For those of you who know me or follow me on social media you know my life is insanely busy and filled with travel. Sometimes it feels like I know my hotel rooms better than my own house. I have flown so much already this year that the lovely people at Southwest have sent me free drink coupons. That’s a first for me. It’s just the way my life is thanks to my business. I’m not complaining, not even a little, because I picked this life and it works for me. Something else you may or may not know about me – I am a huge Janome fan. I own 3 Janome sewing machines and have been in love with them since the first time I tried one. So a few weeks before heading to Quilt Market in Portland, OR when I received an email inviting me to an exclusive Janome event I said yes without hesitation. It meant more travel and 3 more days away my husband and 4-legged family. But I said YES! And I am so glad I did!! I met some amazing people, took some terrific classes and for the first time ever saw the Statue of Liberty (sad since I have lived in NY my whole life…) Here are just a few highlights from this amazing trip.
First class of the week was with Kimberly Einmo. I kind of fangirled a bit here – she is just as sweet and wonderful in person as I imagined. I have followed Kimberly for years and own all her books. Then I found out she was recently dubbed the queen of Janome (that title may not be accurate but close enough). She shared her story, her fabric and her ruler with us. I’ll post some pics when I finish my blocks 🙂
Next class was with Amy Johnson and I only have 2 words – Game. Changer. Let’s rewind for a second to 2005. I was learning to quilt (thanks to Alex Anderson and her TV show) and had bought my first brand new machine. I firmly told the sales woman that I MUST also buy a free motion quilting foot because Alex showed me how to use it. I went home, made a quilt sandwich, lowered my feed dogs and promptly realized that Alex lied to me. Ok that’s a bit dramatic but needless to say it was not as easy as it looked on TV and I was terrified ever since. I put that foot away and never lowered my feed dogs again. Until the day I met Amy Johnson. Cue the horror movie music….I may as well have been a scared little girl running alone in the woods with a masked murderer behind me. I was sweating. I don’t FMQ and this lady wants me to do it using rulers??? Umm no thanks. But I wiped my sweaty brow and mustered up the courage to try. I mean I am at training right? This is kind of what it’s all about, learning something new. So I tried and now I am convinced – Amy Johnson is a genius. I can’t believe I did it and I wasn’t the best but I actually wasn’t horrible either. I even have photographic evidence that I did it. Check out my Facebook or Instagram for a video too!
Here is some of Amy’s amazing ruler work:
I didn’t get quite as many pics from Day 2. Blame it on the sheer exhaustion I was feeling. First we learned how to make a sweet blanket using Shannon Fabrics Cuddle and Embrace (double gauze). I have to admit, I’m a quilter and bag maker so I haven’t ventured out to try these fabrics in the past. They were so soft and easy to work with. I am still pulling fuzz off my clothes from the Cuddle but overall it was so fun.
After lunch we learned Acusketch with Tamara of Tamara Kate Designs. Using the Horizon 15000 made it so easy. I have never been a huge embroidery fan. Never had the desire to own an embroidery machine because in the words of my friend Miriam Coffey “I’m not a bear and balloons kind of girl”. Well, like Miriam I was wrong. Embroidery has come so far and is not what it once was. After Tamara showed us how to create a FMQ design using Acusketch we saw a great trunk show by the fabulous Miriam herself using modern/minimalist designs and I was convinced! Embroidery is cool!
Here are some of the cool fabrics created by Miriam:
After an amazing cruise around the Hudson Wednesday night I was beyond exhausted. We spent the morning learning all about creating custom fabrics and quilts but I didn’t get a single pic! I think I needed more coffee. I have been playing with the My Fabric Designer software we were so graciously given since I returned. After a quick break we moved on to the last class of the week using sergers and cover lock machines. Heather from Girl Charlee Fabrics taught us all about working with knits. Again, being a quilter, I had never worked with knits in the past. It was great to try something I wouldn’t have tried on my own. I made a cool, comfy skirt, I used machines I wasn’t familiar with and I lived to tell! Thank you Heather for sharing your wisdom.
To sum it all up – it was a fantastic week of learning, laughing and networking. Thank you to Janome for letting us try all these machines, the educators for pushing us out of our comfort zones, the fabric vendors for all the samples and supplies and the hotel for the amazing food! I am already looking forward to the next Education Summit!
Happy Sewing 🙂