Alumni Winter Escape 2012
What fun! Thirty-six stitchers gathered in early March in Mystic, CT for the 2012 Alumni Winter Escape Retreat! They were from CO, CT, FL, ID, IL, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, and RI. Juana traveled all the way from Idaho and as the person who traveled the farthest, she was given the item of her chosing from the Stitcher’s Hideaway Shop. It took her about 1 second to chose a pretty project roll up!
There is no instructor or common project at the Alumni Winter Escape. Instead, everyone brings whatever they would like to work on and we spend the 2 days laughing and stitching and eating and shopping!
At this “Alumni” retreat, there were 5 people new to Stitcher’s Hideaway. They were a great addition and we all enjoyed their company. I’m sure they weren’t quite sure what they were getting themselves into, but they soon learned it was all about the fun!
In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Stitcher’s Hideaway, I had gift bags created to mark the occasion. They were filled with goodies from A Sweet Stitch, Celebration of Needlework, Elizabeth’s Designs, Giulia Punti Antichi, JBW Designs, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Kreinik, Lavendar Wings, Nordic Needle, Rosewood Manor, Tempting Tangles, The Prairie Schooler, ThreadworX, Trail Creek Farm, and Victoria Sampler!
Another designer (I love when designers attend the retreats), Dawn Fisher of Morning Glory Needleworks, also attended the retreat. Dawn made up kits for us to make cute little ort boxes! Each one came out a bit different then the other. Mine is pictured below.
Chris and Pam from Chris’s Collection made us adorable pin cushions out of gardening gloves with brightly colored rings on them! Here you can see one among other items I posed from my collection. You can see a frog fob I was given, and a glass frog (often used to hold pens but it makes a great place to put your needlework tools.).
I had a bit of a different experience at this retreat because I had injured my arm and was unable to stitch. I still had a blast! I got to hang out with everyone, see what they were working on, and just drink in the experience. What really stood out to me was the wonderful bond we all have through our love of needlework. We shared tips with each other, helped each other with projects, and greatly admired each other’s work. When I look back over the pictures I see stitchers laughing and sharing. What a great experience and privilege to be able to put together these events. I have met some of the most fabulous and talented women at these retreats!
Throughout the retreat door prizes were given out. These were donated by A Sweet Stitch, Freda’s Fancy Stitching, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Karen Capello, Kreinik, Nordic Needle, Rosewood Manor, The Gift of Stitching, ThreadworX, and With My Needle. We were spoiled rotten!
There was an optional scissors fob exchange and there were such wonderful works that I don’t know how anyone could have parted with them! But they all left with another wonderfully finished scissors fob. Here they were all wrapped before the exchange...and then revealed below.
Naturally, I had to get back at them by having a little contest!! Everyone was given a frog maze and the first one to complete it was the lucky recipient of...a frog!!! Oh, lucky, lucky Amy!
Here’s a link to the frog maze: (http://allaboutfrogs.org/funstuff/frogmaze1.html), and below you can see her lovely frog posed among flowers and bizarre naked lady thread winders!
Okay...about those naked lady thread winders. Hehehehe.... I had an elderly neighbor named Mary Ann whose company I enjoyed a great deal. She would sit out on her front porch whenever possible and keep an eye on the goings on in the neighborhood. We’d sit and chat on hot summer days. Some days we’d go into her house, which was quite a sight to behold! Mary Ann was a collector of costume jewelry, dolls, and loads of china and fine dinner wear. She loved her pretties! Her family often gave her gorgeous flowers to fill her apartment. She had a great sense of humor and laughed easily. She was 93 when she died. Afterwards her family had no idea what to do with all her pretties, so after taking what they wanted they had a big estate sale. My husband and I wanted something to remember her by so we each chose a funny and unusual item. Also, among her pretties was a wonderful brass sewing kit (circa 1930) which I adore! But then...buried among other items were a bunch of plastic naked ladies! They were probably used for serving food or maybe drinks. I cracked up at the thought of this lifelong single lady with a pile of plastic naked ladies! I purchased them figuring some fabulous use would come to me. Then as the Alumni retreat approached and I thought of some of the attendees who like to sit at a Bad Girls Table, I decided I should give them out as thread winders! Oh, how Mary Ann would be laughing hysterically over that!!
We had a group of Stitchin’ Witches from New York, too! They get together regularly to stitch and one day one of their husbands commented that they looked like witches hunched over their stitching -- and so...the name was born!
We had a massage therapist giving chair massages at the retreat! Here’s Laurel melting into the chair...
Our Show ‘n Tell sessions were phenomenal! There was so much to see that we had Show ‘n Tell each night!
And this was just a little sampling of our Show ‘n Tell! What variety! What talent!
As always, it’s sad to see a retreat come to an end, but what wonderful memories we each took with us.
See you at a retreat soon!
Stitcher’s Hideaway®, 172 Birch Street, Manchester, CT 06040