about

About Us The history of the Gathering started twenty five years ago. A group of stitchers traveled up and down the East coast for classes with Darlene O’Steen, including me. One evening in Gastonia, North Carolina, we were all gathered in my hotel room chatting and enjoying each others company. When it came time for the group to go back to their hotels, we were sad. Out of the blue, I said”if I find a place where we can all stay together and have Darlene come and teach several classes, will you all come?” They said “Yes”! So we built it, and they came!! That’s how “Jeannine’s Sampler Seminar”started. After going to a number of hotels in Virginia Beach and then Williamsburg, I discovered the Williamsburg Hospitality House. The minute I walked into the hotel, I knew this was the place– and it has been for eighteen years. The one exception was the year we went to Virginia Beach, due to a late cancelled class. Most people had their plane tickets to come, so- I called Darlene and Sharon Cohen, and both came to my rescue. We were the first guests in a new hotel on the ocean. The weather was so wonderful, that one of the ladies went swimming!! When Darlene O’Steen discovered she had breast cancer, she was unable to teach for several years. As she began to mend(thank goodness), we decided to offer classes for two years to benefit the American Cancer Society. All the proceeds of $172,000.00, from the benefits were donated to the American Cancer Society in her name. Because of the classes, several ladies had mamograms and discovered they had breast cancer. Today, they are fine, because it was discovered early. We are grateful to Darlene for making us aware and many of the ladies continue to check for the signs and have mamograms. The “Jeannine Sampler Seminar” and now the “A Gathering of Embroiderers” is a totally non-profit event. I do it because of my love of needlework and my concern for museums needing our help to purchase and conserve the needlework of our ancestors. This needlework is our treasured heritage. Often the only possessions that these ladies could claim were their lovely pieces of needlework and their sewing boxes. We have donated close to $119,200 to the following museums and historic sites: the textile collection of Colonial Williamsburg, the DeWitt Wallace Textile Gallery, Loudoun County Museum, Wilton House Museum ,Valentine-Richmond History Center, Museum of the Confederacy, the Tennessee Sampler Survey, Smithsonian, Mount Vernon, St. Joseph’s Academy, Winterthur, Peabody-Essex Institute, and Plymouth Plantation. In the Seminar’s fifteenth year, I announced my retirement. There were many moans and groans, and many, many offers to help if I would reconsider. After much thought, I knew I wasn’t ready to retire. I asked our son “Skip” if he would be my assistant, and he immediately agreed. “Jeannine’s Sampler Seminar”was renamed “A Gathering of Embroiderers.” This history of how I started would never have been possible without the help of Barbara Edmunds, and a very close friends in the early years–Nancy Lawson, then Carol Harrison, and now our son, Skip. The most important person of all is my husband Jack. He has been by my side from the beginning, doing all the computer work, which included the flyers, merging the mailing list for addressing the envelopes, stuffing, licking stamps, mailing, and answering the phone, e-mails and lastly providing the roster for the attendees.In other words, he is a Jack of all trades!!! Now we are in the 21st Century and have a web site, so no more licking stamps! Jack is still doing the registering, answering phones, e-mails and all the many other details of the Gathering. Over the years I have had wonderful teachers, many who are still invited back every year. It is because of them that this endeavor has been so successful. Now I have retired from doing classes,lectures, and tours. Now I will be offering two Stitching Retreats a year to help us finish our projects or start new ones. Four days of just stitching and chatting with friends new and old. I am a very lucky lady to have the help and support of my family.