Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Retreat Recap - Mid-Atlantic Mod

I'm finally unpacked and back to book sewing (yay!), so I thought I'd quickly recap where I was this weekend. This was the 4th year Jessica Levitt and Andrew Joslyn have expertly organized Mid-Atlantic Mod, a modern sewing retreat in Lancaster, PA. This year, members from 6 Modern Quilt Guilds + friends (76 quilters) met for a total of 4 days. There's nothing quite like sitting in a gigantic hotel ballroom with your sewing machine and friends, while a wedding and school dance happened right outside (different nights, of course). Here are some excerpts from my trip this year (I was there Friday - Sunday):

 It's hard to describe the scale of an event like this, but hopefully this picture captures it.

Once I arrived Friday night, we had a cocktail hour and show and tell. It was great to catch up with my own guild (I missed our last meeting, so it's been a month and half since I last saw them - and after 5 years together, some of us are very close!). I also had the opportunity to greet members of other MQGs that I've met through this retreat and teaching. It was a great way to start off a night of sewing! Thank you so much to the sponsors of the cocktail hour: 1 Choice 4 Quilting, Fabricworm, Gotham Quilts, Pink Door Fabrics, and Del Ray Fabrics!

My friend Linda shared this amazing bee quilt from our guild! She just finished it - and it's especially spectacular in person. I was going to share another member's bee quilt but I remembered that they asked it be kept secret for now. So I'll leave you with this picture of me sharing my "Burst" quilt - judging by my face, you might want to think twice about giving the microphone to a ham like me.

That night, I started working on my Pantone challenge quilt. This was due at the last guild meeting, but I'll bring it to this month's. I'm also going to enter the online Pantone challenge - how about you? Here's a sneak peek. I actually got a lot done on this project over 3 days.

 I had to test how comfy "Burst" really is - I haven't washed it yet, but it kept me warm that night.

The next morning, I had a lovely breakfast at a local joint with Linda and Susan from my guild, plus Ann from the Lancaster MQG. Then, we went fabric shopping at two of our sponsoring shops: Zook's and Old Country Store (below, where you can see Lin's pure excitement). Fabric shopping in Lancaster is like stepping onto a fabric-covered planet. It's EVERYWHERE.

Saturday afternoon, I taught my Brick-by-Brick Improvisation workshop. Usually it's a three hour class, but the MOD classes are pared down to 1.5 hours. Here are just a few pictures from my adventurous and excited students. Thank you all for making my job so enjoyable.


The next day, I discovered who my secret sewist was: Sarah (@yorebelwoman)! When Chad and I plan this swap, we always assign partners as members of different guilds (Chad assigns my partner so that I'm surprised in the end). Sarah left me thoughtful, well-made, and rebellious gifts for 3 days, including this amazing mini quilt. This was her first time writing with free motion quilting (she watched my webinar first! Isn't that cool? It says, "Nevertheless, she persisted"). I LOVE it, Sarah. THANK YOU!

My secret partner was Hayley from the Philly guild, who I hadn't known before. Hayley doesn't have much of her work online so at first it was hard to decide what to make her. Besides other smaller gifts and fabric, I ended up sewing this bear paw pillow of Tula Pink fabrics (she mentioned loving modern traditionalism, Tula, mint green, and lilac).

Funnily enough, I befriended Hayley over the weekend, starting at the cocktail hour, but I swear it wasn't because she was my secret partner. :) She said she couldn't believe it was me in the end! This swap is my favorite part of MOD, I think.

Okay, last few photos! Here's a final picture of one of the progressive quilts I worked on over the 3 days, with 11 other quilters - the theme was "quadrants." It was a lot of hard work, and Paulette from my guild won it! She ended up gifting it to Jess Levitt, who promised that she and I could quilt it together (YAY! All I ever want to do is quilt one of the progressive quilts, so this made my day). Great job to all who participated.

I also got the opportunity to quilt about a third of my own bee quilt with a curve theme (from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts). This will likely be my go-to "for fun" project whenever we have guild sewing days this year.

I stopped on the way home to visit my brother for dinner. Thanks, bro. :)

And one more picture of our guild's 16 attending members! I'll share more about my fabric acquisitions and swag in another post.

Phew. So, have you ever attended a quilt retreat? What was/is your favorite part, besides the sewing?


  1. This retreat looks and sounds like so much fun and joy. What an amazing swap on both sides for you this year, and a new friend to boot. :)

  2. What a jam-packed retreat! Looks like you got a lot done and had a wonderful time. Is that the "Winter Is Coming" brother? (He definitely owed you a dinner :)

  3. This looks like a really fun retreat (and it's the closest one to me that I've seen!). Someday I'd love to attend, maybe next year! Thanks for sharing.

  4. What an awesome retreat! It looks like you had an amazing time!

  5. I have never been to such a big quilt retreat before, all the retreats and classes I have been to have been eight people or less. I does look fun though, and I do like the happy hour concept, only I couldn't do any sewing after just one glass of wine. I could do wonky though hehe!


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