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My trip to the Bay area, Part 2


So now that I have regaled you with my celebrity sighting, the opening of a new shop and a picture of cute, young guy hard at work, let me tell you about another needlepoint day in my visit to the Bay Area.

What could be better than a field trip? In addition to my membership in NJNA, I belong to a few other chapters, that I “attend” mostly online and through email. If I could stay up late enough, I could attend some via zoom, but I’m an early bird. Back to topic. The only other chapter I attend in person is the Golden Gate Canvas Workers, a chapter that is soon to be 40 years old and based out of San Mateo, CA. As you can imagine, I don’t get to too many meetings, but when I do, they never disappoint.

I was very lucky this visit to be there during a regular meeting time. However, this was no regular meeting. About a dozen chapter members took a field trip into downtown San Fransisco. What a treat. Side benefit, not being from the area, I did not have to be one of the drivers. So three cars of chattering stitchers went into the city. First stop, the retail shop of Needlepoint Inc.

As many of you stitchers know, Needlepoint Inc, produces a luscious stranded silk thread in a Crayola style of many, many colors. In addition, Needlepoint Inc. (hereafter known as NI) does finishing of every variety and maintains a retail shop. In previous days, the shop was located in Ghirardelli Square, but has since moved to a location in the financial district. As soon as we entered the shop, one saw wall to wall samples of finished projects in every way imaginable. It was such a sight that I had no idea where to look next. Of course, it was also hard to miss the entire wall of NI silk thread. There are some varieties of thread from Rainbow Gallery and Kreinik as well, but the highlight is their own silk. The store is filled with many, many canvases, so a stitcher cannot go away empty handed. The owner came out to greet and chat with us and was very generous by allowing us observe work that was going on. That meant that we got to watch the finishers at work. How fascinating. I was taken in by the sewing machine that was sewing by itself. What I didn’t realize was that, that machine was busy monogramming. While that was going on, we watched an ornament being finished before our very eyes! So interesting. Enjoy some of the pictures below.

After a really yummy lunch, we then ventured to the San Fransisco School of Needlework and Design. I had been to their old location, and was wowed then. Since my last visit, they moved (within walking distance of Needlepoint Inc.) and was I in for a treat. Their new location is divine. I immediately had the same reaction I had the first time – where do I look first? My eyes could not help traveling all over the place. There was so much eye candy. I heartily recommend that you look at their website ( to get the professional photos of what my humble snapshots tried to capture.

The school takes up a floor and has many breakout classrooms in addition to the shop and exhibit areas. There are very large windows giving lots of light, but when not in use, the windows have black out shades to protect the fibers from the sunlight. The collection room is thermally controlled with dim lighting to preserve the very old pieces that are housed there. There is a curator on staff, who researches and studies the pieces that are to be exhibited. While there, we saw some of the works for the next exhibit and they were breathtaking. They know who the stitcher is, but are still scant on details about her life. Perhaps by the time the exhibit runs, there will more to report.

In addition to being a school, running a myriad of classes, the organization has a permanent collection of really old and beautiful embroidered pieces as well as traveling exhibitions. I was lucky enough to see two different exhibits as well as talk to the curator of the next exhibit. There are jars and drawers filled with every thread imaginable as well as so many samples hanging on the walls. The course offerings go from intro classes to multi leveled studies that give you a certificate in a particular area of needlework. There were some methods of which I had never heard, but there were also the basics of embroidery, goldwork and the like. I know that if I ever move permanently to the Bay area, I will live at SNAD, just taking classes. There is an extensive library (mostly donated by patrons) with so many books on a variety of subjects. The school is still taking donations for their library, except for needlepoint books. Their collection is quite extensive already! The shop is filled with new items such as books, embroidery hoops, stands and bundles of silk thread put together in packets by color range. There are also donated painted canvases that are sold at a fraction of suggested retail as well as used tools. All proceeds go back into the running of SNAD. I wish I could be more explicit in all of my explanations, but I was too busy wandering around and looking, that I have to admit, I missed some of what was being said. The school accepts donations of every variety of thread, so that the student just has to go to the cabinet and find what they are looking for.

Last visit, I was privileged to see many bands for the longest band sampler, that SNAD is amassing. The woman touring me was amazed when I told her that I knew several of the stitchers of the bands. When I inquired this visit where the sampler was, I was told that the bands were out with volunteers who are sewing them together so that the bands could truly be the longest sampler. Hopefully the next time I visit, I will see it. The making of the sampler bands is on-going and anyone can participate. Please just check the website and/or call the school to inquire how you might make and donate one.

There are usually two exhibits going on at the same time. These exhibits rotate. One is a visiting exhibit and it hangs in the Hanging Thread Gallery. The one I observed did not even seem real. The work was breathtaking. The artist was from India and is named Asif Shaikh. He exhibited on the resurgence of needlework artistry in India. I will show you a few snapshots, but this work is better viewed on the website. Truly, do not miss this. The exhibit closes at the end of November.

The second exhibit is the Corridor Exhibit. This exhibit can only be viewed by walking around the hallway that is square with the classrooms on either side. It is usually a challenge that the school puts out and one creates their interpretation of the theme. The current exhibit is called “Purple Reign”. It was originally promoted as a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. However, since then, it has taken on the tone of a memorial. The pieces are all original designs and I think most of them are really clever. Please enjoy the photos below.

Here are some pictures of classroom samples:

This is a sample of one of the pieces being curated for the next exhibit.

This is a teaching sample of a new piece designed by Lucy Barter, one of the founding members of the school.

Many, many thanks to SNAD for allowing me to take all these photographs. I really am sincere when I suggest that you go to SNAD’s website and look at all their eye candy. I also highly suggest that you arrange to take a field trip with some like minded folks. It was truly a wonderful. wonderful day.

My trip to the Bay Area, Part 1


As many of you readers know, I visit the Bay area often. I have to see those “little people”, aka grandchildren, grow and thrive. However, as busy as I am driving carpools, attending soccer games, finding Halloween costumes and the like, I always leave time for needlepoint adventures. Most of the time those adventures are attending stitch-ins at someone’s home or in a shop.

Unfortunately, two of the area’s local shops closed during the past several months. It has been so unfortunate for the local stitchers as their easy access to supplies and a place to hang and be inspired, was sorely limited, until now.

The week before I arrived, “Stitched Up Needleworks” opened its doors in Morgan Hill, CA. Kay Lawless, the owner, had been managing one of the two shops that closed and decided the time was right for her to take the plunge and open her own shop. Boy, am I glad she did.

“Stitched Up” is a bright, airy shop filled with samples, trunk shows, growing thread walls (arranged by color) and even a classroom!

So I made two visits to the shop while I was on the west coast. The first was a reconnaissance mission (and to give Stuart and me some breathing room – we have close quarters while we are there). As I walked through the front door of the new shop, I was enchanted by the brightness and the inspiring decor of trunk show canvases, threads arranged by color and a bench with many, many pillows on it. I learned that the purpose of the pillows on the bench was so that a customer can choose how they want their pillows finished. How clever!

As I was moseying around the shop, I heard two other customers come in. It was hard not to eavesdrop as I heard one customer say to the owner, “I’d like to introduce you to the teacher who is going to teach our chapter this weekend. This is Margaret Bendig.” My ears popped and I immediately wondered if this was “the” Margaret Bendig”, who designed the wonderful kimonos that we all stitched together as a chapter. So, I plunged right in and went over and used the words above, “are you the Margaret Bendig, teacher and designer? I then explained I was visiting from NJ to visit with grandchildren and that I was part of the chapter who stitched her kimonos. Of course, I immediately pulled up my finished project on my phone and showed it to her. It turned out Margaret was visiting grandchildren too in the Bay area, as well as teaching. Margaret is the one on the left. I didn’t know I needed my platform shoes that day!

The woman who was introducing Margaret was Pam Thompson of the South Bay Needlepointers ANG chapter. Margaret was there to teach “Star Dance”. The photograph below doesn’t begin to do it justice. I bet the chapter members lucky enough to be in the class had a really good time!

Here is my favorite piece of decor in the shop (besides all the antique cabinets!):

While I was at the shop, I found a product that I had never seen. How could that be?! It is a darling project/thread bag made by “It’s Sew Emma”. These are made out of needlepoint canvas with a diagonal printed plaid on it. One could use them by themselves, but even better, Shephard’s Bush has created cross stitch designs with which you can decorate your bag. I have already shown the bag to Pam at Edwardian Needle. She is considering having them in her shop, so if you have an interest in obtaining one, make sure to let Pam know, so she will order some.

On my second visit to the shop, I was there mostly to stitch, however, there was an interesting project going on in the classroom. There was a young man (at least to me) doing something in front of an enormous white box. When I inquired, he told me that he was photographing threads for the soon to be online shop for Stitched Up Needleworks. I asked permission to photograph him at work and promised to show his boss that he was working hard.

So I hope you enjoyed my celebrity sighting, the new projects and most of all the tour of the newest Bay area needlepoint shop. Stay tuned for part II of my trip to the Bay area.

“Almost” back to normal


I finally took the plunge and took a needlework class, my first since Covid began. I held my breath (figuratively), masked up and went to Luv2Stitch in San Mateo, CA. Yes, yes, I know for me there is a lot more draw to CA than a needlework class! (Read that as time with the “little people”, aka grandchildren). However what could be better than combining one’s two loves?

The visiting nobility was Deborah Merrick-Wilson teaching two days of goldwork. The project is called “A Taste of Tudor”. With Deborah’s permission, I am publishing a photo of the finished project. The other photo is my attempt at goldwork. I made some progress, but with metal threads, it’s slower stitching than usual.

Deborah’s interest in gold work goes back to childhood when she fell in love with the “patch” of gold on an uncle’s blazer. She went on to become an expert in dimensional embroidery and traditional and interpretive goldwork. She has received numerous awards for her work. One can read more about Deborah’s numerous accomplishments on the EGA website under events (more about that later.)

Deborah’s style of teaching is what made me so excited. She breaks downs an area of the design into smaller chunks, so that the execution of that section of the design made total sense. Her pacing was spot on. We covered prep work, followed by execution of some of the stitches, but we did not rush. At the end of the second day, Deborah spent the last half hour going over the stitch guide and explaining in detail the areas of the design that had not been covered in class. I did not walk away thinking I will never be able to do this. Instead, I felt as if I had covered enough basics to help me through the remainder of the design. Of course, we shall see how I progress! One can’t leave a goldwork design to languish in the closet because the metals do start to change colors and one wants their piece to age at approximately the same rate.

So now on to why I mentioned EGA in an ANG sponsored blog. Deborah was in the process of retiring when the pandemic hit. This class was supposed to have been taught in 2020. Thankfully, Deborah did two make up sessions last week and this past weekend. That way the class was divided in half so that we had more room to social distance a bit. When Deborah was asked where else she might be teaching, she informed us that probably her last class taught would be as an extended study program for EGA early this spring. That event, which might be her last teaching gig, is to be held in March of 2022 in Alexandria, VA. One can find more information on that event on the EGA website.

So it is hard to tell whether all this excitement of mine is due to the fact that I was actually sitting in a classroom again. (I love, love taking classes) or because I was enthralled with the material. I suspect it is a little of both!

Seminar coming to our backyard in less than a year!


I have spent the last few days at the EGA Seminar in Chicago and I have seen the classes being offered next year up close and personal with my white gloves on! Broadway Bound, the EGA Seminar for 2022 has some stunning needlepoint pieces as well as such a wide variety of other embroidery techniques.

Broadway Bound runs from August 24-28, 2022, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. There will be nine one day classes on Friday, 25 two day classes that run on Wednesday and Thursday and another 25 different two day classes offered on Saturday and Sunday. There are also 6 four day classes that are taught on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and one three day class on Appraising Needlework. The boutique will be run by a store we are very familiar with, Needleworker’s Delight! I cannot offer any photos but you will be able to see them soon.

The photos of all the classes will be posted on Sunday morning on the EGA website ( You can find all the information about each class as well as the photos. The link for early registration will be operational as well. I am excited that this will be available so close to many of us offering an opportunity to take a class (or two or three!) from a national teacher. Plus it should fit the schedule of those who are working if you see and take a class offered on the weekend.

Take a look! I hope that you can join us there!


Celestial Twist


March 7, 2021

Hi Everyone —

In January, Sue C, Linda and I decided to enroll in the ANG Workshop by Mail. The workshop was Celestial Twist by Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes. We had to write to Ann-Marie at Beautiful Stitches in Australia if we wanted a kit. So we looked at the website and found a treasure of silken threads and designs! (

Sue C showed you her threads in her January 27 post on this site. We’ve been combining our orders to save on postage from Australia. But the threads and colors are just luscious! At Ann-Marie’s suggestion, we have bought our canvas locally to save on postage. Another excuse for a visit to Needleworker’s Delight!

Today, I am pleased to share the finished results of our stitching. My goodness, what a difference a color can make!

If these stay static in the post, we have Linda’s, Rosie’s, and Sue C’s from left to right. Rosie did the original colorway and Linda and Sue chose other threads from Ann-Marie’s collection. In all cases, Ann-Marie chose the solid colors to coordinate with the over-dyed threads.

All three of us agree that this was such a fun piece to stitch with all the Amadeus, Crescent, Norwich, Ray, and Herringbone stitches. We discovered Wrapped Coils for the first time!

The three of us all have additional Beautiful Stitches projects in our stash (or current project pile). I am doing the 2021 Block of the Month piece called “Long Time Gone Stitching” which features an array of well-known quilt patterns interpreted in needlepoint!

We owe ANG a huge thanks for introducing us to Ann-Marie. Just another benefit of guild membership!

Cheers, Rosie



Hi Everyone —

A few months ago, I signed up for “Ahwahnee” by Lorene Salt which was being offered as a workshop by EGA. I thought the design looked balanced and interesting; I ordered the PDF and skipped the kit because I wasn’t fond of the color. The design was supposedly based upon a stained glass window at Yosemite Lodge. So, I was thinking of using shades of green, redwood bark, and blue sky to evoke the feeling of the Yosemite National Park. So when I got the material list, I started combing my stash.

Ahwahnee by Lorene Salt in the original colorway.

The class instructions came in six lessons spaced about a month apart. With the first lesson, Lorene sent a picture of the window that had inspired the design and I immediately knew that I would try to emulate that window instead of following my original plan.

This is the Ahwahnee window in Yosemite Lodge! So gorgeous!

Now came the hard part! I was determined to use my stash so that I didn’t have to shop during Covid. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well. The only red in my stash was bright Christmas red. I had a nice green, but adjusted when I didn’t have a Kreinik that would work with it. I had lots of bright yellow, but only a few strands of gold that might work. So I stitched and ripped and stitched and ripped until I finally went to Needleworkers Delight and just bit the bullet!

My version of Ahwahnee!

You will note that I took a few liberties with the design. I didn’t like the Chilly Hollows around the center motif — they felt too large, so I changed them to emulate the little triangles in the stained glass. I think it is too busy now, but I’ve stitched this area too many times to count. I’m also not completely happy with the middle side panels — they need more red, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it. Those areas have been stitched at least three times!

My base colors were DMC 815 for the red, 704 for the green, 783 for the gold, and 310 for the black. When I was almost finished, someone told me about this nifty program on Stitch Palette where you could upload a picture and it would convert it to DMC colors. So I uploaded the picture of the Ahwahnee window. Stitch Palette converter recommended DMC 355 for the red, 904/906 for the green, 832 for the gold, and 3371 for the frame and dividers. So epic fail on my part!

No, I don’t plan to stitch it again — but it was interesting to stitch and a real challenge for colors!

Cheers, Rosie

Celestial Event, beginning


When ANG posted this piece as a Workshop by Mail last fall, I knew that wanted to stitch it. I loved the design as well as the flow of exciting colors. Reading a description I realized that you could also get it kitted with the threads by the designer Ann-Marie Anderson-Mayes of Australia. I looked at her website, Beautiful Stitches, and along with several other members of NJNA, ordered some threads. I ordered two complete kits of threads and picked the most vibrant of the two. Yesterday I started to stitch. Oh, what fun and what beautiful threads to work with and what clear true colors.

Here is my beginning with the threads I am using. Isn’t the overdye beautiful?


Week 1 of Sunrise Reflection


The first lesson of the ANG virtual Seminar class began last Monday. We already had our kit and instructions; what arrived on Monday in my computer mailbox was the additional notes that usually are verbal when a class begins. The instructions for the first week covered the land portion of the piece. The written instructions were very complete, what was added in the notes was icing on the cake! The stitching was fun to do because the picture unfolded quickly (at least where Needlepoint is involved)!

Here is the land portion.

The Bargello on the left establishes the hillside. Above that you can see the sunflowers stitched as eyelets with their green stems, a diagonal satin stitch. Below the Bargello, you can see the wildflowers which are stitched as a composite stitch made as a diagonal Gobelin . Separating the wildflowers and the Bargello is the soil stitched as free-form eyelets.

On the right side you can see pine trees, a slanted Gobelin, with trunks, a VanDyke stitch over a Fyre Werks for some glisten. Above the trees for the mountainside is an overdye Diagonal Roumanian (fun to stitch but a bear to remove!). The base is a Sprat’s Head to anchor that side.

I am ready for Lesson 2 on Monday! (Can you tell this is a delight to stitch??)


Christmas morning arrives in my mailbox


ANG decided to postpone the seminar this year in Tucson for two years, but offered a virtual seminar instead. I signed up for two classes and the kit for one of my classes arrived in the mail yesterday. I knew it would arrive any day so I kept checking for the mail to see if it had come. It finally arrived at its usual time, just before 3:00, and there was a package!

Our instruction via email from Wendy Moore was to let her know when the package arrived and the contents checked. I opened the package and saw this beautiful turquoise painted canvas with slight variations in color–she had said that there would slight differences but it takes a careful eye to see that. Then this large package of threads divided into smaller bags, a bag with four needles and a needle threader–do you ever have enough needle threaders?

Wendy Moore’s class, Sunrise Reflections, will be taught in four sessions separated by a week. Each session addresses an area of the design. The threads are separated into bags for each section of the canvas which is in one session. There are numerous threads used and since many of these are more expensive threads, they are cut to the amount needed and put on thread drops. The Land section has 15 threads on green drop cards in a bag. The Sun has 8 threads on yellow cards. There are 9 threads on blue cards for the Water section and the bag for the Sky has 4 threads on lavender cards.

The direction sheets already had holes punched in the, so I immediately put them in a binder and double checked that all the pages were there. Today I will attach my canvas to the stretcher bars and be ready for the first session on September 7! I love this virtual seminar since traveling at this time is not what I am comfortable doing!

Threads and canvas

Another Finish


For the past month I’ve been working on Toni Gerdes’s “Klimt Kimono” through CyberPointers, and I finished it yesterday! It was fun to stitch…the most difficult part was keeping track of the floss threader, the re-purposed tool for getting the gold gimp thread used for the tree branches through enlarged holes in the canvas. 🙂 I dropped it several times and thought I was in trouble, until I discovered that a flashlight helped to locate it against the dark tweedy background of the carpet where I was stitching.

I have a partially-finished Wright Kimono in my stash, and I’m going to be doing the O’Keeffe Kimono as part of the virtual ANG Seminar, so I guess I have to stop saying that “I’m not really a kimono person”!