We had an exciting day yesterday setting up at the CreativFestival. Set up is always exciting and it's hard work! OK - so I use the word exciting with a touch of sarcasm. I don't think that any attendees would ever appreciate what goes into set-up unless they were there to witness it.
At one point, we needed to get some samples in the booth and this is what happened.
The sample suitcases came open. Samples were sorted, they were strewn around the main aisles of the booths, some were discarded and placed back in the suitcases, the lucky ones were hung on the walls or placed on a table.
I chatted with someone last night and they said that they couldn't wait to read my ten reasons why they should go to the CreativFestival. As promised, here they are.
But first I want to set some expectations.
Yes, the show is smaller than it's been in years gone by. Let's face it, shop owners are retiring and since there are no buyers, these shops are now closed. In other instances, the owners are getting too old to do all the schlepping that's required to be in this show. Some businesses (scrapbooking) have seen a sharp decline in the market, conflicting dates and I'm sure there are many other reasons why this show has been reduced in size.
This is NOT and has NEVER been a show about quilting. It's always been a CREATIVFESTIVAL. It's a show to inspire you to try new things and learn new things.
Compare the cost of attending ($16) to the cost of your gas if you had to drive to all these shops. Remember parking is FREE.
So here are my ten reasons why you should attend CreativFestival in Toronto in 2019. I got carried away - there's more than ten!
- Lectures with Mary Fons. Mary grew up with quilting in her blood. Her mother is the famous Maryann Fons from Fons and Porter Love of Quilting. That includes magazines and TV shows. Mary had her own foray into quilting with her own magazine (Quilty) and a show. Now she's the editor of QuiltFolk, along with other endeavors. She's doing a series of lectures and trunk shows. I would LOVE to be able to attend, but I won't be able to since I'm in the booth. Here's a list of her lectures and trunk shows. What is the future of quilting? What about Modern Quilts and their deep roots in the traditional world? I see there's a wine and cheese event tomorrow. Hmmm - I might go. This is a huge opportunity to have Mary at the show and well worth the extra cash to get into her lectures. It's way cheaper than going to the US to hear her speak.
- Shopping for a sewing machine. If you're in the market for a new sewing machine, this is the PLACE to be. All the machine dealers are there. This is the place to test them all as I know that PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking have their entire lineup on display and I would imagine the other brands do as well. Not quite in the market yet, this is a good place to check out what's available. Here's a good tip on buying a sewing machine. Try to buy one level up from where your budget is. You won't regret it as you grow into that sewing machine. Love something, but can't afford it yet? Get a picture of it and put near your computer at home. Start a saving plan for that machine. PS - we have the new DESIGNER EPIC 2 in the booth.
- Shopping for a serger. Same thing as above. Now here's the thing - I know loads of people who have a serger and don't use it. Then come and get some inspiration for what you can do with a serger. Don't just walk past those sewing machine booths - stop in, ask questions. How can I use my serger more? What's the coolest new accessory or feature? Ask us about mySewnet! I have a quilt on display (the top only so you can see the back) that's made entirely with my serger. If threading the serger or having to deal with tension is the main reason you don't use your serger, stop by our booths (PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking) to see the NEW air threading sergers.
- Check out die-cutters. This is something that's expanding. Yes - even for quilters. You can buy the manual die-cutters like the GO! cutter. The biggest dealer in our province is there so you can check out how to use the machine properly and also buy new dies if you want something new. There's also a shop carrying the digital cutters. Like the Brother Scan n Cut. I've seen applique patterns being published (and sold) with the .svg files in them. The .svg files are used with a digital die cutter and that saves you the hassle of cutting out your applique shapes. Imagine that!!! I can't wait to play some more when I have a few moments after this show.
- Access to information. I don't know for sure about the other vendors but in the PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking booth, you have access to the TOP education team. Between the three of us, we have many, many years of experience in the sewing world. That includes quilting, piecing, garment sewing, serging and a whole lot more. We're not there to teach classes, but we can answer questions and hopefully provide you with a tip to make your sewing life a wee bit easier.
- Inspiration. All the booths are filled with inspiration. New ways to make things, ways to use those decorative stitches on your machines. Inspiration to try new things that you've not tried before. We have ideas coming out of the seams. Not only for projects but for colorways and patterns and a whole lot more. Bring your camera, but PLEASE ask if it's OK to take photos in the booths. In most cases, it is, but also if you post a picture to social media - ask if it's OK and then credit where you took the picture.
- Support our CANADIAN QUILTING community. The Canadian Quilter's Asociation has a booth at the show. Check this organization out. Let Jane and Heather explain why you should become a member of the association. Let's just say that the organization has changed and has made itself more accessible to the average quilter. Ask them about the upcoming events - events like the 52 blocks in 52 weeks quilt that has been posted on social media this past year. They have kits for the Trendtex challenge for sale - NOTE - you have to be a member to buy the kit. Become a member, buy the kit and then come to a class that I'm going to hold to give ideas on how to make a challenge piece. If you join the CQA at the show, I heard that they have goodies for you to take home. Remember - it's all about supporting what OUR COUNTRY and OUR LOCAL STORES have to offer.
- Make the day a play day with a friend. Don't look at this as a shopping expedition. How many of you lament that you don't need anything else in your studio? So make it a day of acquiring knowledge, inspiration, and education. For the most part that is free at this show. People have no qualms about jumping in the car and driving hundreds of KM for a shop hop where you know you will buy something. You're in the shop for 5 minutes, and then madly drive to the next shop. Here you get to spend the day checking out the stuff in one spot. All you have at the end of that kind of day is a credit card bill and some fabric. Here - you can actually learn something. Be sure to check out everything!
- Visit online shops. I know of one shop attending that is online only. They will be at the show. So you get to save gas and save on shipping costs. Sew Fancy and she always has the latest tools and gadgets.
- Take a class. There are classes and lectures by some prominent Canadian quilters and garment sewers. Why not take a class and learn something new? Here's the list of classes and it looks like some neat events. Again, I can't go because I'm in the booth. Try something new - I saw one on "how to quilt your quilt". I get asked that question all the time - attend the class - and take your quilt tops with you. Get ideas. Take complete advantage of the situation and learn something!
- Network. Don't just walk past the booths - network with the owners, editors or the staff. Do you know that the jigs that I've had and currently have are because I stopped to chat with people in their booth at CreativFestival? No one searched me out - I searched them out and things just fell into place.
- Buying a long arm. I know there are numerous long arm and short arm options at the show. Come and check them out even if you're at the thinking about it stage. This is the place to ask the questions, test the products and figure out whether this is something you want to do or not. It's also the place to get tools, tips, and other advice if you already have a long arm and need some help. NOTE - this does not replace taking a class, but a couple of well-selected questions can make things just peachy!
- Take a peek at garment sewing. I'm so keen on getting into garment sewing and so are a lot of other people but have no idea where to start. There are classes on garment sewing and there are people selling garment patterns and people selling garment fabric.
- Look at the quilts. I believe there will be quilts on display so have a peek at those. Get ideas from the quilts - whether in the quilt display area (I could be wrong about that one) or the quilts hanging in the booths. There is lots of eye candy. Also, this show is a great place to get ideas for quilting your quilts. Take close-ups of the quilting. I do that all the time.
- Quilts of Valour. They have a booth at the show. Get out and chat with the ladies who help to run the local chapters. Maybe you don't need a new quilt for yourself and what are you going to do with all your fabric. Talk to these ladies to see how you can start making quilts for this very worthy organization. You still get to sew and you use up your stash, but you don't have to worry about what to do with all those quilts. Your family will love you! Don't want to quilt the quilt? I know there are long arm quilters (myself included) that are quilting quilt tops that have been donated. (We do it for free and as a service to our communities) That's a win-win situation right there!!!
- Talk to the show owner. I'm sure Nori will be roaming the show floor today. Have a chat with her - tell her what you would like to see in the future. Be courteous.
I don't know how long it'll take you to go through the show. It depends on how many booths you pass because you're NOT interested. Why not be interested? Why be stuck in the same old rut all the time? Yep - if you're going to look at the show like that, then stay home. But if you want to explore, be inspired, and open your mind to something new - I bet you would enjoy the show a whole lot more.
Here are some tips to enjoy the show more.
- Take pictures, but be mindful if you're posting them on Social Media - ask permission. It's always the .
- Stop to talk to people. Why are we so afraid to speak to others? Ask them questions. Ask them about their products or patterns or designs or whatever. You'd be amazed at how much they will share if someone is interested in their work.
- Cast aside all visions of the previous shows. This is a different show - each year is a different show. Look at it differently and you won't be disappointed.
- Make it a fun day. Attend with friends. I like to walk the show on my own and then meet up for lunch.
- It's a day of entertainment, not a day of shopping. Besides who needs more stuff - save your money to buy a new serger or sewing machine instead of piddling your cash away on buying fabrics.
- Bring your lunch (I've no idea what's available for food) so bring you lunch to help cut costs.
- Don't look at the entrance fee as an annoyance. Look at it as your cost of entertainment for the day. Do you go to a movie and begrudge paying the price? Get the most of your entrance fee, by really, really exploring what's there. Remember this is NOT and NEVER was a strictly quilter related show.
- Be kind and courteous to others. Don't stop in the aisles to chat without looking to see if someone like me is barreling down behind you!
- Bring a friend! It's a great introduction to the sewing world for someone who is new to sewing.
- We should consider ourselves very lucky that we even have this opportunity for a show like this in our neighborhood.
OK - I think I've rambled on enough about the show and why you should attend.
If you do come by, stop and say HELLO. I might be busy with a customer, but wave - I'm the one with the orange flowers in my hair! Come back later to say hi if I'm busy. I'd love to chat and provide some inspiration to you!
The show runs Thursday (9-6), Friday (9-6), and Saturday (9-5). It's located in Hall FIVE at the International Center on Airport Road. Hope to see you all there.
If you want to attend a local quilt show, the Brampton Quilter's Guild is hosting their quilt show on Saturday (10 -5) and Sunday (10 - 4) at the Brampton Fairgrounds. Be sure to check that out as well.
We NEED to be supporting our local organizations and guilds. If we don't, they will wither up and die. Then we'll be complaining that there's nothing in Canada. Well, if people go with the wrong expectations or we don't support, then yep - those shows will close. Support local and by support, it doesn't always have to be with your wallet!
I'm done! Phew!!!!
Time to finish breakfast and then get in the car to be at the show one hour before it opens for you all to come and visit!!!
Have a super day!!!!!