Author Archives: lindam55

2017 SOTM – October


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!


Sturbridge Stitching Retreat 2017


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.

Progress 100317

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 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!


Stitch of the Month – July


Eight of us once again convened for another session of Stitch of the Month.  We enjoyed a day of stitching and chatting, and celebrated both Sylvia’s and Nancy W’s birthdays with cupcakes, ice cream, apple pie, and cookies.  There is no denying that we enjoy our stitching sessions!

Sue C, who is working on My Way, and Joan, who is finished her Stars for the New Millennium, both left before we took this picture.  We’ll get them next time!!

IMG_1021.JPGTop left – Nancy W’s Granite; Top right – Linda’s Egyptian Nights; Middle left – Margaret’s Egyptian Nights (with some experimenting on the sashing); Middle right – Sylvia’s Royalty; Bottom left – Jill’s Black Iris; Bottom right – Tina’s Cherry.

Most of us are using colors included in the instructions with a few changes to suit individual preferences.  Both Jill and Tina are stitching in their own colors and threads.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress next month!

Happy Stitching!

Stitch of the Month – June


Eight of the SOTM group gathered on Saturday to once again enjoy a day of stitching. The weather was warm and sunny but we did have some nice breezes and our stitching afternoon was quite enjoyable.

We had a small stitching crisis at the beginning of our session. Jill came prepared to start on Stars this month and had basted the outlines of the squares. She noticed that the basting just didn’t seem quite right. Margaret checked to make sure that the basting lines were all correct (how easy it is to jump over a thread or two). We made sure the stretcher bars were at right angles (they were). Jill tried remounting the canvas, which didn’t work. Finally, we got out a t-square, a drafter’s triangle, and a quilter’s cutting mat and lined up the basting lines. Lo and behold, the canvas was warped and there was a 1/2 inch difference in the line over the length of the project!

Jill was prepared to make a run over to The Edwardian Needle to get another canvas so that she could start her stitching. Fortunately, we were able to find a piece of blank canvas (and luckily it was the right size); Jill re-basted her piece and was able to start her stitching.

The rest of us continued our work on Stars and we all commented on how the individual squares look so different depending on which colorway we used. All of the pieces are just beautiful.

Dee, who is working on A Different View, completed the third octagon yesterday. It is stunning in those colors on the black canvas. She is now deciding on which design to stitch for the fourth octagon.

With apologies to Sylvia and Margaret, who left before I remembered to take a picture of our pieces, here is our progress on these pieces. Top row is Nancy’s in Granite and Jill’s just-started piece in her own colorway (which will be spectacular). Middle row left is mine in Egyptian Nights and Joan’s in Plum Honey (notice Joan is almost finished!). Bottom row is Mally’s, also in Granite. Sylvia sent a picture of hers later that day; she is stitching the Royalty colorway. (And many apologies if I got the colorway or attribution incorrect.)

Do not think that Jill has been slacking off this year, as she completed My Way and brought it along with her yesterday to share.  Isn’t it colorful?  And look at how Dee’s piece sparkles even without all those beads!

Jill & Dee 2 - June

I will remember to take pictures of all the pieces together next month!

We are all having a great time at these monthly sessions and seeing how everyone’s pieces are evolving.  Until next time …

Happy Stitching!



SOTM – March Meeting


Friday’s snow did not deter our Stitch of the Month group from gathering today.  Ten stitchers met at Linda’s house this month to work on our 2017  projects – My Way by Carolyn Mitchell and Stars for a New Millennium by Tony Minieri – or to complete work on an older project.  As always, we enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to get advice about the stitching.  And, we celebrated Jill’s birthday with a delicious German Chocolate Cake from Sue.

We are working at our own pace so we stitch what we can each month.  Here  is our progress this month from Margaret, Mally, Nancy, Sylvia, Joan, Linda, Jill, Sue, Robin, and Barbara.


Our April meeting is the same day as the NJ NeedleFest so we will be taking our stitching on the road.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress!

Happy stitching …



Woodlawn – The Delivery


Despite the intense snowstorm on Thursday, we were thrilled that Friday dawned bright and sunny. Mr. M and I hit the road about 8:00 a.m. headed towards Alexandria.  In the trunk of the car were the 15 pieces of fabulous needlework that our members submitted for the Woodlawn 54th Annual Needlework Show & Sale.  NJNA is ably represented at the Show by Tina, Rosie, Sue C, Sue R. Linda, Cathryn, Diane, Joan, and Barbara. All of the pieces were well-protected and carefully arranged to avoid any damage during the trip.


Our first stop of the trip was a new needlepoint shop in Stevenson, MD right off I-695 – Hillside Needlepoint.  The shop opened in November and I’m sure it will become a regular visit when we head to that area.  The owners, Kristine Kingston and Leslie Aronson, couldn’t be more delightful and helpful.  The shop itself is in a new strip center and is full of light and space.  Right now Kristine and Leslie have two trunk shows in the shop – Susan Roberts’ wonderful nutcrackers in all shapes and sizes and the colorful designs of Needle Deeva.  There is a very nice collection of threads and canvases apart from the trunk shows. It is a lovely shop and I wish them much success.  One can never have too many shops to visit!

Hillside Needlepoint is located at 10437 Stevenson Road in Stevenson, MD.  They are open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

I did pick up three new canvases – all small so they stand a chance of actually being stitched!

Mr. M’s reward for being such a good sport was lunch at the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company in Ellicott City.  We’ve stopped there on previous trips and the menu is quite varied.  Of course, Mr. M is a big fan of their beer. We did learn that Ellicott City flooded at the end of last July and the brewery had water in its basement.  They are just now getting back their own beer.  But many of the stores further down the hill flooded into the retail spaces and are still boarded up. Unfortunately, a number of them will not be returning.

Saturday we were again up bright and early as we had a 9:00 a.m. appointment at Woodlawn to deliver all those pieces. The check-in went very smoothly and the volunteers were very organized.  Mr. M assisted with unwrapping all those precious needleworks while I matched Submittal Forms and checks to the pieces. All of our pieces garnered lots of “oohs and aahs” from the volunteers, and they thanked us for supporting their show. The entire operation took about 30 minutes and we were on our way!  I had planned to stop at In Stitches right near Woodlawn but we were too early so we will save that shop for our trip to the show itself.

We headed into DC on the Metro and another brewery lunch at Gordon Biersch.  After a very relaxing lunch we walked to the DAR Museum which had an exhibit on clothing from the 1700s and 1800s.  We did some walking around the Mall and passed by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest of the Smithsonian museums.  We were thinking of visiting the museum when we return in March.  However, the only way to get into the museum is with a timed pass – and as of March 1 they will be distributing passes for June! So we will either have to try to get last-minute tickets on the day we are there (available at 6:30 a.m.) or just wait until next year now that we know to get tickets in advance.

We traveled back to NJ this morning – mostly through rain although there was some freezing rain when we got close to Morristown.  Our driveway was a sheet of ice making unpacking the car a bit of an adventure.  Mr. M salted and hopefully the temperatures will now stay above freezing.

We will be attending the show the first weekend in March and I am looking forward to seeing the displays.  I encourage all of our members to attend if you can – it is really quite incredible.  And consider submitting a piece or two next year!

Happy stitching!


Alternative Seminar – Class III


As I was writing the previous blogs it dawned on me that I never posted about the third class I started last Fall.  So, here’s progress on another project – Background Sampler I designed by David McCaskill.  The class is being taught by our own Cathryn C at Ridgewood Needlepoint.

This piece is being stitched in Anchor pearl cotton and floss, with a Threadworx overdye thrown in for some interest.  I am stitching in the gray colorway although there are several other colorways available.

There is a back story to this project.  I had originally seen it on a Facebook post and contacted David about getting the instructions for both samplers, choosing the gray canvas.  I then sort of forgot about it.  Fast forward a month or so – Ridgewood Needlepoint posted that they were offering the class.  I signed up for the class although they did not offer the gray colorway (I chose lavender instead).  A few weeks later I got a call from the shop that my kit was ready for pick-up (had to do some pre-work before class).  Wouldn’t you know – that same day I got home to find a package from David with the instructions and gray canvas for both samplers!

I apologize for the picture; I just couldn’t get a good angle on the lighting so it looks a bit washed-out.  We have our third class on Sunday so I’ll try to get a better photo for next time.