Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sewing Summit Wrap Up

Here's the lowdown on The Sewing Summit.  For those of you who are over it, I'll be working in an update on my adventures with Free Motion Quilting and there's also a bit of English Paper Piecing progress.  So boring?  Or not.  Whatever.

One of the best parts of The Sewing Summit was rooming with Amanda of My Sewcial Hour (right) and Holly of Bijou Lovely (left).  You never know how it'll go, being with someone you only kind of know in such close quarters.  Well, it rocked.  I think we all three wanted a relaxed pace, not that we achieved that.  These two shots are Amanda's.  For more pretty shots of The Sewing Summit, see her photostream.  The girl has the skills.  My point and shoot camera was pretty well defeated by the mood lighting in the hotel and the fact that people - unlike my projects - have this pesky habit of moving.

This is our room. Isn't it lovely! The entire hotel was quite posh, and the event was nicely catered too.  I was particularly happy to find lots of delish deserts floating around in the evening.  Chocolate makes me happy.

the Sewing Room

My first class was Improv Piecing. How lucky to start off Saturday morning at the machine!  I had never tried curved improv piecing before. Here's what I came up with.

getting curvy at Improv Piecing

That was fun!  What do you think it should be?

Allison Harris at Free Motion Quilting

Next was Free Motion Quilting. Allison Harris (Cluck, Cluck, Sew) is such a sweet lady.  She seemed kind of shy to be teaching, but she was definitely the right lady for the job.  I got over my fears thanks to a tiny quilt sandwich, plus the start/stop sewing button on the Babylock machines, which removes the need for the peddle and thus one stitch-length variable.  Fortunately, I have the same button on my cheapo Kenmore at home.  Unfortunately, my Kenmore is lame.  I told Allison how I have tension problems on the bottom when I do circles or loops, only when making circles in one direction.  She said that's probably just my machine.  Which is, of course, exactly what I wanted to hear.  I did bring home a half-used quilt sandwich to run through my machine. I'll have to report back if I have the same tension issues, even given what I learned about fixing tension in Allison's class.

by Amanda S. & Mary Catharine too

Um, now's the part where I have to show you my free motion quilting....

my Free Motion Quilting

Yikes. In conclusion I need a new machine that isn't lame and has more than a paltry 6" of room in the arm. I plan on working on that after I get my book under contract (yes, more on that soon!).

Let's see, what else?

Jeni B at Creative Fabric Selection

There was Jeni's class.  It was cool to see her stuff up close.

fat quarter swap winnings

And my crazy-good luck at the Fat Quarter Swap.

But, I don't know, it's kind of a big blur.  There was so much going on all the time, so many people to meet and very little time to really get to know them.  I guess I crave that time to really sit down and talk.  Maybe my personality is more suited to a weekend quilting retreat than a big convention like this one. 

handwork progress

Along those lines, I really enjoyed chatting over my English paper piecing handwork in my room, the lobby, the airport...  What, did you think I would get more done than 4 stars?

Me too.

Well, I did fritter away some time crocheting and teaching crochet.  Nice and mindless that crochet.  Highly recommend it. 

Sewing Summit take home

When I got home I surveyed my loot.  You know I didn't buy that much out shopping.  I won something like 4 or 5 drawings and was fortunate enough to be at a dinner organized by Jennifer and Elena that had some really fabulous swag.  These are some of my favorite take-homes.

some good stuff

I've already done some sewing with that Peacock Lane at left.  Such great colors in that line!

Today I finally got back behind the sewing machine.  It's been way too long.  I have some cute sewn things to show you tomorrow.  Good night!


  1. I have a singer and get that problem with curves and loops if I haven't had my machine serviced in a while. They do something and it works for a couple months and then not. My service guy says it is all the lint.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I'm living through everyone's post about sewing summit! :)

  3. Crafty Maine Mom - Oh really? Well, I did have lint build up that I have sense taken care of. That gives me hope to try again!

  4. thanks for sharing about your experience! reading about sewing summit on all these blogs makes me really determined to sew more often when i get a chance so that someday soon, i'll feel that i have enough skills to even go to a sewing retreat/convention!

  5. A funny thing happened... we were both at the Summit and I'm not sure that I met you in real life?! How could that happen??!! Well, do forgive me if maybe we chatted (even briefly) without me knowing who you were! :)

    As far as Free Motion goes-- I'd check the lint. I have a singer too and it's a bit picky on the underside if I don't dust the bobbin casing really well!

  6. love seeing how it went! and book under contract, sounds like good news!!

  7. It was fun meeting you and chatting on the shop hop! I can't wait to see all the work that comes out of this fabric we ended up with.

  8. It was so nice to meet you at dinner on Friday night!!! I can't wait to catch up on your blog! :)

  9. So glad you had a great time. What fun swag to play with!

  10. Sounds like a fab weekend, and I think my heart skipped a beat at that room full of sewing machines!

  11. Okay, I think I'm getting my sewing mojo back, because this post TOTALLY inspired some envy. :)

  12. Thanks for the round up - looks like fun!

  13. Anna - Well, book's not under contract yet, but we're getting close enough to taste it. I'm trying to wrap my head around it really happening and start making stuff like it's real!

  14. Very nice hotel room! It looks so fun! :)

  15. yay! it was so nice to meet you this weekend, rachel! :)

  16. Looks like an amazing trip! Well done on your improv square!

  17. I too think my personality is better geared towards a sewing retreat rather than a convention. But it was worth going to see what it would be like! Plus I got to meet you. Can't wait to hear about the book and which publisher you're going with!

  18. Okay, not to be rude and ignore everything on your post, which was GREAT, BUT I LOVE Jeni's and Allison's dresses! What fun!

  19. so lovely! i love my babylock, i have a grace. i have yet to try free motion with it but i am excited to start once i finish the project i am working on!

  20. Really great to meet you even if it was only on the last morning. :)

  21. Rachel - I so enjoyed meeting you at Summit! What a jam packed weekend, for sure. I am still bummed I missed your crochet time/meeting Fri night- it was just impossible to fit it all in! Look forward to hearing more about your book proposal!

  22. One of the members of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild was at the Sewing Summit and gave a report. She had a great time. I asked if she had a chance to meet you and she said yes. I know she really enjoyed getting to meet all her blogging friends..

  23. It's true; it was a little overwhelming, and a smaller group would be fun for more extended chatting/crafting! Still, I'm so glad I went, so glad we met. I may have scored some Peacock Lane (to go with the two pieces in my stash) this week. I can't wait to see what you've done with yours!

  24. It was so, so fun!! I am very happy that we roomed together and am looking forward to seeing you again sometime.


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