Special Events

Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I

I spent a brief (it seemed too short) 3 day trip to visit friends in Gig Harbor, WA and go to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo (“Sew Expo“) in Puyallup, WA at the Washington State Fairgrounds with some of my WA based Quilting Sisters.

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I took a zillion photos and in this post I will share some of the “zillion” photos and give you a taste of what it is like to attend Sew Expo.

The Flight to SeaTac Airport

When Terry the  Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer dropped me off at our small Central Oregon airport (RDM), I thought of this old post from Sassy the Highly Miniature Schnauzer’s SchnauzerSnips blog: Human Storage?. From a dog’s point of view, as this post discusses, it appears that I am just staying at the airport for a couple of days – Mike sees me dropped off at the airport and then picked up at the airport!

Flying in small planes makes me slightly nervous. When we moved from Seattle to Central Oregon I had to acclimate to taking smaller planes. Our airport is small and cannot handle standard size planes/jets, just the Turboprop size planes, like the one in the image below:

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But I discovered, years ago, thanks to my primary care doctor, the magic of a small dose of Ativan and a dose of Dramamine – it makes the flight awesome.

Alaska Airlines serves, for those 21 and over, a complimentary glass of wine or a Pacific NW Microbrew during these small plane flights between Central Oregon and Seattle. The flight is between 45 – 55 minutes and I enjoyed a blissful flight with my microbrew, a biscuit, my knitting and relaxing music on my smartphone (in airplane mode of course!):

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Flying in small planes is better with a brew and biscuits!

I got quite a bit of knitting done on the scarf I mentioned in the post A Case Against Procrastination, during the trip between the flight, hanging out in the airport before flights, and hanging out visiting with my friends. I will share an update when the scarf is done (so you won’t lie awake at night wondering when I will get that scarf done – ha!)

Welcome to Washington State Fairgrounds

The Sasquatch is the unofficial mascot of the Pacific NW. I lived in Seattle for 8 years and did a lot of hiking but never saw a Sasquatch running around! But when you walk into the WA State Fairground there is a carved Sasquatch to greet you and it was decorated for Sew Expo!

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Inside Sew Expo: The Crowds

There are two buildings housing vendors for Sew Expo and the space is HUGE! It took us 4 – 5 hours to walk around Sew Expo. Here are a couple photos of the crowds and some random vendors:

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It’s Called “Sew Expo” But There Was a Lot of Yarn!

Sew Expo is really about most textile based crafts and there were many yarn vendors. I know many of you knit and crochet, so let me share some of the endless yarn-yumminess in the vendor booths at Sew Expo:

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Special Booths: Pendleton Wool

Some vendors had special large booths, such as the large booth of Pendleton Woolen Mills. They had a large area in their booth in which they were selling Pendleton Woolen Mills selvages. I could not figure out why someone would want to buy a giant bag of these selvages until I noticed that there were shag rugs made from these selvages. Great recycling!

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The Fabric, Oh The Fabric

Okay it is called “Sew Expo” and so the bulk (at least 60% or more) of the vendor booths were dedicated to fabric for sewing garment, making quilts, and other sewn crafts. Here is just a sampling of the fabric delights I browsed:

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This booth had an exceptionally delicious offering of silks:

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There were lot’s of fabric deals:

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But the “craziest” fabric deals of all were the “trough-o-fabric” at $7.99 a pound section and the vendor selling yardage of high quality fabric at $5.99+ a yard.

Trough-o-Fabric

A ridiculous amount of quilting fabric remnants, fat quarters and yardage were thrown in giant rolling tubs. You grab a large plastic bag and fill it up with what you want, they weigh it and you pay $7.99 a pound.

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Yes this looks like total insanity, and it was but I had so much fun with the other quilters digging through the troughs. We were all helping each other and looking out for whatever someone asked for help looking for. for $14.00 I picked up about $40 – $50 in high quality quilting fabric (some Kaffe Fasset stripe fabric, etc).

Fabric Roll-Land

This area was huge and took up a large section of the last aisle in one of the Pavilions at Sew Expo. One of my Quilting Sisters picked up some mind blowing fabric deals in this section but I had “Fabric Burnout” by the time I got to this section and only took photos, no serious shopping (which I regretted later when I saw the deals my friend got!)

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Let’s end this post here, I will continue in the next post with the rest of the Sew Expo experience.


Postscript

Thank goodness I spent a little time proofreading this post before posting it. It was not a “Freudian Slip”, just typing too quick, but I did type “Sex Expo” instead of “Sew Expo” in several area (including at first the post title, which I expanded to the official name of the event).

Trust me, if I went to “Sex Expo”, I would not be posting about it – ha! (And that would be a very strange thing to attend with one’s Quilting Sisters!)

 


Feature photo credit: sewexpo.com

35 thoughts on “Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2018, Part I”

  1. I have 2 things to say:
    1. Don’t ever go to a knitting expo, it will drive youu crazy
    2. Don’t ever fly out of Durango, CO. I was travelling with friends, one of whom got sick while
    we were at Mesa Verde. She got a flight out of Durango, so we we drove there. The airport was several miles out of town on a mesa, and her plane was a turboprop. The planes flew off the mesa, and if they were not quite up to climbing speed, no problem, there was room to drop a bit. That was years ago, hopefully it has changed by now.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Cindy – I think an entire knitting expo might be too much for me but I did like the variety of textile crafting materials at Sew Expo. Durango, CO – I wonder if that is like flying out of Redmond-Bend. The first time I flew I felt quite air sick and absolutely terrified. The plane climbs maybe to 10,000 ft and you have a clear view of the ground the entire flight. Plus there is plenty of turbulence and the flight attend had to remind terrified me: “they are built to fly”. Add in some Ativan and Dramamine and I am now good to go to face the turbo props! 🙂

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  2. Too bad you couldn’t find any fabric to buy. LOL.
    Ihad to use the smaller plane to go to LaCrosse WI last month. American served cookies just like yours, but no microbrew. I feel cheated. I miss using Alaska Airlines now that they don’t go where I go.

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    1. I do love Alaska. Maybe because it is one of the few airlines that flies in and out of Central Oregon (our choices are limited). Unfortunately (or fortunately) I did find some fabric to buy and had a difficult time repacking my small carryon suitcase (what was I thinking?!?!?!) for the flight home! But somehow I got it all packed up and did not have to leave my clothes behind, ha! 🙂

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  3. My brain would be on overload at an expo like this! I hope you post a picture of the fabric you bought at the trough.
    I do not do well on big planes, so I know I couldn’t do the smaller planes. Once, on a plane to NY, I got a bit ansy so I stood up to walk. The next thing I knew, I heard a flight attendant asking if there was a doctor on the plane. I wondered who needed a doctor, as I was breathing through an oxygen mask..duh!!! It was so embarrassing! Nothing serious. Just got light headed and landed on a poor young man sitting near the restroom.

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    1. It was a COMPLETE OVERLOAD! I am sure I did not see all the booths and as much fun as I was having my eyes started to glaze over after a while. I think the best way to do it would have been to go two days, or to take a break in the middle, relax and then get back to wandering. I am good on big planes and have flown across the country many times to visit my family on the East Coast when I lived in Seattle but I was new to these turbo props. See my comments under Cindy Cartt’s comments above. I truly thought I was going to die on my first flight out of Central Oregon for a business trip to Seattle. Now I am chilled (the magic of pharmaceuticals!) 🙂

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  4. Mega Crafters heaven!! Wow, how did you make it through there without spending a fortune. If I know you my friend, you travel lightly, which helps packing anymore fabric in our suitcases that we would love but should not buy all at once while traveling!!! Those were some wow, yummy pictures you posted.

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  5. Droooool! Look at all this! Although I am mainly a knitter, I do have a soft spot for fabrics, and I can never walk past the remainder bins in my local craft store without having a quick rustle through! I would have been all over that trough-o-fabric! I also had to chuckle at Sasquatch all kitted out for the expo… Does that make him a Craftsquatch, do you reckon? 😉

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    1. There were many booths of yarn – you would have been right at home and planning the next sweater for one of your Beasties! Craftsquatch!!! I wish I thought of that – awesome!!! 🙂

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  6. Ooh — it looks wonderful! Thanks for the show. As an aside, I wonder how much your readership would have soared, if you’re proof reading skills weren’t so sharp?? LOL!

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  7. 🤣 A “sex” expo. That would be quite the topic to have on a fabric artist’s blog! Thank you so much for allowing me to go on the trip with you. I found your photos to be so inviting. I would have had a hard time passing by the Australian fabrics. I have several of those in my stash. I too would have been very curious about the trough fabrics. I can only imagine the treasures that were in there. Such an opportunity! I can’t wait to read your next edition! 🙂

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    1. Ha! TTQH thought that was funny too (especially since he would not have been invited, it was a Quilting Sister thing – ha!)
      I had a hard time passing up many things but I was limited by cash and space on my carry on. 🙂

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  8. Oh, goodness! So much wonderful stuff here (and thank you for keeping the yarn/fiber folks in mind – looks like a lot of great yarn to be had!). I love the idea of a by-the-pound treasure hunt. I would be so shameless. I *will* dig for a deal. It must have been a lot of process, with all the great fabric around, but it looks like you came away with some great things from the other photos (and, oh, on small plane flights, I always opt for the complimentary wine. Those small aircrafts are so touchy when it comes to turbulence!). Looking forward to catching up on the next installment of Sew Expo. 🙂

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    1. People were shameless! There was one woman who had a huge pile of batik fabrics she had dug out of the trough of fabric and she said she had been there a couple hours! Yikes! That is commitment for finding what you want at $7.99 a yard. I looked for a little while but gave up after finding a couple pieces. My seat partner on the flight took the complimentary wine. Thanks for your comments 🙂

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