Category Archives: Myrtle Beach 2015 Seminar

Creative Collage – Day 2


We started day 2 of Creative Collage this morning with a discussion of threads (which are made up of fibers) by Suzanne Howren. What a wealth of knowledge she has in terms of different types of threads and the full range of available threads for needlepoint.

She and Tony Minieri then turned us over to our canvases to begin stitching. While they each provided us with a stitch guide, the goal of this class was to figure out for ourselves what stitches to use in different areas to make it our own. They gave us a wide variety of threads in our kits so we had a lot of flexibility in what we did.

Using the many ideas and techniques they discussed with us over the 2 days, it was still difficult for me to decide what to do. I realized I still think in terms of rather simple stitches and do not always think about breaking some areas into smaller blocks that could use some combination stitches. However, I’m realizing more of what I need to do and, of course, practice makes perfect.

Tony and Susan were both extremely helpful in getting me to flesh out my ideas and to help me better understand how to see an area as well as decide what weight thread was appropriate.

While it doesn’t look like I accomplished much, I did flesh out lots of ideas, ripped out a bit, and experimented a bit on the doodle canvas.

Creative Collage – Day 2 progress

I wish I’d taken pictures of Suzanne’s and Tony’s stitched canvases in case i need ideas in the future!

Overall, this was a wonderful class where I learned a lot, got outside my comfort zone, and expanded my needlepoint skill set. Suzanne Howren and Tony Minieri are excellent teachers with a lot of brilliant ideas and needlework knowledge.

This evening, I decided I wasn’t very hungry and wanted to see the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is supposedly rated #2 or #3 in the country, so I took a long walk up and along the boardwalk. Having grown up spending summers on south Jersey beaches, I’m not sure I’d even begin to compare it to them! Still it was fun to see it, although I was definitely feeling the humidity on my way back.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

Tomorrow I’ll be heading home, hopefully after visiting Pawley’s Island in the morning.


Seminar tidbits and Day 1and 2 of Copper Line with Sue Reed


I took a look at the classes being offered next year at New Orleans and there are some good ones. I had hoped I would find only a couple of classes that I liked and could spend more time working on finishing one project instead of sharing the time among several projects. Maybe that will come sometime in the future, but not next year! There are some really good classes with some excellent teachers.

Yesterday was the first day of my first choice for the whole seminar, Copper Line with Sue Reed from Peabody, MA. I had taken a short 1/2 day program with her right after the seminar in Anaheim at the San Bernadino chapter meeting. I knew then that if I saw a class of hers I really liked, I would take it as she is an excellent teacher. She has the patience needed to spend time with someone who is having difficulty doing a stitch until they can do it on their own. This is an encore class first done about ten years ago. I was able to get in the class because someone dropped out and my name was at the top of the waiting list.

Day one

I obviously did not post last night so to continue with the class, day two was another good day with Sue Reed. It is often amazing the little tidbits you pick up from a teacher as well as new stitches. One of the things I learned today about Smyrna stitches is that the placement of the top stitch depends in part on its location. If you have a row of Smyrnas the horizontal line is enhanced if the top stitch is placed horizontally as well. In a column it is better to have the top stitch vertical. Who knew?

A pretty stitch we did today was a scotch stitched with several tied stitches in it. The ties were a metallic adding a bit of bling or sparkle to the section. For some reason the photo becomes distorted when I try to insert it so I will leave it out.



Quiet Garden Progress


I’ve just finished my second class at seminar, Catherine Jordan’s “Quiet Garden.” This was my second choice when I didn’t get into the very popular “Radishes,” but it certainly was not a second-rate class! Catherine is an excellent teacher, and once again I learned many new things. The project is an embroidered knot garden on linen, attached to a faux-finished papier-mâché box in the form of a book. It’s always nice to learn a finishing method that is not the standard framing.

The stitching is almost entirely double running stitch and French knots on 32-count linen but we also had to do some painting on the fabric. Here is what mine looked like after I’d done some painting but before starting any French knots:

My progress, sideways.

My progress, sideways.

And here it is with some French knot shrubs added:

End of day two.

End of day two.

The thing that was the scariest for most of us was painting the book. In the end everyone’s looked different, but they were all wonderful. And I think because it was the scariest part, it’s the part I’m most proud of. Take a look:

My book.

My book.

After this experience, I’m going to look into some of Catherine’s other projects, specifically the embroidered maps. One of the best things about seminar is having the opportunity to do things that are a little unusual for you, and learning that you like them!

Radishes Day 1


For love of root vegetables! Jennifer Riefenberg has designed a series of 3 pieces around carrots, radishes and beets. She has taught Carrots at many stitching events and Radishes is being introduced here at Seminar. Beets will be offered next year.

I am one of the fortunate stitchers to get into this class as it went to lottery and many who had requested it did not get in. Jennifer is a wonderful teacher, generous with her time. Also very organized – the kit for this class is an indicator.

As you can see, we worked on two of the three radishes on Day 1. Day 2 will bring stump work on the leaves – this is a technique I have never used before so I have some trepidation about how my leaves will come out. However, the three dimensional effect will be great. There will be shadow leaves stitched into the canvas and the stump work leaves attached to it.

Day 1 progress

Well, off to see what needlepoint adventures today brings!

And now for something completely different


This time I’m not going to show you pictures of one of my projects, but instead tell you about a cool stitching tool that Sue Reed found at Staples. They are called Magnetic Notes and come in a variety of sizes. They are kind of like Post-It notes, but instead of sticky stuff, they cling using static electricity. Sue handed out 8×4 rectangles for us to use to cover up the diagram we were NOT supposed to be looking at. Very cool!

Creative Collage – Day One


Today was Day 1 of Suzanne Howren's and Tony Mineri's Creative Collage class. I have really been looking forward to this class as many of you know since I love working on painted canvases using my own stitch guides. However, my skills in this area were very limited.

While the day started with receiving our canvas and threads. We examined the canvas as well as several others in terms of which elements were in the foreground, middle ground, and background. This is important in determining the weight and colors of stitches and threads to use. What became apparent to me is that where items sit is different than the focal point of the canvas.

Next we were given graph paper with a teardrop and another with an irregular figure (think amoeba!) and had to figure out what stitches were most appropriate for each figure that would be consistent with its direction while emphasizing its shape and direction. This took a lot of trial and error, erasing, color pencils, etc. who knew how difficult yet how obvious once you found an appropriate stitch. We then played around a lot with trellis type stitches. The big aha for me was you don't have to treat it as a trellis – it's a style of stitch combinations. You can provide as much or as little coverage as appropriate for the area of canvas you're covering. This is a great technique for covering variable colored areas where the color is not intricate to the picture. We finished the day talking about background stitches and threads.

As you can see, we spent the day using our brains to figure out the best way to work with a painted canvas and did no stitching. There was so much information shared which triggered so many ideas that I was exhausted!

This was my first class with either Suzanne or Tony. They are a wealth of knowledge and ideas. They readily answered questions, eyed our ideas and helped us flesh them out to do what we wanted. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!


Autumn 3 Ways – Day 2


Yesterday was Day 2 of Toni Gerdes’ Autumn 3 Ways. Whereas on Saturday we concentrated on each ot the 3 techniques for the leaves, day 2 focused on the borders, which are dramatic. There are 5 borders, each more dramatic than the last. We spent time working on each border in turn, especially since it was needed to place the next border. Border 4 that looks like ribbons is really multi-trip Herringbone done in 16 passes! Each of the borders took some time to get the pattern but then flowed very well.

My progress – day 2

Toni was a phenomenal teacher who took the time we needed and always made sure we understood and we’re counting correctly! I thoroughly enjoyed this class even though I still have a long way to go. It was definitely worth my time as I learned several new techniques as well as have a piece I love!


The Mystery of Life


This is my second geometric with Sue Reed, and it is a beauty. The original color way is red and green and gold, very rich and medieval-looking.

Here is mine, in the purple and lime green colorway, after day two. apologies for the bluish cast to the photo…I had a choice of bluish or yellowish, as my camera did not seem to want to cooperate. (I will post a better photo later if I can.)

Purple colorway

Purple colorway

At first I was a little taken aback at my colors…not the colors themselves, but where they were placed in the design. Somehow I had it in my mind that my purple would take the place of the red in the original, but in fact it is the lime green that takes center stage, with purple as an accent. As I stitched, though, I liked it more and more. We have some options in laying in the color in the knots, and so I think I will be able to make the piece emphasize the purple a little more in the end.

Sue Reed is a wonderful teacher, and one learns a tremendous amount from her in a class. She does a great job of showing how to improve our stitching by paying attention to details that we might not even think of on our own.

I’m a “First Timer”


I’m a little bit behind in the blogging. But here goes. With much anticipation and excitement, I set off for Myrtle Beach on Friday. My 89-year-old mother-in-law, who lives a half a mile from where the pope slept in Philadelphia, warned me to not come anywhere near Philadelphia on Friday. That left an interesting dilemma as I was taking the exact route that the pope would take later in the day. Diane came to my rescue and suggested a westerly route through Harrisburg and then head south. So, I did not have to worry about running into hordes of visitors going to Philadelphia. One advantage of taking the car is being able to take anything your stitching heart desires. Look at the pile of bags at the top of my steps.

Of course, on my way, I had to stop at needlepoint stores. My first stop was in Washington DC. I went to see The Point of it All. It was quite aesthetically pleasing. What I noticed however, was that there were far more 13 mash painted canvases then 18 mesh. I did not see any charts for counted work at all. Also, the people working in the shop, as well as the customers who came in, all worked in hand. I was surprised by these elements. Although I didn’t buy anything, I’m not sorry I went. I’ve been curious about the shop for a while.

Back on the road again, I made my way to Richmond, where I was to spend the night with a friend I had made during my Smocking Arts Guild days. We had not seen each other in well over 20 years. However, we had a great time catching up. She took me to two needlepoint shops in Richmond, across the street from each other! The first one, Jermies, has been in business for 40 years. They had lovely canvases. I noticed that just like in The Point of it All, the edges of the canvas were finished with sewn on bias tape. It was really a clean and neat way to finish off the raw edges. Jermies also had find linens. Interesting combination!

The second shop, The Stitching Studio, didn’t look like a needlepoint store from the outside. Once you got in, it resembled more of what we have in New Jersey. It was just much smaller. The store owners were quite nice.

My last stop in Richmond, was my friends own store. She used to own one of the finest antique stores in Richmond. She “retired” two years ago, moved to a new location and opened up an heirloom sewing/smocking/quilting store with the finest fabrics and laces in the area. She is starting to concentrate more on the quilting fabrics. In addition, she also had beautiful gift items. I had great fun seeing what she did with her space. Lastly, she’s an Elna sewing machine dealer. Her house had at least six sewing machines in it.

Today was a relaxing, kickback day. I became acquainted with what the seminar has to offer. Of course my favorite activity, besides stitching of course, was viewing the exhibit of all the beautiful pieces sent by ANG members.

Tomorrow I have the first day of my three day class. Wish me luck!

I am trying a different app to write this blog. If it looks or acts strange, please give me feedback. Thanks!

Myrtle Beach Seminar Day 2


Seminar is now in full swing! Classes started on Friday but my first class was Saturday: Hark the Herald Angel by Susan Hoekstra. First order of business was correcting the class sign – we had a “Herald Angle” – and getting all the lights working.

It is great catching up with Susan. For many years, we were fortunate to have her in our chapter. But now she has moved north so events like Seminar and Needlefesr let me see her again.

We made great progress on the angel. Work was done on her sleeve, wing belt and bodice. More to come on the rest of her dress.

Day 1 Progress

It is really terrific that the angel can be finished by the stitcher (with some help from friends in stretching the canvas). Susan and her husband have made the wooden angel form, trumpet and stand so I should be in good shape (well, maybe just ok) to finish her.

Day 2 Progress