We’re starting a new series to share information about modern sewing conferences and retreats. We love this new trend! We love the idea of meeting in person, sewing and learning together. There are lots of events popping up, and we want to give you information you can use to figure out the best event(s) for you (and to save up for the fun!). Some of the sewing conferences and retreats sell out fast, so consider this your inside scoop for planning ahead! First up, the Modern Quilt Guild SewDowns, new weekend getaways full of sewing fun. Jen Carlton-Bailly, Communications Manager for the Modern Quilt Guild, answered some of our questions about the event:

The Event: The SewDowns
The SewDowns, presented by the Modern Quilt Guild, are an all inclusive weekend quilting getaway! A swanky hotel, meals and all workshops are included in the attendance fee. Live it up from Friday through Sunday with four teachers, a full load of workshops and tons of sewing fun! Can’t make the entire weekend? Luncheon and dinner lectures will be available too!

Where + When?

  • SewDown Philadelphia September 6th-8th, 2013: Open for registration
  • SewDown Portland February 7th-9th, 2014
  • SewDown Nashville April 11th-13th, 2014
  • SewDown Minneapolis July 18th-20th, 2014
  • SewDown Scottsdale September 19th-21st, 2014

How much does it cost, and what’s included?
Currently SewDown Philadelphia is open for registration; the cost is as follows below. Please note the cost may vary slightly for each SewDown.

Full Package:
Shared room: $935 non-members/$750 MQG members
Single room: $1200 non-members/$960 MQG members

– All four workshops, all meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners), all accommodations, all lectures, all open sews

Local Package:
$600 non-members/$480 MQG members

– All four workshops, all lunch and dinner meals (2 lunches, 2 dinners), all lunch and dinner lectures, all open sews

Luncheon Lectures: $50
Dinner Lectures: $90

Lodging Options?
All SewDowns are held at an upscale hotel, which is included in the price of the event!


SewDown Philadelphia will be the first SewDown for the MQG. The event will hold 80 people. We want to the event to be small and intimate so that all attendees can really get to know each other and learn a lot from the amazing teachers. We’ve posted blog posts about all of the great workshops!:

Beyond Quilting Cotton with Alexia Abegg
Mini-Sample Texture Quilt with Liesl Gibson
Perfect Quilted Totes with Elizabeth Hartman
The Meadow Block with Lizzy House


What does a typical day look like?

The schedule will be as follows:
Friday: Registration 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Dinner 5:00 p.m. – 7 p.m., Open Sew 7:00 p.m. – midnight

Saturday: Breakfast 8 a.m. – 9 a.m., Workshop 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Lunch & Lecture 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Workshop 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Dinner & Lecture 5:00 p.m. – 7 p.m., Open Sew

Sunday: Breakfast 8 a.m. – 9 a.m., Workshop 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Lunch & Lecture 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Workshop 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Each day will be packed to the brim with delicious food, fun new friendships and inspiration-filled quilting workshops. With lectures at lunch and dinner as well, there will be endless chances for to boost your skills and re-energize your creativity!

All photos by Sarah Lim for the Modern Quilt Guild.

Edited to add: There were some questions about what to bring with you to a SewDown event. All of that information can be found in the FAQ section of the Modern Quilt Guild site.