Sunday, April 25, 2010

Great Friends, Great Food, Great Stitching

What a great weekend this has been. I just returned from 2 1/2 days of stitching bliss. The weekend was the first-ever retreat organized by Stitchville, my LNS, and they did not disappoint any of us. The guests of honor were none other than Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs! It might take me a couple of posts to tell you everything that we did; so bear with me. I promise it will all be worth the wait!

I was excited to attend this retreat; my friend Joan (Stitching Squad) and Judy from Alexandria (no blog) were going to be there. Joan picked me up on Friday; it didn't take too long to load up the car. We each had one or two bags of stitching stash, two lights, and a suitcase. My mother happened to be at my house and asked, "Why do you need two lights?" We told her that one was for the classroom and the other was for our hotel room - what if we wanted to stitch into the wee hours of the morning in our jammies?

Joan stitched a special gift to celebrate the weekend - she stitched a blackbird and made a necklace with it. She made one for herself and also for Barb and Alma. I was honored to receive one too! Thanks Joan - what a special treat.





Check-in for the retreat didn't start until 4pm, so we did like any good stitchers would do and dropped in to pick up a few things that we just had to have at Stitchville. Of course, we weren't the only ones with that idea, Judy was there when we arrived! We encountered at least one other retreat bound stitcher before leaving the store.

Destination: Chaska - the Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center. All I can say is, what a great place for a retreat. The guest rooms were very comfortable. The classroom was spacious with comfortable chairs, tables, and more than adequate lighting. The setting was beautiful (too bad it rained this weekend.) The meals were the best I've ever had at a retreat. All were served buffet style, but there were many food options and it was all delicious!

Deb, the owner of Stitchville, didn't miss a single detail. There were gifts waiting in our room - a small potted pansy, a candle, and some chocolates -- ah, but that was just the beginning.

Stitchers started gathering from near and far in the classroom. There were about 30 or so stitchers attending this retreat. While many of them were from Minnesota, there were also stitchers there from North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and even one came all the way from Maine (hi Deborah!) Here's what we found at each place setting at the tables in the classroom:


Here's a picture of Judy holding the fabric covered magnet board; we know that her favorite thing though was that cute flower pot pincushion!


One of the best parts about the retreat was the display of Blackbird Designs finishes that were brought by all the stitchers attending the retreat.

In the photo above you will see a framed Loose Feathers "It's Berry Time." Check out the "Flowers for Sarah" needleroll - this was made by Kathy from Illinois. The flatfolds and the stockings on the table were stitched by Judy.


This is one of my favorite framed pieces that someone brought to display. Does anyone know which book this might be from? I don't think it is a Loose Feathers design. Sadly, I forgot to ask about it while I was there.


Here's another beauty - I'm not sure who stitched this one either, but it is the very first Loose Feathers design and it is called "Spring's Promise." Let me just say that it was stunning!


Some additional pieces - you might recognize the pillow on the left in the back. This is the one I finished using my grandmother's crocheted lace. For more details go to this post.



The framed piece in the front on this post is Joan's; it's called "Summer Basket" and it is a Loose Feathers from last year. In front of it is Joan's Sarah Tobias pincushion. In the back on the right is the birth sampler I stitched to honor my mother's sister that died as a baby. It's called "Special Delivery." You can read more about why I stitched this sampler here and here.

Last but not least, here is one of my all-time favorite designs from the Joyeux Noel book. It's called "Tis the Season." I'm not sure who stitched this one, but they did a beautiful job on it.

I should have tried to take more close up shots. Later in the weekend someone brought a stitched "Strawberry Garden." Wish I had remembered to grab a photo of that one. All of the pieces were beautiful. It was so much fun to see the collection of finishes.

That's all for now -- check back later for more pictures and more details on the projects we worked on!

19 comments:

FayeRaye said...

OH MY!~~ I love this post~~ Do you know how thrilled I would be to go to a retreat like this especially with BBD present??? OMG!~ I love "Tis the Season" also....I am nearly fniished with it...You guys must have had a blast~~ Welcome back home, Faye

Deb said...

Oh, it looks like you had just the most wonderful time! It would be so much fun to go to something like that! Seeing all your great pictures makes me want to pull a BBD out of stash and start working on it.

valerie said...

Sounds like a fabulous retreat with the BBD ladies! Love all the "show and tell" pieces!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Wow... your retreat sounds fabulous!

Kathy A. said...

Wow, what a wonderful post!! Your retreat sounds like such fun.
All that beautiful stitching was just amazing.
What a lovely necklace Joan made for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, thanks so much for sharing your weekend! Can't wait for your next installment. Regarding the piece you are trying to identify, maybe it came from the book, Tokens of Friendship. This is just a guess.

Susan

Mama Joan said...

Had a great time on retreat with you.

mainely stitching said...

Wow what a fabulous time you've enjoyed. Thanks for sharing the great photos!

Katrina in NZ said...

Sounds like a fabulous, fabulous time for you Cathy. Thanks for sharing pics of the stitched pieces, I also love "Tis the Season :)

Margaret said...

Oh lucky lucky you! I read about the Stitchville retreat. I so wish I could have gone! I love all the pictures -- thanks so much for sharing! I'm afraid I have no clue what that piece you're wondering about is. Let us know if you figure it out! Looking forward to seeing more!

MrsB said...

You must have had a lovely time at your retreat - I wish we had whole weekend stitching events here...

Love the stitched pieces!

Sandra said...

The chart you are asking about comes from the Tokens of Friendship booklet. You look like you had a blast at the retreat, wish I could have been there to meet Barb and Alma. Gorgeous stitched pieces on display too, how lovely to see them.

Kaaren said...

Now that retreat must have felt like you had found a piece of heaven on earth.

Thanks for sharing, Cathy and I can't wait to see more!

Siobhan said...

What a fun post full of gorgeous eye candy!! I am so glad that you had such a good time. Thanks for sharing all the pics, they are SO inspiring!

Giovanna said...

Oh my goodness, what fun! I would probably have fainted at that gorgeous display of finished pieces - wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Nic said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time!

Lynn said...

I love this post! It was so much fun seeing all those wonderful BD stitched up.
What an awesome retreat that must have been. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

Lelia said...

I don't know about the piece you asked about. The needle case / roll reminds me of the one in the Thank you, Sarah Tobias book.

Your retreat sounded like a blast ... now, I'm going to read your next post ...

Suzanne said...

What a wonderful retreat. I love looking at the photos of all the stitched pieces. Lovely gift that Joan made.