Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There & Back Again!

"Came the Spring" - part of the Little House on a Pincushion Class Series

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting 30 lovely ladies that came together for The Hands On Design Weekender - organized by Barb from Country Cupboard in Orland Park, IL.

It was almost a year ago that Barb asked if I would come teach at her retreat, & even then, I knew this was going to be a special trip: My parents grew up in this part of the Midwest woods & I still have relatives in the area. I left Thursday morning & arrived at my Uncle's house in Frankfort...

...at a time when my scattered relations seem to only meet up for 2 of life's momentous occasions, it was great to visit 'just because'.

Friday I headed to the LaSalle Manor in Plano, where Barb hosts the retreat.

That's Barb standing in the center of the picture above (where is my camera crew when I need them?)
Let me tell you, Barb organizes a great retreat: food, door prizes, games (the Yankee Swap was lots of fun!), she sets up a shop with tons of goodies (I brought a trunk show as well).

This was the view coming out of the room where I stayed - I felt like I slept in a treehouse!!
I got everyone on the staircase for an "I finished it" shot after class. They were all wonderful students - many not only finished their pincushion, but a few finished their bonus scissor fob too! (see the photo above)
 I always design an exclusive piece for each retreat I am asked to attend. I offered to re-chart the word Spring to Winter as we had rain, snow & sleet during our weekend (which was OK because we also had fireplaces...very cozy!)

Barb took any extra kits back to her shop with her - she may have some left (kits include everything but the batting - chart, linen, enamel pan, floss, woolfelt leaves, ribbon, pins & round finishing disk). Call her NOW at 708-460-7779.

I came to the retreat only knowing 2 of the attendees - a little nervous to stand up in front of 'strangers' - but these gals were so welcoming & put me right at ease. I made some wonderful personal connections & enjoyed the laughter, the jokes & the stories. Many thanks to Barb for all of her hard work! Be sure to stop in her wonderful shop if you ever pass through that area!

Once retreat was over & the car loaded, I made the 20 minute journey to my cousins house!! I have fond memories of heading out to Sandwich as a little girl with family. Once I drove back into the area, instinct took over & before I landed at his house, I found my way to the long, narrow driveway that used to take me to Grandma's house...

My cousin Chris.

I spent a great evening catching up with Chris & his wife...marveling at how parallel our lives & families are - genetics? age? who knows...we even have similar dogs! (same breed but practically opposite in coloring!)
Monday morning I hit the road to home, but stopped 1st to visit with Cathy of Inspired Needle! Another terrific shop, Cathy is taking some of my models to Celebrations in Nashua, NH soon. After a visit over bagels & coffee - we got to work!
I think I'm getting better at this selfie thing!

There is much to see at this wonderful shop - I had to look fast as I needed to hit the road & head for home.
So I made it there & back again...time to work on new projects, designs & classes...but very happy to have the memories of this trip!
Enjoy the Stitch,



  1. What a great retreat! That is so neat that you worked in family visits.

  2. I try to work in more than my original plan on a trip... so much to do and see around us! I love the enamel pan, and wonder where they are available? I have used the metal ones already, but that gives our stitching an entirely different look! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Maggee! Shops can order the pans from me. Many already have them in stock as part of the chalk.squared series. Ask for the 'enamel candle pan'. Email me if you need more specific shop info!

  3. That looks like a fun time.
    Both designs are too cute.
    Love the white pan.
    Glad you got to visit family while there.
    I've been at Inspired Needle, it's a great shop, and Cathy is so nice.

  4. Love the Little House pincushion. Hope you had a great time at the retreat. I love going to them.

  5. loved hearing about your class/retreat - what a great venue for it! Cathy is my not-so LNS - me in NE FL and her in IL. works so well ! glad you were able to pay her a visit - cute photo - Mel

  6. What a fun weekend you had; time for family and time for stitching and meeting new stitchers. Very cool project! Look forward to seeing what new designs are coming!


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