Last year (in October) I attended the Creative Stitches trade show, and this year I attended the show once more in September. I would have written about it sooner but I had a number of posts lined up… and I needed a bit of time to think about the show too.
Last year I was concerned that the show was going downhill, and this year that thought continued. It appeared that there were far fewer vendors than usual, and some of the ones I really look for (A Great Notion Sewing Supply out of Surrey and Abbotsford, along with Gala Fabrics from Victoria, Vancouver and Hong Kong) weren’t there this year. A few others that I like (The Sugar Pine company out of the nearby Canmore and Steam Trunk Craft Works out of Surrey, BC) were there, but neither had anything I was looking for this time around – especially since I still have things to sew and craft-up from the show last year!
I did end up getting a few things though – after attending Debra Justice’s (from Labours Of Love Heirloom Sewing Supplies) workshop “How to sew with your feet” I picked up the flower-making foot she briefly showed off, along with her 8-pack of specialty sewing feet. In the workshop she did mention that we probably had a few of these feet, but the 8-pack was less than 30$, and she’s correct in stating that generally speaking an average foot usually runs $12-$20 for just a generic food – so this was a good deal, especially since I don’t yet have a roller foot and I’ve been using my zipper foot as a teflon foot. The darning foot might be interesting to play with too. I also picked up an invisible zipper foot.. with the hope that I can use the “move over the width of the teeth and sew” technique she showed off in her slides.
The package includes a Pintuck Foot, Teflon Foot, Roller Foot, Overcast Foot, Shirring Foot, Darning Foot, Button Foot and a Top Stitch Foot (with an adjustable guide).
I was going to write up a little about the feet themselves, but I think I’ll save that for a separate post – just to keep this one focused and not quite so long!
I also attended Debra’s Ruffler Foot workshop – which I had hoped to attend last year but missed out.
Change of plans
I had originally made time to attend both of the days the trade show was being held – partially to be able to attend all of the classes – but I ended up only attending two classes, and only one day of the show. I really just felt that there were not many interesting classes, and very few ‘new’ classes. They also started offering classes for a fee this year – which struck me as REALLY strange. As it is, the classes are 70% sales pitch for the instructor’s booth, and 30% information – usually half of which is useful, and half of which isn’t (but might be more so to a new sewer). To me, this doesn’t make the workshops a huge part of the event – and makes me wonder how valuable a workshop that one would have to pay to attend would be – would it really be worth the price of the class, or is it just a money grab?
Like last year, I also thought that the show was very poorly advertised. I posted on my Facebook that I was going to the show (on the day of the show), and the one friend who I half expected to see there (a woman who sews as a hobby and as a part-time job) – hadn’t even heard of it before. I hadn’t seen any advertising in shops, online, or elsewhere. I no longer read the newspaper, so I suppose that there might have been an ad in there, but I wonder if the vendors are getting the audience that they used to to make it worth their time, energy, and money to attend. I wonder if that’s the reason two of my favourite shops are no longer attending the show.
The Scrapbooking section
In years long past, the show was really about sewing and quilting – with a little bit of textile craft/art mixed in (knitting and other yarn included) however in the past few years Scrapbooking has taken a larger part in the show – and often feels like it’s a separate entity within the same space. While last year it felt almost like it was taking over the space, this year it felt scaled back – but all of the vendors seemed to be scaled back. I did a quick walk-around through the section (since I do scrapbook, but not necessarily in the same way a lot of scrapbooking enthusiasts do) but this time around there wasn’t as many interesting items, so I ended up just getting one pack of stickers and a little gift for someone (which I didn’t photograph of course!)
So… did you attend the show either here in Calgary or in one of the other cities where it has been this year? What did you think of the show this year versus previous years? What vendors or workshops would you like to see more of?
You can read more about the show by visiting their website here: http://creativestitchesshow.com/alberta-shows/