Friday, May 1, 2015

Mid-Atlantic Mod 2015 Recap

The second year of the Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat in Lancaster, PA was an absolute blast, and I'm finally sufficiently rested and unpacked enough to blog about it. This was a gathering of five modern quilt guilds in the area (Central Jersey, North Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C.) plus a smattering of non-guild quilters (74 people in attendance - around 10 more than last year!). My quilting BFF and partner in crime Jessica, along with Andrew from the Philly Guild, ran the whole event, and it's safe to say that they outdid themselves once again. Natalie helped with sponsors, and Chad and I helped with swaps and little random things. It was great to volunteer and still get to participate in everything.

Non-hazardous group picture, as compared to last year's ;)

 Most of my guild members who were present! Lots of <3 to my favorite sewing buddies, the Central Jersey MQG! I'm second from the right in the bottom row.
From Thursday to Sunday, we sewed, laughed, swapped, took classes, fabric shopped, and relaxed. Here's a fun time lapse of just half the room over four days:

A highlight was visiting Burkholder Fabrics, an intense event I've been looking forward to since the minute I left last year. The store has good prices on their fabrics (there's a lot of hard to find stuff, and half the fun is scanning all the shelves); plus, they give our retreat a nice discount (thank you!). I was thrilled to visit with my friends and to buy even more than last year (WORTH IT). I even cut into some of it at the retreat! I'll have a full fabric report on Sunday.

Stepping into Lizzy House fabric heaven. You'd better believe I bought it up.

I filled my cart twice with bolts!

I took Melanie's Peek block class and even finished the mini quilt! More on that soon - it's for the Cotton and Steel mini swap on Instagram. I chose my partner's colors and just went for it! Melanie gave some great advice on how to make the scrappy really stand out. Her block pattern is coming out soon - check it out. :) She's truly a wonderful teacher and I can't wait to take another one of her classes sometime.

I also had the distinct pleasure of teaching two sections of my condensed Orange Peels and Improv class. My students were so eager and creative; I love learning from them. We practiced the orange peel technique (many mentioned that they found it therapeutic and relaxing), and I gave some structure to the planned improv design of my orange peel quilts. I hope I get many more opportunities to teach this class (the next one is in July at my LQS and there are still spots available, if you're local to Central New Jersey!). Thank you to EVERYONE who took the class and gave me so much positive feedback. It means the world to me!

Scatter and Soar, together at last!

These were Melanie's (she took my class after I took her's!):

My friend Daniela pieced hers on improv backgrounds. Love!

Swaps happened constantly. I came home with so many beautiful things!

This was the mini quilt swap - all participants were invited to participate. Look how downright gorgeous these mini quilts came out!!

I got Neva's amazing purple mini quilt, which I've had my eye on for a couple of months. It's happily hanging in my dining area - I'll try to get a good picture. :) Neva is a good friend of mine and a very talented quilter, and I'm lucky to own two of her minis now.

Liz and I did a private swap, which we planned after the first retreat! You can read more about it here.

This is all the "loot" from my friends. Liz's AMAZING Aeroplane bag and the Anna Maria Horner cross stitch kit she so generously snuck in (thank you!!) and all my purple goodies from Alyson (@alysonwonderlan), who was my "secret sewist." More on that soon. She got me a crown because I'm the queen of the guild :D I just love everything. There's purple yarn and knitting needles in that purple Tula Pink and linen pouch! Swoon!

The retreat felt like one big party with new friends and old. Oh yeah, and I did do some more sewing...

For the Lizzy House Mini Swap on Instagram. I can't wait to quilt this (it's all ready now!). Many of these fabrics were bought that morning at Burkholder's.

The lighting was a little weird but here's one of the progressive quilts I worked on (Modern Neutrals, sponsored by Robert Kaufman and Pennington Quilt Works). Each quilter brought a couple of blocks from home, and at the retreat, we each worked on it for at least an hour. The quilt shifts and changes throughout the weekend. This was my favorite progressive quilt in the room and I can't wait to see how Amy (@amybob3kids) quilts it!

I also worked on the Bright Stars progressive quilt (sponsored by Robert Kaufman - they provided all of the blue Kona fabrics). Can you tell which block I made? (Hint: it's huge and purple!). Janet from our guild won this one - I'm glad I'll get to see it in person again when it's done.

So, that's a wrap for now, though I'll be talking about Mod again for at least two more blog posts. Weekends like this, even though they come just a couple of times a year, are rejuvenating and exhausting at the same time. I should have taken more time to relax (especially after taking a class and teaching two on Saturday), but I did get a massage and have some great meals with beautiful people. This community is what sewing is all about to me, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to keep experiencing it firsthand for many years to come. Sometimes I think about when I wavered back and forth about attending that first CJMQG interest meeting... thank goodness I did. Quilt guild changed my life!


  1. Just love the time lapse photos. In fact I love everything about this blog post and would like to come and join in the fun, slight problem is I live in England UK ! Oh well I can dream.

  2. That is great Jess! Great quilts and I'm sure it was lots of fun.

  3. Thanks - it almost felt like I was there.. looks like great fun. Where is the Mod Quilt Guild in North Jersey? I might want to check that out.
    P.S. - Burkholders is the best, isn't it???

  4. Wow, that timelapse video is super cool. Someone was up late Saturday night / Sunday morning!! I really need to consider finding retreats like this for myself; I loved the MQG SewDowns, and I missed the community sewing feel at QuiltCon and am sad that the MQG isn't going to do the SewDowns any more.

  5. This sounds/looks like the best retreat! I totally wanted to be there all weekend with you guys!

  6. Great wrap-up! I'm so happy we had the chance to take each other's classes, and I'm so so thankful for all of my thoughtful gifts. It was a wonderful weekend. I hope we can do it again next year!


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