Sewing Summit 2011

The Sewing Summit!!
I'm back from the Sewing Summit! Honestly, I have a million thoughts racing around my head from the weekend. I'm not really sure where to start. First off, I want to say it was absolutely, unbelievably amazing. Erin and Amy (the event creators/organizers) did such an awesome job, I really think they are my new heros. I think about how much time and work and risk really went into planning such a large event that was the first of it's kind. And these are ladies like you and me, with families and other responsibilities. Totally blows my mind.


Ok, let's start at the beginning. Friday morning I woke up bright and early at 4am to get ready and get to the airport. That was fun. ;) I flew in with a brief stop in Denver (That's Denver above, I didn't even get off the airplane!) My sister came with me, but we both had free airfare on different airlines (and different Chicago airports!) so once she landed we headed to the hotel, The Little America. Holy nice hotel batman! Check out our rooms.

Little America Rooms

We were on the top floor (17th) and had an amazing view of the mountains.

Mountain Morning

We decided to walk around town and we found a little mexican restaurant for a cheap lunch. Then we walked a couple more blocks to Temple Square. Even if you are not Mormon (which we aren't), this is a must see. Beautiful buildings and grounds. Also, people in Salt Lake City were very friendly. People helped us with directions, made conversations. It was great.

Temple Square

After that we went back to the hotel and hung out in the hotel lobby with other people that were there knitting and cross stitching and hexie making and hand quilting.

Handwork Time

There was always a group like this during free time, so fun! Lots of other hotel guests would walk by and wanted to see what we were working. They were seriously excited about it too. This is a town that appreciates craftiness!

We registered and got our swag bags. SUCH generous sponsors!

Swag Bag

Friday night was the Welcome reception.

Welcome Reception

Food, drinks, lots of excitement as we all met the people we had been reading and swapping with for so long. I had a great time meeting and hanging out with so many Flickr friends and bloggers. I know I'm going to leave someone out, but just a few of them...Jessica, Amanda, Angela, Katie, Natalie, another Amanda ;), Lee, Dana, Kate, Jeanette, Meg, Elena, Darci, Jeni, Rachel, Jennifer, Liz...and a ton of others! It was fun to hear everyone saying "You look like your picture! You don't look like your picture! You're so tall! (not to me - ha!) You're so short!"

Settebello Friday Night Dinner

For dinner my sister and I went to a wood oven pizza restaurant called Settebello but honestly by that point I was turning into a zombie because of the 4am wake up call and I crashed hard at the hotel as soon as we were done. Lots of people stayed up and sewed though.

Sewing Evening

Saturday was our first day of classes. I took Improv Piecing with Jess,

Improv Piecing Class

Garment Sewing 101 with Jana,

Garment Making 101

Creative Fabric Selection with Jeni (yep, we all got Kona Color Cards!),

Jeni - Allison - Deedrie

and Marvelous Mini Quilts with Amanda.

Mini Quilt Class 1

What awesome classes. All the teachers were excited about their subjects, friendly, excited to help us. I was joking that Amanda should be a motivational quilting speaker, she was THAT excited about mini quilts and what we can make. Here she is, adorable, right?


Saturday night I went to a dinner at Red Rock Brewery, organized by Jennifer and Elena. We had a lot of people!

Red Rock Brewery Dinner

Red Rock Brewery Dinner

Sunday I took Free Motion Quilting with Allison (very fun, we got to try different techniques on premade quilt sandwiches)

Free Motion Quilting with Allison

and then a discussion panel about Home Decor Sewing hosted by Erin.

Oh yeah! Some of us also made a surprise quilt each for Erin and Amy as a thank you for ALL their hard work. This secret quilting bee was organized by Ali and the quilts were then quilted by Chris (who also offers long arm services). They each received one of these...this is the front


and back.

SSSS Bee Back

Ok, has anyone made it this far? LOL I hope that wasn't the most boring post! I could really go on forever about it, it was such a wonderful weekend.

Erin and Amy said they plan to make this an annual thing. I really think everyone should try to go at some point. I know a lot of us/you are stay at home moms, retired, working parents, single parents...the list goes on. But I thought I'd give a few tips on how to spend a bit less on the trip.

Airfare - I used a free ticket my husband had earned. See if there are ways for you to earn miles in the next year for a free or discounted airfare. My sister had earned enough miles for half a free ticket.

Hotel - Share a room! Lots of people shared rooms - people that hadn't even met until this weekend. They were big rooms! You could put 4 people in a room which would mean you would spend only $50 each (after tax) for your room for the entire weekend.

The price of the conference was such a deal, it covered the 6 classes, a welcome reception Friday night with lots of food, two breakfasts, one lunch and a crazy amount of free stuff in our swag bag (donated by sponsors). The food was amazing. We went out for dinners on our own, but I found Salt Lake City to be *very* affordable. The city is very walkable and there are also restaurants all around the hotel. There is even a free transit system that will take you to certain parts of the city.

So there it is! I hope if you weren't able to go this year, you feel like you were "virtually there" at least while you read this. And for those that did attend and that I met, I loved meeting you and can't wait to see you again, hopefully next year!

*** Edited to add ***

Claudia sent me a photo she took of my sister (left) and me (right). I'm so excited, we don't really have any photos of just us together!

Rachel and Me