The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo opens today! I’ve been the past two or three years and really enjoyed it, mostly just checking out all the cool wares for sale on the Expo floor. Last year, I even took a couple of classes and that was great.

There are lots of great deals to be had, especially on machines. I bought my sewing machine at the Expo last year for an amazing price. I’ve yet to see it lower anywhere in the past 12 months and it’s been a great machine (excepting that little ghost sewing incident).

If you’re going, be sure to stop by the Intown Quilters booth (231) and say “hi.” I’ll be working this morning (until about 1) and then again on Saturday.

Inspiration in Procrastination

I have not sewn in more than a week. Quite a few reasons for this (The Project, among them) but the most noticeable among them is my back. I have done something to it. What, I don’t know. What I do know is that it hurts to sit, stand, walk or lie down, so I’ve let lethargy take over, along with a great deal of whining. I’m getting a massage tomorrow, though, and am optimistic it will get things right so I can be productive and mobile once again. Not that I couldn’t be productive now. It’s just giving me an excuse to procrastinate, my favorite thing ever. If it were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist.

Of course, all this procrastinating has given me the chance to browse among some yummy (mostly) new craft books. Here are a few that’ll soon be on my shelves:

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross

I had the opportunity to meet Heather in Houston and could barely form words. She’s incredibly nice and had a proof copy of her book with her, which I eagerly browsed. It’s a truly lovely book and I’m looking forward to getting my own copy. The projects all can be made in a weekend or less (hence the name). I really just love the feel the book evokes: very casual and laid back, like a weekend at the shore or in the mountains, surrounded by your nearest and dearest (all of whom happen to love sewing!).

Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes

Sew What! Skirts is one of my favorite books, so I had to flip through this one when I happened upon it at the book store. It’s another draft-it-yourself book, this time revolving around purses and bags (duh). I’m kind of a purse pattern junkie, so I’m sure I’ll be nabbing this oen before too long, even though I have some patterns that are similar to the bags in this book. Still, I really like the aesthetic of the book and the concept — drafting exactly the right bag for my needs — appeals to me on so many levels.

Sew & Stow by Betty Oppenheimer

I don’t care what they say about judging a book by it’s cover. I saw the cover of this book and immediately had to grab it off the shelf to flip through it. Oh, the pretties! I wanted to carry it over to the coffee shop and sip my Frappuccino while trying not to drool on the pages. Lots of cute and useful projects for everything from the kitchen to the garden to the craft room. I’m thinking this is THE book to have for sewing gifts for some of the favorite people in my life (like teachers).

Zakka Sewing: 25 Japanese Projects for the Household by Therese Laskey and Chika Mori

My love for Japanese sewing books and magazines is beyond comprehension, so when I ran across this title it literally took everything I had not to run to the counter and buy it on the spot. I need it. I want it. And I. Will. Have. IT! I have no need for a squirrel teapot cozy, and yet I want to make one and then more to share with my friends. I’m not sure how practical of a book it is but sometimes I just like to look at pretty pictures and daydream.

Shop Crafty

If you’re looking for something fun and crafty to do this weekend, then think about checking out the Sugarloaf  Crafts Festival. It’s going on today through Sunday at the Cobb Galleria Centre and looks like it’ll have lots of great art and crafty things so you can shop and make a dent in your gift-giving list. Or, you know, treat yourself to something special.

There’s also music, live demos and family entertainment — plus food! (I’m looking forward to sampling some handmade candies. Yummmmm!)

Oh, and you can print a coupon to save some money on admission. Just head over here, click and print!

I think I’ll be heading over, probably Sunday (lots going on tomorrow). If you see me, be sure to say hi!

Fine Art by Patricia Dibona

Shhhh! Don’t Tell Honey

Look what followed me home from the Sewing Expo today:

Just kidding about not telling my husband; he’s actually the one who urged me to buy a new sewing machine. My last two machine purchases were from a big discount retailer. Great for the budget. Less so when it comes to sewing quality. Things started out well with my last Brother sewing machine — purchased about a year ago — but I soon found that it could be … inconsistent. Random thread tension issues that cropped up in the middle of a sewing project. Snapping bobbin threads. The complete unwillingness to sew a buttonhole on an actual garment (but willing to cover every scrap fabric with perfect buttonholes 10 times in a row).

I’ve heard great things about Janomes and the price was right, so I handed over the bank card and drove home with my very first Janome sewing machine. It’s currently on the living room floor, where I sat playing with it while watching the most recent episode of Lost with Honey. It’s so quiet, it didn’t interfere with our viewing experience even a little bit. And it sews like a dream, just so smoothly and perfectly.

Yes, I’m in love.