Category Archives: Philadelphia 2012 Seminar

Winterthur Tour Day!


Hi, Everyone —

Well, today I lived up to my slacker reputation and went on a wonderful tour of the Winterthur museum and grounds.  Heidi has already posted some of the details of the tour.  For me, the remarkable thing about Winterthur is that it was a home that was designed around the concept of being a museum.  When I visited Biltmore in Asheville last year, I found I could just stand in the rooms and imagine what it would have been like to be a visitor in the heyday of Biltmore.  The views to the outside, the coziness of the guest rooms, the dining rooms, and all allowed you to dream of the good life.  Unlike Biltmore, Winterthur tried to be both a home and a museum and wasn’t really successful at either.  That said — the needlework collection that we viewed was amazing.

A Fishing Lady Canvas

The reason that I chose to show you this picture is that a canvas called “The Fishing Lady on Boston Commons” won a prize at the ANG Exhibits this year.  Apparently this used to be a very romantic notion and so all the young girls wanted to stitch a canvas like this.  There were two others in the Winterthur room where this one was displayed!  (Another intricate sampler was signed by the stitcher, aged 14.)

For me, the charm of Winterthur was the grounds.  Several vistas reminded me so much of the area around Eighty Four, PA where I grew up.

Pastoral Splendor!

I was also very impressed with this multistory “flying” staircase.  A staircase is considered to be flying if it is not attached to the wall.  I’m including this picture because I thought I might impress my daughter Marisa with my artistic abilities!

The “Flying” Staircase at Winterthur

It was about at this point that my camera was prohibited.  (I had to download sixty pictures — so obviously there are many more vistas and artifacts to share.)

When I got back to the hotel, I decided to go for my daily swim.  I was able to do my full 45 minutes in the one lane lap pool.  The challenge was sharing it with 14 kids between the ages of 18 months and 14 years!

Sue and I had dinner with Diane and Robin at Opa, a Greek restaurant about four blocks from the hotel.  It was a noisy, happening place, but we had a  delicious ethnic dinner, including baklava for dessert.

Dinner at Opa!

Now it’s time to shift gears and get ready for my new class “Illusions” tomorrow morning.

Cheers!  Rosie

A Valentine Cupcake


A whole new project, a whole new experience. Today I worked with the teacher that Rosie enjoyed for the past 4 days. And I DID enjoy both her and the cupcake! She has a very relaxed approach and manages to make everyone feel comfortable. I was very comfortable because her directions tell you where to put the needle for each stitch, each stitch that we did was one I was familiar with and the project made you smile just to look at it. This was a perfect break following a more exacting class.

Valentine Cupcake!

Diane was here today for a one day class, Susan’s Ben’s Kites. We got time to exchange information both at lunch–RTM–and dinner at a loud Greek restaurant, Opa,where the food was delicious, conversation difficult, but we persevered! All in all a great day.

Home – But Not for Long


What a whirlwind last day at Seminar. I had to get my suitcase to the car and check out of the hotel before heading off on the tour of Winterthur with Rosie. As I am sitting on the bus, I questioned if I had pack my jewelry pouch from the safe or if it was in the room still. There was nothing I could do about it until I returned to Philly. Rosie and I talked needlepoint and canvases almost the entire way out to Winterthur. I reflected that on my canvas, pictured yesterday that it looked like I had covered a lot of canvas, but, as I said to Rosie, I only did maybe two of the 4 to 6 stitches that are layered in each area. That’s why I’m taking it with me to Sanibel. I’m excited by the piece which is such a welcome response after that Orna Willis, Grace. It is also why I am so eager to see everyone else’s canvases at the Sept. meeting. I can tell that pictures just don’t capture the visual well enough. I am also dying to learn from Sue about her vinyl covered Leaves of Autumn. And that is only the beginning. There will be Carol, Robin, Ellen and Diane’s canvases to pour over. I’ll be checking the blog each day to see how everyone is doing! What fun.

On to Winterthur. Wow, what a man Harry DuPont was! The grounds are beautiful, and we were seeing them in the green period of summer instead of the colors of spring and fall. First we went to the home which was turned into a museum when the DuPonts moved out in 1951. He had added about 100 rooms in the 1930’s not to show off his wealth, but to house his huge collection of American furishings from 1780 to 1860 which he collected from all over the USA. His intent was to turn his home into a museum, which is exactly what he did. I can’t begin to rave about the beautiful furniture, rugs, wall hangings of all sorts, linens, china, and art. It is remarkable. There is a gallery with wings for furniture, fabrics, and metals/glass, which I breezed through since we had such little time. I took a shuttle to the visitor’s center, ran through the book store and then grabbed some lunch, so I could be ready for the garden tour back up to the home/museum. ANG had lined up a special tour of the private quarters of the home on the 7th and 6th floors. We had to lock up all bags (including purses), cameras, etc. We were in groups of 5 since the elevators were so small. We zipped from room to room with our docent pointing out needlework. 2 of the 5 of us were taking the courses for judging needlework, and just off four full days of classes, they were a wealth of information. We were allowed into the bowels of the basement where all the fabrics were stored and the museum curator had 8 boxes open where we could look at “bedrugs” (we call bedspreads) from the early 1800’s. It was awesome. We also were allowed to look at the storage drawers of fabrics which are mostly only seen by researchers, working on degrees in fabric restoration and research.

Heidi at the entrance to the Winterthur Museum

On the bus ride home I filled out the evaluation form for Seminar. Once back at the hotel I went to the desk to ask if any jewelry from my room had been turned in. The hotel security came and took the info and then went up to the room (which had already been rebooked) while I handed in my evaluation. He found me in the lobby and told me the safe was empty and open. I must have packed them. I thanked him and went immediately to my car 5 blocks away and took out my suitcase opened it and there was my jewelry pouch. What a relief. I left Philly at 4:45 and was home at 6:15. I have unpacked and repacked my carry-on and started a load of laundry. Only this blog remains and then I can stitch some on my canvas before I hit the sack. I said to Rosie that these 4 days at seminar were my vacation for the year. What a joy those days were. Have fun ladies and keep stitching!

Busy Wednesday


Today, Robin and I had two classes . The first was Yugoslavian needle weaving. The technique was completely new to me. It was created by the peasants who were forbidden from embellishing their clothes with lace which was reserved for the nobles – so they made their own embellishments with the needle weaving. It was my first experience with cut threads – scared me to make the first cut. The class was great!

The second class was Susan Reed’s Harmony Sea. Lots of interesting stitches, inluding a very helpful hint for Jesicas. I have had to start a few things over but hoping I will get it right soon. Susan is a wonderful teacher so a very good class. I had lots a personal attention for my struggles

Met my son who works in Philadelphia for dinner so really the best possible day.

Last Day of Asian Collage


Hi Everyone —

What a great day we had in Debbie’s Asian Collage class!  We finished our last three sections before lunch — including the infamous double alternating nobuko (dark aqua on the left side) which I have been eagerly awaiting.  Very nice textured stitch!  So, after lunch, we stayed in our classroom and continued stitching whatever we needed/wanted to.  Debbie walked around and helped us and entertained us thoroughly!  I feel pretty good about the progress I made stitching today.

Progress at the End of Day 4!

Our class presented Debbie with a bouquet of flowers to thank her for an absolutely fun class and beautiful design.  We all want to do the companion piece next year — I even heard a few folks considering making a bid on a guaranteed first choice for Anaheim prize at the auction tonight!  They say that it typically goes for as much as $1000.

Debbie Stiehler with her flowers and Asian Collage

Our Awesome Class for Asian Collage

After class I managed about a thirty minute swim before meeting with the NJNA chapter attendees for a fun dinner at Copabanana and great margaritas and burgers!  Sue and Susan cabbed back early because Susan had a teacher’s meeting.  I forgot to get a picture with everyone, but here are Carol, Heidi, Robin, and me.  (You might have guessed that we were the four who ordered double margaritas!)

Robin, Rosie, Heidi, and Carol at Copabanana!

Now I’m off to beddy because I have an early morning wake-up for a tour of Winterthur.

Cheers to all!  Rosie

Andalucia -Day Three


Today was filled with sweet and regretful feelings. I have finished my three day class with Joni Stevenson. I am eager to continue the canvas, but regret having to finish the class. She is not full of laughter, but she is serious and committed to quality stitching and to helping us achieve it. Joni calmly and thoroughly let us experience the piece, while also letting us learn by doing. She explained on the first day that she wanted to capture the cool Mediterranean and the hot arid landscape of Spain. I was awed by how the colors of warm and cool played off each other as well as contrasted each other in subtle application of stitches. I noted that there was a profusion of Scotch, Mosaic, and Cashmere stitches with overlays of colors and stitches. Joni indicated that she was capturing the tiles of Spain and that there needed to be a continuity of structure when including such varied colors. They may be known stitches but she combined them in new ways and combined them to create entirely new looks. It was a new look at established views. Today we started with the dowel embellishment that is attached to the piece, which I can not attach until I finish stitching the area under it. So I photographed the piece with the dowel on the side, yet to be attached. Joni went through the class patiently explaining the application to us in sets of two.

Andalucia Progress at End of Day 3!

After class I went to the silent auction and then went back to my room to pack what I didn’t need tonight and took a trip to my car, to make my departure tomorrow easier. Then the six of us from NJNA went out to a Mexican restaurant Carol recommended. They had great Margaritas so I was a happy camper. It was a fun mix of beginnings, middles, and ends. Carol and Robin had just arrived, Susan was teaching her class tomorrow, Sue and Rosie are moving on to new classes and I am heading home after my tour tomorrow. I don’t want to leave my sisterhood of stitchers, but I will pack my canvas as I head to Sanibel, FL. Thank you all for making these three days so fabulous!!!!

Colors of Autumn progressing


I am happy to report that today went much better for me. I actually was not one of the last ones done. That was probably because today’s tasks were ones that I was comfortable doing.

Day Two of Autumn Leaves

Today Susan H. joined Rosie and me at the RTM for lunch. Susan and I indulged in a dish of delicious ice cream for lunch. I left them there and came back to see the items in the silent auction. No, I did not bid on anything, but I loved seeing the different things stitched as well as the finishing techniques. I went back this evening to see the live auction items.  They were stunning! I bet that ANG made a great deal of money on the auctions. Next year maybe Heidi’s Grace will be there! Onto a new class tomorrow!




We just returned to the Marriott from my favorite quasi-dive restaurant where we enjoyed awesome margaritas, burgers and fries. The camaraderie was great. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the classes everyone had already taken since I start tomorrow – then I’ll have my own stories. Can’t wait!!!

Almost Time


It is now Tuesday afternoon.  I think I will go blind or batty if I have to look

At instructions for another day.  So I have taken an hour off

to get some reading done.  I was able to go to lunch wih Sue and

Rosie – luckily they invited me.  We met up with Cindy and Pat who

are some of my favorite pilot stitching people.  It was intersting to hear

about the Judging program – Cindy is currently enrolled.

I am now ready to go to the Master Teacher program meeting at 5 pm.

After that I will be ready to have dinner with the NJNA group!

I was very fortunate to hear a presentation on Dresden Lace last

night ( reason I did not make the officers meeting).  It was very

interesting and quite informative.  Always something to learn!

Ok – off to the MTP meeting!  See you all later………