#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:  http://www.purplechimp.com/








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 (http://www.craftandhobby.org/).  Webinars are also available on demand:  http://cha.impactlearning.org/


Looking for Christmas Gift Ideas?

It always takes me awhile to think of gift ideas, so this year I started compiling a list early.  And I think it is such a great list I wanted to share it with you.  Hopefully this list will give you an idea for a perfect gift for someone, or be something you may want for Christmas and you can share with someone who might be trying to find a gift for you.  This list might be something you want to buy and give, or buy for insights on making a gift.

Disclaimer:  This is my list of suggested gift ideas.  The companies, designers, or authors did not pay me (or bribe me) to include them in this list.  I just truly think these are delightful items that would make a wonderful gift, or might be something you would want to have.

Book:  “Comfort and Joy 14 Quilts for Christmas“, by Mary Hickey.  This book would also help you make some delightful Christmas gifts too!

Zundt Designs Machine Embroidery Designs or gift certificate.

Book:  “Cute as a Button Quilts”, by Joni Pike, from C&T Publishing.

PaperPieces.com  provides high quality paper piecing designs, books, DVDs and other items for those that love paper piecing.  SewCalGal encourages everyone to try this English Paper piecing quilting method, as it is great fun and results in perfect piecing, and the projects are very portable, making it great for projects to take on trips.

Books:  “French Braid Quilts”, written by Jane Hardy Miller and Arlene Netten, or the book “French Braid Obsession”, by Jane Hardy Miller.  Both published by C&T  Publishing.

ArtBin storage products:  SuperSatchel Series, Tote Folio, pencil cases and other ArtBin storage products would be delightful gifts for any sewing, quilting or embroidery enthusiast!

Indygo Junction has many delightful designs and accessories.  I think their Building Blocks Bag pattern would make a great gift, and I also think making these bags and giving them as gifts would be absolutely wonderful.  I know I’d love to receive this pattern or bag as a gift.  But then they have many wonderful items that would make for a lovely Christmas gift, and/or help you make a lovely Christmas gift.


Books, tools, notions or gift certificates from C&T Publishing.

For Machine Embroidery Enthusiasts, I think a gift of Embird Software would be be delightful for those that want to learn to develop skills to create their own designs, combine designs, easily add text to designs, as well as reformat purchased designs.  Embird is a versatile software package that I truly view as a must have for machine embroiderers.

Educational DVDs from QuiltingArtsWorkshop.com.  They offer a large selection of excellent educational DVDs.

Superior Threads provides a large selection of threads, pre-wound bobbins, and various items.  I’d love to receive a set of MasterPiece threads or a package of Texture Magic  for Christmas.  And I believe a set of Superior Metallic Threads would make a wonderful gift. And they have many more products that would make a wonderful gift, as well as help you make a wonderful gift to give to someone.
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, embroidery designs or a gift certificate to Kitty Kitty Designs.   
Electric Quilt company has many delightful products.  I think EQ6 software or one of their delightful books would make a wonderful gift.

Snapware storage products.  I love their 2 layer and 3 layer square stackable totes for large projects, or storing fabric.  They also have many other small and medium size stackable totes that are very versatile and quite durable.

AccuQuilt products (Studio, Go, dies, patterns, etc) or gift certificates would make a great product for an experienced and even a new quilter!

Sulky  offers a variety of products for the sewing, quilting & embroidery enthusiast.  They have a delightful selection of threads, stablizers, books and many other items.  All of which would make a delightful gift, as well as help you make a wonderful gift to give someone.

A portable mustache trimmer, to help with reverse sewing/embroidery projects. Plus, this type of gift just creates fun.  How many people can say their “girlfriend” gave them a mustache trimmer?

Wrights’ SideWinder Portable Bobbin Winder.

Quilt In A Day has a large selection of fantastic books, patterns, fabrics, rulers, templates,  or gift certificates. And they also hold wonderful classes, as well as offer great educational DVDs.  And you’ll find more products at their sister store ElenorBurns.com, include their delightful books “Day & Night“, Victory Quilts,  and other great books.  And oh so many fun patterns, including her Signature Pattern: Tossed Nine Patch.

Kay Mackenzie of Quilt Puppy Publications and Designs offers many delightful patterns and books. Baskets to Applique and Teapots 2 Applique would also be fun books to make a beautiful quilt with next Spring.

For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, “blanks” from All About Blanks make a great gift.  And All About Blanks has high quality products that make for perfect machine embroidery items.

Pearl P. Pereira Designs of P3 Designs offers a large selection of patterns.  I also recommend her Travel Mate I & II, Tool Case and Travel Case designs as being great gift ideas, as well as many of her other designs.

A class or gift certificate to Quilt Campus

Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries has a great selection of fabrics, designs and books that would make delightful gifts.   Her book “Basic Beauties, Big & Small” book is absolutely delightful.

Elaine Waldschmitt, of The Quilted Closet, has some wonderful patterns & books.  I think her book “appli-curves” would be a lovely gift, as well as her book “Embellishment Potpourri”, along with many other of her books & patterns.

Olfa products  make a delightful gift for a beginner or experienced quilter.  Quilters never have too many new rotary blades, and new mats are also appreciated.  But I also want to recommend this 17″ rotating mat.  It is lightweight and portable, perfect to take to workshops & sew-cials, as well as use at home.  I know I’d love to receive Olfa products for a Christmas gift!

Book:  “Batik Beauties”, by Laurie J. Shifon.

Gutermann Thread has a large selection of beautiful threads that would make a lovely Christmas gift, as well as help make beautiful items to giveaway.

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

For the Machine Embroidery Enthusiasts, machine embroidery designs by Vermillion Stitchery.  They have a delight set of cross stitch cat & puppy angel designs, a lovely collection of butterfly designs, and many more designs that are all high quality designs.

Gloves In A Bottle has some wonderful moisterizers that help with the dryness for those working with fabric textiles.

Quilts With A Twist has many wonderful designs.    I love the “I Spy With A Twist” design and am wanting to try “Alaska Toss” next.

Tracey Brookshire  has many wonderful designs that I think would make a wonderful Christmas Gift, as well as help you create projects that are wonderful gifts.

Madeira thread has delightful threads that a perfect for the quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiast.

Book:   “Layer’em up” by Sharyn Craig

Metler Threads come in a variety of colors and would make a great Christmas gift for the quilting, sewing or embroidery enthusiast, as well as help to make lovely items to give away this Christmas.

book:  “Quilter’s Travel Companion” is a perfect book for a quilter that travels, or is planning a trip.

book:  “Appliqué Outside the lines with Piece O Cake Designs”, by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins, published by C&T Publishing

Cloth Paper Scissors  magazine subscription

Fabric, notions, or gift certificates from IHAN

Blue River Moon Designs, by Susan Brubaker Knapp, offers a variety of delightful designs.   I love her Tulip Bag design, but I believe any of Susan’s designs would make a delightful gift!

A trip to a big quilt show:  International Quilt Festival (IQF) Long Beach, IQF Chicago, IQF Houston, etc.  Wouldn’t this be a fantastic Christmas gift?
Kaleidoscope Collections has many delightful products, including their Kaleidoscope Kreator which would make a lovely Christmas gift.   http://www.kaleidoscopecollections.com/
YLI has  delightful threads for the quilting, sewing or machine embroidery enthusiast.
And remember homemade gifts, gifts from the heart, are always loved.

Sometimes The Best Gifts Come In Small Packages

I love “little” packages and I love items that help me organize.  When I learned about the ArtBin “Slimline” storage products my mind quickly started thinking of ideas for how this product would help me to organize quilting, sewing & embroidery enthusiasts.  And, I thought of how this product would make a perfect gift.

The ArtBin Slimline box is a lightweight product that is markedted as a perfect product  for storing pencils, makers, and small supplies.  I believe the Slimline box is a perfect product, and is offered at a very reasonable price.  I also have found it to be a perfect item to store rotary cutting blades, packets of sewing needles, and safety pins that I use to baste quilts.


This is a “must have” product for any quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiast.  It is also an item that I believe is a great gift item, at a very reasonable price.

You can find ArtBin at:



ArtBin Super Satchel Series

I love products that will help me organize in my sewing room, as well as help me for carry projects and/or supplies to various workshops, classes and/or sew-cials.  And, when I find a product(s) that help in both areas I am elated, as I know it will also help me with overall storage matters, as I have a limited space for sewing and storage.   But no matter what, I want products that offer high quality, as I tend to overpack and I want to know the storage products I use can endure my standards.

I’m very impressed with the design and quality of the ArtBin products, and love their “Super Satchel Series” products. I find them to be an exceptional value for storing and for the ability to carry projects and/or supplies to such activities as workshops, retreats and/or sew-cials.

ArtBin currently has a sale for many of their products, including their “Super Satchel Series”  via their online store, so I want to share insighst with you now.  And I will later share insights with you to show more specifics on how I use these products for quilting, sewing & embroidery activities.

I do believe all the ArtBin Super Satchel products are an exceptional value and perfect for the quilting, sewing, embroidery enthusiast who wants quality products to help organize at home, as well as products that will allow them the ability to carry projects to workshops and/or sew-cials.

Before I share insights on specific models in the Super Satchel Series, I want to share insights on some features that I find make the ArtBin Super Satchel Series’ products so wonderful.

I find all of the ArtBin products to be of high quality and durability.  The Super Satchel series also provides comfortable handles that will fold flat, against the satchel, when the satchel is not being carried.

The ArtBin SuperSatchel products are easily stacked, for storage.  I love how I can store my projects/supplies in my sewing room, yet also use the “same” storage to take my project/supplies with me when I attend a workshop/sew-cial.  Thus, I view these high quality products to be multi-purpose and I find them easy to transport!

There are many products in the ArtBin Super Satchel Series, but I want to share insights with you on a few of the products in this series.

Deluxe Super Satchel #6982AB
This delightful satchel provides multiple storage compartments including a deep storage area, perfect for projects, a shallow storage area, perfect for supplies, and two side bin storage area that are perfect for bobbins, and other project supplies.   This is the James Bond tool for quilting, sewing, and embroidery enthusiasts.  A “must have” product!

Deep Super Satchel #9001AB
This satchel has six deep compartments and I find it a perfect satchel for a large variety of uses.  It is a great tool to carry small projects and MANY supplies to a workshop/sew-cial, as well as storing various accessories and organizing your crafting room. I could certainly fill many of these satchels in my sewing room with accessories and smal projects, and know that I’d always be ready to carry a project off to a sew-cial.
Deep Super Satchel #9000AB
One Compartment
This satchel is perfect for so many quilting, sewing  & embroidery projects.  I love how it can keep my project, supplies, instructions all grouped together. This is a must have item.  It is also one of my favorite gifts, as I love to introduce others to the ArtBin Super Satchel Series.
Super Satchel Threadbox #9002AB
This delightful satchel includes 2 removable thread trays, should you want to use this satchel as a single compartment storage/tote.  The two spool trays offer a combined total of 104 pegs offers the capacity to hold (224) 20mm spools, (108) 32mm spools, or (30)  45mm spools.  While I’ve used many thread storage products, I’ve never found one that is as high quality and versatile as the ArtBin Super Satchel Threadbox.  This is definitely a must have product for any quilting, sewing and/or embroidery enthusiast.

Super Satchel Deluxe #6980AB
This satchel is an amazing product, that I view is another great James Bond type of product for quilting, sewing and/or embroidery enthusiasts.  It is four boxes in one, with a major storage area for a main project, larger size storage area for supplies, and two side compartments perfect for bobbins & accessories.  A wonderful product to store and/or transport your projects to workshops and/or sew-cials.

The Double Deep Super Satchel #6990AB
This delightful super satchel provides great flexibility.  It  offers one main storage area that can be turned into up to 8 separate compartments!  The 15.22 x 14.16 x 6.23 inches certainly makes this design the most flexible storage/tote that I’ve ever seen!  And the price is amazing for the value of this product.

Super Satchel Cube

# 6855SC

While I’ve not used the Super Satchel Cube, I think the design is worth noting while I share insights onsome of the ArtBin Super Satchel Series products.  The Super Satchel Cube comes with 6 sets of rails which allows you to store both slim, deep, and double deep Super Satchel Boxes.  

These Super Satchel Series products are amazing and a great value.  And there are more in the series than I’ve shared in this post.  To see more of the ArtBin Super Satchel Series products, or other Artbin products go to:  http://craft.artbin.com/quiltnsew_supersatchels.asp

But I do want to point out that ArtBin’s sale for the Super Satchel Series is currently available via the ArtBin online store thru the end of November.  While regular prices are an excellent value, this sale is something you don’t want to miss.


Again, I am truly delighted with all of the ArtBin Super Satchel Series products.  I think you’ll love them too.  And, these satchels will make delightful Christmas gifts.

ArtBin Tote Folio & Mat & Ruler Tote

I love quality products that help me organize and carry projects and supplies to workshops and retreats.  I’m a packrat and always overpacking, pushing storage and totes to their maximum capacity and weight.  Thus, I really want to emphasize that I have high expectations.  I don’t like buying products that handles break, straps break, or seams rip and I find my treasures spilling out.
I recently learned about the ArtBin tote Folio {photo above; ArtBin Tote Folio black/grey} and wanted to share my insights with you.
This tote {photo above; ArtBin Mat & Ruler Tote black/white tic fabric} is made of high quality materials workmanship.
– The main storage pocket is a large zippered  compartment holds up to 20″x 26″ x 1 1/2″;
this section is perfect for holding large cutting mats, projects, etc.
– Front lower pocket to easily hold long rulers with a flap that secures with velcro measures 6″24″.
 – Front 12×12″ pocket with zipper, perfect for rulers, quilt blocks and supplies.
– Two additional front zippered pocks with zippers for holding scissors, rotary cutters and various tools.
– Back side zippered pouch hold up to 15.5″ x 15.5″ items; perfect for rulers, projects, books, patterns, class handouts and other items.
– Back side zippered pouch holds up to 12.5″x12.5″  pocket with zipper:  perfect for rulers, projects, books, patterns, class handouts and other items.
Carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap.  I found this bag to be very comfortable to carry when fully packed.

This tote {photo above; ArtBin Mat & Ruler Tote black/white tic fabric} also has two options to carry it:  1) nice handle with quality straps and flexible user friendly handgrip, or 2) adjustable shoulder stap of quality material with comfortable shouldergrip.

I want to compliment ArtBin for designing an exceptional tote.  It is made of great quality materials, stitched with great quality, and is the absolutely best tote that I’ve ever seen designed for quilting and sewing enthusiasts.  I also think this bag would work well for many scrapbookers and various crafters.

I’m also amazed that this high quality bag is available for such a reasonable price.  It is an “Exceptional” value and an item I view is a “must have” for any quilter or crafter that takes classes, workshops or attends sew-cials.  It is also an item that I view would make a lovely gift for any quilting or sewing enthusiast.  Given this time of year maybe you could forward a copy of this article to your personal Santa, to suggest they bring you an ArtBin Tote Folio this coming Christmas.  But then, you may want to simply just buy one on your own.  It is a wonderful bag that I’m sure you will enjoy!

ArtBin has many fantastic products available for purchase via their online store.

The ArtBin Tote Folio can be purchased by clicking here http://art.artbin.com/softside_storage.asp#totefolio

The ArtBin Mat / Ruler tote can be purchased by clicking here: