Sunday, June 15, 2014

Embroidery Conferences ... More Than Just Learning

What, it is June already? Where does the time go? Well, I know I spent a lot of my time  getting ready for the AEC (American Embroidery Conference) since I last blogged. It was held in sunny Palm Beach Gardens, Florida the last week of May. Not that I got to see a lot of that sun as an instructor and a vendor. We were kept very busy inside. Here is a shot of my Pegboard Crafts booth.

I was busy teaching Embird classes too. There were lot of other instructors and vendors with all sorts of expertise and wares. I love these smaller, topic specific conferences. At this one, everyone there owns - or soon owned - a computerized embroidery machine so we had 100+ people all with something in common. That makes for some great learning opportunities as well as the opportunity to make life-long friends. Here I am with two of my very best friends.

I met Beth at my very first embroidery conference in Indiana. She was my best customer that year but it just seemed like I had known her all my life. I met Terri at another AEC a few years back. She is the famous Terri Hanson of Terradon Embroidery and I was just Peggy. I was sooooo terrified of meeting her. But we clicked instantly and have been BFF's ever since even though she lives in Minneapolis and I am in Ohio. I can't forget Denise who I happened to meet, along with Granny on the way to AEC, in the Georgia Welcome Center along south-bound I-75. She and her friends were headed there too.

And of course, it is more than just fun too. The classes are great and there is a nice variety. You will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the instructors in person. A lot of our learning takes place online and I think it is much easier to converse with, and learn from, someone you have actually met. You will learn about and be able to see and feel lots of new products as well. There are just some things you need to see before you buy. Here one Pegboard Crafts fan is just thrilled with the two little coin purses she sat down and made for her two granddaughters. Her face says it all, doesn't it? It cost $2 to sit down with Beth and make a little coin purse, but the $50 we raised all went to Kids in Distress. Thank You!

Thanks Jeannie and Pudding for putting the whole thing together. This was their first year at the helm and they did a great job! Dave and Laura from Laura's Sewing and Vacuum were the supporting machine dealers this year. They had some great deals for all of us, and were a lot of fun too.  I really look forward to next year's AEC when it is back in Marietta, Georgia. And while my boot definitely made me a stand-out this year, I am happy to announce that is now going to be relegated to planter status. BTW, I used Applique Fuse & Stick from Terradon Embroidery to apply the fabric before I zigzagged it on the Velcro strips.

I can tell you that my life and career has taken some very interesting twists because of the people I have met along the way. I wish I could name them all, but hopefully you know who you are and how much I appreciate your help. You really just never know where one little thing may lead. Next time you get a chance to attend a conference, or just a class, I hope you will decide to go. Even if you travel alone, think of it as going to meet all those wonderful new friends at the end of your journey and see where life leads you.

And I am still Just Peggy ....