Today is the fourth and final day of the annual sewing and stitchery show at the Washington State Fair Grounds. We are wrapping up our first time exhibiting at this unique event. The last time I was at the fairgrounds was as a newlywed visiting the 1995 Puyallup Fair (since renamed the Washington State Fair). The scones, oh my the scones. These amazing treats have been a part of the Fair since 1910 and I was happy to enjoy a warm one yesterday. Twenty years ago Lori and I had just started our marriage and business. Today finds us with a maturing business (and marriage) and thousands of dollars in hand dyed silks at a sewing show. Next year we will be better prepared with small project kits for silk flower making and fabric embellishments.
Our silk customers have recommended this show for years and now we know why! With over 30,000 paid attendance we were happy to find the aisles full of crafty customers.
The Sewing and Stitchery Expo SewExpo is the largest consumer sewing show in America. There are more than 100 daily seminars, workshops and shows. There are over 400 booths packed with tools, supplies and fabrics.
I spoke to attendees from South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, California and Texas. I saw a license plate in the parking lot from Tennessee!
You can buy a four day pass for $40 or visit one day for $12 to see a non-stop series of demos on the Free Stage and fashion models on the Expo Runway. The daily hands-on classes always draw a crowd as participants learn a new technique and leave with a finished project.
We hope that if you found us there this year you will be back for more silk ribbon next year and if you have not attended this event before you will come see what all the fuss is about.
This time of year always has us scrambling; rushing to pack and ship orders in time for the holidays, rushing to get gifts wrapped for friends and family, rushing to complete our end of year inventory, rushing up and down I-5 to visit our loved ones.
Now that the new year has begun the next rush is on. Our annual local bridal show begins next weekend at the Washington State Convention center which was built right over I-5 where it passes through the center of downtown Seattle. We have new designs to add to our existing line of plantable invitations. We have new equipment going into this bridal season that we bought at last year’s Stationery Show in NY. We have just 7 more days to put the finishing touches on the invitations that we hope resonate with our Seattle customers.
Once that show is over we begin building a new (sturdier) crate for the NY Gift Show that runs Jan 31 – Feb 4 at the Javits center. At the end of February we are excited to be participating for the first time in the largest show of its kind in the nation: The SewExpo http://www.sewexpo.com/. We are excited to be part of the show and look forward to meeting many of you there.
We are excited to see what these next few months bring but want to give a quick shout out to a couple of our 2014 customers who shared their photos with us.
Here is a photo of our Earth Silk ribbon that Heather Edgar sent.
She runs her own business: Evergreen Flower Co. of Columbus, Ohio and was kind enough to send these beautiful photographs. Thanks Heather!
One thing we love about the Seattle Wedding Show is the special connections we make with our local brides. We met Rebecca and Thomas at last year’s wedding show along with Rebecca’s mom. They were that couple you meet who you can see married forever, their shared energy and enthusiasm were infectious. We had a great time working with them on all of their wedding plans, this pair was doing it all! They loved that we offered so many do it yourself options as they were planning to do just as much as they could (including making their own rings). After their event they shared their wedding web site with us (which is where this photo is from). You should take a look!
Lastly we were excited to work on these holiday cards with a great creative team from Darien, Connecticut. Thanks for letting us share your project Jim! GW Hoffman
We are so fortunate to have such wonderful customers! We recently were contacted by a customer who celebrated a fall 2014 wedding who just wanted to say “Thanks” for our contribution to her wedding day. We had worked with her to find the right silk color for her wedding, not realizing until receiving the photos just how prominent our Earth Silk ribbon would be on display on her big day. It was so wonderful to have a window into her event and see the happiness on display. Thank you so much for sharing! We love how beautiful you made our silk ribbon look!
Photographer: R.T. Photography, Louisville, KY
Alterationist: Heather Brown Alteration, Louisville, KY
Flowers: By the Bride, Erin Tims
Since we started our silk dying studio in 2010, we have known there was a need for this, now we have finally made it happen. The Earth Silk Sample Set gives you a look at our 90 blends in a new way. The 1 inch wide lengths will let you see how the dyes interact with the material in a more informative way than our 5/8″ swatches can. The eight yard lengths allow you to see how the patterns that form on some of our blends, repeat. Unlike the swatch card where the silk is grouped in numerical order, on the silk sample cards we have arranged them by color.
We have numbered them on both sides, with the silk overlapping by a half inch. You will notice that the ribbon’s number is centered on the correct color. You can also use the web site as a quick reference if you are unsure.
“Create amazing trims, butterflies, flowers and more with How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments. With clever techniques and a huge selection of ribbon styles to choose from, the timeless art of making ribbon embellishments is better than ever. Let author Elaine Schmidt take you through 100 ribbon designs, offering helpful hints and tips to help you make beautiful accessories to place anywhere.”
2015 update! We just got a note from Andrea asking to have her images removed from our blog so that they could submit them to Martha Stewart! Best of luck Andrea!!
When Andrea Miles of A Miles Designs approached us about her wedding we were excited and eager to help. She had a distinct vision and color palette, but used our ideas and suggestions to elevate her design elements to a level we could have not imagined. Needless to say, we loved the finished product so much we asked her for an interview about the process. Read on for more about the details of Andrea’s wedding and her latest use of our products in her own line for children!
How did you discover Of The Earth?
I found you on Etsy and fell in love with the hand dyed silk ribbon in Tickle. I ordered a few yards and basically designed/dyed the bridesmaids dresses around it. It was the first thing I bought for the wedding and it inspired the bridesmaids dresses that our girls (our daughters) wore that day.
What were your initial product needs for your wedding?
It was decided that I could use some interfacing to make it more rigid in the area that went around their waists, so it became their belt/sash. The length that tied was left soft. When I ordered the roll of 2.5″, there was quite a bit left over and it was the perfect thing to tie around all of the bouquets. I noticed that they had various widths and bought a roll of a thinner width to replace the white satin ribbon that was stitched on the edge of my veil. Again, there was a large surplus of this thinner width, so I used the extra on the invitations. We had our invitations rolled up and inserted into glass bottles. wrapped around these bottles was a square that looked like the Brady Bunch (9 squares, mom in top middle, dad in bottom middle, my children in the left squares, my husband’s in the right squares and in the middle square in the same font as the TV show it said “bridal bunch”). The thinner silk ribbon was tied around the bottles to hold these in place.
How was our input helpful during your planning process?
After I got my first cutting of the 2.5 silk ribbon, I decided that I wanted the girls’ bridesmaid dress to be dyed in a pink ombre. I contacted Kevin because I was totally ignorant on the subject of dying. He was super helpful and pointed me in the right direction. I had to use a different type of dye because I was dying tulle instead of silk, but I could not have done it without his help. I recently contacted him about ribbon for another project, and once again, he went out of his way. My experience with Of The Earth has been one of the best, if not the best, that i have ever had with a business. And trust me, I’ve done a lot of shopping/buying in my day.
Tell us about your Etsy line, A. Miles Designs?
AMiles Designs, my shop on Etsy, has monogrammed and appliqued towel wraps, hoodies, bikini bottoms and stockings right now. but I am adding pom pom shorts (really excited about these!), bandeau swim tops, 4 baby items, and pillows in the very near future.
How do you plan to use the custom ribbons from Of The Earth in your designs?
I love the ribbon because it is hand dyed and has the qualities that go with that. With wear, it gets a slight fray on the edges which I’m crazy about. I knew that I would incorporate the ribbon into a product in my shop on Etsy from the beginning, but I just have not had the time until now.
Well we did it! We battled Super Bowl hotel prices, a slushy snow storm that shut down parts of the city and empty propane tanks (burrrrr!) in our efforts to put our Earth Silk ribbon line in front of an East Coast audience.
Here is our latest effort at creative film making (video #3)
It appears we have officially segued into the fashion industry: we have launched our very first silk ribbon wrap design! This is a one yard length of our hand dyed silk that is finished with two pointed ends and a seam stitch along the entire length.
Our modern take on the classic “fairy ribbon” design is available in over 150 color options. These Earth Silk ribbons are made by hand in our Seattle studio. We measure, mix, dye, rinse, wash, dry, fold, iron, stitch and sew to bring you this great wrist accessory.
The wrap is a thoughtful, eco-gift idea and an easy and affordable accessory option to elevate any ensemble. After years of inquiries, we are excited to offer to offer a hand dyed silk ribbon option to our jewelry-designing and accessorizing clients worldwide!
We just shipped this custom ribbon to a happy bride. She wanted to order our pressed hydrangea flowers but she needed a silk ribbon to match the hue of the flowers. We have over 150 colors in our hand dyed silk ribbon line but none that were quite the right shade, until now!
We offer custom dyed silk ribbon with a low three spool minimum purchase. Once we have your color matched, chances are it will become part of our growing line of silks. For those customers looking for an exclusive ribbon for product packaging or a signature line we can offer you a five year license of your custom color if you pay a $400 development and licensing fee. We will keep your design out of our product line while it is under license.