17197552856 4f73f86f79 O

Retreat Report: Sewtopia Chicago

Last weekend, I had the supreme pleasure of being Latifah Saafir‘s teaching assistant at Sewtopia in Chicago.

???? I've settled on a scheme for the #molehillsquilt in @latifahsaafirstudios 's class at #sewtopiachicago (I'll be assisting her in class and hope to make a quilt, too!) ????????????????

She didn’t need much help, of course, being an awesomely talented teacher, but I did manage to keep myself busy filling irons, making announcements, fetching coffee, pulling giveaway winners from the hat, and answering the occasional question.

In between all of that, I found the time to piece a quilt top!


Latifah’s pattern is wonderful.  And she helped me on the first day to have the confidence to cut those arcs with just my rotary cutter and a paper template.  I did not think I could do it…but I can!

I didn’t entirely follow the directions when making my quilt.  Those fan shapes that are all one piece are not in the pattern, but it’s an easy adaptation and if Latifah doesn’t blog instructions for it when the pattern is released, I will post the pattern hack here for you (you’ll still need to buy the pattern.) The pattern has a lot of flexibility built into it already, with this fan type (pictured below) included, as well as a fan with pieced arcs.

Sewtopia - this is a block for Latifah Saafir Studios' Molehills Quilt

Sewtopia was held in The Drake, which is on the magnificent mile in downtown Chicago.  I LOVED the location.  The rooms we used were lovely and the lunches, which were included, were delicious. I’m not one to photograph my food, but I found myself doing just that!


Now that we live out in the country, I have extra love for taking trips to cities.  I just love the contrast from my everyday life. From how big the stores are (seriously every shop in Manchester could fit into the Anthropologie I visited downtown), to how fashionably the people are dressed, to the sheer busyness of it all…it’s awesome.

Chicago has always been a favorite of mine, as well.  The Art Institute, the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, The Magnificent Mile…it’s all fabulous.  And I really, really love the bean (a big mirrored sculpture in Millineum Park).


I’ve lived most of my life a half-day’s drive from Chicago (being from Wisconsin and then settling in Michigan, the only time I wasn’t close was the three years I spent in Seattle.)


On this trip, I discovered that the Windy City is too windy for outside quilt photos.

Outside quilt photos in the Windy City? I don't think so! #sewtopiachicago (photo by @redheadwiththread )

Thankfully, The Drake had coordinated their flower arrangements to my quilt top.

Don't mind me, posh patrons of The Drake (???? this place), I'm just posing with my #molehillsquilt (pattern by @latifahsaafirstudios )( I didn't follow all the directions)(photo by @redheadwiththread ) (????????????)(❗️:bangb

That’s my “I’m fancy” face.

Thanks to all the Sewtopia participants for a great weekend!
There were lots of familiar faces and fun people at the event.
Thank for the company,  donuts, and photography assistance, Holly.
Thanks to Jemellia, Amy, and Jen for having me on your team.
Thanks to the teachers Rita and Latifah for all the lessons and laughs.
And hugs to Angela for sharing a ride and excellent chats!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Sewtopia looked like so much fun!! And how great that you had time to piece a quilt top with all your other responsibilities! 😉 I can't wait for Latifah to release this pattern!

  2. Awesome post, loved reading it – Sewtopia via instagram looked like a lot of fun. I'm waiting patiently-ish for Latifah's pattern to be released – love your version, with the whole-piece hills mixed in with the pieced hills, they look so great. Cat

Comments are closed.