This weekend my oldest granddaughter and I were lucky enough to spend two days in Platteville, WI at the Sewing Expo held there at the University of Wisconsin. It's a small show but packed with fun and information.
This year, the organizers received a grant from the Wisconsin Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. For a $15 fee kids over the age of 8 could take up to four classes, and the fee included lunch, snacks, and all kit costs. Miss E was able to have the benefit of professional teachers, the use of great sewing machines, and had some fun doing it.
Projects for kids included a fleece pillow, some pet toys appropriate for her dog, a pair of slippers, a very cool cuff bracelet complete with embellishments, and a lovely pillowcase. She also made a Green Bay Packer throw pillow for her spot on the couch when she watches Clay Matthews. :-)
We stayed in the dorms in Southwest Hall. These were nothing like the dorm rooms my son lived in when he went to UW Madison! Each suite had four bedrooms, two shared bathrooms, a big kitchen area and a living room. Our other two roommates, my friends Judy and Marlene, said they were the best dorms they'd ever seen. Later we found out they were for Platteville senior classmen. But still! Wow!
The adult program includes classes in sewing, quilting, and even knitting. The kids' program included hand and machine quilting, card making and other crafts.
It's a two day program. If you have the chance to take half or full day classes on Friday you can score some great education from top notch teachers in a small class setting. If I could have gotten more time off from work I might have taken Anne St. Claire's bra making class. One of these years I will... I'm promising myself!
I took four Saturday classes in the adult program while E was enjoying herself. I got some great inspiration and learned a few dozen things. One of the classes was kind of a snooze, you know -- been there, seen it before -- but even in that one I learned what I didn't like about something so it was worth it.
My favorite class was lead by Lorraine Torrence, a fiber artist of the first form. I have a number of her patterns, both her self-named line and Grain Line Gear, which she also owns. It was wonderful seeing the garments made up in various fabrications and colors. Seeing the 3D as opposed to 2D is always most instructive. Her website is beautiful even in 2D so you can visit here if you like:
Lorraine moved to Wisconsin from Oregon a while ago. I'm sure it's because our weather is so lovely in winter -- as she joked during class. We're so lucky to have her teaching in the Madison area. I'm looking forward to seeing her at Gayfeathers Fabrics in Madison on future trips.
Speaking of Gayfeathers Fabrics, they had a vendor booth with fabrics you just can't find at the chains. I generously supported them, and also made my economic contribution at Fabrications, Great Copy patterns, and several other booths. So much for stash control! Miss E found a gorgeous pair of hand knitted fingerless gloves with beads and a lace pattern that she only took off to take a shower! And she did buy a nice little gift for her little sister -- a pretty beaded hair accessory.
The expo is a great value and it's so wonderful to have it in our area. I hope more sewists discover it and support it in the future. It's very well run, the facilities are beautiful, and the people are great. The food was good, and it's prepared by the UW culinary students. They did a beautiful job on the banquet and the lunches. Mark your calendar for August 1-2, 2014.