As a present to myself on Christmas Day, I was all set to begin The Neighborhood, a counted design that Sue R introduced me to in 2018. When I saw her completed piece, I knew I wanted to build, errr, stitch, my own Neighborhood. At first I thought that I would change the house colors but then decided not to mess with an already good blend of colors. As I finished each house, I felt as though I had actually built it myself and imagined a family living there. Linda M found a roof stitch in this design that you will see in the May June issue of Needlepointers. This piece was finished and in the hands of Rob at Framed Image by the end of February. With Rosie and Rob’s help in selecting the materials and Rob’s excellent work it is now ready to pick up…eventually. It brought joy while stitching it as well as the joy I will have seeing the completed piece hanging at home.
Hi Everyone —
I’m hunkered down and hoping to complete more than a few WIPs! We had only three attendees at SOTM, but I heard that many of you were stitching along in spirit at home. Please send pictures. I have four pictures to post today, but if you send me your SOTM picture, I’ll edit this post to include it!
The three of us whizzed through the first triangle on Saturday and thought it would be a short day — and then we started on the square. No one had finished by the time we called it quits and I was half-way through the second square before I realized that I missed the bit about crossing over two Smyrna! Sue and Dee both promised to send pictures when they finished.
So here’s what I have so far:
Top Row: Nancy W, Rosie
Second Row: Sue C, Dee
Third Row: Jill, Robin
Bottom Row: Janice, Ellen S
I had to shop my stash to find a second Watercolour thread to use since the one I bought seemed way to dark. I found two strands remaining from a kit where the instructor divided skeins to keep the cost down — but I had to manipulate the thread to pull out the color that I needed. It’s on my shopping list now!
Hi Everyone —
Sue and I visited the Woodlawn exhibit today and saw all of the wonderful NJNA exhibits including three by Nancy Brighton. We have a total of 30 pieces in the exhibit! Many of you have already seen Melita’s wonderful write-up. We were thrilled to see so many more pieces than last year.
There were many special pieces (most of original design) that expressed the theme of “Celebrating 100 Years of Women Expressing their Rights Through Craftmaking.” Of these, we were especially enchanted by this piece:
and by this special youth exhibit:
I voted for this piece as best in show:
Sue voted for a small ribbon embroidery piece because it was so delicate.
I hadn’t planned to say much more than that we were disappointed by how high some of the pieces were hung. I couldn’t even read the sayings on some of the samplers.
It’s always a surprise when you go on the scavenger hunt at Woodlawn to find the pieces that you recognize! So I didn’t want to spoil that surprise for all of you. But given that the exhibit will be closed until further notice (and perhaps for good), I’ve decided to post pictures of our group’s entries and, where possible, to give you a sense of the surroundings.
After a quick stop at the shop and picking up our tickets, we were greeted in the parlor by Margaret’s amazing American flag — in a place of honor above the fireplace.
The center hall was overflowing with beautiful pieces. Sue spotted the beautiful tiger maple box that holds Sharon B’s embroidery.
High, high above this box was Cathryn’s Waterlilies — so high I didn’t get a picture. Sorry, Cathryn.
Across the hall, we discovered both Cathryn’s other piece and Nancy B’s wheelbarrow of flowers!
This year the dining room was filled with past year entries from Nelly Needlers. While these were real beauties — I loved this tray and wanted to include the picture for Ellen S.
As we walked into the music room, Linda’s prizewinning sampler greeted us at the top of the door!
The music room held the completed tapestry that some of us stitched on at the ANG National Seminar in Washington DC. It is covered with plexiglass so my photo was awful.
My Rooftops of Paris was displayed right next to the window in this room — it’s a little lopsided!
As we took the steps to the second floor, we found my “Avenue of the Giants”.
On a shelf at the curve of the stairs, we found this duck, I had to take the picture from afar, so it’s a little cloudy, but I wanted to include it because all of the black lines (making it look like stained glass) were cut into the mat. I thought Rob would be impressed!
At the top of the stairs, Linda and Noelle’s Autumn Kaleidoscopes in the original colorway were hung on either side of the first bedroom door. It was very interesting to see how different they looked because of their frame treatment! (Apparently I didn’t take a picture — Sorry!)
Also in the hall were Noelle’s 2019 SOTM and Janet P’s Kaleidoscope. Sorry about the reflection Noelle. The purse was gorgeous too.
The hall seemed to be the location of autumn colored pieces — and, once again, we found Diane B’s Kaleidoscope in the Halloween stairway!
We had good representation in the Christmas bedroom as well.
The small center upstairs room is what Sue and I call the Needlepoint Room. We were well-represented in this room.
Remember that you can always enlarge a picture by clicking on it.
Sue and I decided to call the big bedroom at the top of the stairs the Colorful Room! My Kaleidoscope and Janet P’s Disco Ball made it to this room. I loved the piece above the fireplace. Janet’s was hung all by itself on the closet door!
The room next to the Halloween stairs had several themes, but mostly I would call it the “Other” Holiday room! Janice’s Kaleidoscope seemed to be group with Valentine items — appropriate for her Cherry and Chocolate colors. (Although I think a Christmas item snuck in there too!)
Sue C’s Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue was also displayed in this room, along with several armed service themed canvases. Note the flag — the same design as Margaret’s, but not as nicely framed.
I’m generally not too fond of Bargello, but I liked this piece in this room.
Finally we came to the last bedroom, filled with lace — and Barbara L’s perfume line-up!
I thought this next piece made an interesting birth sampler — very different.
So, I know I missed more than a few and offer my apologies to all. Rather than individual pictures, I wanted you to get a feel for the flow of the house and the more overall arrangement. I hope you enjoy.
Before I go, Woodlawn was encouraging us to read “A Single Thread” by Tracy Chevalier. Sue and I listened to it on the way down, while there, and on the way home. We are enjoying it tremendously. It is about a woman who learns needlepoint just so that she can stitch a kneeler for the cathedral. Woodlawn featured these kneelers as a special exhibit that tied to the book.
We will keep everyone informed about the return of our pieces. It appears that Woodlawn may try to extend the exhibit into April — but I wouldn’t hold my breath right now.
Hi Everyone —
Once again, Sue C and I have joined 46 other stitchers in Sturbridge, MA for Stitcher’s Hideaway.
Several members of NJNA as well as members of Skylands and Monmouth Chapters of EGA are in attendance. We also reconnected with friends from prior years of the retreat. Three days of uninterrupted stitching have allowed all of us to make some good progress on our projects! And, really, isn’t it always better to stitch with friends?
Here’s a collage of our NJNA attendees and their door prizes! Ada won the top prize ($50 gift certificate), but I doubt that anyone was more excited than me when I received a DMC book of small designs that included kitchen items, wine glasses, butterflies, etc.!
This is the first year that we did not have a significant snowfall — only flurries! Unfortunately one of our Skylands colleagues took a fall and broke her arm. We wish Susan a speedy recovery.
Feel like taking on a new project? Enhancing your stitching skills? Then you might want to stop in at The Edwardian Needle in Fairfield, NJ, for a class or special event this winter or spring. Here’s what’s coming up:
Thursday, February 20 – Night stitch-in until 8 pm. No fee.
Thursday, February 27 (6-9 pm) – “Beginning Ribbon Embroidery on Canvas.” Teacher: Pam Miller. Fee: $55.
Friday-Saturday, March 6-7 (9:30 am – 4 pm – “Back to Basics I.” Teacher: Anthony Minieri. Fee: $485. (This is a four-day program. Two more sessions in this series take place on September 23 & 24.)
Thursday, March 19 – Night stitch-in until 8 pm. No fee.
Saturday & Sunday, March 28-29 (10 am – 4 pm) – “Dragonfly Collection.” Teacher: Betty Pillsbury. Fee: $300.
Thursday, April 16 – Night stitch-in until 8 pm. No fee.
Sunday, April 26 (1-4 pm) – “Coco I.” Teacher: Pam Miller. Fee: TBD
Saturday-Sunday, May 16-17 (10am-4pm) – “Crazy Quilt Embellishment.” Teacher: Betty Pillsbury. Fee: TBD. (Photo posted above.)
Thursday, May 22 – Night stitch-in until 8 pm. No fee.
Sunday, May 31 (1-4 pm) – “Coco II.”
Sunday, June 14 (1-4 pm) – “Coco III.”
Thursday, June 18 – Night stitch-fun until 8 pm. No fee.
I’ll be posting information about other local stores’ offerings over the next week or so. For more information about the events listed above, contact The Edwardian Needle.
As many of you already know, I spend a lot of time in CA so that I can visit with my “little people”, aka grandchildren. It’s always a lot of fun, but when I’ve had enough of their childhood exuberance, I turn to needlepoint to bring me some adult amusement and serenity. I am so fortunate in that I have a home away from home when I go to stitch at the local store in San Mateo, called Luv2Stitch. Hanging out there has meant that I have met some wonderful fellow stitching enthusiasts, or should I say addicts?! With their encouragement, I found my way to joining the local chapter of ANG, the Golden Gate Canvas Workers (GGCW).
One of the really nice “side” activities that GGCW has is a monthly stitch-in at various members’ homes. I had the privilege of spending the day yesterday at the home of Lois Kershner, the current President of GGCW. Many of you readers will recognize that name since Lois is a long term national teacher for ANG and other well known needlework organizations. What a delight! Not only is Lois a most gracious hostess, her vision and creativity is unique and beautiful. I have never had the privilege of taking classes with Lois, but I know many of you have. You have been enthusiastic about her Threadscapes, where she reproduces a photograph from one of her travels onto the canvas and one stitches the stitch design over the photograph. These designs are so different and beautiful.
So, all day, my eyes were filled with delight as I was able to gaze at many of her works that grace her walls. There are some very so so snapshots below that I took, of what was up on her walls yesterday. Apparently, she rotates her works of art. With a little encouragement from us, Lois took out of her cupboards her other teaching samples. What fun.
Then . . . Lois announced that 2020 would be her last year of traveling teaching as she was getting ready to retire (GASP). So, she is having a pre retirement sale of all of her teaching pieces, that she calls Threadscapes. She is making kits of her designs with either the photograph on the canvas or a chart and description of the design. The only thing not included is thread. I’m so excited in that even though I may never get a chance to experience Lois as a teacher, I will at least have some of her designs with which to play. And – if I run into a problem, I know where to find help.
All in all, it was a really fun day. If anyone is interested in looking at what Lois has for sale, the information is found on her website at http://www.loiskershner.com. And yes, my fellow NJNA stitchers, I am bringing home some brochures for you to peruse when next I see you.
Please note, I am not Lois’ agent and she did not ask me to write this. I was just so excited by my fun day, that I had to share. Hope all of you are having fun stitching days too.
Many of you are aware that Sue C and I are off at a needlework retreat in Virginia. This is the 35th annual “Christmas in Williamsburg” but this is the first one that is being run by Kevin, Jimmy, and the rest of the gang from Needleworker’s Delight. You won’t be surprised to hear that everyone is singing praises for their making this such an exciting and successful event!
Sue and I started our journey on early Wednesday morning by catching the “bus” from Needleworker’s to Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. We were joined by six other stitchers for the six-hour journey.
The weather improved steadily as we drove south. The resort is located on the shore of the James River and it is really beautiful.
The view from the stitching room!
There are about 200 people attending the event (up from about 75 last year) and a number of classes are being offered — mostly cross-stitch and lectures. Sue and I are among a handful of needlepointers in attendance. Quite a few people have stopped and expressed awe at our stretcher bars! There are about fifteen vendors (yes, we shopped). Breakfast and lunch are provided every day.
The rooms at the resort are spread out. Our room overlooks the tennis courts and is very nice with perhaps the best shower we have ever had in a hotel. (It takes so little to keep me happy!) The resort runs a shuttle service to get us to and from our rooms. Sometimes Sue and I walk, too. The hotel is also running a shuttle service to and from Williamsburg on a set schedule. We haven’t taken advantage of this yet — it’s in our weekend plan, particularly for the Grand Illumination on Sunday!
The resort is beautifully-decorated for the holiday as well.
These nutcrackers flank the front door; they are lit up at night and Christmas music is piped outside the entrance! These pictures are a private joke for Sue’s sister!
Tonight, after two full days of stitching, we had a banquet dinner. There were live musicians singing and playing Christmas carols in the lobby beforehand.
Dinner started with a salad with greens, dried cranberries, pecans, sweet potato pieces, and feta cheese. Dinner was a combo of a game hen and salmon with risotto and veggies. Dessert was a selection of pastries! Excellent.
It won’t surprise any of you that Needleworker’s had beautiful door prizes and baskets to raffle off. I won a door prize.
A Nantucket basket and two complete kits from Fern Ridge — one of the vendors at the boutique.
There were forty opportunity baskets, but only two had needlepoint items. Sue put all of her tickets into a Christmas sampler needlepoint and I put all but one of mine in a Nancy Needles “Two Lighthouses” basket. My final ticket went into the Christmas sampler basket. I told Sue that if I won the Christmas sampler that it would be her birthday present. But, lo and behold, Sue won it all on her own ticket!
There are about 30 door prizes awarded each day while we are stitching, too! Sue and I have already decided to come back next year — you all should join us! This is like the NJ Needlefest on steroids!
This two day class was the first national seminar for my teacher, Wendy Moore, and she was ready for us! Her directions were a stitcher’s dream–great diagrams with lots of little extras to help you along the way, as well as a heading on each page with the thread used, the number of strands, the stitch and where it is on the canvas. The iris is stitched with straw silk which was fun to use once it was ironed flat. There are enough shades of the silk to make the soft shade changes. On day one we worked on the iris and day two on the stalk and frame that will go around it.
Look at the top portion of the frame (only part stitched yet). The corner motif idea came from the design on a ceiling tile Wendy sees when she is at the hair dressers and having her hair washed! (Rosie often takes architectural photos for stitching ideas!). Then the frame is two parts with one being a longer scotch stitch and the other laid threads tied down with spaced Gobelin stitches. When you see the completed piece, it really looks like a wood frame! This piece is quite large and is currently going home with Dee as she kindly agreed to carry it in her car back to NJ! If you see a design that you like at a class or seminar with Wendy as a teacher, sign up. I think you will enjoy being in her class.
A few notes about this place as a seminar location. I loved it! The rooms are more spacious than ones we have had at other seminars with adequate drawer space and floor space for all the things needlepointers need to have on hand. The staff has been very friendly and accommodating and always with a smile. The lazy river has been a perfect way to loosen up tired muscles after a day of stitching. There were several days when we “walked the perimeter of Texas” a few times against the current for a bit more exercise! The surrounding area had open space which a suburb gal needs, places to eat within walking distance, and a great specialty grocery store. The seminar committee did a great job in their selection of location in my opinion.
Hi Everyone —
I don’t really have much to report today. I quite enjoyed the remainder of my class and I am awed that we discussed every single stitched area, bead, and thread on this piece. Cynthia was an energetic and supportive teacher, but we all would have liked more time to stitch. I have a free morning tomorrow, so I may try to put a few more stitches in.
Tonight was the closing banquet. We had a table of 7 NJNA members and Donna F from San Francisco area who happens to be a California stitching buddy of Barbara L! Small world! Hello’s all around!
Tomorrow afternoon I have to pack up all of the correspondence pieces for shipment back to the teachers. Surprisingly, Houston was a great choice for seminar and this is one of the best hotels we have ever had in terms of lighting, distances, and amenities.
Next year in Tucson!
August 17, 2019
Today I started a new class — a painted canvas by Brenda Stofft Designs — with Cynthia Thomas who designed the stitch guide and is teaching the class. It is called Lady with Mandala II.
I started the class by asking what a mandala was — I had thought that they were the crystals hanging behind the lady — but no — they are the disks in the upper right quadrant of the design. So — here’s what Webster’s had to say:
Mandala, (Sanskrit: “circle”) in Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, a symbolic diagram used in the performance of sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation.
We have four students in the class. I am the only one who does not usually do painted canvas, but I explained that I needed to get back to stitching on my Lombard Street and I hoped that the course would provide some inspiration. I also asked Cynthia to explain how and why she picked the various stitches and it’s been great!
The kit has hundreds of threads, beads, and crystals and was beautifully kitted by Chandail Needlepoint. We mostly worked on the lady’s hair today — I think this class could easily have been a three or four day class, so we have to hurry to get through everything in two days!
After class I walked the perimeter of Texas a few more times and then attended the Seminar Expo! after dinner.
I discovered my picture on Facebook today — ANG had taken a picture of me hawking the correspondence courses last night!
Time is flying by. I spent some time this afternoon looking at the classes that will be offered next year in Tucson. I think I found some interesting options!
I’m looking forward to getting some uninterrupted stitching time!