(The lodge we stayed in...and the breathtaking view from the wall of windows in the stitching room...)
For this trip, my husband rode along with me - his best friend lives in Manhattan, KS (a few short miles away), so he spent the weekend with him while I was teaching. Before he dropped me off at the cross stitch camp, we made the trip to Abilene, KS, so I could go to Picture This Plus and check out their amazing hand-dyed fabrics and needlework shop. During my visit, Marilyn was so kind and accommodating - I got a tour of the dyeing facility, which was quite interesting....and their shop has TONS of models, materials, and charts...and of course it was fabric heaven! I am embarrassed to say, I have never tried their fabric before - but I left with a huge GORGEOUS pile for future projects (and a new pair of scissors!).
Once I got settled in at the Lodge, I made my way to the giant stitching room and started setting up my models so the attendees could do some shopping. This group got the special treatment, as I was able to pack quite a few pieces to bring along - they had thirty-five models to view (and they were fantastic shoppers!). Debbie also had a very nice selection of merchandise set up from her shop. Once everything was in place, I started going from table to table and meeting all the stitchers....we took a break for dinner....then later in the evening they received their door prizes (and even I got one!! - how cool is that?! - a lovely Milady's Needle kit - Milady's Quaker Pendants II - perfect for me...and I have already started one!). All of the prizes were wrapped and it was fun to see everyone tear into their packages and open their prizes (which were quite awesome - and were all different). Many of us stayed up past midnight...and then I had to get a bit of sleep before a full day of teaching on Saturday.
Debbie (center), her daughter, and some of the shop staff (who all did an amazing job getting things put together for this event)...and you can see some of the models in the background....
Saturday morning (bright and early - 7:00 AM) we made our way to the dining hall for breakfast...then to the classroom. We had a fun morning starting the project and even had a mid-morning break for fresh cinnamon rolls (yummy!). Before lunch, I started working one on one with each of the students making twisted cord and talking about finishing techniques. At lunch time, there was plenty of time to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery....then back to class. We worked on the project all afternoon, with another break for homemade cookies (no, we did not starve!). I really didn't need to eat dinner, so while many made their way to the dining hall, I took a walk to the highest point on the grounds, where I was able to make a phone call to my husband and make sure he knew what time to arrive on Sunday...then I took a long walk on several of the trails. The entire evening was filled with stitching, laughing, shopping, and more laughing - it was like being at a giant slumber party! I made my way around the room and helped and answered questions about the project and had a chance to get to know each of the attendees a little better. Around midnight, I got the giggles and just couldn't stop laughing (thanks to Nita, Carmen, and Lori - they instigated everything!)....then around 1:30 AM, I finally made my way to my room.
Students hard at work in the classroom...followed by TONS of fun happening in the stitching lounge....and some photos of the wonderful scenery on the grounds....
Sunday morning was nice and relaxed - breakfast was (again) early and I decided to skip it for a few extra minutes of sleep - luckily, Diana brought me a yogurt and we had all sorts of food in the kitchen. I spent the morning working one on one with many of the attendees (and doing a little shopping of my own)...again, there was more laughter and giggling....and almost everyone finished their scissor fob or pin pillow (or both!) or had a really good start on the project! Then it was time to pack up and say goodbyes...and take a group photo (unfortunately, some had left before the group photo). All in all, it was an incredible weekend...and I am crossing my fingers I will be able to spend a weekend with this special group again...thank you to all the attendees, you made my job effortless and oh so enjoyable!