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Sew Fine

Carroll County, Ky., sewing expo
growing in popularity

Keynote speaker
known as ‘Decorating Diva’

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2011) – Known to many as the Decorating Diva, Pam Damour has a passion for interior design. Her fascination with sewing began at an early age and has carried her into a 30-plus year career as an interior designer, sewing professional and seasoned, often sought after speaker.
“I have been sewing since before I could read. Sewing is like air to me; I need it to live,” said Damour, 53.

Damour

Damour

Damour will be the keynote speaker for the fifth annual “It’s Sew Fine: for Home & Family” Sewing Expo, scheduled for April 12-13 at Gen. Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, Ky. A buffet dinner is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12. After dinner, Damour will give a presentation that will focus on “the future trends in the decorating industry, and how to forecast where the soft furnishing industry is going.”
She has been sewing for so long that she doesn’t even remember learning how to sew. “I only remember getting better. I got my first sewing machine at the age of six.”
Damour lives on the shores of Lake Champlain in New York in a log cabin at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains. Mostly self-taught, she credits her great Aunt Shirley as a wonderful mentor. Another huge influence on her was a junior high home economics teacher, Rita Cote-Bedard.
Damour began her designing career at Plattsburgh State and finished at Hood College. Halfway through a fashion design program, Damour realized her passion for interior design. “Three of the things I love most are designing, sewing and power tools. Where else can you have a career that involves all three?”
Damour has penned a new book, “Creative Ways to Finish Your Quilts.” She likes to label herself as an “interior designer by profession and a quilter by passion! I have sometimes gotten so obsessed with quilting that I had to start my own ’12 step recovery program.’”
As a full time career educator, Damour has traveled to most of the states in the United States to teach, including Canada, Australia and Europe. She is the instructor for many workshops and retreats throughout the year.
As many as 150 sewing enthusiasts are expected to attend the two-day sewing expo in Carrollton. A variety of interactive, hands-on classes will be available for beginners to more seasoned stitchers. Included are such topics as Envelope Neck Purse, Specialty Quilt Battings, Fourth of July Pinwheel Wall Hanging, Fat Quarter Fun, Whimsy Butterflies, Bodacious Feather Star, Othello Jacket and Serger Basics and Beyond.
Sewing is making a comeback as women return to quilting and sewing for their families and “because people are returning to sewing for relaxation,” said Grace Angotti, Carroll County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences. “A lot of people in this area have never been exposed to a sewing expo of this scope.”
Nationally known teachers will be leading the classes, including instructors from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Chicago and New York. “The teachers are really knowledgeable, but it’s not only the teachers, but the fact that you can get current, cutting-edge information,” said Angotti. “We provide a lot of resources for sewers about supplies and getting information.”
Registration will be held from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on April 12, coinciding with a “Make It and Take It” workshop. Each participant will create a patchwork nametag. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at which time classes will continue until 4 p.m.
After the buffet dinner and Damour’s presentation, the first day will end with participants having a chance to view exhibits, and an instructor showcase in which expo instructors share ideas, demonstrate and sell their wares. Previous expo projects will be on display.
Classes will resume on Wednesday, April 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two-day event will host 26 different sessions. In addition to a registration fee, participants are responsible for individual class fees, material costs and lodging. A block of rooms have been reserved for participants wishing to stay overnight at the park.
Room reservations can be made at General Butler by calling 1-866-462-8853. Mention “Sewing Expo” to receive special rates. Reservation deadline is March 11.
A registration fee of $85 covers hands-on classes, an instructor’s showcase, exhibits, lunch for two days and the Tuesday night buffet. A registration packet and supply list can be found at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/owen.

• For more information, call Grace Angotti at the Carroll County Extension office at (502) 732-7030.

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