Conventions, Original Sewing and Quilt Expo

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo – Chicago 2.0

Hey all again,

On Friday, as you recall from my last post, I was on my way to take some classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo!  This was the first time that I’ve ever taken classes at the expo so I was really, really curious if they would be worth my while.

I’m sorry that I don’t have very many pictures as there were ,once again, all over that they didn’t want photos taken.  I know…totally crazy so I respected their wishes and just have a few…extremely non-descript…to show you here of my quilting class.  I know…they are a bit boring but hey…at least I took a couple, okay?

This was Machine Quilting for Beginners.  I know, I decided to just completely start at square one, even though I’ve done some machine quilted projects already.  I wanted to learn a new technique or a pointer or just whatever that would help me gain some more confidence to be able to quilt these large bed quilts.

Well, our instructor, just flat out told us to take the large bed quilts to the long-armer!  Not what I wanted to hear but there you have it.  I did learn a few tips on put in safety pins and she did borrow my gloves to tell me how much she dislikes them but hey…it wasn’t a bad class.

The fun thing was getting to sew on a different machine and hearing the sales pitches throughout the class.  (I got the shooosh once during a ‘buy my product’ pause which okay…I wasn’t the instigator on that one, it was the lady sitting next to me but I got the SHOOSH!  And then come to find out the instructor was just trying to let everyone know we could all buy her patterns and she wanted to make sure everyone heard her.  Hate that!  Bite me! is really what I wanted to say, especially after the dig about my gloves but I digress…I actually was the model student, you’d be proud of me).

I really do let comments roll off the shoulder, especially in class situations, just so you know but don’t you all hate that when an instructor stops everyone to give the sales pitch about their product?  Exasperating sometimes especially when we have all paid A LOT of money to take these classes.  I guess what I’m trying to say here is I would rather use the precious time I’ve paid for during the class to LEARN and work on the project at hand and tell the instructors to hold the sales pitches to the last 5 minutes of class.  I would wager that the if the students like what they’ve learned they will inquire about it and set up a great opportunity at the end of a class to make some great sales…it’s just me…I know!

We did get to sew on these new Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 machines.  Mine worked just fine but there were 3 or 4 people in the class that had problems.

Personally I wouldn’t buy this machine.  It is WAY too expensive, even with the sales pitch and show special of $2,100!  Besides the fact that several students had bobbin and or thread breakage, tension issues what I didn’t like were the following:

1. No extension table.  A quilting machine NEEDS an extension table to the left of the throat plate!  There was a 2 minute sales pitch for an ADD-ON extension table, $200 dollar value, but really?  $200 for that?

2. No presser foot lever.  Huh?  Why?  This machine has designed into it a smart system for raising and lowering the presser foot with the foot pedal and a few buttons at the top of the machine.  I guess you could get used to it but why?  Just one more electronic function to run the risk of having to get repaired at some time in the future.

3. And lastly the price.  It is just too expensive.  When they said it was in the $2100 dollar range I just about spit up my water I was drinking.  Why?  Why is this machine so expensive.  The technology on this machine has been around for decades and it just isn’t that complicated of a machine for sure.  I just have no idea, so if any of you out there that are sewing on one of these and just love it let me know.  I guess I need a heavy dose of persuasion.

So here is the project we were working on.  It was basically a quilt sandwich that we drew lines on and stitched along the lines.  Actually, you can see here why you really do need an extension table.  It is just nearly impossible to hold the left side of the fabric/quilt sandwich without one.

This is just a sample and it’s not finished.  We are supposed to now use it to practice in the boxes at home.  I’ll break it out eventually and use it here at the house on my machine.  That will be fun!

So I guess to answer my original curiosity question to myself if these classes would be worth my while, and even though I’ve been a little negative here, I would have to say that they ARE.  I did learn a few things, and I didn’t even talk about the earlier class I took on slip covers.  I will definitely take more classes in the future at one of these, I believe that is where you can really get everything out of these expo’s.  I just hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next one!