND GATHER

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Wind your way through aisles filled with specialty quilting retailers from across the country, featuring all the finest tools, fabrics, books, DVD’s, patterns, ideas and supplies for more quilting creativity, fun and satisfaction.

Visit quiltinglive.com for a sneak peek of what’s to come!

Sewing Machine Shopping Advice

Cindy, staff member of the Expo, shares with us her (not-so-secret) secrets of shopping for a sewing machine at the Expo!

1.       Sign up for Workshops before the Expo.  There’s nothing like actually sewing a project on a new sewing machine to see if the machine meets or exceeds your expectations.  Not to mention that you’ll learn some fun, new techniques along the way.

2.       Make a wish list… what do you have trouble with on your current machine?  What do you wish it could do?

3.       In the Expo Exhibit Hall, ask for demonstrations to compare features.   Use the Expo Program you’ll receive when you arrive at the Expo to locate sewing machine dealers quickly.  Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  The Expo is your chance to compare all major brands with the convenience of everyone being under one roof.

4.       If you sew on specialty fabrics at home, bring some scraps of fabric with you to check out how a new machine would do the job.  Leave your project at home, though; focus on the machine at the Expo.

5.       Ask if there is an Expo special price or special financing offer.  Be prepared to take advantage of special opportunities offered only at the Expo.  Have a budget in mind, but be flexible.  Bring along any family members you might need to help with the decision.

6.       Be open minded.  Perhaps there are new features you weren’t even aware existed that would make your sewing easier or more fun.  Test drive the “heated seats and heated steering wheel”.  Someone once asked me, “Why should I buy a new sewing machine when my 30-year-old machine works perfectly well?”  I asked if she had bought a new car in the last 30 years.  “Of course,” she said.  When I asked, “Why?”, she said, “Because new cars have new features” (the CD player, heated seats, etc.).  It’s the same thing with the sewing machine industry.  She loved to remind me of this story as I would continue to see her over the years to come.  She bought a top-of-the line sewing machine, and never looked back.  In fact, she traded up to the next top-of-the-line when it came out.  Her enthusiasm for sewing definitely turned a corner that day.   J

7.       Ask about a trade-up policy.  What happens if you don’t buy “X” model today, but decide you want it tomorrow?

8.       Ask about operation classes and warranty service.  Are classes offered at a time that will fit your schedule?  Will you be able to repeat classes if you want?  Is there a local service person if needed?  Are other classes available for a fee if you want to learn more?

9.       Establish a connection with your local dealer that will go beyond the Expo.  Remember — you are not only paying for a sewing machine… you are also paying for your dealer’s knowledge and experience.  Only an independent sewing machine dealer will spend time to make sure you are comfortable with your new sewing machine and answer all of your questions.  This value for you is priceless.

A special thank you to our sponsors and dealers that provide machines for us in the classrooms! Our sewing machine sponsors include:

Husqvarna Viking
Baby Lock
Pfaff
Brother
Bernina
Juki
Gammill
Janome

Visit www.sewingexpo.com for more information!

A Loving Quilt of Valor

Liz, staff member of Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, has quite an inspiring story to share today, sharing the real vision and heart behind one of the Expo’s most beloved exhibitors, Quilts of Valor.

“My daughter-in-law Captain Nicole Zorn Fredrick returned home safe and sound from Afghanistan to Anchorage, Alaska.  She was greeted by my son, her mother and a beautiful Quilt of Valor. This quilt was created by quilters at Trinity Lutheran Church on Washington Island where the Zorn family has had a home for many years.  Nicole spent many happy summers there with her grandmothers.”

Nicole with her Quilt of Valor quilt.

Liz’s quilt group is working on a log cabin quilt top for Quilts of Valor.

Do you have a touching Quilt of Valor story you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

 

We want to give a special thanks to those that serve our country. See Quilts of Valor at the Expo this spring to catch more of the vision.

Featuring Barnes Sewing Center

Carla Reale from Barnes Sewing Center in Cleveland, Ohio is excited to share her passion for sewing and embroidery! She’ll be teaching a class at the Cleveland Expo called Embroidery Business Beginnings

I have the best job in the world! I love selling sewing machines. A friend once asked me what my favorite part of my job was and after thinking about it, I realized that I really enjoy getting people started with their embroidery businesses best of all. Sending them out the door with all of the equipment, tools and support that they need for their new adventure is very satisfying for me.

At Barnes Sewing Center, we provide thorough machine training, tech support, software support and even provide them with the business information they need to get started. They can buy with the confidence that if they have questions about any of those things, we will be there as a safety net for them. Barnes Sewing Center has been in business for 34 years. We value the good reputation that Bob Barnes has built through the years and take seriously our responsibility to our customers. The sale is the beginning of the relationship, not the end.

 

See Carla and Barnes Sewing Center in Cleveland on April 3, 4 & 5!

Be sure to visit Whatever’s Quilted at the Raleigh Expo!

Do you have a lot of UFO’s in your sewing studio?  Quilters often have a hard time finishing their projects…

If you can relate, be sure to visit Donna Sontag of Whatever’s Quilted at the upcoming Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Raleigh on June 20-22th at the Raleigh Convention Center.  Donna is all about “getting the quilter done.” She is an authorized Handi Quilter Representative who’ll show you the ropes on several different Handi Quilter models at the Expo.  Whatever’s Quilted is your one stop shop for all things finishing – from midarm machines to longarm machines, all the accessories you might need, and even wide backings – you can find it all!

Not quite ready to buy a Handi Quilter?  Talk with Donna about renting time on a machine in her store.  You’ll be hooked in no time!