Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sewcation Roadtrip: A Little Antique Shopping Along the Way!

Today's guest blog writer is Charlotte Hallworth, SAGA Region II Representative.

The trip to The Smocking Arts Guild of America's Sewcation in Orlando allows plenty of antique shopping.

My favorite search is for vintage lace and christening gowns. While shopping, I am always thrilled when I find vintage hankies, other linens, patterns and fabric. Sewing implements including pin cushions, tape measures and scissors are the bonuses.

There are lots of Antique stores to stop at on your journey by car. For example, when starting In Virginia, use route 75 to Clinton, Tennessee where there is a cluster of antique stores on Market Street.  This is great because you can park and walk from store to store.

There is the South East Antique Trail that connects Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia through to Florida. Just as you cross over the border into Florida, Pensacola has ten shops which are part of the Florida Antique Trail Member Shops.

If you have to fly to Sewcation, there are plenty of Antique Shops in and around Orlando.

In order to plan your stops along the way, go to where there are 924 antique shops and malls listed with details.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eight Weeks to Sewcation!

So, only eight (8) weeks until the SAGA Sewcation in Orlando, Florida begins! Yes, eight weeks!

Time to make sure you will be ready. So here are a few reminders-just in case there is something you may have over looked.

1.       Hotel room booked (and for the correct dates)?

2.       Travel arrangements made- Flights/transport to and from the airport?

3.       Class requirements list made and items located?

4.       Artisan card found?

5.       Essential items like clothes/shoes planned?

6.       Sewing machine reserved?

7.       Wee Care™ contest entries completed?

8.       Raffle basket donation planned?

9.       Lists for family left behind begun?

So, eight weeks is two months, but what with getting children ready to return to school or college and planning what you need to have completed to make things run smoothly at home while you are away, time will soon disappear!

So if you are attending SAGA Sewcation, you may just want to start doing some serious planning!

Hotel reservations can be made from the SAGA website (

Transport to and from Orlando airport be booked here: Mears Shuttle It is $36.00 round trip.

Sewing machine rentals can be made by contacting Melody or Steve Hicks at the Bernina Sewing Center of Lake Mary, Florida at 407-805-9300. You will receive a basic Janome machine. The cost is $30 per day or $150 per week. Please make your reservations by September 1st! 

Raffle baskets can be shipped to Christine Klingsten (see next issue of SAGANews for address) to arrive no later than Friday, September 12, 2014.

If you are not already signed up for the Artisan Programme you can do so on the SAGA website (

Details of the Wee Care™ contest can be found in SAGANews Volume 35 #2 and on the SAGA website.

If you are reading this and have not already signed up to attend this year’s Sewcation, then you can sign up at the SAGA website ( and don’t forget the special classes being held-Pre-day with Kenneth King and Post-day with Liesl Gibson.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Smock Across America!

Did you see the latest email from the SAGA Board?

The locations for the 2015
 Smock Across America Retreats
 were anounced!

The locations and dates are:

Las Vegas, Nevada -February 26 - March 1, 2015.
Greater Chicago Area-July 16 -19, 2015
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania- September 24-27, 2015

Teachers and classes to be announced later, but start planning as there are so many decisions to make:
Visit a place you have never been and make a vacation of it?
Pick a city close to home so you can take classes without the expense of flights?
Attend all three, because you just can't miss out on the chance to take classes and meet freinds?
Whatever you choose, you can be sure you will have a great time!
Want to experience a SAGA event before 2015?
Then sign up to attend the Sewcation in Orlando, Florida September 16-21, 2014!
Visit the SAGA website ( to see all that is on offer for the 35th SAGA Convention.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sewcation Road Trip Food

Today, Cyndi Cavanaugh, SAGA Executive Director, gives some ideas of food to try out if you are traveling the highways to get to Orlando for the Sewcation.

So You’re Goin’ on a Sewcation and as you drive along, you have to stop and eat!

Along the drive to Florida, you might want try some good barbecue. Off I-75 in Georgia, you’ll find Smokin’ Pig BBQ in Valdosta and Fresh Air Bar B Que in Macon, both come highly-recommended. ! If you are coming along I-10, stop in Pensacola at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, pit masters since 1968. Also in Georgia and worth a stop, if your schedule permits, is Wes Man’s Restaurant off exit 293 in White. Make sure to try the Banana Pudding Cake!

Along I-95, if you are driving down that route, A1A Ale Works is a recommended seafood restaurant overlooking Mantanza Bay in St. Augustine.

Curious about boiled peanuts, also known as Goobers? Stop for a snack - roadside stands abound. Try some hot and fresh!

A road trip that brings you to Florida on I-75 would not be complete without a stop at one of Florida’s official welcome centers, where for a half-century Florida has been welcoming guests with a glass of Florida orange juice. Official Florida Welcome Centers are located on I-10 west of Pensacola, U.S. 231 near Campbellton (also near Marianna), I-75 at Jennings (near Lake City) and I-95 north of Yulee (near Jacksonville).

Check back soon for more Sewcation Road trip ideas!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why I Attend SAGA Convention...

Today SAGA member Lisa Hartranft tells us why she attends SAGA Convention:

Every spring when the convention brochure comes I flip through it and there is sometimes no class that strikes my fancy so I think that maybe I will skip convention that year.  Who am I trying to kid; of course, I will go to convention, if not for the classes (which I do always enjoy) then to see my friends. 
I have been a member of SAGA since 1987 and have been to twenty-five or so conventions and always had a great time.  I have gone to a couple where I didn’t know anyone but met wonderful women and always had lots of fun.  Over the past many years, I have made some delightful friends who are basically what convention is about for me.  I met Karen through a member in my old chapter in Virginia. I met Shelly at the St. Louis convention and joined her chapter in the Chicago area, then met Charlotte and Sande at the next convention with Shelly.  They introduced me to Cea and Jane.  I do not remember when Judith came into the group but she brought Rowena in with her. In the past few years I have been rooming with Carol and now she is one of the gang.

I have friends from four states and two foreign countries.  We bring ‘Oh Boys’ to each other every year, celebrate significant birthdays and just have a fantastic time together.  For many years I have helped Karen with baskets and was a runner and got to meet lots of happy winners and members with baskets.  One of the best parts is meeting Judith and going down to Australia for two visits in the past few years and looking forward to a third trip this fall.  I am hoping to see Rowena this summer on a trip with my daughter to England.  Karen kindly put my daughter up for a year in her home while Megan was doing a pharmacy rotation in North Carolina. 
Though I may only see these special friends once or twice a year, they are a huge part of my life in general and with SAGA.
So, do you have a SAGA to tell abuout your Convention experiences? Let us know, contact me at You could be our next guest blog post!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Smocking and Downton Abbey...

Now I have your attention having mentioned smocking and Downton Abbey in the title, let me explain why!

Interweave Press have issued a one time only magazine called  'Unofficial Downton Abbey Sews'. It features some patterns for some Downton Abbey style clothing and accessories. Where does the smocking come in? Well there is a clutch bag that has a smocked and beaded peacock feather on the front and another bag that uses honeycomb smocking.

There is also an advert for SAGA which features a purse reticule designed for sewing by Susie Gay!

You can take the class to make this purse at the SAGA Sewcation in Orlando, Florida. Visit the SAGA website to download the convention brochure .

SAGA and SAGANews are not affiliated with Interweave Press but we are always happy to see smocking promoted and used somewhere!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sewcation Road Trip!

SAGANews has guest blogers- your SAGA Board!
This contribution is from President Elect Lisa Hawkes.

We’re going on a Sewcation, and as long as we have the car, we might as well stop along the way and fill it up with what else? FABRIC of course! So to get your creative juices flowing, we have some suggestions for a few little side trips you might want to plan along the way.

First on our list, is the granddaddy of them all – Farmhouse Fabrics! This stop will take you two hours out of your way if you are coming down I 95, not to mention the time you will spend once you get there, but where else where you find a warehouse full of heirloom quality fabrics? Located in Beech Island, South Carolina, which is neither a beach nor an island, we all want to go to fabric heaven and this is as close as you can get!

If allotting two hours is just too much and you are still traveling down I 95, you could take a side trip to Cary, North Carolina and Elegant Stitches instead. Located one hour off 95 via 64, when you drive that hour back to the highway via 40, you will at least be an hour further down 95. Elegant Stitches features beautiful heirloom fabrics and quilting supplies. Don’t’ forget your SAGA number to receive your 10% discount. Cary is also a lovely spot to grab some lunch before you continue on your way.

If you are coming from the west along I-10, you are really in luck! Peanut Butter and Jelly Kids in Mobile, Alabama is a mere 7 miles off the highway! Specializing in heirloom techniques, laces, and carrying novelty fabrics as well, there is just no excuse for not stopping. SAGA members receive 10% off here too!

Coming down I-75 through Georgia, you won’t find an heirloom fabric shop, but don’t worry, there will be plenty to choose from at market once you get to Orlando! In the meantime you will just have to satisfy yourself with Gail K’s Fabrics  instead. Billed as a fabric store comparable to the Garment District in NYC; it's abundantly stocked with bolts of fabrics, tubes of buttons, yards of trim, boxes of swatches, and rolls of batting.  Gail’s is located in Atlanta, just a mile or two off the highway.

If you manage to arrive in Orlando a little early, you might want to check out The Sewing Studio and the Bernina Sewing Centre. The Sewing Studio hosts our own Orange Blossom Stitchers. The shop carries a large variety of quilting and athletic fabrics as well as the Amanda Jane pleater. Don’t forget to print out their coupons before you go. The Bernina Sewing Center of St. Mary’s, Florida will be providing our sewing machine rentals for convention and will have a booth at market, but they won’t be able to bring their 3500 bolts of fabric with them so you might want to swing on by.

Hope you enjoyed our first Sewcation Road Trip blog post, check in again for another Sewcation update and find out some fun and fabulous places to stop along your route!