Saturday, May 02, 2009

Celebration of Needlework 2009

Sorry folks - picture intensive post! Just returned from my first ever Needlework Festival experience at Celebration, and it was a great time. Below is a picture of me with everyone I met from "the boards."

Standing is Carol, Kate, Robbin, Holy, & Erin. Sitting is me, Susan, and Erin.

Holly and Susan were gracious enough to let me share transportation to the airport and hotel accomodations with them. This means they also put up with my company the entire 3 days we were there. Yeah, basically they are saints! :)

The first day I was really, really tired. I usually am not so socked out by one bad night of sleep even with travel, but by the time Holly and I went to our Bumbling Bullions class at 3pm on Thurs. I was barely keeping it together. The class was great though and although I didn't finish any of the class piece I did learn to make a better bullion! I'm confident now that I can do the class piece, where before I probably would have just avoided doing it even though I like the little button designs. I would have been worried I couldn't do the stitch well enough and wouldn't have attempted it.

Later that night we went to the Make-It, Take-It classes. A great value, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I could have picked my head up off the table for the majority of the time I was there. I found out later that Erin was even at my table for this, but I didn't know who she was at the time. :) I got lots of great projects and even managed to finish the Drawn Thread fob on Friday while stitching in the lobby.
I'm too lazy to go and look for all the designers names and the pattern names, but above is a picture of what we got. See my fob all stitched up on the right? I still need to put it together, but the stitching is done. All nice projects. I decided to give the bag on the far left to Katie. This project involved making flowers out of fabric using a plastic form - very easy and this afternoon I spent some time with her making a few more flowers and decorating the bag with them. She loves that she has her own craft bag now. :) She was just thrilled with it.

This is Erin, Susan, and Holly at the Intermediate Techniques Hardanger class we took on Saturday - I learned the picot which has eluded me for forever and a half and the Edelweiss stitch. Julie Norton was a fantastic teacher and a pleasure to be around. She talks a lot about her granddaughter, but she has a wonderful sense of humor and works really hard to ensure everyone in the class gets the most they can out of it. Even though there was one lady in the class who couldn't do basic Hardanger she managed to keep all of us moving at our own pace while patiently helping her with easier stuff too. Everyone learned - no matter what level they were at when they arrived.

Here are some more pictures from that class. I think it was my favorite because I learned the most.

Above is the class kit as we received it - Isn't it pretty - presentation is important you know! :)
Here is the kit after I got it home so you can see what was in the box. The book has very detailed instructions for how to do all kinds of fancy hardanger stitches. Below is the work I actually accomplished in class. Pretty darn good picots if I do say so myself! I'm also pretty proud of the Edelweiss - though I'll freely admit it still needs a little work. BUT I understand how it works now, it is just a matter of mastering the techinique from here.I also did quite a bit of stach enhancement while I was there. I purchased Marriage of Minds and Wayward Sampler from Drawn Thread, a fat quarter of 36ct antique white Lakeside Linen, two small kits from Colonial Designs (one of a ruler holder and fob, the other a pin cushion), 4 skeins of SNC (they were $4 each!) and the real budget buster: Heirloom Stitching Sampler by Victoria Sampler with fabric and thread pack. I just had to put a few stitches in Heirloom Sampler on Friday. I ended up buying a very narrow but long enough piece of fabric to work it on. I'll have to sew muslin on the sides to frame, but I think the coloring will work very well for the piece.

I also really enjoyed the round robins - these are a great way to get a lot of little projects without busting your bank account like you do for the regular classes. Of the 14 projects I got from the Make-it, Take-Its and the 2 round robins, I could honestly see myself doing about 12 of them. The two I couldn't see really doing were both by the same designer and she will remain nameless.

I think my favorite memories are of the people though. On Friday Holly, Susan, and I sat at a table along the edge of the high traffic area in the lobby and several people recognized us from the nametags Holly and Susan stitched and finished for us. It was nice to realize somebody out there really does read my blog - one lady knew all about my house drama even though I didn't "know" her at all. I felt a little like a celebrity stitcher. :) Everybody was friendly and nice and I really enjoyed getting to know several people from the boards a little better. I'm afraid they also got to know me a little better too - like don't give Jenny too much caffeine all at once! :)

I really hope I get to do it again someday and meet all the same ladies again and maybe a few more too.


Kathy A. said...

Oh Jenn - it looks like you had such a great time. How lucky you are! And a celebrity - you bet!
I'll bet the packing boxes are starting to add up. Soon!

Missy Ann said...

I'm glad you had a good time. I swore that next Celebrations I was going to take that hardinger class, she was such a doll when I stopped at her booth to buy something I was sorry I didn't take a class with her.

Those round robins are the *best*.

Robbin said...

It was great to get to meet you Jenny, and everyone else too! I always enjoy Celebrations but it is even more fun with friends. I'm jealous of your hardanger class -- it sounds like there was a lot to learn no matter what the level.

Round Robin was lots of fun!

Erin said...

Looks like you had a blast! I agree, as fun as the classes are, it is really the people that make me go to this type of thing. I love seeing old friends and making new ones!

Melissa C. said...

Oh man, I know what you mean about being so tired your head is on the table. I didn't think I was going to make it through the RR class our first night there. I'm glad you had such a great time! Maybe next time we can travel out of WI together.

Wanda said...

Wonderful post about a great time! I'm so envious!

Susan said...

It was a pleasure to have you room (and travel) with us! I'm so glad that you could make it!

One of the reasons that I wasn't too concerned about only taking one class was that for me, it's about the "experience" of getting to hang out, make new friends, and meet up with old ones, too!

Karoline said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time

Holly said...

Thanks for posting pics of the class projects... I was too lazy to lay it all out and take pics. It was a pleasure spending so much time together and getting to know you more. I agree that its the people that makes Celebration such a great time.

Wendy said...

Wow! It looks like you had such a wonderful time. I would love to do something like that some day. Here in Belgium we don't do anything like that :(