Sewing

Sew Camp #2 – Recap

Better Late Than Never – Right?

In all honesty, I’ve been putting off doing this recap because I don’t have a ton of photos – and I ran out of the ‘swag’ that was in the attendees gift bags.  Then I remembered that S2 had taken a lovely photo and I asked to use hers.

FabricMart Spoils

The 2nd Sew Camp was as wonderful as the first.  We were very lucky in that the only guests at the B&B were sew camp attendees and that meant I could really focus my attention on sewing and spending time with the Sew Camp Attendees.  We had 3 ladies who booked into the B&B for the entire Sew Camp and 2 ladies who joined us for Saturday only.    As Sew Camp does, we started Friday with breakfast and pastries before heading out to FabricMart.  Everyone purchased fabric and at least one piece of that newly purchased fabric got sewn up over the weekend.  Friday dinner was a happy hour, with lots of little finger foods, but it’s been suggested we have more of a cocktail hour next time.  You can always bring your own adult beverages, we are just limited in what we can serve – just FYI.

C stitching her machine knit sweater together – this was completed over the weekend

 

S1 and the front of her Charlie Caftan from her FabricMart purchase

Saturday morning had at least one of the ladies in the sewing room bright and early – before breakfast even.  Which is absolutely fine!  She grabbed her coffee and headed into the sewing space to get a head start on her project.  See, B brought a very involved, couture jacket to work on and she was doing tons of handstitching.  I think it was late Saturday before she started basting things together.  H arrived around 11a and S arrived just before noon.  Once we got everyone set up – it was time to take a short break and have some lunch.  Then people went back to sewing, knitting and conversing.  C – had finished the back of her sweater and was getting started on the front.  A few of ladies took a break and run out to Rumspringa to sample some beer.  Saturday dinner was a baked pasta loaded with sausage and cheese, served with a salad.  We skipped desert.  Several of the ladies stayed up quite late sewing – again, that’s the plus of being at a retreat you can sew as long as you want – stopping only for food.  Sunday was more of the same.

Sunday, there was more sewing.  S & B stayed for lunch which included an amazing blueberry buckle that B made.  It was so yummy!

As is always the case, I really enjoyed spending the weekend with like minded crafty ladies.  I found sound of C’s knitting machine incredibly soothing.  I loved watching B’s progress on her jacket and can’t wait until I catch a glimpse of it on Instagram.  Meeting S and her husband felt like we had reconnected with old friends – I wish they were just a little bit closer so we could get together more often – but I’m hoping she’ll come to the next Sew Camp and the menfolk can go off on beer tour.  Just this past Tuesday, I was in New York at the #nysewcialhour and it was great to catch up with C & S and find out that S finished her Charlie caftan and it was perfect for her recent vacation!

Simplicity 8419 Donated by Simplicity Pattern Group

This time around – I decided that maybe we should have some ‘swag’ to give out to all attendees.  I started by reaching out to Simplicity Pattern Group and Cashmerette.  Both of these fabulous companies offered up goodies to be given to our group of lovely ladies.  Simplicity sent a box with 2 current patterns – New Look 6517 (I can’t wait to make those floaty pants) and Simplicity 8419 (I might have bought a sheer polka dot fabric for View C at FabricMart) and Cashmerette offered a coupon code good on PDF pattern purchases which was incredibly generous.  I made little thread catcher bags from a pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts using up stashed quilting cottons and a fun decorative stitch on my machine; I also made donut pincushions.  Jay threw some beautiful hardwood cutting blocks into the mix.  I had asked him to make these from the scraps of wood left over from making shoulder stands  and the multi-point pressing tools, because the little green mat that came with my buttonhole and eyelet cutter set was ruined and I needed something to cut on.  We had 2 door prizes – Saturday we gave away a shoulder stand which S2 won and Sunday we gave away a multi-point tool that S won.

If you are thinking about attending a future Sew Camp the details can be found on the Sew Camp tab and the dates for 2018 have been set – March 23-25, 2018 and September 21 – 23, 2018.  I’m thinking about making something for the goodie bags that will be the same every time.  Originally I was thinking about the donut pincushions, but in different colors each time, but now I’m not sure.  How about a few patterns weights that keep getting added to?  What are your thoughts?

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 hello@carriagecornerbandb.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.

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!

Hearting It Up

So, this being our first Valentine’s Day at Carriage Corner, I wanted to do something special for the guests.  Not just a ‘themed’ breakfast for Valentine’s Day, although I did do that.  But I wanted to really add some heartfelt decorations around the B&B.

I am lucky enough to really enjoy sewing and have a fancy embroidery machine.  So – I decided to look for some free standing lace hearts.  I found a great set of designs at Embroidery Library and they were exactly what I wanted and on sale to boot!  So, I bought them, downloaded them and then transferred them to the memory stick for my embroidery machine.

I posted the video to my personal instagram page.  I love watching the embroidery machine work.  The fun part about free standing lace, is just that – it’s free standing.  To make this work, you need the right stabilizers.  About half-way through this project, I ran out of the heavy water soluble that I had been hooping and started having troubles.  So, I thought maybe a little blog post might help others out.  Please excuse my tacky hoops and beat up cutting mat in the following photos.

When I’m doing free standing lace, and honestly many other things with the embroidery unit, it’s not always possible to hoop the thing you are embroidering on.  Sometimes it makes more sense to just hoop the stabilizer and then use the fix function to baste the project to the stabilizer.  However, when doing freestanding lace, there is nothing else to baste to the stabilzer so you need to make sure that what’s in the hoop has enough tension not to pull like it’s starting to in the video above.  When that happens, you get lace that looks like this:

bad lace :(

bad lace 🙁

You can see the foundation stitches outside the satin stitching that forms the outside of the heart.  This heart may not stay together when I soak away the stabilizer.  And honestly – having all the stitching show around the outside doesn’t look very pretty.  You lose the effect.

3 hearts all in a row

3 hearts all in a row

So – how do you counter act that?  There are a couple of options.  Cut pieces of water soluble stabilizer that are big enough to hoop and double it up.  Well – I didn’t want to do that because stabilizer is expensive and a lot of it would just be cut away and then thrown out.  It’s really hard to use up those tiny pieces of stabilizer.

So, I started thinking.  I remembered that one of the hoops I have came with a fleece-like insert that you could hoop with fine fabrics to help protect the fabrics from the hoop AND provide tension so the hoop gets tight enough to keep the fine fabrics stable.  Hmmm, I don’t have any fleece, but I do have some batting lying around.  Also – I think a cotton or wool batting that a bit firmer would have been

lace hearts, stitched & trimmed, but not soaked yet

lace hearts, stitched & trimmed, but not soaked yet

better than what I used, but this worked.

So, I grabbed some batting and cut it bigger than my hoop.  I was using the mega hoop.  I sew and

using batting to create tension in the hoop

using batting to create tension in the hoop

embroider on an Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 SE.  I then proceeded to cut the center out of the embroidery area.  When hooping for the embroidery I would layer the batting first, then some clear water soluble stabilizer that would only fit the center.  At this point, I didn’t have any stabilizer left that was wider than the hoop I was using.  And I didn’t want to change hoops, because I could fit 3 hearts into 1 hooping, thereby saving time and materials.

Once I had the batting and stabilizer hooped up and taught, I would slip it onto the machine and put 3 layers of heavy, soak away stabilizer under that and use the fix function to baste everything together – keeping the stabilizers under all of the embroidery.

I stitched out 5 hearts of 5 different colors.  I knew I wanted to create a bunting type of decoration to

stack of hearts

stack of hearts

hang from the mantle and wasn’t sure how many hearts I would need for that.  Originally, I was only going to make 20 hearts, 5 different hearts from 4 colors, but I posted to instagram again and took a poll.  2 of the color options tied, so 5 colors it was.  Which was good – because I have 5 guest rooms here and I was able to hang one heart on each door.

Once all the hearts had been stitched out, I trimmed the stabilizer close to the stitching.  I then soaked them in a sink of cold water for about 2 hours.   They don’t really need to soak that long, but I run a bed and breakfast and forgot about them.  I will tell you that the longer they soak, they softer and more pliable they get.  Soaking them dissolves the stabilizer, leaving you with nothing but freestanding lace made of thread.

Keep in mind, that while you can definitely tell the back from the front, you want to make sure you use matching thread in your bobbin.

Once they were all stitched out and soaked.  I gave them a quick press with the iron.  For the mantle, I asked Jay to string some fishing line across the mantle, but he didn’t have any.  So he used twine and it gives a lovely rustic touch.  Much better option.  I hit up the Target dollar isle and bought clothespins to hang the hearts with.   I cut pink and white ribbon in various lengths, hot glued one end at the hanging loop and  then just folded the other end over the twine and clipped it in place.

Pretty little hearts - all in a row

Pretty little hearts – all in a row

But – that wasn’t all the hearts.  There were a few left.  I took a pretty crocheted type ribbon trim and cut in into lengths.  I then hot glued the ribbon between the hearts – be very careful with this step – I burned my fingers more times than I want to mention!  The little garland of hearts we hung at the top of the stairs.  I’m so very happy with this project.  It was very time consuming, but worth every minute!

Heart Garland

Heart Garland

 

Spring Fling Sewing Retreat

Gazebo at night

Gazebo at night

I am so thrilled to announce the first sewing retreat at Carriage Corner!  I’ve been thinking about this since before we purchased the Bed & Breakfast, to have quarterly retreats ~ specifically sewing retreats and possibly knitting retreats, also.   So the first ever “Carriage Corner Sewing Retreat” is happening Friday, March 24 – Sunday, March 26, 2017!  This first one will be a general sew in.  Come bring your projects and sew.  A highlight of this retreat is that Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic will be on hand to work with you on your sewing challenges, developing a TNT, how to take a pattern and to see design changes.  Carolyn and I will also take time to take a full set of measurements if you need them.  Other than that there will be no set sewing agenda. If you just want a weekend away, to sew and spend time with fellow sewists, this is the time and place for that to happen.

The Particulars:
1. If you want to stay at Carriage Corner the cost for the weekend? is $350 per person, double occupancy; $425 single occupancy.
2. There are 5 guest rooms at Carriage Corner with queen beds in every room.  If you are requesting double occupancy,  please give the name of the person you will be rooming with when you register.  Every room has a private bath. 
3. If you live locally or want to participant on a daily “day tripper” basis ~ the daily rate is $125 per person.
4. When registering please state whether you are registering for double or single occupancy.
5. This retreat is open to 15 people ONLY
6. Registrations are taken on a first come basis.
A typical Carriage Corner Breakfast

A typical Carriage Corner Breakfast

Your registration includes the following:
Friday, March 24th:
~ Arrive at Carriage Corner by 10:00 am.
~ Fabric Shopping at Fabric Mart.  The van will leave at 11:00 am.
~ After getting your fabric fix, lunch will be at a charming little cafe called Crave.
~ Friday evening around 5:00 pm, we’ll have a happy hour at Lancaster Yarn Shop.  Wendy, the owner of the yarn shop, will co-host the happy hour with me.  The yarn shop will be open for your shopping pleasure.
~ Dinner will be on your own Friday evening.
~ The sewing area will be available to set up after the reception and you can sew to your hearts content.  (There are 2 machines available for use, on a first come basis)
~ The sewing space will be open through the night for the late night stitchers.
Saturday, March 25th:
~ Carriage Corner breakfast will be served promptly at 8:30 am to get your sewing day started off right.
~ After breakfast, head into the ‘sewing space’ and work on whatever project you want.
~ Carolyn will be available all day to help with sewing questions.
Log Cabin after it's facelift

Log Cabin after it’s facelift

Lunch:
There will be a make your own sandwich bar available for lunch
Dinner:
We’ll order pizza in from the local pizzeria for dinner.
The sewing space will be open through the night for the late night stitchers.
Sunday, March 26th:
~ Carriage Corner breakfast will be served promptly at 8:30 am to get your sewing day started off right.
~ Everyone who is staying at Carriage Corner will need to check out of their room by 11 am.
~ After breakfast, head into the ‘sewing space’ and work on whatever project you want.
~ Carolyn will be available all day to help with sewing questions.
Lunch:
Sunday lunch will be on your own.
All weekend there will be coffee, tea, water and sodas available along with treats.
How to Register:
Please send an email to hello@carriagecornerbandb.com, with “Carriage Corner Sewing Retreat” in the subject line to confirm that you will be attending.  I will send a reply email confirming your attendance with additional details.  Now I understand that not everyone can come for the entire weekend.  As stated above, there will be day-tripper options available for Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday.  Come one, two or all three days. (If you come as a day-tripper for all three days, a discount on the day-tripper rate will be available)  In the event that Carriage Corner is completely booked for the event, and you want to stay over, I can recommend some lovely B&B’s close by.  The day tripper rate will be available, again on a first come basis.
If you would like to arrive on Thursday night or stay over on Sunday, we are offering a discount on the rooms on Thursday and Sunday nights if you want to extend your visit.
I hope you will come out and sew with us in March!