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2020 09 Sept Oct Flipbook PDF

Needle Pointers Magazine Volume 48 Issue 5






American Needlepoint Guild VOLUME 48 NUMBER 5

King Owl A regal take on a favorite creature ALSO INSIDE: Upscale Owen page 31

Christmas Cube page 37


American Needlepoint Guild

Publisher Editors

American Needlepoint Guild, Inc. Maureen Giuffre Sarah Black

Editorial Staff Lori Corbett Marilyn Owen

Editorial Contributors Becky Breshears Marilyn Owen Patricia Dugan Linda Reinmiller Susan Hoekstra Lisa Rusche Stephen Janick Amanda Cathe B. McEnerney Stofflebotham Carolyn Mitchell Patricia Tector Photography Dawn Donnelly Mike McCormick, M3 Photography Marilyn Owen

Needle Pointers (ISSN 0745-7812) is published bi-monthly. Non-member subscriptions are not available. Official publication of the American Needlepoint Guild, Inc., 1120 Route 73, Suite 200, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054-5113. Periodicals postage is paid at Mount Laurel and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Needle Pointers, c/o ANG, Inc., Membership Office, 1120 Route 73, Suite 200, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054-5113. Revised October 1, 2017. ©2020 American Needlepoint Guild, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited except for designs specifically offered for the explicit purpose of an individual’s personal use.

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Contents September/October 2020 Volume 48 Number 5

Stories 14

A Tale of Two Stitchers


 nimal Fibers: Alpaca and A the Other American Camelids


 onstructive Criticism: C Paper & Stitches

Stitching Instructions 26

King Owl


Upscale Owen


Christmas Cube


 asics and Beyond: B The Faux Bullion Knot

Trade Secrets 6

In Stitches Linda K. Reinmiller


Book Review Patricia Tector


Thread and Product Advice Stephen Janick

Education Directory 51

Correspondence Courses


 yber Workshops and C Workshops by Mail

Guild News 4

President’s Column


Notes from the Editor


National Guild News


ANG's Certification Programs


Golden Needle Society Update


Chapter News

On the Back Cover


City Homes, Stitched by Judith Torma

Judith Torma has been stitching since the 1970’s. She lives in Ohio and is a member of the Creative Hands Chapter. City Homes is designed by Karla Gerard for Maggie and Company. Judy says she was intimidated by this canvas for years, but after taking a 2018 class on embellishments at the ANG Seminar in Washington, DC, was able to finish. The smoke rising from the houses was created from Kreinik Wired Facets.

3 • September/October 2020

» President’s Column

A Linda Rand

utumn is my favorite season of the year! Living in the Southwest, I now must remember seeing the Fall colors when I lived in the Washington, DC region or visit someone who lives in an area that experiences them. I hope that all of you continue to be healthy and safe.

In my last column, I wrote about the excitement surrounding our Virtual Seminar. At this point, classes are in full swing and I can’t wait to report back to you about how it went. We have had a number of new members join as a result of this approach, and I’m excited to welcome them to ANG. There have been many changes to Needle Pointers over the past few years and I thought it would be good to discuss the transitions that have enabled us to arrive at the wonderful magazine we have today.

became our primary stitch diagram developer, bringing clear, easy-to-read diagrams and charts in the magazine. Maureen and Marilyn have added several new features, including “Thread and Product Advice,” “A Tale of Two Stitchers,” and “Basics and Beyond” columns and the “Technical Reference” pages that now appear in each issue. At about the same time, ANG hired AH to perform the magazine design and layout. They brought a fresh look to the style of our magazine, making it more appealing to our members. We certainly have had our growing pains during these transitions. I’m happy that we are over these hurdles now, and I think that we now provide a higher-quality magazine to our members. It just took some growing pains to get there! Please know that the majority of our Needle Pointers team are volunteers and contribute many hours to make the magazine the voice of ANG. We are always looking for ideas and feedback — please send your comments to Maureen at [email protected]

About four years ago, we changed the magazine printer and brought the design effort and advertising in-house. Like many transitions, it was a bit of tough going to get started. Printing deadlines changed and we had some challenges validating the mailing list. Our editor at the time, Diane Blinn, certainly had her hands full!

On a different topic, I also want the thank Marilyn and Maureen for their wildly successful idea of “Holed Up Minis.” And thanks to all of the members who contributed a project. These little projects were just the thing that we needlepointers needed during our quarantine!

In August 2018, Maureen Giuffre became the Editor of Needle Pointers. Bringing with her a wealth of stitching knowledge and experience in publications, she immediately began to make an impact on the magazine. At about the same time, Marilyn Owen


Stay stitched into ANG,

4 • Needle Pointers

» Notes from the Editor

Needlepoint in the Time of COVID-19 and Distress


ere’s another war story. Many, many years ago, when I had just started working as an RN, I lived near a retired nurse in her 80s who had attended the University of Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing during the time of the Spanish Flu. Philadelphia was particularly hard hit by that pandemic because they held a “support the war/buy Liberty bonds” parade just months after the pandemic started. This elderly nurse told me that 14 of her classmates died! All of them were young, intelligent women, between the ages of 19 and 22. I have long had an interest in the study of pandemics and have often told this story, always following it up with “I can’t imagine.” Now I can. During this summer of COVID-19 and painful baring of social inequities, I have asked myself, why? Why do we needlepoint? I believe needlepoint is good for our mental health — especially in this time of collective stress. Research has shown that doing something with our hands (pottery, all sorts of textiles, woodworking, etc.) is good for our mental health in a few ways. First, despite what your family may think, you can do only so many things at once. I think my limit is two, but it really is two only if the second activity does not require focus. Unless you are special, most of us can really focus on only one thing at a time. Whether that focus is getting our basketweave stitches uniformly taut, counting threads, or deciding is it here I want to change from light tan to medium tan or is it the next row, we focus. And unless you are doing something really wrong, this activity you are focusing on, needlepoint, should be producing less of a stress response than focusing on the current societal issues or perceived past personal harms. Hence busy hands keep the demons at bay. The process of solving our little creative problems (which stitch will work best here, when should I transition color?) causes our brains to make new connections continually. Why do we need all these connections? Whether it is in our brains or in our hearts, if you have only one road to town and a boulder blocks the road, you are in trouble. But if you have a lot of roads (connections) it is easier to get where you are going in the time of catastrophe. As well as helping us avoid potential future wreckage,

these multiple connections help us solve unique problems — and not just needlepoint problems. Needlepoint boosts self-esteem and provides us with a sense of accomplishment. Needlepoint is the type of activity that we can practice in isolation, but it still allows us to feel connected. Whether that connection is via the internet or our Zoom groups, we can still stitch together. We are physically, but not socially, distant. Now, for the interesting thing I learned while writing this editorial. Many of these positive mental health benefits diminish after 10 years of practice, regardless of the skill level you have attained. So, it is not just the repetitive hand motion that benefits us, it is the challenge of learning something new. Now is the time to take that course that is unlike anything you have ever done. And now might also be the time to write that article for Needle Pointers you have been thinking about for years. I am calling this issue the zoological issue. I would like to tell you the content was planned, but alas, it just happened. So, in this issue we have as subject matter two owls, five bunnies, and seven alpacas. Kind of like an ark, except the elephant caught the previous boat. Stay safe,

We are Better Together, designed by David McCaskill and stitched by Steven Halvorson

5 • September/October 2020


“But,” you say, “I have so many stitching books in my library. Real books. I don’t want to buy a second copy.”

s e c r e t s

6 | In Stitches 8 | Book Review

To which I reply, “Do you take these reference books with you when you are stitching away from home? Are they always accessible?”

9 | Thread and Product Advice

In Stitches Needlepoint e-Books By L  inda K. Reinmiller [email protected]

Those of you who know me know that I am interested in how technology and needlepoint can work hand-inhand, no pun intended, to enhance both experiences. I have talked in past columns about stitch programs, stitching from an electronic device, and using technology to track stash. I do all these activities. Now, I get to share my favorite use of tech: reading e-books. I am an avid reader and I read fast. Books define the decorative theme of my house to the extent that it has one. But due to airline weight restrictions, I can no longer take enough books with me to last through a week-long trip. Enter my tablet. Inside this small, lightweight device I carry 965 books, 33 audio books, and 655 documents (“printed” items not in traditional book format, like PDFs). Several current stitching projects and reference books are included in this vast library.

Food for thought. Advantages of having your favorite stitching reference books in e-book format: • They can travel everywhere with you without adding extra weight to your purse or suitcase. Extra weight in suitcases can get very expensive on airplanes. Think about how carefully you pack for seminar or a stitching retreat. Even for a retreat you drive to, hauling a heavy bag of books around is not what I want to do, even if my stitching bag has wheels. • They are always available. Suddenly realizing you can’t remember how to do Indian Stripe at 10 pm in your dormitory at retreat can be frustrating. Trying to come up with the perfect stitch to create the sand on a painted canvas and not having any reference books is discouraging. • I seldom stitch on planes as my projects cannot usually be easily managed in confined spaces, but I always have something to read. Having a variety of types of stitch books to read gives us an opportunity to continue our stitching education even when we can’t stitch. • E-books are usually less expensive than their hardcopy editions because e-books are less costly to publish. For fun, go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, find one of your favorite needlepoint books that is available as an e-book, and compare the hard copy and e-book prices. This is not to say one type of publishing is better than another, but sometimes price can make a difference in whether you can afford that book you have been wanting.

6 • Needle Pointers

Volunteer WITH ANG!

• Images in an e-book are often colored because it is less expensive to publish color in an e-book than in a printed book. • Actual designs published as e-books are becoming more common because of this ability to publish in full color. The diagrams and instructions can also be enlarged to make it easier for stitchers to see details and read. So, go begin your own exploration. Search the various e-book providers for books you might like in your e-library. Start simple with just the word needlepoint. Then try other search terms like embroidery, handwork, Bargello, whitework, painted canvas, whatever you want to learn more about. Kindle > Kindle Store Nook > Nook > NOOKSTORE > Books Kobo www.kobo > eBooks Apple App Store > Books > Book Store (this is within the Books App)

ANG wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing volunteers who keep the Guild going. Share your many talents with ANG by joining our volunteers!

Find volunteer opportunities at volunteer

Also, check your library system for available e-books.

7 • September/October 2020

TRADE s e c r e t s

Book Review

for inspiration — all good resources for both the immediate future and possibly the distant future.

By P  atricia Tector [email protected]

The meat of this book is the variety of stitches that are shown with comprehensive notes, well-done pictures showing a variety of ways to use each of the stitches being discussed, and many tips throughout. The stitches are grouped in categories: running stitches, chain and blanket stitches, and raised stitches.

Stitch, Fabric & Thread By Elizabeth Healey Published by Search Press Limited ISBN 978-1-78221-285-0, 2017, Paperback, 160 pages

Whether you are contemplating doing a mixed media piece or simply would like to add something to your needlework, Stitch, Fabric & Thread is brimming with techniques and ways to stitch that will go a long way to whet your appetite with an abundance of ideas. While this book is primarily targeting people who stitch on fabric, it is always interesting to read what someone has to say even if they use a different medium. For example, I have often said that reading an explanation about color in some quilting books has been very helpful. Elizabeth Healey starts Stitch, Fabric & Thread, as most authors do, by going over the basics of tools, thread, fabric, color, and sketchbooks. The latter seems to be a continuing theme, especially in books that I have read recently. Sketchbooks are a way to keep track of what you are doing, what ideas have been fermenting in your head, and as sources

The ‘More than Stitches’ section explores some techniques using Shibori, pleats and folds, and worn and loved (a nice way of saying recycling!). In addition, you can peruse Mola reverse appliqué, drawn thread, and trapunto for ideas to add to your needleart. Elizabeth has included a few projects that incorporate material presented earlier in the book. Stitch, Fabric & Thread has a section with diagrams on how to do some of the stitches mentioned in the book, a glossary, and a list of books for further reading that range from thought provoking to inspirational to practical. In her introduction to Stitch, Fabric & Thread, Elizabeth says “ … sewing doesn’t have to be just about buying and following patterns, it can also be about play, improvisation and doing the unexpected — qualities I hope you will find in this book.” While we do not buy patterns for sewing, we do buy painted canvases, kits, charts, and take classes — all of which can be played with, improvised and/or can have something unexpected done to what we are creating! Warning: This book could cause your creative juices to start flowing. If they do, make notes in your sketchbook so those thoughts do not get lost. In closing: a quote from Pablo Picasso that is very appropriate for this book: “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”

Patricia Tector has been stitching since high school and reading way before that. She is now an ANG Certified Judge and a NAN Certified Master Judge. She can be reached at [email protected]

8 • Needle Pointers


In my experience, it is a bit of a challenge to work with Accentuate on its own. I LOVE the packaging, which includes the thread name and color number printed on the spool. The spool also has a lock-in-place lid, which is a nice touch. However, working with multiple strands is a challenge. Some recommend doubling each strand in the needle to make the situation more manageable. The thread is a little sticky/ grabby. Stitching with eight strands is very difficult.

s e c r e t s

Thread and Product Advice By Stephen Janick


ynthetic threads are the order of business for this issue (nylon) and the next (polyester). Nylon threads are noted for their elasticity. They are durable and strong. Plus, nylon, which is entirely man-made, is inexpensive. However, nylon threads melt under low heat if they are not “bonded” (a bonding agent coats the nylon fibers to increase strength, reduce friction and also — not surprisingly — to prevent melting under low heat).

Nylon threads are popular because of their versatility, which the various products reviewed here demonstrate. Some disadvantages of nylon threads include the fact that they stretch over time and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause deterioration. Therefore, I do not recommend using nylon threads on any item that may be exposed to sunlight. As an interesting aside, you may have encountered threads described as “polyamide,” which is simply the chemical name for nylon, not polyester as the word would seem to imply.

Some Nylon Threads Used for Needlepoint Accentuate (Access Commodities) — Accentuate is manufactured by Madeira and is composed of 70% nylon and 30% metallic polyester. Two strands of Accentuate are equivalent to one strand of embroidery floss. It is sold on 50 meter spools and comes in 148 colors. This exceptionally fine metallic is strong and flexible. It can be used alone or blended in the needle with other threads. Carole Lake and Michael Boren, in their marvelous book, Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book (2014), say Accentuate is: “a great substitute for blending filament as it is much stronger.”

The first sample I stitched was basketweave with four strands; the second sample was basketweave with five Accentuate from strands; the third sample Madeira on #18 was brick stitch with six strands; the fourth sample was brick stitch with eight strands. The coverage I achieved remained poor throughout, so frankly, I see no role for this thread as a stand-alone product. My recommendation is to think of Accentuate as a blending filament only and use it accordingly. Arctic Rays (Rainbow Gallery, made in Italy) — Arctic Rays is a 100% nylon thread that is equivalent in size to one strand of #5 pearl cotton. This singlestrand thread cannot be separated. It is sold on cards of eight yards in 23 colors. Use one strand on both #13/14 or #18 canvas.

Artic Rays from Rainbow Gallery on #18

The distributor describes Arctic Rays as a “wispy fringe.” It has pieces of transparent fiber that give a glistening effect. When stitching giant brick stitch with one strand of Arctic Rays on #18 canvas, I felt the thread to be grabby and somewhat difficult to pull through the canvas, but I did it using a straight stitch and larger needle than normal. The result looked good and the coverage was excellent; I made a mental note that I must consider this thread as an option for #18 canvases more frequently.

9 • September/October 2020

TRADE s e c r e t s

On #13 canvas, I found Arctic Rays to be not the easiest thread to work with. I experienced resistance when pulling the thread in and out of the canvas. Plus, the wispy fringe made it difficult to see what I was doing, but the coverage was still good. The appearance of Arctic Rays can always be improved by fluffing up the thread with the tip of needle when stitching is complete. Arctic Rays makes wonderful French knots and is perfect for snowy trees, fuzzy animals, whitecaps on waves, curly hair, bird wings, and lawns, among other things.

Etoile from DMC on #18 Etoile (DMC) — Etoile, a new product, is a six-strand embroidery floss with metallic filament. The thread is comprised of 73% cotton and 27% Lurex polyamide (nylon). You would use six strands on #13/14 canvas and four strands on #18 canvas. Etoile is sold in eightmeter skeins and is available in 35 colors. Each color of Etoile has the same numeric code as the DMC floss color, which is used as its base color, but “C” is prefixed to the number to indicate that it is a skein of Etoile (for instance black would be C310). In my stitching, I used four strands of Etoile on #18 canvas for basketweave and Nobuko stitches; six strands on #13 canvas for basketweave; six strands on #18 canvas for brick stitch. In general, I found Etoile to be a little grabby, but otherwise, it was fairly easy to stitch with. Making an away knot on the end of multiple strands posed a bit of a challenge, but coverage was good and the sparkly effect is subtle yet captivating. Given the versatility of embroidery floss, I definitely see a space in the market for this thread especially if the colors are right for your project. Eyelash (Rainbow Gallery) — Eyelash, or more properly “Rainbow Eyelash,” is also a new 100% nylon thread sold on cards of eight-yards. It comes

in sixteen colors and is meant to be used straight from the card on both #13/14 and #18 canvas. The manufacturer recommends using it for diagonal or straight longer stitches and to brush it after stitching to create more of Rainbow Gallery’s Eyelash on #18 a furry look, or conversely, to trim it with scissors after stitching to tame the furry look, depending on your preference. I used a single strand of Eyelash on #18 canvas employing the brick, giant brick, long and short, and random satin stitches in my sample. I found that results were best if I didn’t pull the thread too hard. The coverage was thin, so I would use this product only with a close color match between thread and canvas. On #18 canvas, Eyelash requires some tugging to pull it through the canvas making the “don’t pull it too hard” imperative more of a challenge. On #13 canvas, one strand plus straight stitches or stem/ outline stitch work well. The thread is easier to work with on #13 canvas (no tugging is required), but again, you absolutely need the thread and canvas colors to match because the core thread of Eyelash is very thin. (Most of the product consists of fringe, so don’t expect Eyelash to be able to alter the paint color on a canvas.) In general, though, I found this thread to be a pleasant surprise. I must admit that when the product was first introduced, I was a bit skeptical because I thought that the fringe simply was too long. But now that I know I can trim it to any length that I want and that stitching with it is “no big deal,” I’m on board and will definitely be deploying Eyelash in my needlepoint arsenal.

Fuzzy Stuff from Rainbow Gallery on #13

10 • Needle Pointers

TRADE s e c r e t s

Fuzzy Stuff (Rainbow Gallery, manufactured In Italy) — Fuzzy Stuff is sold on cards in units of 15 yards. The thread is 60% polyamide (nylon) and 40% viscose (rayon). It is available in 35 colors. One strand is equivalent in size to one strand of #5 pearl cotton. Use one strand for both #18 and #13 canvas; on #13 canvas, I would recommend color-matching the canvas to the thread. Fuzzy Stuff is less artificial in appearance than Arctic Rays. It has a shiny glint, but it is just a hint of sparkle and does not overpower other threads. Fuzzy Stuff is not as wispy as Eyelash. In my experience stitching with Fuzzy Stuff, I found it easier to use on #13 than on #18 canvas where it required a bit of a tug to pull the thread through the canvas holes. You can fluff up Fuzzy Stuff after stitching to enhance the fuzzy effect. White Fuzzy Stuff is great for snow and snowmen. Good animal colors are available as well as some wild and funky colors that are great for Halloween canvases for whimsical or unexpected effects. I recommend using shorter lengths and bringing your needle straight up and down through the canvas when stitching with Fuzzy Stuff.

it is a ribbon, the needle slid off the thread a couple of times. One strand of Fyre Werks on #18 canvas performed well for me; again, no twisting of the thread is important to its final appearance. As with most high sheen metallics, overly complicated stitch patterns should be avoided. Use Fyre Werks similarly to how you would use Shimmer Blend Ribbon Floss. It is especially useful — in my opinion — for sky, water, snow, and elegant clothing, among other things.

Rachelette from The Caron Collection (green) and Flair from Rainbow Gallery (blue) on #13 Rachelette (Caron Corporation) — Rachelette is a tubular, nylon netting filled with a fine metallic thread. It is sold in five-yard skeins and is available in 135 colors. One strand of Rachelette is equivalent in size to one strand #5 pearl cotton. Use one strand Rachelette for both #13/14 and #18 canvas. However, long stitches are recommended on #18 canvas.

Fyre Werks (Rainbow Gallery, manufactured in Japan) — Fyre Werks is 60% metallized nylon and 40% nylon ribbon. One strand of Fyre Werks is equivalent in size to one strand of #5 pearl cotton. It is sold on 10-yard cards. The thread is available in 66 colors. One strand is used on both #13/14 and #18 canvas; however, long stitches are recommended on #18 canvas. Because Fyre Werks is a metallic ribbon, it is imperative that the thread is not twisted, which would mar its appearance (this is normally accomplished by using a laying tool).

I found that one strand of Rachelette on #18 canvas provided more than adequate coverage. The effect certainly is different. Nevertheless, I found that it was not so easy to stitch with Rachelette; it unravels and it is difficult to pull through canvas. On #13 canvas, one strand also provides good coverage plus it is slightly easier to stitch with, and the overall appearance is, I think, better. However, the problem with fraying and snagging remains. Given that the price of this thread is high, and the skein size is small, I am not likely to put this thread on my shopping list any time soon. The manufacturer suggests couching this thread onto fabric, an idea that I have not tried, but which sounds intriguing.

When stitching my samples for this article, I experienced no issues going in and out of the canvas holes and the coverage was good. However, because

Flair (Rainbow Gallery, manufactured in England) — Flair is a tubular, 100% nylon, netting. Sold on cards in units of ten yards, it is available in 101 colors. One

Fyre Werks from Rainbow Gallery on #13

11 • September/October 2020

TRADE s e c r e t s

strand of Flair is equivalent in size to one strand of #5 pearl cotton. It is intended for use straight off the card on both #13/14 and #18 canvas. In my experience, Flair is far easier to use on #13 than #18 canvas. A laying tool is required to get the best effect with this thread. In my sample on #18 canvas, I stitched the giant brick with one strand, and it required tugging. I find Flair to be a decidedly tricky thread — no two ways about it. It requires special handling that some people may not want to do, but the effect it produces is worth it in certain situations. Flair is useful for backgrounds, night sky, water, fields, mountains, and snow. It has a nice shimmery effect that does not overpower other threads. On painted canvases, it will reinforce the canvas color. However, Flair does unravel. The best way to control this is to use short stitching lengths and a larger than normal sized needle. Come straight up and go straight down through the canvas, being careful not to drag the Flair across the canvas surface. Cutting Flair on a severe diagonal can also help.

One strand on #13 canvas provides fine coverage and is easy to stitch with straight stitches; however, some fraying occurred when I executed the Nobuko stitch. Using a thinner thread like Petite Frosty Rays instead of regular Frosty Rays resulted, I felt, in better stitch definition. The manufacturer recommends stroking the thread as you stitch with it as the Treasure Braid Petite element inside tends to wander. If you pull the Flair and the metallic together, they both straighten out and lay much better. Using a laying tool is advisable. Also, sliding the Flair element down to the canvas surface and then tacking it down with the Treasure Braid Petite portion, results in a gathering of Flair on the canvas surface that can be employed to mimic the look of hair, fur, or ruffles. Water N’ Ice (Rainbow Gallery, manufactured in Japan) — Water N’ Ice is a 100% nylon thread that is available in 17 colors. Sold on cards of 10 yards, Water N’ Ice is a loosely braided transparent ribbon. One strand is equivalent in size to one strand #5 pearl cotton. Use one strand on either #13/14 canvas or #18 canvas. In my sample stitching, I found stitching with one strand on #13 to be a breeze but when stitching with Water N’ Ice on #18 canvas, fraying became more of an issue. Longer stitches are recommended when stitching with Water N’ Ice on #18 canvas. Being a transparent ribbon is obviously the unique characteristic of Water N’ Ice, making it highly useful for situations where you want some of the painted canvas color to show through. It is also great on painted canvas for reflective surfaces such as water, ice, mirrors, flames, fire, sun, dew drops and frost. Some of the colors are not see-through, but they give a wet, glossy appearance that makes them equally useful. Long stitches give the best effect with this thread, so make sure you lay this thread properly to get the best shine!

Petite Frosty Rays (gold) and Water N’ Ice (pink), both from Rainbow Gallery on #18 Petite Frosty Rays (Rainbow Gallery, United States) — Petite Frosty Rays is 78% nylon, 14% rayon, and 8% metallized polyester. It is sold on cards in units of six yards and is available in 100 colors. One strand of Petite Frosty Rays is equivalent in size to one strand #5 pearl cotton. This is a thinner version of Frosty Rays. It is made from Flair and features Treasure Braid Petite inside. Use one strand for both #13/14 and #18 canvas. One strand on #18 canvas provides excellent coverage; I found it not difficult to pull through the canvas, but the thread is slippery; therefore, my needle wanted to slide off. Also, fraying is a problem at times, which is a detriment to the appearance of completed stitches.

Very Velvet from Rainbow Gallery on #13 Very Velvet (Rainbow Gallery, manufactured in Italy) — Very Velvet is 100% nylon. One strand of Very Velvet is equivalent to one strand #3 pearl cotton. One strand of Very Velvet is intended for use on #13/14 canvas, as-is, off-the-card. The manufacturer suggests

12 • Needle Pointers


round, it can easily be pushed to one side or another, thus making your straight stitches above move away from vertical.

s e c r e t s

using a rather large needle and a relatively short tail. Very Velvet is sold on cards in units of 15 yards and it is available in 75 colors. One strand of Very Velvet provides very good coverage on #13 canvas, with both straight and diagonal stitches. It is very easy to stitch with. One can even do eyelet stitches. One word of caution: you need to make sure to enter the canvas straight at the base of thread when executing straight stitches. Because the thread is


Another pointer: to remove the creases in the thread when it is unwound from the card, run your fingernail over the length of the thread a couple of times while giving it a little bit of snap and a stretch. This should take care of the most egregious dents and kinks while also removing any excess flakes of fiber. There you have it. A few needlepoint threads that feature nylon. What a diverse group! From fuzzy to metallic, from wispy to tubular, nylon is strong, inexpensive, and versatile. But just remember, keep it out of direct sunlight (because they will melt under low heat). In January: more on synthetic threads with a look at polyester.

Self-finishing needlepoint kits for every level and age of stitcher, with everything you need all in one bag!

WHOLESALE AND OTHER INQUIRIES: [email protected] OR 570-847-6648

13 • September/October 2020


Tale of Two Stitchers:

Structural Differences By Maureen Giuffre Photographed by Marilyn Owen


trawbery Banke (the actual place is spelled with an e and missing an r) Museum is a recreated outdoor museum/village filled with historic buildings, some originally at the site, some moved, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. If you go to the website (, you will see the structures on which this canvas was based.

Unstitched Strawberry Bank in Winter

Here, we present two versions of Strawberry Bank in Winter stitched by Gail Ettinger of Somers, New York, and Sue Mondabaugh of Topsham, Maine. Strawberry Bank in Winter (Wellesley Needlepoint, NL-83, #18, 10" x 10") was selected for this project because it seemed to call for a variety of architectural stitches that could be challenging to the stitchers and interesting to all. The first thing that is so striking about these two interpretations of Strawberry Bank in Winter is that the stitchers created such different ambiances using almost identical but mirror images of the swirl stitch for the ground snow. Most often swirl is diagramed to slant to the right, as it does in Gail’s version, suggesting the direction of the street that may be in front of these houses. Strawberry Bank in Winter stitched by Gail Ettinger 14 • Needle Pointers

basics and beyond stories If we were to draw perspective lines on this canvas putting a vanishing point off to the right beyond the edge of the canvas, Gail’s right slanting swirl would be consistent with the direction of these perspective lines. In addition, the T-stitch for the sky is directionless. The consistency of the direction of the swirl with the perspective lines and the presumed street along with the neutral direction of the sky give to the work a calm feeling. I get the impression of a moonlit night with just a few flakes falling. The mirror image’s left slant in Sue’s version sets up a wholly different experience. The slant draws the eyes into the houses and gives the impression of snow drifting toward the houses. The snow is stitched using two threads that are slightly different in color and shine: Caron Collection’s Snow and ThreadworX’s Santa’s Beard. The movement created by the swirl stitch is in opposition to the right leaning Nobuko of the sky creating tension amongst the major “background” elements of Strawberry Bank in Winter stitched by Sue Mondabaugh this piece. That tension, combined with the dark variegated thread for the sky, gives me the The Impact of the Stitch/Thread Choice on impression that we are in a storm, or at the very least the Apparent Structure that the sky is filled with “snow clouds.” There are books written on architectural stitches, so two versions of one canvas with a handful of The other interesting thing about the snow is “what stitches give us only a taste of what can be done with is happening in the snow area on the right side of the decorative stitches attempting to create architectural canvas in front of the last building?” This is one of structures. Different stitch/thread combinations appear those things about painted canvases that I love. There to make buildings out of quite different materials. are elements that the stitcher must interpret. Could For example, Gail’s front red building is done in an this be a snow-covered field beyond the village? An alternating elongated staggered cashmere in Pepper extremely high snow drift? It is not clear to me. Both Pot silk. These cashmere blocks could be red brick of our stitchers saw this white area as a continuation or small granite block. Because Gail chose a thread of the snow. Sue continued in the swirl stitch while with more weight, Pepper Pot silk, you can visualize Gail switched to a vertical trifecta stitch. chiseled edges to these blocks. Sue on the other hand stitched that building in Flemish bond using lighter Keep in mind, having purchased a canvas you can weight threads (The Gentle Arts, Sampler Threads change it in any way you want. Painting in another and Weeks Dye Works both overdyed cotton flosses), structure, such as a tree right of the last house creating a cedar-shingle look, which are consistent would have delineated between middle ground and with this village in New Hampshire. The Flemish bond background, making the distant snow less confusing. has a very crisp looking edge where the corner of the building turns and a darker thread begins. 15 • September/October 2020

stories Flemish bond, not the most common stitch, makes great cedar shingles.

Gail had two options when stitching the elongated cashmere for the bricks on her front building. Those choices are at the front corner. When turning the corner, she could have mirrored the stitch she just did (the choice she selected, choice A) or continued in the pattern of alternating elongated cashmere with Scotch (choice B). The continued pattern without mirror gives a simple brick look. If the elongated cashmere is on the right side of the corner and the Scotch is on the left, it looks like you are looking at the long and short sides of a brick. But mirroring the elements gives the stitcher the opportunity to create something called a quoin stone (a bolder look) as the cornerstone.

Red building stitched by Sue Mondabaugh in Flemish bond.

Alternating Elongated Cashmere and Scotch mirrored at the corner (choice A)

Alternating Elongated Cashmere and Scotch not mirrored at the corner (choice B) The second building, a seemingly unlikely twotone house in purple and brown with a white strip separating the brown and purple sides, is a bit confusing. The white strip is meant to represent a corner board. Initially, I missed this detail because I assumed a white corner board contrasting to the paint of the siding is a modern design. But a visit (digitally) to the village will show you just this detail. This corner board is done by both stitchers in a smaller stitch because of the limited area on both sides. (Corner boards are vertical boards around the corner to which the shingles or siding abuts, saving the carpenter the trouble of matching each row of shingles at the corner.)

Red building stitched by Gail Ettinger and stitched in (horizontal) alternating elongated cashmere.

The fun part of the canvas is the blank sign on this building. Both stitchers used this very creatively. Sue made the shop a yarn shop (needlepoint would not have fit) and Gail extended the winter holidays feel of the canvas with two small candy canes made from striped paper clips.

16 • Needle Pointers

basics and beyond stories

Second and third buildings with sign stitched by Sue Mondabaugh

Second and third buildings with sign stitched by Gail Ettinger

Sue’s version of the third building (behind the Yarn sign) is a padded brick stitch giving the building a cedar siding look. Gail gave us a door and a stoop that were not in the original painted canvas. Gail helps us differentiate the main structure of the building from the dormers by using two different stitches: alternating cashmere for the main structure and horizontal straight Gobelin for the dormers, both are done in a Vineyard Silk Classic. Sue uses a less common Rosemary stitch that reminds me of cedar shakes, the hand-hewn rougher version of cedar shingles. Sue’s use of The Gentie Arts’ Sampler Threads called Maple Syrup for the shakes seems to fit the theme of the New England village. The cross stitches of the Rosemary stitch are done in a lighter, brighter, possibly shinier Caron Collection Soie Cristale, which makes that building look quite festive.

17 • September/October 2020

Rosemary stitch makes great shingles or shakes

stories Roofs

Closeup of the roofs by Gail Ettinger

Closeup of roofs by Sue Mondabaugh Gail’s rear roof is stitched in a darning stitch with Rainbow Gallery’s Glisten and is interspersed with tent in Vineyard Classic Silk. Sue’s rear roof is stitched in a padded cross stitch over two with Rainbow Gallery’s Neon Rays and Winter. Both stitchers interpret this canvas to have a total of three roofs — two white, one dark. My eye sees four. Yes, initially it looks like three, but I have had the opportunity to study our canvas for months, far longer than our stitchers had with it. The red building has a hip roof. Gail chose to stitch that roof in a Burden stitch using Glisten and YLI Shimmer Ribbon floss. Gail also chose to emphasize the hip rafters with a woven back stitch.

Three of the roofs I see are all painted white, but once the rear roof is shaded a little it becomes obvious (to me) that we are looking at two white roofs past the one on the front red house, not one. If you focus on the top/attic window of the purple building and the peak above that window, you will see that the peak divides the white roofing into two. All the white to the left of that window is a roof that belongs to the purple building. If you wanted to differentiate between these two white roofs, you could shade the rear roof slightly, you could execute them in different stitches, or you could offset your decorative stitch slightly. This third choice is tricky since the stitch must be large enough so that it is obviously offset and does not simply look like an error.

18 • Needle Pointers

basics and beyond stories Caron Collection Impression. The middle group use alternating Smyrna crosses in two shades of Rainbow Gallery’s Splendor and the farthest away bushes are stitched by Sue in French knots with a subtly variegated thread from Weeks Dye Works. Sue used an elongated cross stitch in two shades of Furr Fuzz and Funn from Planet Earth Fiber for all the snow on the bushes. Gail’s wreaths are made of plastic rings wrapped with Silk Road Fibers Straw Silk with red Kreinik Metallic Braid French knots for the bling on the wreaths. She also creatively used a lazy daisy stitch to attach the wreaths to the building in lieu of a bow. The wreath on the rear house uses the same threads, but in this case, Gail used a wrapped stem stitch for the greenery. Sue unexpectedly created wreaths from two shades of Impression in Turkey work, which gives them a great deal of dimensionality. Shading added to the far roof making it more apparent there are three white roofs, not two.

Greenery Gail executed all the bushes in French knots in the Caron Collection’s Watercolours. The variegated nature of this thread adds dimension to each group of bushes. The snow on the bushes is done with #11 luster white seed beads.

Both our stitchers, Gail Ettinger and Sue Mondabaugh, did great creative interpretations of this canvas to again show us that stitching on a painted canvas brings together the art and craftmanship of needlepoint.

Sue chose to stitch all three sets of bushes in different stitches with the smallest stitch furthest away adding a dimensional aspect to the bush groups. The foreground group of bushes is double stitched in two colors of

Front bushes by Gail Ettinger in French knots

Front bushes by Sue Mondabaugh 19 • September/October 2020


Five Rabbits by Kathryn Molineux (Chris Lewis Distributing, M186)

Animal Fibers:



he Camelidae family of animals originated on the plains of North America around 40 to 50 million years ago. Although this family had many tribes or subgroups, the two we are most interested in are the Camelini (known to us as Bactrain and dromedary camels) and the Lamini (known to us as alpacas, llamas, guanacos, and vicuñas.) Both groups migrated to the areas of the world we now associate with them about three million years ago. The camelids that give us the most fiber for all textile arts are alpacas and camels. We will talk about the Camelini family in a future article, but for now, here are some of the more interesting facts about the Lamini family. The Lamini family are descended from a single ancestor type: the vicuña and guanaco becoming distinct breeds. The alpaca and llama descended from them, and all of them give us usable fibers. Alpacas were probably first domesticated in the Andes of Peru six to seven thousand years ago and bred into the four distinct animals we describe today. And while apparently distinct breeds, interbreeding of these animals produces fertile offspring. These breeds were far more distinct in ancient times than they are today. The arrival of the Spanish in South America in the 1500s, with their sheep and horses, caused a 90-98%

reduction in population of these animals and drove the remaining animals from the coastal plains and intermountain valleys to the high mountainous regions that we associate them with today.

Vicuña Vicuña, the smallest of the South American camelids at under 150 pounds, were the most devastated by the European settlement with an estimated 6,000 remaining in 1974 when the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) declared them endangered and outlawed the international trade in vicuña fiber and animals. The population has rebounded with trade in vicuña fiber resuming in 1994, mostly coming from domesticated herds. Most of these animals are still in wild herds in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia and are protected by game wardens who organize roundups once a year to shear them, making them less attractive to poachers. Vicuñas are double coated with their down coat, considered the most desirable fiber in the world, always a fawn color. Farm-raised animals are shorn every other year or less. Even though shorn only every other year the average length of the shorn hairs or staples (staple: length of hair if you pulled a hair out by the root minus what you leave on the animal after shearing) is only 1 to 2 inches. This is a fairly short

20 • Needle Pointers


The undercoat fibers have a very fine diameter of 8 to 13 microns. (Compare that to merino wool at 20 to 25 microns and human hair at 60 to 120.) Because of its extraordinary fineness, products produced from this fiber trap more air per pound and are considered significantly warmer than wool and is very, very soft. I have found one website that claims to sell vicuña fiber at $250/oz, unspun. Other websites claim to sell alpaca/vicuña hybrid fiber…call for price.

behavior, more than any other, limits their usefulness as a source of commercial fiber. Despite having soft, lovely long staples (up to five inches) of 16 to 45 microns, we will probably never see them at our LNS. An interesting thing about llamas that accounts for the reported wide range of thickness, is that unlike the other camelids, they do not have distinct under and top coats; they just change gradually from in to out, thin to thick. Llamas are easily domesticated and principally used as pack animals in Peru and Bolivia with limited numbers in the wild. Another interesting use for llamas is as guard animals. You might find a single castrated male among herds of alpaca or sheep because they are much more aggressive to predators or unknown animals. Who is going to mess with a 400 lb annoyed animal? However, once they get to know you they are quite friendly.



staple compared with most other fibers intended to be spun. Much of the itch caused by some wool is the result of the tiny ends of the hairs acting as little needles. In general, the longer the staple, the fewer these ends that cause itch although all the camelids are less itchy than sheep wool, especially these very fine fibers.

The majority of guanaco today occupy the high plains of Chile. Preconquest populations are estimated to have been somewhere between 10 and 30 million with as many as 600,000 surviving today. They are much bigger animals than the vicuña weighing between 200 and 300 pounds, but like all the South American camelids are easily domesticated. And while their population is vastly reduced from preconquest numbers, they have not been threatened with extinction, possibly because they can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour (mph) for extended periods of time. (The horse, on which conquistadors chased the guanaco can maintain a speed of 25 to 30 mph at best.)

The second rabbit from the left in Five Rabbits is stitched in alpaca. Alpacas can be up to 150 lbs and are of two classes: Huacaya, which account for about 90% of the animals, and Suri, which account for most of the rest. Huacaya, or the wooly type, have shorter, curlier locks, the staples being between 2 and 6 inches and if you were just looking at the fleece alone, on first glance, you might think you were looking at a sheep’s fleece. Huacaya has more crimp, so it is springier. Suri, on the other hand, have long curls with staples as long as 11

The undercoat of the guanaco is also very soft. The staple length is about 2 inches and it is mostly 14 to 19 microns thick. They vary in color from a light tan to a darker tan. For the size of their bodies, they produce comparatively less fleece than the other South American camelids. I found one source of blended guanaco selling as a knitting yarn: 40% guanaco, 40% merino wool, and 20% silk, for $300/oz. How would you know it was guanaco and not a fine alpaca?

Llama Llamas are big animals: up to 400 lbs and have a peculiar penchant that they share with my dog Fred: they love to roll in the dirt and hay. I can attest that this results in a chronically filthy animal with hair constantly full of dried grass, twigs, and dirt. This

Alpaca Bunny with Angora Feet 21 • September/October 2020

stories inches. Longer staple length reduces pilling of the finished product and “itch.” In addition, the longer the fibers, the greater the luster. Alpaca contains no lanolin, so it is claimed to be hypoallergenic. Some people believe the lanolin in wool is what causes an allergic response in a tiny number of people. In practice, the wool we are likely to use, unless it is homespun, has been stripped of its lanolin and was spun with a spinning oil. Commercial alpaca is also spun with a spinning oil. Carefully washing the oil off the skeins of both before using will keep the finished product cleaner longer.

Alpaca from the Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm in Unity, Maine might just come from some animal that produces a fine fiber. This is not an issue in the USA because most of the alpaca fiber here is still sold by the farm and there are very few llamas in this country. Alpaca, like wool, is fire resistant. Alpaca does not absorb moisture as well as wool so it is more resistant to staining from spills.

Drawing of sheep fiber (left) and alpaca fiber (right) In the last issue, we discussed the scale on the surface of wool fibers as the major cause of shrinkage. Alpaca fibers do have scales, but they are much smoother, which produces an end product that is less likely to shrink. The smooth nature of Suri especially gives the thread added luster not seen in wool. Micron size. Alpaca fiber ranges in size from 9 to 88 microns with most being under 30. Fiber sold as Baby Alpaca, should have a micron thickness in the low twenties. But, this is the tricky part, imported camelid fibers from South America are classified and sold by micron. So if you have thread with a fiber of 20 microns that is labeled as Alpaca some of that fiber might have come from a young llama that produced particularly fine fiber. And if some old alpaca produces a fiber with microns in the forties, it will be sold as llama. And, the Baby Alpaca might not come from a youngster at all, it

While alpaca may be bleached and dyed, it is usually sold in a natural color. Depending on your source, there are 16 or 22 natural shades or 18 natural colors with many shades. My experience with alpaca is that no matter what color you choose, it is not as solid or consistent a color as a dyed wool - it has this very subtle and beautiful heathery quality to the colors. Alpaca wool works wonderfully for stitching animals. I have found that there is a greater choice of light weight Alpaca sold as weaving yarn than is sold for needlepoint, but it works very well for stitching. You may encounter a USA thread product at some point that is labeled Paco-Vicuña. It is tempting to think of this as being from a vicuña/alpaca cross. Since it is illegal to export vicuña from the South American countries there are no vicuña in the US. Rather this fiber is the result of a specific breeding program in Colorado. As mentioned earlier, the alpaca is descended from the vicuña. There is a great deal of genetic variability in the South American herds with some animals that look more like the vicuña than others. The Colorado group breeds animals with specific genetic profiles that are more vicuña like hoping to create an animal with superfine fiber and the reddish-brown coloring of the vicuña. But still, they are alpacas. And still they are wonderful to stitch with.

22 • Needle Pointers

constructive criticism


Paper & Stitches M

ixed media is broadly defined as any combination of two or more different mediums. Evaluating and creating a piece of mixed media work involves knowing and understanding the basic elements and principles of color and design, something in which all needlework and art judges are trained thoroughly. When an art medium is combined with textiles, yet another layer of experience and knowledge is important for both artists and evaluators. Evaluating mixed media, combined with textiles of any sort, provides a broad range of information for the evaluation process as there are many facets of the work that can be addressed. Textiles are generally thought of as fabric and are classified according to their component fibers (silk, wool, linen, cotton, or such synthetic fibers as rayon, nylon, and polyesters, and even some inorganic fibers, such as cloth of gold, glass fiber, and asbestos cloth). Needlework is often referred to as a textile due to the nature of the threads used in its creation.

Combining any art form with needlepoint, embroidery, or other textile-related material is considered as a mixed media work. As defined by the National Academy of Needlearts, mixed media is “the combination of one or more recognized art forms that, when used together, enhance the expressions of each.”1 Examples of mixed media include paint combined with stitching; drawing, paper, or some other unusual material combined with needlework; fabric used on paper or vice versa; or any other combination of media that one might imagine. In mixed media work, there are limitless opportunities to combine things into a meaningful artwork. Paper and Stitches was created from an artist’s experiments with handmade paper. As the papers

By Becky Breshears Photographed by Dawn Donnelly

were created, her experience with needle and thread led her to experiment with the two media in a variety of ways. The challenge was to blend each piece into a cohesive whole that enhances the entire work, and then, to present the work as a unit. The artist’s idea was to create the look of a nine-patch quilt. Her presentation is very creative, although it is difficult to identify in the photograph. The final product does not detract from the artwork in any way and is square and consistent. In evaluations, we look for things that are intended to be the same to be that way — whether it is framing, stitch size, or stitch width. Consistency is one of the keys to a successful work. Each square inspired the artist to add an encouraging word. These additions provide an interesting focus. Again, if we look at consistency and rhythm throughout the work, perhaps if the words were done in a similar fashion would have added a cohesive quality that is missing in the individual patches. Some of them are difficult to read because of a lack of contrast between the color and value choices of the lettering and ground material. For example, the square with “believe” is almost white on white because the lettering uses such a light value blue. The word, at a glance, can barely be read. The square with “family” uses dark thread on dark fabric, which also makes it difficult to read. Value choices determine how easily things are seen by the viewer and are an important consideration whenever creating visual art. The handwritten words in black on a piece of white paper have high contrast and are therefore much easier to read. When an artist displays a varied work such as this, consideration about how to tie the elements together to make a unified piece is important. This work

1  Giles, Inez and Carlene Harwick, A Needleart Judge’s Reference, The National Academy of Needlearts, 2013 23 • September/October 2020

stories includes some colors that are used in many pieces (for example the purple colors appear frequently, but not quite everywhere). Arranging the pieces of work is then important to help the viewer’s eye travel around the piece. Because of the wide variety in this work, it is difficult to find a resting spot for the viewer’s eye or a path to follow, so that one might find themselves hopping around from square to square uncertain of what to view. Repetition is important in a mixed media work and is mostly seen in two primary elements — the handmade paper and the size and shape of each square. There is a pattern and rhythm because words are included on each square. There is variety because each square incorporates completely different methods of embellishment.

The artist statement is a tool that assists the viewer and evaluators in understanding the creating artist’s intent. Frequently, there are other reference materials that will be provided such as sources of inspiration, materials used, etc. The artist's statement below helps us understand what she created. If submitted for judging, Paper and Stitches would be evaluated as an original work with scoring on color, design, originality, as well as technique and presentation. In this case, the stitching on paper is used mostly in a folk-art fashion with a couple of exceptions. The piece will be judged on tension, on smooth, consistent stitches where appropriate, and color choices within each square. One example of this might be in the “love” square; the red thread going across the heart is looser in places than others. It would likely garner a comment


Paper & Stitches

By Dawn Donnelly Photographed by Dawn Donnelly My intention was to create something that looked like a nine-patch quilt and to create and display a series of small pieces that would represent my journey into handmade paper. It was a great opportunity to try some of the new ideas along the way. This piece was a challenge and the construction of the quilt changed a few times. But, it was inspiring, which is why each square contains an encouraging word. Working from left to right in each row: SQUARE 1  Handmade paper using a mold and deckle1; colored with non-bleeding tissue paper in the mixer. Cut paper into pieces, then weaved back together and backed with stabilizer. Sewn together using a sewing machine, running stitches in circles. Laugh. SQUARE 2  Handmade paper using a mold and deckle; colored using bleeding tissue paper. Flowers cut from paper made in classes using 1  A mold is a frame covered with a fine mesh upon which paper is made. A deckle sits on the frame to create straight edges. 24 • Needle Pointers

stories are not as successful as others, but in art, these experiments serve to teach and further inspire us in our future creations.

regarding the consistency of the stitch. The artist could have intended it to be that way, but it still would be something to comment on. The stitching in the “believe” square would be a reminder to be consistent in pulling threads so that the holes are the same size and shape. Much of the stitching is nice and consistent, and the stitcher should be commended for her work with the paper in combination with the embroidery.

There are few rules in mixed media art but remember that you need to know the rules in order to successfully break the rules. Your artist statement should be clear, and your intentions should be easy to see. I encourage you to play with mixed media techniques whenever you can. It unlocks the imagination in ways that nothing else does. Good luck and happy creating!

Creativity would be rewarded for this artist because she used a wide range of experimental techniques and tried a lot of things. Some experimental things

Becky Breshears is an ANG certified Master Judge. She is retired from the Master Teaching Program in ANG after teaching at several ANG National Seminars, at local ANG chapters, at Embroiderers Guild of America local meetings, and in Boise shops. She also completed the Master Needleartist Program and has served on the ANG Board for four years as Vice President of Education. She currently judges at the county and state levels in Idaho and around the US and at ANG Seminar. Her passion is mixed media art — both with and without textiles.

a Big Shot die cutting machine. Attached using beads. Stems are pieces of mono canvas. Aspire. SQUARE 3  #14 mono canvas; colored using bleeding tissue paper. Edge is satin stitched. All the vertical and some of the horizontal canvas threads were removed. Then, yarn, canvas, dry paper, wet paper, and threads were woven throughout the piece. Create. SQUARE 4  #14 mono canvas; colored using non-bleeding tissue paper. The edge was worked in a pulled backstitch. Faggot stitch and diagonal backstitch were used to distort the canvas. The finished item was cut from the canvas and mounted on handmade paper. Believe. SQUARE 5 Handmade paper using a mold and deckle; colored with non-bleeding tissue paper in the mixer. #14 mono canvas; colored using bleeding tissue paper. Wet paper, rolled and dried, was couched together with other strips of dry and wet paper. Hope.

SQUARE 6  Crazy quilt square using a variety of papers from classes and mounted on another piece of paper from class. The flower was created using a cast mold and colored using chalk. Dream. SQUARE 7  Handmade paper Square 9 using a mold and deckle; colored using paint. Flower was created using a cast mold and colored using chalk. Family. SQUARE 8  Handmade paper using a mold and deckle; colored using paint. Worked running stitches using

Flower: handmade paper cut to shape. Top flower edged in a buttonhole stitch. The center is a fake bullion. The thread on the flower was colored with markers. Health. SQUARE 9 Handmade paper using a mold and deckle; colored with non-bleeding tissue paper in the mixer. #18 mono canvas stitched with squared filling. Heart cut from handmade paper with a lace pattern imprinted on it. Mounted on the stitching using a few stitches, and then mounted on the handmade paper. Love.

Dawn Donnelly is a mixed-media artist with a focus in needlepoint. She holds a teacher certification in canvas with the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN) and teaches nationally and locally for NAN, ANG, and EGA. Dawn has been recognized for excellence of work in numerous exhibits. She spends her time volunteering as membership chair, registrar, and dean of faculty for NAN and president for ANG’s Magnificent Obsession Chapter. Several of her articles have been published in Needlepoint Now and Needle Pointers. Square 5

a variety of threads. 25 • September/October 2020


King Owl Stitch Guide by Lisa Rusche

26 • Needle Pointers


Materials List CANVAS Love You More, AS-ANG, designed by Amanda Stofflebotham Design size, 5½" x 9"

River Silks Silk Ribbon 4mm, 65, Mint Green Silk Ribbon 4mm, 242, Dark Green Silk Road Fibers Straw Silk, 1041, C’Foam Straw Silk, 0426, Pine Forest

THREADS EdMar Boucle, 222, Light Beige Rainbow Gallery Entice, E276, Lily Pad Entice, E287, Pastel Yellow Grandeur, G853, Dark Brown Grandeur, G924, Peach Flesh Neon Rays, N21, Cherry Neon Rays+, NP79, Brite Gold Sparkle Rays, SR45, Mocha Sparkle Rays, SR56, Lite Aqua Sparkle Rays, SR70, Ecru Fabulous Fibers Petite Peluche, 000, Snow White Kreinik Japan Thread #1, 321J, Dark Gold Needlepoint, Inc. Needlepoint Inc Silk, 991, White Needlepoint Inc Silk, 524, Jade

Threadworx Kreinik #8 Braid, 710151, Royal Blue Wiltex Threads Vineyard Silk, C-073, Ocean Wave Vineyard Silk, C-108, Granite (do not cut through this skein) Vineyard Silk, C-128, Pebble Beads Sundance Beads, BDS-MA018, Golden Daisy, (3) Sundance Beads Cabochon, BDS-CAB106 (1) ⅞-inch washers with ⅜-inchhole, from any hardware store (2) 5 /16 or ⅜-inch buttons with bridge hitch pins on the back, from fabric or craft store (2) Invisible beading thread

Stitching Instructions I stitched the crown first and then the wings. I moved up the body to the eyebrows and the ears. Next, I stitched the bottom part of the owl and then the boucle of the eyes. The package was next. I completed the branch and the ribbon work and then finished up with the bow.

THE CROWN Kreinik Japan Thread #1, 321J, Dark Gold Sundance Beads, Golden Daisy Neon Rays+, NP79, Brite Gold Sundance Cabachon Invisible beading thread Stitch the three Jessica stitches that comprise the top of the crown using the Kreinik Japan thread. The first diagram shows how the stitches lay; the second diagram gives the sequence of stitches. In both diagrams, the 1-2 stitch is highlighted in blue. After returning to meet the first stitch, the remaining stitches slide under the early stitches to make the continuous circle.

Crown Detail

Place a Golden Daisy bead inside each Jessica using invisible beading thread.

Stitches for each Jessica

27 25 23 21 18 16 14 12 29 19 20 10 8 31 22 17 33 6 24 15 35 4 26 13 37 2 28 11 30 40 9 39 1 3 5 7 32 34 36 38 Sequence for each Jessica

27 • September/October 2020


Upright Cross Stitch Stitch the body of the crown with the same Kreinik Japan thread, in upright cross stitches.

Crown Jewel Area

Stitch a straight-stitch pattern to surround the jewel using Neon Rays+ NP79. Basketweave the blue center using Sparkle Rays SR56. Attach the cabochon on top with invisible thread.

Using at least a three- Needle foot length of the Vineyard Silk, cover the 2 4 washer with buttonhole stitch. Holding a four3 1 inch tail on the back of the washer, make your Tail first buttonhole stitch. Bring the needle up on Working Buttonhole on the outside of the the Washer washer, put it back down through the hole, and come up outside again, catching the loop of thread. Follow around to the right, always pushing the thread so that it stays tight around the washer keeping the locks in the stitches along the outside edge. When the washer is covered, you should have some thread left. Place the washer on the canvas and secure it to the canvas with the two thread tails. If necessary, take a satin stitch over the washer in a few places. Attach the button eyes after all stitching is done.

THE EYEBROWS Petite Peluche, 000, Snow White

THE EARS Entice, E276, Lily Pad Entice, E287, Pastel Yellow Straw Silk, 0426, Pine Forest Grandeur, G853, Dark Brown

Double the thread in your needle using tent stitch for the smaller areas and satin stitch for the larger areas. THE EYES Vineyard Silk, C-108, Granite Needlepoint Inc Silk, 991, White Boucle, 222, Light Beige Basketweave the center of the eyes with the Vineyard Silk, C-108. Cover the white around the brown and the blue. Leave the brown center unstitched for attaching the button later. Basketweave the outer white beyond the beige ruffle with Needlepoint Inc Silk 991. Reverse the direction on the eyes, with the owl’s right eye in normal basketweave and the owl’s left eye in reverse basketweave.

Lazy Daisy Stitches Around the Eyes

Using Boucle 222, stitch individual lazy daisy stitches to cover the ruffle between the blue and white basketweave from the outside in. Bring your needle up at the edge of the white and sink it back down next to where you came up, with the tiedown stitch taken next to the blue of the eye.

Using the Entice threads, stitch the ear area in diagonal mosaic stitch, reversing direction. The owl’s right ear is in the normal direction using E276, and the Detail of Owl’s Right Side owl’s left ear is in the reversed direction using E287. Stitch the small triangle in each ear using Straw Silk in diagonal satin stitches. Then put Grandeur on top, using the same holes as the Straw Silk. THE BEAK Grandeur, G853, Dark Brown

The Beak 28 • Needle Pointers

Count out this area to create two sets of 9-ray stitches that meet in the middle.


LEAVES River Silks Ribbon, 65, Mint Green River Silks Ribbon, 242, Dark Green Neon Rays, N21, Cherry

THE BODY ABOVE THE PACKAGE Entice, E276, Lily Pad Entice, E287, Pastel Yellow Needlepoint Inc Silk, 524, Jade Needlepoint Inc Silk, 991, White Continue with the diagonal mosaic stitch, slanting in the same direction as the ears. Be sure to include the small triangular areas near the eyes. Leave an area above the package unstitched for the Turkey work bow. Stem stitch the curved lines using the Needlepoint Inc Silk thread. THE WINGS Straw Silk, 1041, C’Foam Straw Silk, 0426, Pine Forest Entice, E276, Lily Pad Entice, E287, Pastel Yellow Vineyard Silk, C-128, Pebble Vineyard Silk, C-073, Ocean Wave Use the Straw Silk 1041, Entice E276, and Vineyard Silk C-128 for the owl’s right wing. Use the other threads for the owl’s left wing. The triangles are long, satin stitches in Straw Silk. On top of that, add two long, satin stitches with the Entice. The main part of the wing is brick stitch (see the Technical Reference page on the inside back cover) over two using the Vineyard Silk. You will need to move the Straw Silk over with your laying tool in order to complete some of the brick stitch. THE AREA BELOW THE WINGS Entice, E276, Lily Pad Entice, E287, Pastel Yellow Stitch the area below the wings in Nobuko stitch, using the same thread and direction as the corresponding ear.

Using the ribbon stitch, 1 cover the painted canvas. If you need to add more leaves, feel free to do so. I used Neon Rays for the French knot berries, but Ribbon Stitch you can use any red in your stash. The ribbon stitch is basically a straight stitch, except that you pierce a small bit into the end of the stitch. Be careful that you don’t pull the small turn-down through to the back. It also helps to take an anchoring stitch on the back after each ribbon stitch to ensure that the stitch doesn’t pull through. Leaf Detail PACKAGE Sparkle Rays, SR45, Ecru Sparkle Rays, SR56, Lite Aqua Sparkle Rays, SR70, Mocha


The package is a variation of the double fan stitch. To do this, mark an area 16 x 16 canvas threads for the package, regardless of how it is painted. Use the mocha thread for the first two cross stitches, and the ecru for the next three. Fill in on the sides with the aqua thread. Do not end your threads as you finish with the base. Base of the Double Fan Variation

Nobuko Stitch and Reversed Nobuko Stitch TREE BRANCH Grandeur, G924, Peach Flesh Lay two long stitches economy style from one end of the branch to the other. Cover these stitches with straight stitches over two canvas threads.

After completing the base, finish the top with the twisted cross stitches of the normal double fan

29 • September/October 2020


stitch. Each stitch goes from the bottom to the top of the package. Beginning with the mocha thread, work stitch 1-2, keeping it loose, then 3-4, passing the needle from the left under and then over the 1-2 stitch. Adjust the two stitches so that they cross in the center. When doing stitch 5-6, go over and then under the 3-4 stitch. Continue in this pattern working right and then left, always passing the needle over and under all previous stitches when on the right, and under and over when on the left. Keep the thread laying as flat and as neat as possible.

4 8

BACKGROUND Threadworx #8 Kreinik Braid, 710151, Royal Blue The background is vine stitch. Work this vertically beginning at the bottom of the canvas. The stem of each vine begins 11 canvas threads away from the previous one.

6 2


3 7

5 1

Top Layer of the Double an Variation

The Button Eye Attachment

Make the bow with uncut Turkey work using the aqua thread. The diagram is for one way of doing Turkey work, but any method will suffice.

In the middle of the eye on the canvas, create a larger hole by pushing your laying tool into the canvas. Push the shank of the button through the hole you just made. Fasten the bridge hitch pin on the back to secure the button. The photo shows the back of the button attachment.

4 1

8 25 6



First Row of Through the Loop Turkey Work Lisa Rusche, an ANG Member-at-Large, has been stitching since childhood. She lives in Southern Arizona, soaking up the sun and stitching every day. Lisa and her sister Emily Hennessy (Art Director) own Love You More Needlepoint Designs. They are thrilled to bring Mel, The Owl King to life. This and other works can be found at their website loveyoumorenpt. com or at your local Needlepoint Shop.

Package Detail

Second Row of Through the Loop Turkey 30 • Needle Pointers


Upscale Owen By Carolyn Mitchell


wen was a whimsical owl who lived in my backyard. I decided that he wore a purple jacket with a light purple lining. I gave him big amethyst crystal eyes to watch the ongoing activities, as the squirrels gather food all day, and the bunnies come out to play. He would do his low WHOO every once in a while to let us know he was there. I named him Owen because it flowed nicely with the word owl. I have often thought I should make him a mate called Olive, and maybe someday I will. We no longer see him around other than on my scissors case (or needle case), which travels with me to Guild each week. He likes to check out the ladies and see what they are doing! 31 • September/October 2020



Kreinik Metallic Braid #12, 221, Antique Gold

CANVAS 8” x 12” #18, Pumpkin Design size, 4” x 8”

Caron Collection Waterlilies, 219, Cardinal

THREADS DMC Cotton Floss, 550, Violet Very Dark Cotton Floss, 553, Violet Pearl Cotton #5, 300, Mahogany Very Dark Pearl Cotton #5, 738, Tan Very Light Pearl Cotton #5, 742, Tangerine Light Pearl Cotton #5, 814, Garnet Dark Pearl Cotton #5, 971, Pumpkin Pearl Cotton #5 Variations, 4122, Fall Harvest Pearl Cotton #5 Variations, 4130, Chilean Sunset Pearl Cotton #8, B5200, Snow White

Beads Mill Hill Magnifica, 11075, Gold Swarovski Bicone Crystals, 4mm, Amethyst FINISHING Cotton fabric for lining, matching the canvas color

Stitching Instructions Measure 1½" down from the top center of the canvas and begin stitching with the border motif. Note that there are minor differences between the model as photographed and the master charts. Follow whichever you prefer.

BORDER DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 814, Garnet Dark Kreinik Metallic Braid #12, 221, Antique Gold Waterlilies, 219, Cardinal, 3 strands Place seven stitch units across the top and bottom and sixteen stitch units along the sides. Use #5 pearl cotton 814 for Step A, use #12 braid for Step B, and use three strands of Waterlilies Cardinal for Step C.


  When choosing these threads, I wanted rich autumn colours for the leaf effects and gold to represent the fall sun that sits lower in the sky as it casts long shadows.

Step A

Step B

Front Master Chart Step C

32 • Needle Pointers


FRONT OF SCISSORS CASE Crown of Head DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 300, Mahogany Very Dark Stitch the crown of Owen’s head in diagonal mosaic stitch (see Basic Stitch Families inside back cover) using the #5 pearl cotton 300. Count carefully by referencing the master chart and watch the compensation stitches. Work the left and right sides in opposite directions. Mask Area DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Variations, 4130, Chilean Sunset Change thread and use the diagonal mosaic stitch for the mask around Owen’s eyes. Again, count carefully and reverse the stitch direction for the left and right sides. Inside of Wings (Jacket Lining) DMC Cotton Floss, 553, Violet, 4 strands Stitch the inside edges of Owen’s wings (or jacket, depending on how you see it) using the cotton floss, in slanted Gobelin stitch. Refer to the master chart for the count and direction of the stitches.


  I think of his inside wings as the lining in his jacket as he surveys his surroundings.

Outside of Wings (Jacket) DMC Cotton Floss, 550, Violet Very Dark, 4 strands


Beak DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 738, Tan Very Light




Create Owen’s beak using a partial double straight cross stitch with a border. Breast DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 742, Tangerine Light




Fill in Owen’s breast with straight stitches over 3 canvas threads. Work in rows, following the pattern on the master chart. Branch DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 300, Mahogany Very Dark With long, slightly slanted stitches, create the branch using the master chart as a guide. When the branch is complete, take another thread of the same color and whip stitch around the branch.


  This will give it a more rounded, smooth, and raised appearance for Owen’s comfortable perch.

Feet DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 738, Tan Very Light

Stitch the outside of Owen’s wings or jacket in a slanted Gobelin stitch. Refer to the master chart for the stitch count and direction. Eyes DMC #8 Pearl Cotton, B5200, Snow White 11












4 18

15 7

5 17


Eyelet Stitch


Place two large round eyelet stitches for Owen’s eyes using the pearl cotton. Work every other stitch on the first round (blue on diagram), and then put in the remaining stitches (red).




Feet Create Owen’s feet with small ray stitches. Place these stitches over the branch. Leaves DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Variations, 4122, Fall Harvest Make the leaves along the branch by using the master chart as a guideline.


  Let the colors fall where they may, forming the randomness of fall color in the leaves.

33 • September/October 2020


BACK OF SCISSORS CASE You will work this area upside down from the orientation in the photo. Band of Cashmere Stitches DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Variations, 4122, Fall Harvest To place the band of Cashmere stitches, count down 12 threads from the leaves on the left side. Follow the master chart for placement and the diagram for detail. On the master chart, this band aligns with the middle of the crosses in the border and begins and ends 1 thread inside those crosses. These stitches are diagrammed 1 thread shorter than they were worked on the stitched model.


  These are the leaves that have already fallen and will soon need raking.

Cashmere Band Vines DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 300, Mahogany Very Dark

Back Master Chart

Work a variable running stitch to create the vines, following the master chart. When complete, take another thread of the same color and whip stitch around the vine creating a rounded and smooth appearance.


  You may find that your vines are not identical, but what vines are?

Leaves DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Variations, 4122, Fall Harvest Place the stacked straight stitch leaves along the vines, again following the master chart. As you stitch the leaves, take a small diagonal stitch to join them to the vines using the same thread. When you assemble the case, the leaves will be facing up.


BEADS TO COMPLETE THE EYES Complete each eye by attaching a 4 mm amethyst bicone crystal, using a gold bead to secure it. I used my beading needle and beading thread; if you prefer, you can use one strand of embroidery floss. Using white thread puts a little more sparkle into his eyes. Secure the thread, come up through the canvas, pick up one crystal and one bead, go back down through the crystal, and back into the canvas. Take a tacking stitch on the back of the canvas and repeat the process two more times. This helps keep the crystals in place. Adding Beads to the Eyes

  Note that these leaves are not all identical; they will be falling to the ground any day now.

34 • Needle Pointers


RANDOM BEADS Place the seed beads randomly on both the front and the back of the scissors case. The master charts are just a suggestion for placement. Use a single strand of floss, doubled in the needle, and secure each bead using one of the following methods: lasso the bead in the same direction as the first stitch (left on diagram), lasso the bead in the opposite direction (middle on diagram), or go through the bead twice (right on diagram). If you don’t want the thread to show, use invisible or clear thread, or use thread that matches the canvas. Because the Magnifica beads are tiny, attach them over a single intersection of canvas. Attaching Single Beads

42 3 4 13

4 1


2 3



Finishing Instructions COVERING THE CANVAS EDGES DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 971, Pumpkin

Cutting Line

Folding Line

from bottom to top (needle points up). Keep the holes in the canvas lined up. There are four layers of canvas at the corners, but the holes should still line up. You may need to take a couple of transitional stitches to work the binding around the corner.

2 1


3 6 58 710

To create a nice 9 sharp edge at the bottom of 11 the case fold the canvas in half along the gray Lacy Binding Stitch Around Edge line on the master charts, having two canvas threads on the edge and making sure the holes are lined up. Stitch the folded sides together with the lacy binding stitch, covering three canvas threads at the bottom on each side. Refer to the photographs. LINING Use matching fabric to line the case. Measure the design from the inside of the binding stitches and cut the fabric 1 inch larger in both width and height. Fold the edges in so that the fabric fits the canvas between the binding stitches, and then press the folds. Using sewing thread that matches the canvas and fabric, attach the fabric to the canvas along the inside edge of the lacy binding stitch. Use tiny stitches. FINISHING THE CASE DMC #5 Pearl Cotton, 971, Pumpkin

Cutting and Fold Lines Count 10 threads from the border on all four sides and cut the canvas (red dashed line on diagram). Count out 4 threads from the border and fold the canvas back along threads 4 and 5 (green dashed line). The two holes marked with red circles on the diagram should line up with each other. To work the lacy binding stitch over the folded canvas, hold the canvas right side up and pass your needle

Fold the lined canvas in half so the top edges line up and the fold is in the middle of the lacy binding stitches. Using the #5 pearl cotton 971, join the two sides together with a running stitch. Place the stitches along the border or along the binding stitches (either one works well). I hide the start of the thread in the lacy binding stitch and stitch from the bottom to the top, turn the canvas, and then stitch back down to the bottom. Do the same with the other side.


  Your personal Owen is now ready to go to stitching groups with you and check out what the other ladies are working on!

35 • September/October 2020


Carolyn is a national and international teacher, designer, and author in embroidery for over 40 years. She holds a NSCAE teaching certificate and was Embroiderers’ Association of Canada (EAC) Education chair and Course Coordinator in the past. Her love of fibers, colors, and textures are evident in her designs for canvaswork and Hardanger. She often blends many embroidery techniques into her projects. She encourages her students to expand and develop their knowledge in technique, to appreciate the history of the past, and to embrace the computer offerings of the future.

save the date ANG 2021 Seminar August 6–13, 2021


St i tc h from the



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WHOLESALE AND OTHER INQUIRIES: [email protected] OR 570-847-6648 36 • Needle Pointers


Christmas Cube By Cathe B. McEnerney

37 • September/October 2020



ow could it be that Christmas Cube started with Halloween? On an overcast springtime Saturday, my friends and I sat around brainstorming for our local ANG chapter programs. Teaching different techniques and stitches to our guild members, who are all at different levels of learning, appealed to us as did something that would serve as a multiple meeting project. We drafted a plan for a Halloween cube, divided the responsibilities for design, for stitching, for instruction, and for the collection of needed materials. We worked on the project through the summer months, debuting it at our fall meetings. This proved to be a great format for our group, and we all learned some new techniques, a stitch or two and a bit about embellishments. Our project was well received…so well received that I thought, why not Christmas too? Christmas Cube is the result, I hope you will enjoy it!

THREADS Caron Collection Waterlilies, 044, Ice Wildflowers, 065, Emerald Kreinik #12 Metallic Braid, 005HL, Black Hi Lustre Rainbow Gallery Petite Sparkle Rays, PS21, White Silk Lame Braid, SL242, Peacock Green Silk Lame Braid, SL08, Red Neon Rays+, NP20, Red Neon Rays+, NP30, Dark Forest Green Neon Rays+, NP03, Pale Beige

ThreadGatherer Silken Ribbons SR7, 177 Simply Strawberry


PREPARE THE CANVAS Petite Sparkle Rays PS21, White

The directions for each side of the cube are presented together. You may, however, want to do all of the stitching with thread first, on all of the sides, and then add the beads, bows, and other embellishments.

CANVAS 12" x 10" #18, white/silver Design size, 8" x 6"

Silk Road Fibers Straw Silk, 0452, Christmas Green

Stitching Instructions

Draw or baste the cube on the canvas or stitch the outline of the cube, counting as you draw or stitch. Each square is 38 threads, including its tent stitch outline. Note that where two squares are next to each other, each one has an outline. The top and bottom squares are marked on the layout. You can work the remaining four motifs in any order on the other squares.

Materials List

38 38






Stitched Cube on Canvas

Beads The Collection, Snowflake Iridescent Sequins Swarovski, 5mm Bicone Crystals, Light Siam (3) Sundance , Color Vibe Bead Melange, CV021, Crystal Sundance, Size 11, #16A, Dark Green Sundance, Size 11, #646, Alpine Green Sundance, Size 14/15, #11 Christmas Red Red beading thread Green beading thread Clear beading thread FINISHING Invisible thread Cardstock or poster board Thin backing fabric, silver or white Fiberfill White felt OTHER Copic Marker G28 Ocean Green, or pen/paint of your choice

38 • Needle Pointers


TOP Waterlilies 044, Ice, 2 strands The Collection, Snowflake Iridescent Sequins Sundance, Color Vibe Bead Melange, CV021, Crystal Clear beading thread

BOTTOM Kreinik #12 Metallic Braid 005HL, Black Hi Lustre Neon Rays+ NP20, Red Silk Lame Braid SL242, Peacock Green Neon Rays+ NP03, Pale Beige

Snowflake Detail

Plaid Detail

4 3

2 61


8 7 10

Stitch the top of the cube with silk and then covered in sequins and beads. Working in diagonal rows, skip tent the entire square with the Waterlilies.

Stitch the bottom of the cube in a Christmas plaid. Stitch the square in horizontal rows following a pattern of one row of black metallic, two rows of red Neon Rays+, two rows of green Silk Lame, and five rows of pale beige Neon Rays+ (1-2-2-5 for 12/25, Christmas Day). Follow the numbering sequence in the diagrams and avoid doing continental stitch — your stitching thread should wrap itself around the canvas thread like a barber pole.

Now is the time to decide if your cube will hang from a corner or from the Skip Tent Stitch center of the top square. If the latter, then you will want to leave the center hole free of sequins and beads so that the hanger can be attached through that hole.


Attach the snowflake sequins using a crystal bead randomly across the square. Use a long piece of invisible thread, doubled in your needle, and secure it on the back. Bring the thread up through the canvas, the sequin and the bead, then go back down through the sequin and the canvas. For security, anchor your thread on the back with a small tacking stitch every two or three sequins. After filling the snowflake to your taste, add other crystal beads of your choice from the Color Vibe selection over the top.




4 H

5 G

6 F

When the horizontal rows are complete, work the vertical rows using the same plaid count — again avoiding continental. All the tent stitches will slant in the same direction, and the back will look identical to the front.

7 E

8 D






5 3 1 Plaid Step 1 – Horizontal Rows 39 • September/October 2020


6 4 2

Plaid Step 2 – Vertical Rows


WREATH Straw Silk 0452, Christmas Green Neon Rays+ NP30, Dark Forest Green Silken Ribbons SR7 177, Simply Strawberry Wreath Detail

the streamers as desired. HOLLY LEAF Sundance Size 11 beads #16A, Dark Green Sundance Size 11 beads #646, Alpine Green Swarovski 5mm bicone crystals, Light Siam Sundance Size 14/15 beads, #11, Red Green beading thread Red beading thread Copic Marker or pen/paint of your choice Holly Detail

Find the center of the square and use a pencil to trace a circle the size of a nickel around the center point. Using short lengths of the Straw Silk, 12-18 inches long, make multiple colonial and French knots around the circle. I left some knots looser, made others more snug, and added in a few knots of the Neon Rays+ to create more dimensionality. I worked a width of approximately ½ inch of knots around the drawn circle. Once complete, decide where you would like to place your bow. Thread a 12-inch piece of the silk ribbon onto your needle. Secure it on the back of the canvas and bring it to the front. To create the first side of your bow, take the ribbon back through the canvas near where you came up, leaving a loop on the front. Anchor the loop with a tacking stitch on the back of the canvas and bring the ribbon to the front once again, just a thread or two to one side, repeat the process to create the second side of the bow. At this point, you can repeat the process to create a double bow, as I did on the sample. Then bring the ribbon to the front to make a tie down stitch over the middle area between the loops, creating the knot of the bow you have created. Secure the thread and end off.

Center the holly leaf shape in the square and then move it 2-3 threads toward one of the top corners in order to leave room for the berries at the opposite corner. Trace the shape onto the canvas and add a vein line. Color in the shape using the Copic marker or pen/paint of your choice. Using a long length of green beading thread doubled in your needle, bead the leaf in the brick stitch method. Every 3-4 beads, either go through the bead twice or lasso the bead as described on Technical References page 54. Use the darker beads for the body of the leaf, changing to the lighter green for the center vein line.

Using a fresh piece of ribbon for the streamers, enter the canvas under the tie-down stitch, leaving a tail on the front of your canvas as the first streamer. Secure the ribbon on the back of your canvas and come to the front of the canvas again. Unthread the ribbon from your needle to create the second streamer. Trim If you want to try something different, search online for “making a fork bow.” –Marilyn Owen

Beading in Brick Stitch

40 • Needle Pointers

1 inch Template for Tracing Holly Leaf


After completing the beading of the leaf, create the three berries at the base of the leaf with 5mm Light Siam Swarovski crystals, Sundance size 14/15 red beads, and a long length of red beading thread doubled in your needle. Use the same technique that you used for the snowflakes.

CHRISTMAS TREE Wildflowers 065, Emerald, 2 strands Straw Silk 0452, Christmas Green Sundance size 14/15 beads, #11, Christmas Red Red beading thread

JOY Silk Lame Braid SL08, Red

Joy Detail Using the Silk Lame, tent stitch the word following the diagram.

Trace the tree shape on your canvas or draw your own tree. Stitch the tree in diagonal mosaic stitch (see the Technical References on page 54) with two strands of Wildflowers. Cut the Wildflowers so that you are using two differently colored sections in the needle at the same time for a variegated look.

1 inch

Christmas Tree Detail

Tree Template

Template for Tracing Tree

When the stitching is complete, overstitch the area with lazy daisy stitch using the Straw Silk. Fill in the area as little or as much as you would like, to remove the strong diagonal of the stitching done with the Wildflowers. Once completed to your satisfaction, add some of the Sundance Christmas Red beads using your red beading thread.

Joy Diagram 41 • September/October 2020


Finishing Instructions

Using double-sided tape, fold the fabric back over the form to finish all the edges.

Invisible thread Poster board or cardstock Thin backing fabric, silver or white Fiberfill White felt

Fold the form into a cube shape, fabric side out. Do not fasten it in any way; it will remain loose.

CREATE THE FORM FOR SUPPORT Create a form from poster board or cardstock to serve as support for the canvas cube. Staying just inside the tent outline, measure across one of your canvas squares. Draw a template of six squares on the poster board using that measurement, similar to what you drew on your canvas. This is the white area in the drawing. Using a ruler, score the fold lines on the poster board. A size 22 tapestry needle you no longer need does this nicely. Cut out the form on the drawn lines. Cut your backing fabric using the template, adding about 1/2-3/4 inches around all sides. This is the gray area in the drawing. Trim the outside corners at a 45-degree angle to reduce bulk. Snip (do not remove any fabric) into the inside corners and where the fold line is to make turning the fabric easier.





MAKE THE HANGER Make twisted cord for the hanger. I used four 24-inch lengths of white #8 pearl cotton and two 24-inch lengths of #8 Kreinik 001 Silver and created a barberpole effect. Cut about 8 inches for the hanger and make sure both ends are secured with tape or a knot to keep the cord from untwisting. MAKE THE CANVAS CUBE Cut out your canvas leaving a margin of 9 or 10 threads. Carefully cut across the corners diagonally (not too close!) to form a miter when the excess is folded in. Carefully cut diagonally into the inside corners to help the construction. Fold and finger press all of the excess canvas under. Sew the bottom to the sides — I used a whip stitch/ ladder stitch combination. Start at an outside corner to align your stitched outline as you connect each side to the bottom. If you use a whip stitch, make sure that you are moving in the same direction as the tent stitches so that your sewing thread falls in the valley between your stitches and hides itself. You will need to start and stop this thread, but I found that starting at the outside corners and stitching to the folded inside corner kept the alignment. Insert the cube shape that you created into the stitched cube, which is now sewn partially together. Add fiberfill to the poster board cube to achieve the desired firmness. This also prevents the cube from collapsing. Sew the side seam together.


Template on Backing Fabric with Cutting Line Cut six squares of white felt, making them 1/4 inch smaller than the measurement used to make the template. Using double-sided tape, attach them to each of the form’s sides to provide a bit of cushioning. Lay the backing fabric face down and put the form with the felt side down on top of the backing fabric.

If you want to have the ornament hang from the top rather than a corner, use an awl to put a hole in your form first and insert your hanger up through this hole and then through the top of your stitched piece, leaving the knotted ends of your hanger inside the form you made. Then sew the edges around the top together. If you want the hanger on a corner, decide which corner you would like the ornament to hang from and insert the hanger as you sew that corner.

Cathe is a Past President of ANG and currently serves as Chairman of the Development Committee and the Golden Needle Society. She has retired from her life in Chicago and now lives marshside in coastal Georgia. A stitcher from just about forever, Cathe enjoys creating with needle and thread, whether from a teacher’s instructions or her own inspiration. She Zooms in on her ANG friends near and far each week to share friendship and stitching time. She is grateful to the many chapters, teachers and individuals that she has been privileged to learn from through ANG!

42 • Needle Pointers

basics and beyond

The Faux Bullion Knot


he bullion knot is a versatile, elongated knot with a bad reputation. The traditional bullion knot is known to be difficult to execute and something that needs to be practiced. A standard bullion knot is created by wrapping the thread around the needle many times and then pulling the needle through all the wraps to insert it back into the canvas without disturbing the wraps. The alternative or faux bullion knot, which is created by wrapping the needle around the thread, is easier to execute reliably.

Step 1. Starting with an away waste knot come up in 1 and go down in 2. This is the foundation thread. Whether you keep it taut or loose has an enormous impact on the finished knot.

Step 2. Using the same thread come back up in hole number 1 (now 3).

 tep 3. Work on top of S the canvas until the knot is completed. Repeatedly wrap the threaded needle around the foundation stitch. While wrapping, keep the thread taut. For a right-handed person the thread that has traveled under 1-2, and then emerged at 3 (seen here lying over Santa’s beard) is held tautly in the left hand.  olding the thread and H needle in your left-hand, use your laying tool (or your working needle if your thread is long enough) to get the desired tension and smoothness of each consecutive wrap. Work the wraps down to the base (where stitches 1 and 3 emerge) of the foundation thread each time you wrap around.

43 • September/October 2020

basics and beyond The more wraps you do, the tighter the curl. After completing the wraps, going down in the same hole as 2 gives you a straight bullion. If the foundation thread is not tight or the wrapping thread is not held tautly as you wrap, you will get a bubblier bullion with a Bohemian look, which you can see in the fully stitched beard from the Liz Goodrick Dillon Stocking Santa Delivering at the beginning of this column. Alternatively, after completing as many wraps as you desire going down in the hole below 2 gives the bullion a slight S shape.

thread in the gap, parallel to the existing knots. Then couch that long thread down with small stitches in the same direction as the wraps on adjacent knots. Done carefully, this fine tuning is nearly invisible.

 r, going down in the O hole to the right of 2 gives you a slight crescent shape. Changing where you bring the thread to the back of the canvas and how tightly you wrap also alters the shape of the knot. Play with it until you get the shape you are looking for. Repeat adding bullion on the unworked side of the knots. It is easiest to add bullion knots in the direction that allows you to keep your needle parallel to the canvas while sliding it under the base stitch, or in other words, into areas where there is no stitching. This works perfectly only if the cluster of knots is the first thing you put on the canvas. If it is not, a bit of care is required when bringing the wrapping thread up without snagging previously stitched work. Since working towards the unstitched area is so helpful, stitching upside down is often the easiest path. Sometimes small gaps are created between knots. These gaps can be covered easily with a couple of tent stitches. Alternatively, if the gap is larger, use the same thread as the bullion knots and lay a long

44 • Needle Pointers

» Guild News American Needlepoint Guild Board of Directors Meetings Synopsis May 1, 2020 The ANG Board of Directors held its meeting on May 1, 2020 via video teleconference. President Linda Rand presided at the meeting. Voting Attendees: Linda Rand, President; Candy Chadderton, Vice President for Education; Cecilia Bastone, Vice President for Membership; Janice Geipel, Vice President for Operations; Carley Linn, Treasurer; Nancy Perry, Secretary Non-voting attendees: Elizabeth Franks, Executive Director

The Board approved the minutes from the previous board meetings and confirmed interim motions passed via email. The Board took the following actions: • Cancelled the 2020 ANG Seminar (May 1)

Respectfully submitted, Val Reece ANG Secretary

Discover ANG's Newest Small Project Library: Holed Up Minis

Festive Fl

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Holed Up Mini (HUM) projects are weekly stash busters to help pass the time and practice techniques. Create them from what you have on hand and share your finished product with ANG on Facebook! They're available to members and nonmembers, but only for a limited time. Find them at


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» Guild News Who Knew? An Informational Look at the ANG’s Certification Programs By Susan Hoekstra Did you know that there are five certificate programs offered through the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG)? Would you be able to name them? Do you understand the differences between each program? What their goals are? What their length is? I know some of the programs are discernable just by their names (i.e., Judging Certification, Master Teacher, and Needlearts Appraisal). But what about Master Needle Artist and Master Needlepointer? What are the differences between those two? How would you know which one to pick if you wanted to pursue certification? These are some of the questions I wanted answers to as I began the quest for understanding. Join me as I discover the differences between the programs over five articles. Perhaps you will discover one that is meant just for you!

Certification Programs Master Needle Artist Master Needlepointer Judging Certification Master Teacher Needlearts Appraisal Let us begin with the Master Needle Artist (MNA) Program: Sarah Campbell is the current Chairman of the MNA Program. I asked her a few questions about the program and here are her answersQ. Why did you pick the MNA Program? A. I was excited to discover the MNA Program as I have always loved history and stitching. While studying Northern European art history as part of my Masters in Art, I spent a lot of time studying the work of Hans Holbein. I was really taken by the representation of Blackwork in his paintings of Queen Elizabeth I and her court.

So, when I discovered that I could learn how to do Blackwork through the ANG, I was hooked. I found that I wasn’t quite ready to join the MNA Program when I first discovered the ANG, but I worked through the correspondence courses and finally was ready. Even though it was a really challenging program, I believe it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Q. What is the goal of the MNA Program? A. The program aims to create Master Needle Artists of the highest caliber through self-guided research and design. There is mentoring available and the program’s Chairman and Co-Chairman are willing to help throughout the process. After completion of the program, the participant can refer to themselves as a Master Needle Artist and everyone will understand that they have completed an intensive program, been held to the highest standard for design and research, and have achieved their goal. Q. What are the costs and length of the MNA Program? A. There is a $25 application fee and $100 per year fee. This is a twoyear program, so the total fee is $225. It is a very intensive program, comparable to a graduate-level study in fiber arts. 46 • Needle Pointers

Q. How do I know if I am qualified to apply for the program? A. Experience and skills in stitching are mandatory. As part of the application, you submit a resume of classes you have taken and show pictures of work you have stitched (even if it is not original) and take an open-book exam. The Chairman and Co-Chairman evaluate your application through understanding your experience, your level of stitching, and your success at completing the open-book exam. Q. What is the process for applying to the MNA Program? A. Upon receipt of the application fee, the Chairman will email you an application, which you must complete within eight weeks. Q. Why eight weeks? A. This program lasts two years and deadlines are an important aspect; thus, the deadline. It consists of your stitching resume, photos of your work, and the completion of

» Guild News the open-book exam. The exam requires candidates to define key stitching and design terms. They should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of color theory and design composition. We ask questions about different color compositions, placement of objects in a composition, and the difference between an original piece of art versus a reproduction. But it isn’t necessary to have this knowledge beforehand as the application includes a bibliography of useful books. This part of the application is to determine the candidates’ understanding of these key concepts and helps us see if they can express themselves succinctly. I would add that Mary Shipp’s Course on design for needlework really helped me prepare for this class and I would recommend that type of class before applying to the MNA. We ask candidates to diagram and stitch a few familiar stitches and create an abstract design using a color scheme out of any media. I used Origami paper. The candidate will create a small 4x4 stitch sampler that demonstrates needlepoint skill and that uses a specific color scheme. One of the fibers used in the sampler should be laid. Q. Is there a section of the program that participants find most rewarding? A. I think most students enjoy year two the best. The opportunity to be creative and stitch is most likely what originally drew them to the ANG. The masterwork created at the end of two years is exactly like the masterwork created for a medieval embroiderers’ guild - the product of many years of study and practice. I know I was elated when I saw my finished piece.

Q. Is there a list of thesis topics from which to choose or is it up to the participant? A. The expectation is that students will study a unique topic extensively – a topic not studied within the last five years by students in the program. Nonetheless, many participants come with an idea and we can work with their wishes.

For more information, contact Sarah Campbell, MNA Program [email protected] org. She is happy to answer any questions you might have. As she stated, she and the Co-Chair are there to help you succeed through this certification program!

Q. Are there restrictions within the program that would help members decide whether to ask for an application? A. There are not really any restrictions. But I would suggest that the candidate have a reliable computer before embarking on this journey. Mine was on its last legs and I nearly lost my thesis. All submissions for this program are done digitally and an excellent photograph of your work will be required. Nowadays, this can be accomplished with a cell phone.

Melinda Sherbring

Pictish Art– Scotland 700-1000 AD (2004)

Becky Breshears

Russian Art (2004)

Suzanne Calman

Arts and Crafts Period (2005)

Mary Long

Art Deco (2007)

Christine McNaught Corbett

Medieval Tapestry (2008)

Carlene Harwick

Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Art Nouveau (2008)

Cindy Durston

A Perspective on Art Nouveau (2013)

Kathy Larsen

The Han Dynasty 206–220 B.C. China: The 2,500 Year Old Stitch (2014)

Sarah Campbell

The History of Blackwork – “The Blessed Bee” (2017)

Marietta Douglas

Phulkari Embroidery (2018)

Q. What is the benefit of joining the MNA Program? How does it benefit the individual? The ANG? A. The benefits are a sense of accomplishment on the part of the stitcher and a great addition to any resume when outside accomplishments are taken into consideration. The stitcher will also gain a better understanding of how needlework fits into the historical context and how the art form of embroidery developed. Plus, the stitcher’s work will become a treasured heirloom. ANG, as an educational organization, continues to provide its membership with more knowledge about the art form of embroidery. The MNA Program pieces that are displayed at seminar are written about in Needle Pointers and serve as inspiration for others to learn more about the art of embroidery and to stitch historically informed pieces.

47 • September/October 2020

Graduates of the Master Needle Artist Program

The current Chairman, Sarah Campbell, did her thesis on the history of Blackwork. Blessed Bee, Sarah’s thesis piece, is a Spanishstyle sampler with a central motif surrounded by interlocking bands with both geometric and figural motifs. The central motif represents Blackwork at its height during the Elizabethan era. Embroidered with complex designs imbued with complicated symbolism and with detailed representations of the natural world, Blackwork executed between 1559 and 1603 represents the full flowering of the art form.

» Guild News Golden Needle Society Update By Cathe B. McEnerney I write here today in the middle of June and everywhere I turn there is a sense of loss. And I am saddened. I am sad that I cannot browse at length in my favorite shops, disappointed that I cannot gather with my friends in Tucson at Seminar, frustrated at the loss of my chapter meetings and retreats. And I am angry at the loss of time together with you. For time together with you is something I value a great deal. Whether it is the night that I spend at a chapter meeting, or the days that I spend together with you in a class, or even that 15-minute shopping stop on my way home … I cherish our time together and I am so very sad at losing it. And yet, I know that it is only through loss that we make room for new experiences. It is through the loss of meetings, retreats, and Seminars that we have made room for Zoom in our stitching lives. It is through the loss of in-person shopping that we have discovered FaceTime shopping, and stumbled across a shop that we never heard of before and will never see in-

person, but whose staff has shipped that elusive reel of 002J Ribbon. It is through these losses that we now have our first ever virtual Seminar classes and our Holed Up Mini projects. For many of us, the loss of time has meant the gain of more time to stitch. Some of you have stitched those twenty in 2020 projects that once seemed an impossibly optimistic goal. Others meanwhile have tackled the piles, boxes, baskets, and bins that comprise your stash and organized their contents to within an inch of its life. So that’s where those pewter Gingher scissors were hiding.

Gold Circle ($50,000) Anonymous, Bequest Silver Circle ($25,000) Copper Circle ($20,000) Bronze Circle ($10,000) Stitchers’ Network Benefactor ($1,000–$9,999)


I am heartened by the knowledge that ANG endures through times of loss with the timeless generosity of our extraordinary donors. Thank you for your gifts in this time of loss.

Stitchers’ Network Sponsor ($500–$999) Cindy Durston in memory of Glyn Durston, II, my husband Carolyn Meyer* in memory o Marie Peplow Sandra Maag Reddell in memory of Bert Kroenig


August 1, 2013

Stitchers’ Network Patron ($250–$499) Stitchers’ Network Friend ($100–$249) Other Donations

Note: All donors are recognized in the annual report.


May 30, 2020

Yes, I am saddened, and the corona virus has much to answer for. We may yet have more to endure, but rest assured, we will meet again. We will shop and study and stitch together again, and ANG will help to make this a reality.

Contributions received January 1 through May 30, 2020. Listing reflects the cumulative gifts of the Donor. Platinum Circle ($100,000)


Chapter Hall of Fame

48 • Needle Pointers

In Kind Donations Colonial Needle Company Accoutrement Designs, Lisa Crespo Anonymous * Charter member

» Chapter News San Diego ANG Turns to Online Programming Two years in the planning, San Diego ANG (SDANG) could finally share the excitement of having Michele Roberts travel from Texas to California to teach the Tiger Swallowtail Goldwork Butterfly with the stitching world. Suddenly and with little notice, life as we knew it turned upside down. Grim reports of what might come to pass if social isolation was not instituted quickly made it obvious that we would have to reschedule or cancel the workshop and disappoint many stitchers. Rather than yielding to circumstances, Michele and San Diego ANG decided to use technology and come up with an alternative course of action. Our excitement returned when the SDANG board quickly identified a plan with Michele that would work well for everyone! Modeling after

CyberPointers, the one and only completely cyber chapter of ANG, we chose Groups io as the email service/social platform to host the workshop. While there are likely many similar groups available, it was decided that Groups io would be the best fit. Some of these attributes include the ability to share information with each other, upload photos and lesson plans to augment the stitch guide, control membership of the group, and establish a calendar of the workshop activities. Although, at this writing, the workshop is just 2 weeks into the 7-week schedule, we are pleased with the participation of members. Another unanticipated bonus is that the detailed lesson plans that Michele would have shared verbally are instead in written form creating

a permanent resource for everyone. Progress pictures have been uploaded, questions have been asked and answered, and tips have been shared between stitchers. All of the key elements of a face-toface (sans face!). The next hurdle of finding a substitute for face-to-face chapter meetings confronted the board. It was recognized that a traditional chapter group would need a video component to connect with members. Now a household name, Zoom, the video conferencing platform was selected. A date and time were selected to maximize participation from long distance members. Email invitations were sent out to all (200+) chapter members. The chapter meeting commenced, and 25 members participated. In addition to San

Students were able to discuss the project with each other and Michele (Editors note, this photograph is not meant to be read, but rather to give you an idea of the interactions via the web.) 49 • September/October 2020

» Chapter News

A screen shot of what the Zoom meeting look like

Diego, there were many members from outside San Diego, including Michigan, Florida, San Francisco Bay Area, and even Ontario, Canada! Shirley Chin, VP-Programs and Sharon Meng, Webmaster, moderated the 90-minute event. We had a great time sharing our quarantine projects of needlepoint and beading. There was also a great discussion on how members’ local needlepoint shops were meeting customer needs in a safe way. At the end of the event, our members said they would love to meet again via Zoom and are willing to participate in at least monthly programs. Zoom videoconferencing was a great way

For more information or support on how your chapter can use these forums, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

to connect in these times of social distancing and isolation from our stitching friends. San Diego ANG is now looking at how we can reach out to all of our members, near and far on a regular basis. The pandemic has affected all of us in a very profound way. but we should be heartened to see that our passion for needlework is a custom-made activity that keeps us focused, reduces our stress, and encourages us to try new

50 • Needle Pointers

stitching challenges. With a bit of brainstorming, a few keystrokes, we are within easy reach of our stitching community! Thanks to San Diego ANG for sharing their experience dealing with the events that changed everything for most of us. We’ve heard from many of you about the ways you’ve made technology work for your chapter at this time. Good for you!

» EDUCATION DIRECTORY CORRESPONDENCE COURSES All correspondence courses are one lesson and last six months. Some courses require the purchase of a kit, and some offer an optional kit. Learn more and sign up for courses at page/2020CorrespondenceCourse

Retiring Courses The following four courses will be retiring October 31, so this will be the last opportunity to avail yourself of the following:

Be Dazzled by Kurdy Biggs, designed for advanced intermediates on #18 canvas, ecru/gold or white/silver. Design Area: 10 ½” x 16 ½”

Fantasy Flowers by Toni Gerdes, designed for the Intermediate stitcher on white congress cloth. Design Area: 9” x 15”.

I Can Do It — A Simple Approach to Design Theory and Creativity by Patricia Mazu, designed for Intermediates on #14 or #18 canvas. Design Area: Approximately 4" x 4"

Waterlilies by Jennifer Riefenberg, designed for Intermediates on #18 canvas. Design Area: 8” x 10”

51 • September/October 2020

» EDUCATION DIRECTORY CYBERWORKSHOPS Online courses conducted via a dedicated electronic mailing list allowing interactions with instructor and other class members. Posts from the class instructor include additional instructions and stitching hints. Each participant must have basic computer skills, access to and ability to use e-mail and download and open file attachments. Offered throughout the year, with registration open for a period of two months. Current and future CyberWorkshops, additional information and registration available at:

Current NORTHWEST BY CAROLE STORIE Registration: September 1–October 31. Classes begin January 1, 2021. Designed for stitchers of all levels. A fun piece that combines Bargello with tied windmill stitch, diagonal Parisian stitch, mitering corners in Bargello, and beading. Thread choices for two different colorways (blues and oranges) are provided. Stitched on #18. Design area: 8.75" x 8.75"

Future Title



Classes Begin


Mary Knapp

January 1– February 28, 2021

May 1, 2021

Fire Within

Carol Mitchell

May 1 – June 30, 2021

September 1, 2021

WORKSHOP BY MAIL An unstructured program offering Seminar-quality projects. No computer is required, but ANG’s preferred method of distribution is electronic, via a downloadable PDF. PDF will be mailed within two weeks of payment; printed instructions mailed within six. Learn more at

Current REGISTRATION: AUGUST 1, 2020 – OCTOBER 31, 2020

CONNECTIONS BY MARY KNAPP Designed for all proficiency levels and stitched with soft green, peach, and copper. There are 14 different stitches used, four of which are varied ways to use the herringbone stitch plus couching, four-way Bargello, waffle, Rhodes, Smyrna, mosaic, bowtie, reversed Scotch, and eyelets. Design Area: 6.5" x 7.5" on #18 canvas. 52 • Needle Pointers

» Volunteer Staff BOARD OF DIRECTORS


PRESIDENT Linda Rand [email protected]

BYLAWS CHAIR Gail Dow [email protected]

VICE PRESIDENT FOR OPERATIONS Janice Geipel [email protected]

CHAPTER PROJECT BOOK CHAIR Janet Perry [email protected]

VICE PRESIDENT FOR EDUCATION Candy Chadderton [email protected]

CORRESPONDENCE COURSES CHAIR Rosie Lunde [email protected] org

VICE PRESIDENT FOR MEMBERSHIP Barbara Evans [email protected] SECRETARY Nancy Perry [email protected] TREASURER Carley Linn [email protected]

COORDINATORS ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Pat Dugan [email protected] CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS COORDINATOR Mary K. Campbell [email protected] DISTANCE LEARNING COORDINATOR Kristi Herbrand [email protected] NATIONAL SEMINAR COORDINATOR Jessica Tew [email protected] ANGEL COORDINATOR Vicki Van Lune [email protected]

AREA REPRESENTATIVES EASTERN AREA Janice McHenry [email protected] NORTH CENTRAL AREA Karla McCoy [email protected] SOUTH CENTRAL AREA Deborah Downing [email protected] SOUTHEASTERN AREA Carol King Barrow [email protected] WESTERN AREA Lisa Eddo [email protected]

CYBERWORKSHOPS CHAIR Vicki Van Lune [email protected] DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR Cathe McEnerney [email protected] EXHIBIT CHAIR Mary Jo Lewis [email protected]

NOMINATING COMMITTEE CHAIR Patricia Barry [email protected] PILOT STITCHER COORDINATOR Rebecca Vajdak [email protected] PR AND SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES [email protected] SEMINAR FACULTY COMMITTEE CHAIR Kate Matthews [email protected] AUCTION COMMITTEE CHAIR Pat Rogers [email protected] STITCH OF THE MONTH CHAIR Sandy Switzer [email protected] WORKSHOP BY MAIL CHAIR Jennie Wolter [email protected]

TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE CHAIR Janice Geipel [email protected] ANG Facebook Page Kristy Mahon, ANG Staff [email protected] Updates to Chapter Information on ANG Website: Matthew Pastore [email protected] ANG Discussion List Matthew Pastore [email protected] JUDGING PROGRAM CHAIR Linda Kilgore [email protected] MASTER NEEDLE ARTIST PROGRAM CHAIR Sarah Campbell [email protected] MASTER NEEDLEPOINTER PROGRAM CHAIR Patricia Tector [email protected] MASTER TEACHER PROGRAM CHAIR Susan Hoekstra [email protected] NEEDLE POINTERS CO-EDITORS Maureen Giuffre Sarah Black [email protected] NEEDLEARTS APPRAISAL PROGRAM CHAIR Joady Gorelick [email protected]

53 • September/October 2020


ANG Headquarters ANG or American Needlepoint Guild, Inc. 1120 Rte 73, Suite 200 Mount Laurel, NJ 08054-5113 [email protected] Phone: 856-380-6911 Fax: 856-439-0525 Our headquarters team includes these energetic people: Elizabeth Franks, Executive Director Deanna Wilson, Event Planner Matthew Pastore, Membership

Technical Reference - Basic Stitch Families and Single Bead Attachment Mosaic Stitch

Hungarian Stitch

Alternating Mosaic Stitch

Parisian Stitch

The mosaic stitch is a small motif worked over canvas intersections which forms a square grid. The mosaic stitch consists of three individual stitches — over 1, 2, and 1 intersections. If using a single thread for an area, this stitch is most easily worked in a diagonal manner, similar to basketweave, as indicated by the red arrows in the diagram.

The Hungarian stitch is essentially a straight stitch variation of the mosaic stitch, which forms a diamond grid. The stitches are taken over 2, 4, and 2 canvas threads while skipping a channel in between each set. Like the brick stitch, Hungarian is usually done with vertical stitches worked in horizontal rows, but the stitches can be turned so they are horizontal.

A common mosaic stitch variation is the alternating mosaic stitch, where the direction is reversed on every other unit to form a checkerboard effect. Often done using two different threads, this stitch is easiest to work in diagonal rows, completing all the rows in one direction first (red arrows), and then going back to complete the others (green arrows).

The Parisian stitch is akin to diagonal mosaic in that it is the Hungarian with the short stitch shared between units. The sequence is over 2, 4, 2, 4, etc. without skipping a channel. Since the rows nest into each other, this forms rows rather than a grid.

Expanding the Family

Each of these stitches can be turned into a “giant” variation by taking stitches over 4, 6, or 8 threads. Further variation can be achieved by taking two or more of each stitch, widening the pattern and spreading it out.

Diagonal Mosaic Stitch

The mosaic stitch takes on a different pattern when worked in a more condensed manner, called diagonal mosaic. In this variation, the over-1 stitches are shared by adjacent units. Each row nests into the adjacent rows. Alternating direction is not possible.

Attaching Individual Seed Beads

Single seed or cylinder beads are often used to embellish small open areas of canvas. Single size 11 beads sit very nicely in a hole of 18-count canvas. Depending on the direction you want the bead to sit, it can be attached in different ways.

Expanding the Family

By expanding the number and size of individual stitches, the mosaic stitch can be morphed into the Scotch stitch (over 1, 2, 3, 2, 1), giant Scotch stitch (over 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1), and to any other size needed for an area. Changing the square shape to a rectangle turns the stitch into the Cashmere (over 1, 2, 2, 1). A similar expansion can be done for alternating mosaic and diagonal mosaic to yield a large number of unique stitch patterns.

Brick Stitch

The brick stitch is the smallest and smoothest straight stitch. Each stitch is taken over 2 canvas threads, and while it is traditionally done with vertical stitches worked in horizontal rows, it can also be done with horizontal stitches worked in vertical columns. The effect is slightly different and the choice depends on the particular design element.

The thread should be doubled in the needle and can be taken 42 4 2 24 vertically, horizontally, or 4 3 diagonally through the bead 1 1 1 3 3 3 across two canvas threads or intersections. You can choose to run the thread 4 2 2 4 24 4 through the bead twice (left on diagrams), lasso 3 1 3 1 1 3 3 the bead on the second pass in the same direction as the thread pass (center) with one strand on each side of the bead, or lasso the bead in the 4 4 opposite direction (right). Beads can also be attached by working a cross stitch through the bead. Since seed beads are not actually round or square, the stitch sequence affects the final direction in which the beads sits.

54 • Needle Pointers




1 3

3 4








Technical Reference Plies vs. Strands

Unless stated otherwise, within Needle Pointers, strand refers to the smallest working thread unit defined by the manufacturer. Ply refers to “that which is spun”, and in almost all cases, a strand is made up of two or more plies. A thread is considered strandable if what comes off of the spool, card, or skein can easily, and/or is expected to, be separated into smaller units for stitching. Thus, DMC cotton floss is a thread that contains six strands, each strand comprised of two plies; Rainbow Gallery Splendor contains 12 strands (3 groups of 4 strands), each strand contains 2 plies. Pearl cotton comes off the skein as a single strand, and contains 2 plies (not to be separated). Kreinik metallics are not stranded, and are used as they come off the spools. In some cases, one uses multiple strands of a thread as they come off the spool or skein for stitching to provide better coverage.


The Material List for all stitch guides assumes: stretcher bars to fit canvas, tacks, laying tool and scissors. Unless specifically noted it is assumed that one unit of each thread, be it skein, spool or card, will be sufficient for the project. Unless noted otherwise needle size is stitcher’s preference and type is tapestry.

Handling Thread Tails

Several common ways are used to end off tails of thread, both at the beginning and at the end of stitching. A waste knot is placed about 1 inch along the line to be followed by the stitches, and as the stitches are worked, they secure the tail.

Tent stitch is the generic name for a single stitch which crosses 1 intersection of canvas, from lower left to upper right. Basketweave and continental are the preferred paths used to execute areas of tent stitches. Most commonly, basketweave is used for larger areas, while continental is used for narrow lines. When working large areas of tent stitches, say for a pillow and certainly for a rug, basketweave is highly recommended because the distortion of the canvas is usually less. This is especially true if working in the hand and not on stretcher bars. The back of the canvas where basketweave was done consists of vertical and horizontal threads, which do not distort the canvas. Working continental stitches leaves long oblique threads on the back, which will begin to pull the canvas out of square.

Working Basketweave

Basketweave is worked on the diagonal, beginning in the upper right corner of an area. One row is worked down, and the next up. It is important to avoid working 2 rows up or 2 rows down, since this may leave a diagonal line on the front of the work. When starting and ending threads, it is also important to weave the tails in vertical or horizontal directions. Weaving it on the diagonal may also leave a diagonal line on the front of the work.






1 4 10 3


To avoid working consecutive rows in the same direction convention has it that if a diagonal line has the horizontal thread on top of each canvas intersection, work the entire row going up (stitches 3-4 and 5-6 in this diagram). If the canvas intersections have the vertical thread on top, work the entire row going down (stitches 7-8 and 9-10 in this diagram).

An away waste knot is placed away from the area to be stitched, leaving at least 3-4 inches of tail that can be re-threaded and secured after the stitches have been completed. For the following tacking stitches, it is important that no holes used by the tacking stitches are also used by the final stitches. The final stitches must cover multiple canvas threads or intersections such that the holes used by the tacking stitches are covered. An L tacking stitch consists of two stitches over 1 canvas thread each, at right angles to each other. The tail can be clipped much closer to the stitches with this method than with the waste knot.

4 21 3

A T tacking stitch consists of 3 stitches over 1 canvas thread each. This tail may also be clipped close to the tacking stitches. Backstitch tacking stitches consist of 2 or more backstitches, each over 1 canvas thread, taken within a channel that will be covered by a stitch or a thread to be couched.

Tent, Basketweave, and Continental Stitches

5 3



4 3 2 1


When ending a thread, the most common technique is to run the thread under existing stitches for 1 inch or so, possibly reversing directions once or twice if the thread is slippery. The various tacking stitches are also possible, by carefully sliding the final stitches aside to get at the necessary holes.

Working Continental

1 Continental is usually done when the area to be filled is narrow, especially when it is only one canvas thread wide. Start With this technique, each stitch should be worked in the opposite direction 2 of overall travel: if going from right to left, Change stitch direction then each stitch must be worked left (lower) to right (upper). The diagram here shows 3 working a single line of tent stitches around a square area, and the proper way to complete each stitch. When working a solid block of continental, begin at the upper right and work the first row right to left, beginning each stitch at the bottom. For the second row, work left to right and begin each stitch at the top. Alternate the two directions, and avoid working two consecutive rows in the same direction.

55 • September/October 2020



American Needlepoint Guild