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Stitcher’s Hideaway Fun Reports!

What’s a Stitcher’s Hideaway Retreat all about?  Read our Fun Reports and find out!

Mystic, CT 2007 Fun Report!

WOW!  Two back-to-back retreats with Thea Dueck as instructor!!  They were both SO much fun!!  I’m going to do my best to combine both retreats into this one report.

Thea arrived in Connecticut early, which allowed us a little time to take in some of Connecticut’s gorgeous fall weather together.  It was just so good to see Thea again!  We had a great time catching up and sharing laughs.  We did a little shopping and had some lunch, too.  I was so glad that our foliage season was still showing itself off so that Thea could enjoy it. 

That afternoon everything was made ready for the  stitching frenzy to come, and then that night we went out for a relaxing dinner in good company.  We were joined by Mikki and Mary who had scouted out a restaurant for us, and my pal Deb.

The next morning the Mystic One stitchers arrived!  YAY!  They were from CT, MA, MD, ME, NY and UT.  Karen fom Utah was the stitcher who traveled the farthest for Mystic One and she received special goodies.  Everyone claimed a spot in the classroom where Fun Packs awaited them, and then headed for Chris’s Collection, which had set up shop for us in a nearby room.  Chris had Thea’s Trunk Show there!  That was awesome!!  And so very tempting!  It was so great to see the stitched models. 


Here’s Pam & Chris from Chris’s Collection, and our wonderful instructor, Thea, with some of the Victoria Sampler Trunk Show.  Drool....drool...drool.... Ha!  I was unable to resist buying “Summer Garden” -- so cute!!  There’s nothing quite like seeing the stitched models!

Our Fun Packs had goodies from Calico Crossroads, Chris’s Collection, Elizabeth's DesignsThe Gift of Stitching, Glory Bee, Little House Needleworks, Morning Glory NeedleworksNordic Needle,  Olde Colonial Designs, Rosewood Manor, Stitcher’s Hideaway, The Prairie Schooler, Victoria Sampler, Weeks Dye Works, and  Zweigart.  Woo-hoo!!!  Thank you, donors!

Thea gave each of us a “Cottage Garden Sampler” chart!! 

After about an hour we headed for the classroom and our first hour with Thea.  We each had received our kits in the mail earlier so that we could get our threads organized, mount our linen, and do some pre-work. That allowed us to dedicate our class time to learning things like silk ribbon embroidery and hardanger.  We could hardly wait for our class to begin!!  Some stitchers went ahead and did more then their pre-work by basically doing any cross stitch in the design.  It was pretty exciting to see that some had their little villages already stitched up and to see how beautiful it was coming out.  Here’s Liz with a great head start!




Look at our beautiful Mystic Pocket retreat project!!

All the meals were prepared by Mystic Market Catering and they were just SO delicious.  The desserts were real killers!  LOL!!  The menu was a little different at each retreat.  There were lots of yummy choices at each meal.

After lunch we had time to shop and drool over Thea’s trunk show, and then we headed back for class.  Thea was amazingly patient and encouraging to us all -- and so sweet!  Omigosh, we all just love her!!  As you can imagine, we all come to the retreats with varying stitching experience.  Thea checked throughout the retreat to be sure we all knew what she was talking about, and she spent extra time with those who needed it.  And the other stitchers just naturally tend to help each other along.  That’s one of the great things about the retreats is that you get to meet other stitchers and share with each other.

Throughout both retreats wonderful door prizes were given out from Brightneedle,  Chris’s Collection, Earth Threads, Elizabeth's DesignsIt’s Fine-ally Finished,    The Gift of Stitching, Glory Bee, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Kreinik, Lavender Wings, Little House Needleworks, M Designs,  Morning Glory NeedleworksNordic Needle,  Rosewood Manor, Stitcher’s HIdeaway,  Stitchy Kitty, and  UnCommon Scissors.  It was fun to see what each person received -- fun for me, too, because I wrap things way in advance and forget by the time the retreat comes around just what the door prizes are!  LOL!

Bev hit the mother load with a door prize from Nordic Needle!

Liz with doorprize from Kreinik

I received some special doorprizes at the retreats, too!!!  Ooooooo, I love surprises!  A group of stitchers from New York that call themselves the Stitching Witches (it all started when one of the stitcher’s husbands said they looked like witches as they hunkered over their stitching -- tee-hee!) presented me with a beautiful scarf -- with matching fuzzy sandals!!   LOL!!!  They also gave me a funny stuffed moose that said “Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle.”  Don’t I just look adorable?!? 

The funny thing is how they knew what size sandals to make for me.  One of them sent me one of those emails that go around asking the recipient to reveal various things about themselves -- their favorites movie, their favorite color, their SHOE SIZE.... LOL!!  Those rascals!!

They also made a gorgeous scarf for Thea!!  How cute is that?!?


In the afternoon, those that participated in our Christmas Cookie Exchange gathered for our swap.  It was great!  We had a nice assortment.  I brought all mine home and popped them right in the freezer.  We took them out on Christmas Eve and had them for our many guests on Christmas Day.

That evening after yet another delicious meal, we gathered for a surprise from me -- and a special surprise from Betsy Foster of Elizabeth’s Designs.  Betsy has been supportive since the very first Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat in 2002.  She created a special design just for the attendees at the Mystic 2007 retreats -- a sweet little keepsake, shown below as stitched and finished by Cynthia.  There were also quite a few door prizes from Elizabeth’s Designs that were given out that evening. 

Kathy & Linda with door prizes from Elizabeth’s Designs above.
Linda, Marianne, and Cynthia with doorprizes below.!

Then came the surprise from me -- “Merry Mystic” -- an ornament I designed using beautiful metallic threads donated by Kreinik!  Kreinik’s metallic threads rock!  They are so easy to use.  The ornaments were stitched on Mill Hill Silver Metallic peforated paper.  The backs were covered in forest green sticky-back felt that held all the threads perfectly in place and quickly and easily finished it.   Many of the stitchers completed theirs during the retreat.  Everyone received what they needed to make one ornament, but they also received some other charted ornaments to do on their own.  Pam from California wrote later to let me know she made up 10 of the ornaments for her friends!  They were so easy to make, and because they are flat they were easy to send along to friends and families in Christmas cards.  It was hard to capture how pretty and sparkly they are by scanning them, but you can get the general idea -

Linda from Maine working on her ornie

Bev & Pam from California working on Ornies

Our second day passed happily -- and all too quickly!! -- in class, at meals, shopping, and then on our last evening we had our Christmas Ornament Exchange!  Those who participated brought in a gift-wrapped stitched ornament.  Each participant drew a number and then in numerical order they chose a gift.  They were beautiful!!!  Here’s some pictures below from both retreats.

After the Christmas Ornament Exchange, we had Show ‘n Tell.  I love Show ‘n Tell!  It’s so much fun to see everyone’s stitching!  At the Mystic retreats we also had quilting, felting, beading, and knitting represented. We heard some great stories about the different masterpieces, and had some great laughs! 

Here’s a link to a separate page with just Show ‘n Tell pictures!

At one of the retreats, Linda showed us some quilts that were made from the stitched contributions of many for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This project, Coles Quilts, was inspired by Cole, a sweet little boy that many stitchers came to know through, which has a message board for stitchers.  Linda finds out a child’s favorite colors, characters, animals, etc. and then puts out the request so that people can stitch up something appropriate.  Linda then assembles all the pieces into quilts and delivers them to the child with SMA.  Here’s a website to read more about Coles Quilts and to be a volunteer.

It was sad to end our time together, but wow, we sure left with some great memories -- and new skills! 

Before we go on to read about Mystic Two, here’s what some of the Mystic One stitchers had to say....

Well, it was another great weekend.  Mystic was my third Hideaway; you always combine a great designer, great food and a great stitching atmosphere.  It’s always nice to reconnect with friends made at past Hideaways and make new friends at each successive Hideaway.  I recognize and appreciate the time and effort you put in to make your Hideaways run smooth.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  See you soon at another Stitcher’s Hideaway. ~ Fondly, Mary B.

Had a great time and your arrangements were impeccable, as always.  Hope to see you in the near future.
~ Linda C.


I had a wonderful time and just loved Thea's project.  I only have the remainder of the ribbon embroidery to do on the pocket and the tuffet and have started to stitch the needle books.  I'll need to put it down for a while because I need to stitch something for my EGA Christmas exchange at the beginning of December.  I attended our monthly EGA meeting last night and brought the Mystic project to work on.  Everyone just loved the project and were all jealous!!  ~ Linda M.

I had a great time at the retreat. It was because of the great company I was with! Seeing old friends and making new ones. Again it was great to have a class with Thea. She is so talented and so patient with all of us -- from Beginner to the Experienced.  I am glad I hinted about the ribbon stitching! It was so easy! I can't wait to use it on clothes. Hardanger is nerve racking! Grr.. Next time I will count twice, cut once! I dislike having to reweave an area. Even though you can't really see where the mistake was. I was grateful for having Thea there to help me with the "mistake". I am still working on my tuffett. LOL oops, Made a mistake there too! The ornament exchange was fun and so was show & tell! What wonderful talented people we know. I learned a lot that weekend. The food was great. OMG, first time I ever had corn chowder.  I really look forward to my "Sleepaway Stitching" as Emily calls it. I think that’s so cute. She didn't even miss me!
Until our stitches meet again.
Liz L - Stitchin Witches


Sue, as usual you put together an awesome retreat! The food was so "eat-too-much" phenomenal especially that fresh corn chowder!  Thea is such a great teacher: challenging but supportive. You were right about those lovely silk roses...who thought they could be so easy and look so good?           Someone asked me today why I went to Connecticut for class and didn't learn from the I-net. I explained that I went for the camaraderie and not just to learn new stitches. I enjoy meeting, talking, learning and laughing with other stitchers. I enjoy meeting renowned instructors. I just like Sue's fun retreats which have become at least an annual event for us.  Garry and Winston are already planning for next year's retreat!! So, we'll see you next November if not sooner. ~ Marianne

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Mystic this year. You do a fabulous job at organizing a really wonderful event.  I enjoyed the class, the camaraderie, and of course, the food.  Looking forward to Sturbridge in July. Thanks.
~ Mikki



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