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.
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!