What’s Happening at NJNA 12/3/22


This month many of the members are busy with family as it will be so close to Christmas. This equates to a stress free meeting of stitching. From the survey Cathryn did, many members enjoy this type of meeting so whether you will be at the meeting on zoom or in person – bring your current project and relax for an evening of stitching and chatting. Let’s not forget that we will also be voting on the officer’s for next year! A reminder that the holiday get together is a luncheon on Jan 7 at the Grain House in Basking Ridge. Please send in your payment to Rosie ASAP by either Zelle or check. Hope to see many of the members there.

The time has come to renew your ANG national dues. 2023 is the first year of dues covering a calendar year. Check your email as they sent a notice on Dec 1st to let you know your membership is up in under 30 days. There is a box to hit that brings you to where you can take care of it online. NJNA dues are also on a calendar year basis and will stay the same amount. Please Zelle or mail your payment to Rosie.

ANG has been running a donation drive to raise extra funds to support new programs. Someone is willing to match up to $10,000 in donations – WELL – our generous member ship exceeded that amount by over $1,000. They have set a new goal of $30,000 since they already have $21,020. The fund raiser ends on Dec. 16th – they are hoping to get the remaining $8,980 by that time. If you would like to make a donation then go to ANG and help them out. https://www.needlepoint.org/donations/Default.asp?_zs=QhCog1&_zl=t7ki8

Do you save your Needlepointers magazines – you know – in case you need to refer back as they have great ideas in the Tale Of Two Stitchers article for a piece you have in your stash. Or you want to go back to the Trade Secrets column and re read David McCaskill’s article on tips when using Watercolours. Well, you don’t have to be a “Library” any longer. ANG now has their magazine from the 1980’s on up online in their Archives. Just go to Membership then Magazine and you can read the magazine and or print a page to take with you for reference. No need to feel like a hoarder any longer !

Since the 2023 NJNA project is going to be a counted piece you might want to check out Debbie Rowley’s web site. She has some beautiful counted designs there. You can also find her in the Shining Needle Society. I am so tempted with her Watermelon design! Look at both her counted canvas and her Glitz and Glamour sections. Store – DebBee’s Designs (debbeesdesigns.com)

Sale – Sale – Sale Everyone has been having sales. For the holidays or Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Small Business Sat – if you can think of a name for a day they seem to have a sale for it. Chaparral is having Alice Peterson for the month of December and everything is 30% off – Not a bad sale! https://ndlpt.com/collections/alice-peterson-trunk-show-2022?syclid=ce5q5o37k04e7na09f7g&utm_campaign=emailmarketing_126969282699&utm_medium=email&utm_source=shopify_email

I have also noticed that many of the stores are having multiple trunk shows each month. Talk about having choices. The Needlepointer for December has – Merry L, Cooper Oaks, Debbie’s Designs and Funda Scully. https://www.theneedlepointer.com/needlepoint/trunk-show?nav_id=403&goal=0_3621358244-cb698ac689-69343533&mc_cid=cb698ac689&mc_eid=2e6039e84f

Closer to our area Stitch By Stitch is having 5 trunk shows in December. Beau Verre needleminders, Paul Brent, Sara Fitz, Lizzie Clark and Kate Nelligan. Some of these designers I had never heard of before. There is so much to see I will give you a taste but I think we could all camp out in the store and still not see it all. Second choice is to look at the web site. If all that is not enough, they are also doing a promotion thru Dec 23rd – they will increase any gift certificate purchased by 10% for nothing. A great gift in my opinion. Ny Needlepoint | Stitch By Stitch Larchmont, NY | United States (stitchbystitchneedlepoint.com)

Remember Dale Lenci from Luv 2 Stitch? He closed his store and is now designing one of a kind needle art to be sold at auction. He is donating 10% of the price to charity and he has announced his first auction. It’s over on December 16th if you are interested !!! https://designsdj.com/product/designer-handbag-by-dale-lenci/

If your visiting friends and relatives in California you might want to check the class at Stitched Up Needle works. They are going to have on Dec 11th a 2 hour class on how to make Mini Bows with Laurie Reisinger. Not only great for your needlework but for packages, hair ties etc. They are still rather new so you need to call the store for more information – 669-258-5027

If you didn’t hear – Ewe and Eye and Friends – Gail and Maggie – are retiring or as they put it – they are ready to go to pasture ! Chris Lewis Distributing has picked up their designs so it’s still possible to buy their cute canvases. Thankfully Maggie aka Maggie Co is not quite ready to put her entire foot into the pasture yet. (You gotta love those older women in bathing suits ). Chris Lewis Distributing

Tis the season for gifts !! Not that I think anyone would have a problem picking out a needlepoint related gift – as gift certificates alone make it easy ! BUT – how about a few suggestions

In the order of the pictures – Stitch Stash hand bags in 3 sizes, canvas by Rachel Donley, a new book out by Janet Perry, wooden tool trays from Needle in a Haystack, snap trays also from Needle in a Haystack, canvas by Mopsey , monogram clutch kit from Two’s Company, canvas by Mopsey

Tips and Tricks: I had no idea how many kinds of scissors there were for embroidery. I just read that there is actually a pair of scissors made to cut your threads that are very close to your stretcher bars – no kidding! They are called Double Curved Embroidery Scissors. Read this article from Serendipity Needleworks about the many kinds of scissors and how to take care of them. https://www.serendipityneedleworks.com/scissors-for-needlepoint/

Who was that Famous Stitcher? That is Rachel Donley and you can tell what her favorite things are by the cute canvases she designs. So many things have pink and green in the designs and she must love gingerbread. Her canvases are always cheery and her “Santa Claus The North Pole” canvas is iconic.

Can you guess who this famous stitcher is?

Tomorrow is “National Cookie Day” Make the most of it !!!

What’s Happening at NJNA 11/19/22


This weeks meeting was an overload of information. We are a busy group !!! The most important item was LUNCH!! Please Let Cathryn know if you plan to come to our holiday lunch on Saturday Jan 7th at the Grain House Restaurant. You need to pay in advance and can either send a check to Rosie or Zelle the money. The menu has too many good choices, including desert – tough choice.

In today’s mail was a postcard from Woodlawn. This year is their 60th Annual Needlework Show. We are always a big supporter and they are already accepting submissions starting on Dec 15th. What are you going to send in?

ANG had their annual meeting and if you couldn’t attend via zoom, the entire meeting was recorded and will be on the web site for everyone to check out. Finally, ANG has posted pictures and descriptions of what is being offered at this year’s seminar in Atlanta. Check out the online booklet to see what you want to take: https://online.fliphtml5.com/bjsk/esme/#p=1

Sue C. is still collecting ornaments for the Festival of Trees exhibit. The theme this year is “A tree for all seasons and places” Ornaments of places and holidays all year long would be appreciated !

The December meeting will be exciting as we will be installing all the volunteers for the committees. There are still 2 openings. We are looking for someone to do a summary of the meetings and someone to do the Show and Share. Please consider helping out to make our guild even better. The rest of the meeting will be no stress stitching!! Apparently many enjoy this and we will be incorporating more of it during the coming year.

A reminder that the Edwardian Needle will be open this Wed only until the following week. Make sure you have everything you need for the week she is closed.

So I don’t know about you but when I came home and found the new Needlepoint Now magazine in the mail I ripped it open to read Elizabeth’s Musings. The rumors were true – the magazine has been sold and Elizabeth Bozievich is retiring. So many of us have enjoyed reading her magazine for the last 13 years. I am sure everyone wishes her lots of “unscheduled free time!”

Many of us know the new owner of the magazine – Andrea Santiamo, her daughter Marisa and their close friend Karen Sanicola. For as much as we all loved the magazine I think we are in for a wild new ride, I can’t wait to read the first issue. They have already started with an interesting year long project that is a wreath made up of many leaves all in different stitches and colors. They have partnered with close to 50 LNS and if you don’t have one near by they will help connect you to a virtual club. This is only the start, I am sure they have lots to tease us with in the future – I for one can’t wait. Needlepoint Now Stitch Club – Needlepoint Now

Needlefest – one of the reasons to love Needleworker’s Delight. Of course they have many retreats and Needlefest’s in several locations. They are trying something new with their Christmas in Williamsburg Needlefest – there is a “Virtual” option. For $25 you will be able to chat with the designers at the meet and greet, your automatically entered for the prizes they give away, you can take some of the featured classes and more.

Sale – Sale – Sale It’s that time of year – Tony’s Sale !! Tony Minieri has a sale in his online store once a year and it starts 11/25 thru 12/9. Use the word “Kringle” to get the 25% off. https://www.tonyminieri.com/

Needleworks in Austin TX is having a big sale starting 11/26 thru the end of the year with 30% off – no excuse to not have something to stitch when you have a snow day – it’s a harsh lesson. https://theneedleworks.com/shop/

If you are a lover of Kathy Rees (I myself am a die hard groupie) then you want to check out her web site. In honor of her 50th design in the Color Delights series she is giving 10% off all previous color delights patterns,kits and the Double Delights series for the rest of November – use the code CD 2022 for the discount. She has also warned us that she needs to raise the price on her kits due to the increase in thread cost. She will raise the price during December so you might want to stock up now !! Yes I did ! Needle Delights Originals – Needle Delights Originals

Needlepoint For Fun is having an early Black Friday sale. 25% off English Needlepoint Kits and 50% off the cutest in stock Mini-Mitts – such cute ornaments for grandchildren !!! Or anyone for that matter!https://needlepoint-for-fun.com/search?type=product%2Carticle%2Cpage&q=Mini+Mitts!

Are you a member of Cyberpointers???? You should be !! They have some upcoming projects that are fantastic like Debbie Rowley’s “Fantastic”. If you were drooling over Debbie Rowley’s “Mermaid’s Tail” that was offered at the EGA seminar Broadway Bound then you have the opportunity to now buy the kit and instructions along with other great offerings this coming year. https://www.cyberpointers.org/?p=8649

Don’t think we don’t know that you check out Needlepoint Destashing’s web site (some way more than others!). They are again doing a “Secret Stitcher” – a way to pay it forward and let’s stitchers secretly treat each other to a little surprise. You have an option to buy an ornament size canvas that is then gifted to the order after yours. They will get the surprise in their package along with a note explaining. https://www.needlepointdestashing.com/

Can’t get to a store for a trunk show????? Of course there is a solution – You Tube! Homestead Needle Arts in Michigan is having a Whimsy and Grace trunk show and they have all the canvases on their You Tube Channel. Easy to look at the canvases until you find something and they talk about them as they go along. No need to worry about making store hours !!! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTzZ3Amgg3Y30yMhnDPpAcQ

Wool and Willow Needlepoint in Ohio is having an exclusive London series of canvases from Blue Ridge Stitchery. For all those lovers of England and who miss Queen Elizabeth you might want to check this out. From the Corgi to the guard – they are all so pretty. You can buy the canvas or they are selling a kit with not only the threads but a stitch guide by Mary Legallet of Whimsical Stitches. https://www.woolandwillow.com/

In case you missed it – it was snowing last night – yes – already! And we aren’t even near Buffalo !!! To put you in the mood to stitch the season look at Chandail Needlework in TX. They are going to have Kelly Clark teach her beautiful canvas called “Christmas Tea”. The class will be done on Zoom so anyone can sign up. Hurry though as the class will start in early December. https://www.chandailneedlepoint.com/module/class/419227/christmas-tea-taught-by-kelly-clark-december-9-12-2022

Having read the new Needlepoint Now you know this is the year of the Gnome!!! Sew Much Fun is getting in on the action with some new Gnomes (say that 10 times fast) along with some other fun new canvases. Home (sewmuchfun.ca)

Alice Peterson is now doing Scissor Fobs ( an easy gift). Some of the new canvases from the Oct Market are also different from what we expect to see, lots of small ornaments and some great looking doorways. A little something for everyone. 2022 October Archives | Alice Peterson Company

Tips and Tricks: According to Needlepoint.com there are 3 top ways to add texture to your project. 3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a Canvas – Needlepoint.Com

Who was that famous stitcher? You will find her blue jean jacket canvas on my Turtle Bag – that is Audrey Wu. A relatively new designer originally from Taiwan that started out designing jewelry. Audrey Wu Needlepoint | Audrey Wu Designs – AudreyWu Designs

Can you guess who this famous stitcher is??

What’s Happening at NJNA 11/5/22


A new month – and a next to last meeting. We are at that time of year when all the holidays come at once and everyone is busy. We are going to have a “No Stress” meeting for November. We will all be stitching what every you like ! We will also be chatting about the up coming election – no not that crazy mess in every state – more important is the election of officers for the coming year at NJNA. If you have any interest in helping out please reach out to the nominating committee, Sylvia B. and Barbara L. You should have had an email from both of the. Remember – what’s told to the nominating committee, stays with the nominating committee !!!

After reading Barbara’s blog I want to get a road trip together. How much fun to meet Margaret Bendig in person. Remember, anyone can blog and share something interesting you have found out there in the needlepoint world.

It’s also the time of year that we start to get ready for Christmas. Sue C. will be collecting ornaments to borrow for the “Festival of Trees” again this year. They don’t need to be Christmas ornaments, any holiday is good and or travel items. Let’s fill that tree with all kinds of interesting things to look at so that lots of people will stop by to view our tree. Sue will be at the Edwardian this week on Wed around 1 pm and at Needleworkers Delight on the 10th from 11:30 until 3 pm. Please put them in a bag with your name on it.

The new Needlepointers Magazine is about to hit the mailboxes shortly. So much packed inside this issue, you may need 2 glasses of wine to get thru it ! All the winners from the 2022 Seminar Exhibit are shown, including the President’s Choice award won by our own Melita G. If you can’t wait then check it out online, you should have gotten an email yesterday.

The 50 For 50 program ANG is running has an incredible feature – between Nov 4 thru the 15th any donation will be matched by an anonymous donor up to $10,000.

Save some cash after your donation for the Distance Learning Programs – Toni Gerdes “Wright Kimono” and the 21 Red Hearts, etc. One is prettier than the next.

New things from the TX trade show are starting to show up in the stores. The real news from that show is all the new fibers that were introduced. Rainbow Gallery introduced 29 new Silk Lame’ Plus colors and Planet Earth’s Essential’s line has 68 new colors. The Needlepointer showed pictures of their new thread showroom – more choices when you can’t find a thread in your LNS !

From Threads to Classes – and there many. First – The Edwardian Needle has dates for Tony Minieri and Lewis Nunez. Tony will be teaching 2 embellishment classes. One on Thurs and Fri April 20 & 21 and the other on Sat and Sun April 22 & 23. All canvases must be to Pam by 12/1/22. Luis will be doing his Shibori Butterfly ribbon class on March 25th and his “Lady Gaga” fish on March 26th. These classes are starting to fill up so if you have interest in doing any of them make sure to check with the Edwardian Needle for availability.

BeStitched has a new Snowman Club. There are 8 Danji canvases that will come one per month with a Lisa Kessler stitch guide. There is an optional thread package and 4 Zoom sessions to ask questions and get help. The classes will be recorded and you will have access to them later on. https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/collections/clubs-series-1/products/snowman-club

Bestitched is also doing a January 2023 class of the Purple Palm canvas “Here Comes Trouble”. There will be 3 Zoom classes that will concentrate on water stitches and beads. There is something about him that just makes you smile ! https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/products/here-comes-trouble-january-class

BeStitched is working over time – they also have another class, this time with a Melissa Shirley canvas called “Christmas Tree Lady”. This one will be done over 3 Zoom classes starting in March 2023. https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/collections/online-classes/products/christmas-tree-lady-class

Nimble Needle in GA has a class that is being taught by Laura Taylor over 3 days on Zoom Aug 26 thru the 28th 2023. The canvas is by Love You More and it’s called “Bouquet by the Bay” Needlepoint Classes at The Nimble Needle (atlantanimbleneedle.com)

Stitch By Stitch is also having a class in January given by Jinny McAuliffe (Stitch Style Blog). There are 3 designs and each is an individual class so you can sign up for 1 – 2 or 3 ! EVENTS | Stitch by Stitch (stitchbystitchneedlepoint.com)

Eye Candy has some new ornaments along with a new free chart and her new chart is —- Bargello !! It’s 4 X 7 which is just right for those acrylic handbags. Ada says it’s very customizable so it can be used in various ways, what ever your situation. http://www.eyecandyneedleart.com/downloads/HalloweenBargello.pdf

Here are the new ornaments by Eye Candy – Eye catching but I would change the colors myself.

Janet Perry has a new book out “Right From The Beginning” it’s on her Etsy site napaneedlepoint. It’s a revised and expanded version of her previous book. For $12 you probably can’t go wrong particularly if your starting out in this hobby. https://www.etsy.com/listing/1330963671/right-from-the-beginning?fbclid=IwAR1ENJ8987ALrOkZxzWlJ6bWmh2Wpd2KJL84TWv8DfAwRE8jkT5NzEHYdPI

I came upon a new company called Atlantic Blue and it’s owner – Caroline – says that she is creating “new and sassy designs for the modern stitcher”. She has some great items and I really like her stash bags. Can you tell she is from Delray Beach FL? https://www.atlanticbluecanvas.com/pages/about-us

Stitch By Stitch has some of the cutest bags – all by Penny Linn. All are so new that you have to order but worth the weight. She also has them in miniature !Penny Linn Stitchable Bags | Stitch by Stitch (stitchbystitchneedlepoint.com)

Stitcher’s Garden in Naperville IL is having a trunk show of the glass needleminder’s – Beau Verre Art. So many new ones and all pretty !! Who can resist a new needleminder?? How do you choose ?? https://beauverre-art.com/

Tips and Tricks: Needlepoint .com has 3 tips for adding texture to your stitching. Always good to have a little refresher. 3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a Canvas – Needlepoint.Com

Who was that famous stitcher? She is the owner of “M’s Canvas House” in Lexington KY. She is also one of the “Squad” that published the new book “Master Stitches from The Squad Volume 1” She is Meredith Willet !!!

Can you guess who this famous stitcher is??

It’s Almost that time !

My trip to the Bay area, Part 2


So now that I have regaled you with my celebrity sighting, the opening of a new shop and a picture of cute, young guy hard at work, let me tell you about another needlepoint day in my visit to the Bay Area.

What could be better than a field trip? In addition to my membership in NJNA, I belong to a few other chapters, that I “attend” mostly online and through email. If I could stay up late enough, I could attend some via zoom, but I’m an early bird. Back to topic. The only other chapter I attend in person is the Golden Gate Canvas Workers, a chapter that is soon to be 40 years old and based out of San Mateo, CA. As you can imagine, I don’t get to too many meetings, but when I do, they never disappoint.

I was very lucky this visit to be there during a regular meeting time. However, this was no regular meeting. About a dozen chapter members took a field trip into downtown San Fransisco. What a treat. Side benefit, not being from the area, I did not have to be one of the drivers. So three cars of chattering stitchers went into the city. First stop, the retail shop of Needlepoint Inc.

As many of you stitchers know, Needlepoint Inc, produces a luscious stranded silk thread in a Crayola style of many, many colors. In addition, Needlepoint Inc. (hereafter known as NI) does finishing of every variety and maintains a retail shop. In previous days, the shop was located in Ghirardelli Square, but has since moved to a location in the financial district. As soon as we entered the shop, one saw wall to wall samples of finished projects in every way imaginable. It was such a sight that I had no idea where to look next. Of course, it was also hard to miss the entire wall of NI silk thread. There are some varieties of thread from Rainbow Gallery and Kreinik as well, but the highlight is their own silk. The store is filled with many, many canvases, so a stitcher cannot go away empty handed. The owner came out to greet and chat with us and was very generous by allowing us observe work that was going on. That meant that we got to watch the finishers at work. How fascinating. I was taken in by the sewing machine that was sewing by itself. What I didn’t realize was that, that machine was busy monogramming. While that was going on, we watched an ornament being finished before our very eyes! So interesting. Enjoy some of the pictures below.

After a really yummy lunch, we then ventured to the San Fransisco School of Needlework and Design. I had been to their old location, and was wowed then. Since my last visit, they moved (within walking distance of Needlepoint Inc.) and was I in for a treat. Their new location is divine. I immediately had the same reaction I had the first time – where do I look first? My eyes could not help traveling all over the place. There was so much eye candy. I heartily recommend that you look at their website (https://www.sfsnad.org) to get the professional photos of what my humble snapshots tried to capture.

The school takes up a floor and has many breakout classrooms in addition to the shop and exhibit areas. There are very large windows giving lots of light, but when not in use, the windows have black out shades to protect the fibers from the sunlight. The collection room is thermally controlled with dim lighting to preserve the very old pieces that are housed there. There is a curator on staff, who researches and studies the pieces that are to be exhibited. While there, we saw some of the works for the next exhibit and they were breathtaking. They know who the stitcher is, but are still scant on details about her life. Perhaps by the time the exhibit runs, there will more to report.

In addition to being a school, running a myriad of classes, the organization has a permanent collection of really old and beautiful embroidered pieces as well as traveling exhibitions. I was lucky enough to see two different exhibits as well as talk to the curator of the next exhibit. There are jars and drawers filled with every thread imaginable as well as so many samples hanging on the walls. The course offerings go from intro classes to multi leveled studies that give you a certificate in a particular area of needlework. There were some methods of which I had never heard, but there were also the basics of embroidery, goldwork and the like. I know that if I ever move permanently to the Bay area, I will live at SNAD, just taking classes. There is an extensive library (mostly donated by patrons) with so many books on a variety of subjects. The school is still taking donations for their library, except for needlepoint books. Their collection is quite extensive already! The shop is filled with new items such as books, embroidery hoops, stands and bundles of silk thread put together in packets by color range. There are also donated painted canvases that are sold at a fraction of suggested retail as well as used tools. All proceeds go back into the running of SNAD. I wish I could be more explicit in all of my explanations, but I was too busy wandering around and looking, that I have to admit, I missed some of what was being said. The school accepts donations of every variety of thread, so that the student just has to go to the cabinet and find what they are looking for.

Last visit, I was privileged to see many bands for the longest band sampler, that SNAD is amassing. The woman touring me was amazed when I told her that I knew several of the stitchers of the bands. When I inquired this visit where the sampler was, I was told that the bands were out with volunteers who are sewing them together so that the bands could truly be the longest sampler. Hopefully the next time I visit, I will see it. The making of the sampler bands is on-going and anyone can participate. Please just check the website and/or call the school to inquire how you might make and donate one.

There are usually two exhibits going on at the same time. These exhibits rotate. One is a visiting exhibit and it hangs in the Hanging Thread Gallery. The one I observed did not even seem real. The work was breathtaking. The artist was from India and is named Asif Shaikh. He exhibited on the resurgence of needlework artistry in India. I will show you a few snapshots, but this work is better viewed on the website. Truly, do not miss this. The exhibit closes at the end of November.

The second exhibit is the Corridor Exhibit. This exhibit can only be viewed by walking around the hallway that is square with the classrooms on either side. It is usually a challenge that the school puts out and one creates their interpretation of the theme. The current exhibit is called “Purple Reign”. It was originally promoted as a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. However, since then, it has taken on the tone of a memorial. The pieces are all original designs and I think most of them are really clever. Please enjoy the photos below.

Here are some pictures of classroom samples:

This is a sample of one of the pieces being curated for the next exhibit.

This is a teaching sample of a new piece designed by Lucy Barter, one of the founding members of the school.

Many, many thanks to SNAD for allowing me to take all these photographs. I really am sincere when I suggest that you go to SNAD’s website and look at all their eye candy. I also highly suggest that you arrange to take a field trip with some like minded folks. It was truly a wonderful. wonderful day.

My trip to the Bay Area, Part 1


As many of you readers know, I visit the Bay area often. I have to see those “little people”, aka grandchildren, grow and thrive. However, as busy as I am driving carpools, attending soccer games, finding Halloween costumes and the like, I always leave time for needlepoint adventures. Most of the time those adventures are attending stitch-ins at someone’s home or in a shop.

Unfortunately, two of the area’s local shops closed during the past several months. It has been so unfortunate for the local stitchers as their easy access to supplies and a place to hang and be inspired, was sorely limited, until now.

The week before I arrived, “Stitched Up Needleworks” opened its doors in Morgan Hill, CA. Kay Lawless, the owner, had been managing one of the two shops that closed and decided the time was right for her to take the plunge and open her own shop. Boy, am I glad she did.

“Stitched Up” is a bright, airy shop filled with samples, trunk shows, growing thread walls (arranged by color) and even a classroom!

So I made two visits to the shop while I was on the west coast. The first was a reconnaissance mission (and to give Stuart and me some breathing room – we have close quarters while we are there). As I walked through the front door of the new shop, I was enchanted by the brightness and the inspiring decor of trunk show canvases, threads arranged by color and a bench with many, many pillows on it. I learned that the purpose of the pillows on the bench was so that a customer can choose how they want their pillows finished. How clever!

As I was moseying around the shop, I heard two other customers come in. It was hard not to eavesdrop as I heard one customer say to the owner, “I’d like to introduce you to the teacher who is going to teach our chapter this weekend. This is Margaret Bendig.” My ears popped and I immediately wondered if this was “the” Margaret Bendig”, who designed the wonderful kimonos that we all stitched together as a chapter. So, I plunged right in and went over and used the words above, “are you the Margaret Bendig, teacher and designer? I then explained I was visiting from NJ to visit with grandchildren and that I was part of the chapter who stitched her kimonos. Of course, I immediately pulled up my finished project on my phone and showed it to her. It turned out Margaret was visiting grandchildren too in the Bay area, as well as teaching. Margaret is the one on the left. I didn’t know I needed my platform shoes that day!

The woman who was introducing Margaret was Pam Thompson of the South Bay Needlepointers ANG chapter. Margaret was there to teach “Star Dance”. The photograph below doesn’t begin to do it justice. I bet the chapter members lucky enough to be in the class had a really good time!

Here is my favorite piece of decor in the shop (besides all the antique cabinets!):

While I was at the shop, I found a product that I had never seen. How could that be?! It is a darling project/thread bag made by “It’s Sew Emma”. These are made out of needlepoint canvas with a diagonal printed plaid on it. One could use them by themselves, but even better, Shephard’s Bush has created cross stitch designs with which you can decorate your bag. I have already shown the bag to Pam at Edwardian Needle. She is considering having them in her shop, so if you have an interest in obtaining one, make sure to let Pam know, so she will order some.

On my second visit to the shop, I was there mostly to stitch, however, there was an interesting project going on in the classroom. There was a young man (at least to me) doing something in front of an enormous white box. When I inquired, he told me that he was photographing threads for the soon to be online shop for Stitched Up Needleworks. I asked permission to photograph him at work and promised to show his boss that he was working hard.

So I hope you enjoyed my celebrity sighting, the new projects and most of all the tour of the newest Bay area needlepoint shop. Stay tuned for part II of my trip to the Bay area.

What’s Happening at NJNA 10/22/22


We had a very interesting meeting this week. Cheryl Christian is both a NAN and EGA certified master judge and appraiser and she spoke on what a judge looks for when you enter a needlework competition such as the Woodlawn show. (I will never drag my thread across the back of the canvas again!) She spoke of little things we would actually know (but did it the “easy way”) and things we never would have thought of. It was a wonderful eye opening talk. She also left us with the thought that “Color gets the credit but Value does the work!”

Welcome to our newest member, Janice L. from MO. This is a great time to become a member, you get to enjoy the end of the year celebrations and your first in line for all the exciting things we will be doing in 2023 ! Don’t forget – any member can put out some information on the blog. If your not sure how – several of us can walk you thru it. Just another reason to join in the fun!!

Needlepoint Shop News:

House of Needlepoint is SOLD !! The lucky people in CT now have the new Stitch Stash in it’s place. This store has been in business for 30 years so it’s no wonder the owners were ready to retire. The new name of the store is “Stitch Stash Darien”. The employees of HON will stay on and now we get to see all the creative things that Stitch Stash of Delaware has to offer. The DE store is going no where – yes the owner is going to be back and forth so hopefully you catch her in either store.

Beyond Knits and Needles has OPENED in their new location in Verona NJ. Good Luck Anne Marie and Alaina !

Stitched Up has opened in CA. and what a cute looking store. A friend has already been there and is checking it out – sounds and looks like we all need a road trip !!

Stitched Up in CA – how cute does that store look?

Best for last – Edwardian Needle – Tony is coming back !! He was here for a whirlwind 4 days this month but he and Luis will be back in the spring and wait until you see what’s coming. Tony is going to do “Back To Basics Part II” along with a canvas embellishment class and a project that he hasn’t decided on yet. Luis is going to be doing the Shibori Ribbon Butterfly AND “Lady Gaga” !!!!! That is a fish with attitude! Dates are March and April – check with Pam for details.

Lady Gaga by Luis Nunez

So – Today was LNS DAY. Did you help out the LNS in your area today ?? Did you hear about the big give away by System 4 ???? Let’s hope that the same offer comes out next year. If you didn’t hear about it, the offer was, if you make a purchase thru that store you can be entered in the national drawing for a System 4 stand and accessory of your choice. How great is that ?!?!?

System 4 Needlework equipment

While we are buying not looking – or is it the other way around?? Colour Compliments is having their Annual Sale. If your a “threadaholic” I am sure you have been thru their web site. The colors are so stunningly vivid it’s hard to stay away. If you have been looking for a reason to get something now is the time. https://colourcomplements.com/product-category/sale

New – New – New – from the Reunion Show in TX

Eye Candy has something I have never seen before – a Mexican Nativity group. How colorful !!

Eye Candy – New for Fall 2022

I was checking out the Wool and the Floss web site and they had a bunch of new canvases from the show. Apparently bar carts are a new “thing!” They come in various holiday formats. Some of the others are just plain pretty:

Best of all on their web site is this needle minder:

Someone gave me a copy of an interview with our own Vicky Witterschein in the Fall edition of NANthology. Vicky is a newly certified NAN teacher. Who knew she has been working at the Edwardian Needle for 9 years already. She also use to be an elementary school teacher. Such a talented person who loves garden themes in her designs. She has a new class at the Edwardian, it’s filling up quickly so if your interested you need to sign up soon. It’s called Shining Sea and has some challenging and interesting techniques to it.

Shining Sea by Vicky Witterschein

Wrap you head around this – Absolutely Needlepoint in Miami FL has a customer that has just finished her 2nd Jean Smith RUG !!!! The only thing you can say is WOW ! So beautiful. Now that had to “Take Forever”

Thankfully it is going on her wall !

Tips and Tricks: A picture is worth a thousand words

Who was that famous stitcher? Erica Wilson “America’s first lady of Stitchery. She graduated from the Royal School of Needlework in London and went on to become a designer based in New York. She also designed wall coverings and greeting cards.

Can you guess who this famous stitcher is?

Happy Halloween !

Yikes – 63 more days until Christmas !!

What’s Happening at NJNA 10/8/22


This month’s meeting should inspire everyone to clean up their needlepoint acts! We will be hearing from Cheryl Christian, she is a certified NAN needlepoint judge and appraiser. She will be telling us what judges look for when they evaluate a piece.

The new Needle Pointers Magazine is out and Melita G is in it again ! Starting on page 36 you will find the beautiful bargello’s designed by Gail Stafford with Melita’s stitch guide, diagrams and models. The magazine this month has so much more though. The Tale of Two Stitchers is such a contrast – amazing how 2 people can see things so differently. Don’t miss David McCaskill’s article “Tips When Using Watercolours” . There is a lot more to read after that. Get a cup of tea or coffee and relax over a great magazine.

ANG has also release the matrix of classes for the 2023 Seminar in Atlanta GA. I have yet to find any pictures of the projects but at least you can see if one of your favorite instructors will be there. https://ang.informz.net/ang/data/images/ANG%202023%20Class%20Matrix.pdf

ANG 2023 Atlanta Teaching Matrix

And we are not done with ANG just yet – the new 50 for 50 project is out – Toni Gerdes  has created a special Stitch Guide design for this fundraising campaign called “Heartstrings”. So pretty !! I can’t wait to see what the next item will be in the campaign.

Heartstrings By Toni Gerdes

LNS News:

Beyond Knits and Needles has postponed their grand opening in their new location – stay tuned.

Stitching Fox in South Carolina is opening another store, this time in Morganton NC which is in the western part of the state. Good luck on this 2nd store. Also, check out their web site for an interesting new club – 12 Days of Christmas Candy Canes by Danji. Over the next year you get a new project a month along with stitch guide, beads, ribbons, thread etc and it all starts Nov 1. https://www.stitchingfox.com/products/candy-cane-club?_pos=4&_sid=3fc43b58b&_ss=r

Stitching Fox’s new club

A new store is open as of Friday in the Bay Area of CA – can’t wait to see what they plan to keep us all on the edge of our seats with! Check out their web site, it will be live soon. Stitched Up Needleworks

House of Needlepoint in CT is having a contest – a turkey of a contest ! Ask for a canvas in either 13 or 18 count and “Anything Goes!” Return by 11/16 and there will be a vote ! Be imaginative !

House of Needlepoint also is having a trunk show with some new and different canvases. They are featuring PLD Designs for the month of October. There is also another offer – any series of 8 or more canvases is also 20% off. They have quite a few to pick from but check out their web site – they do some great projects. House of Needlepoint – Needlework and Stitching Services in Darien, CT

Uh Oh – Bargain Alert !! Old World Designs is giving 50% off all tote bags. I want one of each! Old World Designs Needlepoint Menlo Park Bay Area

Old World Designs Menlo Park CA

We all have seen the wild and crazy stitching concepts that Ruth Schmuff is known for – and they always have to have beads !!!! She has a new club that is so not her usual Bedecked and Beadazzled. The artist that created the canvases is Emily Garces and the stitch guides were done by Mary Legallet. The club is called “Tea Cup Birds” – so different and adorable. https://bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/product/teacup-birds/

Local Needlepoint Shop Day is coming up quickly – Saturday October 22nd – the day to get out there and support our brick and mortar stores!! Stitch By Stitch is having a truck show by Alice Peterson/Gayla Elliott for this month but they have even more than that in the store – new totes! Check out some of the new things they have to offer:

There was an exhibit in Tarrytown NY called “Women’s Work”. It was an historical look at how the domestic craft tradition’s influenced contemporary women artist’s. On display was one of Martha Washington’s needlepoint cushions along with antique quilts. Unfortunately it finished in late Sept. but you can watch an online tour done by CBS TV: “Women’s Work”: Art by women, known and unknown – CBS News

Tips and Tricks:

Do you know and understand about “thread nap”? Per Diversions Needlepoint: A thread spun from natural fibers will feel smooth running one way and rough running the other.  If one runs one’s finger down the length of the thread, and then turns the thread around and runs it down again, one way will feel smoother than the other. One should always thread the needle so that the needle is pulling the thread WITH its nap (as opposed to AGAINST ITS NAP) through the canvas. Primarily, if one is pulling the thread against its nap, the increased friction will gradually pull fibers from the thread. By the end of the thread length, the thread will be diminished in volume and this will show up in the stitching. Canvas coverage is adversely affected. Additionally, the appearance, sheen, and even the color of the stitched area may also be affected. What if I have trouble finding the nap? Gently pass the thread underneath your nose! This area is very sensitive (assuming one doesn’t have a mustache) and can detect even the slightest difference in nap. CAVEATS: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS METHOD IF ONE IS WEARING MAKE-UP OR HAS RECENTLY DRUNK FROM THE TOILET. 

Finally: Which threads should one check for nap? One should check anything that contains spun thread made of natural fibers: SIlk and Ivory, Appleton wool, all silk and cotton flosses.

Who was that Famous Stitcher?  With that giant blue hair who doesn’t recognize Marge Simpson ?!?!?

Can you guess who this Famous Stitcher is?

And along came a Zecca spider who sat down beside her …

What’s Happening at NJNA 9/24/22


Our meeting this week was full of information !!!! We caught up on the chapter Bargello projects and some came a long way and hit the finish line. Others are WIP’s but I am sure they will get to the end soon. All are beautiful and so well stitched. Next month is not to be missed – we will have a talk by a judge associated with Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House. She will be speaking about how they go about judging a piece of needlework and what they look for. Should be interesting – we will know what to fix and how !

Welcome to our 2 new members, Donna F. and Karen C. !! We actually got to see some of their show and tell – you go ladies ! Hope you have as much fun as we do.

It’s official we are in the “Autumnal Equinox” – the year is flying by ! This also means NJNA will be doing the Festival of Trees again this year. It’s held at the Environmental Center in Basking Ridge during the month of December. We need to borrow ornaments for the tree we decorate. If you can check your vast array of ornaments and lend us a few we would be grateful. The theme this year is Places and Seasons so they don’t have to be Xmas related.

More exciting news – our own Mally Becker has had the 2nd in her series of books published – “The Counterfeit Wife”. Her first was “The Turncoat’s Widow” which got great reviews and yes – you can buy it on Amazon! We all wish Mally another hit with this new book.

It was discussed at the meeting that the 2023 SOTM for NJNA is going to be the ANG SOTM. ANG chose our own Melita Glavin’s creation Crescent Journey – how could we not stitch it?? Besides – it’s stunning ! She has 5 colorways – become a member and join us for the fun !!!

It seems that many of you at the meeting were not aware of classes going on at The Edwardian Needle. Well, while I was there this week I got all the information and will try to put in Pam’s future events as well. Here is the current class schedule:

1.Back To Basics with Tony Minieri – If you were in the class almost 3 years ago you only had half of the class. Covid hit and finally he has scheduled the 2nd half for Thurs and Fri Oct 6 and 7. Class is from 9:30 to 4:00

2. Shibori Ribbon Butterfly – Luis Nunez will be teaching this class with those beautiful ribbons we all saw in Noelle’s Owl piece in the Tale of Two Stitcher’s article. This class is on Sat Oct 8th from 10 to 4. The body is beads and the ribbon looks so luxurious – I can’t wait.

Shibori Ribbon class with Luis Nunez

3. Studio Time with Tony – Got questions? He has answers ! He will be at the store from noon to 5 PM on Sat Oct 8th.

4. Chicago Patch II with Tony – No problem if you didn’t do Chicago Patch I This class is on Sunday Oct 9th from 9:30 to 4. There are at least 2 colorways to choose from.

Tony Minieri’s Chicago Patch II

Since class size is limited for these 2 and Tony has only a limited amount of time – please call the store at 973-743-9833 ASAP to get a seat.

The other upcoming class is by our own Vicky Witterschein. She is doing an original design called “Shining Sea”. If you widen the picture you will see how many different effects she has put into this piece, from stump work to ribbons to many other forms of texture and don’t forget that big pearl in the shell. Her class will be done over 3 Sundays in the store. Nov 13th, Dec 11th and Jan 22nd.

Vicky Witterschein’s Shining Sea

FOMO ALERT !!!! The needlepoint store Beyond Knits and Needles is moving !! How many hated walking up those stairs????? They are not moving far away either. Their new location is 450 Bloomfield Ave in Verona and thankfully they are in suite #101 !!! The Grand Opening 10/8. There is parking in the back of the building or meters on Bloomfield Ave. They are just past the split in the road for Claremont Ave. Good luck in the new location to Anne Marie and Alaina. Beyond Knits And Needles – Welcome

Chaparral Needlework is also moving it’s store. Presently they are in Houston and are taking a big ride to relocate in Dallas TX. This should be happening sometime in the middle to late October. Chaparral Needleworks – NDLPT.com

It’s coming to that time of year – The Texas Needlepoint trade show which is called Autumn Needlepoint Reunion. The LNS’s will be getting all the new canvases and gadgets for us to go crazy over soon. The list of who will be there is a Who’s Who in the needlepoint world. From A Stitch in Time – CA all the way to Zecca – MA and there are just as many buyers registered. The market is open Sat 10/15 & Sun 10/16. I would love to be a fly in that hotel !

Some of the new market items were done virtually ahead of time and Stitch By Stitch in NY gave a sneak preview of some of the new canvases to come. Ny Needlepoint | Stitch By Stitch Larchmont, NY | United States (stitchbystitchneedlepoint.com)

The next best thing to the trade show is that they barely get back and it’s “Local Needlepoint Shop Day” This year it’s October 22nd so we have to get out there and support our LNS’s !!

After 18 years the well known store Luv2Stitch closed it’s doors in June. Dale Lenci said he wanted to retire but you could still get things finished thru his long time employee Rhonda. Well, some people are not meant for retirement ! HE’s BACK !!! Dale has decided to do an interesting new project. As an artist at heart he will now be creating one of a kind creations of needle art. He will then be auctioning them off with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity. More details are coming in October !!

I recently got the chance to explore a little of the Fashion District in NYC. If you have never done this take a friend and make a day of it. The trims and embellishments you can find are mind bending. I was in 2 stores and there was so much to look at you couldn’t see it all. I didn’t know there were that many feathers in so many shapes, colors and sizes. Here is just a taste of what can be explored:

Our craft has hit the magazine again – check out the fall issue of Southern Living magazine. It has an interesting article on Jessica Chaney, the owner of Lycette Designs (her great grandmother’s name). She is looking to show a younger generation what we already know about needlepoint, how great a craft it is. Here is the article but the magazine has more pictures. This Florida Native Is Bringing Back Needlepoint In a Big Way (southernliving.com)

Lycette Designs

I read that a small knitting and stitching shop in NYC is having a trunk show of a designer I had not seen before. West Village Knit & Needle is featuring canvases by “Fire and Iris” – something new and different. If you look at the web site and hover over a canvas it changes to show you what it looks like stitched !! Check them out for some cute new ideas. Fire and Iris Designs – Fire And Iris Designs

If your a fan of Zecca then you know of the matching ribbons that can be had with some of Karen Hennessey’s projects. Where does she get those fabulous ribbons????? Try Renaissance Ribbons ! Amazing selection and the colors are just so stunning – you want it all. They have both ribbon and webbing along with kits to make your own bags, dog collars and monthly clubs. So much to choose from it’s amazing. Designer Ribbons | Sewing Kits| Webbing – Renaissance Ribbons

Tips and Tricks: This comes from Diversions Needlepoint in Denver CO:

Who was that Famous Stitcher? That was Rick Prosser. He stopped counting when he hit his 800th piece and has gone on to win several awards for his art even after a diagnosis of cancer in his jaw. Truly amazing man with so many accomplishments. You can read about him here: https://www2.ljworld.com/news/general-news/2022/jun/01/cancer-diagnosis-led-lawrence-man-to-needlework-decades-ago-at-age-80-hes-still-perfecting-his-art/?fbclid=IwAR2sn0zgNFHUlkdjcyv2cOon1ok0baoF60qeMy4bVGkhviUwnmE5HE4bczk

Can you guess who this Famous Stitcher is?

What’s Happening at NJNA 9/10/22


Hope everyone is stitching away on the chapter Bargello project. This months meeting will be the last one to show off your finish or display your progress. There are so many colorful and varied projects being stitched that I am sure we are all anxious to see how they are all coming.

Seminar’s for both ANG and EGA are now in the history books. A good time was had by all for the most part and everyone is looking forward to next years events. ANG has now opened their new fund raising initiative 50 for 50. They will be offering various items thru out the year to raise funds for marketing to get new members, expand their educational opportunities thru distance learning and for the wonderful Needle Pointer’s magazine. Check out the web site to make a donation and see what is new to the fund raising effort. American Needlepoint Guild, Inc.

The year is flying by – it’s already after Labor Day!!! Time to put those white slacks away !! It’s also time to enjoy the last bits of summer and get ready for fall. Aside from the cute pumpkins and Halloween items (which are always fun to stitch) this year seems to be going toward homey type canvases with lots of patterns.

Stitch By Stitch in NY has a trunk show by PLD and these too are calm colorful comfy canvases. Does one look familiar? It was done by our own Linda M in Needle Pointer Magazine’s column “A Tale of Two Stitchers”. The 3 panel Landscape is just stunning.

David McCaskill is doing a Zoom Canvas Painting class. His wonderful humor and amazing talent should make this a great class to attend. “As I approach the end of my winter years, I would like to share my knowledge and techniques to the younger generation (anyone younger than 77). And to those wishing to paint and stitch ” Sign up on his web site for the three hour zoom class which has a max of 25 people each. https://www.needlepointdavid.com/product-page/copy-of-learn-to-paint-a-canvas

David McCaskill class

One of the many stitches we do on a canvas is the Cross Stitch. Well, The artist Raquel Rodrigo in Spain has taken this stitch to another level. She is using thick cotton cord on metal grids to create street art. Imagine walking down the street to find the walls are covered in beautiful embroidery which appears to be woven into the very fabric of the city. Artist Raquel Rodrigo Brings More Color To The Streets Of Madrid With Her Elegantly Designed Floral Cross-Stitch Patterns (awesomeinventions.com)

Tips and Tricks

Do you get crazy dealing with beads?? Try this scoop to make taking them out of the container and putting them back in the tube easier with fewer on the floor !! Looks similar to what the waiter takes all those crumbs from where my husband sat when we had dinner!

There is a new way to carry your stitching tools around and it even holds your phone !!! Of course everything is on Amazon and this one is by SMA*STA. It is actually designed as a pencil case but works wonderfully for our tools. The magnet inside it makes it stand up on a table and the front can actually hold your phone too. Thank you Marge!

I know, I have heard it before – we are getting older – so what ?!?!? So we need a bit of help at times seeing !!! Yikes Try these – Bunny Eyez ! They are “cheaters “(reading glasses) that tilt and flip for when your looking down to stitch – Amazon of course !

Who was that Famous Stitcher? I am sure you all know Tina Fey from her sketch work on SNL and her wonderful impression of Sarah Palin among others. She is a writer, producer and playwright all while being a mother of 2. When she has time to stitch is beyond me !

Can you guess who this Famous Stitcher is?

The world is in mourning for HRH Queen Elizabeth II – Rest In Peace.

What’s Happening at NJNA 8/27/22


The regular NJNA meeting was canceled for the month of August. The meeting room at the library where the in person meeting is usually held was unavailable on our usual time not to mention many were coming back from seminar so we will be back again in Sept.

The 50th ANG Seminar has finished with what sounds like a wonderful time that was had by all. They all look so busy in the pictures they barely must have had time to check out the Tucson landscape.

At the closing banquet they announced a new fund raiser for this next year – “The 50 for 50 – Friends of ANG”. They are asking members to make a $50 donation which will give you the access to take advantage of various exclusive needlepointing items. They gave a sneak peak at 2 items but claim there are many more to come. The Marilyn Owen guide will be a download of diagrams, photos and history of the first 50 years of ANG and it will start off with a stitch from the 1972 magazine. The other item pictured is a beautiful design by Toni Gerdes that will be offered during the year. A nice way to keep the organization going and something new and exciting to look forward to all year long.

If anyone that was visiting Tuscon had the time to take a side trip – BeStitched in Scottsdale has a new club they could have checked out. A Christmas Dress Club. Only 4 in the series and it comes with a stitch guide and an option for threads. They look like there are an infinite number of ways to stitch these fun dresses. https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/collections/clubs-series-1/products/christmas-dress-club

If you need a different holiday then check out Nimble Needle in Atlanta – they are having a Valentine’s Day Cookie Club. This one is 8 months long and they cute as can be.

If you are a fan of Seinfeld then you should check out Judy Tasch. She has wonderful canvases and needleminders. Sign up for her emails as she also has periodic sales that can’t be beat. Judy Tasch Needlepoint

Lani has some new canvases that I would never have thought were hers. Stitch By Stitch in NY has these new items that are perfectly timed for the season coming. Ny Needlepoint | Stitch By Stitch Larchmont, NY | United States (stitchbystitchneedlepoint.com)

Tips and Tricks: Heard of a “Stitchy Stand”? Pockets galore for storage while your stitching and it had the perfect angle to hold a chart. It folds up and the cover actually comes off to clean it. It’s 5.25″ x 7.25″ x 12.5″ and comes in a drawstring bag. Stitchy Stand | Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet Co. for It’s Sew Emma #ISE-824 | Fat Quarter Shop

I really don’t want to say this but… many of us are getting older and our sight is not what it once was. This is why they make “cheaters” for us to see those holes in the canvas better. Yes I have them too and mine get prints and dust etc all the time so check out “Peepers”. No liquid to spill or get messy – just a neat way to clean those magnifying glasses. You can also get replacement pads. Yes – Amazon !

Who was that Famous Stitcher? He is Hugh Bonneville AKA Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey.

Can you guess who this Famous Stitcher is?