So. Excited. Can. Hardly. Breathe.

Very soon I’ll be leaving Mr Rae and the kids and going to Blueberry Hill Sewing Weekend. For those of you who haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a weekend of sewing hosted by fabric designer extraordinaire Heather Ross. The workshop involves sewing in a barn, eating good food, cocktail hour, endless supply of chocolate chip cookies, ack!  Not only is the workshop, which lasts a weekend and is hosted at a bed and breakfast in Vermont, the coolest idea ever, I also to get to meet one of my favorite fabric designers, the amazing Heather Ross *dying of excitement*  And if that wasn’t enough, a few months ago Heather announced that Liesl Gibson, designer of Oliver+S fame, is going to be leading the workshop too. And oh yes then just the other day she casually informed us in an email that Denyse Schmidt will be there too. I’m terrified I’m going to spend the entire weekend immobilized by Sewing-Celebrity-Paralysis.

the book that inspired the workshop (minus dust cover)

For those wondering, this year’s two workshops are already full, but last year I kept a close watch on Heather’s blog and she announced the following year’s workshops pretty early in the fall.

Now I need to plan: what fabric to bring, what projects to work on?  Obviously I’ll bring the book, but much careful planning will be required.  I may have to charter a cargo plane to fly my fabric stash to Vermont to avoid having to make any serious decisions about what to bring.  Should I sew baby stuff so the fabric takes up less space or clothes for me since it’s MY vacation, or should I just sew cloth napkins so I don’t have to concentrate too hard on anything?  Just in case, you know, my brain stops working from Sewing-Celebrity-Paralysis? 

I got Mr Rae to procure an autographed copy as a Christmas Prezzie…awesome paper, eh?

And this is so pathetic I hardly want to ask, but what am I supposed to wear?  If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you know that almost every item of clothing I make for myself (see here, here, here, here, here) is from Heather’s fabric. So the question is, am I going to look like a total loser/stalker if I spend the whole weekend bedecked in Heather Ross fabrics?  Tell me the honest truth.

Seriously though, one of the reasons I am so excited about this is that it seems like events where you actually meet and sew with other crafters and bloggers are few and far between.  The current big events are things like Quilt Market (more of a supplies/fabric focus) and BlogHer Conferences (more of a business of blogging focus there) or Renegade (an art fair thing).  But there’s nothing really for US.  They even have a sock summit for knitters for crying out loud.  Right now there’s a Sewing Revolution going on right under everyone’s noses. So I demand a Sewing Bloggers Conference!!! It could have sessions led by all kinds of sewing bloggers, how to put in a zipper, how to attach piping, how to draft a pattern, how to take good pictures of your sewing. What do you think?  What other sessions shall we offer? What shall we call it? I think Detroit is a nice central location.  Can you come?

For now though, can’t wait to head to Vermont, will report back soon!

96 thoughts on “So. Excited. Can. Hardly. Breathe.

  1. OMG have fun!!!!
    I wouldn't wear the Heather Ross fabric shirts–it's like wearing a U2 t-shirt to a U2 concert. On the other hand, I'd bet she'd be delighted to see her fabric in action, and you probably wouldn't be the only one, so….
    Sorry, I'm no help.

  2. Ooooooh….have fun!!!! I'm jealous, but I can't even carve out the time to visit my own quilting guild right now! Gah.

    And definitely bring at least one or two of your HR shirts! Pick the ones that look the best, because they're your favorite. Not because you're a stalker. ;-)

  3. So excited for you! I love Heather Ross' book and fabrics. I just ordered a sinfully large amount of Far Far Away 2. (I got this crazy idea to decorate my daughter's room with it).

    You'll have to take lots of pictures and fill us in on all the details so we feel like we're there!

    I would totally come to a sewing bloggers conference in Detroit! I'm in the Twin Cities and that's not too far away. You could call it something like "Sew what's new?" or "sew let's get together". Ha, Ha, kinda cheezy. Can't wait to hear about the adventures in Vermont!

  4. Oh my goodness! So much fun, Rae!! I'm so jealous! What does a weekend like that cost?

    I'm dying with laughter about your dilemma of what to wear. That is hilarious… I'm sure a shirt or two would be fine. Your shirts are so cute!

    I hope you share pics of the weekend with us. I'm going to a weekend workshop here in Nashville with Anna Maria Horner next month. Not quite as all-inclusive, but I'm sooooo excited!

  5. Have fun! I saw that she was doing that awhile back, but missed my chance to sign up. I'm sure it will be awesome, no matter what you wear!

    And, being in Chicago, I would definitely come to a sewing extravaganza in Detroit!

  6. My folks live in Detroit, so I would love to come out there for a sewing retreat! I live in Boston and it seems like there is NO in person community here, and I'd love a chance to get together with similar-minded folks and learn more. Funny — the closest I get to that is every October, I go out to…yup…Detroit and have a long sewing weekend with my Mom.
    Have a great time at your sewing weekend!

  7. I went last year to the last of the sessions (with DS and HR), and had a truly marvelous time! I wouldn't worry about being a stalker, either, since the time I went they other ladies were talking about how much a fat quarter of the old-school HR fabrics were going for and how much they were willing to pay. Trust me, you will be in good company if you bring your stuff. And… bring enough yardage to make a dress-like object out of, should the crazy urge take the leaders to do so. I'm saying 3 yards. Maybe not even quilting cotton. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW with those ladies what projects you'll be getting into! And bring cash for random things they might have with them that you might want. like signed books and patterns. just sayin'. Looking forward to hearing about it upon your return–this brings back lovely memories of my time there last fall! (oh, and don't forget the small stuff you might want to use, like buttons, etc.)

  8. Gah!! I followed your link and thought… 'gee, that looks familiar…' then realized it's Blueberry Hill Ski Center where we have our cross country pass in the winter. I know that room because it's where we eat our soup!
    Goshen is gorgeous, Blueberry Hill is very laid back, and omg that's some serious sewing star celebrity going on there. Brandon is a cute little town too. Have fun!

  9. How fun! I'm jeal-ous!

    I definitely think we need a "Sew, what you working on?" event.

    Something for those that are new to sewing and those that are pros.

    How do I sign up?

  10. wow! what are you going to do when heather bailey and amy butler show up for the pj party?! it sounds like a wonderful experience!! i'm with aunt lolo, i can't even make my guild meetings. so detroit is probably out for me. but hey – what about KC?

  11. I agree that it would be like wearing a U2 t-shirt to a U2 Concert. Perhaps something with just a touch of HR? Or HR pajamas?

    I too am quite jealous of your adventure. It's a trip for you, so I think you should sew things for yourself. Be a little selfish.

    I also think that a sewing retreat would be wonderful, and I guess Detroit could be quite nice. Although I bet I could swing you a sweet deal on at a resort on Lake of the Woods in Minnesota!

  12. Aaack – my heart started to pound just reading your post. I can only imagine how you feel.
    Please get someone to take a picture of your face when HR and DS walk into the room.

  13. Oh my, how exciting!!! I think it'd be cool to wear just one of your shirts:). She'd be totally flattered, I'm sure. So it's a compliment to her!

    Yay! Have a blast. Sabra and I have talked about wanting to meet people that we have contact with through our blogs.

  14. Very cool. If you don't wear one of your shirts that you wear all the time at home I think that would be kind of weird. If she is as nice as she seems she'll love it if you do.

  15. Have an amazing time!

    I think Detroit would be a fabulous place for a retreat of any sewing kind, but I live in the area so I'm a tad biased. But I would help you organize if it got going.

  16. love reading your Blog post, always makes me smile ! I hope you have a wonderful time and don't spend too much time "starry eyed" LOL

  17. My daughter and I went last year and it was amazing. Heather and Liesl are SO NICE and fun and make you feel right at home. Don't be nervous. The other participants were wonderful to get to know and most of them are bloggers so you can keep up with them after the weekend. About what to work on: I would choose a garment for yourself. They will have you make a muslin (Heather brought a bolt of muslin and pattern paper last time.) Then they will help you fine tune it. Liesl is especially good with this. Heather invented a dress with a gathered front neckline and twisted bias binding for one of the participants – it was made of Liberty lawn and amazing. Blueberry Hill is so beautiful with beautiful flowers. The tap water in the butler's pantry comes directly from a spring – no one told me until the last day! If given the opportunity to walk to the lake to swim, please do so. You can nap when you get back home! Have fun!

  18. Seriously jealous! Oh, and can we pretty please have the Sewing Blogger's conference somewhere in the Deep South? We're awfully neglected down here ;)

  19. Sooo jealous! I wouldn't wear HR all weekend, but I think you should bring one at least to wear. And annon has some great points…take advantage of the advice you can get and sew something for you! Do you have a Sewing Expo in your area. We have a yearly one here and it is lots of fun. The workshops I've been to have been a little too much like comercials, but they do have others that are longer, more expensive, and more hands on.

  20. Ohhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited for you and of course jealous! You lucky lady! Please make sure you fill us all in when you get back so we can live vicariously through you. Yippee! Go Rae go!
    You Americans get all the fun!
    Can't wait to see your pics :)

  21. That is so exciting!!! I would most definitely bring a couple non-Ross fabric outfits. And hot damn I would so go to a bloggers sewing conference…better get on that whole "sewing thing" first though. And I like the idea of Detroit. Now I must think of names…

  22. Oh my gosh, I totally have sewing envy – that sounds like such a total blast!

    I'm really interested to see how the Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis turns out this Fall – it sounds A-mazing! I'm not going this year because it's a pretty hefty price-tag, but if I hear good things I am going next year for SURE!!

    http://www.thecreativeconnectionevent.com/

    Have fun – I can't wait to read your post and live vicariously through you!!

  23. I would say a weekend at a B&B with sewing machines and food. What is better than just doing what we love with new and wonderful people!!

    Wear her fabrics. Its not like she is a movie star and you are wearing a picture of her on your chest. :)

  24. Okay so I totally agree with you on the sewing blogger conference but I do have to at least cast my vote for us west coasters…I know someone mentioned the deep south but us west coasters (unless you live in cali) can be just as neglected…just a thought.

    Have fun at the retreat and pack what you would normally pack for a vacation…don't worry about what others think just wear what you like an be yourself :)

  25. I would totally come to a sewing bloggers' conference! Your house? :o)

    I am excited for you; sounds like a BLAST! As far as clothes… I vote for unicorns. You can never go wrong with unicorns! And the project? Something brainless, AND something you wouldn't normally have the time to work on.

    I hope you'll share all kinds of stories and photos when you get back!

  26. Oh man, sounds like so much fun.

    As for the sewing bloggers conference… I am totally in and Detroit is not too far off for me. Maybe we should suggest such a thing to sew mama sew (they are pretty good at organization). I am totally serious by the way.

    -have fun this weekend. -dez

  27. WOW! I am such a Heather Ross fan. I'm not going to be any help on what to wear (I have a sneaking suspicion that she has seen some of your gorgeous tops on your blog ;) but please find out if there is a future for more scrumptiously soft cotton like her Mendocino line. It's like butter! I love her new Far Far Away, but I pine for the soft stuff.

  28. Have a blast in Vermont Rae! I want to know every detail!! Yes wear your own design HR clothes!
    And a sewing blogger's conference!! That's brilliant!

  29. oh wow I am so super jealous of you right now! lol Your blog made me so excited for you though! lol I think a sewing conference is an awesome idea but I think that having it in atlanta or chattanooga , TN would be a better idea.. Why? because I am an el cheapo single mommy with no money and those two places are beg someone for a ride close if needed ! hAHAHAHAH!

  30. i have been wanting to go to this every year, but i havent had the available money to make the leap! I am so excited for you!

    i am totally in on your sewing conference! I totally agree that there is NOTHING like the sock summit and other knitting conferences for sewists!!! i am dying to get in on that. (and i am a knitter too, but being with your fellow sewist is a rare opportunity!!!!)

  31. Oh, man, color me apple-green with envy on all counts: Vermont, the inn, the workshop, the teachers, the fun. DUDE.

  32. I would LOVE a sewing bloggers conference in Detroit! I mean, I live there, so that makes me want it there like a million times more – but, still.

  33. As I was reading this I was kind of getting freaked out for you! This is really exciting, and totally surreal! Enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures.

  34. So jealous, I can't talk to you right now, except to so I am in for a sewing conference, especially in Detroit. And have fun! =]

  35. Wear the Heather Ross clothes and have FUN!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh I'm so excited for you. And for a sewing conference in Detroit? I"M IN!!!!!!!! But maybe it could be a bit north of Detroit, lol. Suburbs, I'm thinkin'.

  36. Have fun. I think I would only bring your favorite HR piece of clothing. :) What about DC for a sewing conference? You could do sewing/sightseeing (although my guess is that people would be having too much fun sewing to sight see.)

  37. Have fun! Wouldn't a Sewing Conference be fun? Part of the registration benefits will be full-time nanny (family not counted) flown in to our own homes to watch the kids so we can leave them. Ah, if only.

  38. Totally jealous!!! You're going to have so much fun.

    I would love to go to a sewing bloggers conference too!! Although I live on the West coast so I vote for Seattle this year or somewhere in NY next (yes I'm moving across the country next summer). Keep us all posted if something materializes because I would love to come!!

    I'm sure you're going to post lots of fun pictures from your weekends adventure. Can't wait to see.

  39. Jealous! That sounds really amazing. I really don't think I'd be able to even speak to the fabulous designers, I'd just have my jaw open. Kind of like when I met Amy Butler. Crazy, and she must think I'm a mute. Have fun and of course wear the clothes you made, they'd be so flattered. Excited to hear how it goes for you… :)

  40. Jealous!!!!!!!
    Have fun and eat some cookies – yum.

    Definately – you should throw a sewing bloggers conference in detroit. Not tooo far off. Chicago would be better :) I would like to think I'd go… I've never left my kid overnight yet but I'm sure it'd be worth it so put me down as a YES! :) And how about a lecture on picking fabric types/colors/prints/print size for clothing and for quilting. I have trouble with that.

    Have fun!!

  41. hahaha. loved this post!
    And I still plan on seeing pics of you in the Circus shirt, next to Heather.
    So excited for you! Oh man. Very fun weekend. And I could NOT agree more about the need for a sewing bloggers conference. Um, I think you have a money maker on your hands (if you er, feeling like taking on all the headachey planning). I'd totally come to Detroit! (not in the winter).

    Ooooo. Fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun. Okay, I'll stop.
    bye.

  42. Great googly moogly, I just wet myself. You had me at "cocktail hour", but then went on to add chocolate chip cookies & Liesl! It's too much. It's like you dreamed up the best sewing weekend EVER and willed it into existence.

    Though I will soon be living literally on the other side of the world, I will be there whenever you host your own sewing weekend. Even if it's in Detroit in the winter. Well, as long as there are cocktails.

    -A
    ps: wear the clothes! When will you ever have that chance again!? If anything, it'll break the ice.

  43. What a fantastic idea! I want a weekend away to sew in a barn in Vermont. Can I just come to take photos of you all?

    And YES I would totally attend a sewing blogging conference even if I would be made fun of by my husband for a gazillon years for doing so. It would be fun to meet everyone in-person, not to mention learn some new tricks.

  44. I had a dream last night that I bought yards and yards of Heather Ross fabric at a yard sale for $1, and when I check your blog, you're going to be spending the weekend with her! It sounds like a fabulous time :)

  45. Hehehe I love your clothing dilemna! Maybe take a couple (I'm sure she'll be flattered) but any more and yes, you could look like a nutter. Sounds like it'll be sooo much fun!

    Ooh yes, sewing blogger conference! But not in Detroit, how about London? ;)

  46. Oh Rae, I hope you have a blast!! And please take lots of photos! (I'm a wee bit jealous – i've been dying to go, and it's even worse since I live only about 45 minutes away!) Anyway, I know it will be fabulous – can't wait to hear all about it! :)

  47. Rae – I totally agree with you! Knitters have Ravelry and tons of events. We NEED something for sewers. I think YOU should do it!!! LOL!!!!

  48. Your enthusiasm is delightful! I can't imagine how excited you must be! And what a treat for you to get away for an entire weekend to sew (and celebrity worship)! Enjoy!

  49. Yes. And Detroit or Cleveland. And can I come. Can I teach?

    Oh, and I hope you have a blast, my jealously meter is filling up and spilling over.

  50. So jealous! And will now begin stalking for the next dates…

    I'd say take one, maybe two of your fave shirts. Hey, every designer likes to see their stuff in action! I bet she'll be flattered. (Although wearing one everyday might be a bit much…)

    Can't wait for the follow-up posts!

    And, um, can I vote for Chicago for a sewing bloggers get together instead? I miss Chi-town. Not so much for the Motor City…

  51. Oh the decisions! Maybe one day midway through would be good to wear a Heather Ross shirt… and YES to a sewing summit in Detroit! Grand Rapids would be a great location as well… Have Fun!

  52. GET OUT!! I'm so jealous. I told my husband last year that *that* is what I wanted for my birthday this year. All her posts from previous weekends look amazing! I can't wait to hear all about it.

    As for blog/sewing get togethers, that has been a reoccurring discussion with me and a few of my craft blogging friends. There is definitely an unfilled niche.

  53. Blueberry Hill is so beautiful and peaceful. I hope you have a chance to snoop around the area. Brandon and Middlbury are great places too. Have fun. I'll have to practice a lot and keep my eyes open for next year's workshop!

  54. I went to Squam Art Workshops this spring and took several pattern drafting classes with the lovely and talented Cal Patch (who has a book on the subject) which are awesome. It is a mix of fibre arts but there are lots of great things going on there…worth considering…although a little far from Detroit.

  55. Wow, what a wonderful experience I am sure you will have – you will be coming to the beautiful state our family resides in.. where abouts, may I ask? Enjoy the beauty.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  56. No way, if you love what you've made for yourself, wear it! Be proud! I can think of no other compliment to an artist and designer than to have her designs so loved by someone else.

    Have a FREAKIN' AWESOME time.

  57. Oh, and a sewing summit in Detroit?? I would be there will bells on. Tell me where to help set up the tables, hand out the registration forms or whatever you want me to do! I just want to hang out with "US". How cool.

    Oh, and I'd LURVE to have some applique workshops.

  58. wow that sounds so exciting. esp the sewing in the barn … lol. I am so in love with the rapunzel fabric you cannot imagine how much I envy you.

  59. You are going to have a BLAST! The conference is a super idea, well except the part about Detroit.. Minneapolis would be way funner. (and cheaper for me!) ha.
    Have fun! Can't wait to hear about it!

  60. Rock the shirt lady! ;)Have a GREAT time!

    Oh, and bringing a sewing conference to Michigan = an awesome idea! :) I live in the south eastern part of the state myself; I'd totally help you out in any way I could!

  61. I would so be there for a SewingCon! I think you're right … there definitely is a sewing revolution going on right now and it doesn't seem like it's getting much recognition beyond the blogosphere. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) I know a lot of people that go to Quilt Market, which is awesome (um, fabric!!!!) but I agree there needs to be something where we can actually hang out and sew and finish projects! Kind of a large-scale quilt retreat?

  62. "Sewing Celebrities"? Ha! That's funny. Stop anyone on the street or in the grocery store tomorrow and ask them who any of these people are. Honestly, this reeks of a bunch of women with nothing better to do with their time and money. I hope at least something from this Vermont barn craftapalooza is going to support a charity or something at the very least.

  63. how exciting! i'm still fairly new to the sewing world, but even *I* know who heather ross is.

    i have to say this, though: detroit? BLECH. i think it would be super fun to attend something like this, but not if it's in detroit :/ although since i'm not a dedicated sewing blogger i'm probably not welcome anyway :P

  64. btw: "anonymous" OBVIOUSLY has so many more important things to do than to read and make snarky comments on a sewing blog.

    oh, wait.

  65. @ Wan: I just want to stick up for the Detroit and it's surrounding areas. I am totally bias, but… Have you ever been here before? I live in Ann Arbor and from spring to late fall it is amazing here. There are all kinds of cool things to see and do besides attend a sew-cool (or whatever name it gets) 2011 It could even be held at some place with a lake and such. I have lived in Chicago and L.A so I have some places to compare it to.

    I'm a just sayin' "don't hate on on the D, it needs all the love it can get."

  66. I love your idea for a sewing convention of sorts and seeing as I live in Grosse Pointe I am totally on board with Detroit! It would be cool to do at the same time as the Maker Faire here next summer!

  67. i spoke to elisa (of blogher) briefly through twitter last year about something at the conference for crafting bloggers. she said they did one session at an early conference, but nothing since. we have a HUGE community here & there would be some fresh faces at their conference if they added a crafting track. until then, a sewer's conference sounds like tons of fun.

  68. I would definitely be game for a sewing blogger conference! I would totally be willing to help plan too, and I would vote Kansas City as a nice central, reasonably priced city with lots of cool crafty things to do!

    {I am totally serious that I would help you plan!}

  69. Two things. No, wait, three.

    (1) Haven't LOLd in ages, but the idea of you trying to fold yourself like a pretzel to avoid having the fabulous HR notice you only wear her fabrics is PRICELESS.

    (2) Whipstitch totally does a retreat every fall, and you're more than welcome to join us, because how fun would that be??

    (3) I'm in: let's plan this blogger thing. It's time, it's awesome, and the people have spoken: if we plan it, they will come.

  70. I'm really, really happy for you, Rae! This is simply wonderful.

    I would wear whatever makes you happy, and not worry about stalking. You're going to have enough on your mind as it is. (Love the idea of cloth napkins as your project. Ha ha)

  71. I vote for the West Coast, too!

    What an amazing experience! Have a great time!

    Btw, I met Amy Butler wearing a skirt made out of her Midwest Modern quilting cotton. She was thrilled and flattered! Go for it!

  72. So jealous I can hardly speak to you anymore. Wow. Can you tell Heather hello from me? You know, because we are so chummy…lucky girl, you.

  73. WOWZERS! I can't even imagine the great multitude of memories & skills you're gonna' acquire at your fantabulous sewing weekend! And I totally wish there was a big sewing bizarre weekend so that I COULD learn how to put in a zipper—-that might take a full 3 days:) Can't wait to hear about it all Rae!!!

  74. Please please please please have a sewing conference with sessions like that. I would be there in a HEARTBEAT.
    And your trip – JEALOUS!! Sewing, Vermont, comraderie…fantastic!!

  75. 1. I wouldn't wear HR shirts every day.

    2. DEFINITELY bring the one with the white collar-yoke and the mermaid print on the bottom.

  76. I am sooo jealous! Have fun. I also totally love your idea for a Sewing Bloggers Conference. I would so totally be there!

  77. Oh my, I'm going to the very same weekend. I started sorting my fabric last night and realized that I have no idea what an appropriate amount of supplies and patterns could be. My wish list holds 7+ projects and I verified with Liesl that she plans to help upsize the Ice Cream Dress. Plan on that, at least. Sadly, my wish list includes a pre-departure sewing list. You know, just because I hafta.
    See you there!

  78. Oh, count me in…I can come. I love your sewing blog conference idea. It's a must. I'm only 30 min from Detroit too!

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