Needle Arts Mystery Retreat was founded in 2005 by teachers who wanted to provide counted canvas needlework with a quality venue. The idea of making the Retreat project a mystery was a risky idea, but it has proven to be the charm that keeps attendees coming back year after year. An opening reception on Wednesday evening, where the year's project is revealed and kits are handed out, is followed by two-and-a-half days of classes, trunk shos, a shop visit, and a lot of stitching and food.
In 2008 requests for making previous years' projects available were so overwhelming the very popular Encore Class was started. Each year a previous year's project is taught during the early part of the week — Monday morning through Wednesday noon.
Each year the Retreat is held in a different city. Students often build their vacation around the Retreat, coming early and staying late to enjoy the specialness each city offers.