Needlepoint and March Madness

Needlepoint and March Madness…what on earth do these two things have in common?! Well nothing, really. But a buddy of mine suggested I do a post that was somehow related to the tournament. So here’s my thought: It’s great to have a project that allows you to look up and down at the TV. Some canvases–think 18 mesh with lots of shading–require 100% concentration and focus. Not ideal for watching a basketball game. But other canvases–say 13 mesh with a big expanse of background–are perfect for watching the action AND needlepointing!

That’s why you should ALWAYS have more than one project to stitch!

Loyal On Point reader Judy H. is a very enthusiastic Duke fan (can you believe that game, Judy??)…I bet she has a March Madness project (or 10)!

Happy stitching,

PS We continue to work out the bugs with the blog subscription so I apologize if you received last week’s post twice. If that happens again this week, Chris suggests you unsubscribe from the email you receive second. Hopefully that will take care of the issue and again we are so sorry about this glitch!

The Things They Carried

Yes, The Things They Carried was an amazing book but for me it’s also a phrase that applies to needlepoint. You really need to have all your stitching supplies organized when you travel…below is a list of needlepoint Things That Need To Be Carried.

A tote bag. Either with handles or without. These totes come in three sizes and have a zipper which is key. Bags always seems to get dumped upside down in the car. I like the see-through tote so you can tell which project is which. I mean who goes on vacation with only one project?! That would be ridiculous.

A magnetic needle safe. Keeps extra needles in one place plus your scissors and needle threaders will fit in there too. Very tidy.

A needle threader. Try wedging perle cotton through the eye of a number 22 needle without a threader. Our POIA threaders also have a razor blade cutter on the other end.

A Thread Cutter. If you are doing a lot of starting and stopping,  you will need a heavy-duty thread cutter. Great for plane travel…mean TSA agents are still confiscating scissors.

A fiber organizer. Very helpful to keep you on the straight and narrow. I also like the floss away bags.

Most of these products are available in our webstore and all are available by calling the shop at 202 966 9898.

Happy traveling…happy stitching,

Fab Finishing: True Love!

I just received my finished True Love purse…isn’t it wonderful? The artist is the fantastically hip Jenny Henry. Big surprise: I stitched a purse.

It’s hard to see from the photos but each of the white stitches is actually a pearl. I painstakingly attached each bead individually. Very tedious. I just learned about a new beading technique. Come up from behind the canvas, place your bead on the needle and then go back through the canvas as if you were doing a regular stitch, but here’s the rub: do your stitch backwards (see diagram above). If you are a right handed stitcher,  you would come up from the bottom left corner and go down through the top right. When you are beading, come up from the bottom right, attach your bead, then go down through the top left. I promise this makes your beads lay like a normal stitch. It’s cool.

Try THIS at home, kids!

Happy stitching,

Keep calm and carry on!

Keep calm and carry on: that’s my best advice when faced with a stitching conundrum. For instance, I am stitching this Black-Eyed Susan to be appliqued onto a Queen Bea Studio purse. I thought it would look really sharp and be perfect for summer. So I thought about what to do with the background…I wanted some punch! I started with a rainbow of colors for the stripes (see bottom)…thought it looked chaotic and jumpy…moved to classic black and white stripes. I like it…it will go with all my cute summer outfits. I’m also still considering the yellow stitch: basket weave or diagonal mosaic.

Always evaluate your stitching…do NOT finish the whole thing and then realize a stitch or a color doesn’t work. Keep calm and ASSESS, then carry on.

PS Don’t tell my 9th grade geometry teacher, Mrs. Bynoe, about that pathetic circle I drew. She could draw a perfect circle free-hand. Impressive.

Lastly, I love the Keep Calm and Carry On expression…check out these canvases from Unique NZ Designs that riff on wonderful British humour (English spelling in honor of Will & Kate).

Happy stitching!