Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grab a Cup of Tea and Get Ready for LOTS of "Eye-Candy"!

Bright and early last Friday morning I headed north to Onalaska, Wisconsin to teach two classes--the Fruit of the Vine Sampler Huswif  for the Coulee Country EGA Chapter and A Lady's Worke Box for Crosse Stitchery and Main Street Framing.  Attendees were from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

I wish I had taken a photo of my car all loaded down!  I don't think I could have added anything else to the load.  (I knew things would be pretty packed, so I did a "test" packing the weekend before just to make sure I wouldn't have to ship anything ahead of time.)

Despite rain most of the day, there was still quite a bit of beautiful fall foliage along the way. 

Approaching the hotel, this is what first greeted me.

Was I at the right place?  Indeed I was!

Once inside, this is what I first saw!

While waiting in line to check in, I couldn't help but notice the group of ladies in front of me, all with their Vera Bradley bags.  I wondered if they were part of the class.  It only took a few minutes to find out.  One of them, Cathy B., turned around and greeted me.  Cathy had recognized me from photos she had seen.  Cathy and her friends, Chris, Judy, and Mary Kay, had driven from Minnesota for the classes.  They live about two hours away but made a full day of it with stops for shopping, including antiquing, and a stop at Crosse Stitchery in nearby La Crosse.

Bright and early the next morning (7:30am to be exact), it was time to set up the room with the class kits and trunk show.  The classroom was quite spacious.  The tables were arranged in a U-shape, which I've now decided is the perfect configuration when I teach.  It was easy to get around to everyone.

One of the benefits of driving is that I can take lots of models.  I took only 3-dimensional pieces and put them on a table in the middle of the room.  That was especially nice because the class attendees could walk completely around the table.

Below are some photos of the models I took.  Since the photos were taken on two different days, the layout is not the same, and some of the project pieces ended up being separated from each other.  (Things were neater earlier in the day.)

In the next photo, I'm explaining how I, along with nine other designers, created the collaboration sampler, A Most Noble Pursuit.  We did all the planning on-line.  Many of the designers didn't know each other before the project began.  We met in person the night before the tradeshow at which we released the sampler.  There is still a limited number of charts available, but once they are gone, they'll be gone forever.  Last year we gave our model to Jean at Attic Needlework to auction off at her annual breast cancer auction.

In my next blog post, I'll show you some class photos; I'm devoting the rest of today's post to photos of the wonderful projects the class attendees brought for me to see.

First up is Cathy B. holding her Blue House Needle Primer.  Cathy told me she changed the verse I had on my model from "parents" to "mother" because her father died when she was very young, and her mother raised her on her own.

Here is a close-up of Cathy's Blue House Needle Primer and her Ackworth Friendship Book, which she stitched with her friends Chris, Judy, and Mary Kay.

Next is Cathy's very good friend Chris C. with her completed Ackworth Friendship Book and her My Needle's Worke Box.  Chris, as you'll soon see, is not only a beautiful stitcher (and finisher) but is also very prolific.

And look what else Chris brought--her My Favorite Things Stitching Basket!  I love the basket she chose to showcase her stitching!

Here are some more projects from Chris--one of A Pair of Pin Cubes and one of the Floral Needlerolls.  (Both of these products have two versions.)

And Chris isn't finished!  Here she is with her friend Judy S.  Chris and Judy are each holding their own completed Petit Samplings Etui.  This was another collaboration piece I did--this one with three other design companies.  (I always chuckle when I hear the word "petit" associated with this project.  It sure isn't "petit" in my humble opinion.)

Wasn't it sweet that both ladies turned their etuis so the side I designed would be in the photo?

Below are two more photos of Judy's etui.  The first shows the side designed by my friend Louise Henderson (Cherished Stitches).  The second shows the inside of Judy's etui.  I'm sorry I neglected to photograph the other sides of both etuis.

I hope your eyes aren't getting tired, because I still have more to show you!

Here is Deb W. with  her Floral Needleroll and also her Acorn Sampler Sewing Case.  Deb did a different version of Floral Needlerolls than Chris's version which you saw earlier.  Deb chose to stitch the over-one version and used the other color palette.  I wish I had thought to take a photo of the inside of her Acorn Sampler Sewing Case.  It was just wonderful!

Here is another photo of Deb's lovely work--Flowers for Lily.

And now look at Linda B. and all her goodies!  Linda actually brought more than what is in the photos.  I'm sorry, Linda, that I didn't get photos of all your pieces, especially your Acorn Sampler Sewing Case.  The lining fabric you chose for that case is wonderful!

Linda's projects are Quaker Needlework Treasures, A Needleworker's Sampler Huswif (a class project), Long May She Wave (also a class project), and Quaker Hornbook (a group project).  Linda took the two classes several years ago when I taught for the Mississippi River Sampler Guild in Dubuque, Iowa.

Next is Sarah H.'s A Needleworker's Sampler Huswif.  This can be framed as you see here or made into a huswif as Linda did.  Sarah, who is the owner of Crosse and Main Street Framing, was in the same class in Dubuque as Linda.  Sarah's choice of a frame and mat are exquisite!  I couldn't take my eyes off of it.  I'm just sorry that this photo doesn't do her work justice.

And last, but not least, is Marybeth's pin cube which is one of the two designs in A Pair of Pin Cubes.  Like Chris, Marybeth chose to stitch the Quaker design.  The other design has strawberries on it.  You can see both versions on my website.

This is a view of the bottom of Marybeth's pin cube.
I think there may have been some more projects that I neglected to photograph. Please accept my apologies if yours was one I forgot, and please send me a photo.  I need to do better at remembering to take photos. 

Thank you to Cathy and Marybeth for sending me photos to augment the ones I took.  If anyone else in the classes has any photos from the weekend, please send them to me.  My next blog post will be about the actual classes.


Margaret said...

Looks like a fun hotel and a fun retreat too! Such lovely pieces the ladies brought to show! Just about all of them are on my todo list too.

Deb said...

Looks like a wonderful retreat!! And so much eye candy!! Such beautiful things.

Gillie said...

Glory be, Ellen, just beautiful! Well done, designer and stitchers!

Barb said...

What wonderful projects!That workshop looked like lots of fun! What an interesting Inn.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Ah Ellen, it's always fun to see what turns up at your classes. No worries, there can never be enough eye candy! I enjoyed every one and I'm going back to look at them again too!

Patti-Rocky Mtn Stitcher said...

How wonderful. I hope to have some done when you arrive in Denver next year!

Cathy B said...

We had such a great time!!! It was fun to see your models and even more fun to see everyone else's finished projects!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Gorgeous, lovely photos! I'm so envious of you all having these lovely classes and retreats to go to.

The stitching and finishing is so beautiful too, maybe mine will be as good by the time I get to attend an event!