2018 SOTM – January

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A new year and a new project! This year’s NJNA Stitch-of-the-Month is Autumn Kaleidoscope by Lorene Salt. There are 19 NJNA members stitching this project over the next year. And we have a few more members working on projects from previous years making this our largest group yet! We all have a great time stitching and chatting every month.

Autumn Kaleidescope - Original

Autumn Kaleidoscope – Original Colorway

The January session saw 16 of our members get together on a sunny Saturday. The instructions arrived from Lorene in plenty of time to be sorted into packets for distribution. Eight of us ordered kits from A Stitching Shop in Denver and the threads arrived beautifully packaged on Thursday. However, the box with the canvases was somehow delayed (I am always amazed at package logistics). Upon checking the tracking number on Friday we found that the box had arrived in Newark but apparently didn’t want to go any further.

Autumn Kaleidoscope - Threads

Threads – Original Colorway

That didn’t daunt our intrepid group – we oohed and aahed over the threads and especially the threads for those who are stitching their own colors. These pieces are going to be amazing!

The day was saved when the doorbell rang and the cavalry – in the guise of the US Postal Service – arrived with the canvases! The stitching soon followed. As you can see we had a great group of stitchers!

Stay tuned to see our progress each month!

Happy Stitching …

Linda

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Abashed!

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Hi Everyone —

Last April I attended the Metropolitan Regional EGA Seminar in Madison, NJ.

Each chapter in the region prepares an opportunity basket and tickets are sold for chances to win one!  I like to support the organizations, so I usually buy a few tickets and scatter them around in different baskets.  Well!  I won a very stuffed basket which I had bid on because of a cute little stuffed pig that was residing in one of the pockets!

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I brought the basket home and put it on top of the dresser in my office where it has been sitting until today!  Sue came to help me unpack it and, to my chagrin, one of the things I found was a slip of paper stating who I should address my thank you notes to:  the chapter president and the person who put the basket together.  I had NO IDEA that this was a thing!

So, I just finished writing two very, very belated thank you notes which will go into the mail tomorrow!  And to think I almost re-gifted the basket (minus the pig)….

The joke would have been on me!

Cheers, Rosie

SOTM November 2017

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Hi Everyone —

I admit to being a little bit late in posting November’s SOTM picture.  The “Stars of the New Millennium” pieces are truly beautiful and most of our group has managed to keep up with the monthly pacing.  Aren’t all the colorways amazing?

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November Progress!

I kept the photo big this month so that you can see the incredible detail and notice how the same square looks different based on the placement of threads.

Enjoy!

Rosie

Background Sampler Workshop – Day 3

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Seven members of NJNA met with Cathryn C at Needleworker's Delight in Metuchen for the third and final day of our Background Sampler workshop. Today would focus on the four corner sections as well as address any questions from the earlier sections.

As usual, Cathryn teased us by doing an easy stitch first in the upper left corner – couched window pane with filler – which went quickly. She then moved us onto a little more challenge with an eyelets pattern in the lower left. After lunch, the real challenge began with the Oriental Octagon stitch in the upper right corner, which is sort of like blackwork! Imagine that David McCaskill's Background Sampler II has overlapping oriental octagons! Even Kevin commented you could hear a pin drop with the concentration as we all counted! We ended the day with the Diagonal Trellis in the bottom right, another wise move by Cathryn to end on a bit easier stitch!

As always, Kevin and Jimmy from Needlworker's Delight are outstanding hosts, providing lunch and snacks throughout the day in addition to the excellent lighting in the work space. It's a wonderful shop that is friendly and welcoming in addition to having an excellent supply of charts, canvas, painted canvas, threads, and needlework tools.

Thanks again to Cathryn and Needleworker's Delight for providing this opportunity for us. We'll look forward to our next workshop.

2017 SOTM – October

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Eight of us gathered for our monthly stitching, chatting, and eating.  It’s hard to believe that we are getting near to the end of the 2017 project.  We’re still having fun stitching on Stars for a New MillenniumMy Way, and Ruby Razzle Dazzle.

Here is the latest update on Stars for a New Millennium – starting from the top left and proceeding clockwise are projects stitched by Jill, Sylvia, Margaret, Diane, and Linda. 

Stars - October

Sue is continuing with My Way; she has decided to do one block and use it as an insert in a box.  Her turquoise, copper and white combination is fabulous.  Rosie is determined to finish Ruby Razzle Dazzle and is making great progress!  Joan has started My Way but left before the pictures were taken.

My Way-Ruby - October

We are beginning to think about our project for next year!

Happy Stitching!

A stitching retreat

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This past weekend five NJNA members attended a stitching retreat offered by the Monmouth Chapter, EGA, in Voorhees, NJ. There is a needlepoint shop nearby in Merchantville, the Nimble Needle, run by Karen Milano.  Karen opened earlier in the day than her usual hours and gave those attending the retreat a 20% discount!  Her new location is roomier, and it is much easier to find threads.  Karen has a wonderful selection of threads as well as great accessories (think magnets, with bling and without).  She is also wonderful at helping select the threads needed for a painted canvas.  

Then it was on to stitch.   There were twenty three of us taking over the Hampton Inn along with the families participating in a boys soccer tournament.  We had the large meeting room with wonderful lighting both day and night.  (I never used my light and stitched on congress cloth without my magnifiers!). We sat at round tables with four Stitcher’s at a table, ample room for us to spread out our supplies.  Most of us worked on several projects during the three days we stitched.  We took over the room at three Friday afternoon with all our bags and carts, set up our edible treats and were ready to go.  Stitching continued after dinner with participants dropping out for bed as the evening progressed.  Last one out locked the door and first one up to stitch asked the front desk to open the room.  

There were a wide variety of eating places within five miles on route 73.  Or you could walk across the parking lot and eat at the Voorhees Diner which almost everyone did on Saturday evening.  If you had been there, you would have seen Ada D. working on her Japanese embroidery and a birth sampler.  Ellen S. divided her time between a painted canvas of a snowman and a counted Bargello design, “My Favorite Things”.  Tina F. spent her time working on a birth sampler for her grandson.. Sue R. has a beautiful painted cuff she was stitching as well as a painted autumn canvas on which she was stitching a beaded pumpkin and the background in a sign for her newly painted bathroom.  Sue C. Divided her time between the chapter project, the Magic Shell and beginning her Bargello, “My Favorite Things” which she bought after seeing Ellen’s–I finished purchasing the threads at Nimble Needle on Friday.

There are so many benefits to a retreat like this, time to escape from your daily life–no laundry, no meal preparation, no work!  It is a chance to meet new stitchers and to share ideas among all, a chance to see new designs and projects and to admire the work of others.  We learned the names of excellent finishers for our beautiful pieces. We heard about good shops and what they offer.  Best of all a productive, relaxing weekend for all.  By Sunday at three we were headed back to the real world refreshed.


Sue

Sturbridge Stitching Retreat 2017

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These past two days have seen me at the Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat in Sturbridge, MA. I had a wonderful time stitching on Thanksgiving Sampler designed and taught by the wonderful Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler.

Thanksgiving Sampler

This beautiful piece is stitched on 28-count linen both over two and over one, and includes many specialty stitches in addition to cross stitch and Hardanger. Our homework in advance of the class was to stitch the Kloster Blocks needed for the Hardanger. I stitched a lot of the cross stitches as well as some of the specialty stitches for placement. I also stitched the Kloster Blocks on a practice piece because of my intense fear of cutting the fabric on the project piece when I’m sitting in class.

I did some stitching in class and made some progress on the piece. The lighting in my room was not conducive to getting a really good photo, but it gives the general idea of how much has been stitched so far. We spent the day on Monday going through all the specialty stitches, which included Rhodes Hearts, Algerian Eyelets, Smyrnas, Knit Stitch, and Arrowhead Stitch.

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My Progress

On Tuesday we started on the Hardanger with the morning devoted to cutting and the afternoon to stitching. As I said, I have this horrific fear of cutting the threads in class so I do that all on a practice piece. Here are the photos of the first section of cutting as well as my progress on my Greek Crosses and the Dove’s Eyes.

Practice Piece 1

Morning Cutting

Practice Piece 2

Afternoon Stitching

We had a great time and I learned a lot. This is the third class I’ve taken with Thea and I definitely have more confidence about the Hardanger. I may even complete this piece sometime in the near future!

The model was finished as a wall hanging. I usually frame my pieces but our project included the fabric, which is luscious, for the wall hanging so I may even attempt that type of finish.

Fabric

Fabric Pack

In addition to the stitching we had wonderful meals, exchanged autumnal-themed needlework gifts, and had a great show-and-tell. There were quite a few new attendees this year (about twelve out of forty), so I was able to meet and chat with people from previous retreats as well as many newbies.

I will be traveling back tomorrow so I’m hoping I avoid the traffic and the weather cooperates.

Happy Stitching!