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Original Sewing and quilting expo

chiel | Posted in General Discussion on


 Has anyone been to the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo?  How was it?  Was it worth taking the day long sewing classes or the short seminars?  How was the fabric, etc. that was for sale? I was thinking of going to the Expo in Worcester, Massachusetts in April.  Any info would be great.





  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    I can't vouch for the Sewing Expo in Mass but the one in Chicago or more precisely Rosemont IL is great and especially good if you have never taken any classes from professionals before.  I would recommend that you wear comfy clothes possibley something that you have made, as that can come in handy when speaking to people after some of the classes or by being able to point out an idea ect.  I would also try to sign up for as many classes in the area that you are interested in but make sure that you leave time for breathing as it can get overwhelming at times.  You know so much info coming at you at the same time. And most importantly bring either the check book or the credit cards (which are preferable although not all venders will take cc ) and do as much of your shopping towards the end of the day if possible as the arms get kind of tired carrying everything around.  Also I usually try to have lunch at a nearby restaraunt instead of at the convention site as it helps clear the mind as well. 

    Hope this helps.

    1. ktc | | #2

      I went to the October Expo on all three days in Chantilly, VA. There was a wide variety of classes on many topics. I learned many extremely valuable things from the classes I chose. It's interesting to note that instructors of equal prominence and high reputation sometimes have totally contradictory approaches to sewing!One says "interface everything--by the bolt!" Another says "HERESY! Never try to make a fabric do what it wasn't meant to do."One uses almost exclusively raw silk; another hates raw silk because she claims it fades just sitting in the closet!Some like drapey and flowing "art" pants; some are almost militaristic in their precision details and tailoring.One's business is all about SPEED and SHORTCUTS; the other's is about painstaking hand-stitching in triplicate.You'll benefit from taking it ALL in and using YOUR style and your desired projects to decide what's relevant.Lots of great stuff to buy. But remember: they're salespeople first and instructors second. Make no mistake--they'll try to make you hungry to buy their stuff. And the stuff (I found) is worth it.But don't be afraid to bring a notebook and ask questions!I didn't try the full-day thing last year, but I will this year.I loved the quilt, handbag, fashion, and textile displays, too.

    2. carolfresia | | #3

      Is anyone planning to attend the upcoming OS&Q expo in Clearwater, FL? I just found out I'll be there, and would love to meet Gatherings members in person. I'll be at the booth on and off, and also attending classes and walking the show. I'm looking forward to it--I haven't been to an expo since Novi last fall, and it doesn't hurt that it's in a warmer clime, either!


  2. Merryll | | #4

    I'm so pleased you asked this question, chiel.  Just today I realized I was sadly in need of inspiration, and thought the Massachusetts show could be just the ticket.  In fact, I came here tonight to ask the same question you did!  I remember last year, Carol was urging us to attend.

    What is the cost?  Is there generally lodging nearby?  Is it too late to sign up for good classes, and which classes are the most popular? How great is the attendance?

    Any replies are appreciated.



    1. chiel | | #5

      Hi Merryll,

           Glad to hear someone else is interested in the Mass. show.  I've tried to go the last 2 years, but this year I am definitely going.  Go to the web site 


      and you can down load a brochure or request one in the mail.  I got my on Feb. 7.  The dates are April 14-16 at the Worcester CDU Center.  There are full day classes on April 13.  I have never been there, but I've seen directions and it seems relatively easy.  I'm coming in from Connecticut.  I'm hoping to take a full day class on April 13 and then returning on the 16th to take a few shorter classes and shop.

           I have seen reviews of the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo here and at http://www.patternreview.com  and all of the writers seem to have enjoyed the shows and the classes with a few exceptions for some dull classes and unprepared teachers.  Since, I have put it off for 2 years and going to risk going.

      Where are you traveling from?


      Edited 2/10/2005 7:50 pm ET by chiel

      1. Merryll | | #7

        Thanks for the informative responses!  I knew I could probably go online for the particulars, but what I truly was interested in was whether the classes were worthy of a long drive in winter.

        I shall download the info today and study it.  I would be coming up from Fairfield County in southwest CT. This could be fun!



        1. chiel | | #8

          Hi Everyone,

               Thank you for all of the replies.  All of the info is very informative.  I have gone ahead and registered for the Cutting Loose class which is on April 13.  It is a full day class.  I plan on driving up that morning.  I'm coming from the New Haven area and would be willing to car pool if anyone is interested.  Just reply to this forum or send me a private email.

               I did find out that there are 5 registered in this class as of 10a today.  The Fitting Clinic with Cynthia Guffey also on Wendesday has been sold out and there is a waiting list.  I don't know about the others.  The general admission fee is $5.00 if you take a class. 

               I would like to go back on Saturday and take some other classes and shop.  I may only shop because my daughter has expressed an interest in going , but not doing the classes.  She is under 12 so her general admission is free.  I'll have to think about this some more.  I don't want to sign up for too much and not have enough time to look around.  I also purchased the expo pack and was told to go online to pick my fabric for the handbag kit is I'm interested in it.

               I registered over the phone and it went well.

          Looking forward to going.


          1. fabriclover007 | | #9

            If you can get anything with Cynthia Guffey, take it.  She is well worth it.  She has answer to questions that I've never seen asked before and solved things that I didn't even know were wrong.  I used to start a new pattern and hope.  Now I can pretty accurately predict how a pattern will fit before I cut it out.  Of course there is still the fabric variant to contend with (thinner fabrics will fit looser and fabrics like boucle will fit more snugly - the fabric takes up space), but here are a few of the things I learned from her:  I sew mostly jackets.  I'm a plus size with large arms and large bust.  I learned how to measure the pattern across the center back to the shoulder to determine how wide the pattern was in the shoulders, then to alter it according to fit me.  Jackets and dresses hang from the shoulders and if you don't get it right there you're doomed.  You can easily determine what you prefer by measuring a favorite ready to wear jacket.  I used to make jackets and was often disappointed with the fit.  I learned what my ideal shoulder width was; how to alter the sleeve to fit my larger arm; how to enlargen the bust area on a jacket with no side seams.  This and more in one day. 

            To those considering the expos, they are great.  I will listen to any and everyone regarding their sewing techniques and fitting techniques; then I take from each what works best for me.  You don't have to be a slave to any one in particular, some things work better for some than others and personal preference plays a part.  But the more you know, the better you will be.

            Have fun


  3. ctirish | | #6

    Hi Chiel, I went to the Worcester Expo last year and I thought it was great. I did hear from people who work at one of the stores I frequent that it was a lot of the same speakers. I had never been to anything like it and I loved it, This year I am going to sign up early and take a few hands on classes. I also hope to stay over one night. 

    I would request a brochure - mine came in today's mail and then read it carefully to see what really interests you.  Last year I went to hear Cynthia Guffey - she was fabulous - and Peggy Sayers - also great and some others.  the exhibition hall was good too, a lot of things I had seen but it is nice to see a demo, ask a question  and just wander.  They have lots of patterns by the designers and material from different places. Vogue was there, Sawyer Brook was there and others for fabrics. Some of the designers bring their favorite fabric samples and you can order from them there. I bought some beautiful silk with a matching silk lining from Cynthia Guffey.  I have been sewing for many years but never took a class.  In taking classes in my area I have discovered there is so much more to sewing today then there was years ago, and now there are classes to refine your techniques and do a real professional job.  Worcester is full of hills, so it can be windy and is colder than CT but I went alone and still had a good time.   I live near Hartford and it takes about 70-80 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. I spoke to them today about where to stay and she said the instructors and organizers will be at the Crowne Plaza in Worcester.

    Cynthia Guffey is coming to two different places near Hartford this year. On is in June and the other one I am not sure of the date. I June one is a lecture and the other I believe is a workshop. I will let you know when I get more information. 

    Edited 2/11/2005 1:39 am ET by jane

    Edited 2/11/2005 1:43 am ET by jane

    1. Tessmart | | #10

      Hi everyone,

      I am going to the Expo in Wocester this year. I signed up last year and had to cancel due to work, no matter what I'm going this year.  I picked out about 14 classes, but I'm looking for advice.  I've been sewing for about 35 yrs so I'm not a novice, but I'm always on the look-out for new techniques, updated sewing on knits, etc. Forward thinking, I'd quess you'd call it.  Is 14 too many classes, does anyone have any suggestions/ideas on what one could really absorb and leave time to visit the booths?

      I am also from CT (Watertown) and do plan on staying for a few days there.

      Thank You for any info


      1. ctirish | | #11

        I think 14 classes is a lot unless some of them are workshops that count a 3 classes? You do a lot of walking from one room to another at the other end for the next class and then you want time to go through the  merchant hall - I can't think of the right name for it - where you can shop.  That can take some time depending on whether you are looking for something specific or to see what is new.  I was exhausted last year but I drove back and forth from Hartford, CT to Worcester.   After 35 years you are probably like I was last year and just in awe of all the things that are new.  Last year I thought I must have lived in a cocoon not to know all of this was going on around me.   When I was working full time I barely had time to make the things I wanted, never mind all the new things.    jane

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