Sunday, November 11, 2012

Report from the Victorian Stitchery Retreat

I just returned from teaching 4 days of classes at the Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita, Kansas, hosted by my friend Valerie Bothell.
It was a mellow and harmonious week, where the students all worked hard but in the relaxed and gracious atmosphere of the Hotel at Old Town. I was so inspired by their creativity and warmth.

My fellow teachers, Judith Baker Montano and Candace Kling, gave me so many ideas about how to teach more effectively, and of course being able to see all their work on display in their classrooms was extraordinary.  Candace and I roomed together and talked every night until almost midnight...what a wise and cultured rock and roller she is.  She was so generous with her friendship....

Here are some pictures...just a few...of a magical week.

The Frame It With Flowers Class.  Each student created her own unique beauty...a couple of examples show what I mean.

Lonna's work reflected her growing up as a florist's daughter.  This is her son and new daughter-in-law.

Sandy Fox "wrote a love letter", as Kathleen Glynn calls this, to her cat Tabitha.

The Wee Farmscape Class was full of enthusiasm and hard workers.  I threw quite a bit of class content at them in 6 hours, and they stayed with me every step of the way.  Many thanks to Pamela Kellogg for allowing me to include her waste canvas seam treatments.

This class was especially fascinating to me, because though everyone followed the same pattern, again, each of their projects had a different feel to it.

Pam Peugh's cozy farmhouse beckons...

...while Vicki Clements' is energetic like a children's' book illustration.  Of course, Vicki being a pediatrician might have something to do with that!  Vicki spent all four days with me and I felt especially proud of all the work she did.

Friendships can grow deeply and quickly over the needle. Love you, Vicki!

This is one of the two heart blocks she cranked out in the Curved Hearts class.

She gave me some good insights for refining the pattern for the next time I offer the class, which I really appreciate.

 Vicki's mom was at the conference too, here with Vicki in the Punchneedle Flower Class.

There she is in the aqua shirt. The bond between them was a source of real joy to me.  I lost my own mom 36 years ago, so I love being around mothers and daughters.

How many of us can relate to Margie's glasses here?  ;-)

Lydia Talton was in the Hearts class too, and made this wonderful block...

 She didn't let that ornery clear mono-filament thread slow her down!

I was able to peek in on Judith and Candace's classes on the last day.

Students learned to make underwater seascapes using Judith's freeform embroidery techniques.

Candace's classes were next door to me, so I could hear that those ladies were mostly silent, really concentrating on their work.  Being able to teach such complicated techniques in ribbonry requires a very skilled teacher; I soaked up everything I could learn from watching her.

She was organized, positive, clear and precise, and tuned in to what each student needed and how she best learned.

I love this picture of Candace and Lujean, who is 79 years young...

Some of Candace's display boards give the barest glimpse of what she does.

Click on this one!  You'll want to see these ribbon flowers up close and personal.

None of this would have been possible without our lovely Val, who has put on this conference for 7 years, and her friend and invaluable assistant, Dixie Derksen.

Val has said this is the last year for the conference.  But....maybe we can talk her out of that........

 Thank you for everything, Val.....


Valerie Bothell said...

You welcome Allie! What a great ride this year has been and thank you for coming to teach in Wichita these last two years!

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I've never been able to attend a retreat, so I always enjoy seeing the photos and also putting faces with familiar names in the CQ world. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Kellogg said...

Oh Allie, it looks like you had an awesome time! And you're quite welcome. I love my waste canvas technique! It's so versatile!

Hugs, Pam

Susan Elliott said...

It all looks like fun to me!! Those farmscapes are adorable!!! Too bad this was the last one...I didn't even know it existed!!!