Friday, April 22, 2011

Kansas retreat and friends

Last weekend I packed my bags and went to a long-awaited retreat in Kansas. Last year, not too long after the Heartland Shop Hop, my friend Judy told me that her favorite LNS, Hearts Desire in Wichita KS, does a yearly retreat and the 2011 guest instructor would be Belinda Karls-Nace of Blue Ribbon Designs.  Wow!  I replied before I even took my next breath and said, "I wanna go!"  

So finally, finally, finally, the time passed and the retreat weekend was here.  I made some lovely new friends.  I spent time with some old friends.  And I kept my drooling under control when I saw their amazing projects.

Like this one by Nita.  It's from a series published by Gift of Stitching Magazine and it spanned a number of issues.  Probably before 2009?  I have the 2009 issues and it's not in any of those.  But anyway, this sampler was incredible. 

There were so many things to see in this sampler.  Amazing colors, fantastic use of specialty stitches and charming motifs.  Here are just a few of the things that caught my eye: 
Nita's initials.  Oh - there, look!  The sampler series must have run in 2008.
Love the little ship!  And look a the darning stitches just above it.  And the sampler was full of initials and dates that had meaning to Nita and her family.
Grapes!  Love the grapes!

Now here is Paula and her color version of Quaker Christmas.  I love the bold color choice!
This was stitched by one of the shop ladies.  Over one.  You had to look closely to see that it actually was stitched and not a photo.
Starting with Nita (in the pink) and moving clockwise, I'd like to introduce you to my table buddies,  Nita, Debbie, Michelle, Marcia, Paula and Judy
After camp on Sunday, I had some time before my evening flight, so I visited with my Topeka friends, Sue and Julie.  Sue is a prolific and talented stitcher.  She's also the kind friend who sent me the birthday pincushion.  Here she is with her PS Santa afghan.  It's to die for.  And here are a few of my favorite Santas.
A lovely Eileen Bennett design.  You all know how much I love her things and Sue executed this beautifully.
This is incredible.  Sue is almost finished with the PS Alphabet block series.  Stitched over one.  Look at that proud smile! There's a lot to be proud of here.  And here are some of my favorite blocks.

That cat...oh my, that cat!

"F" is for Friend.  How perfect!

Sue is also a talented finisher.  I should have taken photos of this from more angles so you could see it better.  She finished this as a box, even adding little blue legs to the bottom.  It set the whole thing off perfectly. 

Can you see the glitter in the fabric?  It's hard to capture in a photo, but believe me, it's there and it's the perfect touch for these adorable snowmen.
And last but not least, here is my very camera-shy friend Julie.  This was the best I could do....
Next post I'll show you the BRD project and some pictures of the trunk show that Belinda brought with her.  I still - ahem - have to - ahem - finish my project though. 


  1. Everything is gorgeous, lots of eye candy :-). Thanks for sharing, looks like a perfect day to me.

  2. The Sampler from the GOS is stunning! It makes me want to go back and get some back-issues. And that over-one stitched bouquet of flowers is just amazing! I actually thought it was a photo until I read a little bit further. Everything is beautiful! And it sounds like it was a very enjoyable weekend!

  3. I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am. Two stitching retreats. All those beautiful projects. Just amazing. And I'm completely blown away by the Santa afghan. Wow!

    Glad you had such a terrific time.

  4. This makes me so jealous that I had to miss my regular camp this year. {Sigh.} {Sigh.} Lucky you!

  5. I went to a retreat where belinda taught this past october! She is the nicest lady and a wondeful teacher!

  6. Thanks for sharing - what a great time you must have had!

  7. Aren't retreats the best?! Looking forward to ours at the end of May :^)
    Wow, lots of beautiful stitching... thanks for sharing.

  8. Holy cow. Those are some a-maze-ing projects. I now have something else to aspire to.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing. Love to see what others have done.
    Peggy H.

  10. Retreats are so much fun. You certainly have some very talented friends too!!!

  11. What lovely eye candy to look at! I stitched that TGOSM one at the top. It was a lot of fun. I love the PS Santa Afghan! Love all the pieces for that matter. Looking forward to seeing the retreat project. Glad you had fun!

  12. What gorgeous pieces! The afghan is wonderful, as is the PS alphabet. Very talented ladies, thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh my goodness what amazing stitching! PS Alphabet over 1? Wow.

  14. Hi Lee! We had so much fun getting to know you! You truly got some great pictures of those projects. That camp is just the nicest, most casual venue in the middle of nature. You MUST come back next year!

  15. The is some truly amazing stitching! Glad you had a good time at the retreat. Spending time with stitching friends is the best.

  16. It must have been wonderful to be surrounded by all those gorgeous pieces, Lee. Of course I noticed the grapes in the first piece right away :)

    But, oh, that PS over-one beauty! You're torturing me--you've found my weaknesses--PS AND over-one! Oh, it is incredible. Perhaps I'll start collecting the charts and do this one in my "old age!"

  17. OK friend, I am officially jealous! The stitching is gorgeous! Glad you were able to go and glad you had a great time!

  18. I enjoyed looking at all of these photos, what gorgeous works, thanks for sharing.