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A visit to the Needlework Exhibit at Woodlawn


Today Rosie and I went to Woodlawn as we have been doing for the past few years. We now have a system of going through the house once, having lunch in Nelly’s Cafe and then a second go around of the exhibit. At lunch we talk about what we have seen and what warrants a second visit. This year during our second trip around we picked our People’s Choice vote for a silk ribbon design that had special touches of embroidered felted wool small birds and tiny 3 D butterflies that had a shadow of the butterfly stitched behind it as well as all the beautiful silk ribbon flowers! We missed those details the first time around.

As usual we found some needlepoint counted designs that we particularly liked and wanted to know the designer. My job is to fill out a question sheet to be given to the stitcher requesting the name of the designer. Rosie’s job was expanded this year as photographs of rooms were permitted–not close ups where a design could be repeated by another stitcher without purchasing the design. So to entice you to come, here are a few room photos.

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An entry from Sue R and the silk embroidery with the butterflies!

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Joan S’s two ribbon-winning pieces were displayed on the same wall.

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Diane B’s and Barbara L’s SOTM along with Sue R’s second piece.


Two pieces by Andrea B as well as Cathryn C’s and Ellen B’s entries.

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Rosie’s two collages by Debbie Stiehler, Imari collage won a ribbon!

We did not get photos of all the entries from NJNA, hopefully there will be a later post including others.

What we always enjoy is trying to identify the designer of pieces that we see. This year we identified eighteen different designers whose work we have either stitched or are familiar with! See what spending time with NJNA members will do! This year several members, who had stitched former president of NJNA Susan Hoekstra’s Stitch of the Month design for ANG in 2016, exhibited their completed piece either framed or as a pillow. Unfortunately for those of us who find the different color ways as well as variations of the design a great study of both design effect and color relationships, these pieces were exhibited in several different rooms. Another two (that I counted) exhibitors stitched this design with a very different center. One was at eye level so that we could see the center was beaded and three dimensional. That was one of the question sheets I filled out, who had designed the center. It made for a very different piece!

I felt that in this year’s exhibit there were many more original designs than I have ever seen exhibited before! Several were by teachers but most were not (or at least I don’t believe they are designers!). This seems to me to be a good sign that needlework is expanding and more people are creating their own work.

Each year I come away inspired to stitch more and a plan of what I want to complete for exhibit next year! If you have not come, plan a day in March–not a Tuesday–to come see the beautiful pieces and be inspired! If you have not yet exhibited, consider exhibiting next year to inspire others in this great hobby!



More NJNA Door Prize Winners!


Hi Everyone —

Jill, Sue R, and I all won door prizes today!  Only Janice has not won — but she has two more days of stitching left and the rest of us will leave tomorrow (to get home in time for the NJNA meeting!)

Sue and I are already planning our return for next year’s winter retreat!



Winter Retreat at Sturbridge


Hi Everyone —

This week, Sue C and I joined several other members of our chapter (Sue R, Janice, Ada, Jill) as well as friends from the local EGA chapter to attend Winter Escape sponsored by Stitcher’s Hideaway in Sturbridge Village, MA.

We drove to MA on Saturday.  On the way we stopped at the Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT.  What a lovely shop!  I bought the following canvas with all threads and a stitch guide — won’t that be a lovely way to remember my upcoming vacation in Paris?  I’m happy to report that I was not the only person who did some serious damage on their credit card!

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The Publick House in Sturbridge offers us a lovely room for stitching.




Guess who I found lurking in the rafters above our stitching table?


We can stitch from early morning until about 9:30 PM.  Lunch is at noon and Dinner is at 5:00 — and there is more than ample food, including some glorious sticky buns!  Sue C won a door prize on the first day — a gift certificate to an online needlework store.


Janice finished her Kaleidoscope through February in a Chocolate and Cherries colorway.  Bravo!


I was able to finish Razzle Dazzle after several years of stitching at every SOTM meeting!


A great time is being had by all!




Woodlawn Delivery 2018


Mr. M and I made the trip down to Alexandria, VA on Friday.  We loaded up the intrepid Mazda 3 with 17 (count ’em) pieces from our Chapter! Huge thanks to Diane, Sue C., Ellen, Andrea, Joan, Sue R., Marge, Rosie, Cathryn, and Barbara for contributing to this wonderful exhibit. And, if those weren’t enough, we stopped in Mt. Laurel to meet up with Melita whose pieces hitched a ride with us. In all, NJNA is represented by 19 pieces at the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit this year! Woo Hoo!

For those of you who will make the trip to the exhibit in March – and I encourage you all to do so – we are #400 to 418 in the program.

We stopped in Stevenson, MD at Hillside Needlepoint. They have greatly expanded both the canvases and the threads that they carry. I picked up quite a bit of thread (I’m kitting another new project) as well as a small canvas. As I was checking out I was asked if I had been there before as I would already be in the system (and of course I had been). Mr. M started rolling his eyes when he heard Leslie mention that she knew my name through Facebook posts! Needlework is such a wonderful welcoming community.

Lunch was at Ellicott Mills Brewing in nearby (you guessed it) Ellicott City. This is one of Mr. M’s favorites for the beer and the food is really great.

The drop-off this morning went fairly smoothly although the ladies checking in the pieces did not know I had pre-arranged the time. But, as usual, they quickly got it sorted out and we were checked in with their usual efficiency. Once again NJNA was thanked profusely for our support of the exhibition and our pieces garnered lots of “oohs” and “aahs”.

Fortunately, we had the car unloaded before the torrential rains started. The local news reported that the rains were needed but there are areas that could see 2 to 4 inches over the weekend! Given the rain we did not make our usual trip into DC as we were not about to walk around during a monsoon. Instead I had a leisurely shop at In Stitches, near to Woodlawn. I added to the threads needed for my project and resisted with great difficulty purchasing any more projects. We then traveled up to Bethesda to have lunch at Rock Bottom and a quick visit to The Point of It All.

By then I was itching to get back to the room and work on some stitching so we spent the rest of the afternoon watching Olympic curling, which I am enjoying tremendously. I’m thinking of taking up the sport in retirement!

Tonight we’ll watch more Olympics and I’ll hopefully finish up Shell Game. Tomorrow will be the ride back to New Jersey.

And, for those who might be curious, my latest project to be started (along with the multitude already in the works) is Alice Peterson’s Winter Wonderland with a stitch guide by Laura Taylor. My wonderful friends Randi and Renee at Gone Stitching picked up the canvas for me at the TNNA in Las Vegas and I was able to get Laura’s stitch guide from Aristeia Needlepoint in Santa Monica.

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Happy Stitching!




Hi Everyone —

Last April I attended the Metropolitan Regional EGA Seminar in Madison, NJ.

Each chapter in the region prepares an opportunity basket and tickets are sold for chances to win one!  I like to support the organizations, so I usually buy a few tickets and scatter them around in different baskets.  Well!  I won a very stuffed basket which I had bid on because of a cute little stuffed pig that was residing in one of the pockets!


I brought the basket home and put it on top of the dresser in my office where it has been sitting until today!  Sue came to help me unpack it and, to my chagrin, one of the things I found was a slip of paper stating who I should address my thank you notes to:  the chapter president and the person who put the basket together.  I had NO IDEA that this was a thing!

So, I just finished writing two very, very belated thank you notes which will go into the mail tomorrow!  And to think I almost re-gifted the basket (minus the pig)….

The joke would have been on me!

Cheers, Rosie

A stitching retreat


This past weekend five NJNA members attended a stitching retreat offered by the Monmouth Chapter, EGA, in Voorhees, NJ. There is a needlepoint shop nearby in Merchantville, the Nimble Needle, run by Karen Milano.  Karen opened earlier in the day than her usual hours and gave those attending the retreat a 20% discount!  Her new location is roomier, and it is much easier to find threads.  Karen has a wonderful selection of threads as well as great accessories (think magnets, with bling and without).  She is also wonderful at helping select the threads needed for a painted canvas.  

Then it was on to stitch.   There were twenty three of us taking over the Hampton Inn along with the families participating in a boys soccer tournament.  We had the large meeting room with wonderful lighting both day and night.  (I never used my light and stitched on congress cloth without my magnifiers!). We sat at round tables with four Stitcher’s at a table, ample room for us to spread out our supplies.  Most of us worked on several projects during the three days we stitched.  We took over the room at three Friday afternoon with all our bags and carts, set up our edible treats and were ready to go.  Stitching continued after dinner with participants dropping out for bed as the evening progressed.  Last one out locked the door and first one up to stitch asked the front desk to open the room.  

There were a wide variety of eating places within five miles on route 73.  Or you could walk across the parking lot and eat at the Voorhees Diner which almost everyone did on Saturday evening.  If you had been there, you would have seen Ada D. working on her Japanese embroidery and a birth sampler.  Ellen S. divided her time between a painted canvas of a snowman and a counted Bargello design, “My Favorite Things”.  Tina F. spent her time working on a birth sampler for her grandson.. Sue R. has a beautiful painted cuff she was stitching as well as a painted autumn canvas on which she was stitching a beaded pumpkin and the background in a sign for her newly painted bathroom.  Sue C. Divided her time between the chapter project, the Magic Shell and beginning her Bargello, “My Favorite Things” which she bought after seeing Ellen’s–I finished purchasing the threads at Nimble Needle on Friday.

There are so many benefits to a retreat like this, time to escape from your daily life–no laundry, no meal preparation, no work!  It is a chance to meet new stitchers and to share ideas among all, a chance to see new designs and projects and to admire the work of others.  We learned the names of excellent finishers for our beautiful pieces. We heard about good shops and what they offer.  Best of all a productive, relaxing weekend for all.  By Sunday at three we were headed back to the real world refreshed.


Sturbridge Stitching Retreat 2017


These past two days have seen me at the Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat in Sturbridge, MA. I had a wonderful time stitching on Thanksgiving Sampler designed and taught by the wonderful Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler.

Thanksgiving Sampler

This beautiful piece is stitched on 28-count linen both over two and over one, and includes many specialty stitches in addition to cross stitch and Hardanger. Our homework in advance of the class was to stitch the Kloster Blocks needed for the Hardanger. I stitched a lot of the cross stitches as well as some of the specialty stitches for placement. I also stitched the Kloster Blocks on a practice piece because of my intense fear of cutting the fabric on the project piece when I’m sitting in class.

I did some stitching in class and made some progress on the piece. The lighting in my room was not conducive to getting a really good photo, but it gives the general idea of how much has been stitched so far. We spent the day on Monday going through all the specialty stitches, which included Rhodes Hearts, Algerian Eyelets, Smyrnas, Knit Stitch, and Arrowhead Stitch.

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My Progress

On Tuesday we started on the Hardanger with the morning devoted to cutting and the afternoon to stitching. As I said, I have this horrific fear of cutting the threads in class so I do that all on a practice piece. Here are the photos of the first section of cutting as well as my progress on my Greek Crosses and the Dove’s Eyes.

Practice Piece 1

Morning Cutting

Practice Piece 2

Afternoon Stitching

We had a great time and I learned a lot. This is the third class I’ve taken with Thea and I definitely have more confidence about the Hardanger. I may even complete this piece sometime in the near future!

The model was finished as a wall hanging. I usually frame my pieces but our project included the fabric, which is luscious, for the wall hanging so I may even attempt that type of finish.


Fabric Pack

In addition to the stitching we had wonderful meals, exchanged autumnal-themed needlework gifts, and had a great show-and-tell. There were quite a few new attendees this year (about twelve out of forty), so I was able to meet and chat with people from previous retreats as well as many newbies.

I will be traveling back tomorrow so I’m hoping I avoid the traffic and the weather cooperates.

Happy Stitching!