Saturday lunch was a wonderful sit down meal and the winners of the Creativity Contest were presented. Every year ASG and Simplicity choose several Simplicity patterns and challenge ASG members to use these patterns as the basis for a special garment or even a whole wardrobe. I must admit that the criteria for winning this contest are completely opaque to me. What makes a grand prize winning garment 'better' than the runners-up garments was not apparent to me from the runway show. I know several individuals that have entered garments that seemed to be very creative and wonderfully constructed but never made it to the final judging stage. For a look at last year's winners, click here. The winners from this year have not been posted as yet. One amusing thing that happened was that our chapter's past president had created a beautiful white outfit from this year's patterns. She then proceeded to spill and drop every thing that could stain on it during lunch. Maybe not amusing to her, but I certainly enjoyed the fact that I was not the one with chocolate sauce up my sleeve... as per usual!
After a short nap, I next went to a lecture/trunk show by Mary Ray on matching fabrics to a design. I love her work and have taken a class with her on making a vest using her rectangle vest pattern. I always have trouble taking a fabric and finding the perfect design for it or visa versa. The room was packed and I think we all came away with some ideas how to do this match better in future. Basically it all comes to drape and weight and I will try to do better next time. The evening was devoted to a gala dinner with everyone dressed to the nines. Patti Palmer was inducted into the ASG Sewing Hall of Fame and Deon Maas, the creator of the anti-ouch pouch, received a special gold star award. The final count of pouches made has not been disclosed but an estimate I heard put the minimum at 5,000.
Sunday was a completely different day for me. I got up so late that I never even made it to the buffet breakfast. I went directly to a class on creating a handbag with some lovely embroidery on it. The class was basically a commercial for the new Viking embroidery machines. The machines are fabulous and have a ton of built-in stitches. One good thing about the organization of this class was that the instructor gave everyone a small packet of different fabrics so we could try out the machine before beginning, and possibly destroying, the project. The bad thing about the class is that only five of the machines were set-up for embroidery. This meant that only five people could embroider at a time while the rest of the class moved on to other construction steps, or strived to catch-up. By the time I got my embroidery done I realized that the materials needed to construct the handle had run out. I packed up at that point and brought the whole thing home to finish here. These machines practically walk, talk and do the dishes and if you have a spare seven grand or so, it would be worth a look.
Lunch on Sunday was basically a farewell meal. We were treated to some wonderful information about next year's venue - Albequerque, New Mexico - and 2010's location - Altanta, Georgia - was announced. I am looking forward to next year as Albequerque is apparently within driving distance from here. I envision a caravan of cans, vans and SUVs driving from here to there carrying many well dressed women and the reverse a few days later with many sleeping ladies and tons of new sewing supplies... especially fabric!
Sunday afternoon I got to play with Lyla Messinger and create a necklace out of an expensive zipper and a large bead. Isn't it great!
I wore it home on the plane and it didn't set off the metal detector. Being a very cheap soul I wonder if you could use metal dyes and a regular metallic separating zipper? The possibilities are endless.
The rest of my stay in Chicago was pretty unstructured. I walked down the road from the hotel until I found a fast food place for dinner on Sunday. Monday morning I availed myself of the wonderfully expensive breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room. By the time I made it back downtown for some well deserved museum hopping, I realised I could not do justice to any of them so I spent a couple of hours in the Millenium Park. This is a wonderful resource for the whole city and I love the concept of cutting edge public constructions in the middle of Chicago's lakeshore. Here are a couple of examples:
And why are little boy's shorts so long on them?
By the time I made it home on Monday night I was thoroughly exhausted and my lungs had decided that they hated Houston allergens even more than Chicago allergens. I went to the doctor today and, after a scolding, she prescribed massive amounts of drugs to get everyhting under control. I think I got off lucky as she was pleased as punch with the navy silk fabric I brought her from Vogue Fabrics. Must remember that for the next time I want drugs from her.
If you have the opportunity to go an ASG conference or other crafty guild annual event, please try to go. I was inspired by some of the wonderful garments I saw that were for every day wear and not just for grand events. The other attendees were fascinating and I made an effort to sit with different people at every meal. Do try to go healthy so you can really enjoy yourself, but even ill I had a really good time.
On a final note, I really want to go back to Chicago and find a certain second hand store open for business so I can get this chair and its twin. Wishful thinking... maybe, but I could squeeze in another visit to Vogue Fabrcs to make the trip really worthwhile... now for the planning wheels to start turning......