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Stitcher’s Hideaway
Cubed Stars Retreat
in Sturbridge, MA with
Jeanette Rees
Fun Report

It was so wonderful to gather again at the Publick House for another Stitcher’s Hideaway Retreat!  The grounds are beautiful year-round -- but oh, wow -- the flowers in the summer!  Their gardeners are fantastic, and their new Chamberlain House rooms WONDERFUL!

Those of us who’d been to a Stitcher’s Hideaway Retreat at the Publick House before knew we were in for a great time, delicious food, a huge classroom, stash enhancement opportunities, and comfy accomodations.  There was some very excited email exchanges taking place well before our time together! 

When everyone arrived they found a Stitcher’s Hideaway Fun Pack waiting for them filled with generous goodies donated by 123Stitch, Bush Mountain Stitchery & Framing, Dinky Dyes, Kreinik, Morning Glory Needleworks, Rosewood Manor, Samplers and Such, Stitchers Hideaway, Victoria Sampler, Weeks Dye Works, and Udder Cream.

Gail, from Ontario, Canada was the stitcher who traveled the farthest, so she received some special gifts for making the trip.


The very talented Jeanette Rees was our instructor, and our retreat project was her “Cubed Star” - a counted needlepoint project worked on congress cloth. 

Jeanette  is an award winning needle arts designer and teacher who has designed and taught needle arts at seminars throughout the U.S.   She has taught all levels of classes in canvas work, hardanger, stumpwork, surface stitching, and all forms of embroidery. She has taught for ANG, EGA, Stitchery Groups, EGA chapters, retreats, and retail shops. She especially enjoys watching her students evolve in their stitching. 

For her Cubed Star design, she incorporated the use of batik fabric and a several different stitches.  We had our choice of colorway from the great variety that she offered.  There were so many it was hard to choose from among them!  And depending on where we chose to place the sections and which colors we wanted to use where, the end results were quite different.


Jeanette got us started by having us mount our batik fabric wherever we chose to place it, and soon we were stitching away happily and watching our design come to life.  You just wouldn’t believe how much we actually got done in class!
















Throughout the retreat lucky recipients received generous door prizes from 123Stitch, Bush Mountain Stitchery & Framing, Praiseworthy Stitches, Seraphim Hand Dyed Fabrics by Laurie, Stitchers Hideaway, Victoria Sampler, Weeks Dye Works, With My Needle and Kathy Roseen, a friend of Stitcher’s Hideaway.  I only wish the picture I took of Chris dancing in glee when she received a $25 gift certificate from 123Stitch came out!  LOL!


Deb with a door prize from
Seraphim Hand Dyed Fabrics by Laurie


Emma with a door prize from





Gail with a door prize from
Bush Mountain Stitchery


Lenore with a door prize from
With My Needle





Robin with door prize from Kathy Roseen, a friend of Stitchers Hideaway


Gayle with door prize from
Praiseworthy Stitches





Mary Ann with a door prize from


Lisa with a door prize from
Weeks Dye Works




Debby with a door prize from
Seraphim Hand Dyed Fabrics by Laurie


On our first night everyone received a little surprise kit designed by yours truly!  I had been picking up these cute beads and flowers, linen and threads not knowing what I would do with them some day, and then this is what came out of it!

We definitely had some wonderful Sweet Summer Stitching at our retreat!

By the second day we were really seeing progress and were getting excited about how our projects were turning out. Here’s just a few pictures showing progress on different colorways.





























Deb and Robin were working on the same colorway, but look how differently they looked with their choice of color placement!


And the door prizes just kept coming and coming!!


Emma with a door prize from
Stitchers Hideaway


Chris with a door prize from
Bush Mountain Stitchery





Gayle with door prize from 123stitch


Linda with door prize from Kathy Roseen





Lisa with a door prize from
Victoria Sampler


Stephanie with a door prize from
Seraphim Hand Dyed Fabrics by Laurie





On our last night together we had Show ‘n Tell!
Wow!   WE ARE AWESOME!!  Here’s just a sampling..




Mary Ann














































     “I had the time of my life at the Cubed Stars Retreat this year.  This was my second Stitchers Hideaway retreat but won’t be my last one.  I drove there by myself from Metcalfe (Ottawa), Ontario – a 7-hour drive with no mistakes or breaks, more like 9 hours of real time.  I was rewarded by Sue with a mug and sweatshirt bearing the Stitcher’s Hideaway logo on them.  It’s too hot up here to wear the sweatshirt (85-90 F) but it will be useful for a fall retreat or for at home.  Thank you, Sue !!
     I really liked the friendliness of this retreat.  We all shared stories of our home life and our stitching experiences.  The Cubed Stars project was beautiful no matter what colour combination you chose to do.  The batik fabric really set it off.  I liked it so much that I opted to buy one of Jeannette’s “extra” kits that she brought to the retreat.  So my memories of this retreat will last even longer.  The Publick House is a good location for these retreats.  The food is excellent and the services are very good.  It’s a comfortable venue for a relaxing retreat.
     Having no needlework shops within a 3-5 hour drive from Ottawa, I enjoyed having one at the retreat.  I have to order online for most of my stitching needs.  Thanks to Maeanne (from Bush Mountain Stitcher), I found the perfect (already gridded) fabric to do my HAED design on.  She gave me some good advice for doing my first ever HAED.  Of course, my shopping spree didn’t stop there !!  I forgot to pack a laying tool so needed one at the retreat.  My stitching neighbour, Donna, kindly gifted me with one of her extras.  This really made my work so much easier and faster.  I loved her colour choice and this was the choice I made for the extra kit I bought.  Thank you again, Donna!!
      I didn’t drive home from this retreat but drove onward to Cape Cod to visit another Stitcher’s Hideaway alumni, Marilyn Morrow and her daughter Betsy.  We went to a couple of stitch-ins at the Cape – one of them being Barry’s LNS in Brewster.  From Cape Cod to home, it ended up to be about a ten-hour drive with stops, mistakes and the like.  The GPS went weird around Albany, NY, but the new directions were very scenic and relaxing.
      I will be back again!!!”





This was my third retreat.  I can't say enough about Sue Donnelly and her hard work in organizing and running these retreats.  Each person receives a goody bag with charts, threads, and extra things and we each receive at least one gift from a designer or company.  Sue includes a Thank You card and the envelope is addressed and stamped.  All we need to do is write the thank you for supporting Sue and Stitchers Hideaway.  The Publick Inn is a great place to hold these retreats - the staff is terrific and we are well taken care of.  We can choose accommodations in the Inn itself or in the out buildings.  We just need to walk into the room next to our class for our lunches and dinners.  We play musical chairs for these meals and get to talk with different people.  I have come by myself and left with new friendships each time.  I learn so much from each teacher and the stitchers.  With Cubed Stars, it was wonderful seeing the pieces evolve - some choosing the same color way but using the colors differently.  I learned that using the L-stitch is great to put under threads that are layed.  The room we stitch in is great and Bush Mountain Stitchery sets up their shop in the back of the room for our retail fix.  I am looking forward to attending more retreats that Sue has organized.  
Thanks, Sue!
Lenore Dudzick




Dear Sue,
     What a wonderful surprise to open my door prize from Stitcher’s Hideaway and find the lovely silk threads.  The mauves, lavenders and sage green tones are ones I particularly like and use.  Thank you!
    As always, our time in Sturbridge was wonderful.  I really enjoyed Jeanette and look forward to finishg this project. Thank you for organizing all the details to make the time so enjoyable.







Emma playing in her Fun Pack!

Sue & Deb - probably up to no good!



Maeann and Cindy tempting us with a ton of stash!




Our wonderful instructor holding a stitched model of her beautiful  Cubed Star design.






It has been barely two weeks since this retreat was held and the rapid progress we have made on our Cubed Stars is remarkable!  Here are a few pictures, which allow you to see some of the different colorways we chose.



Stitched by Chris Schweikhard

Stitched by Robin Leach



Stitched by Deb Milvae

Stitched by Linda Marchand



Stitched by me

Thank you, Jeanette, for your patient instruction, your beautiful design, and for coming all the way to Connecticut to be with us!

Until next time, stitchers -




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