Sewing Machine Artistry


Posts in Category: Sewing Friends

Sewing Retreats and a FREE EZine from Schmetz 

Sewing Retreats and a FREE EZine from Schmetz!

Hi Sewing Friends!

I'm starting to get caught up on some things I have been wanting to do.  I recorded on Facebook Live last week.  On Sunday, I posted a picture of something I was making on Facebook.  That picture generated a lot of interaction, and I intend to follow up with another Facebook Live soon.  

In the meantime, enjoy SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW # 53.  This is a  FREE monthly publication from Schmetz.  I've received this magazine for years now, and each time I dreamed of posting it for you, my Sewing Friends, to read and enjoy before it is made public on June 1st.  Well, today is the day!  I'm doing it!!! Enjoy!!!

This issue is about sewing and quilting retreats.  It's a great article that spells out the different types of retreats and retreat centers.  

Speaking of which, I live near a YMCA camp!!! I walk to this camp at least once every single day!  For over a year now, I've been dreaming of having my Sewing Friends gather here for our own retreat.  How do you like that idea?

That is "sew" scary to see in writing because I am one of those people who plan a party and no one comes.  

Heidi and I took a quick break and walked over to the camp and took a few pictures for you.

Welcome to YMCA Camp West Mar!

Here's an overview of the cabins.  The two on the left have bunk beds and can sleep 16 people each.  The blue one and the white one to the right have single beds and sleep 8 each.  The cabin to the far right is like a game room with a TV and pool table.  The blinds to the cabin in the center were closed so I could not take a peek inside.  Just to the left of the blue cabin is a bathhouse.  

I was able to get an okay shot through the window of the inside of one of the cabins with bunk beds.  In the far right is a bedroom for camp counselors.  That would make a nice changing room, in my opinion.  In the far left is a sitting area.  I think these are pretty darn nice accommodations for the YMCA!

This is the Mess Hall.  There is a bathroom inside.  It did not have tables set up inside, so I didn't bother taking a picture of an empty room.  I'm sure they have tables in storage somewhere.  There is a full kitchen in the Mess Hall too.

Here's a nice outdoor pavilion with a stage.  Normally there are tables and chairs here.  They too must be in storage.

A nice pool and the other bathhouse.  The pool would cost extra to have a lifeguard on duty.  I could not look inside either bathhouse to take any photos.  I know a  decent bathroom is important.  

Here's Heidi sitting next to the outdoor firepit.  She's smart.  She knew I did not have any treats for a nice pose.  One of the disadvantages of having a smart dog!  Just goes to prove, you get what you pay for!  laugh

The grounds also have an amphitheater, an archery range, a basketball court and a very modern spiderweb climbing playset.  And, nice walking paths!!!

Lastly the pond.  

I live close to a regional airport in Hagerstown, Maryland and about an hour drive from four airports:  Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI), International Airport at Dulles (IAD), and two airports, I don't normally use Regan (Washington, DC) and Harrisburg, PA.

There are plenty of major roads accessible to me such as Interstates 70, 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

So, let's brainstorm together!  In the comments section, tell me whether or not this sounds like a good idea to you.  What do you want in a retreat?  Comments about food...chip in and make it ourselves, have someone cook for us, or catered?  Trust me, you do not want me to cook!  Besides, I'm a vegetarian!!  Would you like to work on your own projects?  Would you like me to teach a class?  Would you like a weekend-long retreat or a few days?  Cost...what's that magical number that makes it too costly?  What time of the year too?  If I were to plan something for 2018, it would have to be October or later, if it's available. The camp is occupied during the months of June, July, and August with summer campers.

If you prefer to send me an email, my address is Michelle@SewingMachineArtistry.com. 

I'll follow the comments and review them after all my traveling is done in June.  

Have a wonderful day!  

Sew Long for now!




Posted by SewSimplifiedLLC Admin Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:06:00 AM Categories: quilting retreat Sewing Friends sewing retreat

Holy Smokes!!! 

Holy Smokes!!!

Holy Smokes!!!  I've been working with Eileen Roche of Designs in Machine Embroidery for  several weeks now, in preparation for tonight's webcast, Quilt with An Embroidery Machine.  She certainly has been fantastic to work with, but I was so surprised to see my name and website mentioned in her latest blog!  Thank you so, so, much Eileen!!!  

If you haven't signed up for this webcast yet, you don't want to miss out.  There's still time to register, and if you cannot make it to the live event, you will be able to watch a recording afterwards.  I'll just send you over to Sulky's site to register.  It's tonight, March 23rd, 2017.  Please note that the correct time for the webcast is 9:00pm EDT. 

I just love her entertaining writing style as she recapped our dress rehearsal yesterday.  Read her blog post here:  

Well, if you are visiting me for the first time you can see that I haven't been keeping up with my posts they way I want.  That's because I have been traveling across the country working at expos, teaching classes and making webinars.  There just never seems to be enough time for everything.

I have one more trip coming up next week.  I'll be at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Cleveland, Ohio.  If you are going to be in the area, come on by the Sulky booth and say hello!  I'm also teaching 2 classes there:  Zentangled Flower Pin and The Business of Teaching:  Setting Yourself Up for Success.

Sew Long for now!  I have a webinar to prepare for!


P.S.  This post contains my affiliate link to the Sulky website.  By using my special link to register for the webcast, I will receive a little commission if you purchase something from Sulky.  Thank you for using my affiliate link!  I appreciate your support.



Posted by SewSimplifiedLLC Admin Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:30:00 PM Categories: Embroidery Embroidery Thread Machine Embroidery Sewing Friends Sulky

Happy 2017 Sewing Friends 



Happy 2017 Sewing Friends!




Happy New Year, Sewing Friends!


We are just over a week into the New Year and I wanted to check in with you to see how you are doing with keeping up with your New Year's resolution?  


I love New Years because it represents a time to begin anew!  Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I like to set goals.  Sometimes goals and resolutions can seem overwhelming and down right impossible at first.  Right?  I want to share with you the tricks and tools that help to keep me on track. 



Nine Simple Steps for Goals & Resolutions


  • Set yourself up for success by making a plan.
  • Think about how you can make your resolution or goal doable, even if it seems impossible.
  • Write it down your resolution or goal! I have these beautiful planners to help me plan and write it all down.
  • Break it down into achievable steps.  Maybe this is a long to-do list with your resolution broken down into tiny baby steps.  Write them all down.  You can give yourself a big shiny star for each step you complete.  I like to play mind games with myself to keep it fun and interesting.
  • Schedule time for your resolution or goal and make it a priority.  Even a little bit of time is better than none at all.  Even one baby step or 15 minutes makes a difference over time.
  • Set a deadline for yourself. 
  • Show up and put in the effort.  This may sound silly to list, but planning alone won’t get your closer to your resolution or goal.  You have to do something.
  • Visualize reaching your goal or resolution frequently.
  • Review your list regularly.  You may find that you have time to do a little more than you originally planned.  
  • It’s NEVER too late to start…or start over!


“Sew” what are my goals?  Most of them are business related intertwined with sewing!  I have one sewing related project that is on the short list.




I’m involved in a round robin wearable art jacket challenge, and my deadline is coming up soon.  We selected a collection of fabric as our inspiration.  In this case it was a range of white to black Fairy Frost fabrics by Michael Miller. 


We each designed our jacket backs using any colors from that range.  We could add other colors to our jacket backs  for a “pop” of color.  


After we finished our jacket backs, we passed it on with all of the material and thread to the next person.  The next person makes one side and the opposite sleeve.  When that person is finished, she passes it to the last person.   



So this is what I received.  The back is pieced together using a technique called bargello, and has an appliquéd flower.  Bargello looks like it would be very challenging, but it's actually quite easy.  You will be surprised at how simple it is.  


The front panel is pieced and positioned at an angle, which creates a really nice look when worn.  If you look closely, you will see some piecing that looks similar to the saw tooth pattern.  There's a pocket with an appliquéd flower on it, and will be permanently sewn in place at the wearer's desired position.  




Here’s a sneak peak of my progress so far.  I am making the opposite front panel and sleeve.  I chose to do a play on water color piecing.  This was not as easy as it might seem.  Since I am the last person to receive this jacket, I have less fabric to work with.  That's part of the challenge.  Luckily, I had just enough fabric to make this work for both the front panel and sleeve.  



Here's a picture of the front panel I made with the other finished pieces.  I'm pleased with my progress so far.  Stay tuned for a picture when I'm finished!




Once I finish the jacket challenge, I need to prepare for a couple classes that I am teaching this year.  In March, I will be in Puyallup, Washington and will be demonstrating how to use Sulky Iron-On Transfer pens in the “Transfer It with Iron-On Transfer Pens” class.  This is going to be "sew" much fun!!!!


The other class, "Know Your Thread Weight" is a stage presentation.  The Sewing and Stitchery Expo is March 2-5, 2017, in Puyallup, Washington.  If you are there, be sure to look for me at the Sulky booth, or on stage and say hello!  I hope to be teaching a couple classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, but I haven’t received confirmation yet.


On a personal note, since we recently moved and I want to sew some simple home dec projects to give our house our personal touch.  I’ll be sure to share them with you as I make them.  Can you believe I won’t let myself start making anything for the house until I can give myself a gold star for the the first two projects on my list!    


I love hearing from my Sewing Friends.  Did you you make any New Year’s resolutions, re-SEW-lutions or goals for 2017 that you would like to share with me?  I hope you can apply my 9 Simple Steps for Goals and Resolutions, and make the sewing or quilting projects that you dream of making this year!


Sew long for now!