Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sewdown Nashville - Retreats end up being all about the people

Nashville - Lower Broadway

Last Friday morning I was walking along Lower Broadway in Nashville with Rene and Victoria. Despite it being just around lunch time, this part of Nashville was humming - people were everywhere and there was music pouring out of the clubs as we walked.

Nashville - Painter's Alley

Printer's Alley has undergone several changes from its roots as the printing district. Now its full of clubs.

Victoria and I - Nashville

A couple of photos seemed in order, Victoria and I.

Victoria and Rene - Nashville

Victoria and Rene.

Boots in Nashville

An other thing we saw on this walk was cowboy boots, store after store of them, mostly all offering you free pairs too. Now, being from Alberta, I live in the wild west but I have to say that there are a lot more colourful boots to buy in Nashville, should you be looking for a pair.

Anna Maria Horner's kitchen

On Friday at 4 p.m. sharp, all the quilters boarded large buses and headed off to Anna Maria Horner's house. Truly, the Horner's are fantastic, they had lovely food and beautiful music and they let the quilters wander all over their beautiful home.

Anna Maria Horner's studio

That is part of Anna Maria's studio. I so want a wall of embroidery thread like that one. I was too busy visiting to take many other photos, and everyone had a fantastic time. On the way home, we stopped at The Fabric Studio and then it was time for open sew until midnight.

Soak nail polish

I spent some time that evening with the lovely Jacqueline from Soak chatting and getting my nails painted Lizzy House pearl bracelet style. Soak teamed up with fabric designers who curated the cutest nail polish sets and of course I had to buy two of them.

Carolyn Friedlander - in class, Sewdown Nashville

Saturday morning my first class was with Carolyn Friedlander. We learned to make her Ariel quilt - look at those fantastic samples on the table. I adore Carolyn's fabrics and her patterns are great too. It was so nice to get to know her  better over the weekend.

The group was broken into 4 sections of 20 so we all rotated through the classes all weekend. These fantastic teachers taught their workshops 4 times in a row, and were fresh and inspiring each time.

Anna Maria Horner - in class Sewdown Nashville

Saturday afternoon was a workshop with Anna Maria Horner. Everyone was spreading out on the floor creating collages. I teamed up my new friend Beata, and we actually finished my pillow top which I will share later.

Anna Maria Horner and Jen Carlton-Bailly - Sewdown Nashville

Here is Jen with Anna. Jen, who blogs at Bettycrockerass, was one of the three Modern Quilt Guild organizers who hosted this weekend and I am so glad I got to know her better.

There are a lot of things I have no photos of. We had fantastic meals - all of them were included. There were three inspiring lectures too, by Elizabeth Dackson (Don't Call Me Betsy), Alexia Abbeg (Green Bee - she wrote Liberty Love), and Maddie Kertay (BadAss Quilters Society). Saturday night was another free sewing night and I lasted almost till midnight, sewing and visiting.

Angela Walters - Sewdown Nashville

Sunday morning Angela Walters shared free motion quilting tips and designs. I was especially looking forward to this class, given all the quilting I have been doing.

Angela Walters and me - in class, Sewdown Nashville

There I am on instagram with Angela. I really enjoyed this chance to learn more about fmq designs and Angela is a wonderful teacher.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe - in class, Sewdown Nashville

On Sunday afternoon, I got to Play with the fantastic Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Victoria taught us many techniques, and encouraged us to be creative with fabric and design.

Victoria and Rene - Sewdown Nashville

There is Victoria with Rene.

Carolyn Friedlander, Anna Maria Horner, Victoria Findlay Wolfe - Sewdown Nashville

Janome, together with a local Janome dealer, sponsored the weekend and provided two models of sewing machines for everyone who wanted to use one in all the classes. There were two Janome trainers present the entire weekend who were fantastic and fun too. Several folks bought a machine, and at the end of the weekend, there was a flurry of machine autographing.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Anna Maria Horner, Rene - Sewdown Nashville

Of course, quilters and designers had all the sharpie colours out.

Anna Maria Horner, Elizabeth Dackson - Sewdown Nashville

One of a kind sewing machines were created.

Elizabeth Dackson and Heather Grant - Sewdown Nashville

There is Elizabeth Dackson and Heather Grant. Elizabeth, Heather and Jen were the Modern Quilt Guild hosts of the weekend. I cannot say enough things about these women. They are dedicated, funny, helpful, interesting and inspiring. And they all worked hard, every minute of the retreat, so that everything went well all of the time.

Jen Carlton-Bailley - Sewdown Nashville

Jen signing Rene's machine. (And no, I did not buy one, I already have a Janome Horizon which I use every day.)

Shelby, Carolyn, Rene, Victoria, me, Beata - Sewdown Nashville

This is the group I spent the most time with. Shelby, Carolyn (Carolyn was my sewing partner, I would love to sew next to her anytime), Rene, Victoria, me, and Beata. I really had the best time getting to know these lovely women.

So, yes, I had a wonderful time. It was a lot for one weekend, and like most folks coming home from a retreat, I felt overwhelmed for a few days. I would totally go again - the smaller but not tiny retreats work really nicely for me, with lots to learn and many but not too many people to meet and get to know.

Thank you to Jen, Heather and Elizabeth and the Modern Quilt Guild. Thank you to Janome and Soak and the sponsors who filled the goody bags.

And thank you to Nashville, everyone was so friendly.

I hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend, I am sewing and tidying and today I have to work a bit, because tomorrow I am off to Vancouver. When I am not working in my real job, I get to hang with my friend Krista (Poppyprint) again who is taking me to two different quilt guild meetings with her. I am so looking forward to that, I have not seen her since the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London last summer.