Parents plan play dates for their children but we quilters have something just as much fun— a sew date!

Saturday was a fun sew date with my long time friend Kari Hoyes. We’ve been friends and fellow quilters for almost 25 years and so she came over early Saturday morning with a couple of boxes of projects to suit whatever mood she found that day and we spent the day sewing.

Kari sewing

Kari working away on her wonky blocks

A sew date is like a micro retreat. Instead of a large group of quilters at a retreat location, it’s just one, two, or three of us in someone’s home. They can be one-day events like this past Saturday or many days like the one I hosted this past February with my friends Charlotte and Beth who flew in from Texas and California.

Beth and Charlotte

Beth and Charlotte

I love the camaraderie of having close friends over for a sew date. We can just sew and chat and laugh and catch up on family doings and what’s going on in our lives. We can watch movies or listen to music or go outside for a break on the patio and enjoy the gardens and koi pond outside my door.

Garden and Koi pond

Small garden and koi pond outside my studio door

patio area

The shady sitting area outside my studio

I have three machines set up in my studio, along with multiple cutting stations, two design walls, and two to three ironing stations. It’s a great space where I work everyday but it also makes for lots of room for a sew date now and then.

studio

My work studio

I’m a lucky woman in that my husband likes to cook and he’s good at it. On Saturday he made a lunch of grilled salmon on a bed of greens, mango, and avocado drizzled with olive oil and vinegar for all of us. There’s nothing like a delicious no-guilt lunch to fuel more sewing. What a super guy!

Last February he made and delivered evening after-dinner cocktails of either chocolate martinis or our homemade limoncello to Charlotte, Beth and I in the studio during our sew date week—yummy! Beth came up with a new quilter’s toast as a result of one or two of those delicious concoctions—-Shears! We’re busy planning our sew date week at Charlotte’s house next year.

chocolate martinis

Terry bringing us chocolate martinis last February

chocolate martinis

Delicious!

On Saturday Kari was working on a wonky block quilt. She had made a ‘sedate’ version for her husband earlier this year but had started on a wilder one for herself. She has her very own unique and wonderful sense of fabric and can make things work that would intimidate me terribly.

Kari's wonky blocks

Kari’s wonky blocks

I decided to work on a new miniature quilt made from Barb Eikmeier’s Vintage 30’s Ruby’s Treasures thirties collection. I love the freshness of her prints and solids. I like small and intricate things so the blocks are 3″ finished size. I’m mixing two old blocks, Sawtooth Star and a single chain block, to make what I plan to call Star Crossed.

star crossed

Ready to make Star Crossed

Kari and I made a lot of headway on our projects talking and laughing and thoroughly enjoying our sew date. Look at this pile of blocks she got done.

kari's blocks

Kari got lots of blocks done!

And I got almost all the chain blocks done along with quite a few of the star blocks. They went together quickly. I just love small! They’re so darn cute 🙂

thirties blocks

I made lots of headway on my blocks

You don’t have to have a full-fledged studio like mine to plan your own sew date. All you need is a little bit of table space for each of you, an ironing board, and a friend to invite over. It’s a wonderful way to spend a day, have fun, and make lots of progress on your sewing. If you haven’t already, try planning a sew date with a quilting buddy!

Best Stitches!

Donna