Friday, March 28, 2014

Sew South Retreat

My Sew South experience started out with some frustration and a broken sewing machine. The airlines would not let me take my Carry On approved sized bag on board because they said the overhead bins were full. I had to release my sewing machine to a baggage attendant, which was not protected to be in the baggage hold. Meanwhile, several people got on board after me and put their bags in the overhead bins  Grrrrr! When I arrived in Charlotte, I realized it had been badly bent and it was making a horrible metal on metal sound. So there I was at a sewing retreat with a broken sewing machine.

Bernina Sewing machine
It turns out my broken machine was a blessing in disguise, but don't tell the airlines. I had the best time because I was able to move around and talk to more friends, old and new, while they sewed. Everyone kept asking me if I was ok and were expressing their disappointment for me that I was not able to sew. But really, I was ok. Making lemonade from lemons. I can't comment on the classes and workshops except to tell you everyone did a great job teaching their classes and there were many beautifully finished projects to show off. You can check the Sew South Flickr page to see lots of photos of everything.
Sew South friends
I got to see Dana's beautiful quilt, made by her Circle 7 bee.
Road Trip quilt
Dana, helped me share my Searching for Fall Modern Maples quilt.
Modern Maples quilt
I was the resident clamshell authority, having just completed a king sized clamshell quilt, so I got to help others who were making one during open sew time. Here is Melissa cutting her Briar Rose clamshell quilt with the Accuquilt.
Sew South Friends

I snuck out during one of the classes and went up to my room to hand stitch the binding on the group quilt we all made for Jennifer. I even used the glue basting kit we received in our swag bags to make the stitching easier. It was my privelege to finish 2 sides of the binding while watching the movie Taken 2 on TV. Now I want to see Taken...the first in the series. Then I sent people up to my room, 2 by 2, to finish stitching the binding down. We had it finished in no time.
Quilt binding

We had group dinners every night and got to chat and share all the good and bad of life's journey, not just our sewing obsession.
Sew South Friends
Karen, who is originally from Vermont, has been helping me plan our fall vacation and brought me a sample of the hard cider I can expect to drink when we go to Vermont in October.
Wood Chuck Hard Cider
Secret Sister is always a fun and sneaky part of Sew South. Giving and receiving little secret gifts all weekend was fun. Here is a photo of Valerie and I doing the "ugly cry" when she found out I was her secret sister.
Secret Sister revealed

I was spoiled by my secret sister too. Amy had me pegged pretty well.
secret sister swap
I remembered to snap of photo of these delicious made in Vermont chocolate covered sea salt caramels before I ate them all. I will definitely be getting more of these on our vacation.
Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels
It was an honor to meet the incredibly talented Alison Glass. 
Alison Glass
Alison was not only our keynote speaker, but she taught the embroidery class. This is the project we were given to work on, along with all the Perle Cottons donated by Sew Lux.
Alison Glass Embroidery



I am almost finished with this project, but here is how much I had finished at the retreat. It will eventually become a needle book. Alison also brought some of her beautiful fabrics and Aurifil Thread boxes to sell at the market. I might have bought and odered some things from her (wink, wink).

Alison Glass Embroidery project

The best thing about Sew South are the friends you make. It was so great to reconnect with old friends and also to make new friends. I am in the Stitch Tease Bee with these girls, Trina, Valerie and Cindy.
Sew South friends
New friends from Michigan, Karen and Shirley, were a lot of fun.

Stitch Tease Bee friends
I did a selfie overload with some of my favorite people.
Sew South selfies
Everyone, I mean everyone, had a Travel Handmade bag or two or three. This photo was snagged from Coutney's Instagram feed.
travel handmade
It was all tears and squeals when Valerie presented Jennifer with the quilt we made as a group.
sew south quilt

Sew South quilt
We received so much swag. I am glad I took a half empty suitcase with me.

sew south swag

A couple of sweet friends made me or gave me some special gifts.
sew south gifts
And I was welcomed home in typical Mr. Romance style.
welcome home

Thank you to Jennifer for putting together another fantastic retreat. 
Thanks to the sponsors for all their generous swag.


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12 comments:

Trina Peterson said...

Great recap Di. Love your pics. Miss you already and <3 you!

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said...

Thank you Di for coming, sharing your sweet self with all of us. So glad we had a chance to sit together at dinner so we could catch up! You amazed me with the binding- sneaky sneaky!
xo

suemac said...

I hope you get a new machine out if the deal.

Leanne said...

What fun! I sure hope your sewing machine recovers too.

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

It looks fabulous Di! We did miss you in Marrakech - were your ears burning? So sorry to hear about the sewing machine though - what a bummer. my airline kindly poisoned me on the way home ;-(

Sewing Mom said...

You're a trooper! Way to make lemonade too! I hope that the airline is replacing your machine!

Valerie said...

Loved reading your recap Di- made me remember so many special moments. Thank you for all your help with the binding -it was so nice knowing that was happening behind the scenes at the retreat and I think adds another layer of special things about that quilt! I loved our time together,that you were my secret sister (!), and that I know there will be more weekends like this for us in our future (that's my hope!). Just this morning I was snuggled up with your pillow while hubby and I had a "date" coffee and chat while our kids played games in the next room over. Miss you!

Flying Blind... said...

You are so good to just get on with it- I would have been back at the airport screaming for compensation!!

Hello Stitch-teasers!

So jealous of this Retreat xxx

Darcy said...

I sincerely hope the airline is paying to fix your damaged machine - grrrrr indeed. Glad you were able to make the best of it though :-)

Katy Cameron said...

Aww, sorry your machine got wrecked, but glad you had a great time anyway.

Dianne Neale said...

Glad you had a good time - I was worried for you when I saw your broken machine piccies!

Sarah said...

Looks like so much fun! The quilt you made for Jennifer is divine. I've always thought of you as a tall lady, Di, but I see in some of the photos that some ladies are quite a bit taller than you. Are you a shorty? I think I got the tall impression from your pics with all your tall boys!