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!

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  1. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    Hi Faith, I just love hearing about the places you visit and the photos you show of your life & family and all the quilting exhibitions you go to. I’m from England and now live in Israel where we have a nice but small quilting community, I’ve learned a lot from your tutorials, thanks so much.

  2. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    Faith, how exciting for you and fun. I’d love to masterY seams like You are tops at those . i know you abdorbed all thé positive energy le Sewtopia. Way cool to be taught by Rita and Latifah .

  3. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    Sounds like tons of fun!

  4. Reply

    Kim Lambertz

    April 21, 2015

    Hi Faith,
    I grew up in a suburb (Oak Park) of Chicago so I especially enjoyed your post. Your photos make me want to sign up immediately–looks like so much sewing fun! I’m not familiar with Rita Hodge but thanks to you now I am. Thanks for posting!

  5. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    It was fun to spend a little time with you.

  6. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    How wonderful to get together with quilty friends. I’m visiting Chicago in the summer.mare there any fabric shops downtown?

    • Reply


      April 23, 2015

      Hi Helen – the two in the city that I know of are The Needle Shop and Second City Quilt Co. I believe they are within walking distance of each other.

  7. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    So lucky you met and got to take a class from Rita!! So envious! This sounds like a fantastic event!

  8. Reply


    April 21, 2015

    How fun, love that you share these great trips.

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    April 22, 2015

    I recognize XOCO! I hope you loved it–it’s one of my favorite “fast food” restaurants.

  10. Reply


    April 30, 2015

    I thinks it’s so funny that YOU were so excited to take a class by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. I started following you both at the same time and consider you BOTH to be amazing quilt pros.