Friday, January 28, 2011

Nancy Zieman's Blog

Nancy Zieman wrote in her blog about "happiness" -- and how having "experiences" is way more important than having money or things...

You knew that, right? Isn't that why you come to Expo every year? We often come with your friends -- for many of us -- it's our annual "girlfriend getaway".
This group of friends did the ultimate jacket challenge...

I come out to Puyallup every year to spend time with my friends who live there all year around..

Do you see yourself in this audience? Did you come with an old friend? Or make a new one?

Steve Jeffery from Baby Lock will be at our Friday Night LIVE event again -- and there is a good possibility that SOMEBODY WILL WIN A SEWING MACHINE...(I'm just guessing...they've done it for the last two years!)

Our FNL presentation will be "Nancy Zieman Celebrates 28 Years of Sewing" -- and here's my favorite picture of Nancy, with the Hey Rita Tote...

Nancy has a new website -- NancyZiemanTV -- with new educational video sewing topics every month. The topic this month is "Serge & Merge" quilting. AND on her blog -- she writes about her new Super-Size Tote -- which would be a perfect candidate for our 2011 TOTEBAG CHALLENGE..

Thanks, Nancy, for writing about the Sewing & Stitchery Expo! We'll see you soon!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Totebag Challenge -- Show Logo

Yes, Laura, there will be a Totebag challenge this year!!

It always takes some time to put these things together -- but here's what we know so far.

We are no longer able to give away the large paper totebags...and this year we'll be telling you that many, many times as we ramp up to the show...

And -- Since SO MANY OF YOU are into making totebags -- and you know what a big fan I am of carrying a fun totebag AT ALL TIMES...YES -- we want to have a TOTEBAG CHALLENGE...
AND -- so that you can MAKE YOUR OWN 2011 SOUVENIR TOTEBAG -- one of our vendors offered to digitize the show logo -- isn't it beautiful? Creative DRAWings did both the lettering..

AND our famous hat-lady...

They've been working to include all the formats, and various sizes...and we have tested the embroidery design...IT IS STUNNING...

SO -- WE ARE READY NOW...the embroidery design is beautiful -- and it is totally FREE TO YOU.

All you have to do is send an email to: Soni Grint at:

Creative DRAWings®.

In your subject line, write: FREE Sew Expo logo designs

Soni will send you the designs, in a zip file...with all the different formats & sizes.

Here are the "rules" for the Totebag challenge: Your totebag does NOT HAVE TO BE EMBROIDERED.

1. there are no rules
2. go to the Creative Drawings booth to have your picture taken, and enter to win a HUGE PRIZE
3. We'll be taking a "group photo" at 5:00 every day -- location for the picture to be announced at a later date...
4. the drawing for the wine rof the Grand Prize will take place on the last day of the show...


P.S. -- The Grand Prize IS Creative DRAWings -- a $799 retail value!!

P.S.S. -- you can use ANY TOTEBAG PATTERN -- or create your own. My favorite totebag artists -- Jan Potter and Bonne Swett -- the Inspired2Sew duo -- have THEIR OWN TOTEBAG PATTERN NOW -- with Ghee's!!

Again -- email Soni for the designs at:

Pro-Am Sewing Exhibition

This is Cathy Swenson, with one of our sewing rookies. Cathy was the first CTA I ever met. I've always known that she was an avid sewing enthusiast, a cheerful and funny lady -- but I never quite understood how BIG HER SEWING STUDIO WAS...
From another angle...
Laura Mendoza (who sent all these great pics) -- helping another rookie with her project...
THEY ARE BUSY, that's for sure!
And -- yes -- this is STILL CATHY'S SEWING STUDIO...from yet another angle...
Cathy -- the next time I'm in town -- can I come to your house to play a sewing game??

THANKS for the great pictures, Laura!!

It's going to be SO MUCH FUN..!!

And -- remember -- this year, there are two different sessions for the charity event. So, the Coats & Clark Pro-Am Sewing Exhibition will be happening Sunday at 11:30 or 12:30. AND the biggest change is that you will be able to BUY YOUR TICKETS AT THE SHOW.

The tickets are $10 each, and will be available at the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital booth (in the Showplex). They can take cash, check or credit card...

Later on this week, I'll put up a blog post about the PILLOWCASE PATROL....

Monday, January 17, 2011

PROJECT RUNWAY on the Expo Runway!!

We just found out that "Suede" is coming to Sew Expo!! I'm not talking about the suede your dressy boots are made out of...

I mean "Suede" -- the PROJECT RUNWAY DESIGNER..!! The one I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. Even though he did talk about himself in the third person a lot. Since I started doing the show's Facebook page -- I understand why he enjoyed that so much.

Hey -- Simplicity recently inked a deal with Suede -- and they're bringing him to SEW EXPO TO LAUNCH HIS NEW LINE..!!

His bio, from his website:

"Suede" is best known as being a contestant on Project Runway Season 5. He was known for his talent, style, and strong kind character. "Suede" also generated much conversation about his tendency to speak in 3rd person, as well as his signature colored faux-hawk. As a semi-finalist on Project Runway, making it to the top five, Suede was asked to show a collection at Bryant Park.

Long before his Project Runway fame – Suede was an experienced designer, working for Jordache – or dressing well-known names such as Britney Spears, Brooke Burke, Lil' Kim, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera and Mandy Moore.

Suede recently signed an exclusive deal with Simplicity Creative Group and will be personally commentating his premiere pattern collection at the 2011 Sewing & Stitchery Expo, March 3-6, in Puyallup, Washington. His new Simplicity designs will be featured on the cover of JoAnn’s Fashion Fusion magazine in February. Suede’s patterns feature modern silhouettes with multiple styles featuring classic, edgy and feminine flirty looks.

We'll post the exact where and when as those details become available!!

THANKS, SIMPLICITY!! Suede rocks!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pay Pal Orders

Janet asked me to post this note...

IF you think you paid for your online registration via Pay Pal (which was not supposed to happen) -- please send an email to Janet so she can reorganize your ticket order. (

Include your daytime phone number and she'll take care of it as quickly as possible.

Please put "pay pal" in the subject line of your email

Yahoo Group

Laura Mendoza (here, in her prize winning wool jacket) is the local sewing coach for MANY of our Pro-Am sewing rookies...

Email from Laura Mondoza,

Hey Rita
Can you do a plug for the Yahoo Groups in your next Sew Expo Newsletter?
We already have 49 signed up for our Wednesday night dinner. Had 45 the first year, 70 last year, and hope to break 100 this year :-)


It's my pleasure, Laura! Tell them more about the dinner -- where and when?

On Monday, I'll post Laura's pictures of our sewing rookies...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Your Ticket Printout

Okay -- the ticket office is working as hard as they can to put your tickets into an envelope and SEND THEM TO YOU.

But, they are being way-laid by a lot of phone calls from you asking if they can email you a printout of the classes you got. WHICH THEY CANNOT DO....

WHEN YOU REGISTER -- here's how it works:

From our web developer:

When the customer finishes checking out, they are taken to a page that lists all the details of everything they order and in big bold etters at the top they are encouraged to print it out for their records.

For those of you who already registered, and did not print that page -- it will be sent to you WITH your tickets -- and they WANT TO STUFF THAT ENVELOPE...but they're too busy taking your phone calls.

The web guy is trying to build in a "search" function so you CAN go back into the system to look up your order.

But we hope YOU RECEIVE YOUR TICKETS BY THEN...(if they can get off the phones long enough to fill our orders!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Security Question

Although I posted this in one of the "comment threads" -- I think it's worth having it's own BLOG POST ...I received this email from Kelly Newell, the Director of the WSU Conference Management:

Dated January 11, 2011

"It is secure, but they are coding it now to show up on an https site, which will help our users feel more secure!"

Really Good Questions

Hey -- it's 1/11/11. I don't know why that tickles me, but it does.

I hate to bother the people in Puyallup who are actually ANSWERING THE HELP LINE...but ya'll have been asking some very good questions -- and I want to assure you that as soon as I know a REAL answer -- I'll let you know.

#1 question: you registered online, but did not push "print" when your classes were on the screen. The receipt you received was for the money only, without a detailed listing of the classes. AND you want to know if there is a way you can go back in and print out your class list.


#2 question: if you are having trouble registering online, would you be better off sending your registration in via snail mail or faxing your order?

I KNOW THIS ANSWER!! No. Your best chance is still online registration. Those tickets are pulled from the inventory as you register. So you know whether or not you got the classes you wanted RIGHT AWAY -- regardless of how long it takes the ticket office to pull your tickets and send the envelope to you.

All snail mail and/or faxed orders, although they are being processed even as we speak, will be handled IN THE ORDER they are received -- so you won't know which classes you got...which is why we ask you to list your second and third "choices"...

See the difference??

We know it has been frustrating...but we're learning A LOT...and it really is time for this to happen. Thanks again for your patience.

P.S. -- don't worry, Agnes -- I'll still post EVERYTHING on this thanks for tuning in!!

The Day After

As you know -- you melted down the online registration system.

Good job. I have never been SO PROUD...of you -- BECAUSE -- YES -- THOUSANDS OF WOMEN ATTEND THIS SHOW...

AND of the Expo team...they kept at it --with the web company -- and they brought it back, made changes and improvements ALL DAY LONG.

The truth is -- most of you did manage to get in (eventually) -- and register for the classes you wanted. As far as I know -- nothing sold out on the first day. So that's pretty much all good news, right??

In the meantime -- you have been asking some very good questions...and I'm trying to ask the right people and get timely answers....

The Sewing & Stitchery FACEBOOK page has been awesome. Ya'll have been posting your own registration experience -- and helping each other through the process...and that's where Janet and I will post new information, updates, tips, etc.

So -- the official report is that "online registration went great."

Just between you and me -- there were some issues. lol...


Monday, January 10, 2011


TODAY IS THE DAY. Really. We're ready. We mean it this time. Online Registration will start at 10:00 Pacific Standard Time.

Have your Registration Form in front of you, and your credit card.

Then -- go to the Show website -- and click on the quilt block on the lower right. It looks like this:

A lot of people have worked really hard to get this right -- but we need to be realistic. I have absolutely noooo idea what's going to happen at 10:00 today.

Remember what I said about checking the website for the will be a lot less confusing if you've made those changes BEFORE you start your registration.

And I know you're anxious...but you need to keep reminding yourself that nobody is doing any better than YOU are. And most of our classes have 200 seats -- and there are HUNDREDS of classes to choose from so the chances are you will get every class you want tomorrow...

Again -- thanks for your patience. We know YOU ARE THE BEST...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Good Question...

A long time EXPO fan writes:

On your Blog you said we could register with friends under one credit card. My question - on the brochure registration there is no place to buy two tickets for the same seminar - will there be a spot to register more than one ticket per seminar on the online registration?

If you want to answer on your Blog I will keep checking.

Thanks for all you do. I look forward to SEWEXPO every year!


Rita says: I have seen the online registration -- and the answer is YES -- you can buy two tickets to a seminar or event...and, at the end, juse one credit card. The registration form on the registration brochure is different because it was always one form per person.

THANKS for asking that good question, Judy -- anybody else have a pre-registration question??

And -- hey -- while I'm at it -- THANKS FOR READING THIS BLOG!!

bring it on!!

Have a Nice Weekend!

This weekend, you can do some pre-registration work to save some time and simplify your process on Monday morning.

We're sorry for all the mistakes -- but the corrections have been posted on the website -- and you should check to see if your classes are affected. (click on the top quit square -- "Registration Brochure" -- the corrections are listed there.

On Monday morning -- when the online registration opens -- have your registration form next to the computer -- and your credit card ready to go.

Start by going to the show website -- and click on the lower quilt square (on the right hand side) says "Online Registration"...


Monday morning, 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.

(That means 11:00 Mountain time, Noon for the Central Time Zone, and 1:00 PM for the Eastern Time Zone)

Friday, January 7, 2011



Online registration WILL BE LIVE MONDAY MORNING AT 10:00 AM PST. (JANUARY 10, 2011.)

The system has performed flawlessly through preliminary tests and the ticket office is bracing for the onslaught.

As with anything new, there will be a learning curve – but if you encounter any problems, you know we’ll be there to support you AND FIX IT.

We are very excited about online registration!! Thanks again for your patience….YOU ARE THE BEST!!

P.S. You cannot purchase a ticket for the Sunday morning charity event via online registration. Because we have two sessions this year – the event will not sell out. You can buy your tickets AT THE SHOW – in the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital booth. Or, you can snail mail your check payable to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital to: Sewing & Stitchery Expo, PO Box 11243, Tacoma, WA 98411-0243 and a ticket will be mailed to you.

Ticket office -- GOOD LUCK!!


WOW. Yesterday, this blog had almost 1500 hits -- and Facebook had over 5,000. Because, of course, YOU ARE ALL ANXIOUS ABOUT ONLINE REGISTRATION.

So, of course, I want to give you an update....

My prediction of Monday morning is looking good. That means ONLINE REGISTRATION is still your best shot at getting the classes and events you want. Because the brochures are just arriving in most mailboxes -- and the online system will pull tickets automatically out of the "inventory". So, if it's a GO on Monday -- online still trumps snail mail.

The good news is that the system is BEAUTIFUL. But, it is the first year, we want the process to start when there are REAL people in the ticket office to help you and troubleshoot the system...

So -- can I say -- relax?? I'll keep posting updates here and on Facebook...

But, it is SO BORING to write a blog post with NO PICTURES...I usually write a new post for this blog ONCE A WEEK -- and, the truth is -- I write on my PERSONAL blog every single day. (Rita's Sew Fun) I have a very special picture up on that blog today...

But I know how anxious you I will write on this blog every day until the Online Registration is up and running.

Here are a few relaxing pictures for you....of a recent my sister Ronda's house. She's a pig collector...
In her backyard. This frost was so thick, I've never quite seen anything like it. And it was soo quiet. Like the trees were wrapped in cotton...

Was it 10 degrees below zero at your house this morning?

I'm just sayin'....


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rita's Best Guess

Please know that nobody is more anxious than we are about establishing an easy, accessible, online registration system. And my best guess -- THIS IS A RITA FARRO PERSONAL BEST GUESS -- is that it will launch on Monday morning, January 10, 2010 -- which should have been our goal all along. Sorry if our optimism and eagerness has caused you any anxiety. But everything is looking good and we are excited about offering this new option this year.

So, if all goes well -- you are still better off waiting for online registration - as your "tickets" will automatically picked out of the inventory. But, we understand many of you have by now received your Registration Brochure in the mail -- so you may certainly choose to snail mail -- that's completely up to you. (and you do save the $4 online handling fee).


In the meantime -- I wanted to tell you about one of Expo's home-grown sewing stars. Mary Collen is a CTA, and our long-time style show manager.

For me, Mary has always epitomized the Sewing & Stitchery Expo. She is a bright, hardworking mother and wife who loves to sew. She is generous and kind...and funnels her creative energy and love into her SEWING hobby. Her daughter, London, pictured here, is one of my favorite young people. (last year's official show photog!)

I have never met anybody who has a bigger joy for sewing than Mary Collen...

AND -- she loves, loves, loves to compete in sewing contests. She has won many machines over the years -- and a trip to Bernina University last year. Apparently, she's AT IT AGAIN -- check it out on this Sew News link...

Check the link out below of Mary Collen.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011



We cannot launch the online registration on January 5th. However, we have posted the actual Registration Form – which you can print separately. Please use it to organize your classes schedule and plan your budget. This will make things go much smoother when you DO GO ONLINE TO REGISTER FOR YOUR CLASSES. (SOON – very SOON!)

We are extremely sorry for this unavoidable delay – but we’re doing it for YOU. We want your online registration experience to be trouble-free and as safe as possible. Online Registration will still be the QUICKEST way for you to get all the classes you want…and it will be available very soon. We will post the exact time on our WEBSITE, Facebook page and this blog.


P.S. It will NOT be at midnight – as we want actual people available to you on the phone to handle problems you may encounter – so when it’s ready – it will be at 8:00 AM PST. WE WIL KEEP YOU POSTED…