Category Archives: NJNA 2015

H2P Part I


I swore I would never use the H2P line (Hail to Pitt!) but I couldn’t think of a catchy title for this blog.

On Wednesday we took what will be the first of many trips out to Pittsburgh so that Nora could attend Freshman Orientation at the University of Pittsburgh.  We spent the day traveling and then dropped her off on Thursday morning for a two-day orientation to meet other students, take part in various information sessions, consult her Faculty Adviser, and actually register for her Fall classes.  She spent the night at the dorm so Steve and I had two days to explore the area. Luckily, I had a list of three needlework shops to investigate!   We did manage to visit all three shops.  (By the way, I’m going to break this into three blogs so as not to overly bore everyone.)  It was hard work but someone had to do it.

Our first stop was in Sewickley, about 12 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.  The town dates back to 1767 and reminded me of what the town in The Music Man would probably look like today.  The downtown streets – Beaver Street and Broad Street – are just made for strolling with plenty of shops and restaurants.  Our destination was The Porcupine Needlepoint Shop, located on Beaver Street.  Although a seemingly small shop, it packed a lot of canvases and threads inside!  The owners, Nancy 2015-06-11 10.24.28and Barbara, were so very helpful in pointing out canvases and finished pieces.  I was particularly impressed by their selection of Christmas stockings. My family has not really been interested in having me stitch stockings but I was tempted by some of the pieces I saw at the shop.

I did manage to find a few canvases to add to the collection (I am now claiming that collecting canvases is a second hobby) and was pleasantly surprised that the price of the canvas included the threads to go with it!  The Porcupine will kit the canvases with pearl cotton along with some specialty threads such as Kreinik as needed.   Isn’t that a great concept?  If one wanted to substitute other threads, I was told that the price of those threads would be discounted. We took a leisurely walk around the town while Nancy and Barbara pulled threads and when we returned my kits were ready.  I was happy with the thread selections.  In addition to the pearl cotton I have Snow and Kreinik braid to some glitz. And each of my canvases and threads came in its own little bag!

2015-06-11 15.05.10

At the suggestion of Nancy and Barbara we had lunch around the corner at 424 Walnut (yes, located at 424 Walnut Street).  The food was delicious and the service was excellent.  We would definitely stop in there again for lunch – great sandwiches and salads.

The Porcupine Needlepoint Shop is located at 404 Beaver Street in Sewickley, on Facebook, and on the internet at  The shop is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

After lunch we headed back to the city to Needle Point Breeze which is located in the Point Breeze section of Pittsburgh east of the University.  That store will be the subject of the next blog (hopefully tomorrow).  Until then …

Happy Stitching!

June 2015 SOTM — Ruby Razzle Dazzle


Hi Everyone —

The SOTM group made good progress on “Ruby Razzle Dazzle” by Ann Strite-Kurz yesterday!

Ruby Razzle Dazzle Progress -- June 2015

Ruby Razzle Dazzle Progress — June 2015

Our goal is to have all of the Smyrna outlines done before Tina returns in July to lead us onward!  This part is a bit tedious, but we are enjoying seeing the different color combinations emerge on the canvas.  Robin, of course, is changing both her colors and the shape of the outlines (pink)!   Rosie and Nancy are both doing the original green colorway — with different accent colors!

Dee is continuing to work on “A Different View” and is making some good progress!

It’s always fun to stitch with friends!

Cheers, Rosie

Serengeti Progress


Since I keep having other commitments on the 4th Saturday each month, I thought I'd post my Serengeti progress. I'm down to block 32, although as you can see There are about 8 blocks started but not finished. Between laying threads, the congress cloth, the stitches, and size of the blocks, I quickly lost interest in them and decided to move on and come back to finish them later. I have been marking in my directions when I've finished a block so I don't forget as I often do!

Serengeti 6/8/15

I haven't decided if I'm enjoying this piece or not. I would probably enjoy it more if I could make our stitching sessions. Some days I really enjoy working it and other days I don't want to deal with it. For now, I'm planning to finish it eventually. I do like many of the stitches and fibers. I DO NOT like Mandarin Floss or Tiara! I'm learning a lot and finding I don't mind working on Congress Cloth and I LOVE the canvas color.

I am glad we decided to do this piece despite all the little boxes!




As many of you know, I enjoy doing painted canvases and usually do my own stitch guides. I saw an online mystery class with Sandy Arthur advertised for Harvest, a painted canvas by Robbyn’s Nest, and fell in love with the canvas. Plus, I figured it was about time to take a class with a stitch guide.

I have to say, I’ve been very pleased with the first two lessons, even if, as usual, I’m way behind! The border is perfect for the canvas. Sandy suggested either a rectangle border or an arch across the top depending on how you were going to have it finished. I decided the arch fit the canvas design better than just a rectangle but wanted the rectangle for framing. I printed an oval the width I wanted and then cut it out to trace onto the canvas. It took a few tries before I got the right placement. Stitching the left side seemed to flow rather easily; the right side was a challenge since the stitches are opposite the left side. I’m not entirely happy with it but will see once I get the basket weave inside.

I’ve started the H, the tan pumpkin, and the green pumpkin. I’m still playing with them a bit to get the right look! I was going to start the flowers and leaves but realized I bought the wrong thread for the leaves. It’s a ThreadWorx and they use the same numbers for all their fibers of the same color with an extra number or two at the front. I accidentally bought Perel #5 instead of floss.


Anyway, here’s my progress so far. Like I said, I’m really enjoying this piece. I’m just trying to fit in all the other projects I’m doing as well !





Ellie Bean and the Puffins!


Hi Everyone —

Today I finished the stitching for the pilot class of “Pair of Puffins Perched on a Prominence”.

Puffins are finished!

Puffins are perched!  Gotta love that carved whelk!

I had finished stitching the beaded background on Friday.  However yesterday when I went to couch the puffin feet onto the rock, I discovered that part of the lower starfish was missing and a long length of thread was hanging from the canvas.  As far as I can tell, Ellie Bean decided to eat the starfish while I was working on a jigsaw puzzle on Saturday.  Or, she might have caught her claw in it when she was literally bouncing off the walls at the vegetarians (deer) in her new back yard.

So, I had to do some starfish repair before I could couch down those puffin feet!  Luckily I had plenty of thread and I don’t think the rework is too apparent.  Besides, aren’t starfish known to grow new arms when one is broken off??

The Pair of Puffins Perched on a Prominence is now perched prominently on a high TV cabinet — far from the wandering teeth and claws of one determined puppy!

Thanks to Ann Strite-Kurz for creating this whimsical design.  I haven’t enjoyed stitching anything so much in a long time!

Cheers!  Rosie

Two Puffins Etc.


Hi Everyone —

I have been so thrilled to read all of the posts from Sue C and Linda M and Heidi’s comments!  What a great way to share all of the wonderful needlepoint exhibits and classes going on!

I have just completed a two day pilot class with Ann Strite-Kurz called “Pair of Puffins Perched on  a Prominence” with the SBCANG group in Ontario, California!  I have so much to share about the wonderful experience.

First, to the SOTM group, Ann brought a copy of Ruby Razzle Dazzle with her so that I could start to plan an agenda for our SOTM.  The kits and the rest of the “instructions only” will be shipped when Ann gets back to her home in Michigan around the end of March.  She is excited to see what we do with our own colorways and I promised to share the results with her.  Most of the other pilot stitchers stopped by to look at the design and ooh and aah over how lovely it is!  I think we are going to have a great time stitching it!

Some of you have heard me say that my last name means “Puffin”.  This is most of the reason that I just HAD to take this class.  Besides it is such a cute piece.  I had bought a sweater with Puffins on it just to wear to class, but as it was in the 90’s both days, I had to beg off!

Ann helped to bring this alive by sharing her inspiration for the design as well as her reasoning for the choice of stitches.  I loved that this was a cross between a charted design and a painted canvas.  The design was a picture, but it was charted — how cool is that?

Puffins are an endangered species and Ann shared articles about conservationists who are helping to preserve the puffin.  And it is working!  Sue C — I know you would have loved all the naturalist trivia.

I couldn’t help but think of Diane as Ann shared the fundamental origin of her stitches and then showed how she modified them to create the effect that she wanted.  So the 3-1-3 of Nuboku became 4-4-2-2-4-4 in a double Nuboku pattern.  And by alternating threads, Ann created a wet feather look on the puffin’s wing.

Puffins -- End of Day 2!

Puffins — End of Day 2!

I can’t wait to show you all the embellishment that goes into this canvas — and it stitches up quickly.

The side borders are designed to be symbolic of lighthouses along the east coast of the US which is one area where puffins are found.  I learned some skills for doing blackwork while creating the beautiful patterned border.  I will also need to employ needle weaving to add a couple of starfish to the rock!

Any class where you can learn AND have fun is aces in my book!

The first class that I took with SBCANG in Ontario was Michael Boren’s “Frankie”.  So when I read Sue C’s post about Woodlawn, it was like coming full circle in our craft.  What a great time to be alive!

Cheers, Rosie