Needlepoint Shops in Delaware

Standard

I was in Delaware last week with two of my children, two grandchildren, and my son-in-law’s sister and hr family.  We stayed 2 blocks from the beach just north of Dewey Beach and a little south of Rehoboth.  Needless to say, i got very little stitching done but lots of babysitting and playtime with the grandkids.

On Friday, i finally got a chance to take a long bike ride and explore south to Bethany Beach, which has a lovely shopping area and boardwalk.  While looking on Google Maps for the needlepoint shop in Rehoboth, I had noticed a needlework shop in Bethany kept coming up as well.  Sea Needles is about a mile in from the beach in a small strip mall on the main east/west road out of Bethany Beach.  The GPS, which I was following blindly, took me right by the shop and around the back of the building!  The shop was a wonderful surprise.  They’ve been there 30 years and have lots of knitting, cross stitch, and needlepoint as well as framing.  For needlepoint, they had lots of great painted canvases, blank canvas, tons of Paternayan, some Rainbow Gallery threads, DMC pearl cotton in at least size 3 and 5, DMC floss, Silk and Ivory, and Stardust. The threads seemed more geared towards 13-mesh canvases than 18-mesh, which was fine for me as I needed some threads specifically for a 13-mesh canvas.  Their prices seemed very reasonable. I couldn’t get a good picture inside that would do it justice.  The store is very full but I didn’t feel like it was cluttered – I could easily browse and find what I wanted.   The ladies in the shop were very nice even though they were very busy so I only got to talk to them at checkout.  They took a lot of time with each customer so don’t expect to dash in and out!  Here’s a picture of the outside of the shop with a big sign that you can’t miss if you are paying attention!

Due to lots of babysitting duty, i did not get a chance to check out Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth until we were leaving on Saturday.  It took me an extra 20 minutes to find it as the GPS directions when you put in the store name do nt take you to the store address.  It is clearly stated on their website to put in the street address but I hadn’t paid attention to that detail. The nice part is they have free 30 minute parking right in front of the store.  The store has been open just a year and the owner is very nice – she let me browse but also let me know she was available if i needed anything.  The store is very bright with lots of nooks and crannies so it is fun to explore.  She has lots of threads mostly for 18-count canvases.  There were 2 trunk shows when i was there.  I did find a cute Christmas sled canvas and some threads I wanted, although i could have bought a whole lot more as there were some wonderful canvases.

Definitely check out both stores if you are in the Rehoboth/Dewey/Bethany area.

Advertisements

Caught Up with SOTM

Standard

I decided I have too many projects in progress and needed to catch up with this year’s SOTM.  I had been way behind since i needed to finish Autumn Kaleidoscope from last year and wasn’t going to start this year’s until I finished last year’s.  I was Only a few months behind for our July session and decided to work a few of the June pinwheels and then start the July Amadeuses.  I thought I needed more grey around the pinwheels and stars but did not like the way the grey Amadeus looked.  I then realized I was off in my pinwheel counts so i got to do a bit of frogging!  At that point, I decided to stitch each of the months in order and catch up.

Meanwhile i was doing some cleaning up while looking for a particular thread for another project (no I didn’t find it!) and found a red/white/blue overdyed floss in my stash.  I decided to try it for the Amadeus and was amazed at how it pulled the colors together as well as how the overdye flowed with the Amadeus.  So now I’m ready for our August session, once i download and print the instructions!

My progress to date:

Diane_progress_thru_July.jpg

A Fabulous Way to Spend a Saturday

Image

As many of you know, I spend a lot of time in the Bay area of CA visiting and helping out with my “little people.”  One would think that I am hopping in and out of San Francisco to explore and enjoy the culture and fun.  However, in truth, I have only been to the city a handful of times.  It’s busy, busy in my daughter’s household, so I often don’t go to the city and visit.  However, there is one thing that could lure me in and of course that one thing is needlework.

San Francisco is host to the three year old San Francisco School of Needlework and Design.  (aka SNAD) (https://www.sfneedleworkanddesign.org)  I have been curious about the school, but since right now the main focus seems to be on embroidery, and not much canvas work, I had not made the trek into San Fran to take a look.  Until now.

When I am away from NJ, I usually spend one day a week stitching at Luv2Stitch in San Mateo.  Recently they had a brochure for an exhibit by the artist Katie Strachan at SNAD. It is called “This Lovely Green”.  It features a lot of gold work, so I really wanted to go and have a look.  I figured out Caltrain from the burbs to the city and twisted the arm of a cousin who lives north of the city to come and join me.  She picked me up at the train station and we were off for our adventure.

We picked a good day because there were no classes going on and it was a quiet day of catch-up (until I got there!) for the program director and co-founder, Lucy Barter.  What a charming and energetic woman Lucy is. She is quite a bit younger than me and my peer group, which in itself is fabulous.  We all worry about how the needle arts are going to be passed down to another generation and it seems that Lucy and SNAD are providing the answers.

Lucy is from the UK and is certificate trained by the Royal School of Needlework from across the pond.  She had been teaching day classes all over the area, but wanted more of a center where people would come from all over to learn.  She has created that in SNAD.  So far, they have had participants from 40 states in the US as well as several countries.  When one first walks in, there is no much eye candy, it’s hard to know where to look.

The first thing Lucy did when she learned that I was from NJ was to show me all the sampler bands that have been submitted by our local EGA members for the school’s on going project. They hope to create the longest band sampler in the world.   My cousin couldn’t believe that I knew most of the needle artists whose work was in the folder.  Lucy made me promise that I would tell all of you who donated, that the bands were going up on display that very day.

The exhibit was in the main room where there is also a small store and a library of many, many donated books.  Katie Strachan’s work is not to be believed. It is so intricate, delicate and outstanding that it doesn’t begin to look as if it was created by human hands.  I’m going to try and insert as many photos as I can.  Not only was there exquisite gold work, but  the tiny, gorgeously created stump work, made these works of art delicate and realistic.  I have worked some intricate patterns, but my work looks like a crow bar next to these confections of Katie’s.

When we ran out of oohs and aahs, we moved on to the two classrooms where the student work is displayed.  There was a lot of gold work, but some other “one stitch” wonders from the sample classes that the school offers.  I may attempt another trip into the city in the fall to take a needle painting class. There are so many wonderful classes, that one doesn’t know where to begin.   They even have a certificate program if one wants to go to that level.  I asked about canvas work and Lucy reported that she is starting to teach beginning canvas work.  In fact, the last canvas work class that she taught was comprised of all men.  In general, Lucy reports that there are as many millennials in the classes as the silver haired ladies.  Her many evening and weekend offerings allows the working folks to also participate.

I already informed Stuart that if we ever really do move to this area, that I will be taking classes galore and volunteering at the school.  Of course, I would have to have time for both needlepoint and embroidery.  Oh, then where would the “little people” fit in?!  Such a wonderful dilemma.  If you are visiting the Bay area, I highly recommend a stop at the school.  Lucy was more than gracious, especially with my constant peppering of questions.  I do thank her and am so happy at her success.  Hopefully this success will continue for many, many years to come.

After SNAD, my cousin and I had a real “ladies” lunch to celebrate our respective birthdays, which are in August.  From there, my cousin really indulged me and we took a ride share trek to the Needlepoint Inc. store.  I had been to the store’s original location which had been in Union Square, within blocks of SNAD.  However, a few years ago, they moved to Jackson Street, near the financial section.  On a weekend, this part of town was quiet.  We were greeted quite friendly.  The store has many, many canvases, but most are on 13 mesh, so (luckily) I was not tempted.  Needless to say, there is a whole wall of Needlepoint Inc. stranded silk.  They also have some Rainbow Gallery threads.  I was able to pick up some of the silk that I needed for a new project that I am trying to get off the ground.

By this time, it was time to take the train home, which had its own adventure.  One of the passengers waiting for the train went into a seizure and fell down hitting her head.  There were many that stepped forward to help out until the paramedics arrived.  It was nice to see so many good samaritans.  Other than witnessing the distress of that poor lady, the day was a complete success.  I hope you will go and visit SNAD.

Drats!  My computer illiteracy is showing again.  I am having so much trouble inserting more of the  (many) photos, so please take my word for it that this work is exquisite.  If you see me in person, please be sure to ask me to show you the photos.  So sorry readers!

NJNA/Morris County Library Exhibit: Not Your Grandmother’s Needlepoint

Standard

The New Jersey Needle Artists/Morris County Library exhibit speaks for itself. But we couldn’t leave it at that.

So accompanying the current exhibit of our members’ stunning work, which runs through August 9, is the following brief description of what makes modern needlepoint so challenging, compelling and fun. 

Happy stitching!

……..

Metal on velvet. Exploded geometrics. Bling and more bling. Fiber artists are reinventing this age-old craft — in which stitches are worked with a needle over a canvas mesh — by experimenting with texture, color, and design and by utilizing fibers that didn’t exist a decade ago.

“It’s certainly not your grandmother’s needlepoint,” Diane Burgess, Chapter President of the New Jersey Needle Artists (NJNA), says in describing the work of members now on display at the Morris County Library. “Modern needlepoint gives crafters more choices and more ways to expand their creativity.”

Wool, the traditional mainstay of needlepoint, still has its place. But now, so do silk, cotton, metallics, beads, rayon, ribbons and other fuzzy, shiny, prickly threads. These novelty fibers let needlepointers build texture into their projects. A traditional floral canvas may include flourishes with ribbon to give it dimension. An image of whitecaps on water may be stitched in a metallic thread to give it depth. And as for beadwork, it adds luxury and shine to the handbag worked by one NJNA member and on display.

Artists are using color in new ways, too. Take Stars for a New Millenium, the centerpiece of NJNA’s exhibit this month. Noted fiber artist Tony Minieri, who designed Stars, explains that this project is intended as a “study in color, texture, stitch and thread.” Each square is based on a traditional quilt pattern and, “… is named after a movie star from Hollywood’s Golden Age.”

Stitchers who completed Stars expressed themselves through their choice of color and thread. In the process, they highlighted the impact that color choice has on pattern. While some of the display pieces appear more traditional than others based on color choice, one artist’s decision to use bright pinks, oranges, blues and greens is strictly 21stcentury.

Experiments with new technologies and three-dimensional finishes also mark modern needlepoint. One piece in this month’s display is a needlepoint-embellished photograph. The landscape photo was transferred onto canvas and then worked with stitches to enhance the image and add dimension. And newer types of finishing techniques ditch the frame altogether, giving depth and a playful quality to what’s generally been considered a two-dimensional art. On display here, note the three-dimensional Christmas house, wreath, and red, white and blue piece called Patriotic Topiary.

Then there’s stitch choice. Traditional needlepoint relies on tried-and-true slanted stitches known as “tent” or “basketweave,” and those stitches remain go-to options for most needlepointers. But scores of easy-to-learn stitches are now commonly used to mimic grass, a barn roof, a bird’s wing and other objects on painted needlepoint canvas. And Starshighlights the way in which a variety of stitches can be combined for varied effect.

Want to learn more? First, take a look at the partially-stitched travel ornament included in the display for inspiration. Then head to your library for its supply of “how to” books.  The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen is a classic. For sheer inspiration, find Kaffe Fasset’s Glorious Needlepointor Beth Russell’s Traditional Needlepoint. Other resources include the American Needlepoint Guild at http://www.needlepoint.org and https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/basic-tent-needlepoint-stitches-2479706. YouTube also contains a wealth of information on how to prepare a canvas and specific stitches. Free beginner patterns are also widely available on the web. Here’s one pattern that offers clear instructions and a variety of stitches: http://www.lizartneedlepoint.com/uploads/Rhodes_Fish_Cover___Text.docx

Finally, the New Jersey Needle Artists, which meets monthly at the Bernards Township Library, always welcomes new members. Its meeting schedule is posted at: www.njneedleartists.org.

 

July 2019 SOTM

Standard

Hi Everyone —

We had a small gathering of eight members at Sue’s house today.  I had not expected to be there, but because of a leg injury, I had to cancel my weekend travel plans.  Sue helped me out with a walker and I was delighted to get out of the house (and Harold was delighted to not have to be home health aide) for the day.

I forgot to take pictures of Robin, Jill, Diane, and Sue’s stitching — here’s hoping that they will post them on our blog!

There was minimal stitching for July SOTM, so I was able to get caught up after missing June.  Here are three of our pieces:

IMG_7748 (2)

Joan’s SOTM

IMG_7749 (2)

Nancy’s SOTM

IMG_7750 (2)

Rosie’s SOTM

How different they are turning out!  Five more installments to go!

Cheers!

Rosie

SOTM – May 2019

Standard

What is it with the weather these days? Have we had two nice weekend days at all this Spring? And what exactly happened to Spring?

Last Saturday turned out to be the better of the two days this weekend and a small group of us gathered to work on the latest installment of the SOTM project. We all agreed that the mystery is causing some angst – since we don’t know what the final design looks like we are constantly second-guessing our choice of threads/colors. However, we also agreed that seeing the design emerging each month is part of the fun. We are trying to “go with the flow”, which is a challenge for many of us!

I think you will agree that our projects are all very different.

9A7EC599-B688-4F00-93B0-A22568C8CC28

Diane

64ED8C47-2878-49ED-A504-6FDF56F0464D

Linda

51D44CE9-7AB3-47CC-AE9D-09374F88DF55

Rosie

56886A7B-ABA5-42C6-B2A7-F5C3F629A849

Jill

56140FCA-5B47-4CA4-ADF8-59166A933AF1

Sue C

571BE552-3D33-407D-8290-78228222534C

Nancy W

457977D9-CC3B-4E40-93F9-8826EBB0BDE4

Noelle

We’re all looking forward to next month’s stitching!