This past weekend was Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, New Hampshire. I attended for the first time this year. It was a fun time. This was the first time that I have attended one of the smaller needlework events - my only previous events have been the big ones such as Spirit and CATS.
I drove up on Thursday with Chelly. We had decided to take our time going and also to stop at Thistle Needleworks on the way up. I managed to keep to my diet at lunch, with a McDonalds grilled chicken Caesar salad, but it pretty much went out the window after that :-) Not much shopping was done at Thistle, as we realized that after so many years we both have seen almost everything out there. Unless I'm trying to get together the supplies for a new project, I usually only check out the new stuff. I'm also not a mad stasher and don't acquire entire lines of fibers, picking up only what I need for the near future. I still managed to pick up a couple of charts by designers that were new to me.
We arrived at the hotel around dinner time, so after we checked in, we headed down to the restaurant. There, we bumped into fellow MetroStitcher, Carol, and her friend, Alda. After sharing a pleasant meal, we headed back up to the room to catch up on some sleep to be ready for the weekend.
Friday morning, we both got up and worked out. I did two miles on the treadmill and some lower leg work on the machines. After a shower and a fortifying breakfast, it was off to the merchant room. I did some minor damage picking up a number of doggie related charts and the specialty threads needed for them. I also got a chart of a bunny in a rose garden by a New Hampshire designer, Donna Bayliss. Her designs are marketed under By the Bay needleworks and were a big hit at the festival. She doesn't have a web presence and I was unable to find them anywhere on the internet. This is someone to keep an eye out for.
Since neither of us had any classes during the day, Chelly and I decided to head out to do some sightseeing. After some creative driving (we got lost) we ended up in Lowell, Massachussetts. There were a number of textile related museums in the town which we wanted to see. The town has a restored trolley that runs between some of the major tourist attractions. This was fantastic. The trolley actually runs on electric wires and tracks. The trolley had wicker seats, real straps and train advertising from the turn of the 19th century. Chelly checking out the trolley.
After playing on the trolley for a while, we checked out the American Textile History Museum. They were preparing for a special exhibit on batiks that opens this month, but we were able to see the main collection. It was amazing to see the work that goes into creating cotton and linen fabrics, especially before the advent of big machinery. This museum is worth a visit if you are in the area.
We also stopped in at the New England Quilt Museum which was having an exhibit on quilts utilizing batik fabrics. These were primarily modern quilts and were beautiful pieces of art. On the way home, we stopped at the Nashua Mall to check out the LL Bean factory outlet where I actually bought a pair of size 14 hiking shorts! Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant where we both totally pigged out. This was a mistake as my stomach revolted and I spent the rest of the weekend with bad heartburn and acid reflux. I have had GI problems for years, but it has been a lot better since I started losing weight. I was seriously punished for falling off of the wagon of healthy eating.
Friday night was a Round Robin event at Celebration. We received four small projects from four different designers. All the projects were lovely and the designers put a lot of thought into the presentation.
Saturday was the only class I took - Mary Queen of Scots sampler with Betsy Stinner. Betsy designs wonderful samplers in silks and her classes are loaded with the history associated with the subject of the sampler. I also like that she uses a small preface piece to teach the stitches rather than a doodle cloth. Even us slow stitchers get to leave the class with a half completed project.
Saturday night, Celebration had a Dessert and Silent Auction which raised money for breast cancer. The sweets were great and prizes were given out to every stitcher who attended. The MetroStitchers did their part in the auction, spending approximately $1500 on the donated goodies.
I'm definitely considering attending again next year. It was a pleasant weekend and a fun festival. My diet suffered a bit. I didn't lose anything last week, but I didn't gain, either. So I would consider that a success.