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.
How lucky you were to meet Margaret. I loved the piece she was teaching !! Great read about your adventure !!!