SAGA Convention Recap and Interesting Finds….

I have returned from the SAGA convention and had the most wonderful time! I was thrilled to be able to meet so many of the amazing SAGA teachers and see their beautiful handiwork in person – pictures just do not do justice to the beauty and detail of the projects.  Of course, I wasn’t able to meet every teacher, but hope to in the future.

The convention started out with a lecture by Kenneth King.  He is unbelievably talented, extremely knowledgable and very entertaining.  He walked us through the design process of creating a unique, couture garment and I think we were all in awe.  What an amazing couture designer!  If you ever get a chance to take a class from him, I know you wouldn’t be disappointed!

All the participants at the convention were so enthusiastic and I do believe that everyone had a wonderful time.  There were almost 600 Wee Care items donated, which was pretty fantastic!  I know that Wanda was thrilled.  She has done a great job organizing the Wee Care collections for many years.

I had the opportunity to meet so many people at the teacher showcase evening.  It was very well attended.  That evening I met Emily and Ashley of FrancesSuzanne blog.  What a delight they were!  They were attending the Leisl Gibson classes.  I hope that we will continue to see younger women excited not only about sewing, but also about smocking and heirloom sewing.  We need these young women to continue to carry on the love of sewing, smocking and all forms of handwork that we all love and appreciate.  I was able to visit with them a bit more at the banquet as they got the last seats available and were seated at our teachers table.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them.

Market night was so much fun.  With no local stores that have heirloom supplies, it was a wonderful opportunity to not only support the teachers, but also to purchase supplies.  My favorite “find” of the evening was a new piping ruler!  Excuse the camera flash shadow – clearly I am not a photographer!

I have pictured the new ruler with my older ruler.  I know that we heirloom enthusiasts were so excited when the Darr Piping Ruler became available. It featured grooves to guide piping evenly while rotary cutting the seam allowance and included 4 different seam allowances.  Sadly, I was not as thrilled with this ruler as I’d hoped and did not use it much.  The grooves were larger than the tiny piping that we use for heirloom sewing and because of that, the covered cording would shift a bit during use resulting in an inaccurate seam allowance.  The shorter length was somewhat of a nuisance as well.

Imagine how thrilled I was to learn that Lyn Weeks came up with a new ruler that addresses these problems.  Not only is the ruler longer, which is a big plus, but the grooves underneath are the exact size for the tiny piping that is used on heirloom/smocked garments.  There are 2 grooves – one at 1/4″ and the other at 3/8″.  Actually, Lyn is so precise that the grooves are one millimeter less than the desired (1/4″ or 3/8″) seam allowance so that when you rotary cut at the edge of the ruler, it is exactly the correct measurement!!!  This is going to be a well used tool in my sewing room!!!  I was so excited about this new tool that I had to stand at Lyn’s booth and promote it to every passerby that I knew.  LOL!  Of course, that allowed me a bit of time to get to know Lyn as well – another enjoyable teacher that I hope to connect with again!

As long as we’re talking tools, I’ll share another one that Lyn was selling.  I already have this tool, but have not seen it readily available in heirloom shops.  This handy tool is a stainless steel awl (really, a book binders awl).

I have pictured the Clover plastic Hera marker with the stainless awl – I have used the pointed end of the Hera marker as an awl, as well as used a chop stick.  Both of these will work, but notice the difference in the pointed end of the stainless steel awl.  I first saw this stainless awl at a Debbie Glenn class and had to have one.  That pointed end is so sharp and can get right between the feet of the sewing machine and right up the the needle.  It is a wonderful tool to have if you do a lot of heirloom sewing by machine.  (would serve as a good self defense tool as well!  LOL!)

Another of my purchases was Lyn’s newest book – Tantalizing Tucks.  It joins my other “go to” books.  If I could only have 4 books in my sewing library, these 4 would be the books of choice.  I highly recommend all of them.  The techniques and information in each one of them is invaluable to any seamstress, but particularly to anyone that loves heirloom sewing.

My recap of the SAGA convention is that it was wonderful and I’m only sorry that I haven’t attended one sooner.  I certainly will be attending more of these in the coming years – it was an experience that has left me excited about sewing, smocking and pursuing even more excellence in the process.  The talent of teachers and students alike was very inspirational.

Now, off to get the rest of my housework finished so that I can get on to some more sewing…..


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