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Sew-A-Thon 2010 Recap, or Boy, Am I Tired.

The Second Annual Whipstitch Sew A Thon was over a week ago, and I swear I’m still recovering.  It was serious fun, y’all, but it was serious sleep deprivation.  And coming from a woman with a five-month-old baby, you know that means something.

We began at 7 pm.  Ladies had their machines all set up and spent some time browsing the giveaways donated by our sponsors:
* St. Angelo’s Pizza * The Beehive * Octane Coffee
* Lil Sprout Knits * Iram-Inal Designs * aBardis
* Concrete Lace * freshie & zero * Esther Design
* blue eyed freckle * Throwing Stars * Ferntree Studio

The St. Angelo’s pizza was insane (not to mention the garlic knots) and I’m pretty sure I had, like, NINE of the unreal caramel drizzle and sea salt brownies that came over from Octane. ZOMG, y’all.  While I was pigging out, the ladies kicked it into high gear and got their sew on.  Five minute breaks once an hour (except for that first hour, when I was so busy stuffing my face and chatting with Melody Miller and Rashida Coleman-Hale that I forgot–whoops!).  It had to be productive sewing, too, no stitching straight lines.  There were several quilts going, children’s clothing, baby blankets, an awesome Christmas stocking whose photo does not appear here lest its reveal be spoiled, and even some English paper piecing.

Contestants dropped each hour, some by choice (like when poor Stephanie realized that the wedding dress she was working on was for a wedding held the same weekend as the Sewing Retreat which was the grand prize for the Sew A Thon–d’oh!), some through the lightning rounds (you can see the pillowcases the contestants made for the Million Pillowcase Challenge as part of the contest, below), and some through sheer exhaustion.

In the end, after I sneaked home for my brief four hours’ sleep and our intrepid Clare held down the fort with an iron fist, there were but two ladies left: Maria and Geoginah.  Maria, whose foot was shaking every time she pressed down on her foot pedal by 9 am and Geoginah, who busted out a cummerbund project for her son about the same time.  Each and every lady who was part of this was a serious trooper, and Maria ended on a super classy high note when she conceded defeat after FOURTEEN hours of sewing.  FOURTEEN.

Next year, we’d best up the stakes.  Because these ladies came to play.

Getting started: 12 stitchers

First hour: Theresa makes baby blanket #1

This end of the table did not take prisoners

Sewing Buddies April & Camille come to ogle the contestants together!

Fabulous local fabric designers Melody Miller & Rashida Coleman-Hale stuck around until after 10 pm

Around 11, folks were getting in their groove

By midnight, nine projects had been completed between 12 stitchers

I’ve never seen such careful quilting from someone so sleepy!

Six AM: before dawn, only two ladies remain

Lightning round pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase Challenge

Sun comes up, and no one wants to give in

The cummerbund that may have ended it all

Exhausted, Geoginah realizes she’s won!

In a super classy move, Maria concedes defeat after fourteen hours of competition:

Sew-A-Thon is TONIGHT!

Can’t wait to see all of you come out tonight for the Second Annual Whipstitch Sew-A-Thon! We’ll have snacks, drinks, giveaways, and plenty of rubber necking all night long. Drop by and visit, and cheer on your favorite contestant!

September is National Sewing Month: for Sewing Buddies!

I learned in college that there’s a “national day/week/month of…” for almost everything.  Did you know there’s a National Celery Month? Yes, there is.  Some of these observances are pretty wacky, truthfully, so over the years I haven’t celebrated National Sewing Month.  With Whipstitch open as a free-standing shop this year, though, I’m curious to see how it fits in.  It occurred to me that this might be something for Sewing Buddies to take a hold of and run with!

So, Sewing Buddies: let’s say there’s one month out of the year when we all set aside a little time to honor and celebrate sewing, to promote it to both stitchers and non-stitchers alike.  How’s about some suggestions of really useful, cool ways to do that?  I’m thinking if we can get some great ideas brewing here, maybe Whipstitch can set a goal in 2011 to make some of them happen.  I’m especially curious to hear some Buddy ideas that involve both of you, but let’s not limit ourselves!  No Buddy this year?  No problem!  Maybe you’ll have one in 2011, or maybe you just have a faboo idea and want to offer it up.  Awesome.

Hit me with your wackiest, funnest, coolest, most inspiring, most inspired ideas for ways that we can all promote and celebrate the practice of sewing.  My big idea is the Sew-A-Thon, because I love a challenge.  Let’s fill up the 2011 calendar with some of YOUR very cool ideas and see if we can’t make sewing something we celebrate for an entire calendar year!

Stitch by Stitch Book Signing MOVED

I just learned what ZOMG means.  It’s like “OMG,” but you’re so excited that you missed a key and typed it wrong.  And I have just had a ZOMG moment, y’all.

I went to order more copies of Stitch by Stitch for the shop from our distributor for the book signing scheduled for Friday night.  And they’re sold out.  SOLD OUT! I had to triple check the info to be sure I was getting that right.  I am so, so excited and grateful to learn that the book is getting a good reception and a little overwhelmed at the idea that it’s selling all over the world right now.  Y’all have all been so wonderful and supportive, and I am a little teary-eyed at the idea that major suppliers to independent fabric shops all over the nation have sold so many copies of my book that it is currently on back order.  That is so wild and amazing!

I was all set to do a book signing tomorrow night but I’d really rather open up the shop and sign books when we have some on hand.  Y’know, to sign.  Right now, we’re down to our last six copies!  So I’m postponing the book signing and demos until the weekend of the Sew-A-Thon to allow book sellers to get more copies in.

Please pass the word along, and mark your calendars for 7:30 pm, Friday September 24.  Come by the shop, grab a copy of Stitch by Stitch, have it signed on the spot, and stick around to see all the wild craziness that is the Sew-A-Thon!

See you then, and Happy Stitching!

P.S.  Have you bought a copy of Stitch by Stitch? I’d be so grateful to hear your feedback or read a review on Amazon!

Sew-A-Thon this Friday!

You guys, I am SO excited about this Friday. We’re staying up ALL NIGHT and sewing NON-STOP, and we have so much going on in the back ground!

It all starts at 7 p.m. with our Sew-A-Thon reception, a chance to meet some of the contestants, take a tour of Whipstitch and our host shop, Beehive Co-op, and have some yummy treats. At 10 p.m. the sewing begins, with all our contestants sitting down at their machines to make some magic happen.

We’ve been blessed with some truly generous sponsors for this event, donating everything from gift cards to jewelry to wine and food! These tempting goodies will be dangled in front of our contestants during the Sew-A-Thon itself to tempt them to abandon the chase, and the rest will be shared amongst our guests during the reception. Check out the list and their links below, and then plan on joining us on Friday night.

Beehive Co-op
Our fearless home, where you can find the most wonderful collection of local, independent design.

Lush Designs
One of my favorite jewelry designers, with her signature sentiment bangles.

Just Add Honey
The only independent tea you’ll ever really love, and we’ll be drinking it in all night.

Mama: Handmade Goodies for Body and Home
Fantastic candles, lotions and scents, all handmade in itty bitty batches.

Everyone needs groceries!

My heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors, and I hope we’ll see you there for part of the night! We’re stitching until only one stitcher remains. Winner gets a free berth at our Autumn Sewing Retreat. We still have THREE spots left, so if you’d like to join our Sew Champion and the rest of us in the North Georgia Mountains for some sewing and relaxation in October, we’d love to see you!

Sign Up NOW for the Whipstitch Sew-A-Thon!

Alrighty, folks! I’ve teased and dropped hints, but today’s the day: the official announcement that opens registration for the Whipstitch Sew-A-Thon!

Do you have what it takes to be the last one standing or, in this case, the last one sewing? On Friday, September 18 Whipstitch hosts the first annual Sew-A-Thon, where Atlanta sewers will be challenged to continuously sew until only one remains. The stitcher who lasts the longest will be named champion and win a free trip to Whipstitch’s upcoming sewing retreat, not to mention a nifty trophy.

Our Sew-A-Thon will test the creative endurance of 10 area sewers who will be required to actively participate in some sort of sewing activity non-stop for 55 minutes out of each hour–cutting the pattern, stitching, pressing,basting, anything as long as it’s working toward the completion of a sewing project. Skill? Doesn’t matter if you’re a super beginner! Endurance? Well, that’s the key. A panel of expert judges will be on-site as long as it takes to declare a winner. Throughout the night contestants and observers will be treated to live music, snacks, and hourly specials in the shop.

The lucky and dedicated winner will be eligible to attend Whipstitch Lounge’s fall sewing retreat October 16-18 at Glen Ella Springs Inn in the gorgeous North Georgia Mountains for FREE, their reward for outlasting the competition!

The event begins at 7 p.m. Friday, September 18 with a wine and cheese reception. The sewing beings at 10pm, and sewing enthusiasts are encouraged to come throughout the night to cheer on their favorite crafty contestant!

Registration for one of the ten spots available in the Sew-A-Thon is available by emailing deborah {at} whipstitchfabrics *dot* com.

See you then!

*For more info on the retreat, or to register, see the online registration form. Only seven spots remain!