Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sew South Recap

Time for a recap on The Sew South Retreat put on by Jennifer Mathis from Ellison Lane! It was simply fantastic. I enjoyed the classes. I had a great time teaching my Improv Piecing class and enjoyed the process of preparing for that. It was especially exciting to see participants try something new. I think that is the aspect of teaching that I love the most-- seeing others learn and try something they've never done before.

Jennifer did such a great job putting on this event. I can't praise her enough for all her work. Everything came off without a hitch. I would go again in a heartbeat if I could.

The classes:

Embroidery with Alison Glass: I really enjoyed this class which surprised me a bit. I don't usually spend time hand stitching, but had a lot of fun learning the new stitches. I also won three additional embroidery books from Lark Publishing in one of the giveaways during the weekend. I'm thinking of ideas to use them on future projects!

I even took my partially finished project to a work conference last week and finished it up. I was the crazy lady in the corner stitching away, but at least I stayed awake in the conference!

Boxy Pouch by Kelly Bowser from kelbysews: Love this one! It came together easily, and the finished project is such a perfect size. Kelly has posted a tutorial on her blog!.

The Scrap Bucket by Heather Valentine at the Sewing Loft: This project is fun and functional. I used it to store Sew South loot until I could put everything away. I made mine a bit stiffer with three total layers of Pellon Home Decor Bond interfacing. I'm considering making one for my girls' room as a laundry bucket.

I taught Improv Piecing. Our finished project was a throw pillow cover. I was so excited to see the finished and in-process projects all together on the last morning! I love how different everyone's project is.

Secret Sisters: 
We swapped secret sister names and gave little gifts throughout the weekend. Lisa had my name and spoiled me all weekend! She even delivered a cold Diet Coke each afternoon which I was very grateful for!

The Swag:
Jennifer lined up many sponsors including: JoAnn, Pellon, Dritz, Michael Miller, Schmetz Needles, Button Lovers, Lark Crafts, Aurifil, StashBooks, Robert Kaufman, Dear Stella, Oliso, Coats and Clark, & Free Spirit Fabric. Our swag bags were stuffed!

 Plus there were many great giveaways throughout the weekend!

Here I am with Jennifer on the last morning. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone.

When I arrived at the airport, I found I was 10lbs over on my bag weight with all the extra loot I was bringing home. I stuffed as much as possible into my carry on (which I think weighed 60lbs itself once I was done). I was so grateful to have arrived early and had plenty of time at the airport. My carry on bag was searched on the way through security. I had so much fabric stuffed around my sewing machine that the fabric alone filled one bin as the guard unloaded my bag to send it through x-ray again. I'll write another post soon on flying with a sewing machine. I had many questions as I was attempting this. Luckily it all worked out.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend and well worth the effort. Coming back to real like was hard, but I have some great memories of all the wonderful people I met. The absolute best part about retreats is the people. I'm grateful for good people who are as crazy about sewing and fabric as I am.

Thanks Jen for a great weekend!

Jennifer is offering a generous giveaway on her blog. Head on over there to win some swag from the Sew South Retreat!


  1. So fun reading your post about Sew South and seeing it through your eyes Kati. I'm so happy you were able to come and I really appreciate your sharing your fabulous talent with all of us. You definitely inspired me!

  2. Boy, this sounds like a fantastic retreat. Lucky you and so much loot to bring home too. I love the projects you made, especially the Boxy Pouch. Thanks for sharing so much fun.

  3. I'm so glad we got to chat as much as we did during the retreat! I am hoping to get back to my improv project once spring break is over and all the kids are back at school. You taught an inspiring class!

  4. Sounds like so much fun! I'm curious about your traveling with a sewing machine story...