Category: #CreativeGoodness

#CHAShow – CHA Mega Show 2014

SewCalGal was able to attend the CHA Mega Show in Anaheim, CA, January 10-14th.   This amazing event was packed with professional seminars,an exceptional trade show with over 400 vendors, inspirational make-n-takes, demonstrations,  and buyers and attendees from all over the world.  And, I’m delighted to be able to share insights with you about this show today.
First, for those of you not familiar with CHA it is an association of Craft and Hobby Professionals from around the world.  It is an International non-profit organization with members involved in the design, manufacturing, distribution and retail sells of products in the nearly $30 billion U.S. craft and hobby industry.  And while they host many professional events throughout the year, the annual CHA Mega Show in Southern California is one of the largest and most opportunistic for “those in the business” to participate in.  To clarify, CHA is a great organization and SewCalGal highly encourages those in the business to become members, if you are not one already.  
Before I share insights on the Mega Show, I want to share that this is such a large show it is impossible to see everything in a day. Plus, there are multiple days of workshops and professional presentations.  And I’m only going to share glimpses of new products that caught my attention at the Trade Show.  While I attended this event to search for new products, I was also highly interested in learning more about ecutters.  In this post I’ll share some insight, but I’ll be writing a separate article about ecutters in the very near future.  
Here are highlights of what caught my attention at this show:
june tailor hexie
June Tailor has new tool for cutting Hexies: “You Hexie Thing – Hexie Ruler”  can easily cut perfect hexagons in nine sizes; 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, 3″, 3-1/2″, 4″, 4-1/2″, 5″ and 6″.  And, like their  Shape Cut Ruler, which cuts perfect strips of fabric in various sizes, you can cut multiple layers of fabric using your rotary cutter.
There are also free quilt project instructions you can download for this ruler: The Hexie Thing Strip Quilt, The Oh So Hexie Quilt, and other Hexie projects too
And June Tailor has a new Diamond Ruler that will also easily cut diamonds in 1″ to 6″ diamonds in 1/4″ increments without measuring.



The new eBrush, by Craftwell, was introduced at CHA and was also honored as one of CHA’s top 20 products at the show, with a 2nd place award.  It is an airbrush compressor that turns markers, by various manufacturers, into spray art. The eBrush will be available in early April for retail purchases.  

While this product is clearly going to be popular with crafters, SewCalGal also anticipates it to quickly become popular with fibre artists and quilters alike.  Think of the fun and creativity this new tool will unleash to allow quilters to use stencils to paint on fabric, to free-form embellish fabrics, or to complete paint your own fabric and create your own unique piece of art!  

I also thoroughly enjoyed the ebrush demonstration by very talented Debi Tullier and artist “Slive”.   And, I thought you might also enjoy this youtube video by Noel Hyman.

This product will be on HSN for $150 late spring, making it a reasonably priced air brush tool that you can use to paint on fabric, paper wood, food or more.


lion brand exhibit at CHA

Lion Brand Yarn had a spectacular booth that was decorated with the “Seven Wonders of the Yarn World”, all made with beautiful irons.  I hope this exhibit travels to other shows, as it was super cute!

brother scan n cut

Brother has recently introduced a new ecutter, called the Scan-N-Cut.  It is the first ecutter that includes a built in 300 dpi scanner.

Like other ecutters, this product is marketed for scrapbooking and other crafts, but unlike other ecutters this product has done the best job SewCalGal has seen to-date to build in functionality that makes this product perfect for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.   There are many options for how you may want to use this product to create.  

For example you may want to doodle on paper, scan it and cut out part of that design.  You may want to scan and cut a shape on fabric for applique.  You can even cut out quilt block pieces, where you set the size that you want your block to be, and stitch out your blocks.  

There are over 600 built-in Designs, including 100 quilt patterns, plus 5 fonts.  And don’t forget you can scan designs and cut, as well as use various software packages to create designs that you can create SVG files to cut using this device. 

 Like other ecutters it can accomodate 12″x12″ and 12″x24″ cutting mats, as well as rolls of vinyl.  Retail is $499.


SewCalGal also wants to point out that this amazing 3D swirly snowflake creation is designed by the very talented Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero (Kaleidoscope Collections).  Jeanie has been using the Scan-N-Cut to create a variety of designs and sharing insights on her blog, which you may want to follow to also see what she creates with this ecutter, as well as see how she uses it combined with her super fun and creative Kaleidoscope Collections software.

Sizzix introduced eclips2, their 2nd and more powerful electronic cutting system.  Their first ecutter was actually introduced 5 years ago!  This version has an enhanced motor, industrial strength gears, reduced noise and other improvements to help get more precise cuts.  It is also accompanied with free eCAL lite software to allow you to create your own designs, plus cut, score, draw and edit unique shapes for unique projects.
sizzix eclips2
SewCalGal liked the preview feature that allows you to place cuts on materials that may have been previously cut, to allow you to place your new cut to be efficient and optimize use of your materials.  There are also two new models of the ECLIPS2, one of which, will incorporate bluetooth technology to allow users to use the ipads or tablets to work with the eclips2. To clarify, both models can be connected to a computer via a USB cable, but the bluetooth model will allow you to easily bypass the USB cable when used with your tablet.   Retail of the basic eclips2, which will introduce this Spring, is $299 and the model that is bluetooth compatible will be introduced at a slightly higher price (~$50-$60 more), early summer.

These ecutters are definitely marketed towards crafters, with less emphasis on quilters.  But they will cut fabric even though they do not come with a blade for cutting fabric (you simply adjust your settings to cut and need to make sure your fabric is starched well and/or stabilized with a good adhesive stabilizer).   They also come with a basic version of the software and the Designer software version can be purchased for a $25-$50 upgrade price (final price has not yet been determined).

The cutting size for both these new models is 12″x12″, 12″x24″, or a roll of vinyl.
Also, Sizzix will be releasing a new ESHAPE store this Spring which will offer pre-designed ecut files that can be purchased and downloaded for use on your eclips cutters.

New accessories for the Silhouette ecutters were introduced:  a stencil material,  12″x24″vellum sheets and new adhesive mats that have less tack that make it easier when cutting vellum.

There were many wonderful products in the Simplicity booth. SewCalGal was particularly drawn to the SewEZ Jelly Roll ruler, the Joseph’s Coat acrylic templates, and the Inkadinkado products.  The Inkadinkado products just seemed to be fun to be able to stamp and create your own fabrics and I think they would look wonderful with beautiful free-motion quilting.  SewCalGal definitely wants to spend more time playing with these products.
Simplicity EZI Quilting

tombow at CHA 2014
Tombow had an inspirational booth filled with beautiful art made with their creative markers and other craft products.   

cameleon pens

Cameleon introduced some very new marking pens that are alcohol based markers that are refillable and the pen nibs allow excellent control for marking, and amazing color range.  These markers and their gorgeous colors look like they’d be great with artists, crafters and mixed media artists. 

While SewCalGal was told, during a demonstration, that these markers are permanent on most materials, SewCalGal has not yet had a chance to test them on fabrics. But I want to heighten awareness of these new pens, as I think they are going to be very popular.  


cameleon fabrics

Cameleon Skinz introduced inspirational fabrics and tapes that change color based on temperature.  You can use your hands, ice, doodle on these materials.  

Fabrics by Cameleon Skinz have been popular for use in children’s hospitals, as they certainly are more inviting for children and they are easy to clean.  But, SewCalGal thinks there are endless possibilities for these products.

Custom fabric orders can be made for different temperature sensitivity, as well as colors.  You can even embed secret messages as well as specifications can be set to allow an initial writer to write a secret message that someone else can then reveal it!  

SewCalGal can certainly think of many projects that would be fun to create with these temperature sensitive materials.  But more awareness needs to be made to help this material cross into the quilting, sewing and even embroidery world.    


I hope you enjoyed hearing my insights on the CHA show. With over 400 vendors, it was quite a challenge as to which products I could share insights with you today. 


The NBC Today Show also attended the CHA Mega Show.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

SewCalGal also hopes to share more insights on many of these products in the near future and maybe a few sponsored giveaways too!  But, at a minimum I hope you’ll keep you eye out for these products as they appear in your local sewing and craft shops, or favorite online shops.  And, if you don’t see them do let store owners or managers know that you are interested in having them carry these products in their store.  After all, exceptional retail stores do appreciate hearing from customers as to what you’d like to have them offer for sale in their stores.

For more information on CHA:

Here is a list of previous posts about the annual #CHAShows:

Mixed Media Playtime – Embossing With Metals Using the eBosser

Many quilters that enjoy mixed-media Art Quilts have  incorporated metal embossing in their projects to create spectacular results.  There are a number of products from copper foils, metal sheets, wire cloth, metal screens, etc. and you can texturize, stain and paint.  Recently, I’ve been exploring using Craftwell’s eBosser with various embossing templates from eBosser, Sizzix and others.  The eBosser easily embosses lightweight metals and the possibilities of what you can create are endless.


It is quite easy to place metals, cardstock, papers, etc inside of embossing folders.  And, then you simply stack them in the ebosser layers and feed them into the electronic eBosser.


I decided to play with some inexpensive foil that can be easily found at Home Depot, Lowes, or other hardware stores.  Pipe Wrap Insulation tape, or other metal plumbing tapes, can work well for embossing projects.

P1010159 sewcalgal embossing with craftwell

Such metal embossing can easily be added to greeting cards.

P1010162 embossing with craftwell

And you can add them to fabric to create that extra sparkle.  Here I added some embossed metal to a simple luggage tag.

P1010163 sewcalgal embosser craftwell
I’m far from being an expert on embossing metals, but certainly having fun.  If you have experience working with metals in mixed media, embossing metals, etc. I’d love to hear your recommendations.  And, I promise to share more as I have more time to play with metals and the eBosser.

For more info on the eBosser
Benefits of an eBosser
Value of an eBosser


Craft and Hobby Association/CHA 2013 Winter Trade Show

The CHA 2013 Winter is currently being held in Anaheim, CA thru January 15th.  If you have a chance, I hope you’ll visit their fun Trade Show. CHA is a professional organization that helps those in the craft and hobby industry and stimulate excitement with consumers.  From SewCalGal’s observations at this event today, the CHA organization definitely accomplished their goals and more!


The Anaheim Convention Center was packed with amazing vendor booths, many of which offered make & takes, as well as sharing inspirational projects.  And, there are also many amazing giveaways daily.

The show is dominated with scrapbooking vendors, from all over the world.  But, there are also many vendors that would be of interest to anyone with an interest in  quilting, sewing or embroidery. And, there are many wonderful products and inspiration that have crossed over from the world of scrapbooking to quilting, not to overlook mixed media/fibre arts.  So, it was not difficult to find inspiration in every booth at this Trade Show.  And, you may be amazed at what can be created with paper!

AccuCut, Craftwell, Sizzix, Silhouette, CT Pub, Liesure Arts, AdornIt, ArtBin, Clover Needlecraft, Fiskars, Grace Company/True Cut, June Tailor, Tutto Luggage and many more wonderful businesses that quilters love were their to introduce their new products. SewCalGal was only able to attend for a few hours, but is delighted to share a few insights with you about this fun show. And, I also want to encourage anyone that has a chance to attend a CHA show to do so.

Premier Yarns had an inspiration booth.

Beautiful yarns and spectacular projects.  I love the lacy swirly created on the skirt of this outfit.

Various Make & Takes are held Daily, thru Tuesday, January 15th. I had the pleasure of attending a ZenTangle session with the very talented Suzanne McNeill, where I learned insights on the art of ZenTangle and how to make a ZenTangle beaded necklace.   I also had a chance to check out her book “Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting“, which looks like a really fun book for those that enjoy free-motion quilting and/or doodling.    I definitely want to get a copy and see create with it.

The Fiskars Fuse booth was beautifully decorated with inspirational projects.  I loved seeing these cute gift embellished gift bags with beautifully embossed birds.

Fiskars also had a beautiful table setting with interesting triangle bags stitched, leaving the imagination as to what treat or toy they might be filled with.

June Tailor introduced a collection of new Creative Covers Rulers that can be used to make unique “openwork” designs for bed covers, tabletop and wall art.  They have a flower, square and circle template that are reasonably priced.  They also look like fun and fast projects that SewCalGal thinks many quilters will  want to make.

McCalls had a wonderful booth, but my highlight was seeing Michaela Laurie again.  I had previously met Michaela when she first came to CHA in 2011.  Her designs have now been picked up by McCalls for distribution in the US  They are fun designs that work well for paper crafts and fibre arts, creating fun decorations for the home and can make great greeting cards too.  Of course, SewCalGal is anxious to see someone turn Michaela’s designs into quilted wallhangings and other quilted projects too!

Keep an eye out at your local JoAnns, sewing centers, and craft stores that carry McCalls patterns.  I think you’ll enjoy these new “Paper Quilt Creations” designs.

You can find CHA at:


Fall EQ Blog Hop – Tutorial for using EQ7 for Glass Etching

Today I’m going to share insights with you on how you can use the wreathing tool in EQ7, as well as how to use EQ7 to create a design to etch glass.  My example will focus on a simple flower design and etching an inexpensive glass plate, which I purchased at IKEA for ~$0.99.  I think such a plate would make for a nice gift, full of holiday baked goods!

I made this simple flower design and used the wreath tool in EQ7 to create the petals.

This tutorial is broken into two phases:  Using EQ7 to create the motif and Glass Etching.

If you are new to EQ, SewCalGal encourages you to try my “15 minute per day” plan for learning EQ.  Certainly the more time you have to learn the faster you’ll learn about the robust functionality that this software has to offer.  But, if you only have a few minutes even 15 minutes can be fun and a great way to learn.  Play, create, take advantage of all the free tutorials on the EQ website.  I’m particularly fond of the
Benni Harper lessons:, which you can easily start/stop and start back up again, based on how much time you have to play. And, with every 15 minutes you spend you’ll be amazed how much you’ll pick up.  Soon, you’ll be designing your own quilts and more using EQ7 software.

Using EQ7 to create the motif 

 Start a new project and name it Flower Wreath.

 Click on the block icon

On the top menu bar click block, new block, patchdraw motif

Click the Bezier Curve tool

Click on the Applique tab and holding down your left mouse draw a left side of the flower petal.  Then repeat drawing the right side of the petal.

Click on the pick tool

Hold the left mouse button down and draw a box around the flower petal, to highlight.

2.        Place your mouse in the center of the highlighted flower petal and right click.  A pop up menu box will appear and you will need to click the “wreath maker” option.

In the WreathMaker menu box set the number of clusters to 6 and your cluster spacing to 70% and resize cluster to 100%.  Click ok.  If you do not like the look of your wreath, you can click the undo and repeat this step with different wreathmaker options, or choose to now manually position each petal on your flower.


You could click the save to sketchbook button to use this applique motif design on your quilt designs, but it isn’t necessary for the purpose of using EQ7 to create a design that will be used as a stencil for glass etching.

But I do encourage you to use the save to disc button, to save all your work in your project file.

For the next step of this tutorial, I recommend you click the File button on the top menu bar and Print a copy of this design to your printer.

While this flower is a very simple design, think about how you could use a Fall leaf, holly and berries, pumpkins, witches hats, or a variety of other designs to wreath.  With EQ7, the possibilities are endless!

Now, for part two of this tutorial!

Glass etching with your EQ Flower Motif 

First, gather your supplies for stenciling:

  • glass plate
  • stencil (e.g. EQ Flower motif)
  • small craft paint brush
  • shelf liner adhesive, that you might find at a dollar store or discount store.
  • one bottle of etchall etching creame
  • exacto knife

Cut a small square (or circle)  of your shelf liner liner adhesive.  Remove the backing and place the tacky side down on the underneath side of your glass plate.  Rub to smooth out potential bubbles.

For your stencil transfer method there are several approaches.  You may want to cut your stencil and use a sharpie to mark, or you may want to use a stiletto and a transfer media, under neath your stencil, such as a carbon tissue, transdoodle paper, etc.  But, use your stencil to mark your design on the adhesive shelf liner.  I used regular printer paper, cut thru the shape with regular craft scissors, and held this stencil on top of my glass plate, with shelf liner adhesive, and used a permanent marker to mark the design.

An exacto knive works well to cut your design out from the shelf liner paper.

Use a paintbrush to pour the etchall etching cream onto the area of your stencil that you want to etch the glass, but be sure to “pour” and not brush the etching cream.  Let the etching cream stand for 5-10 minutes. Then using your brush to lightly stroke the cream back into the container, for future use.

Take the glass, with residual etching cream, to your sink.  Place few drops of dishwashing soap and lightly rub your project and rinse with fresh water.  Remove the adhesive stencil and re-apply the soap wash to lightly scrub, rinse with fresh water, and dry with a soft towel.  Now you can enjoy your beautiful etched glass plate, with your own custom EQ7 design.

Enjoy your customized stenciled glass that you created with your own unique design, using Electric Quilt software.

I hope you have fun in this Fall EQ Blog hop.  There are oodles of tips, tutorials and inspiration that will be shared at the stops along the way, plus a few giveaways too!   Here is the line up:

Monday, Oct lst

Tuesday, Oct 2nd
Marjorie’s Quilting Bee 
Curious Orange Cat  

Wed., Oct 3rd
Love Bug Studios

Thursday, Oct 4th
Kissed Quilts
Bits & Pieces:  

Friday, Oct 5th
I Quilt Scarlett & Grey:  

EQ Blog:

Print Friendly and PDF

Top Ten Ways Quilters Celebrate the 4th of July

The 4th of July is rich in celebration that has traditions many do every year from backyard BBQs, spending time with family and friends, the day spent at a beach or pool, picnics in a park, to watching fireworks.  Yet, I began to wonder how do Quilters celebrate this holiday?  Of course, when my inquiring mind questions something I start researching the internet and asking others.  Today, I want to share with you some insights that I found.  And, I hope you’ll let me know how you are celebrating the 4th of July too!

Jocelyn (Just A Little Southern Hospitality) created a beautiful Patriotic table setting.  Pop on over to her blog to see more photos and hear more about how she celebrates the 4th, as a quilter!

Wouldn’t these cute Patriotic Placemats, by Patrick Lose Studios, be cute on your table.  Maybe we can make some for Labor Day?


And some quilters might take time to quilt on the 4th.  They might even make a quilt or quilt block for Quilts of Valor.  I’m actually working on some hand applique’ star blocks for QOV today!

Some quilters decorate their bed with a beautiful Patriotic quilt.

Some quilters go on a picnic in the park on the 4th.  But, don’t you think they should make a patriotic quilt for such a picnic on the 4th of July?
the ratty quilt Pictures, Images and Photos


note: this post was updated to remove broken links from using images found on Pinterest.


I do hope you have a very Happy 4th of July.  We’ll be getting together with friends for a beach BBQ and watch the fireworks tonight.   Want to know how you can recognize me in the group as a quilter?  I’ll be the one that brings the Patriotic quilted table topper, Patriotic Bunting, and wearing an upcycled/embellished Patriotic shirt….plus, my Patriotic shoes!

So, time to share what you are doing to celebrate the 4th of July and will others be able to spot that you are a quilter?


GO! Ahead and Show Some Love Blog Hop

Paulette  (Sweet P Quilting) has coordinated a fun blog hop that everyone is invited to.  There will be inspirational projects, tips, tutorials and a few giveaways too!
While I’ve been unusually busy, I wanted to provide some treats for everyone.  I was inspired by an idea on Pinterest, and was easily able to create a version of it using the AccuQuilt and GO! Heart die.  You simply cut wax paper hearts and stitch them, leaving a partial opening.  Using a spoon, I filled them with M&Ms and then finished stitching them to seal the package.
Later this week I’ll share some tips on how to do a mock needle turn applique technique’ that is also perfect for AccuQuilt designs.
I hope you will have fun visiting all the blogs in this blog hop. They’ll be tutorials, tips, inspiration and a few giveaways too.    Here is the line up.February 13th

February 14th
February 15th
February 16th
February 17th

February 18th

All of the quilters in this blog hop are Quilters that enjoy using Modern Quilting Tools and definitely enjoy using AccuQuilt products. The quilters in this group share a number of tutorials, tips and inspirational articles on their blogs. You can search their blogs for “AccuQuilt”, or the names of other modern quilting tools. They also have a badge on their blog to identify the Modern Quilting tools that they use.

AccuQuilt is also giving away 22 free quilt patterns for those that sign up for their newsletter. Simply click on the image below to sign up.

CHA Winter Trade Show 2011

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show 2011 in Los Angeles, Ca..  This show is packed with excellent conferences appropriate for anyone in the craft & hobby business, including quilting, sewing and embroidery businesses.  The Trade Show that is held along with the conference is also a fantastic trade show, with vendors and attendees coming from around the world, representing a large variety of craft & hobby businesses (e.g. quilting, sewing, embroidery,fibre-artists,  jewelry, scrapbooking, etc.).  It is fun to see so many talented people and amazing businesses come together under one roof and share their insights to inspire creativity and business health.

I’m excited to have an opportunity to share with you some of the items that new products at this show, which I think will make a difference in our world of quilting, sewing and embroidery, as well as related items that you may be interested in for yourself, or for gifts.

Many of these items I hope to be able to research and share more insights with you in the future, but for now I wanted to provide you a summary of what I found at the CHA Winter Trade Show:

Cutting Tools:

Making Memories’ new Slice Fabrique is a lightweight cordless cutting tool that can really make it easy to create quilts with applique designs and fonts.  While the Slice Elite is designed to cut paper and capable of cutting fabric, the new Slice Fabrique also cuts both, but has some features that make this new product better for those that will primarily be using it for cutting fabric.  There are many new dies memory cards designed specifically for quilters that compliment the Fabrique model, but are also compatible with the Slice. While typical Slice memory cuts max out at a 4″ cut, these new designs enable an applique design using multiple pieces that can result in a large than 4″ applique design.  Each design can also be created with a shadow feature, as well as mirroring image.  The new Fabrique also has a special holder that essentially weights down the cutting device to make it a hands free device, unlike the earlier Slice.  And, the new Fabrique can also cut items popularly cut by the Slice (e.g. paper).  I’m excited about the new memory cards, with designs by popular designers, that will soon be on the market.  And, I hope to be sharing more insights on these new products with you very soon.

Creatopia by Xyron is a new cutting system that will cut fabric, but is primarily a paper cutting & embossing tool.  It can use any AccuQuilt GO! die that works with the GO! Baby (e.g. up to 6 1/2″ wide)  and what I found really cool is that it uses 3 normal rotary blades that you can align to cut fabric strips of any width!  This is a big plus for those that primarily want to cut strips and don’t want to buy or store a die for each size of strip that they want to cut, up to any strip combination of 12″ wide.

eCraft by craftwell has several electronic cutting systems to cut & emboss paper, and cut fabric without the use of a mat.  The rep giving the demo did not appear to be that familiar with how quilters use cutters, as many answers to my questions did not make sense.  Still, this looks like a cutter that is worthy of consideration for those looking for an electronic cutting system. It can also cut adhesive vinyl.  And it comes with software that allows you to create your own designs. I’m definitely wanting to investigate this tool further and plan to share insights with you.

silhouette is a versatile product that comes bundled with software where you can create your own designs to cut designs on paper, vinyl, and fabric.  They have recently introduced a printable heat transfer product that comes in two forms:  Clean cut and sewable.  This is a fun and versatile cutting product that is great for home decorations, scrapbooking and I believe will become very popular with sewing, quilting and embroidery enthusiasts in the near future.

AccuCut was at the show, promoting their cutting system to cut paper.  The AccuQuilt side of their business, focused on cutters for fabric, sadly, was not represented at this show.

It was fun to see Tim Holtz demonstrate his new Vagabond cutter, which is an electronic cutter primarily targeted at scrapbookers.  There seems to be some potential for cutting fabric, but the demonstrations and informations that I’ve obtained to-date from Tim and/or Sizzix have not been able to answer all my questions, thus I’m holding off on forming an opinion on this product at this time.  While I have previously seen demonstrations of the Sizzix Big Shot and Big Shot Pro, I liked to see more emphasis by Sizzix on what these products can also do for quilters.  While I’ve not been able to use one, the versatility of these products to use a variety of manufacturer’s dies is a big plus.    Still, I’m holding off to forming an official opinion until I have more hands on time with this Big Shot Pro as I’ve heard a variety of opinions from fellow quilters and Sizzix appears to have their focus on scrapbookers vs quilters.  But, like some of the other cutters, both of the Big Shots are able to use dies from other manufacturers (e.g. AccuQuilt GO! and Studio dies).

Simplicity has a fun booth packed with their products.  While their Rotary Cutting Machine has been on the market for awhile, I wanted to include it in this group.  I was able to see it demonstrated cutting fabric strips from 3/8″ to 2 3/4″, of any length.  I also saw a demonstration of using craft blades to cut and/or mark metal tape for use in fibre-arts and liked this application very much.  The price for this product is very reasonable, making this a good product for someone primarily interested in cutting strips.

Fiskars introduced many new products, including some very cool new Titanium Comfort Loop Rotary Cutters (45mm and 60mm) with a new updated handle to reduce hand fatigue.  And the blade has new titanium coating for improved durability and lasting sharpness.

CT Publishing had a nice collection of the STASH books.  I also caught a demo of their new TAP media which I found to be an exciting way to transfer images to ATCs, t-shirts and other medias.  I’m definitely looking forward to trying out this media and will certainly share more insights when I do.

Random House was introducing many new books at this show.  “Modern Log Cabin Quilt“, by Susan Beal will be on sale in March, along with other new books that I’m not able to share insights with you at this time.  And do be sure to check out “Dare to be Square Quilting” by Boo Davis.  I had a chance to check out this book at this show, and it really has some fun designs and excellent tips.

Leisure Arts
There were some wonderful new books introduced at this show.  So new, in fact, I can’t share much info with you at this time.  But keep an eye out for a new release from Leisure Arts called “3 Times a Charm”.  And I hope to share more  insights on this new book, as well as others, as soon as they are officially release.

Storage & Organization:
ArtBin is celebrating their 35th Anniversary this year with some wonderful new product introductions.  New color collection solutions boxes can are available in purple, rasberry and teal, along with a translucent clear.  They also have a cute new Magnetic Slime line case that is perfect for those that like to keep needles, scissors, bobbins and/or pins in a small case.  Their Tote Express originally targeted for scrapbookers, now has a version to carry small sewing machines.  I am a big fan of ArtBin Super Satchel Series,  and was drooling over their Super Satchel Cubes to help organize your sewing room.  They also have a new Super Satchel Thread box and an option to help store 20mm, 32mm and 45mm spools in a large Satchel.

DBest Products has a  Smart Cart that is lightweight, yet durable,  cart that collapses to take up minimal storage space.  While originally designed to help scrapbookers, I think this cart will also be of interest to many quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.  It comes in black, blue or navy and holds 12″x12″ paper (or small sewing machines and other sewing items that do not exceed this width.  The wholesale price is $12.50, with a retail at $25.  I also understand they have a wider version, but it was not exhibited at this show. This is certainly a cart that has caught my attention. When I can get some hands on time with these carts, I’ll certainly share more insights.  I the meantime, I hope you’ll get to check out DBest Products’ Smart Cart.  And, I also think this could be a great product for quilting & sewing stores to consider as a product for their customers. After all, we all like great storage that also helps us take our projects and tools to classes and retreats.

Fabric Manufacturers/Designers
Adornit is a new manufacturer of beautiful 100% cotton fabrics and pattern books.  With their business background firmly established in the world of scrapbooking, they’ve used their creative talents to expand out into the world of quilting.  They launched fabric line at Spring Quilt Market 2010 and they continue to expand their product offering.  This is definitely a brand name that will soon be familiar with every quilter.  Beautiful fabrics, lovely pattern books (aka quilt books and more).  I look forward to sharing more insights with  you on Adornit in the near future.

Eco-Fi, a product of Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC, produces engineered, non-woven fabrics and specialty synthetic fibers.  These fibres are all high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, completely made in the US.   An ecotote fabric that also looked excellent to machine embroider on or embellish to make beautiful totes and an ecofleece fabric that looked wonderful to make stuffed toys, pillows and other fun sewn items from.  I definitely am planning on doing more research on their products as I’d like to find more ways to go green, in the future, with my love of sewing.

Oil Cloth By The Yard  is the largest oil cloth company in the country.  They offer beautiful oil cloth by the yard, as well in a number of kits (to make lunch bags, pennants, tote bags, market bags, pouches and more) Freckled Sage is the side of their business with pre-made products (e.g. totes, aprons, placemats, bibs, tablecloths, etc.).  They also take custom orders.  The oil cloth was of excellent quality with a large range of spectacular designs.

Notions & Accessories
Prym Consumer USA (Dritz Sewling Notions) introduced many new products.  Their new OmniAngle 6″x14″ Wedge Ruler (RA624) allows you to create fans, circles, wedges and spirals making it a handy to make table runners, wall hangings and tree skirts.

DMC introduced several new products: ready-to-stitch plushed stuff animals (Monkey, Duck & Pig),10 new beautiful Color Infusions Memory threads which looked like they’d be fun to use in a variety of fibre-arts and 3D quilts.  They also had fun kits to learn to crossstitch in half the time. I also liked their project books for tweens to help them learn the art of sewing.

The Knit Kit is a handy new accessory that is a great product for knitters on the go, of all levels.  In a cute little case it includes a stitch counter, measuring tape, thread cutter, scissors, darning needle and more.   They also have a new Quilt Kit for quilters that includes a seam ripper, measuring tape, pins, sewing needles, bobbin, thimble and scissors.  Great price @ $22-25, making these also good gift ideas.   Both portable kits are  also TSA approved and are reasonably priced.

Offray always has beautiful ribbons and had many new ones introduced at the show.  Of course, I really enjoyed seeing Cat In The Hat  showing off his favorite ribbons.

Embroidery Items
Quick Stitch Products, from Neil Enterprises, Inc. has a beautiful collection of embroidery papers and gifty blanks that any machine embroidery person could have fun making beautiful items for their home and gifts with.  All reasonably priced.  I also think their papers and blanks would be wonderful products for any store that has machine embroidery customers, but anyone can also order directly from their online store too.  I am certainly looking forward to doing some ME products with their products and blanks.

Knitting items
The Art of Knitting had a variety of kits and videos to help teach people to knit. I was very impressed with their collection for kids, including their dvd “The Art of Knitting for kids” that helps teach kids ages 5+ how to knit.  All reasonably priced and would also make great gifts for those looking for a crafty gift idea for kids.

Other Items
Frank A. Edmunds Co. had beautiful quilting frames and hoops that looked to be high quality and reasonably priced.  I liked their full size quilt frame fashioned after frames from the past.  Perfect for the single quilter or a group.  These frames can easily adjust from a baby quilt up to a full size or King quilt.  They also offer a large selection of round, oval and half boarder hoops.  These would be excellent hoops for any hand quilter.

Michaela Laurie (I Love Paper Quilting), from Australia, was vending her line of “Made by You” which are beautiful quilts made from paper.  This talented designer has created an interesting style of quilt art that I hope you will take time to view more on her site, and consider making on your own.  She also teaches and is willing to travel to teach or give presentations.  I anticipate seeing her work at Quilt Shows and in Quilt Museums in the very near future.  Absolutely beautiful!

Halcraft USA had several booths, some filled with beautiful glass beads perfect for jewelry and fibre artists.  I was drawn to their booth that was full of quilts, fibre-arts, and other sewn items.  While there I was able to learn of some new stablizers that have been manufactured by Halcraft and will hopefully be picked up soon by a large retailer (e.g. JoAnns, Hancocks, etc.  I really liked what I saw and plan to follow this product and hope to share more insights as it is introduced in the retail market.  Definitely a product that is going to be popular with applique quilters, machine embroiders, fibre-artists and more.

As I have enjoyed creating fabric thru the use of sewing fibers and using stablizers, I was very excited to see the new products by Halcroft also included stablizers to support such projects.  And it was fun to see that they also utilized AccuCut products to cut such sewn fabrics for applique’.  Again, I look forward to sharing more insights with you on their products, as I research more.

I hope you are able to check out these new products in your local sewing & quilting stores soon.  And if you don’t find them, let the respective owner (or buyer) know that you are interested.

You may also want to attend the CHA Craft Super Show, as I think you’ll have a lot of fun checking out new products and participating in a variety of make-n-takes too.  It will be held July 21-24, 2011 in
Rosemont (Chicago), Il

#CHAShow – CHA Winter Convention & Trade Show

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Winter Convention & Trade Show has just completed at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, Ca.  I was delighted to have a chance to attend this successful show, with vendors and participants from all over the world, representing a large variety of crafts.  The Convention provide many wonderful speakers who shared insights on various crafts, as well as global trends and tricks on being successful in the current economic situation.  The show room floor was full of many fantastic manufacturers and distributors, with many new products being introduced at this show.

While it isn’t realistic to share insights on every booth, I want to share insights for those that caught my eye for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusasists.  And, as this is a trade show, some of these insights may apply to store owners.  So, I hope if something catches your eye and you do not see it in your local store, that you share this info with the respective store owner.

As I only had a few hours at this very large Convention & Trade Show,  I hope you realize I may have overlooked many opportunities to share insights.  But my overall impression is very positive. Here is a summary of my findings:

This booth was full of delightful threads for sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiasts.  They have such a beautiful collection of colors with their Signature, Mettler, Maxi-Lock, and YKK line of threads.









This manufacturer showcased a large variety of stablizers and interfacing, including fusible fleece and Craft-tex stablizers.  All of their products are Made in the USA and look like great products at competitive prices.  Their Fleece-Fusible is the heaviest in the industry.  Carol McLead, Owner/Designer of Aunties Two Patterns.    was also part of this booth.  Carol has many really cute designs that utilize Craf-Tex products.  SewCalGal hopes to be able to share more insights about these specific products in the future, after creating some projects using Craf-Tex and Carol’s designs.  In the meantime, when you are out shopping look for CRAF-TEX brands and designs by Aunties Two Patterns. Many of her cute patterns are designed specifically for use with Craf-Tex and BaliPops!  If you are a store owner, and do not have these products in stock, I recommend you contact Bosal and Carol to place your order soon!






This well known publisher had a large selection of their delightful books on display in their booth, primarily dealing with fibre-arts, along with a great Liquitex Surface Design Center full of beautiful acryllic colors, mediums & inks, along with other delightful products..  I do hope more quilt stores and craft stores will contact their C&T Sales Rep to be able to stock Liquitex products in local stores.  They are all yummy and fun.  And ask C&T about other products that are fun to use with Liquitex products (e.g. Fast2fuse, Lutradore, etc.).








I also enjoyed a make-n-take by Laura Bray of Katydid Designs.   Laura did a great job sharing insights on using Liquitex with simple cheesecloth to make a great product.  Of course, it did help to use fast2fuse to get the cheesecloth and other fabrics to form a cute card.  She made it so simple, even I could make a beautiful card!  






C&T was definitely one of my favorite booths to visit, but I must confess I would have liked to have seen a larger selection of their delightful books at this show, particularly C&T’s new releases!  But I hope to have a chance to provide insight on C&T’s new releases in the near future.


This manufacturer has a large line of crystal clear packaging that looks perfect to me for the designer who is looking for hiqh quality packaging material for their designs.  They also have many other delightful products.  Clearbags are so clear I couldn’t get a good picture.  But if you are a designer looking for great packaging for your designs, I recommend you check out ClearBags!  And I hope craft stores will stock a variety of ClearBags to help the home based designer who needs to provide beautiful packaging for their designs, on a small scale!

A division of Plano Molding Company has a delightful line of storage and totes that looked perfect for quilting, sewing, embroidery and other hobbies!  Many of their products are in JoAnns and other craft stores.  I also hope that more sewing, quilting, embroidery & craft stores will offer their delightful products in the future.   I hope to be able to share more insights on their products in the future.





This wholesale distributor of ZIG Products and Dykem Products had a delicious supply of colorful pens.  Many of their pens would work for the fibre-artist and they also had several marking pens that would help the sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiast when they want a marking pen to disappear.  I will be evaluating one of the marking pens and share more insights in the near future.







Several new items were on display at the June Tailor booth.  SewCalGal recomends June Tailor products with great delight.  They have a great collection of rulers and it was fun to see their new half square & quarter square triangle at this show! June Tailor is also introducing a new program for kids called the “Purple Chimp”.  Kids will be able to customize designs online and print to transfer sheets to create their own stylized t-shirts, bags and other projects.  This will help kids get exposed to different crafts, safely share ideas, and make creative items that they can keep or use for gifts.  I was very excited to learn about the Purple Chimp and hope to share more insights with you in the future.  The Purple Chimp site is not yet released, but will be available soon:








I enjoyed meeting Loralie of Loralie Designs.  A delightful woman who is very talented.  Her booth showcased her new designs called “Art Stamps, the stamp of identify”.  These machine embroidery designs create a redwork type design that you then color in with fabric pens and/or paints, to your delight, thus making each ME design unique to you.  Her booth showed examples of how these design look great on fabric, including use in a quilt, but they also look great when stitched out on cardstock to be turned into cheerful greeting cards, and other paper crafts.  I hope to have a chance to stitch these designs out someday to be able to share more insights. But for now, these new designs do look really delightful, as all of Loralie Designs do!








Their booth showcased a variety of LED lights and optical grade magnifying lenses that look like a good fit for the sewing, quilting and embroidery enthusiasts.  Their delightful LED lights are able to operate via batteries or AC power.  All provide a diffused light (eliminating a hot spot on your fabric subject), with a soft white light. SewCalGal hopes to be able to evaluate these lights to share more insights in the future, but they definitely look like a good product at a reasonable price.





Their booth had a large selection of beautiful ribbons, of which I wanted to take them all home with me.  So many colors, sizes and styles.  Great selection.  I do hope to see larger selections of Offray Ribbons in stores this coming year.  Great product for stores to sell, and I certainly enjoy using them in my sewing projects.






Their booth showcased their Dritz, Omnigrid, Collins brands, as well as Fons & Porter products.
They had many delightful products on display, of which I hope to get a chance to share more insights in the future.  But one that certainly caught my eye is Omnigrid’s new “Flip-N-Cut” Magic Templates.  I’m certain these templates will be very popular with quilters and every quilt store and craft store is going to want to keep them instock.  {order soon}








Tamsco manufacturers various precision instruments, but I focused on their scissors that would delight sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiasts.  They have many interesting products, including some kits looked interesting, but I was definitely interested in these small scissors to clip fine threads.  I hope to be able to test these scissors and other Tamsco products and report more in-depth insights in the future.





This Manufacturer showcased a large line of cutting tools for home & office, but my focus was on their items that would delight a quilting, sewing and/or embroidery enthusiast.  I found their scissors to be lightweight and have a nice feeling to their grip. They also have a Titanium Bond, making them stronger than the typical pair of scissors.  One of their scissors, can actually cut through 30 layers of Denim!  Another pair of scissors is designed to cut thru 6 layers of fabric.  They also have a cute pair of little scissors that look like they would be a must for every sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiast.  For kids, they have scissors with a special handle of microban substance that will help eliminate uncontrolled growth of bacteria (perfect for the classroom).  They also manufacture rotary cutters, mats and many other products!  SewCalGal hopes to share more in-depth insights on some of these products in the future.  But was very impressed with what I saw at this show.  I hope to see more Westcost scissors, rotary cutters & mats in stock in quilting, sewing, embroidery & crafting stores in the future.  They are of high quality and a reasonable price!








There were many other excellent booths that offered inspiration for quilting, sewing & embroidery enthusasts at the CHA Winter Convention & Trade Show: ArtBin storage products,  ColArt the manufacturers of Liquitex, Markers Supply, The Simplicity Creative Group, Fiskars / Gingher, and  many more delightful companies promoting delightful ribbons, buttons, yards, paints, and various other crafts.

As mentioned earlier, if any of these products caught your eye and you do not see them in your local stores, I hope you will share these insights with those stores.  And, if you are a store owner or designer, and not a member of CHA, you may want to check them out soon.

The CHA 2010 Summer Convention & Trade Show is scheduled July 27-29.

For those that may not be aware of The Craft and Hobby Association…..Members can take advantage of exclusive discounts, benefit from the CHA Career Center.  CHA membership is composed of representatives from over 60 different countries.  Their Mission is to “Stimulate growth of the craft and hobby industry, create consume demand, help members succeed, and lead the industry”

Online Learning Center (  Webinars are also available on demand:

#CHAShow – Fun Times at the CHA Craft Super Show – 2010

The CHA Craft Super Show is certainly an inspirational show for all forms of crafters.  It offers the largest variety of make-n-takes that I’ve ever seen and a fantastic variety of craft booths.  As this show in Anaheim, Ca is currently underway, I want to encourage anyone with an opportuntity attend to go.  You will not be sorry.  This is a fantastic craft show that is extremely well organized with great vendors.  And we are lucky to have such a professional show in Southern California.

While all the vendors in this show are delightful, here are some vendors that I hope you will visit at this show. And, if you can’t make it to the show I hope you’ll check out their websites.  Each of these vendors provide great value & inspiration.  And, the majority of the vendors has fantastic show specials, as well as a drawing for fantastic prize.

Lisa Liza Lou Designs in booth #758
Lisa is a talented woman that inspires mixed media artists.  I’m now convinced that Lisa can take a want-ta-be like me, and enable them to create wonderful items.  Her booth is full of delightful products and items to inspire.  This is a must visit booth.  And when you pop by, check out items from C&T Publishing, Create & Treasure®, Liquitex®, and Ready-to-Go!® .  I could easily spend a day play in Lisa Liza Lou Designs’ booth.  This is a designer whom you want to follow, if you are not already following.  Inspirational!  I hope to share more insights about her soon!

  in booth #1029
GotFabric is a delightful online fabric store that has a large selection of fabrics at great prices.  And they have some delightful free patterns online.   They have stores in Hawaii and a store in based in Anaheim, called “Fabric City”.   I was just delighted to see them at the CHA show, as I’ve been one of their happy customers for many years. They also have some great show specials on machine embroidery designs and machines. Those that want to go home with a show model are going to be amazed with their prices, and if you don’t want a show model, you’ll still find some great prices!





Kaleidoscope Collections

 is in booth #754.  I recommend everyone get a free demo on their software. It is an easy to use software perfect for those that want to create cards, scrapbooking embellishments, quilts, and an endless number of items.  This software is easy to use and perfect for the entire family.

National Sewing Council
Located in the center of all the exhibits, they have exciting make-n-take projects to help teach basic sewing skills, embroidery skills, as well as to inspire the advanced sewing, quilting, & embroidery enthusiast.  You may also want to pop by this booth and ask for a coupon for $400 worth of sewing products if you plan on purchasing Elna, Babylock or Janome at this show (all at great show prices from various vendors).






Hancock Fabrics





M’liss designer was at the Hancock Fabrics’ booth to share insights on her fabric lines.  They were all absolutely beautiful.  And I fell in love with her “Fresh from the Garden” line.





All Brands
SewCalGal is quite fond of and highly recommends them for any sewing, quilting or embroidery enthusiast.  Please pop by their booth at the CHA show, as they have some great show specials on many products. And, if you can’t make it to this show I hope you’ll check out their online store they have many great products & great prices for sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiasts.





Simplicity Creative Group  SewCalGal loves Simplicity products and patterns.  Their booth at the CHA provides an excellent way to see all of their product.  I hope you get a chance to visit booth #829





Sulky of America
Sulky has a delightful Booth (#934) which showcases all of their delightful products for sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiasts.  And, they have some great show special prices!





I was also pleased to meet, Lee Fletcher, a Sulky Certified Teacher.  She teaches a variety of classes  including Certification classes on being a Sulky Teacher.  And I was pleased to see a display of her delightful line of Pat-e-Patterns that can be purchased in this Sulky booth, or email her at  All of her designs look like fun.  I hope you’ll check them out when you visit this show.  I hope to share more insights on her designs in the future.  I did learn that one of her most popular desgns is a Quilter’s Wallet design, that has also been updated.






A new business that has a motto that anyone can make their home decor.  The want to excite & support non-sewers to sew and make items for their home and for gifts.  They are in booth #932 I was very impressed with their booth and have taken a quick glance at their site. I love their catnip valentine hearts!  I know I’ll be following their blog and watching them on Facebook.  This is an inspirational new business that offers many “free” delights.  I hope you’ll check them out at CHA!
There are also more vendor booths and various make-n-takes than I could list.   Excellent Show. I do hope you can make it to this inspirational show this weekend.  I’m already looking forward to this show next year!

The CHA Show is truly delightful. I do hope you have a chance to go to this inspirational show this weekend.  And, I hope those that live a far will plan on coming to see this show next year.  I met people who traveled from Australia for this show today.  It is truly a fantastic show and worthy of traveling a great distance to attend.  Plus, this So. Cal. location is a great place to visit!  I hope you’ll go and enjoy all the vendor booths, make-n-takes, as there were far more than I could visit.  But I did want to share insights on some vendors that I enjoyed and hope you’ll visit at the CHA Craft Show and/or via their online sites soon.

Consumer Show Dates
January 22nd – 23rd
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, Ca.

Trade Show Dates
January 24th – 27th
Anaheim Convention Center

#CHAShow – Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Show

Craft SuperShow happenings are scheduled for January 22-23, 2010 for the first CHA consumer show in the West, at the Anaheim Convention center. This will allow attendees the opportunity to explore vendor booths, and attend workshops for various crafts (sewing, knitting, kids crafts, food, organizing insights, decorating insights, gift ideas, etc.).

The Craft SuperShow was designed to introduce people to new crafts by providing a venue where crafters are exposed to all different types of crafts. The objective is to provide cross-promotional opportunities for crafters where knitters can get hooked on scrapbooking, scrapbookers can try quilting, quilters can experiment with beading, and so on.

Celebrities coming to this show:  Wyland, Deborah Norville, Carol Duvall and Aleene Jackson

LisaLizaLou Designs will be in booth #758.  Pop by this booth for inspiration, designs, and supplies for vairous mixed media projects!

SuperShow Hours: Admission:
January 22 – Noon – 8:00 PM (PST). Adults
January 23 – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (PST) $20 for 2-days/$15 for 1-day
Kids under 10 free with paying adult

Craft SuperShow attendees will have plenty of opportunities to win door prizes at this show, which various manufacturers have donated, including C&T Publishing.

The Craft Super Show is scheduled preceeding the CHA Winter Convention & Trade Show, which is scheduled  Jan 24- Jan 27, 2010 at the Anaheim Convention center.
Sun., Jan 24 10am – 6pm
Mon., Jan 25 9am – 5:30pm
Tues., Jan 26 9am – 5:30pm
Wed., Jan 27 9am – 2pm

Also, Martha Beck will be the keynote speaker. There is also a great selection of business seminars and workshops.

And, C&T Publishing will be at this Convention & Trade Show too (booth #3172), sharing insights on their fabulous new book imprint they will be launching at this show, called “Stash”! And sharing insights on their new Liquitex Surface Design Center (paints, inks, mediums), demonstrating painting on fabric, as well as surfaces for papercrafting and mixed media (board books, canvas books, Lutradur, Timtex, etc). And they’ll share insights on their new fiber art/art quilt books that feature painting on fabric.


The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is a not-for-profit organization consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products in the nearly $30 billion U.S. craft and hobby industry. The Association offers a broad range of member services, including market research, education, as well as operates award-winning trade show events, the CHA Winter and CHA Summer Shows that attract industry professionals from all over the world. See for more information.

Anaheim Convention Center
800 W Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92802

If you are coming from out of the area, you may want to plan a few days to stay in Anaheim and enjoy visiting nearby Disneyland, California Adventure Park, M&L Fabrics, and nearby quilt stores.

I hope to see you at the CHA Show and/or Convention in January!

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal