Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sew South Retreat Recap!

Sew South was last weekend, and it was fabulous. The girls' weekend retreat was everything I had hoped it would be: relaxing, creative, inspiring and FUN! I had a permanent grin on my face all weekend and belly aches from laughing so much. Although this was my 4th time hosting Sew South, the small group size was new and a total win!
sew south group october 15
The Girls' Weekend Retreats are friendly and personal- 14 women - and the smaller size allows for lots of conversation, connection and friendships.
nametags for sew south retreat
With a group this size, we can all eat together, chat and laugh together and get to know one another. There's yummy food, great snacks, good music and of course, lots of sewing.

Scenes from Sew South Retreat

sew south works in progress
quilts at sew south retreat
Quilts from Sew South Retreat: Kate's Star Wars Quilt, Carlie's Feed Sack Quilt, Melanie's Kate Spain Quilt
sew south set up collage
snacks at sew south retreat
We kicked off the weekend crafty style on Friday morning thanks to the wonderful Sew South sponsors. (Great Sponsor Giveaway at the end of this post!) 
sew south 1516 sponsors
Dritz graciously supplied rotary cutters and mats along with the covered buttons we needed for our first crafty project.
sew south weekend sew south retreat

I'm completely smitten with these button magnets and have already made a TON!

button magnets 2 sew south retreat

button magnets sew south retreat

Benzie Design sent adorable wool felt garland kits and half of the fun was deciding how to string them. Everyone had a different plan but all agreed they were awesome! Check out Benzie Design for kits and lots of wool felt in beautiful colors. 

benzie felt balls collage

After lunch we got settled with our sewing machines and dove right in to projects. Machines hummed as quilt blocks were pieced, costumes were made and conversations flowed.
Everyone was happily content working away without distractions. How lovely it is to have hours of uninterrupted sewing time!

Before we broke for dinner we played the fat quarter game (aka Left, Right, Center.) We split into two groups, oohing and aaahhing over lovely fabrics and laughing over passing the same FQ around and around. The winners were quite pleased with their new stash and even graciously shared some special fabrics with those in the group. Sewists really are the most generous people I know.

fat quarter game at sew south retreat
sew south people collage

Evenings at Sew South are really relaxed. We had pre-dinner drinks at a local wine bar then walked to dinner in the evening sunshine. Lots and lots of talking ensued, friendships formed and solidified over good food and good fun. 

Pajamas, Ferris Bueller and cupcakes took us into the evening as we stitched until midnight, chatting away.

pouch class sew south retreat

Saturday morning we jumped into our second workshop using fabulous supplies from Sew South sponsors DritzFat Quarter Shop Pellon, and Zipit

I love a good zippy pouch- can you really ever have enough? Using some fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop and the amazing fusible Flex Foam from Pellon, we whipped together some fabulous pouches.

zipit zippers for sew south retreat

Zipit sent a big rainbow pile of zippers for everyone to choose from so they were sure to find one that matched their fabric. Plus there were extras to take home for future zippy pouches. We all know once you make one, you want to make more!

Nydia Kehnle sent some beautiful embroidery patterns for us stitch up during free-sew, and I couldn't wait to dive in. I curated a special group of Coats/Anchor floss and put together kits for everyone. Thanks Dritz, Pellon, Coats and Anchor Threads for the embroidery supplies!

Look how lovely Carlie's is!
carlie's embroidery sampler sew south 2015
Carlie's beautiful embroidery sampler from Sew South

After open sewing in the afternoon we completed our final workshop of the weekend, the coin purse. While Baby Naps graciously provided the frames for our class and Pellon sent the interfacing.  How cute are these guys? I love how they all turned out.

coin purse workshop sew south coin purse workshop at sew south retreat coin purse sew south retreat

Interspersed throughout the weekend were door prizes and Secret Sister gifts and honestly it is better than Christmas morning!

sew south door prizes
door prizes!
door prizes 2 sew south retreat

Treats magically appear with your name on them, specially curated and made just for you. The element of surprise, the delight in receiving something special and the joy of the final reveal is a special time-honored tradition at Sew South that everyone enjoys.

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handmade at sew south

While we sew and sew and sew at the retreat, Sew South is really about the relationships. It's about building friendships and getting to know folks that share a passion for sewing like you do. It's connecting with people from all over the country over handmade bags, learning tips and tricks from each other and bonding over pajama twins.

sew south fun with friends
sew south works in progress

I've made some of my dearest, lifelong friends at Sew South and am blessed beyond measure every time I host a retreat by the women that attend. There is just something so special about being together, taking time away from the rest of the world and the business of our every-day lives and coming together in a kind, caring, creative group that feeds my soul and makes my heart sing.

sew south attendees and names 1015

To come together and be known for yourself, not your role as mother, wife, or co-worker and to have a chance to connect with others, create for the joy of making and relax is heavenly. I'm forever thankful and grateful for the opportunity to host these special retreats.

If you would like the opportunity to join me at a future Sew South, sign up for the Sew South Newsletter!  I'll be sending info about how to sign up for the lottery for future retreats. :)

Sew South wouldn't be possible without the amazing sponsors that generously support our fabulous weekend.

sew south 1516 sponsors

Be sure to take advantage of the special one-time 15% discount to shop at the following Sew South Sponsor Shops using the code SEWSOUTH.

sponsor discount shopping code
Sew South Sponsors are the BEST! I have an extra bag of goodies to give away to one of you. To enter to win visit

Your prize includes Designer Solids from Free Spirit Fabrics, Artisan Cottons from Imagine Gnats, zippers from Zipit, notions from Dritz, a thread kit from Coats, embroidery floss from Anchor Threads, embroidery pattern from Nydia Kehnle, interfacing samples from Pellon, quilt pattern and Aurifil thread from the Fat Quarter Shop, wool felt garland kit from Benzie Design and a charm pack from Dear Stella! 

sew south swag giveaway october

The giveaway is being held at Ellison Lane, the blog of Jennifer Mathis, the host of Sew South and is open until October 25. 

Good luck!

PS: Don't forget to SIGN UP HERE for the Sew South Newsletter to get all the updates on upcoming retreats!

To check out past Sew South Retreats, see the links on the sidebar! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sew South Sold Out!

I can't wait to sew with all the ladies joining me for Sew South Girls' Weekends! 

If you would like to come to Sew South in the future, please sign up for the newsletter link (in the sidebar) so you will know when the next sign-ups are held. :) 

Thanks so much for all of your support! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Sew South Retreats!

Sew South Retreat!

sew south blog header 1000 x 300

The past three Sew South Retreats have been so magical and have blessed me with so many wonderful new friends. I love that I've been able to have a small part in bringing people together to share their love of creating and sewing.
Sew South has been such an amazing dream- to get to meet and know so many fun people that love sewing and creating as much as I do, it's such a gift!
You see for me, Sew South is all about the people.  The sewing is awesome and the projects are fun but I love the friendships that are cultivated at Sew South.
Yet the bigger the group, the harder it is to make connections on a personal level.
So I've been cooking up an idea for a smaller Sew South. It's been on my heart for almost a year and what I feel God is calling me to do. I couldn't be more excited about it!
I hope you'll join me for a Sew South Small Group Girls' Weekend!  
SMALL GROUP sew south retreat

Sew South Retreat is all about choosing joy.
It’s about the people and the experience.
It’s a weekend for sewing, crafting, connecting and creating.
It’s inspiring, exciting, relaxing and FUN!

You should be a part of it!
So how small is small? 14. Yes 14 people including myself. It's the right size for me and is large enough for a fun group yet small enough to really get to know each person.

The details: 
DatesOctober 9-11, 2015 & March 11-13, 2016  -  Same location for both weekends.

Times: Friday 10:00 AM - Sunday 11:00 AM

Cost$420 (see below) for one weekend.

Included: 2 catered lunches  (from Zoe's Kitchen and Panera Bread) your workshop supplies, embroidery kit, beverages, yummy snacks and treats, swag, open sewing time. *You will need to bring your own sewing machine. :)

Dinner: Is not included in the cost but my hope is that everyone will go to dinner together. We'll be eating at my favorite local restaurant (Southern American food) on Friday night called Tree House Whiskey and Fork and then at my other fave PF Changs on Saturday night.  There will likely be an optional casual dinner on Thursday night for those coming into town early.

The location is back in Charlotte in the SouthPark neighborhood (where the first two Sew Souths were held) at the Hampton Inn Phillips Place.  It's a lovely hotel in an upscale shopping area with restaurants just steps away. This is not a run-of-the-mill Hampton! The rooms are lovely and a great breakfast is included. The Sew South group room rate is $135 a night. There's a shuttle to take you wherever you would like to go in the area although the hotel is nestled in a great shopping neighborhood next door to a PF Changs, Wolfgang Puck Pizza, Dean and Deluca, and a movie theater. There is even a Polished nail salon and a Whole Foods right around the back of the hotel. It's a beautiful location in the city of Charlotte!

Weekend Plans: 
I've got some great projects planned for the workshop time in the mornings and there will be open sewing time in the afternoon and evening too. We'll sew, we'll do some crafty things, we'll hang out, we'll eat - I think it will be the perfect balance. Sounds fun, right?!
The workshops will be taught by me and will be fun projects that will encompass sewing, a bit of crafting and of course cute fabric! There will be some fun group games, swaps and secret sisters again too!

sew south girls' weekend ticket

Tickets: Tickets will be assigned via lottery. If you are interested in attending one of the weekends, you need to fill out the form at the bottom of this email. :) 
 If your name is pulled to attend, you'll receive an email letting you know. You'll have a chance to purchase one or possibly two tickets depending on how many spots are still available. 

Tickets are non refundable. 
Tickets are transferrable up to 30 days prior to the event. If you need to sell your ticket, I will contact the next person on the wait list for you in the event that you are not able attend. 
If the spot cannot be resold and the date is past 30 days prior….
the ticket is nonrefundable.
Payment for your ticket is $420 and you'll be able to pay via PayPal/credit card or cashier's check.

Emails will go out the first week in June to those whose name has been drawn. 
These two weekends are the first of many that I hope to host. For now, these small groups will replace the larger retreat I've been hosting each year. I may come back to that in the future but for now, this is what I feel called to do. :) 

I hope you will join me for Sew South!

For me, Sew South is all about the people. The sewing and crafting is fun but it's the people that are the best.

This is what I hope to capture in a smaller setting. I want to really get to know and hang out with friends new and old. Sew South Girls' Weekend will be a creative crafty group of women that love sewing, crafting and having fun.

If you'd like to come to a Sew South Retreat, put your name in the lottery by filling out the form below.

Best of luck to you!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sew South Spring 2015 Recap!

What a fabulous weekend!  Sew South was two weeks ago, and I'm still smiling about the whole event. It was so much fun! 
sew south retreat

Check out this short video to get a feel for what Sew South is all about!

Sew South Retreat Spring 2015 by Slidely Slideshow

When I plan Sew South, organize all the details, put together the swag, plan the schedule, I'm always thinking of ways to make it special. I want everyone that comes to feel included, excited and relaxed. I want them to enjoy the weekend, have a chance to sew and create and to take time for themselves. I want them to feel inspired and to leave happy with new friends. Because my favorite part of Sew South are the people.
For the past three years, Sew South has meant the  most to me because of the people.
I love spending time with dear friends and meeting new ones. Connecting with people that share a passion for sewing and creating - that is what inspires me and makes me happy.
sew south group shot 2015
I can see it makes them happy too. I can hear it in their laughter and see it in their smiles. I see it in their looks of concentration as they power through a stack of quilt blocks or put the finishing touches on a fab new wallet. They wear their pride and sense of accomplishment on their faces as they hold up their project and share it with the group, delighting in the encouragement from their seat mates and the group at large.

And yes, there is sewing! Lots of sewing and smiling and laughing and oohing and ahhing over fabric, bags and works in progress. Seeing what everyone is working on, their fabric choices and their process just sends sparks of light into my brain and giant smiles to my face. It happens to everyone.

It all comes together to create one happy and super fun weekend.

Take a look at these snapshots of our weekend together. We made wallets, stitched a fun make-and-take bracelet with Dritz and learned appliqué and curves with Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.

sew south wallets workshop

sew south wallet workshop finished

sew south 2015 dritz paula

sew south dritz coats project

sew south quilting class taught by amy gibson

sew south apple blossom quilts

sew south appliqué class

sew south quilting class

ss apple blossom single

We stitched 15 quilt tops in 15 minutes for the Quilt Lemonade charity.
ss jelly roll race

sew south jelly roll race juki style

ss jelly roll race 2

sew south jelly roll race winners

sew south jelly roll race finished top

sew south charity quilts

We played games, ate ice cream and sewed in our pajamas.
ss ice cream break

ss group game

sew south new friends 4

sew south new friends 3

 sew south LRC FQ game

sew south concord girls

sew south jammie twins

We delighted in the fabulous tools, door prizes and swag from the amazingly generous sponsors.
sponsor banner

door prizes 1

door prizes 2

sew south dritz

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swag sew south
Swag Bag Goodies from Sew South 2015!
embroidery kit sew south

Special Embroidery Kit from Dritz and Snuggly Monkey.

We swapped baskets and blocks and surprised secret sisters with handmade treats and special goodies.

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sew south scenes 8 sew south scenes 7

ss 2015 makers bag ss scenes 8

sew south scenes 3
We made friends with people from near and far that understand our shared love of fabric, the need to create and the joy that is being a maker.
sew south shopping ss 2015 friends ss 2015 new friends ss great friends and pillows sew south shopping 2 sew south new friends x sew south 2015 mom and daughter sew south 2015 new friends sew south 2015 friends
ss game ss game 2

We wrapped up our weekend with hugs and promises to stay-in-touch, pictures and a few tears along the way.

sew south sunday friends sew south sunday friends 2 sew south sunday friends 3 ss group shot 2015 600

It was an amazing weekend with wonderfully kind and creative people! 

A very big thank you to the Sew South Sponsors! 
sew south 2015 sponsor banner

We greatly appreciated the fabulous swag, supplies, door prizes and tools! Thank you for being part of Sew South! 

If you would like more info about upcoming Sew South Retreats, please sign up for the newsletter (link on the sidebar) to stay up-to-date on Sew South news. :)