Stitching Around the World: Retreat 2010

Stitching Around the World 2010 Retreat Report

April 14 - April 18, 2010 - Nordic Needle

Our 8th annual Nordic Needle Stitching Retreat was a blast! On Wednesday morning, April 14, the staff and I set up our little "shop" at the Holiday Inn. This year, in keeping with the "Stitching Around The World" theme, we named it the "Stitcher's Bazaar". At 1:00 PM, Registration opened and the ladies started to arrive. Actually, several were waiting at the door to register right away and start shopping! Upon registration, everyone received a "Goodie Bag" filled with items from many of our vendors.

Registration went until 5:00 PM and then everyone was on their own for their evening meal. At 7:00 everyone gathered in the Dakota Hall for our Kick-Off Event. I love gathering statistics of who all comes to our Retreats and here are some of them:

  1. 5 ladies came from 4 countries and 21 of the United States.
  2. 17 NEW attendees came from two countries and 10 different states
  3. 10 ladies came back for their second year and they were from 6 states and one from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
  4. 11 ladies came for their third year and they were from 7 different states.
  5. 8 ladies came for their 4th year and they were from 4 states and one each from Bermuda and England
  6. The 5th year is a milestone year and this year we gave prizes to 6 ladies who came from 3 different states.
  7. 3 ladies came from 3 different states for their 6th year.
  8. 7 ladies from 4 states and one from Bermuda came for their 7th year
  9. 4 ladies have perfect attendance and come from 4 different states!
  10. Minnesota has the most attendees for a total of 21 ladies.
  11. California and Washington tie for 2nd place with 5 each from these states.
  12. During one meal I asked everyone to jot down on a notebook paper what their current or former occupations were and here are some of the answers: executive secretary, pharmacist, retail sales, management, bookkeeper, physician, retired fed. Government employee, accountant, technical writer, teacher, principal, head of global HR, computer science, bank officer, wildlife biologist, librarian, pediatric doctor, lawyer, Air Force officer, nurse, aircraft mechanic, music teacher, and homemaker. It really struck me how different our backgrounds are but we all come together because of our common love of needlework!

After introductions of our staff and announcements, everyone was asked to give their name, state and ethnic backgrounds; again keeping in the "Stitching Around the World" theme. Once this was finished, I turned the evening over to Debi and Sue K, for the feature which was a presentation of Native American Indian artifacts and authentic beading techniques. They both are collectors of period artifacts, tools, and clothing and had a very extensive display of their collections.

It was very interesting as they talked about the "parfleche" which is a Native American rawhide bag, typically used for holding dried meats and pemmican. Sue and Debi created a paper parfleche for holding needles and everyone got to make one at the end of our event that held the needles for all of their Retreat classes.

Everyone was invited back to the Stitcher's Bazaar for visiting and shopping and then retired to their rooms to rest up for the Thursday classes and shopping.

Every meal during the Retreat includes a free gift at their plate. The Thursday breakfast gift was a Blackwork Pattern by Elizabeth Almond, who designed this piece especially for our Retreat! The morning classes included Ukrainian Drawn Thread taught by Terri Bay, Swedish Weaving taught by Ruth Hahn and part one of an intermediate Hardanger bellpull pattern taught by Carol Pedersen.

The noon meal had an Irish theme with a baked potato bar and the table gift was the BIG ONE a fabulous door prize for everyone! Some of these gifts included thread assortments from Rainbow Gallery, lights from Ott-Lite, wooden boxes and hand-crafted wood tools, needlework kits, Mag-eyes, Snap Wraps, scissors, books, floss assortments, lotions and soaps, a floor lamp, and so much more!

Thursday afternoon the classes included Romanian Point Lace and session one of Jean's white Advanced Hardanger piece.

Everyone gathered again for our fabulous Italian evening meal where the table gift was a beautiful hand-made tatted greeting card, made by one of the Retreat attendees, Janet, and a free pattern from Lacey Threads; Stitch Needle Book, vol. 2 (created especially for the Retreat). Right after the meal we held our Bookmark Exchange. Anyone who stitched a bookmark was able to receive someone else's stitched bookmark. This was also the time to display all the bookmarks several brought for the Bookmark Donation program. One lucky lady, Sylvia, was able to bring half of the 96 donated bookmarks home to donate to her local literacy program.

Thursday evening was a great event at the Nordic Needle store where we held our second-annual Treasure Hunt! Our staff hid over 60 cards in the store with a number on them. Once they found one, they went to the back sale room where I handed out the gift that coincided with that number. In addition, we had a professional scissors sharpener on hand to sharpen their embroidery scissors. After this event, many came back to the Holiday Inn to stitch together or just retire for the evening and rest up for the next day of classes.

Friday morning the breakfast buffet included a table gift of a new Hardanger card design and a skein of Leah's overdyed pearl cotton with which to stitch the design. The morning classes included part two by Carol, of the Intermediate Hardanger bellpull, part one of the Yellow Advanced Hardanger doily by Jean, and Brazilian/Stumpwork design taught by Sharon.

The noon meal gift was a Brazilian embroidery kit from EdMar company and the meal itself was a Mexican buffet! So you see, the theme of "Stitching Around The World" was carried through. Our annual "Swap Meet" was held after the meal and anyone who wished to trade one of their old UFO's with someone else's was given the chance. All the left-over UFO's and bags of unwanted stash were donated to a local women's shelter.

Friday afternoon classes continued with Reversible Blackwork taught by Chris and Ryan, Part one of Beginning German Schwalm taught by Debi and part two of Jean's white Advanced Hardanger class.

Friday evening dinner was an open event with everyone on their own to explore the neighboring restaurants. Everyone was invited back to the "Stitcher's Bazaar" for two book-signings and demonstrations of different needlework techniques in addition to dessert for everyone.

Jess Storey autographed her humorous photo book, "Girlz in White Dresses", and Carol Pedersen autographed her new book, "Hardanger Tips, Tricks, and Fix-Its". In another room Debi demonstrated the crochet braid for Romanian Point Lace, Lynne demonstrated Lap Weaving, Bev demonstrated French Boutis, Gail demonstrated Japanese Kumihimo, and Susan demonstrated Chicken Scratch. What fun to see these techniques in the making and get familiar with yet other forms of needlework!

The Saturday morning breakfast table gift was a mesh bag from Sharon Shetley and the classes offered in the morning sessions were Beginning Japanese Kumihimo by Gail, Beginning Canvaswork by Debi and part two of the yellow advanced Hardanger project by Jean.

The table gift for lunch was a package of Easy Count Guide Line from R & S Design. At this luncheon we enjoyed our Ornament Exchange. Anyone who brought a finished hand-made ornament was able to receive someone else's ornament. It was fun to see all the different needlework techniques used for the ornaments. The meal had a Scandinavian theme with Swedish Meatballs served.

The Thursday afternoon sessions included part two of German Schwalm by Debi, Japanese Temari Ball by Chris and Megan, and Carol Pedersen taught Hardanger Fix-It and Tips. As soon as the classes were over, many brought their needlework pieces to the Dakota Hall for display in the evening's Stitcher's Showcase.

The Saturday evening main event is our Stitcher's Showcase and banquet. Some wore ethnic clothing and some shared their talents by showing their finished needlework. The evening meal featured a truly American meal; turkey, dressing and all the traditional Thanksgiving foods! The table gift was an all-American bag of goodies that included red, white and blue Caron threads, Mill Hill beads, a patriotic pattern, and a world globe fob.

This evening is also when we take our group photo which is always entertaining. Many returned to the Stitcher's Bazaar for stitching late into the night.

Sunday morning was our final gathering for classes that included Intermediate Hardanger greeting cards by Carol, part two of the Brazilian/Stumpwork project by Sharon, and Jean's Drawn/Pulled Thread class. The closing event was the Grand Buffet at 11:30 and then the difficult part of saying good-bye. The closing table gift was a DMC satin floss skein and Color Infusions Memory Thread. Westcott donated a 2.5" fine cut Titanium Scissors which we gave everyone as they returned their completed evaluation form.

It seems no one wants to leave because they are having so much fun and have made such good friends during the Retreat. But alas, it is time to take down the Stitcher's Bazaar, go to the airport or drive home, and start dreaming of next year's Retreat!

We, here at Nordic Needle, take a little break but soon we will start planning the 2011 Retreat! If YOU would like to come next year, let us know so we put your email address on our list and when the information is ready to share, we will email it to you (this fall). Just send your email address and request for the 2011 Retreat information to me.

If you have enjoyed these photos and would like to receive the full photo DVD that includes between 300 and 400 photos of the Retreat taken by professional photographer, Jess Storey, you can still order it.

Thank you, to all the wonderful ladies who came to our 2010 Retreat. We had so much fun with you and loved getting to know you better.

Thank you, also, for the card you all signed for me on that last day when I went home sick. Oh, how I hated to miss that last morning with you but you would NOT have wanted me to be near you. It was a tough flu bug but I'm all better now! All in all, it was a terrific Retreat and we thank you for coming!