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…..




11 thoughts on “SAGA Convention Recap and Interesting Finds….

  1. bunny

    I have something very similar to your stainless steel awl. It’s dental tool from my daughters. I use ALL the time, not that I ever pick out any stitches (wink). That piping ruler looks wonderful. I love my Darr but this would be just perfect. Is it available without coming direct from Lyn at a class?

    Thanks for the report. It’s great to hear of new young sewists attending. I visited their blog. Hope we see more new young sewists taking up the heirloom arts.

    1. Kathy Post author

      That was the first I’ve seen of her ruler, though I suspect that it has been around for a little while. Not sure if other retail shops carry it or not. I believe that one of the other teachers took the remaining rulers to sell. I’ll check with her if you’re interested. She’s not back yet. Terry Collins says that Farmhouse has a similar tool – didn’t know about that one either! Where have I been??? Under a rock?

  2. Terry Collins

    Farmhouse Fabrics has the Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool that looks exactly like the Lyn Weeks tool. I’ve had that one for a few years now. It doesn’t slip and it has been a go-to tool for me.

    1. Kathy Post author

      I’m going to have to check that out. Thanks for the info. I certainly don’t need 2 if they both do the same thing, but I do want to be aware of what’s available. 😀

  3. Debra Parker

    Have both of Lyn’s tools, and love them! She is a fabulous teacher. We had her at our SAGA chapter last year, and I was able to take a class from her right before convention this year. Her books are also valued resources!

  4. Frances Suzanne

    Look at you!!! We haven’t even begun our recap….so I don’t want to hear about you being less than tech-savvy. Meeting you was a definite highlight of our trip, and the teacher table was so much fun to join {we wanted to soak up all your wisdom!}. Everyone was so helpful, forthcoming, and generous in their sewing information. And, because of you – we left with our own copy of Tantalizing Tucks!! WOW….it’s a GOOD BOOK, and we can’t wait to incorporate some of the skills in our sewing…

    1. Kathy Post author

      You’re going to love all the wonderful tips in that book! If you like that one, you definitely will want to get her other one as well – it is even bigger (more pages) and has a wealth of information. We’ll be watching to see what you’ll be making. 🙂

  5. Rettabug

    I am pea-green with envy, Kathy, that you got to attend SAGA & meet so many wonderful sewists! One of these days…it is on my bucket list to get there.
    I’ll have to check out that book, as it looks very interesting.

    I have the same dental tool that Bunny uses! LOL GMTA

    The Groovin’ Piping tool was first created by Susan Cleveland, who uses a lot of piping in her award winning quilts. She came to our quilt guild & taught a workshop. I bought both the tool & a big coil of piping from her. She advised us to steam shrink it prior to use, so I do that with all my piping now. The “ruler”…really its a trimming guide….works great for me!

    I know you came home inspired & full of new ideas. Can’t wait to see how you incorporate them into sewing for your wee ones.


      1. Kathy Post author

        I’m sure that there is a US source for the tool, but I don’t know who carries them. Maybe Vaune Pierce? Not sure.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *