Saturday, November 9, 2019

Wow!  WOW!  WOW!
Mediterranean Memories Stitching Cruise 2019 is a Memory.  Boy what a memory!  Who would have ever thought there was as much to see and do as there was available.  Even though our days were full there was so much more we could have experienced as well.

Generous participants shared a plethora of photographs from all our stops.  Many went separate ways which gave us the gift of the experience of almost being down those different streets.  Such wonders. Please visit the Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures FB page for some of the photographs taken and shared.  The majority were posted in the exclusive Mediterranean Group but you'll get the feel I'm sure.

For this blog I am going to concentrate mostly on the stitching part of the cruise. I have shamelessly lifted pictures from the various posts on Facebook - heavily from Bruce Hart, Maggie Kuhn and Teresa Kinberger just to name a few!

We began our adventure in Rome on a Friday (some of us came in a couple days early to run around little spots like the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Coliseum, etc)!  We have been in Rome before but each time is different.  The Starhotel Michelangelo was wonderful!  Our first night as a group provided us with a fantastic dinner and our first reception/class time together.

We had a great room for our class.  Everyone had plenty of elbow room to stitch as we discussed the optional exclusive design for the cruise.

Just like any other classroom right?  Except we are in ROME!

Next day - Saturday - we headed to our ship by bus - the fabulous Azamara Pursuit.

There she is - Azamara Pursuit! Just waiting to spoil us!

First deck visits!

They quickly got out luggage to our rooms and helped us settle in.  In the meanwhile, there was plenty of food and drink to keep us occupied if we chose to partake - and partake we did!

On Sunday we docked in Sorrento and were tendered.
Look at this Coastline!
So much beauty!  Many went too Capri.  Some of us returned to the ship and stitched. Some went shopping.  This day we had open stitching on the Aqualina Deck 10.  

We had several stitching setups.  Several days we had planned or structured stitching in a designated room where I taught class.  We had a projector, plenty of stitching room, lots of drinks and of course cookies.

Some times we had open stitching where we could just gather wherever and stitch.  We did this mostly in a large open room that was completely surrounded by glass.  Also lots of drink, finger foods and cookies!

 An example of such an area with a stitcher enjoying the beautiful sea, the fantastic light and just chillin'.

The Amalfi Coast was breathtaking!  Wonderful day on shore as well as stitching time fit in.

One of the first surprises presented to those participants that attended the structured class was a hand-painted set of coasters representing their Mediterranean Sea adventures.  This was shared in a scheduled class in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy. We had the Coliseum from Rome, a matador from Spain area, the Maltese cross from Malta and the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.  They received a full kit, printed instructions and classroom instructions as well.  These were designed to fit the leather square coasters distributed by Tilli Tomas/Planet Earth Fibers.  The coasters were available to purchase separately and are available through your LNS.

This class was held in the Aqualina Room.  Wonderful space, light and of course goodies.

When we did not have structured classes scheduled, I held court wherever.  We would meet in the Aqualina (as above) or in the Living Room.

No need for lights here!


October 31 gave us another structured class and yet another surprise.  The beautiful Mediterranean Treasures Cuff Bracelet! This exclusive design included a full kit, instructions, cuff bracelet and classroom instructions.  The design incorporated the blue water of the Sea represented in the Sardinian Knot variation as interpreted by me, the Silver Maltese cross representing Malta, and the Triskelion in metallic gold on each side of the Maltese cross representing Sicily.We offered options for those who did not want to invest the time and energy to grasp the Sardinian Knot technique.

On November 1, we had the unbelievable opportunity to have a class in Sardinia, Italy taught by a Sardinian teacher teaching us the Sardinian Filet variation.  We made a pendant.

Sandy Arthur-Mariangela Porcu-Teresa Kinberger

Teacher being taught - gotta get those CEUs in!
Pendant Class Project

Several brought projects from home and we worked through their individual issues as they brought them to me.

 Such a grand time I had!  I am all geared up to begin more serious concentration on the Tulip Time on the Rhine Stitching Cruise for April 2020.  Hope you can join us. Email at for brochure.

Just email me at for details.  Also be sure to join our FB group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to follow our upcoming journeys too!

Closing banquet.  A few are missing but a great turn ou for our last group celebration!

Other Matters:
Tink Boord-Dill has several of her alphabet books available now through Amazon.  She is adding more at a steady pace.  Go have a look through this link:


Remember online registration is now open for our new upcoming Online Mystery Classes.  These are going to be chocked full of interesting threads, stitches and techniques.  Don't miss out!

At the Seashore is a Sandra Gilmore design.  Invoicing will begin this weekend/week.  To join the class email me at  Get your canvas from your LNS.  If you need assistance I have been working with a shop that can get all the materials for you as well.  Just let us know.

We have two  new designs from PLD Designs added to the agenda.  Email us at for details.

The Fall Scarecrow Welcome Wreath will consist of 8 lessons (1 per month) at a cost of $175 for the 8-lesson packet.  Lessons will be downloaded from a secret FB Group page. First lesson scheduled to be posted mid-February 2020.

Kissmas Eve will consist of 6 lessons (1 per month) at a cost of $150 for the 6-lesson packet.  Lessons will be downloaded from a secret FB Group page. First lesson scheduled to be posted mid-May 2020.

Joining is easy!  Send us an email at requesting to be included.  We will send you an email notifying you that the PayPal invoice is on its way for the lesson packets.  Pay the invoice and you are in - ignore the invoice and you are not included. Order your canvases right away through your LNS.  If you need assistance just contact us at and we will arrange for a shop to contact you.

Bave a great weekend!

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Just a few days away from leaving for our Mediterranean Stitching Adventure which begins in Rome. House sitter has been briefed, kitty cats promise to behave (yea, right), and what can be done has been done so not to worry.

Wishing safe travels to all and we'll see you there.  Lots to see and lots of fun stitching and surprises that I am so excited to be sharing with you!

To get information on our next stitching adventure - Tulip Time on the Rhine - be sure to join our Facebook Group Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures.  This trip in April promises to be full of beautiful, colorful blossoms.  We will be back with UniWorld this time on the SS Antionette!  We know we are going to be spoiled and well cared for. So exciting!

Online Mystery Classes
Lessons were posted this week for the Online Mystery Classes.  These guys are just speeding along!

We did more on Santa Tags.  We shared the jingle bells, some hanger creations and the stockings.

For our Gossips group we finished another of the ladies - this time the pink one on the right.

I'm having a difficult time deciding which of the Gossips is my favorite.  There is something special I love about them all!  I hate to see this class end.  Only one more session.

Just a Sip is moving right along too.  We added the wallpaper, the topiary and the towel.  Fun techniques for this design too.

The stitch for the towel is in my Can Do Hairdo book which is available in my Etsy Shop (duodesignsbySandra).  Come check it out.

We added more stitch guides to the Etsy Shop this week as well.  Be sure to check often as we are continually bringing in more of our stock.

Registration for new classes is going quite well.

Kissmas Eve from PLD Designs is a real cutie:

The beautiful Fall Welcome Wreath with Scarecrow is also from PLD Designs and promises lots of techniques in its vast selection of goodies. This design class covers 8 sessions instead of the usual 6.

If you would like to participate in either of these classes just send an email to and we'll add you to the notification list!

Till next time!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Goodness me!  Only a few weeks away from our Mediterranean Stitching Adventure!

Am I ready?  No?  Anything major to do? No?  Am I excited?  Yes!  Will it get done? Yes!

Will go to a bull fight - definitely not!  A flamenco show - definitely yes.

First up will be to finalize this month's lessons for the Online Mystery Classes.  These guys are so much fun!  Can't wait to share them with you next week.  Time really speeds by on these projects.  It never ceases to amaze me.

We are currently accepting reservations for new classes for 2020 including Fall Welcome Wreath

and Kissmas Eve

To register send an email to me at  More complete details can be viewed on earlier posts here.

HEADS UP!    NAN - is now ready for registration for the 2020 Assembly.  Go have a look at all the wonderful class opportunities that are presented.
I would love to have you enroll in my classes and come play with me.

A 2-day class Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources

And a 2-day class Winter Cardinal design by Maggie.

In the meanwhile, I am anticipating painting new designs in trying to decide whether to exhibit at Destination Dallas market next year.  I haven't exhibited in years!  I'm kinda on the fence about it and will need to make a decision soon if I plan to have product ready for the shop owners.  We'll see how the creative juices flow.  Plus I'm thinking of bringing out some of my previous class pieces and offering them commercially now.

My main concentration at this exact moment is to get my 'stuff' together for the trip.  My personal stuff that is.  Everything for my students is all packed away and ready to head to the airport in a few more weeks!  So so excited.

Just saw a notice this week about hotel reservation information for the upcoming ANG national seminar to be held in Tucson, AZ for 2020.

I am fortunate to be teaching classes there.  

Crazy Needles Journey

Ribbons, Beads, a kazillion techniques, oh my!  This piece got its name because stitches used have a 'traveling' feel to them - Hungarian, Parisian, Dutch, French, etc., get it?

Flags of Glory

A fun piece to work!  Playing with different shading, stitch manipulation, ribbons, beads, sequins.  Love this piece.

More later so stay tuned and have a wonderful weekend.  It is perfect here in Central Kentucky today.