Toronto’s creativ’ festival – Fall 2008

I went to the craft festival yesterday. The main reason I went was to look at sewing machines, material, wool and a spindle.

I have been looking at Husqvarna’s Sapphire sewing machines. These machines are a step down from their top of the line quilting/embroidery machine but I don’t really want an embroidery machine although if I get some of those features with a machine it’ll be nice. The machine I was looking at was the 905 Sapphire, which on sale is around $1699.00. This price range is still a bit too steep for my budget or rather my husband’s so I thought that maybe the machines on display at the festival would have a cheaper show price or maybe come with an extra bonus package. Unfortunately this was not the case and I believe that the machine was $100.00 cheaper at my local sewing shop. Oh well I met the owner of the company (awesome man) and Joyce Hancock who is local to my area where I live. She has a fantastic studio/store and after talking to her I decided the best way to figure out what machine I would need would be to take a couple of classes and get a feel for a machine. It just might turn out that I don’t like machine quilting so we’ll see how it goes.

I’d also dropped by to visit the Janome exhibit because I’d researched those machines as well. What a difference in the way the two exhibits operated. The Janome sales clerk was all for selling me the show special which had this and that features and was only XX amount of dollars. She didn’t really want to listen to what I wanted. I compare the two experiences to going to a used car lot and BMW. One is pressuring me to buy, the other is confident in their product and willing to let me find the right machine for my needs knowing that I’ll be back. Nice “Glad to meet you Karen.” and shake of the hand from the president and Joyce. These people know how to treat a customer, very classy.

Anyhow after looking at the machines I headed on over to the Len Mills exhibit. Now for years I have been going on and on about Len Mills and the deals they have on their cotton quilting fabrics. For years I’ve bugged my husband to stop off at any nearby outlet as we’ve driven by, not any more. It was a shock to see the price of the fabric knowing that these were the sale prices. I guess I’ve gone beyond retail pricing. I am quite bluntly an Internet online shopping junky. Every exhibt I went to I knew where to find the product at roughly half the price online. For the Len Mills prices I could buy 2 yards online for the price of 1 from them.

This extended to the hand-dyed wool I saw at the fair as well. At one exhibit the wools/yarns were exquisite. They had some fine Alpaca yarn for $40/hank. All I could think of was that I could purchase the same stuff for $19.98 at Dharma. At one exhibt I saw some hand-dyed cotton fabric that was $28.00/yard. This is the same stuff I make up in the laundry room using my Procion MX dyes. The cotton fabric costs me about $4/yard and the dyes, water, electricity a bit more. I guess I’ve been undervaluing my work.

I’d pretty well given up on buying anything at the festival until I came across a booth that came all the way from Chilliwack British Columbia. I spotted some Thimbleberries fat quarter bundles. I adore Thimbleberries and these ones were marked down from $99.00 to $54.98 – sold done deal with tax at $63.23! And yes I checked, I couldn’t find a cheaper price for the bundle anywhere on the Internet.

Thimbleberries Fat Quarter bundle "A Gardener's Touch" Thimbleberries "A Gardener's Touch" side view.

The really neat thing about this bundle is that when I came home I realised the top fabric looked familar. I went and checked in my shopping cart over at Thousands of Bolts and sure enough I’d had a yard of it in the cart. I ended up ordering six yards of the Gardener’s Touch line. Two more each of the floral cream, green and raspberry prints. That will give me seven yards from the bundle plus the extra six yards I ordered for borders, should be enough for a decent sized quilt. LOL, the fat quarter bundle is still sitting on my desk top as I type. I feel like Gollum in the Hobbit, picking it up every now and then and muttering “My preccccious”.

One of the spinning exhibtors had mentioned that she’d seen some spindles at one of the booths but darned if I could find it so I gave up and just as I was about to go out the doors I discovered Gemini wools and several beautiful spindles. These were beautiful but at $65.00 did not fit my budget for having a go at trying to spin my own yarn. After talking with one of the sales ladies I came away with a basic beginner spindle from Ashford at $21.00. I have some carded wool stashed somewhere so I’ll give it a try and see how it works out.

Ashford beginner spindle.

Ashford beginner spindle.

Well I’ve written an essay so time to go. Final thoughts on the festival – glad to have made a connection with Joyce Hancock, bought my fat quarters and spindle – but no, wouldn’t go back again; I’ll stick to Internet shopping.

Karen

Advertisements

4 responses to “Toronto’s creativ’ festival – Fall 2008

  1. Loooove the fat quarters – the colours are stunning and yes with all that fabric you should have enough for a quilt. I’m with you on the internet shopping. The craft shows are fantastic for checking out what’s new – but sooooo expensive at times. Good luck with the sewing machine. You are lucky you can take classes and work out what you want – I think that’s a far better way to go than just buying “off the shelf” and it not being what you really want.

  2. Sounds like you had a great time all in all. I love to see what’s new out also and the shows are the only real way to see it.

    I’m working on a Thimbleberries quilt and have some of that fabric in my stash.

    As for selling handdyes you price it at what you get and sometimes you price it alot lower then what others can get. I know a few well known dyers that can get $25 a yard but I’m not them and not known like they are so I am lucky to get what I do.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. VBG

  3. would you be willing to see that Thimbleberries (A Gardener’s Touch) fat quarter bundle if you have not used it yet?

    • Sorry no. Good call that I hadn’t used it yet though. I bought more than the fat quarter bundle I bought matching yardage to go with it so selling the bundle is going to leave me with a lot of yardage with no project. Also I’ll never replace the bundle at that price with today’s cost of fabric.

      Thimbleberries is one of my favourite designers as well so even though I haven’t yet made a quilt I will one of these days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s