Cocooning with friends!

Sometimes I take bookings almost two years ahead and I think I have my schedule sorted, but then an invitation arrives that is just too good to refuse…

That happened in February last year which made the last couple of weeks busier than even I normally prefer…

I’ve been home two days, the unpacking is done, the laundry is progressing, I’ve made a quilt top, it’s time to catch up yet again?

I left you last time telling you that I would tell you about my Naperville adventure. Yes, there are adventures to be had in Naperville!

I was invited to join Pam Holland, Kaye England and Sue Bouchard as an instructor at the latest Craftours Cocoon. Five days at the Marriott in Naperville for classes, food and fun!

The classes were intimate. I was teaching hand embroidery. We all sat around one table.

This is the group on Day One.
For some reason best known to myself days two and three missed out on having their picture taken, but here’s Day Four!It really was a lovely, with plenty of time to sew and put the whole world to rights in the all day classes.

We worked on my printed paisley design, using the beautiful hand dyed threads from House of Embroidery.

The joy was in the journey, no rush to get anything finished.

We started with chain stitch,added embellishments,tried some other stitches,and added sparkles as desired!

Lunch and a lecture was served each day.

Sue took the first day with a stunning display of her Modern Quilts.Kaye reminded us to be kind to each other on Tuesday along with a trunk show of quilts both old and new.I was too busy listening to stories of Pam’s travels to get a picture on Wednesday and I was last to go on Thursday.

There were different entertainments offered in the evenings. We enjoyed a preview of Jim West’s Emmy nominated TV program Destination Craft on Monday. Several cast members were with us at the Cocoon. They shared some of their favorite memories from their travels.

On Tuesday evening I took the other teachers into town for some authentic Chicago pizza at Lou Malnati’s, followed by a little shopping. We all found something we needed at J.Jill!The students enjoyed a trivia evening while we were out and about. There was a silent auction on Wednesday with the proceeds going to benefit the woman and children at the Lifespring Center in Aurora.

Graduation took place after a final dinner on Thursday. We shared thoughts and lessons learned before everyone received a certificate and a butterfly pin as they flew the Cocoon.

Time for a final picture with the other teachers and Mary Ellen who had kept us all in order. I think today’s featured image is more representative of our time together but we took a “sensible” one too…

I had my car packed and made a quick get away to sort myself out for the next adventure… No time to hang around, Oregon was calling 🙂



  1. lynn said:

    That looks like a grand adventure. I love the paisley embroidery pieces. I have a couple of questions. First how do you choose your embroidery needles, size and brand? Second, If I want to use some of my floss before i start new stashes, how many strands of floss would be used in place of #4 perle cotton? I have just finished some embellishment on appliques high heeled shoes, and I was unhappy with my needle. Thanks for your help Catherine.

    April 20, 2018
  2. catherineredford said:

    Hi Lynn, It was a very good time! I like a good quality #24 chenille needle (Milward, John James, Clover… Tulip are the very best choice if they are in your budget!) with the #8 perle cotton that I use most of the time. It has a large eye and a sharp point. For thicker threads I’d use a larger needle. I usually recommend 2 or 3 strands of floss to replace the perle cotton. Happy stitching!

    April 22, 2018

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