Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Camp Stitchalot

Late last month I had the amazing experience of going to Camp Stitchalot which is a sewing retreat sponsored by Pink Castle Fabrics held at the Hankerd Inn in Pleasant Lake Michigan. It was such an awesome weekend and honestly I stayed so, so busy I totally forgot to take a lot of pictures :( I've been meaning to write about my experience since I returned but I had a hard time putting this amazing weekend into words.


First of all, the Hankerd Inn is such a cool, unique place. It's a bed and breakfast and it's an experience in it's own. The bedrooms are all themed (I stayed in the Jungle room) and there are several buildings that make up the Inn. Most of the bedrooms as well as the sewing room is located in what they call the "barn". As you can tell from these pics, it is totally not a barn!


Part of the camp cost includes your meals, which took place in the "inn" and it was real, home cooked, soul warming food! We all switched seats for each meal so every one had a chance to chat with everyone. We started our weekend off with a fabric quarter swap and a get to know each other. I scored some fat quarters from AMH's Dowry line...YAY. Our "camp counselors" for the weekend were Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness and Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew. The focus of the weekend was on bag making but we were free to really work on whatever we wanted. Brenda, from Pink Castle Fabrics was awesome as well!

Sara taught her Camp Stitchalot bag (perfect!) which, is absolutely perfect for bringing to retreats and workshops like this! I opted to work on another one of Sara's bags, the Aragon bag, as I just recently made a Camp Stitchalot (see mine here) and I lose interest in making the same bags so soon after each other (I'm just weird like that). Sara is an awesome teacher, and just an all around sweet person and she also did a wonderful lecture on interfacing for bags. 

I'm seriously digging the navy with the orange and corals. 

Kristin taught us her "tackle bag" which is a super fun zippered bag that is the perfect size for toting around notions, make-up or even art supplies. It also has an interior zip pocket to secure little items you don't want rolling around the generously sized pouch. Check out the tackle bags on instagram (#tacklebag) to see the fun bags made by all the campers.  Also, Kristin completely changed my way of installing zippers. Hello, double sided sewing tape!!!


The weekend was an absolute blast, it went by so, so fast! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had to attend and meet some incredible ladies. A whole weekend of sewing with some of the most inspiring people you will ever meet, who genuinely want to inspire and encourage others. It was from some of the encouragement of these gals that I finally took the plunge at made my first quilt. It also helps that some of them stayed up with me drinking wine and sewing til 3 am ;)

I really, really hope to get the chance to go to another Camp! This was the first time I really had the opportunity to go to anything like this, and I'll admit I was very nervous about being around such talented sewists, but really everyone just wants to help and encourage each other. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

So I made a quilt


I did it, I can finally say I made a quilt. This is much more gratifying than I had thought it would be. 
I decided that I was going to use the fat quarter bundle of Lottie Da that I had won from Little Bluebell during the last Sew Mama Sew giveaway day. 


I finished this top a couple of weeks ago and then it got put off to the side while I had to take care of other non-sewing related things. At the end of last week, I finally purchased the batting and the backing fabric, as well as a bias tape maker (thanks to the lovelies at Camp Stitchalot for showing me how super easy it really was). After a couple of not-so successful attempts at basting the quilt, I realized I better do some more research into how to properly baste (masking tape, duh). A million pins later this guy was basted and considering I know diddly squat about quilting anything, I just did some straight line quilting. 


I saved the orange prints from the line to use to make the binding. It was 80 degrees here yesterday, and I sat diligently under this quilt and hand bound the majority of it while trying not to melt. I went to bed with about 8 inches left to bind but my poor fingers could take no more. I brought it with me to work, and finished it up in the morning downtime. 

What? You mean not everyone sews at work?!


My friend helped me get some photos and snapped this one of me proudly draped in the quilt. I *might* be a little giddy that I completed this.  It's far from perfect, and I can see about 10 things that I know I could do better, but I feel accomplished having it done. Will I make another quilt? At some point I think I might get the urge. I mainly wanted to do this to prove that I could. It really demystified a lot of the process for me and the idea of quilting isn't quite as scary. I still would much prefer projects that I can do from start to finish in short order. Now I'm back to making bags, but maybe I might try to incorporate quilting into some bags.

Thanks to everyone who gave me the confidence to do this. You know who you are and you rock :)


Wow, it's been two weeks since I've so much as logged onto the blog. So much has been happening, there has been very little sewing going on in my house. Easter is Sunday (how did that happen?!), and we are moving in little less than a month, so I'm starting to freak out a bit.

Once we move, I am getting a WHOLE room as my sewing room and I'm super stoked about it! Unfortunately that will be one of the last areas that will get my attention since there will be much more pressing matters to attend to first. I'm not sure how much sewing I am actually going to accomplish prior to the move but I hope that once we are settled in I will have a lot to share from our new space.

Happy Easter and have a great week!