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Alumni Winter Escape 2012
Fun Report

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 NeedleworkElizabeth’s Designs, Giulia Punti AntichiJBW Designs, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Kreinik, Lavendar Wings, Nordic Needle, Rosewood Manor, Tempting Tangles, The Prairie Schooler, ThreadworX, Trail Creek Farm, and Victoria Sampler!

But that wasn’t enough!  Oh, no -- we also received this design from Nancy Boyarsky of Glory Bee, who attended the retreat!  The threads for the kit were donated by The Gentle Art.

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!




We were free to wander and chat and visit.






Throughout the retreat door prizes were given out.  These were donated by A Sweet Stitch, Freda’s Fancy StitchingJeannette Douglas Designs, Karen Capello, Kreinik, Nordic Needle, Rosewood Manor, The Gift of Stitching, ThreadworX, and With My Needle.  We were spoiled rotten!

Amy with a door prize from Jeannette Douglas Designs

Beverley with a door prize from ThreadworX



Peggy with door prize from Kreinik

Joanne with door prize from A Sweet Stitch

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.


Marie with her new scissors fob

Melissa with a fob
designed and crocheted by Liz!


I just know many of you will be shocked to learn that I was frogged by the attendees!  Just when I think I must own every frog there is, I am presented with frog ear muffs!  LOL!

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: (, 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! 

Liz & Terre

Donna & Marie


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!



Thank you for all the things you do to make the Stitcher’s Hideaway Alumni Weekend so special. We all appreciate your hard work, and the gift of your good humor, as well as “the sharing of the frogs.”   Thanks again and always, Madeline.




Thank you, Sue, for another awesome Mystic Alumni Retreat!! 
~Karin of the Bad Girls Table

Karin with door prize from Karen Capello




Thank you for all you do for us stitchers. Thank you for doing is so well and giving us something fun to look forward to.  ~Love, Jamie

Jamie with her masterpiece at Show ‘n Tell.



I just wanted to say THANKS for last Friday and Saturday.  All the ladies are so friendly and inviting, and I had a wonderful time.  There’s so much talent in that room, it’s very inspirational.  Thanks again for everything.  ~ Marie

Marie with door prize from Stitcher’s Hideaway



Just a quick THANK YOU for such a great weekend, I met wonderful new people and had a really super time.  Looking forward to Ellen Chester and Sturbridge, Barbara

Barbara and Linda cracking up!






This was my first time at Stitcher’s Hideaway.  It was so much fun to meet such wonderful women with such amazing talents.   I was overwhelmed by the generous gift packs and special surprises during the day.  It was also the first time I got to shop for stitching supplies in my slippers!  The time flew by way too fast … I didn’t want to leave. Thanks to all for making me feel welcome and a special thanks to you, Sue, for all you do to make this event so special!  ~ Janice Beebe

Janice with door prize from With My Needle


Another fabulous Stitcher's Hideaway Retreat!! We all had a great time with old friends and made new friends too. We had lots of smiles, giggles and belly laughs! The hotel was great - they love all of us crazy stitchers but what's not to love?? The food was delicious (as always) with lots of yummy choices for our meals and the desserts... well, there is not enough room on the page to tell how yummy those were! Chris and Pam were there with lots of stash enhancement opportunities - which we all took full advantage of! The goody bags were full of wonderful surprises and we all ohhed and ahhed over everyone's Show and Tell projects. There were so many it took two evenings to show them all! How inspiring! And best of all... we even did some stitching too! Can we have another retreat next month???   ~ Dawn

Dawn with door prize from Rosewood Manor



Just wanted to say thank you for putting together such a great weekend in Mystic, CT.  This was my first stitching weekend with you fine ladies and I enjoyed myself immensely.  Such a fascinating, creative, funny, accomplished.... group of women in one room.  I'm not a talker but the many stories I heard were interesting and funny.  It was great getting away with my sister, Jamie Stewart, for a long weekend.  As for the traveling stitching store, I made many purchases and can't wait to get to the new projects.  The food was very yummy also.  I didn't leave a speck on my plate at any meal.  I would of written sooner but I've been busy stitching.  I'm a changed woman.  I've even been staying up late to work on my stitching.  The Mystic area was ideal with the Steak Loft, Mystic Village and I even found a 6 mile running course around the Mystic Lake.  So THANKS again!  Hope to see you next year. 
Much appreciated, Di

Di with door prize from Karen Capello



I wanted to thank you for the wonderful time I had at the retreat. I enjoyed every minute and I can only imagine all the work that went on behind the scenes to make this weekend so enjoyable.  What a tremendous job!   Hope all is well with your Dad and I look forward to seeing you again at another retreat.  Kind regards, Lynn


Lynn with door prize from Rosewood Manor




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