Monday, January 28, 2013

Coats & Clark Charity Event: Sew You Think You Can Blog?

Here's what I know for sure. Women who sew are the BEST, most GENEROUS people in the entire world. I actually believe it is that kindness and generosity of spirit that attracts you to sewing...


Last year -- you made over 4,500 pillowcases for the children of Mary Bridge Chidlrens Hospital. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G...

After the first year -- Mary Bridge started saving their paper boxes!!

Last year, they were smart to schedule a LOT MORE volunteers...

But they STILL COULD NOT KEEP UP...!! Coats & Clark will ONCE again be giving a spool of thread to every person who brings pillowcases for the children. AND there will be a door prize drawing on Sunday morning -- for those of you who so generously used your time and materials to sew pillowcases for the children.


To answer some of your questions -- YES -- Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital is our official charity again this year. If you visit the website -- Sewexpo.com -- you will see a link right on the front page that will immediately TAKE YOU to the Mary Bridge website. It is problematic to sell tickets to the charity event because WSU cannot keep the money...so in the past -- we had to ask you to send a separate check. THIS should be easier -- right??

However -- we've had some issues with the links all working -- so let me know if you have a problem. When you get to the Mary Bridge site -- you can make a donation and print a receipt -- which will serve as your ticket into the Sunday Morning EVENT.

And the Sunday morning Coats and Clark charity eventis going to be AWESOME. "Sew You Think You Can Blog"-- for the very first time EVER -- will be a live audition on the Expo Runway. Five talented sewing bloggers will be auditioning for a spot on the popular Sew It All television show. Hostess Ellen March will be onstage, with part of the SIA set -- and you'll be able to VOTE FOR your favorite contestant!!

Remember -- it's all for a good cause -- and THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT...See you SOON...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shuttle from the airport

Here's a question that has come up several times -- "If I fly into the Seattle airport -- how can I get to Puyallup?"


After talking to some of the local hotels -- the answer is the SHUTTLE EXPRESS. Way back when, I can remember flying into Seattle and taking this shuttle down to Puyallup. Mary Mulari made the arrangements -- and we were staying at the Northwest Motor Inn, across the street and up the road...(I think I ate every meal at Caittin's that year)

Anyway -- the shuttle is still running!! It is reasonably priced -- check the rates for sure....something like $44 one way. Be prepared -- it takes some time to get to Puyallup. And with this shuttle, you could stop at other hotels and towns along the way.

Here's the website...

www.shuttlexpress.com

Just GET THERE ANY WAY YOU CAN...it will be worth it -- I promise you...!!

There is incredible shopping, great classes and workshops, SEWING STARS, fabulous special events, incredible door prizes...

AND, if you're coming into the airport -- that means you're visiting from out of town and maybe -- just maybe -- you have a few extra days. BE SURE TO VISIT PIKE PLACE market...there will be fish-throwing...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sewing Sisters and Cousins?

I love to hear from groups of sewing sisters, friends, cousins -- whatever! In almost every class -- several women are attending Sew Expo as a girlfriend getaway...

Two of my favorite Sewing Sisters...one from Illinois -- another from Washington State...

The SMILES tell it all...

And it is always a joy for me to sit for a minute and hear about the classes, your favorite workshops -- where you came from -- who's in your crew...
Sometimes, you don't want me to share your email...but Denise told me I could share her letter. And I'm still waiting for a picture of these hats!!

Hi Rita,

I attend Sewing Expo with my cousins, there are 5 of us with pink hats that we have added decorations to for the last couple of years. We made the hats so we could find each other, we will be wearing them again this year.

Last summer I went to Stitch and Pitch wearing my hat and a couple people came up to me and said we know you, we had met them at Sewing Expo.

We have a great time at Sewing Expo for all four days. If you want a picture please let me know.
Good Evening,
Denise

Rita wrote back:Thanks for the email, Denise!

Where do ya'll come from? -

There will be four of us this year. Tisha and Carol are from Snohomish, WA, Irena is from Sutherlin, OR, and I live on Mercer Island, WA. Another cousin joining us, but she doesn't have a pink hat, we let her stay with us anyway.

How many days to you attend the show?
Irena and I will be there Thursday - Sunday
Tisha and Carol will be the Saturday and Sunday

What kind of classes do you take?

Carol likes to take classes about alterations, clothing make-overs. I liked the zipper lady too! I love to browse the booths to see if there are new tools, I have found some really wonderful things there that I use everyday but can't find at the fabric stores.

Irena is taking:
Fitting Yourself by Yourself
Stylish Sweatshirt jackets that FIT
Sew Knits with Confidence with Nancy Zieman
Pendleton Selvage Crochet Rug
She likes to try to keep up with some of the new techniques and products and their uses.

I am taking:
Pendleton Selvage Crochet Rug
Needle Felted Wonders
Turning your Passion into Profit Selling What you Sew

I think we are all going to the Coats & Clark Charity Event - Sunday at 12:30
And what kind of sewing do you do?
Tisha doesn't sew, she likes coming with us because we are so much fun. (she is Carol's daughter the rest of us are first cousins and the other cousin is really Irena and Carol's cousin.)

Carol has a sewing business, Carol's Sew and Sew. Her business is in Snohomish.
Irena makes clothes, quilts, home deco, and helps her two sisters in their sewing businesses, Brazilian Embroidery with rayon hand embroidery thread, knits, and crochets. She belongs to ASG, too.

I like to do all kinds of embroidery, needlepoint, knit and crochet. Actually, I like to do anything with a needle. I have completed the Certificate courses and only have one more Diploma course at the Royal School of Needlework in England.

We usually attend the 4-H fashion show too. We always have a wonderful time!

Can you imagine 4-5 people in one motel room with one bathroom? (oh, yes, Denise -- been there, done that!)

Time to stitch,
Denise Forsyth
"Knitting makes me happy
crocheting makes me smile
but nothing beats stitching
by a country mile "

My Blog - Embroidery Outside the Box





IT'S ONLY FIVE WEEKS AWAY, LADIES!! Things are starting to happen really fast -- so I'll be blogging more frequently....I AM ABOUT READY TO START PACKING MY BAGS...(no, wait, I have to sew my dresses first!!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Audience Pictures

This week, I'm working on the stories for the Seattle Times insert. And trying to find just the RIGHT picture to tell the story is always a challenge. I am NOT a photographer. But I did take over 1400 pictures at last year's show -- in the classes, in the vendor hall, of the speakers, YOU -- our wonderful attendees.
So -- we're picking the pictures that will be used in the Seattle Times...and I love looking at the pictures from previous years. We have a REALLY GOOD TIME, don't we?? Our special events are legendary....sooo much fun!! No other consumer sewing show in the entire country attempts to do what we do. TWO action-packed night of sewing edu-tainment...Friday Night AND Saturday night....
Do you see yourself here? This is at the 2012 Sew Expo -- the Inspired 2 Sew girls were getting ready to put on their show...

I tried my best to get lots of audience pictures -- because I know how much fun it is for you WHEN YOU CAN FIND YOURSELF...

So, I move from one section to another...asking you to smile...

This was the south side of Friday Night LIVE -- right before Martha came out on the stage...



Quilter's Night OUT...







Hey -- I have about 200 photos that LOOK LIKE THIS...

Remember the STANDING OVATION???
Rhonda Pierce, in the front of the shot -- was also trying to get some pictures.  But her I-Pad couldn't deal with the ceiling...






Speaking of Bonne and Jan...how about that GREAT JACKET, BARB??  You rock, ladies...

The one thing we can guarantee at our special evening events is -- THERE WILL BE LAUGHING...

And, at the Coats & Clark Charity event on Sunday morning --

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Online registration went great! Although there were certainly some issues on the first morning -- most of you found the system to be intuitive and are delighted to know IMMEDIATELY if you got the classes you signed up for. GREAT JOB to our wonderful ticket office staff. Janet York was the point person -- and I forwarded every single problem, issue or glitch to Janet. On Facebook, I said Janet was doing "registration triage"...Again, if you had trouble -- please email Janet:  jyork@wsu.edu.  That is your QUICKEST way to get assistance.  The phones get very busy, and then you have to leave a voicemail, which somebody will have to listen to...then try to call you back...well -- you get the idea.  Emailing Janet is a much more efficient way for you to get help and for her to keep track of who needs what done.  Include your name, phone number, order number (if you have one)...

It is very satisfying that online registration was smooth sailing for Charlotte -- when she posted about her excellent experience -- my heart swelled with happiness! On Yahoo chat, Charlotte talked about a picture of her I'd posted on this blog -- (I am always delighted when anybody reads my blog posts) -- I searched high and low to find this picture of Charlotte and Sandra Betzina. ( Charlotte is wearing one of Sandra's blouse patterns...)

While looking for this photo -- I found MANY WONDERFUL PICTURES of you -- our attendees -- the best sewing audience in the world. I love it that you plan your outfits, challenge each other, use the patterns or fabrics you purchased at last year's Expo...

Obviously, I don't know all your names...but I do hear from many of you throughout the year. Linda makes me laugh on Facebook... Sharon sends thoughtful notes and cards...and Vicki, Bonne and Jan, Helen and Wendy, Claire, (of the zebra jewelry case) Pat, Carol (the cake balls were fabulous!), Laura, Marsha, Jolene, Sammy, Barbara, Chris and Judy (the Ya Ya stalkers!), Krista (thanks again for the new totebag AND THE SALMON)...Cindy (no more chocolate, babe -- really!!)...
Women who sew are the BEST.  You are the most thoughtful, caring, kind, generous people in the whole wide world.  I believe that.  But, of course, I don't know everybody who comes to the show.  I WISH I COULD.... Sometimes, I'm just struck by the GREAT OUTFIT...this woman probably didn't even know I was taking her picture...

Lorraine Henry is a teacher...

I remember talking to the woman wearing this creative skirt --  she is a doctor...

This beautiful blonde participated in the IPCA Midnight Magic sewing challenge....right??


These pictures remind me about our new photo policy. In the past, attendees were not encouraged or allowed to take pictures. We used to put up a lot of signs that said "NO HOTOGRAPHY". Well -- THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW...

NOW -- we WANT you to take pictures of your time at Sew Expo. We WANT you to share those pictures with your friends and family -- on social media, via email, Pinterest, Facebook or on your favorite blogs.
 
With a few common sense limits, of course. Out of respect for the teachers and other students -- please don't take pictures during a class. AND because our vendors are independent businesses -- their booth space belongs to them and whether or not they encourage photography is their decision...so please respect their wishes.

So -- CLICK AWAY!! Because the reason it's a cliche is because it's true. A picture REALLY IS WORTH a thousand words...and if you take some wonderful, fun pictures at the 2013 Sew Expo -- we look forward to seeing them on your Facebook page, your Pinterest boards and your favorite sewing blogs.

AND -- if you are a sewing/quilting blogger -- THIS IS YOUR SPECIAL YEAR!! For starters -- Be sure to check out the Schmetz Sew-cial Bloggers Bootcamp

AND on Sunday -- the Coats and Clark Charity event is a live audition, "Sew You Think You Can Blog". Some lucky blogger is going to win a trip to Golden, Colorado -- to tape an episode for the Sew It All television show!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Limited Space Available

GOOD JOB, YOU...

As we look back on the first day of online registration -- we learned some lessons -- and tomorrow the system will be running smooth as silk...(yes, people, that is a Rita-mix-of sarcasm, optimism and metaphor all rolled into the same bolt...er...sentence)

However, the heartbreak for many of you is that you COULD NOT GET IN TODAY -- and now you are worried that the class you wanted will be SOLD OUT.

I hope not. But, of course, some of the three and four-needle classes DO sell out very quickly. That's because there are only 30 seats available to begin with. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO to prevent this from happening. Those seats are so limited -- it's always our biggest problem.

One woman suggested we go to a lottery system next year -- and she's right -- we should look into that.

Here's the deal. The hands-on classrooms set up with sewing machines (or sergers) only have 30 spots. 10 seats will go to snail mail registrants, and 20 seats will go to online registrants. As always -- those tickets go on a first-come, first-served basis.

But it's such a tiny number to begin with -- they're gone in a flash. We end up making 30 people happy -- but another 130 are ticked off because they couldn't get into the class...

And, of course, there's no way we can add more sessions because those rooms are already COMPLETELY, TIGHTLY BOOKED...and there are only so many hours in the Sew Expo day...

And we are SORRY, SORRY, SORRY...

But here's the really, really good news -- NOTHING ELSE IS SOLD OUT. Honest. You can register for hundreds of One-Needle classes (the heartbeat of the show)...and a dozen Two-Needle classes (more in-depth topics with extensive educational hand-outs)...and the finest Special Events in the sewing industry. These classrooms SEAT HUNDREDS -- not one score and ten (that's how Abraham Lincoln would have said 30)...

Again...if you had issues with your online registration -- read the post right below this one. WE WILL FIX IT FOR YOU. Promise...

First Day of Online Registration....

First of all -- thanks for your patience. YOU ARE THE BEST SEWING AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD...and we appreicate your enthusiasm and your willing spirit...

IF YOU EXPERIENCED PROBLEMS TODAYWITH YOUR ONLINE REGISTRATION-- please be assured that we WILL FIX THEM.Here's what you should do:

Email Janet York:  jyork@wsu.edu

She will forward your email to the appropriate person. In many cases, yes, you did order several times. One customer placed a $356 ticket order...three times...so we're pretty sure she ├Ânly intended to place that order ONCE -- and we will refund her money...
(right?)
There are many, many individual situations that were problematic today.  Some of them were our fault and we apologize. Because we opened in the early morning hours, our computer experts believed we would not encounter a huge traffic jam. Clearly -- they don't sew...lol...

When 300 people come on to a site at the same moment -- the system starts to spin and orders are processed very slowly... As soon as they saw what was happening (at about 9:00) -- they moved to a much bigger server and things started to move much faster.

If you call the #800 number, you'll have to leave a message on voicemail, because our real people have been SLAMMED WITH PHONE CALLS...

So, it is very likely that Janet and her staff will have to listen to the dozens of voice mail messages, and then they'll have to call you back,  (that is -- IF you remembered to give them a phone number)...well -- you see where this is going, right?

IT IS MUCH MORE EFFICIENT FOR YOU TO EMAIL your problem. Put "Registration problem"in the subject line. Then please include the following information so we can check out the problem and GET BACK TO YOU:

Name
Telephone number (where you can be reached during the day)
Email (we'll have that because you're using your email to send us an email, right?)
Transaction number
Approximate time you placed your order.

THEN WE PROMISE TO FIX YOUR PROBLEM...whatever it is -- really....it will be handled as quickly as possible.

Janet and her staff of thousands are answering each and every email:

jyork@wsu.edu






Online Registration is OPEN

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS OFFICIALLY OPEN.

Go to the website:  sewexpo.com and click on the Registration icon...

Because there are always THOUSANDS OF EAGER sewing enthusiasts -- the system is moving really, really slowly...

Please be patient.  The classes are NOT sold out...we are just experiencing a very volume of traffic and we are aware of the problem.  Experts in three states are working on it...

Remember -- we are posting on Facebook -- and carefully monitoring the comments there. So that's your best, almost-real-time way to know what's happening...

SEE YOU AT THE SHOW...we appreciate your patience...

PLEASE USE MOZILLA FIREFOX...