Stitch A Memory 2004 Retreat Report

When 46 women from all over the USA and one from Bermuda, get together with one purpose in mind - to stitch - you can imagine the excitement! April 16 – 18, 2004, was our second annual stitching retreat with 19 women returning from the 30 that attended last year. To these 19 familiar faces, 27 new faces came from far and wide.

It didn’t matter if you came alone because once you arrived, friendships were formed among the group, email addresses exchanged, and plans to meet again next year were made. And if making new friends wasn’t enough, great progress was made in stitching skills as each person took several classes in different needlework techniques.

After check-in and registration on Friday morning in the “Studio” (where everyone got a huge Gift Bag filled with items donated from our vendors), several took the counted canvas class taught by Jean, Ruth and Barb.

Several people created colorful, shiny Christmas Bulb ornaments, which some used later in the Finishing Techniques class. The first meal with everyone together took place at noon with a delicious pork chop fettuccini dish, salad and bread. Here began the weekend-long-feature of giving away door prizes during the mealtimes.

By the end of the retreat, everyone had received a very nice gift, donated by one of our generous vendors. There were items such as needlework kits, embroidery scissors, books, chartpack sets, a wooden Memory box, a Handmade Needlework Stand, fabrics, threads, and all kinds of needlework accessories.

Here are Lynne and Sumi. For those who didn’t sign up for a class during this session, Roz and Sue were busy taking them back and forth between the Holiday Inn (Retreat Headquarters) and Nordic Needle. At Nordic Needle, tours were given and a whole lot of shopping was enjoyed by all. This was the first trip to Fargo for many.

We all gathered again for the evening meal, which was set up buffet style in the “Studio” and we enjoyed sliced beef, chicken strips, veggies, fruit, crackers and cheese. You could choose to stitch all evening in the Studio, or go to Nordic Needle for late-night shopping – and late it was!

I think it was about 10:30 when the last happy shopper left the shop. The open stitching went on until later, but some were still suffering from jetlag, so off to bed they went so they could be refreshed for Saturday’s classes and activities.

Here are Roz and Jean stitching in the Studio.

Saturday brought a continental breakfast, followed by a busy morning of classes. Jean taught Blackwork, with Tasha helping. For those who didn’t have a morning class, there were more tours and shopping at Nordic, or open stitching in the Studio.

We called our Saturday noon luncheon, the “Gadget Luncheon”, because each table held a Yazzi bag filled with needlework gadgets that two of our staff, Ruth and Carol, demonstrated and explained.

Here you see Anne, Sue and Diane having “too much fun”. No, the Telescoping Magnetic Wand, item 7200, is NOT for spearing a fork with a pickle and feeding it to your new stitching friend across the table! Ladies, ladies, this is a serious retreat! (some of the time). Many of the ladies decided this was one tool they could bring home to their husbands as it had many uses!

After the entertaining demonstration, the delicious homemade soup and sandwich bar, it was back to classes or back to Nordic Needle for more shopping. The classes were taught in Beginning Hardanger, by Marie and Tasha.

Saturday night’s activities kicked off with a grand banquet of delicious steak, twice-baked potatoes, buttered carrots, breads and dessert. Yes, good eating is definitely a big part of our weekend retreats. More door prizes were given, and a short presentation on the Embroidery of India was shared by Rupa. I think we could all have listened to Rupa a lot longer, but we were scheduled for a tour of the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, just across the Red River in Minnesota.

Shopping in the gift store ended the evening and back to the Holiday Inn we went. Many stitched late into the night – some of us retired for the night.

Sunday morning brought the last group of classes in Russian Punch Needle taught by Jean with Tasha as her class angel. By 11 am the classes were over and we all gathered for our final meal which was a fantastic Sunday Brunch! The last of the door prizes were given, the final hugs were hugged and the final good-byes were said.

To everyone who came, we say “Thank you – we hope to see you and many more new faces again next April!