Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Retreat Report

My sister and I have an inside joke about vacations that if you aren't limping home, broke and exhausted on the last day then, by definition, you must not have had a good time. According to those standards, I am happy to report that I have had one very successful retreat this weekend with my stitching family, or as I may start calling them, the Needle Work Enablers Society (NWES). I love them all and/but you've never met a better bunch of enablers in all your life. You know exactly what I mean so I won't elaborate much except to say we could probably keep the shrinks of the world busy for a very very long time. However, stitchers are the best people on the planet, I'm convinced. When one of us has a problem, we all collaborate together to fix it. When life gives one of us lemons, another one grabs the lemon squeezers and vodka. Oops, TMI! I forgot what happens at Retreat, stays at Retreat.

Spending time with these ladies always renews my faith in humanity! And, occasionally, we actually get some stitching accomplished.

The Stitching Report

Thursday: Arrived around 2:30, checked in, unpacked, power napped, drove to town for dinner, stitched on thistle into the evening. Watched two hour Grey's finale and was pretty devastated with what they did to George. I mean, why should such a horrible thing happen to the nicest character on the show? Tragic. I certainly hope they don't kill him off too. Losing Izzy is bad enough. My head is still spinning from it. Aren't Major Hunt and Yang just perfectly perfect for one another? Uh, sorry, back to the stitching report.

designer: Marion Scoular

fabric: 25ct. hardanger

threads: DMC and floche

Pattern cover photo on the left; mine on the right.

Friday: Up early, quick trip to town for last minute "retreat essentials", picked up a few things at the antique store (pics another day), hurried back, ushered the "hookers" (rug hookers) out of the meeting room, set up camp in the stitching room and selected dragonfly checkerboard out of my Big Ol Bag o'WIPs. My XSDNs will be pleased to know they might get to play with this checkerboard before they are taking their college entrance exams. Late in the evening, I switched to my peacock. Turned in around 2ish.

design: Dragonfly Sampler by Sekas

various Caron Wildflowers threads

Saturday: I knew Saturday would be a full day of cutting, unweaving and reweaving the last remaining drawn thread band if I had any chance of finishing it, so I didn't dilly dally. Up early, shower, quick breakfast and coffee and then POWER STITCHING. I did stop for lunch and another very quick trip to the antique shop for wooden spools, but made up for lost time by skipping dinner in order to bring this baby down the home stretch before bedtime. Speaking of home stretch, how about that Preakness winning jockey Calvin Borel and the horse he rode in on? What a story! Love that little man and the filly he made rich and famous, Rachel Alexandra!

My victory was won around 12:38 am after a bit of "broken thread" drama. I think it's safe to say that the last thing you want when working the high tension twisted clusters of the drawn thread bands is for a thread to snap. But, thank goodness, even though my silk did snap with only about three inches to go, I lived to tell the tale and still had enough silk on the needle to finish the band. And yes, there was a happy dance which will not be described here or ever reinacted IRL or on YouTube. My apologies to those who were physically present and subjected to it. Exhileration powered my engines until 3ish.

design: Assisi Peacock Sampler by Giulia Manfredini

Various silks on hand dyed linen

Sunday: Still walking on air from my late night finish, I floated into the stitching room a little later than usual. Then, after packing up, checking out and eating lunch, I selected an Art Stitch design for my Something New Sunday project. It's been in my TO DO stack for a long time and deserved some sunshine.

As you can see, it was a very productive long weekend and I couldn't be happier with my stitchy accomplishments. Now it's back to life, back to re-al-ity time.

Next UFO/BAP*= Statue of Liberty tribute (gift) Photo updates soon.

Wishing everyone a great week!

*UFO/BAP = unfinished object/big a$$ project


  1. You described the weekend so well, it is as though I had been there. Oh, wait, I WAS there. And it was a great weekend, with only a couple of glitches. Your peacock piece photographed beautifully. Congratulations on finishing it!

  2. Hello! Jan's daughter here. You are now my favorite, of all my Mom's friends. You got her to watch Grey's!!! Of course, she knew it was George early on, but I was shocked! And I hate Hunt...he cries in every episode. As for the stitching, I don't know what any of that means looks pretty...?