NJNA is Blogging! started as a special purpose blog for NJNA members who attended the American Needlepoint Guild’s Seminar in Philadelphia during August 2012. Many NJNA members attended the seminar and documented their experiences.
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:
How different they are turning out! Five more installments to go!
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.
We’re all looking forward to next month’s stitching!
This week I was able to attend the grand re-opening of Gone Stitching in Bergenfield. Renee and Michele have relocated the shop a few blocks south of their previous location on South Washington Avenue.
The new store is in a stand-alone building with lots of windows and high ceilings, providing a really bright space to shop, or just sit and stitch. The walls are covered in lots of threads and canvases. I’m looking forward to visiting the shop again!
Gone Stitching is at 311 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield, NJ 07621 (201.385.2100).
As many of you local folks know, I spend a lot of time in CA with my “little people”. My last trip there coincided with the celebration of the spring major religious holidays. In my case this meant celebrating at a Passover seder. Now in Jewish culture (not religion) we have a “thing” called Jewish geography. It is similar to Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation. In it, when we meet someone new, we begin by finding out their geographical history, immediately followed by, do you know “ so and so”? Inevitably we find some distant way in which we are connected. Now bear with me, this blog entry is not about Jewish geography, but really is about needlepoint geography and friendship.
It just so happened that on the second day of the Passover holiday, I had two invitations for the seder. My daughter’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting a kids’ seder. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting an adults only seder. So I figured out a way to attend both.
Since I was arriving late to my sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s seder I knew the religious part would already be underway. So, I tried very hard to enter the room as inconspicuously as possible. Rather than climb over people to my assigned seat, I just plopped myself down in an available seat at the end of one of the tables. I knew the woman to my right, but the woman to the left of me had her head down and so I paid her no attention.
After a bit I got up to use the rest room. As I was returning to the table, the woman who had been to my left got up and whispered to me, “Barbara, I know you.” It took me a moment to place her since she was out of context. I soon realized that this woman was Deb R. I knew her from the shop in San Mateo, Luv2Stitch, where I hang out to stitch while visiting the west coast. She has also been present at the few ANG chapter meetings out there that I have managed to attend.
As I was thinking to myself, but trying to not say, “what is she doing here?”, Deb asked me that very question. I paused and said, uh, my husband is Marcia’s (our hostess’) brother. At that point, Deb said, “get out. I’ve been in this family for 32 years.” To that I replied that I had been in the family for 44 years. Now my curiosity was really piqued.
For many years I had heard my brother-in-law speak of his Long Island, NY childhood friend, “Rocky”, who lived on the west coast and helped to ease the family’s transition when they moved to the the Bay area back in the ‘70s. I believe I even met Rocky’s mother at another long ago seder. So I was a bit more than surprised when Deb asked if I had ever heard of Rocky. I said, “of course!” It turns out that Deb is Rocky’s (aka Joe’s) wife. We were both thunderstruck.
By now the religious part of the meal was over and visiting time really began in earnest.
During the year or so in which I became acquainted with Deb, we had happily been sharing wedding planning notes since her son got married the same weekend that our daughter did, last fall. At some point, my brother-in-law Elliot came over and Deb suddenly said to him, “that’s why you didn’t come to our son’s wedding!” The connections went on from there. Deb was sharing how her daughter was a speech therapist. I started to laugh and told her that so was mine. At that point, Rocky chimed in that their daughter had consulted my daughter several times before deciding to enter the field. Deb and I were further amused!
Needlepoint shops, ANG chapters, shared wedding weekend and daughters in the same field made this out of context encounter so much fun! I think in that short hour and a half I went from having a very nice needlepoint acquaintance to having a lovely, fun needlepoint friend.
Kreinik has republished the list of thread colors they’ve had to discontinue because they can’t get the materials to make them any more. Kreinik suggests you print out the list and put it with your thread stash to consult before you start a project that needs a lot of one of their threads or before you try to kit an older project with a specific thread list. http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2019/04/discontinued-kreinik-thread-colors.html
Strangely enough, given that this was (almost) all the same stitch, I had fun stitching this! And I’m very pleased with how it came out. A far cry from pastel flowers! Still haven’t decided what to do for the background, though.
“What’s that?” I asked Andrea over the din of last year’s Needlefest.
The room was large, noisy and yet cozy with stitching friends catching up on news and projects. She and I had sat next to each other, and I couldn’t help but notice the pliers she extracted from her project bag. She turned her small needle nosed pliers one way then the other for me to admire and explained that she used the tool to pull the end of threads through stubbornly tight stitches on the back of her canvas.
A relative newcomer to stitching, I loved the idea that I could raid my husband’s workshop to improve my needlepoint. (He’s been smart enough to ignore the occasionally borrowed pair of pliers ever since.)
And recently I wondered what other hardware, drug and office supply items my stitching friends were using to up their needlepoint game.
So I asked them all at our most recent “Stitch of the Month” session. The answers came fast and furiously:
To pull the ends of stubborn threads through stitches on the back of your project, try hemostatic forceps, needle nosed pliers, tweezers or a one-to-two inch square piece of nonskid rug pad material.
A meat mallet can help you assemble a wooden needlepoint frame. To protect the wood, place a pot holder on top of the spot you’ll be pounding.
To straighten out neon rays and other “kinky” fibers in a flash, use a small flat iron. If you’re planning to use the device throughout a stitching session keep everyone safe by resting the flat iron in a mug.
An industrial C clamp can be used to attach your project to a table and stabilize it while you work.
Try making your own needle minder to perfectly match your new project. All you’ll need are two small craft store magnets, industrial strength glue, such as E6000, and charms, unusual buttons, or pieces of leftover fashion jewelry.
I’ll take the blame for including this last item, which finds a place here mostly because I never expected to hear these three words uttered together: magnetic; bingo; and, wand. Yep. If some of your needles are MIA on the floor, try sweeping an inexpensive magnetic bingo wand over your rug. It’s a thing.
Thanks especially to Margaret, Linda, Rosie, Jill, Sue, Marge and Amy for sharing this information.