I am so glad I attended the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington this year. It was my second time at this wonderful festival of creativity. Once again I came away inspired, energized and armed with new fashion images.
This five day show is huge. Over 400 vendors and 15,000 attendees. For five days in February, the Washington state fair grounds become a village teaming with quilters, fiber artists, weavers, lace makers, sewists, designers. Rows upon rows of booths stocked with patterns, equipment, supplies, clever tools, stunning fabrics, handmade creations and still more. When I arrived at 8 AM on Friday morning, waves of patrons were streaming across from the parking area, standing in burgeoning lines waiting for the gates to open.
A couple of months before the event, I registered for several classes. I must have been in a different mood at the time because the classes I chose were self-improvement classes, like figuring out what the attachments were that came with my sewing machine. How to organize my sewing room. By the time I arrived it was ….. the heck with self improvement … let me at the vendor area! I explored booths, attended several of the fashion shows scheduled and networked until I was blue in the face. Now that was more fun!!!
On the very top of my list was to visit booths run by several of the alumnae of Dianne Ericson’s Design Outside the Line retreats. I was unable to even get inside Marcy and Katherine Tilton‘s booth my first day, it was so jam packed. I decided Saturday morning the booth would be empty. Even early on a Saturday morning the booth was packed and teaming with energy. I elbowed my way in and witnessed a mini reunion of women who had taken “the” Paris trip.” It’s now on my bucket list. I found some fabric that will look fabulous felted with our black alpaca fibers. I visited the very talented DOL alum Susan Liane at her Smuggler’s Daughter booth. Also bought several fabrics there that are going to look great in our designs. Susan has great taste and I just love her creativity.
What I find absolutely amazing are the attendees. Mostly women, adorned in all manner of creative wear, discussing with vendors and each other styles, methods and techniques. Complete strangers stopping each other to admire the other’s jacket or a handcrafted pair of earrings. Touching EVERYTHING! Praising each other’s imagination. Camaraderie, easy fast friendships, a sense of celebration, support, touching EVERYTHING! and, of course, the wonderful networking is well worth the effort to get there.
I dallied a little in Seattle to see our kids but hurried home and felted my new fabrics. Look at these wonderful fabrics!!!
Hope you enjoy the new fabrics and be sure to put Puyallup on your bucket list! Sandy