Saturday, November 12, 2011

Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita

This was the first, but hopefully not the last, Victorian Stitchery Retreat that I attended.  Hosted by Val Bothell of The Pink Bunny.  We had a super lineup of teachers and a fantastic venue at The Hotel at Old Town. Gerry K and I shared a suite, and it was to die for!

The Atrium area where we had breakfast every morning
View from our suite looking south through Old Town
Oh my, where to start?

Our class for the first day was Candace Kling’s Ribbon Flowers.  She is so awesome!  You will see pictures of some of her flowers scattered throughout the backgrounds of some of the pictures I post.  You can also see many on Candace’s website. Naturally, I won’t post all the pictures of her work that I took for my own personal use. But if you every have the opportunity to take a class from Candace, take it!

Some of my near-completed flowers
Candace explained everything thoroughly, clearly, and was so organized. She kept the class moving along and yet had time for everyone and their questions. I want to be like her when I grow up! Truly, I have had her book for over ten years, and learned my first ribbon flower from it. I used to pour over it while I took candlelight bubblebaths (soft music, white wine). That seemed to really tickle Candace!   I could’ve kicked myself for not bringing the book for her to sign, but I do intend to take more of her classes.

By the way, next May Candace is teaching a “miniature” ribbon class, which are smaller-sized forms, perfect for CQ. It will be held at at Nancy’s Sewing Basket in Seattle (there is, however, a pre-requisite of having taken one of her classes previously).

Allie’s Class Sample
The next day was Tuesday, and we had Allie’s Curved Piecing Class, which was so much fun! The eye candy was almost overwhelming. Allie’s simple method of piecing was a delight to me, because I had used the same technique to piece my “I Love Paris” purse. Naturally, Allie had some helpful hints (like leaving a wider margin, which is ALWAYS my downfall).  And she uses a knit interfacing, which I tried for the first time and loved. Now I am a believer, and will try anything Allie suggests (short of jumping off a cliff, LOL!)  She also showed us curved flip-and-sew, and was a kind, patient teacher.

Allie working with Rhonda Perry.  At left:  Toni J
Below is my center block, completely pieced.  The surrounding darker border is about 2/3 complete. I can’t wait to finish piecing this future wallhanging.   Hopefully during the next week.  And then I have to get back to my Seascape Valance (more in a coming post).

The third and fourth days of the Retreat were our long-awaited 2-day stitching class with the one and only Miss Carole Samples.   Oh my!  I wish I could just record her lovely soft voice and play it as background “music” when I work!  She must be about the sweetest, most gentle soul I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Gerry K gave Miss Carole one of her paisley Victorian Pin Cushions. Paisleys are her favorites, and Miss Carole was brought nearly to tears, but was definitely speechless and overwhelmed.  Then Ingrid gave her a crystal-headed pin to put in it!

Miss Carole and me
Over the two days, we learned how to use her templates to not only “decipher” complicated stitches, but to design our own.  Miss Carole also taught some varied and more unusual stitches, and generously shared her work and time with everyone.

Miss Carole with Ingrid and Freema
In July my friend Wilma from The Netherlands had gifted me with lots of pieces of gorgeous fabric from Austria (a country we both love).  You might remember my post here.  Anyway, I used it to piece a 17x12” cover for the notebook in which I will keep my stitch designs.  This was my working piece for Miss Carole’s class.

Above and below:  Some of the seams I stitched as class exercises. They are not complete.

I have lots more to show you tomorrow, like candid photos of old and new friends, some gorgeous eye candy from the Show and Share, pictures from Miss Carole’s talk on Wednesday evening, and from Gerry’s button class on Thursday evening.

But for now, nighty-night.  I snapped this picture of the building next door from out the window by my hotel bed. I think it could pass for 1938 (or whatever).  I kept expecting to see Dick Tracey or Humphrey Bogart or some other character strike a pose under the street lamp!

The street lamp illuminated the stark, cold evening . . .
Until tomorrow,

Cathy maroon


Suztats said...

It's nice reading about the retreat, and I love the eye candy!

Laurie said...

Wow Cathy! I'm sooo jealous! What an amazing time! To work with Allie and Carole must have been such a treat!!!!

donnarae said...

I hated missing the Retreat this year and I was so happy to read your descriptions and see the pix. Thanks!

Mánya said...

What a fantastic time you've had! And what a great line up of wonderful teachers! Only meeting Miss Carole is already priceless...
Thank you for the pictures!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

How I wish there were retreats like that here! Sounds like you had a marvelous time.

Susan Elliott said...

How I wish I could have come too!!! Thanks for sharing what you learned. Those seam treatments and the piecing on your book cover are just awesome! Rest well so you can tell us the rest of the story...

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

The classes all look wonderful Cathy! I especially loved seeing Miss Carole's! From your class samples it looks like you will the Queen of Seams now - no wonder you came back so inspired!