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Monday, March 31, 2008

Stitching Retreat!

This weekend was the stitching retreat that I have long awaited. It was wonderful! I felt horrid on Friday. After a tough morning at work I ran a ton of errands and ended up being about 10 minutes late for the first event. But when I walked in and everyone was so happy to see me and I found out that they had waited for me - it was wonderful!

The first night we were introduced to each other, did a little "Induction to the Stitching Sisterhood" ceremony, signed the Sisterhood book, received a goodies bag (first of many goodies), played a couple of get to know you games and stitched and chatted. That evening we received the pattern for the Sunday class and all started working like mad to get it ready for the ribbon embroidery.

On Saturday, I was up early as usual. After breakfast I headed to the boutique to check out the wares and joined a couple others for some stitching. I was able to finish the base for the Sunday project. When I went to the stitching room, each of the seats had a lovely flower candle as a gift. At 9am we had the first class - a wool pin cushion project. That one went quickly and I was able to finish applying the details to the top part. Later in the afternoon I finished the personalization and assembled the pieces and added vanilla mulch for stuffing. Ta da, first finish of the weekend...
After the first class we headed to lunch for an hour. The camaraderie was amazing. The group was a wonderful bunch. Soon, we were itching to get started on the next project. It was taught by Lori Markovich of La-D-Da. It's an adorable heart that says "Daisy daisy, give me your answer do..." on the front and has a personalization for the retreat on the back. I'm close to finishing it and should have some photos of it up soon. Lori was a pip to sit with, had great stories and helpful tips for cool finishing techniques! I'm hoping our paths will cross again.

After that class there was a shuttle over to the shop that a few people took. I opted to stay at the hotel and stitch like mad in the boutique. Then we had dinner and a post dinner gathering to play some games (a stitching relay race and garden family feud) and, oddly, stitch some more. It was a long and fantastic day. I went to bed exhausted!

Sunday morning I was up early and hung out in bed working on the La-D-Da piece before heading down to breakfast to chat with people and then onto the boutique. The morning's class was in ribbon embroidery. I was quite nervous about how I was going to do with it. I haven't really worked in special stitches until recently and I found the ribbon imposing. They gave us some "doodle cloth" to work on for the first few flowers - I was hooked.

These were my first attempts at flowers. The one of the left is the spider rose. On the right is a Lily I made with a loop stitch. Cheered by my success I decided to start working right on my piece. I was able to finish the roses and the lilies before the session was over, but ended up completing the project that night.

After that session we had lunch in the stitching room and the raffle prizes were drawn - I got the basket I put in for! Then we received some parting gifts, gathered all of our stuff together and wished everyone safe travels. It was sad to have to return to the outside world ;-). After I got home I saw that my Silkweaver award for the showcase had arrived. As Lori M would say - it was delicious! OK, so maybe the outside world isn't so bad!

And here are the photos of the gift bags, my stash enhancement and the silkweaver package I received:

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