> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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/


Anonymous said...

Hey gypsy girl.... please don't lose hope... if and you read through my older posts..you'll see, I've been having a go it as well... and tonight did not fare any better.. hand with us.. we'll lift your spirits!
hang in there~
Many hugs..

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Wow, that sounds like an awesome show. I enjoyed looking through some of your favorite booths and products. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out to share it with us!

Laura Bray said...

Thanks for your kind words about my make & take! It's such a nice surprise to see positive feedback so quickly! I'm heading back to the show this morning. Let's touch base when the show is over.

Jamie Fingal said...

You did a tremendous job showing the highlights of the show and links. Even though it was a smaller show than in the past, it was really fun to see all there was to see and make connections with people. Shared a table at lunch with the guys from Bosal, and they asked for my card to send me a variety of batting. Always fun!

Pat said...

I love your blog. The photos are great. You must've really have such a nice time at the show.
Thanks for sharing. I will be back again. Your blog is so interesting and informative, as well as a fun blog. Thank you!