Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Good Stitching Supplies on the Cheap

New needlepointers are always astounded at the cost of our art.  When you consider that painted canvases are handmade, not machine made, that except for DMC cotton floss the threads are made by small businesses in small batches, and that classes, books and stitch guides will be sold in multiples of ten, not 100, well, you can understand that prices are high.  There just isn't the volume or any way to make quality items for hand stitching in quantity to drive down prices.

But smart shoppers can do needlepoint on the cheap.  Below I will list quality items that are not too expensive and list places where one can do smart shopping.

Essential Tools
I really like these small but sharp embroidery scissors with comfortable plastic handles.  I think the lavender ones have slightly curved blades, but otherwise the various colors are identical and you can't beat the price.  A lot of stitchers use these for air travel as they are cheap but sharp and if they are confiscated you aren't out much money.
http://www.embroidery.com/family.ec?efid=4146

Bohin makes superb needles and are often available in bulk.  For needlepoint you'll use size 18, 20 and 22 the most.
http://www.anitalittlestitches.com/bulkneedles.html

Stretcher bars make stitching easier but they are not entirely necessary.  They are not wildly expensive even in a needlepoint shop, but eBay is a good place to find bargains.  These are new but a stash sale of a bunch of used stretcher bars in mixed sizes is the best auction if you need to add these to your supply box. You can reuse old stretcher bars for years, after all.  Avoid Evertites which are lovely but much more expensive.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-PAIR-13-NEEDLEPOINT-EMBROIDERY-CREWEL-QUILTING-NEEDLECRAFT-STRETCHER-BARS/361049476104?hash=item541039cc08:g:7mYAAOSwd4tUE1YO

If you are using stretcher bars, you'll need either tacks or staples to attach the canvas to the stretcher bars.  If you have a heavy duty stapler in the house already, use that.  You may have thumbtacks on hand, too, but you need rust proof ones, preferably with big heads.  Like these—
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brass-plated-THUMB-TACKS-REMOVER-for-Needlepoint-Plastic-Storage-Box-of-60/231841813823?hash=item35fad9553f:m:mdOW5VoYAI0LOD4xRvLTAqQ

Note that a tack remover is nice but you can use a butter knife or even a staple puller to help remove the tacks once you finish stitching on the canvas the tacks are holding.

Plain needlepoint canvas is always a good thing to have and widely available on eBay.  You can doodle on it as you practice stitches or you can create a design from a chart on it.  Size 13 and 18 count (sometimes called 13 or 18 mesh) needlepoint canvas is the most common size stitchers use these days.  Look for Zweigart orange line, which is the best quality. It has an orange thread woven into the selvage edge.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ZWEIGART-MONO-Orange-Line-Blank-White-NEEDLEPOINT-Canvas-18-mesh-18-x-40/332436358419?hash=item4d66c04513:g:868AAOSw1HxZ2okU

Nothing beats plain old DMC cotton floss and DMC perle cotton for the range of colors available and the fact that you can pick this stuff up at almost any big box crafts or sewing store.  Choose size 8 perle cotton for 18 count and size 5 for 13 count designs.   Toss in a spool of gold and silver Kreinik metallic (size 8 or 12 for 18 count, size 12 or 16 for 13 count) and you can stitch almost any design just with DMC.

Designs
Be a little wary of the printed needlepoint kits you can find at the big box stores.  The design quality is high but the printed canvas design is not always straight on the canvas.  The threads in the kits are not always high quality, either.  But if not knowing exactly what color goes where doesn't bother you, one of these printed kits is a fabulous way to learn on a nice design.

Painted canvases are expensive but painted canvases on eBay and the various stash sales sites are not always high in price.  However, just because a design is painted doesn't mean it will be easy to needlepoint.  Avoid designs with a lot of fine detail and many color changes for your first piece.  They are harder to stitch successfully when you don't have much experience.

That doesn't mean you can only choose pieces appropriate for small kids, though!  This Stitch and Zip kit is lovely but not that difficult a pattern.  It comes with thread and is self-finishing.  You unzip the canvas to stitch it, then zip it together again to use.  No finishing costs!  The only hard thing about this is you'll have one small area where you have to stitch very close to the zipper.  You'll have to hold it out of the way as you stitch, which isn't always easy.  But get past that and you have a lovely and useful item that you practiced even tent stitches on.
https://www.annieandco.com/products/on-sale-alice-peterson-sz484

Need a fast, practical gift?  Look for the self-finishing items from Pointe to Point.
https://www.theneedlepointer.com/product/bottle-stoppers/

https://www.point2pointe.net/painted-canvases/

Want to run a little wild with fancy stitches?  Then check out the counted canvaswork designs.  There are a ton of free patterns available online.  Raid your stash or use all DMC except for one special thread you splurge on.  Then frame it using a sale coupon at the big box crafts stores.  Here are several places with great free patterns.
http://stitchplay.com/free-patterns/

http://www.rainbowgallery.com/free-charts/free-needlepoint-charts/

http://www.bluedogwooddesigns.com/sgom.php

Check out this page and also the "Free Patterns from Magazines" and "Free Patterns from Other Designers" sections here.
http://www.caron-net.com/03specialclass.html

Sources
eBay is a great source, but don't get carried away and bid far too much for something.  There's always a new auction coming along.

Check your local quilt store.  They may have some great threads and supplies you can use.  I can get Finca perle cotton and Cosmo cotton floss at the quilt store nearest me.  Any sewing store will carry scissors and thimbles and such, so watch for sales.

Check out Etsy.  New painted canvas designers sometimes set up an Etsy store in the beginning.
HannahBerryBird, A Dragon's Tale Direct, colors1, and MyPinkSugarLife are good places to browse needlepoint canvases.  You can also find shops that sell charts, blank canvas, threads and painted canvases from a variety of designers.

Stash sales sites are all over these days.  You will have to have a Facebook account (and be vetted by Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange) before you can buy.  Some are better than others at customer service, though.  Buyer beware.  Here are all the ones I've heard about:
http://stitchingdestashing.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NNSEGroup/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stashunload/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/groups/758044244358414/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/groups/413986218947730/

https://canvasesbegone.com


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright November 5, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Dry Skin and Lotions

Paige over at Needlepoint Nation decided she would test various lotions for her dry hands. She's trying to find a fast-absorbing lotion she can use before stitching.   She has two clear favorites, but read the comments.  Some folks are allergic to lanolin which is in her favorite and some wonder if a lanolin-based lotion will stain silk which doesn't have lanolin in it already, unlike wool.

Kudos to Paige for experimenting.  Not everyone's skin is the same, so what works for her may not work for you, but at least will give us all ideas.   Her favorite is available at Walmart.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pure-and-Simple-New-Zealand-Lanolin-Cream/159977779

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 22, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Anna Teaches Leaf Stitches UPDATED

Anna Scott has series of lovely articles on her blog about leaf stitches.  She is doing these on linen, but needlepointers can do them on needlepoint canvas.  You might need to use a sharp needle to pierce the canvas threads to get a stitch right where you want it, though.  I suggest practicing in the margin of your canvas to see what your leaf will be.

Anna's first stitch is fly stitch.  Once you do a few of these, the leaf will grow fast.

Anna loves Cretan stitch for narrow and long leaves.  The ridge down the middle is very pretty, too.

UPDATE: The latest leaf stitch is my personal favorite--fishbone!
https://annascottembroidery.blogspot.com/2021/04/leaf-sampler-part-3-fishbone-stitch.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 22, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Couching Class

Kathy at The Unbroken Thread decided to take a couching class to combat the stitching blahs.  

Look at all she achieved!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 21, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sandy Has A New Book Coming Out

Sandy Arthur has yet another small book coming out--"Beards, Mustaches and Such."

Her little pocket books on stitching hair, leaves and stars are also available through your favorite shop.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 27, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Victorian Bird Chart

Eilene Cross plans to publish several Victorian charts.  Here's a free snippet if you like a Berlin woolwork-type bird, possibly a parrot.  This would make a lovely ornament and would be a great stash buster.  Thanks, Eilene!
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10225153788414772&set=gm.3813132358763894

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 21, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 26, 2021

How to Make a Perfect French Knot

Jinny at Needlepoint.com demonstrates how to create a perfect round French knot every time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wnu5evJUIU

I have a further hint. f you are trying and trying and just can't get the knot to look right, switch to a wool or wool blend. Some threads just fluff themselves out better. Perle cottons make nice French knots, too.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright  March 20, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Report from the UK

Anna Pearson has an update on her students and how everyone is stitching over on the other side of the Atlantic.    Everyone seems to like bright colors and using up their stash threads, while Anna is planning presents for her family.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 19, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Arlene Went to Nashville Expo Remotely

Arlene Cohen of WorksByABC participated in the Nashville Expo last week, the big cross stitch and counted show that is usually held in Nashville, Tennessee.  It's interesting to hear how this was set up and how it worked for charted designers like Arlene.

You can browse Arlene's designs for cross stitch, counted canvas work and blackwork here.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 18, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Barbara's Needlepoint Has a Website !!!!!

Barbara's Needlepoint in Souix Falls, South Dakota has a website now!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Barbara's Needlepoint has in-house artists that you will love.  Check Ann Hanson's work, the Cindy and Beth Designs section, and of course Barbara's own Under the Rainbow designs.  They are also known for superb in-house finishing but there aren't many photos of that available yet. 

Have fun browsing.  They are a great shop and I'm glad they have a website where we can browse and buy now.  Not everyone is on Facebook, after all.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 17, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Celtic Illuminated Manuscript Designs

Joseph M. Dunn created an original series of needlepoint designs based on Medieval Celtic patterns in illuminated manuscripts.  You can see his work on Needlepoint Nation and read a bit about them at this link.

Lovely work!  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 17, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Needlepoint Man

Facebook has a new page, The Needlepoint Man!  This is Andrew Thompson's place to document his needlepoint journey.  He's a new needlepointer, located in the UK, and having a great time.  I am looking forward to seeing where needlepoint leads him.
https://www.facebook.com/theneedlepointman/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 14, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Graph Gripper from Yarn Tree

Brenda's been using the Graph Gripper from The Yarn Tree to hold small charts and stitch diagrams on her stretcher bars.

Please note this WILL NOT fit over Evertites, which are wider.  Brenda doesn't say but from the photo I think they will fit over the mini stretcher bars and the regulars, though.  They are available from Yarn Tree and it looks like you can switch clamp ends so that it will fit over both stretcher bars and scroll bars.  Pricing is all over the map so look around before you buy.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 13, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Spring Mystery Revealed: David Galchutt's "The Sirens"

Ruth Schmuff has revealed her Spring 2021 mystery class:  David Galchutt's "The Sirens."

If you like mermaids, you'll love this one.  Stay tuned.  I'll update this article as Ruth reveals each lesson.  The class starts in April 2021 and ends in early June 2021, so let Ruth know now if you want to participate.



Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

An Interview with Diana Bosworth

Thanks to Janet Perry, I've discovered an interview with Diana Bosworth.  I didn't know she was a shop owner at one time!

If the article makes you want to know more, visit The French Knot's website and admire her Petei Santas. 

I don't see the little booklet "Beards I Have Known" on their website but they surely have copies, so contact the shop.  It's a great little idea book!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 11, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Woven Stitch: The Movie

Needlepoint.com has a nice demonstration of woven stitch, perfect for those who don't "get" diagrams.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.co
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 9, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Floral Bench

A shop owner stitched four of Jean Smith's florals, then had them made into a bench cushion!

It's a very clever idea and perfect for those big canvases you love but don't know how to finish.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 5, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

New Designers Celebration

Did you forget about the New Designers Celebration hosted by the Labors of Love shop?  If so, click on the link, then on either a designer logo or the links on the left side of the page to see the newest people in the world of needlepoint.

Labors of Love will do a thread kit for you if you fall in love, and they'll even do a stitch guide.  If you aren't in the market for something new right now, you can still enjoy the show and appreciate the new talent joining us.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

NP Now Magazine Sale at Wellesley Needlepoint

Just saw a shop newsletter from Wellesley Needlepoint in Massachusetts.  They have back issues of Needlepoint Now magazine on sale for $3 a copy.  It's a great resource for ideas, stitch diagrams and of course charted pieces, so check this out at the NP Now website and call Wellesley (second link below) to see if they have the issue(s) you want.




Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright  March 13, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Designer Interview: Alice and Blue

A very fun design from Alice and Blue



Needlepoint.com interviewed Kelly, the new designer Alice and Blue, for their blog. 

They are also having a trunk show of her designs.  Browse here to see her New England-inspired designs.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Hiding Carry Threads on the Back Side

Tara's snowman canvas (and original design) is darling, isn't it?  EDIT:  Sorry, folks, Tara's taken down her snowman picture so I can't show it.  But I can describe it.  There was a square border inside of which was a cute snowman standing on piles of snow with a few flakes falling from the skies.  The canvas background wasn't stitched. except for the white stars.  How did she do the stars without the threads that run from each star to the next showing?  She put a piece of blue mottled fabric behind the canvas and stitched the stars through both the fabric and the canvas.  The next time you have a light coverage background and worry about the carry threads showing, think of this.

Tara's very clever!  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

March's Smart Cookie Award Winner

Lynda wins the Smart Cookie Award for March with her belt canvas which she had turned into three small dresser trays with the help of finishers at Pocket Full of Stitches.  Cute!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeedlepointNation/permalink/3764180390325758/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 2, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

NJNA Has Lots of News

The monthly report from ANG's NJNA chapter is full of news!

First of all, Swarovski is discontinuing their crystals and beads.  Buy what you want NOW.

Amy Bunger is closing her shop, so there are some good deals available.

The frame manufacturer Lowry now sells a thread carousel.

Shining Needle Society has a new Patricia Hartman chart available.  If you are interested, join Shining Needle Society (it's free) and you'll get their emails when you can register for this class.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 28, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Woodlawn Plantation Exhibit 2021

The Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Exhibit will be held May 2-May 31, 2021.  Many things have changed.  Registration is online but you still have to drop off your exhibits.  You can sell your piece on consignment.  (Woodlawn takes a commission on the sale.).   It appears that visitors have to buy a timed ticket online ahead of time.   I think this means you are assigned a time to visit and you only have a set time to browse, but I could be wrong.

Here's an explanation of the registration process.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 28, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Finishing Mini Christmas Stockings UPDATED

Starke Art has a two part video on small stocking finishing which Brenda used for her little mini sock.  The links are below, but first, here's her finished stocking.



UPDATE:  Here's another little mini sock Brenda finished using the Starke Art tutorials.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 26, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A New Shop in East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Needlepoint By the Bay is a brand new shop opening on April 1st in East Greenwich, RI.  The street address is 5853 Post Road, Plaza One, Suite 102A

As far as I can tell, the shop doesn't have a website or Facebook page yet but give them time.  If you are in the area, please visit and tell them good luck from the rest of us!

UPDATE:  Sorry!  I automatically posted the shop in the wrong state since I'm familiar with CT's Greenwich.  Apologies!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 24, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Needlepoint Pillow Finishing

Needlepoint Finishing Services, located in New York City, has a nice page on the different ways to finish pillows.  

This is not only useful in understanding what the options are (and what they are called) so you can talk intelligently to a finisher, it gives you an idea about whether extra rows around the edge of your design might be a good idea, especially if you can't talk to your finisher about that sort of thing.

If you don't stitch pillows, the website has a similar page about purse finishing.  It's a nice touch!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 19, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Ginny's Gem Needle Minders

Ginny's Gem Needle Minders has a fun section for St. Paddy's day and is currently featuring animal magnets to hold your needles on your canvas.  Ginny promises a new crop of needle minders this spring, too!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 21, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

"Finishing Made Easy" by Sue Hillis Designs

Sue Hillis Designs has a new booklet out.  It is called "Finishing Made Easy."

Sue Hillis is a cross stitch designer so I'm not sure if her booklets on finishing will be useful for those who only stitch needlepoint but ornaments are ornaments, after all.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 20, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Pumpkin Harvest Change

By now you've probably heard about the pumpkins that Sharon Wollman makes from vintage needlepoint canvases.  Due to aggravating an old injury, Sharon's going to change how she sells her pumpkins and acorns, tuffets and pillows.  Instead of having a fall harvest when she sells the pumpkins she makes at one "harvest," she is now going to post finished pumpkins (and other things) to her website when they are done.  So we are giving up the excitement of a "harvest" but gaining the ability to keep an eye on available items 365 days a year.

Good luck, Sharon!  Heal up and keep making beautiful things at a slower pace.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 20, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Carol Curtis Needlepoint Design

"Crabs in Water," by Carol Curtis Needlepoint Design

Are you a fan of watercolors and also want a painted needlepoint canvas that reflects that interest without being something everyone has?  Then Carol Curtis Needlepoint Design is for you.  Her home page shows how she builds a design, which is fascinating.

You can also browse Carol's Facebook page to see more, including her watercolors.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright February 20, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.