Monday, August 29, 2016

NJNA Goes to New Orleans UPDATED with Melita's and jan's Visits

Some of the folks who belong to NJNA (that's the New Jersey Needle Artists chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild) are going to ANG's Seminar in New Orleans that is happening this week.  Here's their various reports posted to the NJNA blog.  I'll update these so you can follow along with their adventures, organized by classes if possible.

Here is Nancy Cucci's class, "For the Love of Chocolate."  Tasty!


Jan is taking this class, too.

Terry Dryden's "African Images" is lovely.

UPDATE:  Here's Gail Sirna's class, "Florida Palm."  I think this is particularly lovely.  I also greatly admire Gail's work.

UPDATE:  Here is a big about Gail Stafford's class "At the Beach."

Gail is also teaching a one day class called "Swirling Tulips."

UPDATE:  All about Nancy Cucci's "Sisters" class.

UPDATE:  This is all about "Beets" which is one of Jennifer Reifenberg's vegetable series.

UPDATE:  Melita's not a member of NJNA but I thought it made sense to add her visit blogging here as well.  She's taking Lois Kershner's "Provence Pottery Shop."

Melita took Margaret Kinsey's "Learning about Rozashi--Patterns in Blue and Green" class.

Melita tells us a bit about the ANG Auction.

Here's a bit about Expo.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright August 28, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wendy Leads a Tour of Needle in a Haystack

After Wendy took us to visit Luv 2 Stitch and City Needlework, she volunteered to do a tour of her local shop, Needle in a Haystack.  Of course I said YES PLEASE!   So here it is, all about Needle in a Haystack.

Needle in a Haystack is located on the lovely small island of Alameda, located between San Francisco to the west and Oakland to the east.  (It is not to be confused with Needle in a Haystack in Montrose, which is in the Los Angeles area in Southern California.)

I have been an NIAH customer since it opened at its first storefront on the busy main shopping street in Alameda in 1998.  I was new to Alameda and so excited there was a world-class stitching shop in my new home town.  NIAH moved to a second larger space on the main retail street on the other side of the island.  The third move was to a converted pencil factory.  NIAH is currently in its fourth storefront.  This most recent move was to a smaller office space.  

I'm only going to write about the current space.  The current space has the smallest square footage of all the locations occupied by NIAH.  However, it is packed with needlework treasures, and if the shop doesn't have something on the floor, the staff is quick to order for the customer.  I love getting the phone calls from staff, telling me I have something in my "hold" folder, and I can pick it (them) up anytime the shop is open.

There are two entrances to the shop.  I go in the door from the parking lot....there is ample parking very close to the shop, and no steps for those who can't navigate them.  As you enter the shop from the door off the parking lot, threads hang off grids on the walls on both sides of the hallway.  On the right are DMC Perles, Wildflowers and Watercolours.  On the left are the Glorianas, Needlepoint Inc silks and Soie d'Alger, among others.  

As you enter the main floor space, spinners on the right hold carded threads, such as the Rainbow Gallery family of threads.  A wide magazine rack holds current counted stitching charts....Just Nan, Blackbird Designs, Lizzie Kate, Victoria Sampler are just a few of the extensive selection.  Behind it, shelving holds canvas baskets of even more counted stitching charts.  Customers are welcome to take these baskets off the shelf and go to the stitching table to look through the charts.  Careful!  Some of the baskets on the top shelves are heavy, but the staff will help you take them down.  Needlework bling, i.e., magnets, adhere to metal grids.

As you turn the corner at the end of the hallway, you see on the right the cutting table, which is topped by a heavy slab of marble.  It sits in front of the shelves of fabrics.  For those who like spatial images, this wall of fabrics is on the other side of the hallway.  The staff will gladly serge any of the fabric cuts for you.

Walking along the perimeter, you'll see cases for DMC floss, spooled threads, like Kreinik, charms and buttons against the windows that face the parking lot.  Every inch of space is used...atop the cases are needlework samples, tote bags, and baskets of kits.

In front of the cases is the stitching table.  Continuing around to the back of the shop, spinners hold a nice selection of scissors (there are also scissors and really special scissor cases residing in the glass case that also acts as the check out counter), Q-snaps, stretcher bars and tacks.  I especially love the Hardwicke Manor wooden hoops, made with brass fittings.  Very smooth wood and nice fit to hold the ground fabric tightly for stitching.  Spinners also hold more stitching patterns.  Racks against the wall opposite the windows hold needles and marking supplies.  Next to that are the poster display racks to which needlepoint canvases are pinned.

Baskets and containers are all over the store, holding small kits, like the Mill Hill perforated paper kits (currently, the sugar skull kits are pretty popular), kitted threads for some of the counted stitching charts, bamboo pendant cross stitch kits, Just Nan needle slides, Stitch n Zips, etc.

There is a short hallway from the other door, which opens out to the street.  Along those walls are the wools, Silk and Ivory, and others.  Further down is a magazine rack with the latest stitching magazines, as well as Tea Time, as the staff loves tea.

NIAH is a destination shop, which means there isn't a lot of walk-in pedestrian traffic.  Having said that, I've seldom been in the shop when I was the only customer.  The website is also extensive and I'm astounded at the number of threads that NIAH sells when I look at the website.  I shop at NIAH regularly and see its walls of threads but the extent of their inventory doesn't hit you until you peruse the pages and pages of listings on the website.  This shop is small in square footage, but packs in so many treasures and surprises.  The staff is friendly and helpful, and each one is talented in many areas of stitching and craftwork.

Oh, and there is a stitching has its rewards program.  NIAH doesn't have many sales, but I actually prefer the rewards program, as I'm earning my very own "sale" every time I shop and accumulate points.  You can read about the rewards program and NIAH's history, as well as order from the extensive needlework inventory, on the website....

Sigh.  It sounds lovely.   Thanks so much for taking us along, Wendy!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright August 23, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.