I had the best time stitching my heart out with a group of new friends this past weekend at the Louisville Chapter American Needlepoint Guild‘s annual retreat at Clifty Falls State Park. And what a great setting for a getaway get-together! They had a very large meeting room in Clifty Inn available for 4 days over the Martin Luther King weekend. Come and go as you wish. Work on whatever you wish. Eat what and when you wish. Only requirement? Just wear your mask when your’e in the group stitching area. No problem!

The stitching retreat is a great opportunity to focus on your stitching project(s) and hang out with others who love to stitch. Twenty one ladies from Louisville, Simpsonville & Shelbyville, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Madison, Indiana, and the state of Virginia gathered together to talk about stitching and threads, family, friends, pets, current events, clothes, food and upcoming needlework events. After missing last year’s retreat due to Covid, everyone was so appreciative of the chance to be stitching together again.

If there’s one thing I learned at the retreat, it’s that you can’t pigeonhole a needlepointer! If you think everyone is still just stitching background colors around pre-stitched flowers for matching dining room chair seats, you are in for a surprise! (On that note, however, if you happen to own such a set of needlepoint dining chairs, you might have quite a valuable set of chairs!) The ladies stitching around me were working on an unbelievable assortment of projects – gifts for others, event commemoratives, travel memories, holiday ornaments/pillows/framed items, seminar/class projects, personal use items like tote bags, stitching challenges, and stitching projects simply for the joy of stitching. Take a look a the beautiful variety of needle art work that surrounded me this weekend.

Membership in the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) and the local chapter near you will keep you up to date on special stitching classes and events like this Louisville Chapter retreat. The magazine that comes with membership, Needle Pointers, is full of tips, trends and projects. Many of the retreat attendees are also members of the Louisiville Chapter of the Embroidery Guild of American (EGA).

Louisville Chapter American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) will return to Clifty Inn next year for their annual stitching retreat. I’m sure Hilary and I will plan on attending, but I’m hoping some of our Madison stitchers will mark their calendars for Martin Luther King weekend (January 13-16, 2023) and plan to join us at Clifty Falls State Park!

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.