Saturday, August 26, 2017


I'm so excited because my sister (my baby sister that is) is coming to visit tomorrow!  We are going to have so much fun playing with cleaning up details for my riverboat stitching cruise Party on the Po!  It doesn't seem possible that it is only a few short weeks away!  It is going to be so much fun!  And I get to share the trip with my hubby, our daughter, and my sister!  And, since the beginning stages of this journey, I have been able to add a few new friends as well, but there are many, many more to meet f2f and to become better acquainted on this trip! I'm busting (yes, I said busting not bursting) at the seams!

Another bonus is that I have introduced my sister to needlepoint.  We all have a history of crafting, crocheting, knitting, embroidery and cross-stitch in our family but not many do needlepoint.  She seems excited about it and is very open minded - which is the main factor in conquering any new adventure in my opinion.  Wait till she sees my stash!  Oh dear!

(She questioned if I had permission to post her picture so in the normal sisterly fashion I showed her and blocked out her face!  So there!) Notice that I have started her with stretcher bars!

Time is fleeing by quickly for the next new Online Mystery Class to be introduced.  Raymond Crawford's Santa Ornament Wreath will begin mid-September.

There are so many possibilities in this fun class!  Kits will be mailed this week so if you have ordered through our resource start watching for them.  You will be sent an email letting you know that they are in the mail.  Still time to join so email me at if you want to play with us.

What's up next you ask?  Well the fantastic Gingerbread House from Rebecca Wood. This 3-D design will be approximately 9" square when finished.  

Registration is ongoing so email us at to be placed on the notification list.  The first lesson is scheduled to be posted mid-November. The 6-lesson packet fee is $150 for the 6-month class.  

Also on the horizon is the beginning class for Uncle Sam from Pepperberry for our Quickie Series.

Emails will be sent to let you know that the kits are on the way to the participants.  The first lesson will possibly be posted before the 15th.  The all inclusive kit is $135 - handpainted canvas, threads/embellishments, 2 lessons in pdf format and shipping/handling. Still time to join us so email me at to participate.

Oh My Gosh!  I just received my Reindeer by Raymond Crawford canvases!  I cannot wait to share with you guys!  Which to do first?  Just email me if you think you'll be interested in a class around the first-mid year!  This class looks like it might lend itself to being a little different than the regular Online Mystery Classes.  My mind is spinning.  I think a lot will depend on how people approach it.  At first glimpse, I think I am approaching this as a matched set that will be either hung together as a group, finished as matching stand ups, pieced together as a wall hanging (as shown in one of the promotional photographs) or pieced together to make a bolster pillow. So many possibilities.  And you can do one or all 4 - - - these will be even more beautiful when we are finished. Email me at if you would like to be notified when more particulars are available. No obligation at this point.


Let's see, beads, ribbon, glitz, bling, on and on! And those sweet, sweet faces.

Tip to Treasure

Beginning and ending threads seem to perplex some so I'm addressing that issue today.


Students are forever asking how to being and end threads?  How to hide a thread under a thin stitch?  How to secure fussy, slick threads? 

Some methods that work for me are shared in this document.

I refer to a couple of techniques I use as a waste knot and an away waste knot.  What is the difference?

A waste knot,  also known as an inline waste knot, is a knot in the end of your thread that is placed on the topside of the canvas. This knot is placed in an area that will be inline with the stitching. I refer to this as an inline waste knot. It is necessary that the beginning thread on the back lay ‘inline’ with what stitching is to come as the stitching will cover the waste knot thread on the backside and these hold the beginning thread secure in place.  While stitching, once the waste knot has been reached, it is safe to cut the knot away and continue stitching.  If you check the back you will see that the stitching covered the beginning thread securing it in place.

Another method that I teach I refer to as an away waste knot.  This knot is handy when there is not a large area to be stitched and/or you do not have the luxury of knowing there will be enough stitching to secure the beginning thread in place.  This knot must be placed an ample distance away so that when the knot is cut there is enough thread to thread the needle and work the beginning thread through the back of stitches that will be in place later. I suggest a minimum of 4-6”. This knot, too, is placed on the front of the canvas.

                                          Away Waste Knot

                                        Beginning Stitch

Isolated Stitches

One troubling beginning is for when there is an isolated stitch such as a simple star, cross stitch, etc., that is placed out in ‘never, never land’ somewhere and there is nothing around.  And there is likely to not be anything around.  This is especially a problem if the stitch is contained in an open area.
One popular technique is often referred to an a pin stitch or an ‘L’ stitch.  The thread tail is on the back of the canvas.  Bring thread to the front of the canvas at ‘1’ and follow the diagram. 

Once this stitch is in place you may stitch the technique required for your design over the threads.

A method that I am particularly fond of is great for when you must push aside a thread – such as a long vertical or horizontal thread - and stitch underneath it to secure the thread. It is the good ole’ backstitch.   Two or three stitches are more than sufficient to secure the thread – beginning and/or ending.

Another troublesome issue is securing slick or slippery threads when finished.  In this instance  I prefer to use a Bargello tuck.  This requires the ending thread be run under several finished stitches on the back of the canvas.  Then bring thread up and over a canvas thread and slide the ending thread under the stitches in place once again – this time moving in the opposite direction.


Hope that some find this useful.

Have a great weekend and remember to stitch with a smile!

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