Friday, October 4, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013

It all started with this little "IOU" that my husband gave me for my birthday in May. Sewing Summit tickets had already sold out, but then a few months later they announced that a small number of last minute tickets had been released. So, it was my cute husband who pretty much made this whole weekend happen! (Many thanks to my sweet mother-in-law, Becky, for flying out to take care of our kids)!

And, many thanks to Coats and Clark for sponsoring my ticket. Without them, I would not have been able to go! We have worked together a couple of times in the past year, and I just adore Lynn, their marketing director, who I met last year at Sewing Summit. One of the things I was able to do for them was help start up their instagram account. (Find them @coatsandclark). 

It was fun spotting their products at the conference and posting them. They were the official thread sponsor of the conference. They have a couple of new products. The one I am crazy about is their Paper Piecing thread! I used it to baste and stitch some hexies onto a bag that I'm making, and it was the perfect weight and fineness for this type of project. They also just came out with a bold hand quilting thread that I'm excited to try.

So, why Sewing Summit? I got to attend Sewing Summit 2012 as a speaker, and I had such a good time last year. I was really surprised and excited that they (Erin) invited me to teach one of the Creative Journey classes. It was nerve-wracking, and exciting at the same time. I'm so grateful for that experience... it taught me a lot! Because of that opportunity, I have felt very loyal to the Sewing Summit conference. I think my blogging goals will change over the years, but I will always love sewing, and I hope to attend as often as I can! 

You definitely don't need to have a blog to attend Sewing Summit. But for those who do, there are classes in all areas. This year, I chose to focus on more hands-on sewing-related classes, over the blogging and business related classes. They assign you to as many of your first-choice classes as possible. I loved all my classes, and I love how there is something for everyone! (Although I am sad I didn't take Olivia Omega's class, I heard it was awesome). Here was my lineup of classes:

 Sew a Skirt with Sew Caroline

Creative Journey with Leanne Barlow

Brands and Bloggers with Bernina (pictured with Amy and Alice)

 Curves with Angela Pingel

Mini Dresdens with Jessie Lathroum

Drafting Leggings with Miranda Anderson
Polo Refashion with Merrick White

(not pictured) HTML Basics with Jeni Baker

 All the teachers went all out, typing out a great little packet of directions. I can't wait to finish up the rest of my projects!

I told myself I couldn't blog about Sewing Summit until I finished up at least one of the sewing projects I started in my classes. I have two finished projects so far... my leggings and my polo refashion.

These leggings are sooo comfortable, and totally useful with the just the right length of tunic. Miranda taught the class brilliantly. You can follow the tutorial on her blog to draft your own pattern for these leggings too!

This men's polo shirt was pretty much the first refashion I have ever done. It was a blast. Now I want to refashion half the things I own! Check out Merrick's full tutorial here.

When I got home, I used some EZ Steam and a double needle to hem the bottom. The double needle is great for knits, because it allows for a bit of stretch, and I think it gives a very polished look.


I don't exactly belong to one specific group of sewing... quilting, kids apparel, women's fashion... I like it all! So getting to hang out with ladies from all sorts of sewing genres was perfect. I loved it because so many of the girls are people I have collaborated with via blogging, and I follow their blogs, so it pretty much felt like I already knew them! It's always exciting to meet these girls in person. Getting to know their specific personalities and being able to give them a hug them in real life is honestly my favorite part! It was really sweet of two different groups of gals to invite me to dinner with them. I had a lot of fun getting to know them all.

These were my sweet roommates... Amanda from A Crafty Fox and Westwood Acres and Amy from Diary of a Quilter

Photobooth with Merrick, Leanne, Miranda, Melissa

Meeting Andrea from Knitty Bitties was such a highlight of my weekend... what a great person to get to know!

I really loved getting to know these girls also... Juliette from Chick Pea Studio, Jessica from Running with Scissors, Caila from Caila Made, and Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl.

Another of Caila and me. It was so fun to meet my Sew-vivor Season 2 champ! She's seriously talented guys!

Sew Caroline... she is such a sweet heart in every way... and has the cutest Texas accent ever!!! Oh, and she sews the cutest clothing for herself! (I can't wait for her new ebook to be published)!

Dinner with the sweetest group of gals... I'm so glad they invited me to come along.
(Terrible iphone pic, haha)!

Another amazing part of the whole weekend was that Heather Bailey was the keynote speaker! Her message was real and from her heart. We got to hear her story and how she got her start in this industry. She's hilarious! Not only that, but she came and participated in the whole conference. I loved having the chance to meet her, and even to get to know her a little over dinner one night. Turns out, we both took clothing construction classes at BYU, and even had the same professor. (Anyone else out there have Dr. Burnham)?

I really thought I would get a whole lot more sewing done while at the conference, but when it came down to it, all I really wanted to do was chat and get to know all these amazing girls. I thought to myself, "this could be the only time in this life that I ever get to meet so-and-so, and I can sew when I get home!" From Tuesday to Sunday, I only had 13.5 hours of sleep. So yes, that means we all stayed up really late, I look horrid in half my pics, and I still have three (really fun) sewing projects to finish up. But working on them will remind me of all the fun I had while at the Sewing Summit!

The perfect end to a wonderful weekend was getting to have a slumber party with my roommate from college (Provo and Paris). (Love you Allison)! I also got to see the Salt Lake Temple... Troy and I were married there 10 years ago, so it was a real treat to see it in person. I overgrammed way to much about the whole weekend on instagram, so if you're wanting to see more of Sewing Summit, head over and check it out!


  1. It was my first time attending and I had a great time. I think I saw you in a couple of the same classes we took.

    Thanks for sharing your pics - it's fun to see it from everyone else's perspective too :-)

  2. So awesome you got to go! I have been begging my hubby for the past couple years to let me go. But finances have been tight. So I keep hoping. It looks like you had so much fun!

  3. Reading your post makes me miss Sewing Summit!!! I was a little sad when I came home - I wanted to go up to total strangers and start a conversation about sewing and become instant friends. I hope you go next year!! Hugs! Amanda

  4. How fun Rachel! What a special time for you! I am so glad you were able to go. I can't wait to try the new Coats and Clark bold quilting thread!Thanks for sharing the Summit with us!

  5. It was great to see you Rachel! I'm bummed you didn't take my class too. I still need to send it to you since your face was plastered all over it. :) Olivia


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♥Rach H