Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Retreating with Needlework Women

A Small Portion of the Sampler we were stitching

Oh my goodness this past weekend was
a wonderful experience for all who attended
The Needlework Seminar
hosted by
here in Virginia Beach, VA.
They featured the Sampler Designs 
from Beth Twist,
She is a talented designer who came all the way from 
her homestead in Oregon 
to lead us during the weekend!
You can follow her sweet blog HERE

It started Friday afternoon with an Open House
at Dyeing to Stitch,
our premiere needlework store
(don't be jealous ... it's just five minutes from my house!)
I had the sincere pleasure of greeting the attendees,
giving them their name tags and first kit giveaway of the weekend.
These ladies came from all over the country to attend.
Shopping, browsing, laughing, getting to know each other,
inspiration, delicious food and so much more
was going on all afternoon.
Many bags were filled with stitching goodies
on Friday afternoon!
I must say we are so fortunate to have such a
beautiful stitch shop in our area,
Ann Robbins and Pat Ryan are the owners,
and they do everything possible to keep us
fully stocked with the latest and greatest
needlework supplies.
I don't ever want to take that for granted!

The shop was full of excitement and anticipation

Beth is the designer of
"His Eye is on the Sparrow",
the original of hers was on proud display in the shop
for all of us to oooooh and awwww over!
Stitched on 28 count dyed linen, one thread over two,
it was so inspiring and so beautiful!

Beth's original sampler she shipped for the Retreat

(It has been on my "want to stitch" list for awhile now)
My sister completed hers this year and had it framed.
Several ladies who were attending the retreat,
brought their finished works to share with Beth.
They had worked on a "stitch along" together
for 20 months to finish the sampler before Beth got here for the retreat
Here is their photo with Beth . . .

Amazing completed works!

Later in the evening,
over 60 women gathered at the Hyatt Hotel,
around tables with their needlework projects.
WOW these women are amazingly talented!
Everyone was sharing their current projects,
show and tells, laughter and a sincere love of the needle together.
I loved seeing everyone's supplies, lights, magnifiers,
stitching bags, linens and thread color choices.
I stayed till 9:30pm and was wiped out,
Day One was a success!
I was so excited about the next day,
I could hardly sleep!

On Saturday, my sister and I started with a quiet breakfast
at Baker's Crust (a local favorite) before heading to the retreat.
Gotta get that coffee in the system!!!!
 I took the morning session,
it was held at the beautiful Greenbrier Country Club.
As we settled into our seats at the tables,
we pulled out our supplies, lights,
magnifiers, needles, scissors, eyeglasses and everything we needed.
We were so ready to get our "stitching on"
We got to see the original sampler we would be working on,
take pictures and just socialize with each other.

Kit surprise from Friday check-in

My stitching mates for the day!
Norma, Stasi and my sis Angel

How delightful all of the women were who attended!
We were happy to be together sharing what we loved.
 I enjoyed every minute of the day!
On our name tags was a place for us to put our "Instagram" names,
(This was such a great idea)
and everyone was finally able to put a face with a name.
Some of us had been following each other for a long time, 
admiring each other's stitching projects
and now we were all under one roof,
it was fun connecting!!!

Our name tags designed by Donna Rae Barrow

Just one table of women, very special women for sure!

My Instagram Collage of friends!

Beth Twist is such a beautiful soul and I immediately connected with her.
She lives a life of joy, peace and love of family.
In her spare time, she creates beautiful needlework patterns,
for others to create and enjoy for their homes.
She is a soft, loving and oh so very talented needlewoman.
Some people you just know are good folk,
she is definitely one.

Grabbing a selfie with Beth on Friday at the Open House

She had a beautiful slide show of her life in Oregon
with her precious family.
Her kit was handed out to all attendees
we were all so excited with what was inside!
Her sampler design is beautiful,
the colored threads were vibrant,
and there was more goodies inside.
Presentation was everything
and she hit a home run!!!

"I could use a little more stitching in my life"

Thread Colors for our project

 The Sampler Kit we were given on Saturday
Here is Beth's Original to inspire us

Friday's Kit Surprise at Check-In
How adorable is this!
"Stitch or Die"

I was so thrilled to meet her and spend time
 getting to know her.
I have stitched other designs from Beth,
and I love her designs.
I recently completed her
Needlework Roll ... Pat Ryan and I did our own "stitch along"
and we finished just in time for the Retreat!

My completed Needle Roll

I was even able to spend time with Beth Friday evening,
She was stitching at our table on her own piece and I
noticed she was stitching so effortlessly!
I showed an interest in the way she was stitching
and she began to show 
 me how to stitch with the "sewing method".
 I am still practicing and getting used to it this week!
I am going at a slow and deliberate pace,
it is so worth it.

Learning the "sewing method" ... One stitch at a time

Needle women are beautiful, caring,
and so willing to share their ideas,
designs, supplies and smiles with each other.
I made new friends, re-connected with old friends,
and deepened current friendships.
How blessed I am to know Ann and Pat so well,
spend time with them and call them friends.
Their love of the needle shows in everything they do!
Thank you so much for such a beautiful weekend!
We were given amazing gift keepsakes
that I know we all will cherish!
I was overwhelmed by their generosity.

Pat and Ann ... How I love these true needlewomen! 
Blessed by their friendship and love for sure

I have returned to everyday life this week,
and in my quiet moments I continue to  stitch on my retreat sampler.
With each stitch I am reminded of such a special gathering
of women this past weekend,
it was kinda hard to say goodbye!
I hope I don't forget this wonderful experience
for a very long time.

I am fortunate to gather with my local stitching sisters,
whenever I can, on Thursday Evenings,
around the table, at Dyeing to Stitch.
Laughing, sharing, talking about everything and anything,
just being together,
because there will always be "fellowship of the needle"

Morning Session Students
photo credit by Beth Twist/Donna Rae Barrow

Donna Lee
aka Yogiknitgirl


  1. Donna -- This is such a beautiful recap of the weekend. You said everything so eloquently of what this retreat meant to us stitchers. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope we can do this again soon (like September)

  2. Donna, it was so nice to meet you at the retreat. Your summary of the weekend was spot on!

  3. This brings me to tears! I felt everything you said in my heart. I was so happy to meet you and felt an instant connection. Thank you for such a wonderful post! Sending you love and looking forward to meeting again!

  4. Donna! What a great post. I share your thoughts about such a great retreat! It was so nice to meet you! Hugs!


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