Sew South 2014 Teachers

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm super excited about the fabulously talented teachers that are coming to Sew South this year! They bring a wealth of knowledge, a ton of variety and a truck-load of enthusiasm with them and each workshop is going to be a fun and engaging experience.

Sew South classes are taught whole group, so if you buy a ticket to Sew South, all workshops are included. This whole group setting makes for an exciting, enthusiastic class and really allows everyone to help each other and cheer each other on! Our workshops focus on make & take projects so ideally you'll have several completed projects at the end of the weekend!

There are 5 workshops at Sew South this year and we'll be covering a variety of topics including: embroidery, improv quilting, bag making, and skirts. I've also added a blogging and social media class to the mix this year! No worries if you don't have a blog. I'm sure you'll find the class engaging and inspiring regardless. And who knows? You might just walk away ready to dive in and blog yourself!

Whether you are a seasoned sewist or a confident beginner, I am certain you will enjoy the workshops at Sew South. Our instructors are super excited about teaching and are already designing their classes and projects.

So just who are this year's instructors? Allow me to introduce them to you!

Embroidery Instructor and Guest Speaker

Alison Glass
Alison Glass Design

Alison Glass is fabric designer for Andover Fabrics. She has recently released a line of embroidery and quilt patterns, carried in her online shop (and independent quilt stores), along with art prints, and fabric bundles and kits. Alison lives with her super family, husband Chris, and kids Anna and Jack, who encompass her biggest goal of being there for and doing well by them. Their move to Virginia just over a year ago means that they have now lived in the north, south, east, and western parts of the United States. Alison adores color and pattern, and loves designing fabric the most as a lovely combination of these things. A close second is mixing fabrics in distinctive ways, and particularly hand stitching and quilting, and the act of creating artisan quality, cherish-able goods. She is a big fan of simplicity and growth, and thinks that trying hard, with an open attitude, is most of doing. Alison is a fan of the phrase 'Live in the New,' meaning: acknowledging the past, and more so embracing the current reality, and moving into it the new, the future, focusing on what is present: people, work, ideas and what can be accomplished.

Improv Quilting Class

Kati Spencer
From the Blue Chair

Kati's sewing career started when she was just a kid, stitching doll clothes on her mom's ancient Bernina (which she had inherited from her mom). She sewed various projects as she got older, but didn't buy her own machine until she had been married several years. Luckily, her husband supports all of the crazy projects she tries. She has three children--a six-year-old daughter and four-year-old twins (a boy and a girl). When her twins were about six months old and finally on a regular sleep schedule, she started to feel human again. She began looking for projects she could do while all three kids napped in the afternoon. She discovered a youtube video on free motion quilting and was instantly hooked especially when she realized she already had the sewing foot she needed. Within a few short weeks she had made two small quilts, both of which she quilted on her domestic sewing machine. Since then she's made 80+ quilts ranging from wall quilts to queens. She is willing to try almost any style of quilting, but her favorite tends to be improv piecing. She loves the idea of creating a project that no one else will ever duplicate exactly. It's her own very unique quilt. Kati says, "I'm so excited for the chance to teach this topic at Sew South!"

Bag Making

Kelly Bowser
Kelby Sews

Kelly Bowser picked up sewing on a whim while her husband was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and she needed something creative to do. She is mostly self-taught, using blogs, books, and swaps to help improve her skills.  Kelly has moved eighteen times and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband, two boys, and their dog.  Her days are filled with laughing with her boys, cooking yummy food, convincing her hubby not sell her ever-growing stash, resisting the urge to "visit" to Anna Maria Horner who lives just fifteen minutes away, sewing and quilting on her favorite Babylock machines, reading smutty books, and arranging her fabric in rainbow order... because everything should be arranged in rainbow order. To get to know Kelly a little better, visit her blog at or on Instagram as "kelbysews," and see first-hand why she doesn’t mind all the dust collecting on her law degree.


Heather Valentine
The Sewing Loft

Heather Valentine is the voice behind The Sewing Loft.  After earning a degree in fashion design and pattern making from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Heather took her talent to some of the top name brands in the apparel industry.  She worked hand in hand with factories to develop new products, achieve the perfect fit and produce quality garments.
After 20 plus years in the industry, she created The Sewing Loft, an on-line sewing community filled with sewing enthusiasts of every skill level, from the small business owner to the occasional stitcher.  Her main goal is to promote awareness, provide education and above all encourage the community to move the needle forward.  
Her work has graced the pages of several printed publications including: Crafts n’ Things, Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Green Child Magazine and Stitching Kitchen.  Her patterns can also be found in a store near you with the Simplicity Creative Group.
This self proclaimed fabric hoarder likes to stitch the night away and dreams of one day discovering a better way to detangle her thread collection.  

Blogging & Social Media

Christen Barber
Love By Hand

Christen Barber shares her love of all things sewing and fabric on her blog Love By Hand, including fun, quick sewing tutorials, project inspiration and unique ideas for handmade gifts. She is also the owner of Love Elaine, a handmade shop founded in 2009 featuring unique aprons, totes, baby quilts, holiday items and gifts in bright, modern fabrics. She has been featured on Sew, Mama, Sew!, published in Stitch Magazine and contributes sewing projects to Craftaholics Anonymous as part of the 2013 Creative Team.

When she isn’t dreaming of the perfect fabric combination for next latest project, Christen spends her days as a Marketing Strategist. For the past 8 years, she has worked in marketing, public relations and advertising agencies advising clients on branding, online marketing and social media strategy and execution, not to mention getting paid to be on Facebook all day. 

Isn't that a fabulous line-up? Mark your calendars for March 20-23, 2014.
I'd love for you to join us!

Tickets go on sale here, October 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST. 
(note the time change!)

Any questions? Email me at jennifer@sewsouthretreat (dot) com.