Sewing Summit 2013 - Not Just a Sewing Retreat!

10/08/2013 01:17:00 PM

Pat Bravo and I 
Sewing Summit 2013 - Sept 18-21
Salt Lake City, Utah

Let me start by saying:  I like fabric, people, buildings, food, flowers, colours, and shopping, but more than all of those, I like to take PICTURES!  I've narrowed my pictures from my weekend down to a select few to share here. They are not fantastic pictures, they are just pictures that bring back some great memories for me. I want to show you my weekend in a nutshell... so there will be less text here... and more pictures.

First let me set the scene so you get a "vibe" for the whole thing:
Upon arriving in the lobby of the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, I was instantly welcomed by greetings and hugs from sewing/blogging friends that had already arrived. There was friendliness, laughter, and sharing from that moment on and that set the pace for the whole time I was there. After checking in, drinks in the lounge were arranged and I found myself sitting with a group of about 10 ladies, within 20 mins of my arrival.  The shop hop was the next day, Thursday, and during the shopping and bus trip, 50 (of the 250 or so total) got to know each other while shopping and winning PRIZES, so when classes and lectures started on Friday, there was always a friendly, familiar face to sit by. Everyone had so much in common, and it was just so fantastic being around ladies that could talk fabric, bags, quilts, etc. for hours on end. Dinners out were arranged just by showing up in the lobby and joining a welcoming group heading out the door.  I always felt welcome, it was never awkward.  Someone in the facebook group would post, "I'm down in the lobby if someone is ready for breakfast," and just like that a breakfast date was made. No one ever needed to sit alone.  Sunday my roommate, Natalie (Carry Hers by Natalie) messaged me and said, "get down to the lobby, someone has a car and is going to Joann's!" Score!

We had mixers, lunches, and dinners and lots of swag.  We took classes, made new connections, and met friends in person that we had only known on the internet.  My roommate, Natalie, and I had a lot in common because we both loved the idea of walking through downtown to see the buildings, gardens and flowers.  I can't get enough of old buildings and history, and we both LOVE flowers - so we made sure we did a lot of that instead of a lot of eating.  So you won't see any pictures of my plate here (I really missed out on the waffle place though...) but plenty of pictures of buildings.

So much for less text.  What a lie.

Thursday was our bus trip shop hop.  We went to 3 large quilt shops and I found it so overwhelming at first at what I should buy, but luckily after my plastic card warmed up, it got easier.  I did wish that I could go back to the first shop, Pine Needles after though.  Who knew it would be the best?

I love this quilt done with Zen Chic's Comma CLICK TO ENLARGE

Have a look at that quilting!

Only part of the Pine Needles shop.  It had everything!

Had to buy this quilt kit.

SCORE!  One of the girls won this 1930's bundle, and I traded for it.  
After the shop hop we had our Sewing Summit meet and greet mixer.  Then those who were part of the "Secret Swap" did their exchange.  My partner made me this GORGEOUS mini quilt and pouch.  Honestly, these poor iphone pics do not do them justice.  They are made by Melissa from  and I am so lucky to get them! You must check out her work.

After, I had a great dinner out at the Red Rock Brewery with about 11 other ladies.  I walked back to the hotel full and happy, excited about all my great purchases, and really looking forward to starting the classes the next day.

My classes started off with a bang, as my first was with thee Pat Bravo, a famous fabric designer from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I always liked her work, but after hearing about her journey and learning how to get started on fabric design from her, I got a real sense of what a lovely lady she is and now I LOVE her work!  She's just genuine and remarkable, what a great class.

Combined with several lectures ranging from social media to html basics, there were also some hands on classes.  I did a hand sewn hoop with Amanda Woodruff from A Crafty Fox and also used the Sissix die cutter to make a pillow top with Angela Pingel from Cut to Pieces.  Both classes were excellent.

I need to finish this!!!
Friday night Natalie and I had a dinner to go to that was arranged by Simple Simon & Co, so we took off across down town and got our first taste of some of the SLC architecture.  After Pat Bravo's class, I was seeing pattern and colours everywhere!  I was really inspired and seeing things a little differently.

SLC Temple, our view from the restaurant.

The ceiling inside the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
 After dinner we had a walk through the temple gardens.  I am not Mormon, but I was pretty awed and impressed by Temple Square.  We made plans to come back Sunday during the day.

Natalie and I, and yes, I am still sporting my name tag.  I was attached to it.  Ha, Ha.

On the way back to the hotel I spotted this big guy in the Scottish Store.  Interesting?
Saturday was filled with more classes, and another great lunch in the ballroom. We got some nice thread packs from Coats and Clark at our place settings!

Stash Mixology Class with Elisa Albury from Stitch Outside the Ditch

Veronica from sewVery, showing offer her tote from
the class Lindsey (from LR Stitched) taught.

Saturday we had our closing dinner, with the keynote speech by Heather Bailey!  I was kind of surprised that we were sitting at the same table as her.  When she sat down, I nearly dropped my fork and forgot to chew.  She really seemed like such nice person and it was great learning more about her and how she got where she is today.  She's pretty funny too.  I really loved her speech and felt really inspired after.  I was feeling pretty sober though... because they only served white grape juice at dinner.  Salt Lake City has different liquor laws or views than I'm used to.  I have to say, sobriety is pretty refreshing.  I remember everything! ;)   I really remember the nice big rotary cutter, extra blades, and sewing needles given to us at our place settings, thank you Omnigrid!

Heather Bailey delivering her keynote speech.
Kathy Banks and I.
Natalie, Heather Bailey, and I 

Luckily the Salt Lake City Modern Quilting Guild held a mixer for us at a local place called Gracies, so sobriety didn't need to last long.  Kidding.. sorta.  They gave us a generous gift of fat quarters, mini charm packs, etc.  Thank you SLCMQG?!

Lindsey from LR Stitched and I at the mixer.
Lindsay Connor from Lindsay Sews, signing her new book "Modern Bee" for me.
OOOOH!  Also two sewing rooms were set up for classes, they were all brought by Bernina.  In the evenings they had "open sewing", so you could bring your projects down and sew on these Berninas until 1:00 am.  On Saturday night, Amanda from Westwood Acres set up her fabric shop there and I bought a bunch of FQ's as well as.... my prize possession, the complete FQ Bundle of  WATERFRONT PARK!   Whoop!  I don't know what I'm doing with that, ha ha!  I've been thinking about it though.

A lot of ladies were saying their good-byes in the halls and open sewing rooms as most were leaving Sunday.   Natalie had planned to stay on Sunday and shop or sight-see.

It looked like sight-seeing was the only thing available as everything downtown and the fabric stores are closed Sunday, but as mentioned previously, we were invited to Joann's.  More shopping!  We managed Joann's (I got some lovely new scissors at 40% off, among other things), Walmart, and some other stores. I had a halloween costume for my son, candy for my girls, magazines, a Halo mega blocks set, you name it!  It was such a fun day with two very fun ladies, Monica from Button Counter and Katy from LethargicLass.

Natalie consider a buy.... not.
In the afternoon, Natalie and I got our walk through the city done.  I loved the City & County building, which is their City government building.  But there were too many large trees to get it all!

This is what it looked like around 1890.
I didn't get up to the Utah Capitol building, but here is the courthouse and some other facades on our way to temple square.

These pictures are taken in the gardens at Temple Square.

There are bronze statues EVERYWHERE.


At the Beehive Garden.

Later that night, after packing (jamming) our bags, Monica and Katy asked Natalie and I out to dinner.  We drove up to the University area, and enjoyed some pizza and a beer at The Pie.  Great company!

Back at the hotel, in a hallway... I found this.  Now you don't see these everyday!
Time to go home.  I got it all in the bag... but it was a bit heavy!


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  1. fun recap! And how great that you got to do all of that sight seeing!!

  2. Great post, it was lots of fun. Can't wait to see your pillow finished, it is looking good. I forgot about those pants, which is a good thing. lol We will have to do another road trip someday maybe Hong Kong? But you will have to bring extra suitcases for the trip home. :) Also I think you plastic would wear out there.

  3. Thank you for sharing!!! I've always wondered what everybody does during sewing retreats... it sounds like fun!! How lucky to meet Heather Bailey! I love her work!! :)

  4. What an AWESOME adventure you had Janelle! Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures and the great stories :) Cindy

  5. I love your recap, and even more, loved meeting you!!

  6. Had such a blast with you on the Sunday... glad to read about it :)

  7. Great synopsis on the summit! It's fun to see what others did that week! I'll for sure attend again next year!

    1. Denise! I never actually got to meet you there. I was watching out for your gorgeous bag all weekend, but didn't spot it. Maybe your hair was long? Next time! Janelle

  8. It was so much fun to meet you Janelle. I loved your recap and it just took me back there again. My curves piece is at the same stage as yours!


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