Up North 2005 Retreat Report

I can't say enough about how wonderful a time we all had last weekend with the 44 ladies who came for our Up North Retreat! We hated to see the 4-day stitching party end - even though we could hardy keep our eyelids open by noon on Sunday! There were parting tears and hugs, and promises to come back again. Friendships were formed between ladies from Canada, Bermuda and 16 different states. The one common thread that bound everyone together was the love of needlework and a passion to stitch. As Claire from Florida summed it up, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Needlework is the niche in which everyone can fit. When you are sad, you stitch. When you are happy, you stitch. Whatever mood you are in, needlework is the answer." To sum it up, needlework does something to satisfy your soul - and there were a lot of satisfied ladies at the Retreat.

The classes were all exciting and as I walked down the hallway, laughter was coming out of every room. Some were stitching in the open-stitching room, some were taking classes, and some were shopping in our little store we set up at the hotel. The teachers all did a great job and many attendees finished their projects during the 4 days. One of our staff members, Tasha, was a first-time beginning Hardanger teacher and she did a great job. Lynn taught a class, for the third year in a row, and this year's canvaswork class really brought rave reviews. Barb taught finishing techniques again and some of the pieces stitched during the classes were framed in her class. Jean taught five classes and covered Advanced Hardanger, Brazilian embroidery, Needle Lace, Goldwork, and Russian Punchneedle. The excitement of learning a new technique was evident and comments were heard such as, "I never thought I'd like Goldwork, but I love it", and "I've taken punchneedle before, but this class really made me fall in love with the technique."

I can't say enough positive comments about our wonderful staff. Each and every one helped out in different ways. Some taught classes, as mentioned above and some worked longer hours in the store. Some worked as "class angels", and assisted the teachers. Some tended the store we set up in the hotel and some gave tours of our main store. Many helped set up at the beginning and tear down at the end. Some worked harder at their jobs and filled in for the others helping directly with the Retreat. It was a huge group effort and we are so grateful for our staff. Our manager, JB, did a great job of organizing, planning schedules, and working with the Holiday Inn staff to make this a truly successful Retreat. We are so thankful for your staff.

I will be working on a full report with photos so watch our website for this report in a couple weeks or so. We have many happy memories of the four-days we were privileged to spend with these 44 fantastic ladies.