OK friends, here is my post-Everything Applique Conference blog post! For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, a (1st ever) Everything Applique Conference was held this weekend in Birmingham, AL (at the BJCC). 7 digitizer applique website owners like myself assisted 1 digitizer/website owner (Kathy [and her hubs Jeffrey] the host and brain child of this event) in planning the event and we were all “presenters” and were able to teach the classes.
I first want to say how overwhelmed I was at the amount of people I met at the conference who said they read my blog, had been following for years, asked about my kitchen, etc. Honestly there are times where I wonder if anyone is reading, or if I am just blabbering my heart out to my 3 friends and long lost cousin. So, I left the conference this weekend re-energized about blogging and I promise to do a better job at it from now on. I think I am still on a Conference high. It was so exciting and fun and I told someone at church yesterday it felt like an out-of-body experience. Did I mention there were over 700 women (and a few men) there?
Friday night a couple of hundred women came for a “Meet & Greet”, which was a lot of fun and I think it ‘broke the ice’ and calmed our nerves a little! Each of us had a table for our door prizes and samples. (sorry some of these photos aren’t fabulous – some were taken from my phone). Here is my table, and next year I hope it’ll be a little snazzier! This was kind of a last minute “bring some samples” thrown-together kind of thing.
Each digitizer did a basket of “favorite things” as well as other various door prizes (gift certificates, fabric, thread, etc.)
Here we are on Friday night ~ L to R: Cristy from Itch 2 Stitch, Brandy from Applique Momma, ME from Applique Cafe, Emily from Applique Alley, Kathy from Applique Corner (she is the one who put this whole shindig together), Holly from Applique Junkie, Rachel from Embroidery Boutique and Karen from Applique Market. We are all competitors, and after talking on Facebook, email, messaging 24/7 for 2 weeks straight, we all met for the first time this weekend. It was SO MUCH FUN! A few of these ladies I have “known” for a long long time, and it was so much fun to hang out w/ them!
I, along with Brandy from Applique Momma, taught 4 classes on “Applique the Right Way” and I just hope what we said and did made sense! Our first class was a group of advanced women (hello nervousness), but overall I think they walked away maybe learning SOMETHING?? Some weren’t familiar with Heat N Bond Lite and they were great to ask and answer questions, so it was a great 1st class. After advanced we had 2 packed-out classes of Intermediate folks (200+ people), followed by our last class of beginners.
Here is our class presentation table!
We discussed designs (satin, zig zag, raggy, etc). I am excited to report that I took all of those cut out samples of our AC test designs and USED THEM!!!! We were able to pass them around the room for each class so everyone could see the different types of designs (satin, raggy, zig zag, mini). We also discussed fabric, thread, stabilizer, scissors, and Brandy demonstrated the applique process on a shirt for each class. She did a great job!
We discussed all the different types of stabilizer, most of which came from Sewingmachine.com. They were vendors at the conference and I think they were a big hit ~ most of the people in our classes were shocked when I told them the large roll of medium cutaway stabilizer (on the right by the Exquisite thread chart) costs $12.99! Look for their commercial backing on their website, and I recommend the 2.2 oz! We also discussed thread, and as you can see I use both Exquisite (Ken’s Sewing Center) and Isacord (Sewingmachine.com). I love them both! Exquisite has some colors that Isacord doesn’t have, and vice versa, so I use both.
We had a Brother PE770 machine in the room as well as a PR650 6-needle. The PE is a great starter machine!
Here’s another shot of my “favorite things” door prize! After the conference I met the sweet girl (for the 2nd time) who won my basket. First of all, when they called out a ticket number for my basket, no one stood up. I wish I could remember her name, but the girl who eventually won told me she prayed “Lord, please let me win!!!”. Her number was THEN CALLED!!!!!!! How fun!!!! She then told me that she rode to the Conference on a TRAIN all the way from New Orleans! How AWESOME is that!?!?!??!! Had I known she would have gotten a prize for mode of transportation, for sure!! It was fun to talk to her and I hope she will message me! I met so many women that I’ve “known” from Facebook! I met one lady who I’ve ‘known’ for years, and it didn’t hit me until my ride home who she was. We also signed a couple of autographs (ba haaaaaa haaa) which was fun!!
Here is picture of the stage and our master conference planner, Koral! She kept us in line and on our toes all weekend! The items on stage were just a portion of the many door prizes that were given away (including a PE770 machine!!!!!)
Here is an attendee winning the thread collection from Ken’s Sewing Center!
The only thing about the conference that I would change is that I would have LOVED to sit in on the other classes! I’ve heard such great reviews on the Photography and Marketing class! We all know I could use some help on photography!! Here are some pics from our class (Applique the Right Way). First of all, please notice I am holding a m-i-c-r-o-p-h-o-n-e. Those of you who know me know that I am relatively quiet and this is so out of character for me. But, we were forced to use it by the first class. We taught 4 classes total ~ the intermediate classes were over 200 folks each. Here I am discussing spray adhesive.
Brandy is demonstrating sewing a shirt on a PR-650. Notice how a lot of people are taking notes (or writing down out their grocery list for next week).
Lots of people asked lots of great questions, thank goodness!
Here are the digitizers again. Our aprons are from 4Retro Sisters on Etsy! Aren’t they cute??
This is the view from the back of the room where we all met. That’s Jeff walking on the left. It was an amazing turnout!
At the end we all got up on stage for a Panel Q & A!
This photo is blurry, but we presented Kathy with a beautiful framed painting from Donnie Sasser. Kathy and her husband were FABULOUS to work with and we were all so honored to be able to help with this event!!
It sounds like Kathy is already planning for next year! She is considering making it a 2 day conference which would give more time for classes and vendor shopping. This year was wonderful (and the planning was done in a matter of 2 to 3 months). I can’t imagine how awesome it’ll be when she has a whole year to plan! Lastly here is a picture of Jeff and Jim. Jim is Karen from Applique Market’s hubby and he & Jeff hung out all weekend and had a great time. They were put to work during lunch!