Saturday, July 4, 2020



Please stay safe and healthy! And be mindful of the fur babies!

Registration has closed for the ANG Virtual Seminar so time for me to get my act together and put together kits.  I used to have a dining room table, a kitchen table and a game table but somehow I can no longer see them!  Not complaining mind you.  Grateful!


What is this Zoom stuff?  Isn't it amazing how trying situations always result into something new developing to combat our challenges?  Well for me it is Zoom!

We are currently working on presenting our classes as Zoom based.  It will be very interesting to see how this develops.  I'm excited about it and feel that everyone is very patient with those of us who are learning how best to utilize this new mode of communication.  My biggest challenge to begin with is the class sizes.  But this should not be a challenge really as everyone would be on mute, etc., just like in a real classroom setting.(Mute?  My students?  Yea, right! Thank goodness for Chat!) Keep your fingers crossed for me and feel free to offer advise as to what you would like to get from such classes.  You may email me at as always with comments, suggestions, criticisms, what you want, etc.


This weekend is slated for me to work on our upcoming class Spring Welcome! Have quite a bit of stitching to do before we do the final lesson of needle felting on needlework! I'm awaiting a few threads and will be able to pass along the kit price later in the week hopefully.  This is the first class we have offered that is a complete kit- lessons, handpainted canvas, all threads and embellishments and felting needle.  This is a design from PLD Designs. And we definitely plan for you to be able to watch the process.

We were very happy to see a post that our Lovable Llama canvas from Gayla Elliott has started to arrive at various shops!  Some participants have let me know that they are receiving their canvases.  So now we can plan more definitely for his beginning in mid-October.

Be sure to email us at if you desire to join us.

NEEDLES 'N FINS STITCHING ADVENTURES - a group for like minded stitchers and travelers

Some of the travel agents are starting to open up a little - at least here in Kentucky where our Governor had practically shut everything down.  We (hubby and I) are fearful that things might be opening up to quickly but we still hunker down here at home.  However, this does not prevent us from planning for our future adventure.

It is my understanding that registration is in process for our upcoming Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise. Oh my goodness the precautions the ship is taking is unbelievable.  Rumor has it that they may even reduce the number of travelers - guidelines change daily so we'll just have to wait and see.  If this is the case you will want to make sure you get your spot reserved early so we can party hardy!  Contact Russ at at Platinum Travel here in Kentucky.  He will take good care of you.

duodesignsbySandra - Etsy Shop

Have you checked out our Etsy Shop lately?  We keep adding new stitch guides as we can so maybe the one you are looking for is there.  Also surplus canvases or other class materials are added in very limited numbers.  Go have a look see!

PAY IT FORWARD - Hearts A to Z Sampler - free stitch each week

Mercy!  Can you believe that the weeks have flown by for our sampler!  I hope you enjoyed making it.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Y Stitch 6-27


Where is time going?  And what do we have to show for the last 6 months?  Well, fortunately for those of us who stitch, we have some stitching accomplishments that we have made.  I cannot imagine being without my needlework during a time like this.

Last reminder for the ANG Virtual Seminar

Registration closes on June 30!  Get those registrations in if you want to join us.  It will be quite an adventure for all of us.  Look at all the 'firsts' we are experiencing.

I would love to have you register for my classes.  Both have been great fun.  The lovely Flags of Glory is such a joy to work on during these troubling times.

Crazy Quits Journey is the other class of mine.  This is almost a sampler because it has so many techniques and materials to experience in the making.

Just go to the link below and view the classes that are being offered.  Easy Peasy!


I am so excited to be sharing my techniques for doing needle felting on needlework.  I have started stitching the model and hope to be able to share with you soon.  In the meanwhile be sure to send me an email to sign up for the class.  

Starting to play!

We have some lovely stitching techniques to get through first before we start on our happy bunny! We'll be doing decorative stitches galore.  We're adding beads, needle weaving, stump work - that's right - Stump work! - padding, appliqué, little ribbon work, but of course mostly needle felting!  Come on!  You don't want to miss this one.  Send email to

In just 2 weeks we will be starting our companion Saturday Night Beauty - Just Add Water.

We understand that the needlepoint canvas painters are starting to ship some of the backorders.  Fingers crossed!

NEEDLES 'N FINS Stitching Adventures

Yippeee!  It appears we will start getting some feedback regarding our Hawaii Stitching Cruise set for April.  I know many of you have sent in your reservations so just be patient a little longer.  So excited!
As soon as I get the revised brochure (spelling errors, etc. changed) I will share with you.  It was wonderful discussing our plans with the travel agent again after many months of everything being at a standstill!  The cruise lines are still a little slow in responding but remember they are also dealing with the enormous headaches of all their cancelled/postponed trips.  What a headache!  

One thing we are hearing is that maybe there will need to be less people on ships.  If this is correct, it is even more important that you get your reservations in early!  It would be so sad to leave you behind!  Just contact Russ at Note that this is a different agency than used on our previous trip.

Now if I could just hear from the needlepoint painters about canvases my week would really be quite fruitful!

PAY IT FORWARD - Hearts A to Z Sampler - Free stitching diagram

I look at this and cannot believe that we have just about completed the alphabet!  I'll have to dig out something else.

Someone wrote me that you did not actually get the Rapid Stitch but a Rhodes stitch instead.  Here is the Rapid Stitch if you want to download it.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

June is 20- Woven

June 20 -

ANG registration time for the Distance Learning Classes for 2020 Tucson Seminar is dwindling day by day.  In other words the clock is ticking!  Have you registered? Great opportunity to take extra classes that you would not have been able to do in the f2f venue so take advantage of the situation!


We optimistically are working on our Maine Retreat for October!  Fingers crossed.  I will be teaching the fun Peanut Butter & Jelly design.

There are limited spots so be sure to reserve yours. Check the information from the host Art Needlepoint for specific details.

Come to the magical Maine Coast.  Soak up some sun, fresh air, and great food. 

Join other Needlepointistas near the ocean for a fun time 

with lots to do when not stitching. 

Event is Oct 9 - 11, 2020

All skill levels welcome! 

 The crowds are gone. The leaves are in their full glory. 

 Two full days of stitching with Master Certified Teachers. 

We have a preliminary brochure we can email for the class projects 

after you register so that you can pick your project and teacher. 

The information will also include the accommodations  in BoothBay Harbor, Maine - 

 the code to save $$ on your kit and your hotel reservations

and other information.  

It is a limited space.

Registration fee is one time.

Of the registration fee $250 deposit is non refundable.  

Registration is on a first come first serve basis. 

We like to keep our classes small, so registration will close when the classes are at their capacity.   

 Needles UP!  Email or call us for more information 

Shared the monthly lessons this week for the current classes.

Merry Kissmas Eve from PLD has their second session.  More done on the window area.

Then we added a session to the Fall Welcome Wreath also from PLD- featured acorns and flowers this month.

And again we had to bid farewell to one of our pieces.  At the Seashore from Sandra Gilmore was a lot of work and had a multitude of different things going on -perspective - textures - techniques - moods - but we managed to get it finished!

Now we are concentrating on the new guys coming on board.  Next month we will be adding Just Add Water - CBK Designs. She is the companion to our recently finished Just a Sip!

Just email us to to get in on this class.  We will begin mid-July so still time.

Then we'll venture out a little and instead of a mystery you'll get to see the completed project.  Our Spring Welcome from PLD Designs is going to go through the steps of doing needle felting on needlework. This class will work for the beginner so don't hesitate to join in. I introduced this technique at market many years ago and it is catching on more and more.

But wait!  That's not all.  We'll do some beading, some appliqué, some needle weaving and how about some stump work? Lots to look forward to on this guy.  So come join us and sign up by sending an email to and we'll get you on the list. This is an all-inclusive class:  handpainted canvas, threads and embellishments, detailed diagrams and illustrations,  and felting needle.  Optional felting tools will also be offered All you need is an open mind and willingness to have a good time!. We'll start playing with this guy mid-November.  Come on and join in for what is sure to be fun!

Our Lovable Llama from Gayla Elliott is scheduled for mid-October pending canvas availability.

Oh the impishness (I guess that's a word 'cause it didn't light up!) of this fellow. 

We certainly can't forget our Noah's ark - Two by Two from Strictly Christmas. We hope to start these guys mid-September - again depending on canvas availability.

Can you see that cute little lamb on Noah's arm?  Every time I look at this piece I see something cuter and cuter!

I have shuffled dates so much that I hope I have this correct - lol.  Stitching a panda on the Llama might not work too well!

        SO:  To sign up for any and all of these wonderful and happy projects just send email to

PLAY IT FORWARD -Hearts A to Z free stitch sampler


Seems we got our alphabet mixed up last week!

Saturday, June 13, 2020


I did not realize that I skipped the 'W' in the Hearts A to Z Sampler free stitch diagrams. Be sure when stitching to leave a square empty for the 'W'.  I'll post that one next week!

Xoch - June 13

XOCH.   -    JUNE  13

Just a little over 2 weeks left to register for the ANG Tucson Virtual Seminar Classes!  I understand registration is going well.  Can't wait to see who all is going to play with me.  I so enjoyed doing both of these designs.

Crazy Needles Journey

Look at this guy!  There are over 25 diagrams in this little sampler.  Also beads, ribbon and a multitude of threads.  A wide variety to whet your appetite!  Sign up today!

Flags of Glory. 

This guy, too, has a multitude of techniques and fun things going on.  In addition to playing with threads we'll work with beads, ribbons and sequins and play with a little different twist on padding and adding ribbon fills.

I love that there are very few classes where some might be disappointed because they could not get in.  This is such an unusual opportunity to allow as many to take the classes who choose to.

Remember the clock is ticking so go online and register!

And while you are at it, support the group by purchasing Seminar products.  They may still be purchased!  Did you see the name tag?  Isn't that wonderful!


The Secret Group has been set up for the next Mystery Class - Just Add Water from CBK designs.
If you think you should be a member to this group and have not sent your invitation just email so we can get that corrected.  There is still time to join the crowd if you would like to participate in this class.

When I read the following article recently I immediately thought of what I am continually telling my students.  Sometimes I feel we get too involved with perfection and lose the joy of the stitching - or as my daughter says - the journey. 

Inspirations All Stitched Up:  Issue 236
Stephanie Murphy
Thank you for pointing out that making an error is not a ‘showstopper’. When I teach embroidery classes, I encourage students not to worry about whether their stitches are perfect or not, or that their flower doesn't look perfect.

My schtick goes as follows: go and look at flowers and trees. They are rarely symmetrical. Different parts of the trees and flowers grow at different rates. Insects chew on them. Bees land on them creating small distortions. If your petal doesn't look like a petal and you really hate it, take it out. 
But if your petal could just use some enhancement, go ahead and stitch on top of it. Add more stitches. Add an insect hole.
It's OK, no one will see the original and if you don't point out your mistakes, no one will know that you altered the piece to suit your skills. It will be beautiful because you made it.

I see so many people wasting their time tearing out stitching that is off by one or two threads. Be creative and adjust the pattern. It will rarely make a difference to the overall design.’

Your advice is absolutely perfect Stephanie, well said. The truth about nature itself being replete with individual variations including insect holes and petal distortions, when taken to heart, could save many of us a lot of time and frustration. 

PAY IT FORWARD - HEARTS A to Z SAMPLER - Free weekly stitch


Saturday, June 6, 2020


This is one of those weeks where I am going to bury my head in the sand before I say or do something that will not sit well with one group or another.  We are going to be all about stitching and enjoying our personal time!

Have you registered for your ANG Tucson Seminar distance-learning classes as yet? While there is no class size limit for most classes there is a deadline for registering.  June 30 at 5 pm all doors close!  Don't miss out on this rare opportunity!

You know how at in-person Seminars you can't have your coffee or drink conveniently placed on the table for fear of an accident ruining your table mate's project?  Well at the Tucson Distance Learning Seminar that is not an issue!

In your own home, nestled in your comfy stitching chair, surrounded with your own music, possibly a pet companion assisting with or supervising the stitching you can have any beverage you chose and not offend anyone! Another advantage of the 2020 Tucson Seminar!

The window of registration time is getting shorter!  Be sure to go online and register now.  You may never have the opportunity again to get as many classes you want at one time! Click on the link below to start the process.

Be sure to check our my two classes - Crazy Needles Journey and Flags of Glory.  Would love to have you participate.


Last week I introduced you to the class we are offering for needle felting on needlework - Spring Welcome from PLD Needlepoint.  This was a technique I introduced at TNNA market to shop owners many many years ago - and they were a little skeptical!  Remember we were trying to get over the fact that it was okay to do more than basketweave on needlepoint canvas. Spring Welcome is this adorable bunny admiring a daisy with a sweet butterfly sharing in the excitement of Spring.

This will not be a mystery class.  You will see the finished design before we start stitching.  We are going to work with beads, needle weaving, off-canvas stitching, padding, appliqué and stump work in addition to the major focus - needle felting.

This class will include a full kit with supplies needed to complete the design.  There is 1 felting needle included in the kit.  For those who do not have needle felting tools, an optional needle felting tools kit will be offered for purchase.   As said before, I am passionate about the tools I use for my felting and love them.  I feel they help provide the participant with an enjoyable experience of learning to needle felt. Proper tools are always a plus - especially when one has RA.

For those of you who do not know what to expect here is a sample of a needle felted cat on a needlepoint design. This is Wizard of Paws by Brenda Stofft and was an earlier class.


Getting geared up to start the Just Add Water companion piece by CBK.  It was hard to choose the next one but I felt this one had more in common with the first one we did previously and therefore would work well together.

Such fun pieces to hang in the powder room don't you think?  Invoices went out this week so if you think you are registered for this class and you have not received your invoice then you need to contact us right away at This class will begin mid-July.

See some similarities?

NEEDLES 'N FINS STITCHING ADVENTURES - stitching related cruises

People are starting to get excited about upcoming stitching cruises.  We currently are planning our next adventure which will be Hawaiian Island Hopping Stitching Cruise.  This is scheduled for April 15 - 24, 2021!  Starting to get the traveling bug again! Hopefully agents will get to return to their respective offices soon!

PAY IT FORWARD - Hearts A to Z sampler - free diagrams


Saturday, May 30, 2020


Whatever is normal?  Hubby and I ventured to the grocery for the first time since the first of March.  We went at 0 dark 30 (as Vicky would say) when good little seniors are supposed to go.  We donned our masks and disposable gloves. There were shoppers (most of whom did not wear masks) but not crowded.  We were there about 45 minutes and got what we went after.  For some reason our grocery will not deliver Clorox - we have to pick it up at the store - and, of course, are limited to 2 bottles (in our case jugs).  So that is our first brush with re-introduction to society.  Don't plan on any future trips anytime soon either.

Had a nice old memory crop up this week.  First I heard from a former co-worker that I had not heard from in over 30 years.  Then I had one also share a memory of over 40+ years old.

"Martha - You look the same. I remember all the lunch hours at Ashland Oil, Inc. when you stayed in the building and taught a class on our lunch hour. They were the good old days."

I used to teach anything anybody wanted to try (and there was no charge then) - knitting, cross-stitch, crocheting, we even stood on top a conference room table and I taught macrame by hanging the cord from the ceiling tile.  Oh my goodness.  Thanks Martha for rekindling that memory. Yes, great days.

ANG Seminar 2020 - Tucson

Exciting news!

As I shared with you in an earlier post, Tucson Seminar been cancelled - sort of.  While we will not be hosting a traditional in-person seminar, classes will still be conducted just in a different venue.  We will be teaching from a distance learning approach.  What does this mean?

This means several things - all of which I think are positive for you!  

One, you will not be having hotel, airlines, luggage, taxi, and restaurant expenses.   You will still need to register.  You will also have expenses such as class kits, etc.

     Did you know that you are not required to be an ANG member to register
     for Seminar classes?

Two,  you can download your lessons from the comfort of your own home. This means that you can also work at your own pace and timing.  

Which pajamas should I wear to class today?

Three, you may sign up for as many classes as you wish.  So if you want 3 classes and they were all on the same day at the same time you could have only chosen one in the original in-person Seminar.  Now you can choose all 3 or 6 or 9!  Isn't that neat?

I am teaching two fantastic classes under this venue.  Both have been quite popular.

Sandy Arthur 
Crazy Needles is a series of designs based on crazy quilts. This piece is called Crazy Needles Journey because most of the stitches used are names of places such as Hungarian, Dutch, Greek, Scotch, Pekinese, French knot, and numerous others.  
Proficiency Level:  Intermediate
Design Size:  10”x 12”x 4”
Kit Cost/Contents #18 canvas, threads include Rainbow Gallery Splendor  and Neon Rays, pearl cotton, ThreadworX, River Silks, embellishments including a variety of beads, sequins and rick-rack, detailed instructions and diagrams in a wonderful stitch guide, and a color copy of the finished design (Sudberry box not included!)

Sandy Arthur 20601 
This is such a colorful and patriotic design featuring red, white, and blue. Thread selections will be used to enhance the textures desired - the wood floor of the porch and the siding of the building; pots holding the flowers; the petunias, the pots and finally the flags. Stitches covered will be split backstitch, encroaching Gobelin, darning stitch, and many others. Other techniques will involve manipulating ribbons and adding beads. 
Proficiency Level:  Intermediate
Design Size:  16” x 16”
Kit Cost/Contents:   18ct hand-painted canvas, threads include Burmilana, silks, Silk Road Fibers Straw Silk, ribbons, overdyes, and embellishments to complete the design, detailed instructions and diagrams, color copy of finished design.
No time to linger
There is a very small window of opportunity for registering for these classes.  You may register at noon on June 3 and this window closes at 5 on June 30.  If you were a registered attendee for the in-person Seminar you will be given a couple extra days to register - starting on June 1. You may go to the ANG website to get more particulars.  Here is the direct link:


Remember you may register for as many classes as you wish!  I look forward to seeing your name amongst my students!


As we all are aware, the painters of canvases are buried in a backlog of orders and working very hard trying to get canvases out to the designers/distributors.  I am discussing some possible numbers with the designers in an effort to assure that my class members will have their canvases as the time approaches for their particular class.  So for now, I ask that those seriously interested in the upcoming classes next on the agenda let me know right away of your interest so that we can speak up for your canvas. You can still order them through your LNS it's just that we want the distributor to know that we definitely have 'X' number of participants who will be requesting canvases when they are back in stock.

First up is going to be the Saturday Nite Beauty with the float - aka Just Add Water. This is a CBK Design.

Registration for this class is open and invoicing will begin this coming week.  It will be a 6-session packet and it is $150 for the lesson portion. Students get their canvases and materials from their LNS.  For those needing assistance we can recommend shops to supply those materials to you. Email us at The first lesson is scheduled to be posted mid-July.

The next 'need to know' is our wonderful Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.

Whatever are we going to do with all those cute, cute animals?  Look at the giraffes peeking over Noah's head, the mice on the hippo's shoulders the turtles over the rainbow, and on and on.  Oh what fun this is going to be!  Again email us right away to join the notification list. This class will involve 8 sessions and the 8-session lesson packet will be $175.  If you know for sure you will be joining the class let us make arrangements to have a canvas with your name on it!  Email us at

Needle Felting on Needlework

Years ago I introduced the concept of adding felting to needlework.  We taught this technique to shop owners at market.  From there I started teaching classes in various venues.  I have had several requests to teach needle felting on needlework again. There is a small introduction class piece over in the Etsy Shop of a black/white cat head to whet your appetite.  I finally found a canvas that I feel will be happy, practical and afford enough canvas space for you to experience the various techniques of shading, changing colors, making area compact, making more fluffy, etc. that we will endeavor to cover.  Meet Spring Welcome from PLD Needlepoint Designs.

The design is  approximately 8" x 12".  In addition to the bunny being needle felted, I see the possibility of beading, needle weaving and maybe even some stump work techniques. Oh my gosh, this guy is going to look soooooo different!  I can't wait to play!

This 6-session class will be $150 and lessons will be posted once a month - mid-month.  We possibly can begin mid-November. We will offer needle felting tools that we use personally for those who want to use what we use.  (having rheumatoid arthritis  I am pretty passionate about some of my tools and this grouping is one of them)

PAY IT FORWARD - Hearts A to Z Sampler free stitch chart