> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Friday, January 24, 2014

CHA Mega Show 2014


SewCalGal was able to attend the CHA Mega Show in Anaheim, CA, January 10-14th.   This amazing event was packed with professional seminars,an exceptional trade show with over 400 vendors, inspirational make-n-takes, demonstrations,  and buyers and attendees from all over the world.  And, I'm delighted to be able to share insights with you about this show today.

First, for those of you not familiar with CHA it is an association of Craft and Hobby Professionals from around the world.  It is an International non-profit organization with members involved in the design, manufacturing, distribution and retail sells of products in the nearly $30 billion U.S. craft and hobby industry.  And while they host many professional events throughout the year, the annual CHA Mega Show in Southern California is one of the largest and most opportunistic for "those in the business" to participate in.  To clarify, CHA is a great organization and SewCalGal highly encourages those in the business to become members, if you are not one already.  

Before I share insights on the Mega Show, I want to share that this is such a large show it is impossible to see everything in a day. Plus, there are multiple days of workshops and professional presentations.  And I'm only going to share glimpses of new products that caught my attention at the Trade Show.  While I attended this event to search for new products, I was also highly interested in learning more about ecutters.  In this post I'll share some insight, but I'll be writing a separate article about ecutters in the very near future.  

Here are highlights of what caught my attention at this show:

june tailor hexie

June Tailor has new tool for cutting Hexies: "You Hexie Thing - Hexie Ruler"  can easily cut perfect hexagons in nine sizes; 1-1/2", 2", 2-1/2", 3", 3-1/2", 4", 4-1/2", 5" and 6".  And, like their  Shape Cut Ruler, which cuts perfect strips of fabric in various sizes, you can cut multiple layers of fabric using your rotary cutter.

There are also free quilt project instructions you can download for this ruler: The Hexie Thing Strip Quilt, The Oh So Hexie Quilt, and other Hexie projects too

And June Tailor has a new Diamond Ruler that will also easily cut diamonds in 1" to 6" diamonds in 1/4" increments without measuring.



CRAFTWELL
ebrush


The new eBrush, by Craftwell, was introduced at CHA and was also honored as one of CHA's top 20 products at the show, with a 2nd place award.  It is an airbrush compressor that turns markers, by various manufacturers, into spray art. The eBrush will be available in early April for retail purchases.  

While this product is clearly going to be popular with crafters, SewCalGal also anticipates it to quickly become popular with fibre artists and quilters alike.  Think of the fun and creativity this new tool will unleash to allow quilters to use stencils to paint on fabric, to free-form embellish fabrics, or to complete paint your own fabric and create your own unique piece of art!  

I also thoroughly enjoyed the ebrush demonstration by very talented Debi Tullier and artist "Slive".   And, I thought you might also enjoy this youtube video by Noel Hyman.



This product will be on HSN for $150 late spring, making it a reasonably priced air brush tool that you can use to paint on fabric, paper wood, food or more. 


LION BRAND YARN
lion brand exhibit at CHA
Lion Brand Yarn had a spectacular booth that was decorated with the "Seven Wonders of the Yarn World", all made with beautiful irons.  I hope this exhibit travels to other shows, as it was super cute!

BROTHER SCAN N CUT
brother scan n cut

Brother has recently introduced a new ecutter, called the Scan-N-Cut.  It is the first ecutter that includes a built in 300 dpi scanner.

Like other ecutters, this product is marketed for scrapbooking and other crafts, but unlike other ecutters this product has done the best job SewCalGal has seen to-date to build in functionality that makes this product perfect for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.   There are many options for how you may want to use this product to create.  

For example you may want to doodle on paper, scan it and cut out part of that design.  You may want to scan and cut a shape on fabric for applique.  You can even cut out quilt block pieces, where you set the size that you want your block to be, and stitch out your blocks.  

There are over 600 built-in Designs, including 100 quilt patterns, plus 5 fonts.  And don't forget you can scan designs and cut, as well as use various software packages to create designs that you can create SVG files to cut using this device. 

 Like other ecutters it can accomodate 12"x12" and 12"x24" cutting mats, as well as rolls of vinyl.  Retail is $499.




SewCalGal also wants to point out that this amazing 3D swirly snowflake creation is designed by the very talented Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero (Kaleidoscope Collections).  Jeanie has been using the Scan-N-Cut to create a variety of designs and sharing insights on her blog, which you may want to follow to also see what she creates with this ecutter, as well as see how she uses it combined with her super fun and creative Kaleidoscope Collections software.

ECLIPS2 BY SIZZIX


Sizzix introduced eclips2, their 2nd and more powerful electronic cutting system.  Their first ecutter was actually introduced 5 years ago!  This version has an enhanced motor, industrial strength gears, reduced noise and other improvements to help get more precise cuts.  It is also accompanied with free eCAL lite software to allow you to create your own designs, plus cut, score, draw and edit unique shapes for unique projects.

sizzix eclips2

SewCalGal liked the preview feature that allows you to place cuts on materials that may have been previously cut, to allow you to place your new cut to be efficient and optimize use of your materials.  There are also two new models of the ECLIPS2, one of which, will incorporate bluetooth technology to allow users to use the ipads or tablets to work with the eclips2. To clarify, both models can be connected to a computer via a USB cable, but the bluetooth model will allow you to easily bypass the USB cable when used with your tablet.   Retail of the basic eclips2, which will introduce this Spring, is $299 and the model that is bluetooth compatible will be introduced at a slightly higher price (~$50-$60 more), early summer.

These ecutters are definitely marketed towards crafters, with less emphasis on quilters.  But they will cut fabric even though they do not come with a blade for cutting fabric (you simply adjust your settings to cut and need to make sure your fabric is starched well and/or stabilized with a good adhesive stabilizer).   They also come with a basic version of the software and the Designer software version can be purchased for a $25-$50 upgrade price (final price has not yet been determined).

The cutting size for both these new models is 12"x12", 12"x24", or a roll of vinyl.

Also, Sizzix will be releasing a new ESHAPE store this Spring which will offer pre-designed ecut files that can be purchased and downloaded for use on your eclips cutters.

SILHOUETTE

New accessories for the Silhouette ecutters were introduced:  a stencil material,  12"x24"vellum sheets and new adhesive mats that have less tack that make it easier when cutting vellum.

SIMPLICITY EZ QUILTING

There were many wonderful products in the Simplicity booth. SewCalGal was particularly drawn to the SewEZ Jelly Roll ruler, the Joseph's Coat acrylic templates, and the Inkadinkado products.  The Inkadinkado products just seemed to be fun to be able to stamp and create your own fabrics and I think they would look wonderful with beautiful free-motion quilting.  SewCalGal definitely wants to spend more time playing with these products.

Simplicity EZI Quilting





TOMBOW
tombow at CHA 2014
Tombow had an inspirational booth filled with beautiful art made with their creative markers and other craft products.   

CHAMELON
cameleon pens

Cameleon introduced some very new marking pens that are alcohol based markers that are refillable and the pen nibs allow excellent control for marking, and amazing color range.  These markers and their gorgeous colors look like they'd be great with artists, crafters and mixed media artists. 

While SewCalGal was told, during a demonstration, that these markers are permanent on most materials, SewCalGal has not yet had a chance to test them on fabrics. But I want to heighten awareness of these new pens, as I think they are going to be very popular.  

CHAMELEON SKINZ 


cameleon fabrics

Cameleon Skinz introduced inspirational fabrics and tapes that change color based on temperature.  You can use your hands, ice, etc.to doodle on these materials.  

Fabrics by Cameleon Skinz have been popular for use in children's hospitals, as they certainly are more inviting for children and they are easy to clean.  But, SewCalGal thinks there are endless possibilities for these products.

Custom fabric orders can be made for different temperature sensitivity, as well as colors.  You can even embed secret messages as well as specifications can be set to allow an initial writer to write a secret message that someone else can then reveal it!  

SewCalGal can certainly think of many projects that would be fun to create with these temperature sensitive materials.  But more awareness needs to be made to help this material cross into the quilting, sewing and even embroidery world.    


I hope you enjoyed hearing my insights on the CHA show. With over 400 vendors, it was quite a challenge as to which products I could share insights with you today. 


The NBC Today Show also attended the CHA Mega Show.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

SewCalGal also hopes to share more insights on many of these products in the near future and maybe a few sponsored giveaways too!  But, at a minimum I hope you'll keep you eye out for these products as they appear in your local sewing and craft shops, or favorite online shops.  And, if you don't see them do let store owners or managers know that you are interested in having them carry these products in their store.  After all, exceptional retail stores do appreciate hearing from customers as to what you'd like to have them offer for sale in their stores.

For more information on CHA:

https://www.craftandhobby.org
https://www.facebook.com/CraftandHobby
https://www.youtube.com/user/CraftandHobby
https://twitter.com/craftandhobby
http://craftandhobby.wordpress.com/


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4 comments:

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What a fascinating event!! I cannot imagine visiting 400 vendors. I can see why it would take more than one day! Thanks for the reviews.

Suze said...

I'm at a loss for words. Wow!

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

I am looking forward to read your next post about the ecutters! I have wanted the scan and cut ever since I read about it on Julie Fei Fan Balzer's blog, but they are not available here in Norway - yet.
CHA sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Jacqueline said...

I am jealous... What a great expo to attend. Thanks for sharing and I hope to see more