One of the best parts about building a career as a “maker” is the opportunity to connect with others who share my same passion for creating. Last week, I had the absolute privilege of attending the 2016 Common Threads event put on by Baby Lock/Tacony at their headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Common Threads is a private event that brings together the most amazing group of designers, bloggers, sewlebrities, media partners, and leaders in the sewing and quilting industry. It’s mind-blowing, actually, to participate alongside a group of men and women that love sewing as much as I do. I wanted to share a little more about this event with you – I learned new techniques and tricks, had the opportunity to network with new friends and old, and I also gained a more in depth perspective of a touching charity project that I’m eager to share with you. In addition, Baby Lock is hosting a link party so that you can read the perspective of many different attendees. And if that’s not enough information – they are going to be sharing FREE videos so that you, too, can learn and sew with this great community.
Common Threads is held at the Tacony headquarters – we spend the good part of three days in this sewing room FILLED with dreamy sewing machines and sergers (do you see all those Destiny machines???). It blows my mind how much they pack in to this event. There is plenty of time for socializing as well as learning, and there is almost always a machine or two whirring in the background – because we just can’t stop!! Baby Lock treats us like kings and queens – plenty of coffee 😉 snacks, meals, and treats.
This year, we were greeted by the Notions Emporium and bags to fill with goodies. Polka dot scissors and macaron tape measures??? Yes Please! Of course everyone knows what to do with cute scissors, but I also took home a few goodies to experiment with, like a ruffler foot for my serger and a few spools of the new Frosted Matt Thread from Madeira. In addition, we were gifted with a SWAG bag of treats from many of the attendees – patterns, books, notions! I love new treasures and I’ll be sharing more details over the coming months as I play in my sewing room!
In addition to socializing and treasures, there were classes! There is just something so satisfying about sitting down with a group of people who love to sew and having someone take us through a new project step by step. Evy, from A Bit of Stitch, designed and taught us this darling fabric shopper embroidery pattern. After appliquéing and embroidering the design, we sewed it up into a little handbag. How cute is that!! I actually had to finish my bag at home and quilted it free-motion style. The Destiny machine has a built it “stipple” function that was really cool. I shared a machine with my oldest online sewing friend, Lindsay, which reminded me just how much fun it is to sew with friends.
Speaking of Lindsay, in the next class, The Cottage Mama herself walked us through machine appliqué and the assembly of these precious pillowcase dresses. In a few hours time, the group completed around 50 dresses, which will be donated to Little Dresses for Africa. It was powerful and inspiring beyond words to be part of something that will make a real difference in the lives of little girls. I would encourage you to read more about this organization here, and join the movement by sewing pillowcase dresses – you can find the instructions for the dresses here.
We heard from Dana, Vanessa, and Kristi as they spoke on the Influencer Panel about trends and techniques in the sewing community and social media. There is so much value in speaking with other people in the same industry as we shape our content and voice to fit with the changing needs throughout the community.
Finally, we created this super quick zipper pouch with Sara Gallegos completely on the sergers. Did you know you could install a zipper with the serger???? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wished this was possible – and it is! You just need a Cording Foot for the serger – which is on my immediate must-have list. We used decorative thread in the looper and “quilted” the fabric prior to stitching it into a bag. The bag took about 15 minutes start to finish. And isn’t the fabric bright and fresh? All of the fabric for the entire event was donated by Riley Blake Designs – amazing!
Common Threads was special. As you know, I’ve been working with Baby Lock for a couple years now and I continue to believe that this company is a cut above the rest, on every level. I appreciate so much their energy and commitment to building up our sewing community. I’m so excited that you will be able to create these projects and access the valuable information that I received attending the event – the Common Threads “After Party” with all the details can be found by clicking here. THANKS BABY LOCK!!