Thursday, January 19, 2017

announcing Stitched Workshops!

I'm so excited to announce that this April I'll be opening up my home to host a weekend workshop for eight!  I've prepared the space and dreamed up a special event.  If all goes well I expect to host a spring and autumn workshop each year.  But let's not get ahead ourselves.  First let me tell you how this all started...

my Oodalolly

I attended the first Sewing Summit in 2011 and the first QuiltCon in 2013.  Although both were enriching events, I've come to accept that these big, fast-paced venues are not so much for me.  I'm easily tired by meeting hoards of new people, mixing in large groups, seeing, talking and doing all the things.  I like my sewing retreats to have more sewing in them than that.  And I much prefer quieter, more intimate settings for making new friends.

So, sooooo... I was inspired to create a workshop experience for those who also would enjoy something small, intimate and yet still creatively invigorating.  I love the idea of inviting you into my home, chatting by the fire, sewing, learning and eating together.  That's what I imagine for Stitched Workshops!

We'll start off with a family dinner on Friday night and a little looksee at some of my favorite creations.  Then, you'll enjoy 4 sewing sessions Saturday-Sunday, each three hours in length.  I'll be teaching some each session, and you'll have lots of time to sew.  My first workshop is an improv round robin!  Ready for the details?

Stitched Workshops!

Explore improv piecing in a friendly, intimate atmosphere this spring. Eight students will converge in my sunny studio to enjoy instruction, sewing and good company. Whether you come with some improv experience or none at all, this weekend is designed to grow your creative skills, to help you generate new ideas, experience new techniques and make new connections with color and shape.

I will be teaching design and ruler-free improv techniques at each workshop session. But as this is a skill best learned by doing, expect to spend about 60% of the time actually improv sewing! With the round robin format, students will be working on each other's quilts, an excellent way to see new possibilities.

3+ yards of American Made Brand solid fabrics will be supplied to each student!  Working with solids tends to facilitate growth in design.  This premium line of solid fabrics is grown and manufactured here in the United States.   I chose American Made Brand to sponsor our event because I feel you'll both benefit from and enjoy sewing with these solids!

a quilt top {Improv Handbook Score #4}

I want this to be a low-pressure, completely enjoyable experience.  You may take your quilt home to complete as you reflect upon and process all you've learned OR choose to leave it behind for me to finish as a charity quilt.  After seeing all your work, I'm sure I'll be eager to jump in myself!

Improv Round Robin ($675)

When: 6 pm, Friday, March 31st through 4:30 pm, Sunday, April 2nd.

Where: Columbia, South Carolina

What: (4) Workshop sessions each 3 hours in length, solid fabrics, 1 family dinner, 2 workshop lunches, 1 fireside dessert + evening chat, workshop transportation for those who stay in suggested hotel.

doodle goes on {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Supplies:  I'll provide fabrics, cutting mats, rotary cutters, pressing stations and design wall.  You should bring your sewing machine, needles/thread, small scissors and 1-3 additional favorite fabrics if desired.

Improv Score #5 with American Made Brand solids

After registration I will be in touch to facilitate your American Made Brand fabric order, provide airport and hotel recommendations and answer any questions you may have.

Register Here!  See you this spring!


p.s.  Spring in South Carolina comes early!  I chose this weekend because it's usually a gorgeous time for the dogwoods and azaleas on our property.  I hope to share the lovely weather with you! 


  1. Oh Rachel what a fantastic idea. This spring won't work for me, but I am going to keep my eye on your site for future retreats. Like you, I much prefer a smaller group and cozy environment. And I would love to meet you in person and visit your lovely home as well!

  2. You ticked off pretty much everything I look for in a sewing event. Well done! Alas, I don't think the timing works for me this year, but I'm hoping it's a rousing success so I can' contemplate it for another time. I was just wondering how to get myself started using solids. Obviously, the time is now.

  3. Good luck with your new venture ~ sounds wonderful, although travelling from Melbourne, Australia, might be out of the question. Your garden photo is divine!

  4. Good luck! It sounds like something you have put a lot of thought into and I am sure it will be a smash!!

  5. I leave on a trip to London a few days after this so it won't work for me but I love this idea and will be looking for the future. I am in NC so a trip like this is doable!

  6. I love you sewing retreat idea, too! I'm looking forward to hearing/reading about it even if I will have to envy those who take part this time.

  7. Oh Rachel, you know I'm in Greece ... so far away. I'm reading carefully every word, I look and enjoy every photo, oh those solids and improvising, in small group ... so Me! I'm joining you in spirit! x Teje

  8. I'd love to come, unfortunately you are too far for me to travel there. Post lots of photos and I will participate that way. Sounds like a wonderful time.

  9. Lucky girls, enjoy it for the rest of us!

  10. can't come this year (just getting back from Portland, OR) but will be on the lookout for a retreat with you later this year! What a wonderful idea, opportunity and overall great sewing adventure!

  11. What a blast!
    I am excited to see how your first in home class works out.
    I am the same! I do not enjoy the big sewing wing dings. I do not get much out of them, too many distractions, too many people to meet and get to know, and no sewing or real learning gets done
    I have had the girls over here (my daughters are decent sewists, but do not sew at present) and my oldest son in law's momma, Donna. she is hilarious. She is a scientist and works on cancer drugs. She needs supervision at my machine. Christina's sister in laws x two also love joining the sewing parties.
    I have not had one of those in a long time.
    I know our sew fest will be a great time.

  12. Sounds like a well-planned and special event! When we move into our log home I hope to do this same kind of thing, but I'm thinking just a day event and will probably focus on hand sewing, or crochet :o)

  13. Oh, that sounds wonderful! If only I didn't live on the other side of the world!! I hope all who attend have a fabulous time.

  14. What a lot of work you've gone to, to create a special event. What you plan to teach looks beautiful!

  15. Sooooo tempting! looks like it will be a beautiful time at your place. i will have to talk to the mr and see if this is a possibility!!

  16. This will be a beautiful and meaningful experience, I can tell already! Rachel, thank you for opening up your heart by telling your story through your blog, and now by opening up your home to those who share your creative passion! I hope I can swing it to come. I live in RI but I'd love to take this trip as the south is soooo beautiful in spring!!

    1. Thanks, Rachelle! I hope it will work out for you =)


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