Thursday, July 7, 2016

American Embroidery Conference and Building Blocks

The American Embroidery Conference is an annual gathering of machine embroidery designers and vendors of all sorts.  This year’s event was held in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  It was four days of instruction and, for the most part, fun.

Most of my classes were with Missy Billingsley.  She offers designs in everything from tea towels to cross body bags and tablet keepers.  I find her instructions very easy to follow.  I just loved her and her helpers.

Here is what I made in her classes.

Cross Body Butterfly Bag

Cute as a Button Zippered Bag

Quilty Tool Caddy

Various items including a mug rug and koozie

The conference also supports a charity, Kids in Distress (KiDs).  These are children who are removed from abusive homes in Palm Beach and Broward counties.  You can read more about them here.

The conference raffles gift baskets to raise money for KiDs and they also challenge quilters to donate as many quilts as they can.

I did step away from the embroidery machine to take one class on making a tumbler quilt which is to be donated to KiDs.  The intention was that you got as far as you could during the class and finish at home.  The pre-cut kit was provided.

The kit was a disappointment.  The fabric had been donated and it was a mix of all kinds…NOT quilt quality.  I persevered but it wasn’t enjoyable.

I found the conference to be a bit expensive.  You pay a hefty registration fee and then pay for each class separately.  There are mostly two classes per day.  I understand the charges but in retrospect, I don’t feel like there is much value there for me so I won’t be attending in the future.

On a happier note, I am making progress on my Building Blocks and learning a lot.

Block 2 is finished.  The lesson here was reading charts.

Block 3 is finished.  This was a lesson on yarn over and bobbles.  I had to tie on another skein of yarn and the block is wonky.  If the blocking process doesn't make it look better then this one will be a do over.  I won't mind as the bobbles were fun J

My husband and I are taking a long weekend, traveling to Alabama and north Florida.  A friend is going to try to restore my treadle’s cabinet or maybe replace the wood part all together.  So excited to get this baby going again.  My sewing machine guy has the machine itself serviced and says it is a gem.

I’ll share more about the machine later.


Needled Mom said...

You did make a lot of cute items in the class. I like the butterfly bag and the embroidery looks beautiful on it.

Have a wonderful time away.

allthingzsewn said...

I have had a embroidery machine for almost 2 yrs. now and have never used it, infact have forgotten the instructions. I'm letting go of a lot of "stuff" this year and I'm going to learn how to use my machine and my brother scan n cut that I have had for over two years. Starting now for a more productive and enjoyable next year.

It's a shame to spend that much money not to have had an exceptional time. But your projects are as cute as can be so not a total loss. I admire anyone who knits, your blocks and colors are beautiful. I think that is the only craft I have ever tried that I could not learn at least the basics. The most frustrating thing I have ever tried, no kidding.
Anxious to see your revamped antique machine.
Have fun on your little adventure and be safe.

Julierose said...

I have never attempted any type of machine embroidery--a shame you were not happy with the class. I like your knitting squares...hugs, Julierose

Kim said...

Your projects are so pretty! I just bought a simple embroidery machine for my daughter to sew with me but haven't had the time to use the embroidery features. Sorry you didn't have a fun time with the class. I rarely ever take classes because I'm afraid it would be a waste of time.

Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio said...

I like the butterfly embroidery on the bag the best. I should knit a square in different stitches and yarns just to use up my mountains of misc. yarn. I enjoy seeing your knitting.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Gosh I'm sorry you didn't get value for you dollars spent for the weekend. But you did make a lot of items and spending time with like minded people is usually beneficial as well.

Enjoy your long weekend.

Aunt 'Reen said...

Your machine embroidery work is beautiful!
The tumbler quilt did turn out cute for charity.
A shame about the fabric kit and the over pricing of the event.
Your practice squares are knitting up nicely.
Sure hope you are able to get your sewing cabinet fixed.

Cecilia said...

Love the cross body bag. It is so pretty! What a pity the conference was pricey. The quilt looks nice even if the fabrics were hard to work with.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Your blocks are so pretty. I love the different stitches. In knitting do that call the cute little "balls" popcorn, like in crochet? Your embroidery projects are so pretty. Hard to believe you'd need a class when you made the amazing mermaid quilt for your son. :o) Someone will at least get to enjoy the fruits of your labor (quilt). Hard pushing through a disappointing project though.

Vicky Hunt said...

Your projects all turned out so cute! I love the button fabric...:) Too bad it was so pricey! Seems crazy to pay a hefty registration fee and pay for each class. You are talented enough you could give your own classes anyway! Hope you have/had a fun trip!

Hugs, Vicky

Summer said...

The butterfly bag is pretty ♥


Val's Quilting Studio said...

Your embroidery is wonderful. But I soooo know what ya mean about the expense.

KaHolly said...

Love all the little projects by Missy Billingsly! You accomplished quite a lot. I started a building blocks afghan years ago. Half finished, it still sits in a basket up on the shelf! You've inspired me to resurrect it!