WOW! OSQ Expo ’15

round yoke bright flowers

a Kari Mecca creation with her signature ribbon trim (made with handy Whimsy Sticks) and spaghetti bias


Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Lakeland, Florida– what a fabulous event!  This past week with my dear friend Carol (my son-in-law’s mother)  we took classes and shopped at the enormous and tantalizing market.  Seeing so many friends, making such great buys, and learning so many new things made OSQE a circus of fun.

My schedule included 2 “Whimsy” sessions with Kari Mecca, two serger classes and one quilting adventure.  Each offered great techniques and loads of inspiration.


heart bouquet dress


My classes with Kari Mecca inspired me beyond words.  Being the smitten grandmother of 2 year old Vivian Rose, I dream of making every garment on Kari’s sample rack–a dream that’s unlikely to come true!




But now I can and will make some.  Kari’s samples and classes offered so much inspiration.




In Kari’s Spaghetti Applique class we made a free standing applique which later  could be applied to whatever–a child’s dress, a tote, etc. What do you think I will choose?


The owl was the project I chose for the Spaghetti Appliqu class

The owl was the project I chose for the Spaghetti Appliqu class

I chose the owl project for the Spaghetti Applique class.  This great technique requires only a basic sewing machine.


owl dress yoke

owl dress yoke


Blooming Beauties was the other Kari class I took.




Using handy Whimsy sticks, we made three freestanding flowers which I haven’t yet finished.  They will be shown complete in a later post.  Each day, Kari wore one of her lovely flowers pinned to a white shirt.  She is an excellent, first rate teacher.




More photos of Kari’s creations are at the end of this post.

Then there were serger classes. In my sewing room, the serger and I usually stand apart a respectful distance.  There, at its station, my Babylock Evolve  waits patiently and tries not to aggravate me.  I approach it with a cautiously positive attitude and try to follow the instructions to the letter.  We have yet to bond.  But after my classes at OSQE that might change.

Peggy Dilbone and Kathy McMakin share the Serger Queen crown.  After their classes,  my relationship with the serger has begun to change.  Peggy’s lecture class detailed countless things you can do with the serger.  One that jumped out at me was trimming ready made piping to a proper 1/4″ seam allowance.  Just recently, I spent way too much time carefully measuring and cutting piping’s wide seam allowance to a required size.




In Kathy Mac’s Knit Baby Gown class, we constructed a soft-as-butter knit garment completely on the serger.  Even though I have several serging books, I might as well be from Missouri because you have to show me.  Kathy’s absolutely clear, detailed instructions and happy teaching style made me believe that I CAN do it, that I CAN use my serger for more than finishing seams, and that I CAN be friends with my serger.  Yeah!!!!

The quilting class with Cristy Fincher would have been wonderful if I had properly prepared.  It was late when I packed up my supplies and instead of fat quarters I cut fat 1/8’s. But still there was plenty to learn, not the least of which was to never use a pin to close up bottles of water soluble basting glue.  If the product is not used frequently, the glue surrounding the pin turns brown and leaves a messy, sticky blob on the next application.  Cristy’s glue of choice is Elmer’s Washable School glue, with the addition of a fine tip.

At the Expo I reconnected with lots of old friends, Martha Pullen, Connie Palmer, Ann Sweeney, and others.  When I last saw sweet Marianna Carey, she was a very pregnant student in my Brother school at Martha Pullen’s School of Art Fashion in Huntsville.  At the Expo, she shared pictures of that baby–her darling 7 year old daughter.  Such warm reunions with friends!

I’m already looking forward to OSQE ’16!

Here are more of Kari Mecca’s Whimsy creations.  Have I included too many pictures?  Please let me know if you would prefer fewer photos in each blog.  I do tend to get carried away.


chenille jacket 2




snail shirring hem


snail shirring 1


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