Sew South Retreat Recap!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

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.

sew south wip 3
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 EllisonLane.com

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!
xo,
Jennifer

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! 

DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS