Yes, it’s May 21st and barely 7:00 in the morning and I’m doing a blog post. I’ve been a little busy the past few weeks preparing for this past weekend’s 2013 Everything Applique Conference up in Birmingham. I was in the BJCC probably 18 minutes last Friday before I was stopped by someone who reprimanded me for not doing any blog posts recently! So sorry ladies! The weeks leading up to the conference were quite stressful. Preparing to teach at a conference expecting 1500 women filled me with anxiety. Rounding up door prizes and sewing 28 samples sucked the life out of me. Did I mention we celebrated 6 birthdays, Mother’s Day and an anniversary this month too? Oh yes and my 3 children have all been wrapping up school for the year. You know how that goes … end of the year parties and programs, teacher gifts, etc. Mallory’s dance recital is tonight and both boys have been playing soccer two nights a week. Cue the violins.
It has been C-R-A-Z-Y!! But…… as with last year’s conference, I came back excited about applique, eager to get back to what I do and anxious to BLOG about it all. I came away with lots of great blog ideas! Several reasons why sometimes I take a break from blogging are: 1) lack of time to sit down and blog (i.e. letting Facebook suck 3 hours out of me instead of blogging), 2) lack of material or finding pictures or ‘stuff” to blog about, and 3) thinking ‘no one reads it anyway’. The first two are fine excuses, but the latter is evidently not true. I had tons of people tell me they read my blog at some time or another and that they actually LEARNED from it! Thanks to all of you who do! It keeps me going!
Now on to the pictures! Last year Jeff went with me to EAC and took lots of great photos. This year he stayed back to wrangle the kids, so I was solo and did a terrible job of taking pictures. Here are a few from my classroom. BTW, I taught 6 hour long classes and each class held about 85 folks. Much to my surprise, all but the last class were at max capacity with ladies sitting on the floor. I went in assuming everyone was a pro and no one needed my Basics of Applique class. Evidently there were a lot of newbies in attendance so they all hit my class. Thank you all! Everyone was great!
Here are my design samples, which turned out to be a huge hit. As most of you know, I sample each and every design we list at Applique Cafe. I like to make sure they sew right and that all the steps are correct. If I don’t have a t-shirt on hand, I hoop medium cutaway stabilizer (2 layers) and sample on it. I then trim around the applique, punch a hole in the sample and group them together in rings by category. I used these in my classes and also had them on my table at the Meet & Greet Friday night. Everyone seemed to enjoy thumbing through them, and I heard lots of people who do craft shows or home parties say they were going to start showing their designs this way as well.
My class was “Basics of Applique“, so I briefly went over thread, stabilizers, etc. and then we stitched a shirt from start to finish in each class. The threads shown are Isacord and Exquisite brands, both my go-to threads for embroidery. The stabilizer rolls are all from Sewingmachine.com (commercial backing). I love them because the prices are fantastic and these rolls last a long time!
Here’s where I stitched each shirt for each class. Exciting stuff huh? I brought my own crusty Shark iron and my Heat N Bond Lite smathered ironing board. BTW, I have TONS of samples to sell at some point.
We got to use this sweet Brother PR1000 10 needle. Everything was a little rushed so I didn’t get a lot of time to play around with the machine and see what all it could do. I have a PR650 and found it was similar in the programming.
Here are a few of my samples I displayed in my classes as well as Friday’s Meet & Greet “party”. I had a whole suitcase full of samples and will at some point sell them off. The cute ruffle pants are from Doodles Boutique! These are our Popsicle Trio, Girly Frog Face, Mini Giraffe and Snorkel Fish designs, all available at Applique Cafe of course.
Here is one shot of my display table from Friday night. Like I said, I was bad at taking pictures so I snagged a few off of the EAC Facebook Page. Check out all the albums from the weekend on the page! The cute pink dress is from Blanks Boutique and that’s our Lollipop Trio design!
Here are the Digitizers from the EAC and we were presented with these cool wooden initials (available at Mint Julep Monograms). From L to R are yours truly, Emily (App Alley), Karen (App Market), Kathy (App Corner and Mrs. EAC and Koral, the fabulous EAC planner extraordinaire.
Here’s a shot of me Friday night.
Here are a couple of shots of me teaching my class on Friday and Saturday. Evidently I explain things with my hands? Not sure what I was saying here… Probably something super intellectual.
Here is a shot of the General Assembly Friday morning or afternoon. This is just part of the room. It was filled to capacity with 1500 women (and a few men too). Gobs and gobs of great door prizes were given away, including 6 machines (and I mean nice machines ~ PR650c and a fancy serger to name a couple).
Overall it was a fun filled great weekend, which is now a bit of a blur to me. 2 days of fast paced, high anxiety, fun and sharing with little sleep. I also survived on granola bars and peanut butter crackers for 2 days because that’s all I had time for. Thank you to all who made the trip, who took the time to come to my classes, and also to everyone who encouraged me or just took a minute to introduce yourself and say “HI”!! I look forward to EAC 2014!
Like I said, I came away with some great blog post ideas too, so I will get on those asap. We have a dance recital tonight, Kindergarten party in the morning and Browder finishes school on Friday. His birthday is Saturday as well as the wedding of a great college friend (and Memorial Day weekend). Monday morning will officially be SUMMER!! Have a great week!