Monday, August 01, 2011

Long Beach Internation Quilt Festival

We had a long day at the quilt show on Saturday! I was in seventh heaven. But actually all I did was a lot of looking and not much buying. (No Aunt Becky thimbles.) The exhibition, I suppose is the purpose, though I find myself drawn to the sellers' booths.

My plan (if I had a plan) was to walk up and down the aisles looking at things and after seeing it all to come back and buy later. The 5 of us started down the aisles. Leiya was the only one of us who hadn't made it to last year's quilt show and she was very interested in all the goings-on, especially things not particularly related to quilting.

Up and down the aisles stopping to finger things, getting pulled in by groups of people surrounding certain booths. Many, many years ago I took a whirlwind trip around the Tokyo International Quilt Show and my overall impression was that I couldn't even GET TO the booths because of all the people milling around. I mean, we had to lean over people in front of us and GRAB to see anything so the Long Beach Quilt Festival has enough people to make things seem busy and bustling but not so crowded so that you can't get up close to see products and quilts.

It was interesting to see how people were pulled into booths by the strategic location of tables and shelves within the booth, by the friendliness of the sellers themselves and by the demonstrations going on. Last year Takumi bought me a circle cutter and though I've used it often I've never been able to cut perfect circles. The same man who was selling them last year was there demonstrating again and I got a private lesson when I told him my problem. Same at the applique booth.

"I bought this last year but I'm still not sure how to use this tool..."

A light bulb moment when I watched her demonstrating again but whether that will stay with me until I return to Japan, I don't know...

What we did buy had absolutely nothing to do with quilting. My oh my, the sellers are good, aren't they! A whole performing art around how to sell handy gadgets! Marcy and Takumi and I all walked away with a "MIGHTY GO" sticky roller. You know... a newer gadget than the paper sticky stuff. This one is stickier and picks up threads, lint and CAT FUR! And no peeling off of dirty paper (I hate that part). If you bought the set, you could get a discount and THREE sets gave us a bigger discount! Yeah, yeah... Well, Bianca has a dog. Marcy and my brother have three dogs and a cat, and you know me with six cats and a dog (and lots of thread on the floor.) How could we pass up a "MIGHTY GO" sticky roller?

Up and down, up and down... I gave Leiya the camera and she went off on her own. Pretty soon Takumi and Bianca went off on their own and Marcy and I perused by ourselves. I got stuck at the sewing machine merchant's corners and Marcy tried to convince me to buy a new sewing machine. Yes, maybe it would have been cheaper than buying in Japan but thinking of the cost to ship it back frightened me off. I checked out extension tables but those have to be custom made and more shipping involved. RATS! Marcy and I put in our names for a sewing machine drawing. With all the millions of people doing the same do you think one of our names will get called?

I spent time at Sharon Schamber's booth. I have watched her videos for the last couple of years and wanted to order her Quilt Halo. I looked at it last year but vetoed that purchase because I couldn't figure out how I was going to be able to use it with my machine. Although the machine problem has not been solved I went ahead and bought the Halo this year. (Otherwise I'll just keep longing for one again all year.) It really needs to have a flat surface to be effective... thus my inquiries at other booths about buying an extension table. I felt like I was meeting a movie star talking to Sharon. Such a nice lady!

Takumi and Leiya and Bianca bought Subway sandwiches down the block for us... a lot cheaper than buying food at the quilt show. We all split up again and somewhere along the line Marcy and Bianca bought glass nail files at another unrelated to quilts booth. Marcy bought a set for me too!

We ran into Annie at one sales booth. She was hunting through a bargain bin and I edged over to paw through it myself and when we both looked up, DING!



And the hugs and chatting began! Annie is, of course, a blog friend but we did bump heads last year too at the Long Beach Quilt Show. When you only see your friend once a year between quilt stalls then recognition is a bit chancy but there we were! Both of us at the same place and same time! See you again next year Annie!

And I met up with Gigi too... (she let me know where to find her). We chatted for quite awhile also and hopefully I'll get to see her once more this week.

Let's see. Leiya bought a jewelry kit. I bought an applique sheet for Bianca. As for fabrics I picked up a few squares of batiks because I'm hoping to lure Colin into doing some sewing this week.

Can't wait til next year!

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