A few years back, as I was picking up a needle again after a long time away from stitching, I read in a stitchery magazine about a stitching "festival" to be held in the not-too-distant (about 90 miles) town of Riverside, CA. Since I have family there, I thought this would be a great opportunity to visit them and go check out at least the vendor fair for this festival.
What a blast! I spent way too much money but had a fabulous time. I bought the little birdhouse sewing kit from Lorri Birmingham, a handful of Margaret Sherry and Valerie Pfieffer charts from the Brit Stitch booth, and a whole bunch of charts for miniature stockings and rugs from Debra at her Wee Darlings booth. I did the most damage to my bank account at the Stoney Creek monster booth. (Trust me, all the pictures of their designs simply do not do the actual finished pieces justice!) I was able to buy full sets of back issues for a couple of afghans as well as a handful of chart books. I even won a doorprize from HeavenLee Designs, the most yummy piece of sparkly, apricot colored linen you've ever seen. I still haven't figured out what to put on it but enjoy visiting it in the museum.
I had such a good time that I was determined to take my mom the following year. That year they moved the location to a hotel near the Burbank airport, which worked out great for me since mom lives about a half-hour from there. The two of us, again, spent way too much money but had a blast and looked forward to the next event, possibly even staying and taking some classes.
Unfortunately, the next year's event was scheduled in Las Vegas, too far for us at that time of year (some stitchers do have to work to support our addiction) and after that the CATS Stitching Festival moved to the east coast for a couple of years, then this year CATS disbanded completely.
The good news came in the email the other day. The folks at Stoney Creek, major sponsors of the Stitching Festivals, are starting STITCHING JUBILEE. They've got a Yahoo group started for information and a website slated to begin next month. I've added some links that might give more information (see Other Bloggers of Note). The first Stitching Jubilee is scheduled in Pennsylvania and I know I can't manage that one, but I'm very happy for the stitchers that will be able to attend. Just being able to meet these folks in person and see their design models (and buy the charts once inspired) was a real treat.