Sunday, April 14, 2013
SAGA Regional Retreat
I've just returned home from three days of sewing with friends old and new at the first-ever Smocking Arts Guild regional sewing retreat. It was held at a convention center in State College, PA. As one attendee put it "equally inconvenient for everyone", the center was not too bad. At first, we were dismayed by the fact that the rooms had outside doorways, but they were covered and it was just a short walk to a door into an inner hall.
My two fellow chapter members and I had a wonderful time. I took all hand classes, while they also took some machine technique classes. Friday was tough- breakfast at 8am, classes from 9-noon, 1:30-4:30, and 6-9 with breaks for meals.
I really enjoyed my classes. I had a baby daygown class all day Friday where we learned how to measure and adapt a daygown pattern to accomodate tucks of several types, lace and pleats. I finally managed to do a decent featherstitch! Jeannie Baumeister, our teacher, kept telling me that if I do it fifteen minutes a day for two weeks, I should have it mastered. Now that I have the rhythm and sequence of the stitch down, I'll try that and see how it goes.
On Saturday my class focused on a sweet little sachet adapted from a pattern printed in a 1914 magazine in an article about quick homemade Christmas gifts that Jeannie had found. You can see her blog post about it here. She surprised us with a packet of dried rose petals from her own rosebushes to fill the sachet when it's finished.
This morning was my final class, Italian Hemstitch taught by Claudia Newton. Things learned: some linens are easier to draw threads from than others, left-handed instructions are wonderful things to have, and scissor-action tweezers are easier on the hands than normal ones. The project for this class is an embroidered guest towel. I never have guests, and I'm not fond of linen towels, so this will likely end up being just a show piece.
I'm having a bit of trouble getting out of stitching mode and back into cleaning-up-after-the-cats mode. Can't think why!