Saturday, October 9, 2010

When Sewing Friends Gather...

The International Embroidery Conference - Drive, Meet and Greet! (Back after a week away at a show and some recoup time:)

Just a little snack to help with the drive. I love stopping at Cracker Barrels to get a quick pick me up.  It is always the same, "Mallo Cups".  My friends cringe at the very thought of it, but it is my addiction. (Along with fabric, sewing, photography, scrapbook creation, card making...) There is nothing like peeling back that yellow wrapper which contains these sticky little chocolate cups of coconut tasting cream-like "substance".  I have never read the ingredients out of fear of ruining a good thing! (Note to Rick, you have already ruined my love of hostess Snowballs so don't share any information you might have on these.)

The ride to an event is always the same for me. With my IPOD, I am happily entertained with music, audio books and movies. Don't be scared, I don't watch the movies, I just listen to them. 

The arrival is always an adventure because you never know what the hotel is like.  Many conferences move about. The IEC had a new venue this year and I didn't have any clue as to the hotel.  I was quite happy to see the baby grand in the foyer!  That is always a good sign.

For me, the work really begins with setting up the Cookiescreations booth in the vendor area, and getting to visit with your neighboring vendors.  I love seeing old friends and meeting different people in the industry.

This year, I met up with Larisa Bland who has that wonderful new book, "Piece in the Hoop".  For those of you who own embroidery machines, you may be familiar with her name.  I had the opportunity to touch all her samples and they really are quilted treasures done in the embroidery hoop.  Very soft, pretty quilts- and they have a great snuggle value! Sometimes in the hoop quilts are gorgeous yet do not have the softness of a quilt due to labor intensive stitches.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly appreciate the look of that style of decorative wall quilt. However, Larisa Bland's style closely replicate sewn quilts right down to the "hand" of the fabric after assembly. I have followed her work for years so it is wonderful to see her in print and in person!  Book fame has not gone to Larisa's head, as she remains down to earth, friendly and makes those around her smile.

Speaking of smiles, Don Hanson of continues to make people laugh with his antics and winning personality.  Ask Don a question about which stabilizer to use for a particular project, and he changes (briefly) to serious mode  to help pick out the right product for the job at hand.  All those darling projects behind him were created by his wife, Terri, who is one of my favorite digitizers, teacher and friend.  Terri has done some gorgeous designs featuring various breeds of dogs that are show stopping. I recommend their sticky paper for all the Sock Easy projects I create. I also use the magna-glide bobbins they sell and that wonderful cloud cover to protect tender skin from scratchy embroidery.

As several of you now know, last month I was blessed with my first grand child.
And she is beautiful and it is true that there are no words to express what a joy it is to hold your grand child for the first time (and every moment after-wards.)  I was therefore delighted to meet Elizabeth of Elizabeth Embroideries who has the most precious smocking designs. But what makes these so special is that the stitches fall into the pleats the way hand smocking does.  Needless to say, I am going to test out my new set of designs by her and report back.  Her samples were wonderful so it is just a question of my own patience to reproduce it. Elizabeth showed me with great care and made it look simple --- we will see.

Tomorrow is the lesson I learned about Taters at the IEC plus what did the attendees learn?  Hugs & Smiles ~ Cookie


Sue said...

just found your site and love it....I am not currently a machine embroidery participant because I don't own a machine...hoping to remedy that soon...want one to you then...any suggestions for the beginner...

Cookie Gaynor said...

I would select my embroidery machine based on dealer support in your area. Make sure that the dealer offers hands on training and additional classes. In the beginning there is much to learn with needles, stabilizers and how to hoop items successfully. The dealer will be the key in your early days of success. I would recommend a minimum embroidery area of 5x7 (130mmx180mm) area as people quickly outgrow the smaller 4x4(100mmx100mm) areas.

Check out the automatic needle threaders to ensure that they are stable for repeated use. Be sure the machine can use the more popular flat backed home sewing machine needles so you are not limited to the dealership should you be out of town. Just a few little thoughts for you to consider at this time. Also consider joining the newsletter at to get some project ideas for when you finally own an embroidery machine. In the meantime, you can do your own applique designs on the projects we share in the newsletter! And thank you for your kind words. Still glowing! ~ Cookie

Larisa Porter said...

You're words touched my heart! Thank you dear friend. I'm truly blessed to have finally met you and know that I have a friend for life! See you again soon.