Dear ASDP Board

2015 Conference Highlights: The Fine Art of Sewing and Design

12/02/2015 7:06 PM | Anonymous

The 2015 ASDP National Educational Conference was held October 14-20 at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Northstar, downtown Minneapolis, featuring seven days of classes, meetings, and social events, with 79 members and guests attending.

On registration, attendees received an ASDP logo neck wallet for holding their name badge, conference tickets, room key, credit cards, pens, and other things and were told that bringing it to conference in Vancouver will net them a small but special perk at conference next year. The hotel, connected with Northstar Mall and the enclosed skyway, had a layout ideal for attendees, with registration, meeting rooms and events all conveniently located on the seventh floor.

Thursday night’s welcome reception was held in the beautiful Minnetonka Lounge and connecting Fireside Room instead of the outside Skygarden, as originally planned, due to a dip in the temperature and threat of rain. Susan Khalje shared lovely garments and fabrics as she presented “The Fine Art of Lace.” Members and guests (including Threads staff Judith Neukam and Carol Fresia, as well as LAA recipient Sandra Betzina) enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks as they met new friends and became reacquainted with old ones.

Large canvasses of famous artwork with the faces cut out for photo-ops made their first appearance, and were seen at various events throughout the weekend. Rae Cumbie spoke briefly about the ASDP Foundation, which has now been reactivated as a 501c3 charitable foundation. The reception followed the return of some members from the all-day bus tour of Minneapolis and St. Paul that included visits to the Guthrie Theatre Costume Shop, where they marveled over the vast array of costumes, the Textile Center, one of the finest fiber arts groups in the country, and the Minnesota History Center’s collection of Munsingwear memorabilia.

There was, of course, shopping – at the Textile Center’s fine gift shop, Treadle Yard Goods, and the fabled 30,000 square feet of fabric and notions at S.R. Harris. Other members at conference on Wednesday and Thursday enjoyed pre-conference classes in a variety of subjects.

Friday brought full-day classes as well as the keynote luncheon featuring award-winning speaker and Minnesota native Theresa Rose, who presented a lively program on realistic time management.

Theresa Rose, Keynote Speaker

At Friday evening’s Fashion Show and Member Showcase, attendees were treated to a runway and multimedia presentation that spotlighted the entries in the Threads Inspired by Art Sheath Dress Challenge. Coordinator Terri Tipps outlined the requirements of the competition, and the artistic inspiration was shown on dual screens on each side of the runway as the garments were modeled. Finalist garments were brought back on the runway for a final look and Audience Choice voting. The national board members again presented a humorous segment as Audience Choice votes were tallied. The segment in which they recreated famous works of art was again a hit with the members. Undoubtedly the favorite of the audience, Chapter Relations VP Debby Spence presented “Thorn Necklace” by Frida Kahlo, with hilariously striking realism!

Student Design Challenge Winner Erica Sorenson and finalist Valerie Bolden

As a surprise, one of the sewing machines generously donated by Baby Lock was raffled off to raise money for the ASDP Foundation. Member Abby Riba of Florida was the winner and plans to gift the machine to her granddaughter. Karen Gay, Regional Student Challenge Coordinator, introduced the two student finalists from the Minneapolis area, and presented winner Erica Sorenson with a prize package that included a student membership in ASDP, $200 cash, a Threads subscription, and a Baby Lock sewing machine valued at $1,799, among other things.

Judith Neukam of Threads magazine, along with Carol Fresia (who will be moving into Judith’s position as our liaison with Threads), introduced fellow judges Susan Khalje and Patricia Robison (last year’s Best Overall winner) then announced the winners for 2015:

Best Overall Award: Tricia Crockett from Damascus, Oregon

Best Construction: Susan Widawski from Belleville, Michigan

Best Creative Interpretation: Barbie McCormick from Nampa, Idaho

Best Successful Adaptation: Debby Spence from Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Audience Choice Award: Linda McCoy from Oostberg, Wisconsin

Photos of the winning garments will be published in Threads Magazine in spring 2016.

Saturday brought a mix of both full and half-day classes for the first time. Two smaller meetings were held that day as well: the MSDP/MAP breakfast hosted by Vandarra Robbins and the Chapter Relations Luncheon with Debby Spence. In the afternoon attendees visited the Vendor Market which, though small (9 vendors this year) offered wonderful high quality fabrics, trims, leathers, patterns and books from a variety of sources. Vendors interviewed were very happy with the response of members.

In the evening, the ballroom was the setting for our Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony and banquet with guest of honor and industry icon Sandra Betzina. After dinner, President Debra Utberg recognized former national presidents in attendance and introduced member Janee Connor, who read her nomination for Sandra Betzina as LAA recipient. Debra Utberg then presented a stunning glass sculptured award to Sandra and offered a champagne toast. Sandra then gave a short acceptance speech and graciously posed for photos with members, including group photos with those who were wearing designs made from Sandra’s McCall’s patterns.

Sunday morning came early after Saturday night’s celebration, with a 7 am breakfast and 7:30 am annual meeting. Reports were given by board members (see reports on the ASDP website), and President Debra Utberg gave a presentation on the budget. The early draft cut for the ASDP promotional video being done as a class project by University of Minnesota film students was premiered with great excitement, and the location and dates of the 2017 conference was announced as Orlando, Florida, October 18-22. Annual elections for the national board were held, with all nominated positions being elected. Members were released to attend morning, then afternoon classes.

The Last Hurrah Tea late Sunday afternoon gave members a chance to connect one last time over beverages and sweets before going their separate ways again. Numerous door prizes generously donated by sewing and design businesses as well as member businesses were give away throughout the weekend. Approximately two dozen members stayed over to attend post conference classes on Monday and Tuesday.

Our sincere thanks to our sponsors, Baby Lock, Threads, McCalls, Fit for Art Patterns, and Reliable for making a great conference possible!

Written by Karen  Gay

2885 Sanford Ave SW #19588, Grandville, MI 49418 ~ Toll-Free (877) 755-0303 

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