Sewtopia Chicago

Sewtopia Chicago

Last weekend I spent my time in downtown Chicago at the Sewtopia retreat. It was super fun / exhausting! Organizers Amy Newbold and Jemellia Hilfiger and class assistants Rossie Hutchinson and Jen Carlton Bailly did an awesome job putting together a smooth running and really enjoyable weekend. The getaway was located at The Drake which is right at Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. It was really the perfect spot and I just loved the historic hotel. I feel like I’ve driven by it a thousand times but never gone inside.

I arrived Thursday around lunch time. Most people were out on the shop hop so I did a bit of relaxing, walking around Michigan Avenue to pick up a couple surprises for my kids, and (of course) eating! Thursday evening was the Welcome Reception and open sew time. I stayed with two of my favorite sewing friends, Lee and Angela. They both live less than 2 hours from me but we don’t get together nearly enough! It was so good to see them. :)

Sewtopia Chicago

Friday and Saturday were filled with class time and open sew. Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts taught her Kansas Dugout block (HELLO y-seams!) Yep, I am going to brag for a moment. I-GOT-TO-TAKE-A-CLASS-FROM-RITA-OF-RED-PEPPER-QUILTS. I never thought I would even get to meet her, let alone take a class from her. Oh, and see her quality work in person. Just as amazing as it looks on her blog. She was just the kindest person as well. What a great experience!

Latifah of Latifah Saafir Studios (you may also know her as The Quilt Engineer) taught her Molehill pattern – lots of curves which she made non-scary and achievable! Latifah is not only crazy talented, but a born teacher. She just has this way of explaining techniques and the reasoning behind them that makes it look so easy.

Sewtopia Chicago

Between sewing time, we were able to go out and take in the (mostly) crazy beautiful weather for Chicago this time of year. I ate great good, had a lot of goofy laughs with friends, and just really recharged. I’m completely exhausted now…but it was totally worth it!

Sewtopia is a traveling retreat. The next event is in Portland and sold out, but they just announced the following city on their Facebook page. I definitely recommended attending!

Scrap Plus Week 2 ~ A Quilt Along at We All Sew

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For those of you following my Scrap Plus Quilt Along/Tutorial over at BERNINA’s We All Sew (Week 1 and Week 2), I hope you have been enjoying digging through your scraps and making some blocks. This week I’m talking about the quilt top assembly and quilting.

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I mentioned last week that these are 12″ finished blocks. Scrappy blocks are always great for quilting bees and group charity quilts.

Another fun and creative quilt idea for using the layout…since these blocks are a standard size, you can easily swap them out and use nine of your own 12″ block designs. I’m such a fan of stars and modern samplers, I think this layout would make a beautiful sampler with some of the blocks from the Solstice Stars Series and Summer Sampler Series.

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I hope you will go check it out at BERNINA’s We All Sew! I’d love to see what you make.

Community Giving ~ Quilts of Compassion

Community Giving : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last Thursday we had some big storms develop here in Illinois. (And across many other areas of the country). After the kids went to bed, my husband and I turned on the television and saw video of a giant tornado moving across northern Illinois, about an hour west of where we live. I grew up in the Midwest so I suppose tornados aren’t a super rare occurrence (especially this time of year), but I am always pretty scared when I hear the “T” word. With this particular storm, nearby cities of Rochelle and Fairdale were hit hard. I immediately thought of the ladies and gentleman I met last year when I visited the Sinnissippi Quilters Guild in Rockford.

Quilts of Compassion is collecting finished quilts to send storm victims. You can find all information on their Facebook page and website. Their biggest need is quilts for women and men. If you have some quilts you would like to donate, please click on over and check them out. You can also find the links to this organization, as well as others, on my Community Giving page.

Scrap Plus ~ A Quilt Along at We All Sew

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Happy Friday everyone! Do you remember this quilt that I was working on for BERNINA’s We All Sew blog? I just received word that Week 1 of the Quilt Along went live today!

You can find the directions to make these Scrap Plus blocks over at We All Sew.

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

These blocks are beginner friendly and would also be perfect for quilting bees. They finish up at 12″ x 12″. Next week there will be a post with instructions for the quilt top layout, resulting in a 56″ x 64″ quilt. I hope you enjoy the pattern and will consider making your own Scrap Plus quilt!