Sharing the Love of Quilting and Sewing

I feel so lucky! I got to spend three wonderful days last week at Common Threads in St. Louis, Mo. The event sponsored by Tacony/Baby Lock, brought together some of the most talented people in the sewing and quilting community to share their projects, ideas, and the love of sewing.  We also got to sew on several different Baby Lock machines as we made three projects.

The event kicked off Wednesday afternoon as we checked into our hotel and picked up a bag of goodies from most of the participants. Everything from quilting magazines to notions, to fabric—and even some snacks. Then we headed over to the Tacony Achievement Center where the welcomed us with a presentation, tours of the facilities, a tongue-in-cheek video of how they prepared for the event, and refreshments. Over dinner, we got to say hi to old friends and meet new ones.

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Thursday morning we began with “speed dating,” where we spent three minutes with each of the other designers and bloggers. We could ask them anything about their business, their opinions of the sewing and quilting industry, or just how they got started. It was such a fun way to get to know everyone.

Next up: machine embroidery! Working on the Baby Lock Destiny machines, we embroidered and appliquéd a design of a woman shopping for fabric. Do they know us, or what? Then we watched as the pre-programmed Destiny stipple quilted around the design. Eventually, we stitched the design together to make a cute bag.

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A special treat for me came that afternoon, as we made pillowcase dresses for the Little Dresses for Africa program in a class taught by Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama. I think we completed close to 50 dresses in one day to benefit children in Africa. This is such a worthwhile endeavor—if you haven’t heard of it, be sure check it out at littledressesforafrica.org.

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Later, we learned about trends in the sewing and quilting market and how to use social media to engage with the sewing community. Then dinner and “free sewing” where we finished up the projects of the day while chatting and sharing advice.

The next morning we had more demos, a group picture, and still had time to quilt and sew a zipper bag all on a Baby Lock serger.

I was so inspired by those three days. Everyone in the group was very generous and willing to share their knowledge. They are also very talented, so I came home with lots of great ideas for new projects. Those three days were a reminder that the quilting and sewing community is filled with so many wonderful people!

Read more about the Common Threads event, including blog posts from the other participants, at http://babylock.com/commonthreads2016/.

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Happy Quilting!

Jean Nolte, Fons & Porter Product Director

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