This month's question/theme is:

"Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!"

Besides price, the main obstacle to my attending any stitchery retreats or festivals is the complete lack of them in our part of the US. My attendance has been constrained by those factors.

If you count our quilting guild's annual retreat and biannual work days,I have been to one guild retreat (and am signed up for one this year). It was a weekend event at a local retreat center... There were forty sewing stations (we brought our own machines, tools and projects), one cutting station and two pressing stations. It was crowded and, while I did complete one piece, I can't say it was either productive or instructive. Lots of freebies (most of which I have little use for) and raffles and junk food! Cost is roughly $175 for room, board and sewing space.

The work days are much more structured, one day events held at the local community center. These work days can accommodate up to 25 individuals at any one time, but people come and go throughout the day so more than 25 usually attend. Again, one brings one's own machine, tools, projects (and lunch if you plan on staying that long --- or you can order in), and there are cutting and pressing centers provided by the guild. A lot more gets done at these work days, usually in the form of charity quilts, but one can work on anything one wants. These are free...

I have been to other crafting retreats (most recent of which was the Simon-Says-Stamp Create 2104 papercrafting weekend), including one cruise to Alaska. These "retreats" include a number of classes, taught by different "experts" in various fields. Pricey. Crowded. Noisy. And again, not many projects actually get completed.

That papercrafting weekend I mentioned earlier --- that is one reson I have accomplished little this month (that and an online challenge I am participating re techniques published by Tim Holtz in his compendium of Curiosities). Create 2014 was four days (two of travel and two of of exhausting "art") followed by ennui (and symptoms of a summer cold) upon return home. I did spend the rest of the month stitching on the Roll Your Own Mandala, "Reloaded" and finished that Wednesday, but there are seven more of these to go so that's not a lot of progress to report!

Since the last WIPocalypse, in addition to the "Reloaded" mandala mentioned above, I have completed the following:
  • Take a Stitch Tuesday: Long Tail Chain, plain, beaded and whipped connected-
  • The Weihenburg designs Mystery Band Sampler

A completion that is a milestone in a continuing WIP is Elizabeth Almond's "Save the Stitches" SAL, blocks 8 and 9

In progress are:
  • Take a Stitch Tuesday: Beaded Vandyke and Bullion Vandyke stitches - printed out but not stitched
  • Elizabeth Almond's "Save the Stitches" SAL, blocks 10 and 11, printed out but not stitched
  • The Funk & Weber Finishing Class on hemstitching, printed out lessons on open work and drawn thread but no progress since last month
  • June Crazy Quilt Journal Block - block assembled but no seam treatments yet
  • June Bead Journal Project atc ornament - design roughed out and beads selected
With another event (husband's attendance at the National Hemerocallis Society conference) occupying much of the latter part of this month and the early part of July, I don't hold out a lot of home for the next month's stitchery (or papercrafting, for that matter) either!