Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cape May NJ Sampler Exhibit

Sampler exhibit at the Cape May Historical Museum and Genealogical Society, March 20 - May 29, 2010. The historical society has 27 samplers in its collection, most of them worked by young women of Cape May County. Over the last 2 years, the historical society has had the samplers restored, conserved, and framed - supported by a $5000 grant from the county. Fifteen of the newly restored samplers are on display in the exhibit. The samplers were stitched by local girls in the 18th and 19th centuries. The earliest was worked by Mary Eldredge in 1796 and the most recent was embroidered by Martha Norton in 1853. The historical society hosted an opening reception in honor of the exhibit and its restored samplers on March 20, 2010.

Sorry no eye candy; I tried to find atleast one image online but couldn't find a one.

Monday, April 26, 2010

May Trunk Show with Julie Mar

Enjoy 20% off all trunk show canvas's.

Julie Mar Designs is under a new owner. While many of the wildflowers and painterly landscapes remain in the line Pat has also introduced many more contemporary designs, stitch guides as well as self finishing ultra suede bags that fit numerous Julie Mar canvas's. Come see whats new! Nimble Needle will be blessed with being able to showcase some finished models stitched by Pat the new Owner. Come be inspired.

A Cut Above

New Dovo scissors have arrived. Dovo, a 3rd generation family owned company, are still made by hand in Solingen Germany just like they have been since 1906. Dovo's are very light weight in feel and the blades are thinner and highly polished for a clean snip (see picture below). For a special gift or stitchers that desire scissors made with level of care (don't we tend to stitch with a level of care?) consider Dovo. For more information see For scissor connoisseurs here's a detailed review by Mary Corbett of Needle'n Thread.

Both 34.00

3.5" satin gold 38.00 4" polished gold 36.00

4" satin 42.00 3.5" satin 38.00

3.5" pastel rainbow 38.00

4" Stork 35.00

G brand blade on left, Dovo blade on right.

I stopped carrying "G" brand scissors since they are readily available at 50% off at the neighboring big box stores. The G brand doesn't disclose where or who makes their scissors and I suspect its because it always changing when you outsource. Dovo's are a little more money than the G brand but you get what you pay for. For inexpensive scissors I have several choices, even terrific little ones that sell for under 10 (these colorful cuties aren't pretending to be something they are not). Perfect for taking along to classes, travel and for those on a budget. Do you have a favorite scissor that you like? I'd love to be informed about other fine cutting tools. I've heard of Wasa and wonder how they compare to Dovo. To keep your fine scissors in tip top shape remember to use a different pair of scissors for metallic threads.

Monday, April 12, 2010

As Michael would say, Just Bead It

While looking at ordering some beads I came across these diagrams and thought they would be useful to share. The first diagram shows stitching beads in a tent, continental or basketweave stitch. In these the bead will sit on top of the canvas. If I was to stitch them like this I would use the lasso method.


As mentioned in my previous post, here is an example of embroidery stitches, ie crewel, used on canvas. Ok, so its a little of ribbon embroidery too. Pink and purple flowers are chain stitch in silk ribbon. Blue flower petals are padded satin. Stem to the right is stem stitch with a laid filling background. Soon I will show you the whole piece, once its finished. This is a class piece from January's show, canvas by Ann Wheat Pace.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Crewel can be Kind

On June 6th and 7th Phillipa from the Crewel Work Co. will be coming to Moorestown. On Sunday June 6 from 4 to 6pm a reception will be held where Phillipa will make a presentation on Historic Textiles and Embroidery from English Castles, Mansions and Country Homes. Phillipa has been granted permission to in many private homes and estates allowing her to study fine examples of embroidery and crewel that would otherwise remain unknown. On Monday June 7th from 9am to 4pm she will teach an all day workshop featuring the Mellerstain Stag. This piece is a detail taken from one of her available kits, the Mellerstain Firescreen, which is a replica of one found in the Mellerstain Castle, Scotland. There are a few seats left so if you are interested please register by visiting the Nimble Needle website, or calling the shop at 856 234 4848. Both events will take place at Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown NJ.

Ok, now that my little commercial is over I'd like to say a few words about the benefits of learning crewel, and to learn from a Master herself, Phillipa! I know I hear it all the time that I never tried it, or "thats what was done years ago" (which is true) "you mean people still do that". I also hear even more frequently "how can I make this line look curved on canvas" or I'd really like to learn some new stitches". Crewel, which is a type of embroidery can provide these answers because embroidery stitches can and dare I say should be done on needlepoint canvas just the same as linen, silk or other types of ground fabric.

Don't like to couch but want a curved line? How about stem stitch? or a chain stitch? (Chain stitch in great for making flowers in silk ribbon). And then there's shading. How many times do we fall in love over a canvas with shading? Only to pass it up because "I can't do shading". Shading is dealt with in embroidery by the long and short technique and the very same technique can be applied to canvas work. Laid filling is a technique used in crewel for "filling" in areas and I suspect was the inspiration for the various laid background stitches found in needlepoint. And then there's padding, fly stitch, french knots and more.

Consider broadening your techniques through crewel work and join us on Monday June 7th. Embroidery stitches are useful for embellishment in all kinds of needlework including needlepoint as well as crazy quilting, knitting, crocheting and silk ribbon embroidery. If precision is your thing then when it comes to using embroidery stitches on canvas I suggest stitching with a crewel needle. Large eye and sharp so you can put the stitch just exactly where you want to, piercing canvas threads if necessary. Knowing crewel / embroidery gives you more "tools" (or techniques) in your stitching repertoire.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

To Each his Own

When it comes right down to it I like to stitch something that in the end I think is beautiful. Lets face it the world can always use more beauty....more art. The one exception I take occasionally is when something is funny, like some of Maggie's for instance. So in addition to the world needing more loveliness it can also use more humor. So with this in mind today I received a special dog collar for a customer. The original dog collar was taken from a belt, only the dog collar was the width of a belt and that just wouldn't be comfortable on "Stretch" the dachsund so they did a little dog size. Then another customer was looking for a 3 dimensional pig. Oh I found some that were so ugly I'm not sure I could bring myself to sell them. But then a friend of mine told me check with Brenda Stofft and here she is Peggy Suuuuueeeeey. She's one confident looking swine seated in a bed of spring flowers.