Mid-Atlantic MOD 2016 Recap

Oh my MOD. What a weekend. I am currently recovering from my second consecutive Mid-Atlantic MOD retreat, and I just can’t talk about it without sounding like I’m gushing. It’s an event organized by Jessica Levitt of the Central Jersey MQG and Andrew Joslyn of the Philly MQG, with attendees representing Baltimore, DC, and North Jersey’s MQGs as well. About 75 quilters meet at the Double Tree in Lancaster, PA to sew and learn and play, and this time around proved that last year’s wonderful weekend was not a fluke.

The reason that I mention Jess and Andrew up front is because the magic is in all of the options made available to us. There are classes, massages, shopping, social sewing, progressive quilts, and swaps. Everything is entirely optional, so you build your weekend the way you like it, and the company is fantastic too.

On Thursday, I got right to work on some more of my big stitch blocks. I was planning to make quite a few more before laying them all out in a top, but I realized on Thursday night that after making three, I just might have enough! (I over exposed the shot to hide some shabby hotel wallpaper.)

Friday was a more social day. I sewed a little, but mostly connected with friends in the morning. After lunch, I took a hand quilting class taught by Jessie Aller. I loved that she gave us a bunch of needles to sample and take home, as well as the way that she taught us a technique that I call “finger choreography.” By the end of class, I was getting used to wearing a thimble, and I really got excited to incorporate hand stitching into a future quilt.On Friday night, I worked on laying out the big stitch top. I got to use a big design wall out in the hallway, and it was fun to get a fresh look at the blocks from the people walking by. I got about half of the top done before calling it a night.

Saturday started with teaching a curves workshop. My students were so sweet and enthusiastic. It was fun to watch them try the techniques throughout the afternoon as we kept sewing in the ballroom.

Saturday night was the pajama pizza party and rainbow mini quilt swap. Here is the quilt I made:

And here is the gorgeousness I received, made by Stephanie Wood:

We did a Yankee swap, and I picked a number near the end. I was able to use one of the last steals. There were so many gorgeous quilts there. I think we gasped every time another quilt was opened.

Saturday was also the marketplace, where I sold some of my neglected AMH stash, and bought this amazing sloth wallet from Tricia Scott:

I finished my big stitch top on Saturday night, and started burying those threads on the quilt I’ve been working on for awhile. It was a perfect occasion to do that, since I could talk and bury at the same time. My friend Heather Kojan introduced me to self-threading needles, and I can not say enough about how this improved the process for me.

Sunday meant packing and watching the progressive quilts come together. Please check out #progressivequilts and #midatlanticmod on Instagram to see the amazing group quilts that came together over the course of the weekend. It’s definitely one of the parts of MOD that is tremendously fascinating and inspiring. They each get raffled off to someone who gets to finish and keep them. My favorite was the mid-century modern quilt won by my friend and table mate Laura Bennett.

So amazing!!!! We’re all a bit jealous of @drlbennett who won it. #progressivequilts #midatlanticmod

A photo posted by Jessica Levitt (@jtlevitt) on Apr 24, 2016 at 10:48am PDT


This weekend was a really important recharge for me. I made some big progress on some personal projects, and I loved teaching and learning. I have a few deadlines coming up, so taking the time to connect with other quilters and work on a few personal pieces really felt like the perfect way to spend this weekend. I have immense gratitude for the people who take the work to organize and execute events like these that help to feed the soul.