Hello my Sew Sisters & Brothers!
It has been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I almost don’t know where to start. Rather than write a long post about how I’m doing since the death of my husband, I thought I would simply share a video that I posted to my YouTube Channel recently. It pretty much sums up where I am right now in this journey. I’m making my way back and looking forward to sewing again. Click on the photo below for the video update. (Recorded 2 weeks ago)
Baby Lock Common Threads 2018
To help facilitate my return to the sewing community I attended the Baby Lock Common Threads 2018 event in Fenton, Missouri last week. Upon receiving the invitation, I was immediately hesitant about attending for a couple of reasons. First, I wasn’t sure how I would hold up emotionally with it being my first time traveling without my husband. Secondly, I had not met anyone from the Baby Lock team yet. Although I’m comfortable with initiating conversations and meeting new people, my mindset going in was different this time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Nevertheless, I decided to be brave and do this thing. This year’s theme was, “We Can Do It.” No coincidence for me at all.
Shortly before the event began, I was so happy to find out that my sew sister, Candice Ayala, with Sewing Portfolios, was attending also. It was really nice to have Candice there. We were sewing buddies and shared a machine for a couple of the projects we completed. It was her first time at Common Threads too and we both warmed up to the crowd quickly on Day 1 during an activity called “Speed Dating.” We all sat at tables and rotated seats, meeting with each person for about 5 minutes until we ended up back at our original seat. I thought it was a nice way to quickly meet the attendees, especially for a first timer.
After introductions, on the first night, we gathered in the studio to begin Class 1 where we learned to draft and sew a pair of leggings using the Triumph Serger. The class was taught by Mallory & Zedee of SewHere.com. Using their M2M Leggings technique, they taught us how to measure our own body and draft a pair of leggings for a perfect fit. The one benefit they mentioned that hit home with me about self drafting the leggings is that when you measure them to fit your own body, you never have to worry about them being too tight and distorting the print of the fabric. I’m sure we’ve all seen what it looks like when there’s too much stretch across the width of a printed knit fabric when worn too tightly. Not a very pleasant look. My leggings turned out great but I didn’t get a picture of me wearing them. Here is a photo of some that were completed in class.
On the second day, we finished our leggings from Class 1. Then in Class 2, we completed a quilting project with Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter. Using the Destiny II, Amy walked us through the steps of making Smile Bags to be donated to Operation Smile. Now let me tell you, I’m not a quilter at all, but this was a very simple introduction to quilting. It’s always rewarding to create projects for charity organizations. I believe giving back is essential in life. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “We’re blessed to be a blessing.” It’s true! Our gifts and talents are given that they may benefit others.
We also had the pleasure of learning from three speakers from the Influencer Panel. Pat Sloan of The Voice of Quilting spoke about building our communities on social media. Christopher Thompson of The Tattooed Quilter taught us how to balance prints in our projects. Miranda Anderson of Live Free Creative Company taught us how to engage our Instagram audiences.
After all our activities were completed on Day 2, Baby Lock surprised us all by taking us to Opera Theater St. Louis to see La Traviata. What a wonderful treat this was, as I had never attended an Opera before. I’ve always wanted to experience the Opera but just never got around to doing it. I really enjoyed it and look forward to attending my next one.
On the last day, Class 3 was all about embroidery. Nicci Brazzel of Nicci’s Embroidery taught us how to use the IQ Designer function on the Destiny II while we made cute little snap baskets. We learned how to program the machine to create beautiful stitch patterns. Oh that MACHINE! The laser beam!!! The “push-button” needle threader. I’m a complete sucker for easy needle threading.
Overall, I enjoyed Common Threads 2018 and look forward to attending again in 2019. We were all given a swag bag full of sewing goodies to take home. My takeaway is that when you have something you’re passionate about, and come together with others who share that passion, there is much opportunity to learn, grow, and inspire.
As I was already beginning to experience an increased desire to sew again, attending Common Threads 2018 gave me the extra motivation. I look forward to getting back into my studio and sharing more of my love of sewing with you.
Thank you for stopping by!
Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!