Friday, December 30, 2016

Dates for 2017 Retreats

As a reminder, here are the dates for the next 2 retreats. 
There is a waiting list for spring. 
There are some spaces open for fall.

Spring 2017: Tuesday March 21th (8 AM) thru Sunday March 26th (midnight) Tuesday & Wednesday are BONUS DAYS for those who can come early. The retreat “officially” begins Thursday evening.
Fall 2017:  Tuesday October 31st (8 AM) thru Sunday November 5th (midnight)
Tuesday & Wednesday are BONUS DAYS for those who can come early. The retreat “officially” begins Thursday evening.

Wishing you all a wonderful new year,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sewing By The Sea - Fall 2017

 NeedleArts Adventures presents
Sewing by the Sea
Fall 2017 

at the Grand Hotel,  2100 Baltimore Ave., Ocean City, Maryland, USA 21842

A retreat for textile and mixed media arts enthusiasts who enjoy

clothing design and wearable arts
cloth doll making
paper arts (journaling, book arts, etc.)
knitting & crocheting

Tuesday October 31st (8 AM) thru Sunday November 5th (midnight)
Tuesday & Wednesday are BONUS DAYS for those who can come early. The retreat “officially” begins Thursday evening.

WHAT: Treat yourself to several days away from the distractions of home. We have reserved a spacious room in which to work and enjoy the company of other textile/paper artists. Make connections with old and new friends. Share ideas, advice and inspiration.      
Bring your equipment and supplies, and all those projects you have been meaning to work on! Relax and have fun. The schedule is designed to give you maximum flexibility so you can work non-stop, or take a break and enjoy a walk on the beach, shop, swim in the pool, or whatever YOU like.

Overview of Activities:
All activities are in the Grand Ballroom

Tuesday & Wednesday:
     8:00 AM – 2 AM   Bonus Days for those who can come early
     6:00 AM – 8:00 PM Bonus Studio time for “Early Birds”
     8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Opening Program
    10:00 PM – 2 AM Studio Time 
Friday & Saturday:
     6:00 AM – 2 AM Studio time
     6:00 AM – 10:00 AM Studio time 
     10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Share your accomplishments
     11:00 AM - Midnight Studio time

WHO:  This retreat is designed for sewing, textile, mixed media, and paper arts enthusiasts. People interested in quilting, beading, crafts, clothing design and construction, and hand- or machine-sewing activities are welcome. Scrap booking, paper arts, mixed media, knitting, crocheting and similar activities are welcome.

Registration is $85 per person. It includes:
A full 6-foot banquet table of workspace for studio time (you don’t have to share a table)
A simple project for an opening activity on the first evening
Free workshop opportunities
On the last morning sharing of accomplishments (show and tell)
Registration does not include lodging, meals or travel expenses.
Register soon to avoid disappointment. Registration is on a first paid, first served basis

A minimum deposit of $10 is required. Registration is refundable, except for a $10 processing fee, until September 1. After that time we cannot make refunds. You may send someone in your place.

LODGING - FOOD - TRAVEL: You are responsible for your lodging, meals, travel and things not specifically covered by the registration fee.
The Grand Hotel is a beachfront resort hotel on the boardwalk. Our group’s sleeping rooms are oceanfront, ocean view or side view (depending upon availability) with balconies. Each room has 2 queen beds, a microwave, a bar sink, some counter space and a small refrigerator.
Our special group rates are:
Friday and Saturday - $83 (plus taxes) per night.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Sunday - $62 (plus taxes) per night.

This is single or double so sharing a room with a friend means even greater savings.  (There is a $20 surcharge for more than 2 adults in a room.) Participants must stay at the Grand Hotel; we cannot provide studio space for those who stay elsewhere. Many people will arrive early and depart the morning after the last day.

Please make your hotel reservations directly with the Grand Hotel as soon as possible and no later than September 27th to receive the group rate. You are responsible for making your own reservations. Identify yourself as part of the NeedleArts Adventures Group. The hotel’s reservation number is 1-800-447-6779 / 410-289-6191.

You can find travel directions and information about the hotel, its policies, and facilities at their web site: There is a 24-hour coffee shop in the hotel and there are many restaurants and grocery stores near by.
            Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Ocean City is an easy two-and-a-half-hour drive from Baltimore or Philadelphia. There is plenty of free parking at the hotel. You can fly to Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD, or Salisbury, MD, and rent a car. (Salisbury is 30 minutes away.) We will help with carpools and roommate referrals.

To register send your name, address, phone nr., e-mail, whether you are registering for fall or spring, & check to: NeedleArts Adventures, PO Box 331, Crownsville, MD 21032-0331. One person per registration check, please. Make checks to NeedleArts Adventures.

Check our blog: for current retreat information.
Questions: Contact Sandy Sapienza. Phone - 410-923-6133. E-mail -

  NeedleArts Adventures, PO Box 331, Crownsville, MD 21032-0331

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall 2016 Last Minute Notes

SBTS Last Minute Notes – Fall 2016

It is getting close to time for our sewing and arts retreat Tuesday November 1 through Sunday November 6.  The studio will be open by 8 AM on Tuesday, November 1, for early birds. The retreat Opening Program will be at 8 PM on Thursday. Here is some last minute information that may be useful to you. 

MEETING ROOM: We will be using the Ballroom on the 4th floor. The entrance is near the elevators.

HOTEL:  You should have made your hotel reservations.  
Remember, there is a 72-hour cancellation policy. This means if your plans change you MUST cancel your reservations at least 72 hours before your scheduled arrival or you will be charged for the first night’s lodging. It is hotel policy to charge for the total nights originally reserved by guests when they check out earlier than scheduled. If your departure date is changed by 24 hours prior to arrival there is no early checkout charge. There is an additional charge for more than 2 in a room. We hope there are no family emergencies and no one gets the flu, but these things DO happen so please be aware of the hotel policies.

CLOTHES: Casual clothing is appropriate. The weather can be changeable so plan accordingly. Bring a bathing suit if you wish; there is an indoor pool.

BASIC EQUIPMENT: Bring the sewing, beading and art supplies and equipment you need. You will have one 6-foot banquet table for your workspace.   You may wish to bring a chair cushion for added height and comfort.  A long heavy-duty extension cord, power strip and a work light may also be useful.  It is a very large room so we will need lots of long power strips. If you have one it will come in handy. We will have two irons and ironing boards set up for all to share.  A “wheelie” (a carry-on bag with wheels) or collapsible rolling box is handy for transporting your supplies and equipment. 
We can leave supplies in the ballroom overnight. (Note: Some people use small chains or computer security cables [wire covered with plastic] with a lock to secure their sewing machine to the table when they leave the studio area. You may want to do this.)  The hotel will lock the door when the last person leaves the room. We have never had a problem, but you don’t know what may happen.
Also, we recommend you put your name on your tools.  Many tools look alike. If your name is on your tools they are more likely to find their way home if mislaid.

OPENING EVENING PROJECT:  Our project will be led by the Brandywine Valley Quilters. Come to the Ballroom for the Opening at 8:00 PM on Thursday. We will provide  most of the supplies. No sewing is required. You only need to bring 3 things.
         Pressing cloth
         Cotton print fabric you like: Several large scraps, +/- 8”x10”
                  Choose medium size prints. You want prints that make sense visually in pieces of about 4.5”x6” or 3 3/4”x5 1/4”. They can be realistic or abstract. This project can be done with either portrait or landscape orientation of the print.  Novelty prints work well and can be fun to use. You could even use pieced fabric from left over quilt blocks. And, of course, you can shop the Give-Away tables for fabric J

[If you have an idea for an opening project please bring a sample and show Sandy. We are always looking for ideas for future retreats.]

SHOW-&-TELL:  We will have show-and-tell of our weekend’s accomplishments on Sunday morning 10:00 to 11:00. We must keep Show & Tell to 1 hour. Please do not take photos during Show & Tell. We’ll have a lot of really interesting work to see and a very limited amount of time in which to do it. So, if you want a photo of something please arrange to take it before hand.
INFORMAL SHARING:  Carrying on our tradition of sharing, we are planning several informal workshops during the retreat.  You should have already received the workshop descriptions and schedule. If you have not pre-registered for the workshops and you want to take a class you may sign up at the Opening – if there is space available.  Please be on time for classes. Kit fees are paid to the session leader in cash at the workshop.
         The Painted Pendants class would welcome some extra supplies. Whether or not you are taking this class, if you have some old nail polishes (regular or glitter) you do not need please bring them for the group to share. Give them to Edie Evans.
         Details about the workshops are on our NeedleArts blog
         Remember you will need to bring whatever is on the supply list  ----- or make a run to Wal-Mart or Michael’s  :-)  ! 

First Aid supplies: We will have a few first aid items (like band aids) in a box on the registration table. You may use them if needed. We do NOT offer first aid to anyone. You are responsible for taking care of yourself. Hopefully nothing will be needed J

Things Needed: Lois Uditsky is still collecting soaps and personal hygiene items   --- like the shampoo, lotion and soaps you get in a hotel room.  Bring whatever you may have to share and save what you do not use at the hotel during the retreat. 
         Sandy Sapienza is collecting used gift cards and hotel keys for an art project at the community college. Do you have some you don’t need? When you check out from the hotel, if you don’t want your room key she would appreciate having it.
“GOOD STUFF” EXCHANGE:  We all have a lot of fun sharing “good stuff” we no longer need. If you have some fabric, books, sewing, art or craft supplies, patterns, etc. that need a new home please bring them to share. We will have “Give Away” tables in the Ballroom. These must be things you’re willing to GIVE away --- no sales. You may shop for these treasures after the Opening on Thursday evening.
         Note: Please be sure your give away items do not have pet hair in them. Some people are allergic to cat/dog hair. We want to keep everyone healthy! 
         To make shopping easier, Lois Uditsky and her team will arrange & organize  the Give-Away Tables  on Thursday afternoon. When you bring your stuff, put it on the tables. If the tables fill up, put your donations under the table. If you want to help arrange the tables let Lois know by Thursday morning.  NO SHOPPING until after the Opening on Thursday. Please keep the tables neat as you shop.

         Button Buffet: Judi Ward will again organize this buffet. Have some fun with your unneeded buttons! If you wish to dispose of those "thousands" of buttons you have but are not using please bring them. We will have some shallow bins in which to dump them and cups and/or plastic bags to fill with the buttons you find.  
         The Button Buffet will open on Opening Night, just like the give away tables, so you can pick and choose some new buttons …… and have fun doing so.  
    Just pack up those old buttons and be ready to pick out new ones to take their place or simply be rid of the no-longer-needed buttons for good!

SNACKS:  The hotel policy is that any food in public spaces, for general consumption, must be provided by the hotel catering services. This is because of the health laws.  This means we cannot have a snack table from which we share. You may have your own snacks at your own table and share as you wish.

SOUND CONTROL REMINDER: If you want to bring a tablet or CD player or a TV, it should be small enough to fit in your work area and MUST have earphones so it does not disturb others.  

SAFETY:  Here are some safety items to keep in mind. (We usually announce these at the Opening Program on Thursday but so many people come early we want to share them now.)
         ALL power cords must be taped to the floor. There will be duck tape in the room, probably on the registration table, for you to use. Please return the tape as soon as you are done with it.
         When you leave the room UNPLUG YOUR IRON if you are using one.
         Last person out should check that the two irons at the shared ironing stations are unplugged.
         The last person to leave the ballroom can call the front desk (there is a house phone in the hall near the entry to the Ballroom) to have some one lock the door.
         If you arrive in the morning and the Ballroom door is locked just call the front desk and ask to have someone open it.

SPA:  Shiela, the Manager of the Aqua Day Spa wants us to know that the spa is giving a 10% discount to our group on services over $25. Tell them you are with the NeedleArts group when you make your appointment. They offer a variety of services including manicures, pedicures, hair styling, massage and facials. Many of us have been very pleased with the Spa services.  The staff is highly skilled and they always take good care of us. You may wish to make your appointment before you arrive. Call 410-289-4066.  (The massage and facial appointments fill quickly.)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE: When you arrive check into your hotel room and get settled. A lot of us are coming a day early and departing on Monday morning. Our studio space is on the 4th floor in the Ballroom.  The room will be set up by 8 AM Tuesday for Early Birds. Someone from NeedleArts Adventures will be in the area Tuesday. Stop by the Ballroom and pick up your nametag and find your workspace and get set up.

Some of you have asked to sit with certain other people.  We have asked the hotel to arrange the tables to accommodate your wishes to the best of their ability. Because of physical constraints in setting up the room we are limited in the placement and sizes of clusters of tables.  

 Near the entrance we will post a map of the room with the table clusters marked and a list of the people who will be sitting in each cluster. We will put all the table markers and name tags for that cluster in a folder on one table in the cluster. The people in that cluster decide who sits next to whom. *****Please DO NOT move table markers to/from another cluster without consulting Sandy Sapienza or Judy Lapato. *****  Do not move tables to other clusters. We have done our best to assure that people who want to be together are close to one another. We can make last minute adjustments when we arrive but we need to be coordinated about it.  Remember, while it is nice to sit with old friends it can also be good to meet new ones. We have a large group so we need everyone’s help to get the final seating arranged as smoothly as possible.

    You can set up and start working when the room is ready. We strongly recommend that you do not leave your sewing machine unattended. While the hotel is safe and secure, anything can happen. (Remember: Some people use security cables to secure the machine to the table when they leave the studio area. You may want to do this.)  

DIRECTORY UPDATES: Are in the e-mail we sent you.

This is going to be a wonderful, relaxing and productive retreat. We are looking forward to seeing one another!  There are a number of new people joining us. In the mean time, if you need more information, please e-mail me at NeedleArts Adventures, PO Box 331, Crownsville, MD 21032

Remember: You can always find the all the SBTS information on our blog

See you soon,


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall 2016 Workshops

SBTS Fall 2016

To register please e-mail or contact Sandy by October 10th

1. TITLE:   Journaling Round Table

DESCRIPTION: Do you keep a journal, art journal, sketchbook, or something of the kind? Would you like to get together with others at SBTS who keep journals of some sort?
Would you like to try journaling? It is easy, and fun. Anyone can do it. There are no hard and fast rules; you do what works for you.
This is not a how-to workshop but a round table discussion. We will share what we are doing and any tips, tricks or ideas we may have. If there is time we can work in our journals together. If there are new people who want to get started we will help.
Come prepared to share 1 thing with the group. It might be a journal page or spread you especially like, a tool, a technique, a supply or an idea.  Anything goes!


KIT: None

BRING: Your journals and journaling supplies. If you have ephemera, collage fodder and stuff you no longer need, please bring it to share with the group.
 If you are new and do not know what to bring let us know and we will suggest some basics.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Edie Evans and Sandy Sapienza will be moderators. Everyone shares in the leadership.

DAY/TIME: Wednesday 7-8:30 PM

2. TITLE:  Reverse Applique with Knits

The reverse appliqué technique by hand on T-shirt knit fabric is fun and easy.  Natalie Chanin has popularized it and has 4 books on the topic and also designs for her company Alabama Chanin that makes and sells her couture knit clothing line. To learn the basic technique we’ll do a leaf design. You can decorate a t-shirt or knit dress or even a scrap of knit material. We’ll make one leaf in class and then you can add more leaves to your garment later if you wish.

CLASS SIZE:  Min 3, Max 10

KIT:  A leaf design will be provided on card stock.
COST: None.  

BRING:  Bring a T shirt and contrasting (for the leaf) knit material or 2 large scraps (around 12"x12") of T shirt weight knit material for practice. It is a good idea to use old T-shirts to learn the technique.  Chalk, small (4") fabric scissors, paper scissors or x-acto knife and cutting mat to cut stencil, hand sewing needle size #9 sharps/embroidery/milliners, buttonhole & craft thread (Coats & Clark or other brand), straight pins, rubber finger cap for gripping needle if desired.

DAY/TIME:  Friday 4:00 to 5:00 PM   


Quilt designers Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are hosting a year-long online free sampler quilt project, Splendid Sampler.  They have gathered 85 designers from around the world, and offer, for free, two new blocks each week.  We will soon have all 100+ blocks plus many bonus blocks!  A book containing all of the blocks and some projects will be published next year.

It's exciting to be part of this endeavor, and fun to hear of groups of Splendorettes getting together at quilt shows, in quilt shops, and on retreats.  There are over 22,000 members following the Facebook page and it is fun to see pictures of blocks that others have made.  You can see more information at

Calling all Splendorettes, or wanna-be's, at Sewing By The Sea!!  Bring your blocks to show - if you've made all, or only one or two.  We won't have any instruction or lesson, just a gathering to enjoy each other's blocks. 


KIT:  No Kit and no cost

BRING: Bring your Splendid Sampler blocks


DAY/TIME:  Friday 8 PM to 9:30 PM 

4. TITLE:   Little Wire Chairs or Pin Cushions...

These little chairs are fun and will be a great continuing project to finish during SBTS. Cindi Mahlstadt showed Sandy and I how to make big wire chairs a number of years ago and I "shrunk" them down and have taught the little chairs to groups for many years. They are easier to make than you would expect. And they offer lots of opportunities for creativity.

The chair shown is in front of 3 unfinished chairs.

CLASS SIZE: Class size limit 15   

KIT:  Kit cost $4.00     Your kit will contain Wire, seat cardboard, seat padding, and directions.

BRING: 1/4 yd. of cotton fabric...Scissors...needle and thread...Needle nosed pliers with a wire cutter on them...Flowers, feathers, beads, sparkly threads, beaded fringe etc. Tacky Glue. Masking tape or floral tape...I will have floral tape, hot glue and glue guns and fun stuff to decorate your chair with too.


DAY/TIME: Friday 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

5. TITLE:   Alcohol Ink Coasters and FUN with the ink!!!!

         Alcohol ink is just a ball to play with!   You will make 4 coasters and have an extra tile to play with. There are so many techniques to try! You can take the ink off over and over, spray it, drip alcohol on it, blow it. You can stamp on it, draw on it, smear it, make stripes,
         You can put it on shiny photo paper to make cards. Let the overflow go onto printing paper to make fun stationary. etc. etc. etc. etc.! Let's PLAY!

CLASS SIZE: Class size 15

KIT:  Kit cost $5.00  
Kits will contain...Tiles and bottom padding for the coasters. A stripe maker. Alcohol to share in tiny bottles. Photo paper...printer paper...plastic sheets for artful smearing...straws. If you have your own ink alcohol and bring extra supplies you can play a LOT more.

I will have the following items to share: hand sanitizer, perfume, markers for the tile edges, a few stamps and ink pads.

BRING: A bottle of alcohol and your own alcohol ink if you really want to play. Michael’s has the ink in 3 bottle packs. (Be sure to use a coupon since the ink is $10.99.)  Tacky glue.  Remember, if you want to play a lot bring some extra supplies like more tiles, photo paper, inks.


DAY/TIME: Saturday 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

6. TITLE: Paint a Pretty Pendant   

         These sweet little pendants can be star-dusted galaxies, monograms or highlight a special interest.  I am doing paw prints to donate to my local animal rescue! They are a good project for Scouts and grandkids, too.
          I will demo the project and pass out kits then assist with the painting. Because of the limited number of paint pens and polish bottles, we can paint 5-10 or so at a time. There is significant drying time involved with this project so after class time I’ll be available at my table to help with designing and finishing steps. These are kind of addicting – you may end up wanting more than one kit!


KIT:  $5. Includes bezel, cabochon and chain. I will have various solid and glitter nail polishes, paint pens and glue, hand sanitizer and nail polish remover.

BRING: If you want to keep your nails free of possible damage from polish or remover, bring a pair of snug fitting gloves (think medical gloves, not dishwashing gloves.) If you have old nail polishes, either solid or glittered, that you want to share, please bring them! The more options we have the better. Cheap or expensive – it doesn’t matter. If you have your own paint pens (extra fine or fine- I like Sharpie Water Based paint pens or Molotow paint pens) or alcohol markers (Bic or Sharpie) there will be less time waiting on shared supplies. Be sure to label your own supplies if you want to get them back after sharing!


DAY/TIME: Friday 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

NOTE: Whether or not you are taking this class, if you have some old nail polishes (regular or glitter) you do not need please bring them for the group to share.

7. TITLE: Origami Book

These mini books are addicting! They are easy to make; they are based on simple folding.  Once you learn the basic techniques you can make them any size.  You can use all sorts of papers – from fancy artful papers to odds and ends like menus and placemats!
 Note: The smallest book is about 1” square.

CLASS SIZE: 15 max

KIT:  $3 The kit will have supplies to make 2 books in class plus extra to make some on your own

BRING: A scissor for paper and a twelve-inch ruler


DAY/TIME: Saturday 10 AM 0 11:30 AM

8. TITLE: Mono Print Your Own Fabric
         Would you like to print you own fabric?  It would be perfect to use for the Opening Project. We can’t tell what the opening project is – but that really doesn’t matter. This is a fun technique no matter the project for which you use your fabric.
         We will print abstract designs using a variety of texture tools on a gelli printing mat. This is an easy and spontaneous process that gives a unique result every time.     

Kit: $5.00   The kit will include most of what you need.  (You may bring additional supplies if you want to make more.)                 

         Card stock 8.5” x 11 - 4 pieces
         Deli paper  - 4 pieces 
         Use of gelli plate & brayer
         Use of some acrylic paint     
         Use of texture tools

         Use of baby wipes, hand sanitizer & paper towels

         At least 4 pieces of smooth cotton fabric. Solid color or white – no prints. Size about 8”x10”. Iron freezer paper onto the wrong side before class.
         3 small bottles of acrylic craft paint or fabric paint in colors you want to use. Put your name on the bottles. We will share the paint in class.

Note: The Opening Project is not something you would wash so craft paint is fine. If you plan to use your fabric pieces for something washable and want to keep a soft hand you will need to use fabric paint or add GAC900 to the paint. Acrylic paint will not wash out but may make fabric stiff.  (

Class size: Min 4, max 10

Day/Time:  Thursday 3 PM to 4:30 PM

Work shop Leader: Sandy Sapienza

9. TITLE: Sequin Tutorial

DESCRIPTION: At our last retreat several people expressed an interest in the sequin work I was doing. Sequins can be used to embellish clothing and to create artwork. In this tutorial we will cover four basic techniques for applying sequins to fabric. You will have a chance to try all the techniques and start the pin that is pictured. We will also discuss storage and organization of supplies.

CLASS SIZE:  4 min 10 max

KIT:  $3.00.  It includes almost everything you need

BRING: Scissors to cut threads & a beading mat or something on which to put your sequins and beads while you work. (I will have a few to share.) We will be using Silamide beading thread.   If you prefer a different thread bring what you like to use.


DAY/TIME: Wednesday 1 PM to 2 PM