Category Archives: Phoenix 2014 EGA Seminar

Cathedral Rock at Sedona


Today was the beginning of class number two and what a great one it is! It is another scene but the picture is handled in a different way. The scene is simpler and the shading is created by blending the threads in thread painting. Because there are fewer sections of the scene, the pace to teach all of them is much less frenetic. One concept that she taught was on straightening threads for laying threads in the thread painting. Her technique was taught to us by Sue R.! I felt so smart that I already knew it. Sue told us to take one of the hair straightening irons and run the threads through the “iron”. It works great on cotton, silk and synthetic threads. And no waiting for the threads to dry as was necessary the old fashioned way.

Sedona by Lois Kershner

You can see the lines that were drawn for us on the canvas showing the different sections of the design. Today we worked on the shrubs, rocks, tree trunks and two sections of the tree leaves. One of the things I have most appreciated is that instead of compensating for the cross stitch shrubs, she has us using the continental stitch. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.



Navajo Blanket


Hi, Everyone —

Today I started my “Navajo Blanket” class with Toni Gerdes.  This was my favorite offering at this year’s EGA seminar and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint!  Toni is a wonderful teacher and I’ve already learned about new threads and stitches!

Virtually the entire piece is stitched in wool.  I love stitching in wool.  The amazing thing is that a thread that I have seen many times and maligned many times is used in this design:  Lorikeet by Gloriana.  It is amazing and beautiful.  I always thought that it must be designed for 6 count canvas — but no — it is a 9-strand wool with a very rich, subtle color variation.  So two strands are gorgeous on Congress Cloth.  Wait until you see it in person!

Navajo Blanket -- End of Day 1

Navajo Blanket — End of Day 1

As you probably know from my prior posts, I am the angel for this class and I warned everyone that I would likely be a slacker angel.  Still, Toni presented me with this lovely needle minder as an angel gift!  I’ll be using it tomorrow!

Angel Needle Minder

Angel Needle Minder

Sue and I had a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant that is a short walk from the hotel.  All we can say is that “It’s not Chicago!”.

All is well.  Happy Stitching!

Cheers, Rosie

Rubbing Elbows with a Celebrity!


Hi, Everyone!

I know I’ve been a bit quiet for the last two days, but I was working on the NJNA October Meeting Summary.  It is an honor to get to see everything from the meeting even when I can’t attend in person!  I worked on it during commercials of the football game — sad to say that my team lost.

As you know from Sue’s posts, our first two days of classes are done here — which means that my first class, “Horus”, is over!  Horus is a pulled thread piece worked on linen.  It was taught by Gale Washington who was a joy and ever so patient as many of us were new to both linen and pulled threadwork.

"Horus" at the end of class.  Horus is the Egyptian God of the king, sky, war, and hunting.  A general purpose god, so to speak!

“Horus” at the end of class. Horus is the Egyptian God of the king, sky, war, and hunting. A general purpose god, so to speak!

Although I know it’s hard to see “Horus” since he is stitched with white on white, I hope you can see enough to appreciate the way the pulled threads delineate the falcon.  The blue lines will disappear when water is misted onto the linen.

Yesterday, after class, I visited the hotel pool which is just outside our room.  But, I definitely missed my water aerobics companions from Chicago seminar!

The view from our room!  The pool is the perfect temperature and depth for water exercise!

The view from our room! The pool is the perfect temperature and depth for water exercise!

Tonight was the opening banquet for the EGA Seminar.  We were seated with other attendees from the Metropolitan Region of EGA.  We learned that over 650 people are in attendance for what was anticipated to be a 500 attendee event.  This means that classes are taking every available smidgeon of space and that there isn’t a reserved space for open stitching.  Looks like they will be setting up some outdoor patios for our exclusive use!

Opening Banquet!

Opening Banquet!



By far the highlight of the banquet was Sue’s receiving one of the coveted Golden Thread awards.  Here she is accepting her award!  I clapped hard but was mad at myself for forgetting to bring my pom-pom from the Arizona football game!

Sue accepts her rose, pin, and certificate!

Sue accepts her rose, pin, and certificate!

Maria, Sue, and Janice

Maria, Sue, and Janice

Tomorrow, I will start “Navaho Blanket” with Toni Gerdes — this was my first choice among all of the potential classes.  I am the angel for this class and am pleased to show off my angel pin — a special design for this Dreams and Legends Seminar.

My beautiful dream catcher angel pin!

My beautiful dream catcher angel pin!

Stay tuned for more regular reporting — and shorter posts!

Cheers!  Rosie

Second day of Winter in the High Country


We continued on our various snow banks of winter with a variety of both stitches and threads. I was anxiously awaiting the trees as that was the part that seemed to me to be the least structured. Finally after the afternoon break we started on the trees which ARE very randomly stitched in a fly stitch. The first thread we used was so thick and rough, the stitches are not smooth and cover a multitude of sins! I did not finish that tree because I did want to stitch at least one tree with the silk to see if I had major issues. So far it looks good.m the last portion of the class was going over the sections we had not yet stitched and for which the directions were really incomplete. It will be interesting to see what my finished product looks like! I am on my own for bushes, mountains, shading of the sky, etc. Much of this I should be able to figure out from the photo.

A few more snow banks


The canvas is really white, not sure why it appears to be so yellow!

I spent some time in the boutique today. Just Nan designed a Gingerbread notebook exclusively for the shop, ABC Stitch Therapy, to be sold first at the Seminar. Denise B. asked me to pick it up for her so she would be sure to get it.

Ornament stitched into the design


Another class, new techniques, more fun tomorrow!



Day 1 at Dreams and Legends Seminar


A beautiful day in Phoenix. I spent much of it indoors, but it was worthwhile because High Country Winter with Joan Thomasson is a great class. The congress cloth that we received already had the various areas drawn on the canvas. Joan told us that the lines were “flexible” which makes compensation much easier–or not necessary! We started with the water and then moved to the snow banks. We had begun the day painting a piece of ultra suede cloth which will be cut into rocks and appliquéd. She wanted us to begin to appliqué the rocks after the afternoon break, but I wanted to get the water stitched so that the water stitching is under the rock. Trying to make sure that all the canvas threads are covered after the rock is secured I thought would be difficult. When Joan stitched hers, the rocks came after the water. Can you see the outlines of the rocks?

River with some snow


One of the neat things about the directions is that she has a master plan for the whole piece and each section numbered for us. Then she has a page of the same outline with all the rocks colored on two sheets so that we can cut out the pattern pieces for the rocks and still have the master plan intact. There are other sheets with color which I expect we will learn about tomorrow.

I went to the boutique for a very short time this afternoon. It is a good boutique with a wide variety of things, a variety of threads, of accessories, many cross stitch charts (with samples to “sell” them), some counted needlepoint designs and some canvases. The samples make quite an impression and I am sure are selling charts with the threads to accompany them.

We are underway!



Stash and Bling!


Hi, Everyone —

Sue and I had a busy day but are finally checked into our “suite” here at the EGA hotel in Phoenix.

We started our day with a visit to Family Arts Needlework store.  They had a wonderful assortment of threads and canvasses.  I was especially impressed with some of the finishing that we saw in there.  However, we must be pretty shopped out because neither of us bought anything here.  Still, I thought I should document my “haul”:

It's the needlepoint equivalent of Halloween candy!!

It’s the needlepoint equivalent of Halloween candy!!

We had lunch in Tempe with Sue’s cousins — I figured it was a good thing that I didn’t wear either Stanford’s or U of A’s colors!  You can bet that I’ll be watching the Stanford/ASU Football game tomorrow!

The refueling went pretty well and now we are car-less for the rest of seminar.  Classes start tomorrow!



A Stop at Quail Run


I arrived today in Phoenix and met Rosie and Harold at the airport just before Harold was getting ready to leave for Salt Lake City. After lunch, Rosie and I decided to go to one of the needlepoint stores we had on our list, Quail Run in Scottsdale. This is the shop where Linda M. had ordered Serengeti for a group of NJNA gals. Since they are planning on starting this as a group project in the coming year, I couldn’t be left out and knew that I had to pick up the directions and kit which I did. The shop is lovely, large, with many, many samples stitched, finished or framed and displayed well.

A Wall of Threads

And a few of the standing displays. Rosie is looking at a stitched ornament that she liked and you can see more stitched pieces.

Threads, Painted Canvases and Finished Pieces

The sales woman who assembled the Serengeti kit for me, told us that one customer did not frame her piece or make it into a pillow, but had a customer acrylic tray made for it. We saw some of the acrylic pieces there and thought they might be the answer for some pieces.

Custom sized tray with removable stitched piece

Or a stitched piece can go in the side of a box.

Another Acrylic Piece

There were some accessories such as magnets and laying tools that were both beautiful and unique at this shop as well. As you know, we are always on the look out for a design that might have universal appeal to our SOTM crew. Here we saw some kimonos designed by Julie Sackett that had both similarities as well as uniqueness that we will put in the pool of selections for a coming year. Rosie did get permission to take pictures. Yes, this was a successful stop for us today with things to purchase and wonderful help from Susan. Do you want to see what you might find that you cannot do without? The link to the shop’s website is on the NJNA website. Swing over and check it out!

Ready for a new day! Sue