Fifty campers began arriving Friday, March 14, 2008, for the second annual Creative Camp! weekend event presented by The Custom Sewing Institute for medium- to advanced-level workroom owners held at Camp Allen near Houston, TX.
Brought together for hands-on classes in small sessions, each student was able to attend every class as each was repeated three times, keeping class sizes small and allowing for more interaction with the instructors.
The success of the inaugural 2007 event (see D&WC, September 2007, page 52) contributed to the fact that the 2008 event was fully sold-out a year in advance, proving the power of attendees’ recommendations to their area workroom groups.
On Friday, students arrived and received their weekend binders, relaxed and visited near the fireplace in the lobby. Some began their optional add-on Awesome Ottoman class with Leslie Fehling.
Following a group dinner, the campers convened in the main meeting room and divided into groups for the Group Practical Project led by Joyce Hernandez. Each group was given a fictional client(s), budget, home description and large photo of a set of challenging windows for which they had to create window treatment designs. The students could select fabrics, trims and hardware from the samples provided by Catania Silks, Plumridge Silks, Kravet Fabrics, Woven Materials, St. Charles Trim Co., Greenhouse Designs, Fabricut, Amore Drapery Hardware, Resin Solutions, and many more. Many of these full lines of samples were donated as door prizes for attendees at the end of the event.
Working on this project allowed the attendees to share information, meet in a working setting, be creative and laugh a great deal while they designed treatments for their potential clients. Each group then presented their designs, fabrics, trims, hardware and project estimate to the rest of the groups. The presentations were a wonderful icebreaker and a great way to see others’ creativity and talent.
Ginny Conner’s classes helped attendees focus on the business aspects of their workrooms and set goals and challenges for themselves. Connor’s many years of experience in the industry was evident in the valuable tips she provided in her two classes.
Chris Watt’s Unusual Roman Shades class had each student working on a duo shade and tucked roman shade. All materials and equipment were provided. Textol, Rowley Co. and Döfix donated supplies for class projects and Scot Robbins’ Workroom Valet set up the demonstrations of the working shades.
Fehling’s Celtic Appliqué class had attendees applying bias silk fabric strips to a silk fabric backed with fabric stabilizer while using fusible bias tape makers. The flowing Celtic design can be interpreted on pillows, leading edges, cornices, table runners and more. Class samples provided plenty of inspiration for ways to incorporate this new technique.
Shaped banding was conquered in Gillian Wendel’s embellishment class. Her samples showed perfectly shaped and smooth banding on a variety of shapes and styles of valances. Greenhouse Designs provided coordinating fabrics for the samples, banding and cording. The completed samples can be used by the attendees to show designers or clients their new skills and capabilities. Each attendee also made custom ribbon trim with several ribbons and yarns for pillow edges and trims.
Sharing and Networking
Following Saturday’s dinner, a Round Robin Trunk Show was presented. Many attendees brought samples of their work to share. Liz Ware’s hand-beaded sky blue drapery panel was inspiring, as was Karen Barnes’ decorative leading edge with contrast diagonal insets and coordinating trim. Camille Moore showcased a pillow incorporating decorative wood components that could be used on panels and valances for added interest.
Lucky attendees won the many generous door prizes during the closing event. Krystal Close won a two-day class at the CHF Academy; Sheila Hitchcock won the full fabric library from Greenhouse Fabrics. Others won the Designer’s Write Mate, Fabricaddy, Unique Expressions’ aprons, Sew Grip Gloves and much more.
The upcoming Couture Camp! event was announced Saturday evening. It will be held October 3 to 5, 2008, in Atlanta, GA. Featuring Rebecca Day (Merrick & Day), Sherrie Horner (Horner & Co.), Scot Robbins (Scot Robbins & Co.) and Colette Wolff (author, “The Art of Manipulating Fabric”), this event also will include hands-on classes with Day and Wolff.
The next Creative Camp! event will be held March 5 to 8, 2009, again at Camp Allen.