Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Mod Recap 2016

I'm in the throes of recovery from a 4-day quilting retreat, and while it's all fresh in my mind (and everything hurts - I can't believe I did so much walking!), it seems like an excellent time to write a blog post.

 Photo courtesy of Andrew Joslyn

This was the 3rd annual Mid-Atlantic MOD quilting retreat, a meeting of 5 Modern Quilt Guilds near Lancaster, Pa + friends. One of the best parts is being able to meet up with friends from other guilds every year and sew with them. Then, there's the inevitable making of new friends. What could be better? I count my lucky stars that this kind of event exists, all thanks to superstar organizers Jessica Levitt @jtlevitt of our guild (Central Jersey) and Andrew Joslyn @andrewjoslyn of Philadelphia.

This retreat is specifically focused on your sewing time. The sewing room is open for 4 days, and you can come and go as you please. There are optional classes to sign up for, and lots of optional activities (including massages), but you don't *have* to do any of them. You can sit there and sew if you want to. I love a choice!

My favorite moments:

1. Exploring 2 local fabric shops (Burkholders and Old Country Store) and seeking out Lancaster Central Market with my roommate and friend Liz @beadqueene. I'll be sharing more on Sunday for Sunday Stash! And yes, I'm holding a shopping list - Burkholders is the real deal, and they sponsored a discount for our retreat again (thank you!).

2. The rainbow mini quilt swap, which was White Elephant style. It's satisfying to watch it all happen since I've been planning it for months. I won my friend Nicole's (@1choice4quilting) amazing quilt! It's so rewarding to have a piece of her in my sewing room (now I just have to find a space to hang it up!).

Check out this amazingness - 35 talented quilters and the quilts they won!

3. The second year of the Secret Sewist Swap. Swappers left a gift or gifts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the retreat, only revealing their identity on the last way. When we organize it, we always pair up members of different guilds. There were 40 swappers this time around, and it was a huge success! It's exciting to see all of the gifts on tables and to guess who made them.

 "Take Wing" - playing with a flying geese variation for my partner. I devised this pattern to be a mini quilt, but it came out more like a banner. I guess I can't help but go big or go home.

For my partner, Elizabeth @andpins, I made three handmade projects and included lots of goodies, such as notions she requested, tailor's chalk for her impending garment making,  and "good" dark chocolate. I stole an idea from another partner last year and wrapped everything in fat quarters and half yards of fabric. It was so much fun and I'm happy to say that she loves everything!

Based on Elizabeth's color preferences, I made this pincushion from the book Sew Organized for the Busy Girl by Heidi Staples @fabricmutt. The lanyard is made of Carolyn Friedlander fabric, which we share a love for.

My secret sewist was Shannon @shannonatsilverforge, who is from the Jersey Shore MQG. I was lucky enough to get to know Shannon when she joined in our guild retreat last November. She left gifts at my sewing machine all day for four days (even when I was only gone for 15 minutes!) - I knew it had to be someone who was sitting somewhat close by. The pillows in the above picture were my big gift on the last day - they are her signature fabric woven style using all purple and Loominous fabrics. I am absolutely thrilled, and don't they look great on the bed in my sewing room? Below are just *some* of the other gifts she left me. Thank you, thank you, Shannon, for making my weekend!

4. I taught a class on Wonky Crosses to several lovely attendees. They were enthusiastic and shared their wealth of knowledge with me as well. I can't wait to see what they make! Thanks to Sarah Bond @slbphilly for this picture collage.

5. Making the progressive quilts. Every year,groups of quilters work on three quilts for the whole weekend, and this year's were nothing short of amazing. All three quilt tops were finished on Sunday, when they were raffled off to one of the makers. I worked on two, but my favorite was this quilt that I popped into when a spot opened up. As you may know already, I LOVE improvisation, so putting together a quilt like this is my cup of tea.

 Hello amazing! It's the Creative Writing/Verb quilt. Yes, we decided "improv" is a quilting verb, so that's what I made (in purple, of course). Dia won it, and I can't wait to see how it gets quilted!

6. Massive amounts of swag from generous sponsors. I was lucky enough to win the Hex N More and Northern Lights pattern from Jaybird Quilts, and a large rotary cutter from Olfa! I actually really needed a new one - the one I bought when I started quilting 6 years ago has seen its days (I won't get rid of it, but I'll keep it as a backup).

Here was our swag bag. Thank you so much to all of the sponsors, who are listed here!

That's a wrap! Here's Jess and I on the last day. Tired but fulfilled. Phew. I don't know if I have more posts in me this week, so if not, make sure to catch the next issue of The Wonky Press on Sunday, May 1 in your inbox!


  1. It was such a great weekend! Thanks for the recap and letting me relive it for a few minutes at work today :) I loved taking your class and enjoyed your teaching! Did you pick out that echinacea tissue holder or was it fate that you got that swag bag?

  2. Do I see the Hazel Hedgehog pattern?!? Soooo jealous! If you ever need to get that off your hands (as the improv Queen), I know where it could find a loving home!! ;)

  3. How cool that Burkholders extended a discount!! It sounds like a lot of fun and I definitely was IG stalking you and trying to live vicariously through the photos. :)

  4. This sounds like such an amazing retreat! I wish my retreat swaps were as successful as the ones here. And a massage and shopping and all that swag! It was so fun to see what everyone was up to on IG over the weekend!

  5. Thanks for sharing the retreat with us! I'm inspired to do something like that with my local MQG and the surrounding ones. Massachusetts just started it's fourth MQG!

    1. Hi Jaia - I would have emailed you but you are a no-reply blogger. Anyway, go for it! It's definitely a lot of work but I think worth it!

  6. It is funny how exhausted a retreat is! Oh my, your retreat looks like it was so much fun. I'm getting all kind of ideas for our next retreat! The idea of having a few guilds join up for the fun...I really like that! Thanks for sharing all your goodies, photos and all around good fun!

  7. What an amazing weekend!I would so love to be able to be part of something like this. Your gifts were so perfect for you :)

  8. Looks like a great time! Love all the rainbow minis!


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