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VMS Retreat 2001


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A stitchers retreat in Louden TN
July 2001

Hard to believe that it's come and gone.....but the VMS retreat in Louden TN was a fun time with old and new friends and lots and lots of stitching. We got to see the E&E&F girls Kam & Barb and Maureen Appleton of The Heart's Content.

SUNDAY JULY 15, 2001
I left home early afternoon and drove 3 1/2 hours (250 miles) to Barb Lang's house. It's hard to miss...she lives in America, IL. Her directions were perfect and when I saw this adorable house with all the Americana out front and the flowers in bloom everywhere, I knew I was in the right place.

While she looked at Tracy and Ann's Chartmaker RR's I brought for her to stitch, I watched her hummingbirds at the feeders on the windows. She has more than her share of them and they are just a blast to watch. After she and Allan made us a great dinner we played in her stash and she showed me some of her stitching. (We need to encourage her to finish her SB Gameboard, she's almost there and its adorable.)

MONDAY JULY 16, 2001
We were headed to Nashville by 8am. Made a brief stop at the Ramada Inn to pick up Annemiek and we were off towards Knoxville. We stopped in Cookville for lunch and found their Hobby Lobby where we did some craft and fabric shopping. We arrived in Louden about 5pm, greeted by Jane and Laura. We unpacked and just sat and visited around the diningroom table. Carolyn joined us for dinner at Calhouns at the Marina where we didn't get to visit much since we were seated in front of a very loud band, but dinner on the deck overlooking the water that evening was beautiful and after dinner we shared our leftover biscuits with the ducks and crappie.

Midmorning we left for Village Mountian Stitchery to shop and see everyone. There was Carolyn all smiles as we walked thru the door, Betty was there with her headset on and was constantly busy, Sandy was cutting and surging fabric in the back room, Paige was our tour director, giving us superb directions of the roads we wanted to take. Annemiek had to get to a computer and see how she did in the Eterna Silks contest....she placed second. Congratulations Annemiek!

I had so much fun finding the stitched models that Annemiek had made for the shop and seeing the lovely finishing that Betty had done on them. Seeing the Olde Willow Threads was such a treat that I bought 20 different skeins and used up one of the Midsummer Nights Dream on my Guardian Angel Sampler (DT) that I stitched during the retreat. In the fabric/floss room are an amazing amount of buttons, beads and charms to pick thru. Carolyn also helped me with a little birthday surprise I was working on and I thank her for her superb help and patience.

After lunch we headed into Knoxville to find Double Cross. This isn't an easy shop to find, but its well worth the trouble. They not only have some great samplers on the walls, but they have a wall of silks and some fun fabrics and a whole room of used charts for sale. We moved along to the Country Sampler store and hit the JoAnns ETC next door for more fabric.

Heading back to the townhouse we picked up some pizza so we could get in as much stitching as possible. The members of our house were assigned names and agreed to make our person a stitched gift. Some of us weren't finished with our gifts just yet, so our evenings were spent trying to do some discrete stitching and with the aid of Laura's cording tool we had fun on more than one occasion making cording for our gifts.

Late morning we headed to VMS to do more shopping and then headed to Chattanooga for EWEnique stitches. They were closed but when the girls looked in the window, they noticed someone inside who let us in to shop to our hearts content. This is a cute shop with so many fun things to look at. Early evening back at the house we awaited Deborah's arrival, knowing she had left the shop and was headed our way. It wasn't long before she pulled in and we were there to greet her. Deborah got settled then came to visit and check out our Trilogy RRs. Betty came by to visit while we ate leftover pizza. Laura and Annemiek picked up Joanna who came in on a late flight and returned at midnight. While we were all tired, we couldnt go to bed until we got a chance to see the stitched treasures Joanna had brought with her.

First thing in the morning we were off to Double Cross once again... this time with Deborah, Amiee and Joanna. They had just gotten in the new Barrick, Chartmakers, Elizabeth Designs, and Goode Huswife charts.

After lunch at Daryl's we were headed back to VMS for the ice cream social. Just Lisa from the BBs was there working in the shop and it was great to finally meet one of my Lizzie Kate RR members. It was good to see Cari and Kathy from the Denver retreat and I got to meet Chris from our Trilogy RR. Mary of M Designs was there signing her charts and visiting with everyone. She had a basket of her lovely needlerolls with her and she was just a photogenic delight.

After dinner we gathered around the table and drew numbers to see who would go first in our exchange. Jane had made a Needleroll for Joanna. It had a tiny little map of TN on it with all the names of the people in our townhouse and the dates of the retreat. Joanna made a needlecase for Adana. It was the Berry Basket chart from E&E&F on the front and an alphabet on the back with our initials in a different color than the rest of the alphabet and a tiny little needle inside. Adana made the Bent Creek Bugs, changing it into a bumble bee fob for Laura. Laura made a delicate NR for Barb personalized with her name. Barb made a tiny Prairie Schooler fob complete with cording for Annemiek, and Annemiek made one of her own designs into a needleroll for Jane.

Our stitching in the mountains class day had arrived, so we were up early and out the door to the delightful setting where our class was held. Kam and Barb of Ewe & Eye and Friends and Maureen of The Hearts Content were there when we arrived. They had designed the round robin piece just for this class and told us they had still been working on it in May. It's called *Star Spangled Celebration 2001-Round Robin Project Bag*. The delicate border was designed by Maureen, Barb did the cabbage rose in the center and Merry Cox had done the finishing work on the piece. The kit was designed to be stitched over one on glenshee fabric and our kits included everything you would need to make the project bag. All three told stories of their recent trip to Paris where they attended the The Celebrations Faire that attracts 60,000 people. Kam and Maureen had fun shopping for expensive shoes while Barb was more interested in taking photographs of the sights.

Maureen who uses DMC floss with her designs shared some of her over one tips with us (start with the darkest color of floss-back off 50% on your tension-do half crosses and then come back and re-cross).

Kam and Barb taught us how to tie a bow that will not easily pull apart. (have someone hold their two index fingers out towards you-drape the ribbon over their fingers letting the ends drop on the sides-now pull the ribbon ends towards each other and cross them-then pull each end of the ribbon up over the top of the strand at the top and tie). We were also told the E&E&F canvases will be featured on a program on HGTV called Sew Much More this fall. Barb and Kam do some beautiful canvases and name them after people. Its fun to try to guess who those people might be, but I suspected Patty was for Patty Nix (the girls confirmed my suspicion). I also think Maureen is for Maureen Appleton of Hearts Content (it's a heart design) and I think Ruth is for Ruth Sparrow as it's the sparrow design.

It was good to speak to Kam and Barb again after having met them at their studio last fall in Littleton. I noticed we've all changed our hair color since that encounter.

I had brought my Point Loma Lighthouse piece and a fob and Maureen was so gracious to sign the covers of the charts for me. We had a chance to visit a bit after the class and she's just a delightful person.

After some lunch we headed back to the house to stitch. The afternoon found Jane and I home alone stitching our hearts out while everyone else attended the E&E&F linen stumpwork class and while we didn't take the class, we were dying to see it when they returned home. Dinner with another retreater at a nearby log cabin and then more stitching.

Morning brought strong pancake smells from the kitchen where it was reported that the first batch resembled DMC 310. Subsequent pancakes were reported as looking more like DMC 422. Regardless the color, they were all delicious.

Back to the VMS where we did more shopping and I took care of a birthday surprise while a few went off flea market shopping. Deborah and I left to change our clothes and head to the boat dock to meet Betty & Richard. We climbed aboard the Stocks and Blondes for a cruise on Tellico Lake. The houses surrounding the lake are just beautiful and it was green everywhere you looked. Herons flew from tree to tree on the shore, the sun danced on the water and the mountains rose out of the mist in the distance as the light breeze kept us cool while the three of us women sat in the back of the boat and stitched. Before our 5 hour adventure ended we stopped at a marina where we had dinner. It was the perfect end to a wonderful retreat.

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2001
After packing up and saying our goodbyes Barb and I were out the door at 7am headed home.


Autumn Alphabet-Needle's Content
Flowers of Friendship Scissor Fob-Needle's Content
Rosebuds of Friendship Scissors Pouch-Needle's Content
Spring Blooms-Elizabeth Designs
Friendship is a Sheltering Tree-Elizabeth Designs
Peaceful Places-CEC
Simple Blessings-Trilogy
A Room for Ewe-E&E&F
Thine Own Heart-E&E&F
Accept this From a Friend-E&E&F
Glad Hearts-Calico Station
Thistle Needle Roll-M Designs
Deco Sampler-M Designs
The Announcement-Examplars From The Heart
This England-Indigo Rose
Shaker Village-Cedar Hill
Flossie-Heart's Content, Inc
Judy's Boo Boo Stick
French Bunny Scissors
Olde Colonial Clock (for DT design)
Faithwurks-limited edition 2001 kit mini shaker basket,
pincushon & scissor fob

Stitchers World Magazine-September 2001
15 Various old magazines

Charm pkg for the Simple Blessings piece
Charms for Just Nan's Charm Garden-Ladybead-Frogbead
Plastic BUTTONS: Small flag-small pumpkin-small pink flower
Buttons for Perfect Pumpkin (HIH)
3 square purple poindexter
3 square brown poindexter
Ceramic buttons: sheep-girl with pigtails-heart with wings
Small bell charm
From the Heart Sewing Pocket kit
Ring of Stitches Bag-Earth Threads

2 skeins of NN
Assorted Thread Gatherer silks too numerous to mention
20 skeins of Olde Willow Floss
10 skeins WDW's for a project and some of the new ones

2 pink linen pieces for NR's
dark dirty cashel
Over the hill purple linen (R&R)
Raspberry linen (R&R)
35 ct Autumn Leaves linen
Large piece of Brenda Cloth
2 Large pieces of white linen

Class piece by E&E&F- Star Spangled Celebration 2001-Round Robin Project Bag

Gardens of Friendship NR kit-Needle's Content gift from VMS
Bookmark with heart & Needle's Content freebie
Bookmark with stitcher & Needle's Content freebie

"I'm trying to be your girlfriend Jerry! I'm trying to win you back! I'm standing on the platform at Limbo Central with my heart and soul packed in my suitcase waiting for the Jerry Frikkin Express to roll in and tell me that my ticket is still valid and that I may reboard the train. Only the station announcer keeps coming on and telling me that my train has been delayed as the driver has suffered a major panic attack in Indecision City, "We suggest you take the bus"! That's what I have been trying to do, you cripple!"
--From the movie: Sliding Doors