Our Schoolhouse Rocked!

Special guest blogger Dena "Kreinikgirl" Lenham talks about our 2010 Spring Quilt Market Schoolhouse.

You never know what to expect when going to a new school. As we walked to the Kreinik classroom for Spring Quilt Market's Schoolhouse sessions, we wondered who would be there, would they like us? We were so excited to discover a room filled to capacity with shop owners, teachers and designers wanting to learn about embellishing in 3-D. We left energized by the ideas around Kreinik's holographic threads for fabric arts. It was a fun way to start the trade show.

At Schoolhouse, you have 15 minutes to show and tell. Doug Kreinik began by introducing Kreinik's new holographic threads as the "Avatar" of threads — the latest in hip, 3-D tech that is just downright fun. Then Dena Lenham showed models made with the holographics: a handmade felt bird, a machine-couched 'galaxy' quilt, a cross-stitched bookmark, and about 10 other creative projects made by hand or sewing machine. The lighting in a convention center is notoriously bad, but even in this classroom the holographics stood out, with flecks of color showing the unique 3-D effect. "Wows" were heard over and over from the students.

We had time for Q&A: "Are the holographic threads washable?" (yes) "What do you use for the couching thread?" (a clear monofilament works best) "Can you use these in a machine?" (yes; the thinner Blending Filament and #4 Braid sizes can go through a needle, the other sizes can be used in the bobbin or couched). "What do you use for the bobbin thread?" (a 60-weight cotton works well). The models were passed around the room and ideas started popping up: "You can use this for..." "This would be good in..."

We loved meeting everyone at Schoolhouse, most of whom came to our table at Sample Spree later that night or to the Kreinik booth during the show, bringing even more ideas they had thought of for using the holographic threads in quilting and sewing projects. At a trade show full of grand fabric companies, huge sewing machine companies, and renown pattern designers, Kreinik became The Little Thread That Could — that could embellish these fabrics, be used on those machines, and bring the patterns to life.

We can't wait to show and tell again as we host another schoolhouse session, this time in TIPS at the June 11, 2010 TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio. If you will be at the show, come to class.

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