Sunday, June 12, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Barbara Russell Has Died UPDATED

Holley Russell just posted this on Facebook and I am reporting it in full for those who don't have Facebook accounts.

"A message from Holley and David Russell, children of Barbara Russell.

Yesterday (June 11) we lost a pillar of the needlepoint arts, a creative artist of extraordinary vision, a successful entrepreneur, a friend to many, and our mother.

After teaching her children to stitch at a young age, her artistic sense drove her to establish a nearly 50-year love affair with needlepoint, a way to share her vision and designs while allowing everyone to discover their own creative expression by threading yarn through canvas.

Based in Philadelphia, in 1969 she opened Barbara Russell Designs, a retail store that became a Chestnut Hill fixture and evolved into a wholesale supplier of unique and preeminent needlework designs. She was known as “The Dog Lady of Needlepoint” due to her 140+ various dog designs.

Holley and David want to thank all of you in her beloved industry for the friendship, camaraderie and community that stimulated Barbara Russell Designs to grow and thrive. For the time being, her children will continue on with her business.

When you get a chance, please raise a glass of red wine in her honor to toast your favorite joyous memory of Barbara."

UPDATE:  Holley added, "A celebration of Barbara Russell's life will be held 1PM Saturday June 18 at Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martins Lane, Chestnut Hill / Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center."

I am so sorry!  Those who are not familiar with Barbara's work can browse her website and be amazed and enchanted by her work.  However, the rumor mill says her family is not continuing her designs or answering emails or calls about her work. 

UPDATE #2:  Silverfox has supplied a link to Barbara's obituary, which talks about her amazing life.

UPDATE #3:  Here's a little retrospective of Barbara's work from the perspective of a shop owner.

UPDATE #4:  Dianne posted photographs of a set of six custom chair seats designed by Barbara and stitched by Dianne and her mother on Facebook.  They are amazing!

UPDATE #5:  Someone posted to Facebook's Needlepoint Nation that Anne Roha of Victori-Anne is able to get some of Barbara Russell's work if the design is already painted.  The family is trying to sell her design line apparently.  You can email the family directly at to try and buy something you want, too.  This was posted by some of Barbara's family so I hope it is accurate.  Here is the Victori-Anne's Treasures Facebook page and eBay store.  The shop doesn't have a website.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright June 12, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Needle Painting Book: With Information and Problem Solutions

Although Trish Burr's newest book covers both whitework and needle painting, it is a handbook with lots of information on needle painting and tips to solve needle painting problems that I thought you'd like to know about it.  It's travel-sized, not an encyclopedia, but as Trish is a master of needle painting, this might be something you'd like to indulge in.

If you really want in-depth instruction, Trish's DVD might be more useful.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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and at
© Copyright May 18, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.