Category Archives: NJNA 2013

Extensive Prework


Hi, Everyone —

It has been very exciting for me to see the increasing number of posts and posters on this NJNA blog!  It is rewarding to know that this blog is being used to share our member’s needlework and needlepoint adventures with the rest of the group!  Do you know that we have 300 followers??  WOW!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had picked up pre-work for Ro Pace’s “Atlantis Rising” which is a workshop that I am taking through the San Bernardino ANG group.  The pre-work is extensive and I have been in a slight panic to get it done before the NJNA retreat and the EGA Seminar in Louisville.   (More new projects — Nooooooo!)   So after stitching on the pre-work like crazy, I am happy to say that I have finally have it done!

Pre-work for Atlantis Rising

Pre-work for Atlantis Rising

The two borders alone consist of 700 Smyrna Crosses — so at 4 stitches per Smyrna, hmmm.

The next big challenge is figuring how to get it out to California for the workshop.  I changed my mind about doing this on 18-count canvas when I realized that it would be too big to carry on an airplane!  So, I think I’ve enlisted Harold to help construct a carrier out of foam board.  I described what one of the other students in my seminar class had, but he was redesigning it before I got done with my description!  My back-up plan is to take it off the stretcher bars and reattach when I get to California.  I’ll report on any further developments!

Keep on blogging!

Cheers, Rosie

Ukrainian Embroidery Class


Every Monday morning I get an email from Nordic Needle and there is usually a story about one of their customers. In May of this year the featured stitcher hailed from Astoria, Queens, and talked about the classes she takes at the Ukrainian Museum in NYC. I was very intrigued – my father grew up right down the block from the museum. Although he attended the Polish Church with his father, his mother and sisters attended the Ukrainian Church.  And they all spoke Ukrainian at home.

I actually got started in counted cross stitch while in college because I had found a piece of cross stitch that my grandmother had done and I tried to replicate the pattern. So I signed up for the embroidery class that started last Saturday.

It is an interesting class, running from 1:00 to 3:30.  There are about 15 women in the class but it is more of a gathering than a formal class. There were about eight beginners at the class and the teacher sat with us one-on-one. We are working on a band sampler. The more advanced students are working on a number of different projects using other techniques, including cutwork.

We beginners are using DMC floss (four strands) on 25-count Lugana. I have to admit I am having a very hard time with it. Not because it’s difficult to learn – the first class was all running stitches (essentially darning patterns). But we are working “in hand” without a hoop or frame, the threads are not separated and then recombined, and we are not using a laying tool. This is not how I’m used to stitching!

I will have to look closely at the teacher’s sample to see what the threads look like because I can’t decide whether I should just shrug and accept that the stitching is not going to look like I’m used to seeing; determine that the final product when done expertly looks like something that I should strive to achieve; or secretly work a second piece at home on a frame with a laying tool (or maybe just #8 pearl cotton). I will bring in my class piece to the next monthly meeting and ask your advice.

In the meantime, here is my progress from the first class. We are using DMC 310 (black) and 321 (red) which are traditional colors in Ukrainian embroidery.  I did finish the motif on the fifth band last night but didn’t take a picture before packing everything up for class today.


Linda’s Sampler – Class 1

The first band (at the top) is a simple over/under three threads and the second band is over/under two threads. The third band is a “vee” with the red thread woven through it on the surface.

I’m not really sure how many bands we complete during this eight-week session. I think it depends on how fast one stitches. Many of my fellow beginners are not needleworkers so we all had a different number of bands completed by the end of the class. My homework was to complete the fifth band although we didn’t start it in class. The teacher told me to go ahead and take a picture of the band so that I could figure it out at home. While I had the camera out I took pictures of the rest of the teacher’s sampler.

Lubow's Sampler Area 1

Lubow’s Sampler Area 1

Lubow's Sampler Area 2

Lubow’s Sampler Area 2

Lubow's Sampler Area 3

Lubow’s Sampler Area 3
Lubow's Sampler - Closer View

Lubow’s Sampler – Closer View

I have been doing some internet research on Ukrainian embroidery and I hope to learn more in the weeks ahead. Now I’m off to my second class! I hope to post about Slava Russki later this weekend, as well as my progress with this class. I hope I don’t start boring everyone!

Enjoy your Saturday. I hope you all get lots of stitching done.

September SOTM


Hi, Everyone —

I’ve been a bit delinquent in posting lately!  Linda, Carol, Sue and I met for our Stitch of the Month stitching last Saturday.  Sue and I were lucky enough to see the completed piece at seminar and it is really pretty!  So, I sneaked a picture to show to our SOTM group!  The rest of you will have to wait for our reveals later in the year!

September's SOTM Progress!

September’s SOTM Progress!

I’m sure these will be even further along by our September meeting!  While we were stitching, Sue and I mentioned how cool it was to see the Ort box display at the seminar in Anaheim.  So many different threads and combinations!  We got to talking about how interesting it was to see ANY piece done in different colors.  (As an example, remember all the comments we got on our St. Margaret’s Stars at NJ Needlefest?)  So we thought it might be cool to do a display in Chicago of all the SOTM pieces done this year — especially since Debbie is retiring as a teacher.  Lo and behold, Sue forwarded the idea to ANG and they are going to suggest it to the Chicago organizers!  You can see how interesting just four of these are — and Diane’s on black canvas is spectacular!

I need to write a separate post about Sue’s and my post-seminar activities in California!

Cheers!  Rosie

Needle Nook of La Jolla


On Tuesday I went to La Jolla to check out the needlepoint shop called Needle Nook of La Jolla which is on Fay Street. I was able to park almost in front of the shop, a rarity as this is a busy shopping area. I went into a shop filled with beautiful canvases. It also had a collection of books and counted designs–I put my hands behind my back when I looked at the Kathy Rees designs–as well as accessories. I did buy a thimble thingy–just the end which you stick to the end of your finger–to use in one of my classes next week. I didn’t see any threads! When I asked, she said that the threads are in a separate shop two doors down. So as soon as I left I walked maybe 50 feet down to the second shop and saw two walls filled with threads all hanging in a beautiful display of color and texture. There were even sliding walls to see more threads behind them. It was overwhelming! Of course the project I wanted to kit was back at my motel which explains the second trip today.

Thread Display at Needle Nook of La Jolla

Thread Display at Needle Nook of La Jolla

I came back with the fabric pieces I am using in the project and the threads needed. These are the wrong colors, of course, because my fabric was not holiday fabric. With the help of two lovely saleswomen, I made all my selections. It was a great experience. Just looking at all those colors and threads displayed so beautifully was refreshing!  There website is and they are happy to do mail order!
Tomorrow I leave by train for Anaheim where I will join Rosie at the seminar.