03 Oct Sewing Summit 2013
I’ve delayed writing this post for over a week now and finally decided it was time to stop procrastinating, one of my many flaws. I’m not sure why it took me so long; I think I was struggling with how to perfectly summarize such an amazing experience. I don’t feel like I have right words or pictures to do it justice, even after my delay, but here’s my humble attempt.
I had mixed feelings when I was getting ready for this trip. Remember this post? It was a combination of pure terror, not knowing what I had signed myself up for, and pure excitement, to get a chance be around people that shared the same love for sewing as I did. After failing miserably to try to make a homemade bag the day of my flight (never a smart idea), I decided it was time to pack up and take the giant leap into the unknown. When I arrived at Salt Lake I was able to meet Lindsay and Veronica at the airport. They immediately took me under their wing and made me feel like I was in the right place. Thank you girls!
Shop Hop: The Summit started off on Thursday morning with a Shop Hop. A group of us loaded on a bus, tourist style, and visited three shops in the Salt Lake area: Pine Needle’s Quilt Shop, Quilter’s Haven, and Material Girls Quilt Shop. There were collective ooohs and aaahhs as we walked in each store. I realized immediately that the one thing we all had in common was our love for fabric and our love for enabling other fabric hoarders. It was fun to see everyone’s tastes in colors and patterns, some girls knowing exactly what they were using it for, and others, like me, just stocking up because we couldn’t leave the store without it. Each place gave us a generous discount on fabric, which caused more hoarding and more enabling. The only difficult decision of the day was figuring out how we were going to get the extra poundage into our suitcases without paying hundreds of dollars for it. I figured if I wore all of the fabric on my person they couldn’t charge me, right? Luckily, I had a few extra pounds flying out that I was saving for that exact reason. No fabric wearing necessary.
It was the perfect way to start the weekend and a great chance to get to know the people I’d be spending the next 2 days with. Classes started on Friday morning. There were 4 classes each day that were a combination of the following: Accessories, Garments, Hand Sewing, Professional Tips and Tools from Experts, Quilting, and Creative Journeys. Here were the ones I took each day:
+Sew a skirt with Caroline Hulse from Sew Caroline: I was really excited about this class because I’ve loved trying my hand at garment sewing, but have never attempted a skirt. The pattern Caroline created for this class is all based on your measurements so it’s truly tailored to your body. When I finally finished my skirt, I realized I had somehow botched my measurement from my natural hip to where I wanted the skirt to hit, so it turned out too short to appropriately wear in public. I was so bummed and even attempted to do the smallest hem that was humanly possible to save it. Whoops! Maybe I can wear it with tights and never bend over or sit down? I was brought back to my Catholic school uniform days where we had to keep our skirts right at knee length or we would get written up. Sister Hedges would not have liked my first skirt at all.
I made another one after coming back from the Summit after my first failure and it was perfect. Caroline is adorable, the pattern was very well written, and I love the way the skirt turned out. She is coming out with an Ebook for this pattern so look out for it! It’s definitely worth it. I plan on making many more of them for the fall. Here was my second, more appropriate, attempt:+Getting Published in a Magazine with Ellen March: This class was definitely intimidating considering I’m nowhere near having a product/idea that is magazine-worthy, but it was nice to learn what to do if I ever get to that point. Ellen offered some great tips on the process it takes to get your ideas out there. Maybe someday?
+Olivia Omega: Amazing and inspiring. I blogged more about it here+ Hand Printing with Miriam Tribe from Mad Mim: In this class we learned how to create our own stamps to print on fabric using a variety of tools and materials. Miriam is incredibly talented artistically,but also incredibly humble. She showed us all of the possibilities in which you can use hand stamping and allowed us to draw and design our own varieties. I used her llama drawing to create my own stamp because I couldn’t resist the llamas in love and I was able to test it on a scrap of fabric. I can’t wait to try my hand at more hand printing. (sounds kind of redundant)Saturday:
+Mug Rug with Andrea Taddicken from Knitty Bitties: Andrea is so sweet and taught us this super simple mug rug that would be a great gift for a friend, loved one, co-worker (anyone that drinks liquid really) and their cup of choice. I plan on making many of these for holiday gifts. Get ready favorite people. +Creative Journey with Alissa Circle from Rags to Stiches and Pollinate: Alissa talked to us about how she got started and what led her to the point she’s at now. Her talk was real, hilarious, and informative; I enjoyed listening to her. To top it off she gifted us with a book called Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal. I started reading it on the plane and couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to start their own business. Here was my favorite joke from the book, that really has nothing to do with the content but gives you an idea of how funny it is:
Q: What does an angry pepper do? A: It gets jalapeño face (Translation: It gets all up in your face). I digress!+Building your Creative Business with Alicia DiRago from WhimseyBox. Alicia is the brain behind WhimseyBox and helped talk us through starting our own creative business. She guided us through a packet that starts off with you imagining your dream and what you are afraid of, like massive failure for example then working towards creating a business that aligns with your dreams. I have to admit that it was tough to write it down, but very helpful. She offered insights on what has worked for her as well as what to avoid. Alicia is definitely one of those individuals that you immediately feel connected to because she’s so relatable. I might need to purchase a WhimseyBox in the near future for my sister because I know she would love it!+Photography with Melissa Esplin of I Still Love You. I’ve wanted to take Melissa’s Calligraphy course for a long time now but I’ve never gotten the chance. I was looking forward to learning her tips and tricks for taking successful photos for your blog. She presented a lot of useful information in her short time slot and walked us though her process of lighting correctly for photos, especially indoors, and editing them. My biggest takeaway was to stop taking pictures with my sewing machine light on. Brilliant.
+Finale: Heather Bailey, was our keynote speaker. Pretty amazing. She humored us with her interesting stories from her interactions with the sewing world and talked about how refreshing it is to see the interest in sewing and quilting growing among young people. It seems to have come a long way since the quilting guilds she attended with her mother in law. One of my favorites from her speech was: “We are all creative. Creativity is inextricably linked to the human condition.” I need to remember this on days when I feel the least bit creative. My favorite part of this whole experience was the people I got to share it with. I know that sounds incredible cliche and pretty obvious but I can’t express enough how welcome I felt. I went into this trip without knowing a soul but came out of it with many people I hope to stay in contact with forever.
It’s comforting when you can find people that within 5 minutes of introducing yourself you feel like you’ve known your whole life. There is a shared love for something that immediately makes you friends, but it becomes deeper than that as you spend time together. Here are a few of the many wonderful people I got to meet:
Amanda, Kelsey, Erin, and I enjoying a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Shannon, Kelsey, Amanda, and I after a diner style breakfast. Kelsey and I eating a giant bag of Salt and Vinegar potato chips and big gulps while pretending to sew at 1 am. Elena, Kelsey and I at a bar on our last night. Diane (with her adorable mini) and Megan in the dining room after lunch on Saturday.Angela and I discovered we had very similar taste in fabric so I almost jumped her for the typewriter fabric she snagged on the Shop Hop. Kidding. Check out her adorable bag (on Instagram) she made out of it. Might steal it when I see her again. Finally, Meet Sylvain. He was the only brave male at the entire Summit and represented the beautiful Bernina sewing machines that we were able to test drive. He had a magic ability to convince you that these machines are the best around and a $5,000 sewing machine was a need, not a want. Best. Salesperson. Ever. His spirit kept the energy going until 1 am each night and he was the perfect addition to our group. I left Salt Lake absolutely exhausted but incredibly inspired. I left with some sweet swag (swoon) and new friends that I’m looking forward to staying in touch with. Thank you to Erin and everyone that made this weekend so special.