Quilt (OOPS Cross stitch) Retreat

** Before I start today’s post:  I am trying to contact the person who called the Stitchery Nook the day of (or close to) that we started the retreat.  You were wondering if I planned to do another retreat, I would like to chat with you.  Please contact me at rogjok@iowatelecom.net.  They didn’t write your name down and I want to send you a note.

Now to today’s post.

Check out this fun bunch.  These are the ladies who attended the retreat we held over the weekend.

First off, let me tell you, I have a fantastic time.  I’ll admit, when I initially found out that our group was only going to be small, I was a little sad.  By the end of the retreat, I was thrilled!!  I felt like I had a chance to know everyone and made the beginnings of many new friendships.

Here I am heading out the door hoping I have all the needed things with me.

At the last minute, I threw in my extra lamp thinking Kelli or Kayla might want it.  This is a great little lamp and perfect for home or retreats.  It’s not heavy and doesn’t throw heat.  I originally bought it because the girls come to my house and stitch with me from time to time.  They needed a lamp.  I didn’t want to spend the big bucks to get another like mine so bought THIS ONE.  It’s lightweight and perfect for traveling.


…and we’re off.  Kelli and I rode together.  It’s only an hour’s drive for us.


This post will likely be a little disjointed.  Please bear with me.

Kelli brought Pandemic with her to work on.  This is a chart from Long Dog Samplers.  It’s giant.  Kelli started this in 2020 and got this far and then she put it away.  One of the reasons she put it away was that she had gotten off a couple of stitches and thought she would fudge it.  Well, that lead to worse things and she finally just packed it away in frustration.

Now at the retreat, she pulled it out still frustrated.

Then she had an idea and went with it…  She went downstairs to the cross stitch shop (dangerous, I know) and bought new 36-count linen, and restarted it trying one strand of floss for the first time.

She LOVED it and isn’t looking back.


Kelli brought this to work on too.  This is His Eye is On the Sparrow.  She ended up ditching this as well and will be starting it over as well.  She’s a 36-count girl now.  She loves stitching with only one strand of floss.  YAHOO!!  I have a partner.


She ended up gifting this to our friend Nell.  She came to the retreat.  She’s a friend of mine.  She’s a real retreat gal.  I met her years ago at a Bonnie Hunter quilting retreat.  We’ve stayed in touch, much due to Nell.  She’s simply the best at keeping up on friendships.  We decided that we thought this is our 4th retreat together.

Nell was busily working on Feast of Friendship by Blackbird Designs.  I have wanted to do this for a long time.


Nell was laser focused and worked and worked on this piece.  She finished it.


Oh, the colors are so deep and rich.  So amazing.  Nell ended up gifting me the chart…SWEET!!

I ended up immediately going down to the cross stitch shop and buying the treads.  I am moving this one onto my list to stitch in the not-so-distant future.

My daughter Kayla came to the retreat too. She was busy working on several different projects and even brought some knitting with her.  Her main focus piece was a snarky Star Wars chart she plans on gifting to a friend.


Kayla decided to start Pandemic, the same piece Kelli restarted.  The piece is HUGE!!  She has a little start.


Jackie from Waxing Moon Designs came and talked to us for a bit.  She is the person who designed our “Blessing” stitch along piece….and our class piece.


It was very interesting to hear how she got into designing.  Something else fun, she lives right in town.  She laughed and said she often rides bike to deliver charts to the Stitchery Nook.  HA!!

Here are Janet and Becky.  I knew Janet…well I think it would be better to say that I had met Janet.  I really got to know her better while at the retreat.  She was stitching on All Creatures Great and Small for much of the retreat.  I was stitching on the same piece on Friday and Saturday.  Janet lives in the same county as I do only about 35 minutes away.

Becky was from Minnesota.  It was so fun to get to know her.

Becky was a concentrated stitcher only stitching on one thing.


This is Tracy.  She came with Nell.  I believe she started and finished this in one day of stitching.  So cute!!

We learned all sorts of things from each other.  Truly we did.  Everything we learned wasn’t cross-stitch-related but some were.

Kayla taught over half of the people there how to use Goodnotes on their iPads.  Many of them were handily using Goodnotes after a quick tutorial.

Debbie was so sweet and shared her love of Aftershokz headphones.  They don’t go in your ears…they are bone conduction headphones.  I’m super excited to try them and ended up ordering a pair.  You can find them HERE.

I am not a big fan of headphones or earbuds that go in my ear.  I worry when I walk that I’ll not hear a vehicle.  I’m hoping I love these.

Kalissa actually gifted me a pair of AirPods but my ears are weird.  The right one doesn’t fit in my ear the same as the left one does and sometimes if I’m doing something like gardening, it falls out.

I just love the exchange of information whether it’s swapping charts, sharing about a program like Goodnotes, or sharing about headphones.

It was fun…we had a mix of people at the retreat.
4 from Iowa
2 from Minnesota
2 from Nebraska
I think 3 from Wisconsin and one from northern Illinois.

We could easily have called ourselves the Midwest Cross Stitchers.

On Saturday afternoon we had a class to finish Christmas ornaments.


These are Darlynn’s.  I love them stitched on all sorts of different colors.


I believe these were Debbie’s.

Liz taught us all how to make cording.  I was a bad retreater and didn’t get my ornament finished.  I was so busy.  I planned to finish it on Thursday when I got to the retreat but then I forgot the project bag that they were in.  UGH.  I ended up making cording and listened to the tutorial from Liz.

Have you ever made cording before?  It was so fun.  Kelli was geeking out and claimed she could make cording all day long!! It took two people to make cording so after Kelli and I got ours made, we helped Kathryn get hers made too.


I’m happy to report that Liz made it seem really easy, and it was.


We had fun doing this so I decided you might like to see how easy it is as well.  I found a Youtube video showing you how.  Just click the arrow to watch and see how to do it.

THIS is the tool we used for making cording…and this is the cording we made.  I guarantee I’ll be making more in the future…I bought the tool so there’s no reason not to make more!

Liz also had the supplies and goodies to finish the ornaments in this style.  So fun.

This just uses pins and ribbons.  I love that it’s decorative and covers up the space between the two pieces of the ornament.

While we were there we also made some thread beds and some floss holders.  I’ll share more about them in an upcoming blog post.

Sadly my daughters and I had to duck out early.  We had a family get-together that we needed to go to.  Our retreat was short.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures so don’t have individual pictures of other retreaters.  I was so busy stitching and having fun…also, I never know if people see that as an invasion of their privacy.

I had never been to a cross retreat before and I can say I learned a lot.  I like small retreats.  It was so fun to get to know everyone.  At larger retreats, I always felt like I missed out on chances to make more relationships.  I didn’t at the retreat.  I felt like I got a chance to visit with everyone.  We all talked in a large group.  It was great.  Everyone seemed to feel that way as we ended up booking the retreat center for 2023!!  YAHOO!!  At this point, our plan is to keep it small with our original group.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider another retreat with a different group but for now, this is good.  I love having the chance to make some real relationships and not only collect acquaintances.  I hope that makes sense!!

Next time to save some costs, we think we’ll just have an open stitch retreat.  I left feeling a little apprehensive but came how feeling fully charged!!

Anyway, the verdict on the retreat…I loved it!

I’ll tell you more about what I accomplished, what I worked on and what I committed to in the next cross stitch update.

16 thoughts on “Quilt (OOPS Cross stitch) Retreat

  1. June

    Looks like a great time. I used to cross stitch – a long time ago. Yes it’s always nice when friendships can be formed of like minded people. I’m glad you’ve been able to get out with your girls and enjoy the moment together.

    Reply
  2. Marie L.

    The retreat sounds like it was a success. It is great to hear how much fun everyone had. I regret that other commitments kept me from coming, and I hope that you will have others in the future.

    Reply
  3. Ana Marie Sweet

    I love retreats of all kinds. For over 10 years went to one in Northern Ohio. Now I am going to one at a huge YMCA camp outside of Lafayette, IN (Camp Tecumseh). They have held quilt retreats for over 30 years. I also go to the Amigo Centre in Sturgis MI. Both gather lovely ladies for all kinds of fun. Our Hoosier Stitchers (cross stitch) get together a lot to stitch in a group.

    Reply
    1. Vivian

      Ana Marie are you a Hoosier? I would love to meet and work with someone to socialize with, sew, laugh,etc. I’m in north Morgan county just sw of Indianapolis on I-69 (old 37).

      Reply
  4. Judy

    Looks like a great time! How special for you to be able to attend with your daughters.
    I love the Christmas ornaments. Could you please share the name of the pattern?

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      The pattern will be released soon. Jackie of Waxing Moon Designs released it as an exclusive for the Stitchery Nook. We got it early.

      Reply
  5. Kate

    Oh what fun! I believe small groups can be quite good. Like you said, one gets to know each other just a bit more/better, almost like family. I keep saying I want to go on a retreat for quilting, but as yet, I haven’t, but maybe after I’m dog less! haha. So glad you had fun and that Kelli and Kayla could join you.

    Reply
  6. Beth

    Looks like a fun time! I have to tell you that you have inspired me to get back into the cross stitch game as well! I loved the Cottage Garden Samplings year of cross stitch patterns…I have bought both sets! I can’t wait to start them, but decided to work on the small cardinal pair I’ve had for years. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  7. Tina in NJ

    I have those headphones! My son uses them for running and I got them for me. Gotta warn you, though, it isn’t easy to hear the outside world when they’re on. They aren’t noise canceling, but they are the loudest thing around when they’re on. Now I’m going to go find the Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue from two years ago. There are a couple of ornaments that I want to make.

    Btw, I can’t access the cording video on my iPad mini.

    Reply
  8. Ann Wissbaum

    I would be interested in a cross stitch retreat. I have recently got back into cross stitching. If you open up any spots let me know. My sister did a quilt retreat with you a few years ago and I know she would be interested in a cross stitch retreat with had well.

    Reply
  9. Sue

    The Christmas ornaments are so cute. That’s about as big as I would want to make, lol. I saw the title and thought you were at a Quilt Retreat. I remember when you did those in the past.

    Reply
  10. Jen

    I thought I had missed something when you said Quilt retreat. This was your cross stitch retreat? The projects are wonderful. What a great experience to make new friends!

    Reply
  11. Sharon

    One of my sons has that kind of headphones, he is dyslexic and so listens to books all the time. He says they are much better than earbuds. I can’t wear earbuds because they make my ears itch insanely after about a minute. Can’t wear hearing aids for that reason too.
    Let us know how you like them.

    Reply

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