Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Few Latecomers

These just flew in today so in addition to my previous post I now have "Hootsy" the owl and best of all "Bon Voyage". All the color, soaking in the sun and filled with dreamy thoughts contained in those love letters. And since we're making this all up the letters can say anything we want to bring a smile to our face. I see lots of potential smiles stitching a piece like this. "Bon Voyage" $254.00 stitch painted with perfection. Hootsy 8" x 9" $74.00. As before, click the images to visit them in the web store.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Royal Wedding Sampler

Well you knew if was inevitable that someone would come out with a canvas and who better than Designers Forum from the UK. Though shown with thee royal couple's name you can stitch anyone's name worthy of having a crown above it. The design is printed on 12 count interlock but all lettering must be done from the chart provided so you can easily put in anything you'd like. It is shown finished with two different color backgrounds however the canvas background is unpainted so you can use any color you like, though if going dark be careful of coverage. Design in 16" x 16". I didn't know the wedding was so soon! If you must have one for the special day let me know, canvas without threads is $125.00. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Click on the images to see them in the web store.

Orange Blossom for eternal love and fruitfulness, forget-me-nots for true love and remembrance, wedding bells and white doves, all helping to make a charming piece to grace your home either as a cushion or framed as a sampler.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Craving for Color

New Birds of a Feather canvas's will be added to my online store - click on the images to jump there. A few are available with selected threads however I'm happy to select threads for any upon request. Few designers scream color like Birds of a Feather. Eye friendly on 13 count too. Fresh designs for all ages! Oh and don't forget to mark your calendars: Birds of a Feather Trunk Show coming July 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Conversation with Amy Finkel on Antique Samplers

Announcement that Amy Finkel of M. Finkel and Daughter is lecturing on the samplers in the collection of the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent on February 3, 2011. In addition, the collection of approximately 20 samplers will be on exhibit specifically for this event, which is a rare treat as many of which have not been exhibited for decades, Notable samplers to be discussed in her lecture include (a) 1768 sampler by Sister Petronella (born Maria Hocker, 1737) at the Ephrata Cloisters of Lancaster County and (b) two 18th century samplers by Rebekah Jones of Philadelphia. The first (stitched in 1750) is attributed to the Ann Marsh school. The second (1751) is the earliest known signed and dated American white-work sampler.Other samplers to be discussed include Quakers samplers from Westtown school and a fine genealogy sampler from Maine. Entry fee is $10. RSVP recommended.

Conversations on Samplers" Showcases Rare Embroidered Works from Museum's Collection

(Philadelphia, PA)—The Philadelphia History Museum continues its popular “Conversations” program series on Thursday, February 3, 2011 (6:00 to 8:00 p.m.) with “Conversations on Samplers” hosted by Amy Finkel, co-owner of the M. Finkel & Daughter antiques business, and national authority on antique American schoolgirl samplers. To read further visit:

To register for this lecture, visit Free for Museum members, $10 for the general public. You may also R.S.V.P. directly to or call 215.685.4827.

Additional information on Amy Finkel can be found at her website

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In from Ewe & Eye & Friends

I'm always surprised how well canvas's sell from Ewe & Eye. Simple and uncomplicated and often with a veil of whimsey to them. "Creatures" and "Autumn House" are taken from the cross stitch designer Carriage House (recently retired). "Love Nest" is from the artist Karen Cruden, not a familar artist to me but I know that she is to some. Her Ice Skaters piece, also from Ewe & Eye was well loved by many. All are available for sale from my webstore. Click on any of the canvas images to directly to its webstore page.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Resolution

Whether your in to making resolutions or not please consider submitting a piece to Woodlawn for exhibit March 2 - 31st 2011. Woodlawn is an annual juried show of "contemporary Needlework" held in Alexandria Virginia during the month of March. Entry forms are available on their website One thing I love about this show is that it is only open to pieces completed with a Hand Held Threaded Needle, so this show really does apply only to us stitchers.

The nation’s premiere exhibition of contemporary needlework is held annually at Woodlawn, a National Historic Landmark located in Alexandria, Virginia. Woodlawn was the home of Eleanor Custis Lewis, one of America’s foremost needleworkers. For details on eligibility, divisions, categories, techniques, fees, and more, please refer to the link below. This link also includes the required entry form. Entry forms must arrive no earlier than January 10 and no later than February 12. Woodlawn is a completely self-supporting, nonprofit historic site. Your support is vitally important to us. Your participation helps support ongoing efforts to maintain and restore this National Historic Landmark:

My motivation for inviting you all to consider this is because; well, first let me say I have not been nor entered the show before using the I'm too busy excuse but when I see the many, many pictures of the needlework exhibited my impression is they so need needlepoint pieces that have some degree of creativity. Honestly, I don't think they are hurting for submissions, though maybe they are. When I see what has been photographed and available to view online I saw piece after piece after piece after piece of basketweave. I've got no problem with basketweave but, for example, the crewel piece below is an extraordinary example of compostion, color and technique. Picking thread colors that match what was painted by the designer does not compare to this piece of crewel embroidery by Thalliaferro.

I think all us stitchers who like to fool around with color, texture and stitches need to open the eyes to the jurors about what "contemporary" needlepoint is about. I'm not knocking all the skilled and dedicated stitchers who dutifully submit their work whether it be counted thread, smocking, japanese embroidery etc, its just that there appears to be this gaping hole of new, fresh and progressive use of the needle and thread. Most of the other techniques exhibited have not changed in the past several decades, if not centuries but time has not stood still. The deadline is February 12th, so please consider something you've already finished or are close to finishing. You don't necessarily have to love it or believe its your best piece yet but I think its important to let the world see how needlepoint has transcended basketweave and paternayan wool. My New Years resolution is to submit atleast one piece or ideally two or three. I welcome all comments by anyone, especially those who have submitted in the past and or know something about the judging process.

Original crewel work by Talliaferro.  Appleton crewel wool on linen twill.
"Autumn Quilt"  a canvas work piece, designer Laura J Perrin.
This Chart is available at the Nimble Needle webstore.
Detail from a canvaswork piece.
Update: Credit is Due
The canvaswork piece featured in my January 3rd post is an original piece designed and stitched by Jeff Kulick.  Thanks to Jane of Chilly Hollow I can give credit where credit is due, not to mention I now know more about this special piece.  Apparently it got much deserved recognition at the 2010 show.  As I mentioned yesterday this is exactly the type of work that Woodlawn 2011 could use more of.  Not a piece to walk by and so "oh thats nice" but a piece to give reason for pause and admiration.  Thank you Jeff and thank you Jane for helping me find its "owner".