Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stitching With Friends

Those who know me well will tell you that I like to socialize.  It's true, I like the socializing that comes with stitching get-togethers almost more than the actual stitching itself.  Since recently re-joining our local needlework guild, I have looked forward to our twice monthly stitching nights.  It's fun to see the projects that the other stitchers are working on and frankly, it's fun to talk about stitching!

This past weekend a group of us gathered at a local quilt shop that rents out its classroom for a nominal charge.   We stitched from 9am until 3pm; some brought a bag lunch and others grabbed a bite at the restaurant located next door to the quilt shop, their food is good and their service is very efficient.

Everyone had a great time stitching, chatting, and looking at each other's projects.  Here are some of the projects that stitchers were working on...

Some worked on cross stitch, some on hardanger, others were embroidering.  It didn't matter what project we worked on - we admired each others work and enjoyed each other's company.  It was a fun day spent doing what we love - socializing and stitching!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Wonderful Tribute

Yesterday, I attended our needlework guild's annual meeting and luncheon. After the meeting, we were treated to a wonderful presentation by Ann Zemke from Crocus Lane Quilts. I was looking forward to an interesting "chat" but had no idea how profound and moving it would be.

Ann's grandmother, Marjorie Peterson, was an orphan train rider. She, like hundreds of thousands of other abandoned and/or orphaned children, was placed on a train hoping that there would be a family at the end of the train ride that would provide a better life. Ann told about the orphan trains and then shared her grandmother's story with us by reading excerpts from her grandmother's writings. She provided us with a glimpse into her grandmother's life with a quilt that she designed and quilted that tells her grandmother's story. I took a few pictures to share with you...

 This is Ann telling us about her grandmother; the quilt she made to tell her grandmother's story is behind her:

Here is a picture of the entire quilt (sorry, it's taken at an angle); you can see her grandmother's picture at the top:

The middle block includes her grandmother's handwriting; Ann enlarged the original and then traced it onto this block. It says "My Autobiography and Life - Marjorie Peterson":

I took a picture of this block because of the embroidery on the pillow case and the crocheted edging. My own grandmother used to crochet edging just like this on her pillowcases!

This is a doily with tatted edging - not only did Marjorie crochet, but she also knew how to tat!

And this block symbolized Marjorie's love of gardening. The blue house dress and pink apron with the chicken scratch around the bottom also reminds me of my aunts who dressed like this and wore chicken scratch embroidered aprons!

Every block of this quilt had a special meaning behind it. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to hear Marjorie's story as told by her granddaughter Ann! Of course while listening to the story, I was thinking about how I could preserve my family's history in my stitching. I thought about the various samplers that other stitchers have completed and personalized with family information. I think we need to do more of that so that our stories and our legacies live on.

 If you'd like more information about Ann and Crocus Lane Quilts, please visit her website: Crocus Lane Quilts. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One More Retreat Post

One last post with pictures from the weekend. One of the best parts of every retreat is the opportunity to view projects that have been completed by the retreat participants. This year certainly did not disappoint, there were samplers and needlework smalls all from The Victoria Sampler. I think I'll just let the pictures do the talking!

Another Stitchville retreat come and gone. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to spend the weekend with friends and to meet and learn from such talented designers!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Keep on stitching!

Spring Fling Part II

Finally, I am getting around to posting part two of the retreat weekend report!

The retreat starts on Friday afternoon, we all get settled in our stitching spots. Some of the stitchers go "all out" in setting up their space; gotta make sure you have all of your tools and supplies handy! Here are a couple of spaces that I thought you might enjoy seeing.

I couldn't believe all the doo-dads and gadgets they had brought along - fan, ort bag, pincushion, water bottle, camera - doesn't matter, they were having fun!

On Friday night, we had a small project that we worked on. Thea had designed a nametag for us and brought the materials for us to stitch and finish them. Here is Thea's nametag:

And here are some of the other finished/almost finished nametags:

On Saturday morning we were all up bright and early for breakfast (you don't miss a meal at this place because the food is fabulous!) and then some stitching before our day officially began at 9am.

Thea shared with us portions of the DVD instructions for this project - nice "how-to" instructions on basting before starting the project, completing the ribbon embroidery and finishing the project.

Some of us had completed our stitching and pre-work and so we went into another room set up for finishing. We started with the pincushion:

After completing the pincushion, we worked on the strawberry. Some even completed their needlebook! I still need to finish my needlebook and will be working on it this weekend.

As you can see, quite a few stitchers finished their project (or came very close!)

Saturday night is always reserved for shopping at Stitchville. Many of these stitchers were from out of town and had never been there - what a treat for them! It was great fun looking at all the stash enhancement that happened that night!

Our retreat is coming to a close..I have a few more pictures for you but will save them for another post! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gone in a Flash...

{{Sigh}} Another Stitchville Retreat has come and gone. We wait and wonder in anticipation of the weekend, and in a flash it is over and done. We had a wonderful time; it was a great weekend.

Our weekend started with a trip to Stitchville on Friday morning; and lunch at nearby Old Chicago. Around 2pm we headed over to our retreat center. The Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska, MN is the perfect location for the weekend - comfortable rooms, great food, and our classroom space is spacious and well lit.

Our hostesses were waiting to sign us in for this year's retreat. Deb S and Deb C do such a nice job of coordinating every detail for the weekend.

As you can see, the retreat attendees are gathering in anticipation of the start of the weekend! It was great to see old friends and meet new friends - this year's retreat attracted stitchers from far away places like British Columbia, Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia as well as others from the Midwest.

The tables were ready and set the tone for our weekend with spring colors and stitching goodies!

My table buddies included Joan and Chris,

and Joyce and Vicki...

This year's Spring Fling retreat's guest of honor was Thea Dueck, from The Victoria Sampler.

And this was our project for the weekend:

More to come...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Unlucky Friday the 13th?

I think today is a "lucky" Friday the 13th...why you ask? Because today is the start of the Stitchville Spring Fling retreat! As you can see from my countdown clock on my blog, we're no longer counting down - the day has arrived! This year's guest at our retreat is Thea Dueck and we are going to be working on a Victorian Pincushion with her. Of course the best part of the retreat is meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends. Looks like our weather this weekend is going to be less than stellar (rain) so no guilt for being inside on this spring weekend either! Watch for a full retreat update sometime next week.

Before I go, here's an updated progress photo of I Sigh Not for Beauty. I've made good progress this week. (Please excuse the wrinkles.)

Have a great weekend!