Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shipshewana goodness...

How's it going people?!
I tell you what...I just returned from a fabulous weekend of friends, food, fun and spending money!
I attended the Inspired Needle retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana this past weekend and a great time!

I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Shipshewana 1
Lots of stitching...

Shipshewana 2
My table mates and more stitching...

Shipshewana 3
Saturday night exchange group...

One of the main reasons...
was to meet up with the Illinois stitchers, many of whom I have an online friendship with through blogging. I met them and they accepted me into their group unconditionally! We had a good great time and I think they even liked me :) or at least I sure do hope they did!

Here's some gals many of know...
on the fair end is Linda of Keeper of the Crowes , in the middle is Brenda of Brenda's Stitching  and finally is Karin A Stitching Expat Life . In front in the blue plaid shirt is Ranae of Stitch by Stitch
and next to her in the teal and black sweater is Ranae's good buddy Anna (no blog).

Shipshewana 4

Here's a sweet picture of the gals directly across the table from me...
I got to look and view their sweet, smiling faces any old time I wanted! In the red sweater is Pat (no blog), Linda and Brenda. All of these ladies, are just as sweet and kind as can be! :) Hi ya girls!

Shipshewana 5

Here is Barb (holding coffee cup) and Jayne another pair of sweethearts! (neither blog) Barb is like a guru with linen colors for projects. I believe most of us used her expertise a lot during the weekend. (Which you will see more below....)

Shipshewana 6

There was lots situations going on at the Situation Table. In depth discussions deciding on fabrics, projects, charts - which usually resulted in me purchasing something else, even if I wasn't in on the Situation Table discussion! I nicknamed the whole frenzied scenario "SHARK ATTACK" ~ cue Jaws Theme Music *please*!

Shipshewana Situation Table 1
Barb overseeing the color of linens...

Shipshewana Situation Table 2
More consultations...notice Barb again available for discussions!

Shipshewana Situation Table 3
Situations being discusses with Patti (left), Jayne, Kellie and Pat

What is a retreat...
I ask you if you don't spend a little cash (Okay, Okay, a lot of cash) Here's the stash I purchased.
(I won't bore you with the Brighton Bracelet and charms, little nick-nacks and food that I got to bring home to my kiddos....)

Shipshewana Stash 1
I purchased 4 charts (believe me I had more, but I thinned them out as I have enough charts to start my own business!) But the ones that I couldn't leave behind are (back to front):
Prairie Moon - Peace on Earth
With Thy Needle and Thread - JM Gardner (which I called 50 different names all weekend)
The Scarlett House - Christmastide at Holly House
By the Bay - Mermaid Cove

The girls decided I need to visit....
The House of Stitches in LaPorte, Indiana (about an hour north of Shipshewana) because they knew I'd never been there and that I too needed to go pay homage :) So on Friday, Brenda loaded us up and off we went! I, not having a shop that has such an extensive fabric selection near to me, went a little nuts:

Shipshewana Stash 2

On Saturday evening...
We all were gifted with this sweet scissors holder, beaded fob and DOVO scissors!

The Shipshewana Prize

On Sunday....
we all had to pack up and leave. I wanted to get a group shot of all my stitching Buds so here we are! Yeah, I belong in a gang! :)

The Shipshewana Gang
(far back l - r): Barb and Laura (Maude and Mozart)
(back): Katrina (The Needle's Promise), Anna, Karin, Patti, Jayne and Kellie
(sitting): Me, Pat, Linda, Brenda
(front): Ranae

I finally wanted to get a picture with the two people that made it possible for me to attend:
Cathy (owner of Inspired Needle)
Laura who bugged Cathy and got me on the waiting list!

Shipshewana 7
Laura, Cathy and Me

What a fabulous, great, good time I had! Thank you Cathy for a wonderful experience and awesome retreat!

I also want to wave hello to all the stitchers I met, both new friends and old friends! And a special thank you to the Illinois stitchers that welcomed me with open arms and treated me just like I was one of their own! I love you gals!

what did I stitch on retreat?! Well I had a lot of stuff in my bag! I also bought a lot of stuff....but I stitched on only one thing. I had hoped to *bang* it out in a day, but due to my BS-ing I kept on miscounting and frogging and miscounting and frogging. Heck, I think I stitched this cottage about two times over from all my stitching and frogging. But finally today, I finished it and here she is:

March Cottage
"March Cottage"
Country Cottage Needleworks ~ Nikki Leeman
Copyright 2012
Stitched as charted

And....here's where I am to date on the project....I know BEHIND as usual!
Cottage to date

Speaking of Country Cottage Needleworks...
have you seen the announcement of her New Series? You can view a snippet and read an explanation to Nikki's latest and greatest 12 month series here: Santa's Village

Does it strike your fancy?...
well it should! It has mine and because I'm the master of disaster...I'm going to open a Santa's Village Stitch~A~Long (SAL). If you would like to join....(and if I were you, I'd reserve my spot if you plan on purchasing and stitching these pretties as spots ALWAYS go rather quickly) Please kindly e-mail me: Vonna at thetwistedstitcher@comcast.net and I'll get you on the list. I haven't created the blog yet, but I will ASAP.

Thank you so much...
my dear friends, blogging buddies and readers for hanging on for this rather loooooong post! Until next time, I'll be keeping my "hands to work and heart to God" just like always!
Vonna xxx


  1. Vonna, so glad you had a fun weekend with the Illinois group and Cathy! This is a great retreat and sorry I wasn't there also to meet you. You were with some flying needles!!! I love to see these pics with such smiling faces! We all love to get together! Shopping a little is fun too...pam in iowa

  2. Vonna -- What a great recap! I loved seeing all the pictures you took (some of which I didn't even know you had your camera out (LOL))

    I had such a wonderful weekend with you and I'm so glad you were able to come and stitch with us. You are such a thoughtful, generous and kind person with a great sense of humor:))))

    So glad you finished the March cottage -- it looks great!!! I'm going to send you an e-mail because I definitely want to be in the SAL. Who knows when I will get that one done but I want to be part of the action!!!

    HUGS and love to you!

  3. What a GREAT blog post! I felt like I almost was there! except it didn't cost me a red cent! However, I do not have that great fabric in my stash as you do! Was this a learning retreat, with teachers, or just a relaxing stitching retreat like PALS? Whichever, it sure looked like fun! Hugs!

    1. Just relaxing...I don't know if it is like PALS, as I've never been. But there were no classes. Just fun and stitching :)

  4. It was such fun to read your post, Vonna--what a great stitching weekend with equally wonderful friends, both old and new. I just love the way the stitching community supports each other so well--there really are so many great ladies (and a few men!), aren't there?

    Love your March cottage and all of that yummy looking stash--glad you splurged on yourself! You deserve it :)

  5. Hi Vonna,
    Your pictures are as fun as you were!!!! So happy I got to meet you and can't wait until we can do so again!!! I'm so glad that you got your piece finished. It looks wonderful!!! Miss you and your wonderful sense of humor.

  6. Ah I envy you! My girlfriend Katrina went and can't wait to see if she came back with any goodies also. Seems like a wonderful bunch!

  7. Sounds like a fabulous weekend, thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  8. Looks like you had a great time! thanks for sharing your photos.

  9. I see Barb sitting in the first pic like she always does....she's herself in the others(walking around) one of the few people I know who can stitch and walk and chat with others. I SOOOOO want to make it next year and will make it a plan to do so.

  10. Oh what fun!! Stitching retreats always look like relaxing getaways. I'm glad you were able to go! Your cottage looks beautiful. I hope the frogs stay away now!!!! : )


  11. What fun! Nothing better than stitching....or attempting to stitch with friends!

    happy stitching...

  12. Looks and sounds like a positively wonderful time!!

  13. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos... glad you had such a good time.

  14. Vonna!! Your wonderful retreat photos put mine to shame.... How great of a time you guys must have had~~ I see all names I recognize and can now put a face with!You got to meet Linda AND Brenda S..?..And,so many more that I consider famous (like you!!!) And, the stash haul...... Great charts and wads of linen.. WHOA... YGG~~

    Relaxing stitching retreats are the best and yes, PALS is the same way... A girls gotta flit around and socialize!

    Take care and I sure do hope you are being spared any rough weather..... Peace, Faye

  15. It was a joy to finally meet you
    You took some fantastic photo's, a lot better then I did
    Hope to see you again in the near future
    Happy Halloween

  16. What a great recap!! It was wonderful to meet you and get to know you even better! I loved your sense of humor and laughter, what a fun we had!!! Hope to see you again next year for the retreat!!

  17. Love your cottages, Vonna !I can't wait for the Santas Village ! Looks like you got a bunch of great stash !

  18. Fun weekend!!!!! And great pictures. It was so nice to meet you in person :-).

  19. Oh it certainly looks like you enjoyed yourself. I have always wanted to go on a retreat! Hope some day I will. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  20. Oh wow!!! Looks like a ton of fun!!! One of these days (years?) I am gonna get to a retreat like this!! =)

  21. What a great retreat! Thanks for sharing pictures. Now I can put a face to so many wonderful women that I email and read their blogs. Great stash!

  22. So glad you were able to attend the retreat, Vonna! Thank you for the great recap and pictures! Hope to see you again next year.

  23. Wonderful photos of friends stitching together. Those retreats can be such a hoot and looks you had just that, enjoying yourself. Love the stash haul of patterns and fabby.
    I visited a needleshop when I visited my DD earlier this year and as I browsed and purchased, I kept repeating to myself that I was not stitching enough. LOL. It is like a candy store in there, so I do undestand the stash haul.
    The DOVO scissor are to die for. Love 'em and you will too.
    Congrats on your finish of your March cottage and I like the way the whole piece is coming along.
    Thanks for the info on the new series of CCN...I had not seen it till now.
    I look forward to seeing some stitching from your newest hauls and TFS everything here.


  24. Fantastic photos. Great retreat you got to attend. Fab stash - I've had my eye on some of the patterns you got. Hmm. And I didn't know about the new Country Cottage series. Thanks for sharing. Speaking of which - great job of March Cottage. I'm on May and just received June-Nov Cottages in the mail. WOOHOO. Happy stitching.
    love Annette

  25. Wow! What an awesome retreat! Friends, stash and stitching. Lucky girl :)

  26. That looks like one awesome retreat. Glad you had such a wonderful time! I stitched with Lynn last night and she was telling me about your going to Shipshewanna and how jealous she is lol. Maybe one year we will have a Canadian invasion and a bunch will come lol.

    1. A Canadian Invasion!! LOL! I hope so!

  27. Wow it looks like everyone had a fantastic time! Brilliant photos!

    As always your stitching is beautiful:)

  28. What a great time Vonna. I have never been on a stitching retreat. Thanks for the pictures. It is neat to see some of you all.

  29. It looks like you had a great time and acquired lots of new stash too. I have the same problem when at the PALS retreat, I always have lots of stitching plans but don't achieve very much as I am always chatting and socialising. Your finish looks great.

  30. OMGosh - what a GREAT post Vonna! I loved seeing the blog friends I know and enjoyed reading all about the retreat - Cathy is a sweet person - I order from her and she does an excellent job with online. Your cottages are wonderful and I am super excited to hear about the CC Santa's Village SAL you are going to be heading up. I'm all in on that one ! Boo to you ! Mel

  31. I loved reading about your retreat and putting faces with some of my commenters too! It looks like you all had such a great time. Thanks for sharing!

  32. vraiment magnifiques ces photos !
    merci pour le partage !
    bisous de France

  33. What a great post, Vonna! Loved seeing all the photos from the retreat, it looks like it was such a fantastic time!

  34. A retreat like that would be a dream! I love the pictures. I can't wait to Santa's Village.. and the SAL.

  35. Oh what fun!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful retreat! I love stitching and love to see what others are doing out there. INSPIRATION!!!!

  36. Thanks for sharing all your fun with us! I love seeing things like that! Have a Nice Day! :)

  37. Vonna, you're looking good girlfriend!

    Thanks for sharing the retreat with us! Looks like everyone was having a great time! Love all your new stash and your cottage finish is adorable. I saw the little snippet of Santa's Village but I think I'll wait to see more before I decide to add it to my ever growing pile!

  38. Shipshewana and House of Stitches are two of my favorite places in the world - I hope you enjoyed visiting both of them as much as I do! It definitely sounds like you had a wonderful time, Vonna!

  39. Looks like you had some grand ol' fun Vonna! So glad to see it and such fun photos! I am really curious about the CCN Santas Village. I need to see a little more before I jump on the bandwagon. So many projects...so little time! Happy Halloween!

  40. I loved reading your post about this great retreat. It must have been pure fun to meet all these stitchers and chat and stitch and chat and stitch. On your pictures I discovered a couple of stitchers whose blogs I visit, too. Great new stash for you, particularly the wonderful fabrics in different colours. I'm looking forward to see them in your next projects.

  41. Oh my what fun...a bit of needlework, and a chat (or two) with friends...a joyful weekend indeed!
    Wishing you a delightful and creative day darling...

  42. I enjoyed reading about and seeing photos of the retreat--looks like a lot of fun was had! I love your March cottage finish!!

  43. Looks like a grand'ol time was had by all! Love retreating with old and new friends, too -- AND I usually end up doing more frogging than stitching as well. Some people around me at PALS finished a couple of ornaments and half a sampler (only a little exaggeration - maybe a quarter)? Wonderful stash you gathered, and a very nice treat, too! Great post - thanks for sharing!

  44. Looks like fun! Inspired Needle and Cathy are my LNS! :) She is great! One of these days I would love to go to that retreat,

  45. Wow! So much fun! Thanks for sharing all those photos!! If I ever went to one of those retreats, I probably wouldn't get ANY stitching done!!!

  46. Lots of goodness there! What a fun time you had! Love your work as always!

  47. Wow!! I loved seeing the photos of the retreat and your stitching. I dream of going to one of the Inspired Needle retreats one day--it looks like they do a great job at it. I'm so glad that you got to go and enjoyed yourself so much!

  48. What an awesome time it looks like you had. I wasn't aware there was a retreat over that way, it's not to terribly far from where I'm at in MI so maybe one of these days :)
    Congrats on your finish of March, it looks wonderful, what a fun series.

  49. Was it a long post? I hadn't noticed, I was having such a great time viewing everything through your eyes! I'm so glad you finally got to meet so many of your stitching buddies! I was finally able to put some faces to some of the names as well.
    Loved all of your new stash! I really want to stitch JM Gardner too. Shame on you for not posting a pic of that Brighton bracelet. I'm in love with Brighton jewellry and have several of their pieces. We don't have a store anywhere here so I always pay a visit to one of their stores in Michigan when visiting my sister.
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful pics. It was awesome!
    PS. I think Kathy has a great idea with the Canadian invasion!


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