Autumn Kaleidoscope


I finished Stars so that I could start on Autumn Kaleidoscope! I knew John and I were heading to the lake for a few days of skiing and relaxing, so I wanted to be able to start stitching Autumn Kaleidoscope this weekend. Since I didn't like the purple and blue highlights in the original but liked the base colors, I changed the overdye to use 2 colors from ArtFabrik – Fall Maple and Pumpkin Patch. They have similar colors but each was missing at least one color I wanted but combined, they were exactly what I wanted. I'm alternating which color I use as I stitch the inner border and it seems to be working. For my “pop” colors, I changed the purple to cranberry and the blue to yellow/gold.

When I went to start stitching, I realized I did not have any of my #8 Pearl Cotton so I was extremely disappointed thinking maybe I couldn't start after all. Then I realized I could baste the outline so I would have the proper counts to do the inner borders. No problem, right?! What I didn't realize as I started the inner border was that I had basted the outer part of the outer border Smyrnas. I thought I'd checked my counts of Star stitches but apparently mis-counted on the first diagonal row. I was going to start in the Chilly Hollows in section 1, but my counts weren't t working. Aha! Fortunately, I mostly counted from the top border and I'd only stitched the top quadrant so I only had a few stitches on the left border and one vertical row of Star stitches to take out.

So here I am at this point. January sections done! Lots of Smyrnas and Star stitches to go! I'm really enjoying the piece – other than the borders, it seems to be a quick workup. Another great choice for our SOTM!

Diane's with January sections



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.

Winter Wonderland.png

Happy Stitching!


SOTM — February 2018


Hi Everyone —

We had quite a turn-out for a dreary February day.  It is a testament to how excited all of us are to be doing Lorene Salt’s “Kaleidoscope”.  Unfortunately, I was a little slow in getting my camera out and a number of folks left before I could snap a photo.  I hope they will post individually to this blog!

Here are a few of the Kaleidoscopes followed by the close-up detail of today’s stitching.  Many of us can now put this piece away until March — it is so exciting to be able to complete the month’s stitching in one long afternoon!


Group Photo — Clockwise from Far Left  (Sue R, Robin, Sylvia, Rosie, Tina)

Margaret and Barbara L are continuing to work on “Stars of the New Millennium” by Tony Minieri and last year’s SOTM selection.



Margaret on Left; Barbara L on Right

Dee is continuing “A Different View” by Kurdy Biggs and our second SOTM selection.  We figured out that this is our sixth year!



Dee’s Different View





2018 SOTM – January


A new year and a new project! This year’s NJNA Stitch-of-the-Month is Autumn Kaleidoscope by Lorene Salt. There are 19 NJNA members stitching this project over the next year. And we have a few more members working on projects from previous years making this our largest group yet! We all have a great time stitching and chatting every month.

Autumn Kaleidescope - Original

Autumn Kaleidoscope – Original Colorway

The January session saw 16 of our members get together on a sunny Saturday. The instructions arrived from Lorene in plenty of time to be sorted into packets for distribution. Eight of us ordered kits from A Stitching Shop in Denver and the threads arrived beautifully packaged on Thursday. However, the box with the canvases was somehow delayed (I am always amazed at package logistics). Upon checking the tracking number on Friday we found that the box had arrived in Newark but apparently didn’t want to go any further.

Autumn Kaleidoscope - Threads

Threads – Original Colorway

That didn’t daunt our intrepid group – we oohed and aahed over the threads and especially the threads for those who are stitching their own colors. These pieces are going to be amazing!

The day was saved when the doorbell rang and the cavalry – in the guise of the US Postal Service – arrived with the canvases! The stitching soon followed. As you can see we had a great group of stitchers!

Stay tuned to see our progress each month!

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

SOTM November 2017


Hi Everyone —

I admit to being a little bit late in posting November’s SOTM picture.  The “Stars of the New Millennium” pieces are truly beautiful and most of our group has managed to keep up with the monthly pacing.  Aren’t all the colorways amazing?


November Progress!

I kept the photo big this month so that you can see the incredible detail and notice how the same square looks different based on the placement of threads.



Background Sampler Workshop – Day 3


Seven members of NJNA met with Cathryn C at Needleworker’s Delight in Metuchen for the third and final day of our Background Sampler workshop. Today would focus on the four corner sections as well as address any questions from the earlier sections.

As usual, Cathryn teased us by doing an easy stitch first in the upper left corner – couched window pane with filler – which went quickly. She then moved us onto a little more challenge with an eyelets pattern in the lower left. After lunch, the real challenge began with the Oriental Octagon stitch in the upper right corner, which is sort of like blackwork! Imagine that David McCaskill’s Background Sampler II has overlapping oriental octagons! Even Kevin commented you could hear a pin drop with the concentration as we all counted! We ended the day with the Diagonal Trellis in the bottom right, another wise move by Cathryn to end on a bit easier stitch!

As always, Kevin and Jimmy from Needlworker’s Delight are outstanding hosts, providing lunch and snacks throughout the day in addition to the excellent lighting in the work space. It’s a wonderful shop that is friendly and welcoming in addition to having an excellent supply of charts, canvas, painted canvas, threads, and needlework tools.

Thanks again to Cathryn and Needleworker’s Delight for providing this opportunity for us. We’ll look forward to our next workshop.