Carriage Corner

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

 

Upcoming Events – Area Attractions

Hi everyone – I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority – but I’m really looking forward to snow.  I love snow and honestly, part of the reason we moved to Central Pennsylvania was to experience 4 seasons.  We arrived during a particularly lovely Fall and even had a chance to get out and do some driving through the mountains in early November to really see the colors.  But now, now it’s Winter and Winter means snow.  My understanding is that Seattle is getting all of our snow and we are enjoying beautiful, bright, clear – but incredibly cold days.  Thankfully, we’ve been up to our eyeballs in freshening up the rooms, so other than quick dog walks have been inside.

photo from Lititz Fire & Ice Festival website

photo from Lititz Fire & Ice Festival website

Anyway – if you are coming to Lancaster in February, I’ve updated the Area Attractions page with upcoming events.  There are some really fun things happening around the area this month.  Starting with the Fire & Ice Festival in Lititz the 17 – 20, I’ve checked the schedule and there are some fun things happening – I may drag Jay out to view the ice sculptures and maybe for the chili cookoff – that’s his style.

Lititz Springs Park is located just 16 miles from Carriage Corner and it’s an easy drive to enjoy the Fire & Ice Festival and all the fun events.

The next weekend, February 24  – 26, 2017, Downtown Lancaster is celebrating the roots of American Music with their Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival.  A full calendar can be found here:  Roots & Blues Schedule.

And once all that is done – well, then the Mud Sales start.  I’ve been hearing so much about the Mud Sales and I’m really looking forward to attending, as well as donating loads of stuff we’ve decluttered to our local volunteer fire department.  I will keep the Area Attractions page updated monthly and details can be found here.

Also – during the month of February, we are running a Winter Special – Sunday through Thursday, any room just $99 a night.  This includes all of the regular amenities that are available.  We have a coffee/snack station to get you through to dinner time which is stocked with fresh baked cookies and fruit, a large assortment of tea and a keurig if you need coffee or cocoa.  The fireplace in the common area is always ready to be turned on so you can snuggle down into the loveseat with a good book, maybe one about the Amish or one of the mysteries that line the bookshelves of the common area.  We also have a jigsaw puzzle partly done at all times during the cold months – there’s just something about find that one piece, isn’t there?  Or possibly you want to beat the pants off your travelling companion at Scrabble – well we have that too!  The price is already adjust through the booking system so you don’t need to do anything special, and if you booked before the special when live – well, your price has been adjusted because that’s the right thing to do.

I hope you’ll give us a chance when you come to Lancaster County.  We look forward to meeting you.    Gaylen & Jay, your hosts

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!

Welcome

Hi – we’re glad you stopped by.  Let me introduce myself and Jay, my husband.

We are timg_3371he new owners of Carriage Corner Bed and Breakfast and we’re really looking forward to meeting you.  We firmly believe, there are no strangers just friends you haven’t met yet.

A little bit about us, we are:

*dog people ~ we currently have 3 dogs living at the property with us, however, they are now allowed in the Inn, but those missing their own furry friends we provide visitation upon request.

*soon to be grandparents ~ our youngest daughter is expecting our first grandchild at the end of January 2017.  This is really what prompted us to chase the dream make this huge move.

*parents ~ we have 2 daughters.  The oldest still lives in the Seattle area and we miss her loads.  Especially on Sundays when she’d come over to watch football and have dinner with us.  The youngest lives in New Jersey and is about to embark on motherhood.

*Eagles fan ~ at least one of us is.  Jay is a long time Philadelphia Eagles football fan.  90% of the time you’ll find him wearing something Eagles related.  He’s on the waiting list for Season tickets and then he won’t be around on Sundays.

So, why a bed and breakfast?  Well for starters, we are B&B people, we love the ‘homey’ feeling that a bed and breakfast provides and hope that staying with us at Carriage Corner will make you feel like you’re staying with your best friend, just a bit more pampered.

Next – we love working in the kitchen together and trying out new things.  While I’m doing the majority of the cooking and the planning, Jay is right there with me, prepping the morning fruit, making sure things don’t burn and that there is a never-ending supply of coffee.

Finally, we love meeting new friends.  We love the conversations that happen at check in or in the evening.  Then there are always the breakfast table conversations.  Hearing from repeat guests, either to the B&B or the area.  Learning new things.

So – in the spirit of Welcoming.  We’d like to offer a one-nights stay, to be used in 2017 (with some limitations) to one lucky reader.  To enter – do a couple of things:  1.  Like our facebook page; 2.  Follow us on Instagram; 3.  comment below and tell us why you like to stay at Bed & Breakfasts; and 4. make sure we have a way to contact you.  EDITED DUE TO COMMENTING ISSUES.  Contest will remain open through January 9, 2017 and a winner will be drawn on January 10, 2017 and notified via email.