Monday, November 17, 2014

Recap of Sewtopia - Salt Lake City

(Disclaimer: This is a long post - for me - but if you wondered what all the fuss about Sewtopia was about - read on!)

My first vacation in over two years, and I chose Sewtopia in Salt Lake City as my destination! One of my local quilty friends, AnneMarie, and I travelled together to Salt Lake City and we had so much fun! The two hour time change was not particularly fun as we were wide awake by 6a (Mountain Time) but hey, then there was time to workout before breakfast.  Fine, I only worked out once and it almost killed me, but I was up at 6a none the less.

Shall we begin?

I'm an Ohio girl through and through so these mountains were just spectacular.  Although sitting over the wing kind of cramped my camera.

Here's the view from our room at the Hilton. A bit of smog, but hey, the Mountains more than make up for it.  I was fascinated by "The Great Salt Lake" (and I'm a nerd) so I looked it up on Wikipedia.  Its a rather odd landscape, at least from the plane, with almost no vegetation around the lake. No fish, just brine shrimp, aka Sea Monkeys!  Who would have thunk?

This conference room at the Hotel was setup with over 70 sewing stations and new Bernina sewing machines, if you didn't care to bring your own! It was so fun playing with a nice new machine, and so tempting to buy one!  Which I did not… due to the luggage factor… and the cash factor.  But I wanted to!  They stitched like butter.  

Lots of coffee and sewing!  There was a "Starbucks" in the lobby… but they closed every day at 4p so I don't know if thats legit or not.  Its certainly not where I'm from! haha

All of us Sewtopians put together a Cotton & Steel selvedge string block for a Charity Quilt… selvedges were provided - pretty, no?!

The first full day in SLC we had the option of going on a Fabric Shop Hop - yes please!  We hit up 3 different shops, including one in an adorable little area called Gardner Village which consisted of mostly 100 year old cabins and cottages.  This little yarn shop was to die for!  I think I could live here…. Plus me living there would give me the opportunity to learn to knit properly! 

Just seeing these photos again is making me drool.  Sigh****

This shop, Pine Needles, was hands down my favorite!  So much modern, gorgeous fabric I scarcely knew where to start!  I did end up with the new Amy Butler True Colors (Wallflowers!) and a few half yards of cross-hatch.  Its a good thing I packed light, and used a BIG suitcase!  If I were to own a fabric shop - it would be Just. Like. Pine Needles.  

I planned ahead and brought my finished Vice Versa Quilt top with me, along with a finished backing.  Sewtopia provided SO MANY extras like Pellon batting, notions, Aurifil thread, HQ Sweet Sixteen mid-arm machines… I could go on and on.  So I was able to spray baste my VV quilt with super soft Pellon Bamboo/Cotton batting, and in 30 minutes flat I was ready to start quilting! 
Well I finished basting it five minutes before the Shop Hop departure so I had to wait to start quilting it until the evening… and decided on a nice organic wavy line quilting in the meantime!

This was my first time using a Mid-Arm, and let me tell you - it was fun!  I timed myself at about two and a half hours for a 74"x74" quilt. Not bad, I'd say.  It would have taken me DAYS to wrestle that thing thru my little Janome at home.  Again, they had two Sweet Sixteens that were FREE to use while at the event!

While finishing the quilting I decided to add a little "SLC" quilting so I could remember where I finished my VV quilt.  It will be, after all, used in my home, by my family, so why not?

So in about 24 hours time, I basted, quilted, and (machine) bound the entire thing.  Yay for productivity!  Thanks Lori and Megan for holding it up while I took a few pics. 

And the back.  I used up as many scraps as I could.  Flat sheets are usually my M.O. for backing  quilt but this one called for special treatment. 
(A full post devoted to my newly finished VV Quilt coming soon, with proper photos and all.)

I'm so blessed to have such a great friend, who happens to make amazing quilts and patterns!  Thanks AnneMarie for designing this quilt!  Its amazing and I know our family will use and love it for ages!  The label is even in place, woot!

Here is our little group of table-mates: Megan, Lori, me, and AnneMarie.  On our last evening we found the (not quite illustrious as the RED Iguana) Blue Iguana restaurant and had an absolutely wonderful meal and even better conversation.  

Great friends new and old. 

All of the design walls were covered with AMAZING blocks and I had to get my two little circle of geese blocks up there too - but I LOVE the Preppy the Whale pattern along with the Hedgehogs(by Elizabeth Hartman.)  So I did complete two other blocks during the two days.  Which I'm happy with… as now I can put my entire Circle of Geese quilt top together!

New additions to my stash, plus some Knit, crochet trim, and Yuzu Flatter spray.  Its the same scent as we used at Sewtopia… I'm such a sap. 

And last but not least - the Swag Bag!  And this isn't all of it!  Amy Newbold, the Head Honcho of Sewtopia, did an absolutely fabulous job of putting the event together, getting sponsors, collecting prizes, promoting the Michael Miller challenge, arranging yummy meals, and making sure we all had an all-around fantastic time. Thank you, Amy, for all your efforts!  Have you thought of doing this full time?! 

In closing, if you EVER get the opportunity to attend a future Sewtopia - do it!!!
The next one is in Chicago (albeit Sold Out, I believe) and next fall in Portland, OR! 
Sewing, friends, and time away - what could be better?

Phew, longest post in history!  If you made it this far, congratulations!
In the next few days I'll show my finished Vice Versa quilt, properly displayed on a white rail fence.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!