What a weekend! I've been home for a couple days now, and I am still processing the pure amazingness that was Sew South. Having never been to a sewing retreat, and in fact not even really having any friends that sew much, my expectations walking in to this were pretty low. I was really just hoping to meet a few people and learn some new things. Instead I was completely blown away by the 50 amazing women I met and spent the weekend with, and now I feel like I have 50 new friends. It was refreshing, it was inspiring, and it was just plain fun.
I always think that quilters/sewers are a generous bunch. I mean we love to create and make pretty things and let's face it, they need to go somewhere, so we do give a lot of things, but I was just amazed at the openness and generosity of everyone I met. I got some fantastic fat quarters in the swap. I struck gold in the sample swap and ended up with a boxy pouch, some fabric bracelets, an amazing paper pieced star pouch, and the most awesome sew south notebooks you could imagine, so thank you so much to Kari, Kim, Karen, and Nicole. Amy gave me a super amazing fat quarter of fabric that I am so, so excited about. I won two really sweet door prizes: a sewing machine print and some little notecard/tags. And somehow I ended up with the sweetest roommate ever who was not only great company all weekend and didn't kill me in my sleep, she came with bibs for my upcoming little one, a pincushion ring, and a stamped needle case, and then gave me a mini charm pack of noteworthy that I was drooling over, so thank you Susannah Kate, for being amazing!!
In addition to the amazing people, we had amazing sponsors. I can not believe the amazing things we got. We started with a sweet welcome bag (hello new rotary cutter!!) and at the end Jennifer went all oprah on us and we got the most amazing goodie bag! We got so many things, including but not limited to, batting, fabric (constellations!!! notting hill!!!!!), thread, patterns, magazine and even a book! I took a picture of the sponsors list and I just have to say that they were all so incredibly generous! It was way better than christmas; I mean really, I never get things like this for christmas!
Last but not least, I even made a few pretty things. We started off paper piecing where I made that adorable little bunny block that Jennifer designed. At the request of my little love bug it quickly became a tote bag and there is actually a second bunny on the back (she loves it in case you are wondering). We then tackled the duffle, a decidedly difficult project, especially for 50 people sharing a few irons, and Lindsey did an absolutely amazing job teaching it. The frame clutch came next and it was a small and incredibly satisfying project that Di taught. Finally we did some PJ pants (I did a muslin of shorts that is not finished yet, but I do plan on making the pants) taught by Jennifer Roycroft from We're Sew Creative, the local fabric shop we visited. In addtion, we had a lovely talk given by the amazing Leah Day! She was so inspiring and just wonderful to meet and listen to!
Guys, I can not say enough about how good this weekend was. I wish it wasn't over, but I have tried to bring some of that love and support home with me. Community is such an important part of sewing and although I truly love the online community, it was nice to have a physical community, if only for a few days. Jennifer did an amazing job of bringing this community together and creating a fantastic environment that was so enthusiastic as well as so positive and supportive. So now as I try to get back into the swing of things, I will hang on to this wonderful experience and bask in its glow for as long as possible. I already miss all my new friends and wish we could sew together regularly. But hopefully it will push me to go out and create a community here instead of just being an isolated mommy all the time :)