Several of the retreat attendees were extremely thoughtful and brought me gifts...and they sure did their research...they all knew exactly what I love! I was the recipient of stitching goodies, luscious autumn quilting fabrics, a bottle of Merlot and specialty chocolates (the yummy chocolates didn't make it home)...even a Longberger basket with beautiful stationery and a pen...I was truly blown away by the kindness and generosity of my new stitching friends...thank you all so very much!
One of the retreat attendees from Albany, NY brought me a GORGEOUS set of coordinating autumn fabrics from her local quilt shop - Flying Geese Fabrics - these beautiful fabrics were even folded like flying geese blocks and tied with ribbon (I had to take the bundle apart to show you each of these beautiful fat quarters)....I honestly can't wait to find some quilting time, so I can put these fabrics to work - I just have to pick the perfect project first...I'm thinking more applique...hmmm...
A couple students from Rochester, NY brought me a bottle of Merlot (my personal favorite) from a local winery (Bully Hill Vineyards)....accompanying the wine, a lovely assortment of chocolate from Encore Chocolates - these were so delicious, they didn't even make it back to Iowa...and they even included a chocolate frog - yep, a chocolate frog! It was such a treat to receive such delicacies from their hometown. I can't wait to share the bottle of wine with my husband....and the chocolate frog managed to hop back to Iowa - for the moment, it is too adorable to eat!
On my first day in Connecticut, Sue took me to Colchester Mill Fabrics and I managed to do some power shopping - I found these lovely fabrics and some beaded trims for a couple stitching projects. I already had some of the sampler fabric, but I can never have too much - plus I can always use a few more fat quarters of the coordinating pieces. This shop had a huge assortment of specialty and upholstery fabrics and it was quite fun to look at all the choices!
During my day off between retreats, Sue and Deb took me to a super cool bead shop in old downtown Mystic called "You've Got To Be Beading"....I loved this place! There were so many beads and charms, it was hard to make a decision. I really like silver charms, so I had to pick out some fun ones to bring home - some wonderful crowns, keys, and a really cool tree...I was looking for some bird charms, but only saw Christmas birds (calling birds, turtle doves, French hens, etc.)....other than that, they had quality charms for any project! I picked-up up some lovely coral mother-of-pearl beads and a fun salt and pepper mixture....
Next - here is a photo of my stash purchases from Chris's Collection - as I mentioned, Chris and Pam set-up an amazing shopping experience for us at the hotel (see previous post) and I managed to find quite a few items to purchase....including: several unique primitive pin cushions/strawberries, a couple tuck pillows, a hat pin, several Just Nan pieces (including the vintage Jeweled Owl thread winder), Flowers of the Field by Blackbird Designs, Red Stocking Collection II by JBW Designs (and a couple pre-made stockings), some adorable "Around The Block" JABCO pins, and a package of Handbegh hand-felted wool balls. I also picked up a new favorite thing (not in the photo) - a Handy Caddy - a clear, collapsible storage caddy for all my stitching tools - thanks to some of the attendees for using these in class, you enabled me!
Finally, I have to share the ornaments I received in the ornament exchange. Each attendee had the option to bring a wrapped, stitched ornament for a fun evening exchange. I brought one wrapped ornament for each retreat - and I am so THRILLED I did! In the Mystic I exchange, I received Donna's ornament - the Britty Kitty ornament by Brittercup Designs....isn't it adorable?! For Mystic II, I received Chris's ornament - which was a Blue Ribbon Design - I thought that was awesome - I was so excited to get one of my ornament designs stitched by someone other than me! Obviously, Chris is an over-achiever, because also included with her wrapped ornament - a q-snap cover in Christmas fabric (I have been wanting to purchase or make one of these for the longest time), a peppermint pin, and chocolate. Extra special thanks to Donna and Chris - I will treasure the ornaments you made!!
So there you have it - an assortment of the items I shipped home from Connecticut - that should give me plenty to admire and play with for quite some time!