My First Camp Stitchalot

A guest post by Jacqueline Sava, Director of Possibilities for Soak. 

It started over a Soakbox manicure, as it often does. Whitney (of Pink Castle) was having a manicure in our booth at Quilt Market, the tradeshow for all things quilting, and she kept saying, “Brenda will be over soon, we have to have these products”. Fast forward a few days and a few emails and Brenda had invited me to bring my manicure station and a case of Flatter to Camp Stitchalot

I was excited to wake up early and head to camp Saturday morning. I came for the weekend and the drive to Michigan (from Toronto) was easy.

Arriving at Camp!

When I arrived, there were a few early risers mulling about and the sewing room filled slowly as others woke up. Flatter bottles were scattered around the ironing stations and sewing machines were whizzing along. I was particularly pleased to see that not only were Flatter bottles on the ironing stations but a few campers had also brought their own personal stash. 

I was equally pleased to meet the many campers who prepped their hands for early morning manicure. Now that’s planning! 

A perfect manicure

Highlights from the weekend included meeting new people, sharing new products and of course, enjoying a sunny weekend in the country. Okay, well, it rained Sunday morning, but it was sunny inside.

Fun things happen both when you participate in an event (exploring the Accuquilt cutter) and when you observe (checking out peoples projects) and I did both over the weekend. Learning how Katy plans the colorways for her new magazine, Quilt Now, over breakfast was indeed a treat. Watching Tula show ribbon strike offs and listening as she talked about what worked and what didn't in tests was fascinating. It’s not often that we get glimpses into the production of magazines and ribbon. 

Playing with the Accuquilt

Moving throughout the space, from table to table, I learned about paper piecing, paper piecing templates, handstitching, fussy cutting, apparel, knitwear, and saw everyone’s great Sew Together Bag projects which were created Friday night, led by Kristi of Schnitzel And Boo.  And I really enjoyed watching what projects the guest designers brought to work on. Katy worked on a great project with the new Cotton and Steel fabric and John Adams completed a stunning king-size quilt top. Meanwhile,Tula was hand-stitching her way from room to room.

I'm pretty excited that between manicures and talking about Flatter I was able to get a little sewing time in for myself. That doesn't happen too often so it's a real treat. I worked on the back of my Liberty quilt, inspired by Tula’s Modern Alphabet

Finished quilts on display

An array of finished quilts accumulated over the weekend, above the kitchen on the mezzanine. Apparently this is a typical occurrence but it was new and exciting to me. 

I really enjoyed the late-night conversations that took place when people decided it was too late to sew, or switched to hand-sewing/stitching projects and comfy sofas. I personally have a ‘no rotary cutters after 10pm’ rule, so I’m good with late night chatter.

Attending events is one of the favorite parts of my job. As a product developer, great products are only useful if people find them useful.  At Camp Stitachalot it was confirmed that quilters find Flatter useful (and a great matching manicure is always a bonus). 

The Flatter Collection
We’ve had great follow-up since the even - I’ve made new sewing friends and have been able to guide curious minds over to Pink Castle Fabrics to purchase our new products. We will be at the fall and winter camps again with Flatter and manicures. I highly recommend you get on board. If you’re a camp regular, it was lovely to meet you. If you’re new, you’ll make memories and projects to last a lifetime. 

Visiting Pink Castle for the first time

Oh, and I take full responsibility for the images of Katy Jones eating cheese balls with a seam ripper. I was telling stories of knitters who eat ‘cheetos’ with chopsticks to keep their hands clean…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Want to see more? Head over to Instagram and search hashtag gives you all the visuals you need from the weekend, in chronological order. You can follow me @jacqueline_soak and explore the feeds of other like-minded sewists. Make yourself a cup of tea (Katy educated us on proper English tea making over the weekend), or grab a cocktail (if you were there, you know what your friends would prefer), as you’ll be looking at great pictures for a while.

If you'd like to visit Camp Stitchalot, there are still openings for Fall and Winter 2014. And we'll have more news regarding 2015 camps coming soon!