I am just pulling myself together after a couple weeks of illness (aka staying pajama-clad for days in a row, drinking more tea than a Brit, sleeping all day and coughing all night) and I am really excited to revisit my weekend at Sewing Summit for this post. The three days I spent learning, socializing, and sewing with a group of truly talented women was more fantastic than I had imagined it could be. I loved every minute and can’t wait for Sewing Summit 2013! Disclaimer: the lighting in the hotel was so bad, I’m talking really bad, that I cut the color for this post. If you saw the originals, you’d agree this was the best decision for everyone!
It has been a month since the conference, which was organized as an opportunity for sewing and blogging enthusiasts to meet and mingle in person. I heard about the first Sewing Summit conference ( in 2011) from by good friend and neighbor Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt, and though it sounded interesting I wasn’t ready to invest in a conference for what I deemed just a hobby. Over the last year, I realized that both sewing and blogging aren’t just hobbies for me anymore, but are a part of who I am. When the registration rolled around for the 2012 conference I was ready. It’s a good thing, too, since the 250 spots sold out in just a couple hours! The conference was held at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, which made the trip convenient for me, as I could leave my boys with my wonderful family while I was away. The whole weekend felt a little like grown-up girls camp on sewing steroids. It was awesome. Hop between amazing classes all day, sew and chat all night, then return to the room, eat the mint chocolate from the pillow, and chat some more before falling asleep.
The first day of the conference, Miriam, Rachel of Family Ever After and I joined in the official Sewing Summit Shop Hop. We boarded a bus with 50 of our new best friends and visited three of Salt Lake’s favorite fabric shops: Yellow Bird Fabrics, Pine Needles, and Material Girls. Of course I had no trouble finding a few things that I simply couldn’t live without. It was nice to be surrounded by fabric-loving enablers who encouraged following every sewing whim. I finished one of my planned projects while at the Summit (some new napkins), but the rest of my purchases are still waiting for me. I’ve got specific plans for three prints, but am brainstorming something fantastic for another couple. One thing I certain, I love fabric to USE not just to own, so I’ll make sure this pile becomes wearable very soon.
The first reception was sponsored by Craftsy.com, which hosts a huge selection of online crafting workshops. We got to hang out a bit with the fun gals from Craftsy over the weekend and I was so impressed with them! I’m excited to try out a class from the website (I’m thinking I’ll start with this new one.) Funny side story: I went back and forth about what to wear to this little reception, and finally settled on my chartreuse silk dress. When I walked in to the room the first person I saw was Lisa Anne, wearing basically an identical dress just in red. Same sheath shape, same cuffed sleeves, same belted approach. We laughed and I told her I knew I liked her. Classic.
Staying up sewing until 2 am the first night (and every night) didn’t deter me from joining the small 6 am 5k run organized by Carrie from This Mama Makes Stuff and Team Sparkle. I even got lucky and won the awesome swag bag that Carrie had put together including books from Another Mother Runner, hydration tabs by Nuun, and some awesome sparkle gear from Team Sparkle. The run was really nice, too. I have been off of the early morning running wagon since we joined a gym with childcare, but there is something really wonderful about the crispness of running before the sun comes up. It was also cool to meet some friends with sewing, blogging, AND running in common!
I can’t say enough good things about the class line-up at Sewing Summit 2012. Honestly, the majority of the attendees are quilters, but there was a good variety of apparel classes and blogging classes as well. I learned a whole lot. My schedule included: “A Handmade Wardrobe” by hilarious Mena of The Sew Weekly, “Zippers!” by Sarah of Sew Sweetness, “Photography” by Vanessa of LBG Studio , “Website Design” by Melissa of ISLY, “Perfect Pockets” by Deb of Whipstitch, “Finishing Details” by Anna of Noodlehead, “Successful Blogging” by Tauni of SNAP, and “Down and Dirty Patternmaking for Childrenswear” by Carrie of This Mama Makes Stuff. That’s a serious line up of talent! One class that I heard rave reviews about but didn’t make it into was “Special Occasion Sewing” by Sarai of Collette Patterns. Luckily, she did have one extra Specialty Fabrics Guide handout that she generously gifted me. It is a wealth of information on one little letter sized page. I seriously loved every single one of my classes, both the lecture and discussion as well as the hands on workshops. Adding to my skill set by learning things like sewing welt pockets and understanding blog “real estate”, made me feel sort of validated in my efforts to be continually progressing in my talents. I am so happy that I allowed myself the chance to dig in even deeper into these things that I really love.
Of course the weekend was filled with treats and sponsor swag. I have a stack of books and magazines (patterns, fabric, notions, etc.) that I am excited to get a chance to enjoy. The sponsors were all so generous, and the cost of the ticket was more than made up in the classes, let alone the piles of goods that came home with me. I’ve already given the little Baby Lock seam ripper that we got a maiden voyage, and it’s quickly become my favorite new tool. If I’m being completely honest, the only piece of the weekend that could use improvement was the food. The meals eaten out were spectacular, of course. Salt Lake is one of my favorite foodie cities! My friends and I hit up Settebello, Moochies, Capo Gelato, Sawadee, and Hatch Family Chocolates in our free time. The conference fare was…well, sort of just okay conference food. But, it was a sewing conference, not a food conference, and the sewing part was dead on.
After class each night, I would change into my stretchy pants and make my way down to the Baby Lock sewing rooms. Two rooms adjoining rooms filled with sewing machines at our disposal. I learned how dependent I have become on my serger, though, because I couldn’t work on 8 of the 10 or so projects I brought because although I could have finished them okay with a sewing machine, I would have wanted to re-finish them all again with a serger. So, I mainly stuck to tracing patterns and cutting, and did get a little quilting in, as well as finishing a set of new napkins. There was no shortage of cutting mats, rotary cutters, rulers, pins, irons, candy or friends in the sewing rooms, though. It was a blast.
I enjoyed my time away, and was thrilled to snuggle my little guys again at the end of the fun weekend. The break from my every day role as mom was really fun, and it was nice to miss the routine a bit. I love these sweet boys and am continually trying to create a balance for sewing, blogging, and mommy-ing (along with everything else I love) to fit into my life. It’s a work in progress, but Sewing Summit was one way to take advantage of a time out for me, and it was wonderful. Hope to see some of you there next year!! Who’s in?