I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Sew South Retreat {part one}

The Sew South Retreat in one word was amazing!  I spent the last 4 days in Charlotte, North Carolina with some the most amazing women I have ever met.  The retreat organizer Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane Quilts did an amazing job of putting this retreat together. 

PicMonkey Collage2

Her attention to details and southern charm made this a memorable experience.  I came home from this retreat fully recharged and inspired to sew again.  I know I sew all the time but it has been a while since I have jumped into a really big non-quilty project.  I have been doing so much quilting lately I had forgotten how much I really like to sew. 

Mike & Ann  -  April 1993

You will have to excuse the hair, this picture is circa 1993, but back in the day all I did was garment sewing.  My mother was and still is a garment sewer, and from an early age I spent many of a Saturday afternoon helping my mother cut out patterns or I sat behind the sewing machine making things for myself.  By high school I was making my own homecoming and prom dresses.  In the picture above I had made this outfit for the first day of my first real full time job as a shampoo girl in a fancy salon.  

So, I am sure you are now wondering how we spent our time at the retreat. Well, I guess I should start at the beginning…

PicMonkey Collage3

On the first day we took a field trip to We’re Sew Creative in Concord, NC for some fabric shopping.  Then it was off to Ikea for some meatballs and still some more fabric shopping.  By the time we got back to the hotel I was exhausted but thankfully we had some time to rest and freshen up for an informal cocktail party.  It was so nice to mingle and get acquainted with one another, after that we grabbed dinner, then we had the rest of the night to sew.


One of the best parts of the retreat was the projects.  I really enjoyed how we sewed as a group and had some completed projects to bring home. 

I made a paper pieced star designed and taught by Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane Quilts.  There was also a cute bunny she shared with us but I got carried away with the star and made a few more of those instead. 

We also made a Duffle Bag.  Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched taught this class.  It was a complicated pattern but Lindsey was an amazing teacher and took the time to help us all.  There was a real sense of pride and accomplishment as people finished their duffle bags one by one, and even through all the broken needles and frustration everyone was so helpful and supportive.  I will always remember Sew South 2013 as the year of the duffle.  Mine still sits unfinished, but that is a story for another day…


Then we made this amazing metal framed clutch.  Diane Stanley of Random Thoughts …do or “di” created this pattern to fit the 8” x 3” metal frame that While Baby Naps provided for the class.  The pattern is posted for free on Craftsy if you are interested in making one for yourself.  I will definitely be making more of these. 

The pajama pants class was taught by Jennifer Roycroft from We’re Sew Creative in Concord, NC.  She taught us how to make pajama pants from a Kwik Sew pattern and how to add a cuff.  Again, I was touched by how supportive and helpful everyone was.  Tessa, The Sewing Chick shared a few tips and tricks with a few of us making the pants a lot easier to put together. 


There is still so much more to share, but I miss my kids.  Check back in tomorrow and I will tell you all about meeting Leah Day, the Ronald McDonald House quilts, the prizes, the swaps, my secret sister, and the swag…

P.S. if you are on Instagram or Twitter you check out the hash tag #sewsouth for even more pictures of the event.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

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  1. Great post Ann! It was a wonderful weekend!

  2. It was a great weekend, I hope that you do get to finish your damn duffle someday,lol. It was so nice to meet you!

  3. oh yay! what a fun recap. can't wait to hear more.

  4. Awesome post Ann! Miss you already!

  5. So great having you join us Ann! Love your pictures. Would love for you to email them to me!

  6. I am glad I had a chance to meet you! Dinner was fun and your paper pieced stars are so gorgeous!


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