Month: March 2017

First Carriage Corner Sew Camp Recap

Whew!  That’s a mouthful!  I’m happy to say that I survived the first ever Carriage Corner Sew Camp.  While I wish I had had more time to sew, I actuaFood Collagelly didn’t anticipate having much – but I am so very, very thankful for the time that I did have, the conversations, the laughter and the new friendships that are developing as a result of #CarriageCornerSewCamp.  We are planning another one, very soon.

We had one camper who chose to come a day early and stay until Monday and it was so much fun having you!  We had some other guests on Friday morning, so all the guests were treated to a the typical B&B breakfast – on Friday morning it started with a yummy gluten free coffee cake and was followed by a potato & Gruiere crustless quiche served with sausage and sliced pears drizzled with a dark vanilla balsalmic.  The other attendees timed their arrival just perfect.  Breakfast was mostly done, but because my kitchen cleaning B&B helper had decided to get the flu, I needed to do the kitchen clean up before we left.  So as the other ladies arrived, they joined Carolyn at the dining room table and had coffee & coffee cake.

Fabric Mart's Instagram Pic

Fabric Mart’s Instagram Pic

A little bit later than anticipate, we all trooped out to the driveway where my better half unloaded sewing machines and projects and carried them into the sewing space while we went to FabricMart.  We arrived right around 11:30 or so.  There were photo ops and while I even put my camera into my purse, I didn’t pull it out once.  We were given the grand tour of FabricMart and I was surprised how big it is!  If you haven’t been there, you should go.  They have patterns and notions too!   I was good and only bought 3 pieces of fabric – each one is big enough to make some tacky matching GG & Eleanor outfits!  (I don’t even want to tell you how excited I am about that prospect.)  Piles of fabric

As usual, after getting home – I had loads of fabric envy and wished that I had shared fabric with everyone.  At the top is a link to the Carriage Corner Sew Camp hashtag on Instagram and so far both B & S have shared their purchases with the world.

Anyway – once we got back to the B&B, we got sewing machines set up and projects out.  I learned that Friday night we want to cater dinner in – after being out most of the day, everyone wants to just settle down to get to know one another and sew.

It was an absolutely blessing that Carolyn was here.   Saturday started with B getting a serger lesson; saw C ripping, ripping and doing more ripping to a dress she had brought that had fabulous beading on the neckline but needed fit help.  She got loads of fit help and hopefully will translate that to her paper pattern (which she didn’t bring or it would be done already).  S started the morning by transferring her tunic alterations to her tissue, she then picked a piece of fabric from my stash, cut and mostly sewed up a beautifully fitting tunic from The Tunic Bible.  It went home waiting for trim and hems and since S is now on instagram and leaving comments on blogs, I have no doubt we’ll see that finished tunic soon.  (You can find all the Sew Camp attendees through the instagram hashtag link above.)

Saturday evening we all went out for dinner as a group – lesson number 2, make reservations or cater both nights.  Upon getting back, sewing happened until later in the evening.  Sunday morning B was up early, she grabbed a cup of tea and went to sew before breakfast was ready – yea!! this is what I wanted.  I know there are plenty of places where people can go to learn with an ‘expert,’ especially on the East Coast, but sewing can be so solitary and it’s nice to know that there really are other people out there who like fabric and making things.  My goal with hosting CarriageCornerSewCamps is to help create that community; and build friendships and connections.  Each of the ladies who attended our first very intimate Sew Camp are now on instagram, they are all private so request to follow them.  My personal experiences with attending the Sewing Retreats sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of ASG where amazing.  I left with such fond memories and while there wasn’t a dedicated person there to answer questions and help with fitting, we all pitched in.  Fitting books were poured over, darts and excess fabric were pinned out, modifications were transferred to patterns, garments were tried on, great conversations were had, and sewing happened.  As we sat and sewed we learned who would help us with a question and who we could help and that’s my goal – to create a similar experience here.

Friday night sewing

When you attend Sew Camp at Carriage Corner you get the full Bed & Breakfast experience.  You stay in one of our 5 rooms – 2 of the rooms have pull out beds (one double, one twin) both of them have fabulous memory foam mattresses and you wouldn’t know you were sleeping on a pull out.  You sew in our personal space – there is a kitchen, and powder room available to you.  We provided irons & ironing boards, tables, extension cords with serge protectors and a couple of Ott Lights.  I also have 2 machines I can loan, if you are flying and don’t want to cart your machine.  Also, the Hubby will move your sewing paraphernalia to and from your car so you don’t have to.  The space is separate from our sleeping space so you can feel free to stay up as late as you want or get an early start (this was lesson #3 – I’m so used to closing the office door at night that I didn’t even think about it – won’t happen next time).

There are 10 spaces max for the next Sew Camp happening July 21 – 23, 2017.  Rooms will be filled on a first come/first served basis and the cost remains the same $425 for the weekend.  If you wish to share a room with a friend, please provide their name when you email.  Your registration includes the following:

Friday, July 21st:
~ Arrive at Carriage Corner by 10:00 am.
~ Fabric Shopping at Fabric Mart.  We will plan to leave by 11:00 am.
~ After getting your fabric fix, lunch will be at a charming little cafe called Crave, cost of lunch is not included.
~ Upon our return from FabricMart, we’ll get the sewing area set up and you can sew to your hearts content.  (There are 2 machines available for use, on a first come basis)
~ Friday Dinner will be a happy hour at the B&B with small bites available, we have both the gazebo and the fire pit to allow you to enjoy the outdoors.
~ The sewing space will be open through the night for the late night stitchers.
Saturday, July 22nd:
~ Sew all day ~ start early, stay late, leave in the middle for a nap ~ it’s your choice and your pace.
~ Breakfast will be prepared by me and served at 8:30 am.
~ Lunch & Dinner will be catered.
Sunday, July 23rd:
~ Sew all day ~ start early, stay late, leave in the middle for a nap ~ it’s your choice and your pace.
~ Breakfast will be prepared by me and served at 8:30 am.
~ Lunch will be catered in.
~ You need to be checked out of your room by 11:00 am, but can stay and sew until 5:00 pm.
~ All weekend there will be coffee, tea, water, sodas and snacks available.
How to Register:
Please send an email to [email protected]com, with “Carriage Corner Sewing Retreat” in the subject line indicating that you want to attend.  Please send a number I can reach you at to call and get your details.  Once we have chatted, I will send a reply email confirming your attendance with additional details.

What Happening Around Town?

So – why would you come to Lancaster? I mean, what is there to do? I’ve been doing some research – some of the actual attended it myself and had a great time variety and some of the online variety.

SwingIn the next couple of weeks there are some really, really fun things happening. Seriously – if you’ve never been to a mud sale – get yourself out here. We’ve now been to 3; Strasburg, Gordonville, and Farmersville. Most likely, your first question is what is a mud sale? Well, typically, the mud sales happen in the Spring (check) when the snow is melting (check) and the fields are full of mud. So, bring your boots and come prepared to get dirty. Next, everything at the mud sale is sold auction style, so when you arrive get your bidder number. Also know that everything sold supports the fire department of the city/town/village that is holding the mud sale. Last – know what you are looking for and what your top bid is before you go in. Everything – and I mean literally everything – is available to be bought (won) at the mud sale.

At the Strasburg sale we managed to pick up an Adirondack chair for the yard and a beautiful swing. Jay also added a bunch of birdhouses to the yard and we’re enjoying watching the birds find them. We also found 2 quilts – a beautiful one for Dahlia’s bed and one for the pull out in Log Cabin.

DresserAt the Gordonsville sale we couldn’t get near the quilts if we tried, and we did try. Gordonsville’s sale was HUGE! We managed to stumble into the yard furniture section just as they were finishing and picked up a couple of candy colored chairs and a table for the back yard. There are plans for a fire pit and you need to be able to sit around it. We also picked up some fabulous furniture which has been cleaned and moved into the B&B. Lancaster Rose has a lovely new dresser and the snack station has a new sideboard that has room to house the table linens.

Finally, at the Farmersville sale – I found the quilt of my dreams and hubby won the bid on it.  We also bought several quilts, some for the B&B and some for resale.  That wasn’t our original intention, but we ended up with many, many beautiful quilts and we don’t need them all.  So, if you are staying here and fall in love with the hand quilted quilt on your bed, ask – it might just be for sale.  Quilt of Dreams

If you haven’t already figured it out – I had a fabulous time at the mud sales.  I’m going to start a list of the things I need in preparation for next years’ sales and be on the look out for that one just right piece that will complete our vision of the B&B and make that perfect blend of comfort and relaxation.

The mud sales aren’t over yet – the Gap Mud Sale is this coming weekend, Friday, March 24th & Saturday, March 25th .  And there are sales in early April, May, June, August, September & October, the full list of sales can be seen here.  The Gordonville Fall Sale is a another good one for getting a hand-quilted quilt – and it’s not too early to book your room now.

Also happening around town in the near future?  Gardenspot is hosting their annual full & half marathon on April 7.  If you book a room – let us know if you need drop off and pick up service for the race.  We’re happy to provide that to make your race a little bit easier.

That will get us into early April.  May will bring the rhubarb festival at Kitchen Kettle Village – but more will be coming about that soon.  So – talk to me people, the comments are working – what do you want to know about?  Do you want recipes?  Do you want to know what inspires me to try a new breakfast?  Do you want to see more pictures of the B&B?  Or do you just want to know what specials we are offering?  Talk back to me – I want to know and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Authentic Inns of Lancaster County

affiliate-authentic-bed-and-breakfastWe were approved!  As a bed and breakfast owner one of the first decisions you have to make, after what to make for breakfast, is what associations to join.  Will they only help the bed & breakfast or are there any that will also help our guests.  In searching associations in Pennsylvania to join, we found a couple that were really worthwhile.  One of which, truly helps our guests as much as it helps us.  Which one is that?  Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County.

The Innkeepers that belong to Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County have come together as a group and come up with ways to make guests’ stay in Lancaster County even more enjoyable.  It might be discounts they’ve negotiated on shopping or food.  Possibly, it’s the passport program where as a frequent guest to Lancaster County you can earn a discount on a stay at any one of the member bed and breakfasts by staying five different times at three different bed & breakfasts.  Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fun events that are planned within Authentic – such as the Belsnickle Tour (December 2 & 3, 2017 – we’ll be including tickets for our guests staying at least 2 nights that weekend) a fun tour of several of the Bed & Breakfasts that make up Authentic, you get to tour the B&Bs decorated for the holidays, sample cookies, collect cookie recipe cards, find the Belsnickle (an angry Santa) and enter to win great prizes including 1 night at any of the Bed & Breakfasts that make up Authentic.

But – one of the things I like most is the Passport Program.  What’s that you ask?  That’s discounts the Innkeepers have managed to arrange with local merchants for all sorts of stuff.  Check out the Things to Do Pages, anyone with a red star is participating in the Passport Program, but the discounts are only available if you stay at an Authentic Bed & Breakfast of Lancaster Country.  Don’t forget to ask your Innkeeper for your Passport.

Hope to see you soon!

Sewing Retreat/Camp?

I thought I’d share a little about my desire to host sewing retreats at Carriage Corner.  Before moving to the heart of Amish Farmlands, we lived in Seattle and I belonged to the Great Seattle Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  I am still a member of ASG, belonging to the Philadelphia Chapter now.

It's a wall of fabric in my family room (sew camp headquarters)

It’s a wall of fabric in my family room (sew camp headquarters)

Anyway – twice a year, the Seattle Chapter would host a sewing retreat or Sew Camp as many people referred to it.  In Seattle it’s held at a church camp property or an old convent.  There is no educational component of Sew Camp, it’s simply a chance to get away from the distractions of home and spend 2 1/2 days with like-minded people working on projects of your choosing.  For me, sew camp appealed for many reasons:
1. I wasn’t at home and couldn’t procrastinate working on my projects. There was no housework to do or dogs to walk. If I procrastinated, it was because I was chatting with another ‘camper,’ looking at their projects, catching up with their lives, etc.
2. No cooking.  All meals were prepared for me – I just had to stand up from my machine and walk into the dining room.  I could spend as much time there as I chose.
I promise - this will be a beautiful clean space to trace or cut during sew camp

I promise – this will be a beautiful clean space to trace or cut during sew camp

3. 2 1/2 glorious days to sew my little heart out.  Are you a morning person?  Want to get up at 5 and start sewing?  Everything is set up, coffee is on so go right ahead, you won’t bother anyone.  Maybe you are a night owl and you get on a roll and you want to keep sewing until 2 or 3 in the morning.  Probably there will be at least one other person there with you.  But if you are the last woman sewing, just make sure the irons are off, flip a couple switches and off you go to bed.

4. Social – sewing can be a very solitary hobby.  Yes, there are blogs and various social events.  Many of them right here on the East Coast – for example:  Workroom SocialCashmerette and Gertie, to name a few.  It’s so nice to spend several days working on projects and have numerous ‘experts’ there to ask questions of or get fitting help.  Because we all know it’s hard to fit your own back!

5. I was sewing on MY machines so there was no learning curve to get started.
My desire is to host sewing camps along those lines.  I have 5 rooms in the B&B with queen sized beds.  Ideally, you would register with a friend that you don’t mind sharing a bed with 😉  Because at this type of sew camp – it really is the more the merrier.
I will prepare and serve a typical B&B breakfast to the sewing retreat attendees on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  I also plan to have cookies, chips, and fruit available all day, along with a coffee pot and kettle set up in the sewing area – so you don’t have to leave the sewing area if you don’t want.  Lunch and Dinner will be catered with requests taken so that we can meet any dietary concerns that the attendees have.
Standing at the back wall looking at my machines

Standing at the back wall looking at my machines

One additional “treat” to the Carriage Corner Sew Camp attendees is a trip to Fabric Mart. We will meet at the B&B on Friday morning. We’ve rented a van so that all of the attendees can travel to Fabric Mart together. The Fabric Mart staff will be waiting to assist us with purchases and will ship your goodies home if you don’t want to carry them.  After the shopping spree, we will have lunch at a nearby restaurant (which, other than your fabric, is the only meal not included in the entire weekend). When we get back to the B&B, you can settle in and then join us for a Wine & Cheese reception at the local yarn store which is in walkable distance from the B&B.

Now while I don’t yet have spare sewing machines to offer, the upside of bringing your own is that you know it and have the supplies for it. If it’s inconvenient for you to bring your own, I am willing to loan out either one of my personal sewing machines.  They are regularly serviced and kept in good working order.
I realize that I’m offering another sewing opportunity but I loved the friendships made while attending the Seattle ASG Sew Camps.  The inspiration.  The guidance.  I believe that you will find all of that while attending a Carriage Corner Sew Camp and more.  I hope you’re willing to join us for one this year.
BTW, there’s only 1 double room still available for the March 24th Sew Camp.  I also have 1 room available for part of the retreat weekend. There are still a few daily walk-ins available so if you live locally and only want to come to sew, please contact me so that you can join in. Once these last two rooms are booked, there are a few other B&Bs in the area, if you’re from out-of-state, and want to participate.  Please contact me for additional information.
I can’t wait to see and sew with everyone at Carriage Corner Sew Camp!