Sunday, July 25, 2021


Sorry guys but I missed posting in my blog yesterday.  I have been recruited to 'babysit' my eldest child - Teresa - who is house bound for approximately 3 months.  I volunteered to give my fabulous SIL a weekend vacation so he could regroup for the next leg of her journey.

Needless to say I have had to let some 'things' slide for this weekend.  Hopefully I can get back on track next week.

In the meanwhile just to let you know about our upcoming Tulip Time on the Rhine Stitching Cruise, it is my understanding that we are now on a wait list status for our French Balconies and Deluxe Balconies as they have been sold out.  So just know that it might take some shuffling around to manage new registrations.  Our agent is in the process of trying to secure additional rooms for our group.

We continue to post our lessons in the Online Mystery Classes in a timely manner - let us know if you have missed any.

Virtual Seminar is moving along at a great pace.  We have our classrooms set up and the tech people are feverishly working to get the rooms set up for the students.  You'll be hearing more on that soon.  Our first class is scheduled to be Heloise Hooty!  

Sorry to cut it short at this time but trying not to drop the ball on my babysitting duties!

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 11, 2021


Returning to 'almost' normal!


Starting to reenter the world of teaching classes and feeling comfortable doing so makes life seems to be returning to some type of normalcy. We each have our own idea of what 'normal' is however.

In answer to the many requests received, we are offering the popular Vessels project as an Online Mystery Class.

Those of you who have taken our Online Mystery Classes before know the drill.  We have changed up some things so be sure to read the details. There is a teaching fee of $200 for a 6 session packet. Previously our classes have posted one a month.  For this class we are going to post 2 sessions a month - one on the first and one at the middle of the month.  The full kit price is $275 plus shipping/handling of $18.  Classes will start January 1, 2022 so that we can be finished before our Tulip Time on the Rhine riverboat cruise.

To register send an email to us at We will acknowledge your request to join the class and send you a PayPal invoice.  The kits will not go out until December.  Keep in mind that you are not a member of the class until the invoice is paid.  Deadline for registering is November 15, 2021.

Face-2-Face Classes

We have a ton of wonderful canvases that we are currently preparing for our upcoming f2f class at Osterville in Mashpee, MA which is on Cape Cod.  We have such a lovely group that join us - ladies and gentlemen.  We have fun as we laugh at and with each other throughout the long weekend.  These classes sell out within hours so if you are ever interested be sure to have the shop owner put your name on a list for the next adventure!

Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures - private group of stitchers/cruisers - join now!

Well I have been informed that all the French Balcony staterooms I reserved for our Tulip Time on the Rhine are taken so it is obvious that we have a bunch of stitchers hungry to hit the road - errrrr water that is. We still have a few staterooms in our block just not with a French Balcony.  I understand this to mean that there may be other rooms on the boat they just may not be next door to another stitcher.  Heck that doesn't stop us!  When you think about the fact that there are a total of approximately 160 people on board of which we are a vast majority, well you can guess where that leads us.  Every turn we will see another stitcher!  

It's always fun to meet new non-stitchers as well, as their curiosity takes over and they like to ask what we are doing or want to see your beautiful work.  Most of us love to share and discuss our passion.  
One trip our butler got in the act and helped separate beads!

A scene we are looking forward to seeing

Our scheduled route 

One of our first scheduled classes for a trip.

I am so excited to take a ride on the canal!

This is our Optional Class Kit for The Netherlands Cruise - Windmill and Tulips.

Many familiar names and many new ones will be joining us. It is going to be a great trip and we are going to have such a wonderful time connecting with our cruising/stitching buddies and adding new ones to the fold.

Don't miss the chance to come with us.  Contact Liz at to get all the details to help you make your decision.  We would love to have you join us.

DuoDesignsbySandra - an Etsy Shop

We continue to add new stitch guides to our Etsy Shop as time permits.  Be sure to check it out periodically.  We are also in the process of adding our line of needlepoint handpainted canvases soon.  Stay tuned!

Must get that cup of morning coffee!  Have a great week ahead and stay safe.

Saturday, July 3, 2021


We  are so fortunate and blessed to live in a country with such an abundance of freedoms which many take for granted!  Coming from a family chocked full of veterans - including my father and husband in my immediate family and boo-koos of uncles, cousins, etc - you have a slight understanding of what is involved in having these privileges at the many sacrifices of others.

Face-to-Face Workshops

I returned home safely from my week at Cape Cod and stitching with some fantastic students!  This bunch always provide me with fabulous canvas designs to work with.  We have such a productive and fun event every time.  This session we had Christmas, seaside, insects, landscapes, flowers, flags, samplers, animals, and on and on.  We played with all kinds of out of the box techniques and included stumpwork as well as needle felting!  Beads? Of course!  Specialty fibers added to the fun.  Wonder how many finishes we'll have materialize when I return in November?  This session I was blessed with students from the previous workshops bringing in some of their finished pieces and sharing them for all to see.  People, I'm not talking little ornaments either!

Here's on of the medium sized ones done by Ms. S. JamIEson.  Isn't she just the cutest.

And this wonder came in after I had left - bummer.  I would loved to have seen it in person. Since this was posted on the Internet I hope Caryl is okay with my sharing here. Didn't she do a fabulous job!

This was one of our Online Mystery classes.  The design is from the collection.  We called it Pillow Collage for our class.

We continue to work on our upcoming Florida trip to The Black Sheep in Orlando.  Canvases are being gathered to move forward towards setting a date.  We are set teach the Wacky Flamingo -

These guys are a hoot!  Contact Ann at The Black Sheep if you would like details.

Needles ' N Fins Stitching Adventures - Private Group

If you like to stitch and cruise you'll love our riverboat stitching cruises! Join the private group - Needles 'N Fins Stitching Adventures to follow our upcoming activities.  Once a trip is confirmed, another private group is available to those who have reserved their space on the cruise. This affords participants the opportunity to meet each other and to ask questions, make suggestions, etc. before we depart. If you have reserved the trip and did not yet receive your invitation to join the group just email us at and we'll get that taken care of right away.

As we have stated before, the staterooms are filling up quickly.  Our agent made arrangements to reserve a block of staterooms just for us.  This allows us to be fairly close together onboard.  While proximity may not be critical, space is so make your reservation NOW to guarantee your place with us.  

Remember that we have 3 scheduled class dates for stitching the Optional Class Kit or your personal piece you bring from home.  We have a few fun surprises along the way also.  Stitching is always going on!  In the lounge, on the deck, in the library, at the bar. If there are some chairs around, we congregate and stitch!  I have never heard a complaint of not enough stitching time - lol.  Our stitching does not interfere with the wonderful excursions either! So take advantage of touring The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland to your heart's content and return to the ship to relax, compare experiences and stitch!

There are also optional extensions for those who would like to to go Lucerne - one of my favorites.  One of my most endearing memories was at the park of the Dying Lion of Lucerne.  In fact, a replica was one of the rare souvenirs that I purchased and still cherish.

The monument

My souvenir

So dust off that passport and contact our travel agent Liz - and come join the fun.

Have a safe 4th of July and as always, honor our vets and their families.  Be mindful of fireworks!

Saturday, June 26, 2021


What a delightful teaching assignment I have had these last few days!  Osterville Needlepoint is such a super host!  This is truly a lovely shop and if you are ever in Mashpee you need to stop by and say hello.  You will be treated royally! 

I so love lighthouses and got to see two more up close and personal.

Had an extra day and was able to get in ma little shopping too

I have wonderful students - many of which took my class last time and some have been able to sign up for the next class!  I am very blessed.

What a gamut of designs I have been able to work with this weekend!  Some serious, fun, landscapes, birds, Christmas, seascapes (surprise, surprise!), critters, samplers, etc.   Such a wonderful array to work with.

I could not ask for better hosts nor students!  I am very blessed.

When I get  back home i will be concentrating on the ANG Virtual Seminar.  After that I will be preparing for a couple contracted shop visits.

For right now I am tired and must prepare for tomorrow's canvases!  Stay safe and I'll check back in next week with more news.

Saturday, June 19, 2021


Space is filling up!  It is so exciting to see the lovely people who are joining us on our upcoming stitching adventure!  I am always thrilled at the number of people who share our passion.  It is great to be able to go to exciting places with like minded people!  Isn't it wonderful to share out passion with our peers and not feel the need to justify what we are doing or explain all the time.  I'm not talking about sharing and teaching - which I love to do - I'm talking about the critical comments we sometimes get. 

We begin our journey in Amsterdam.  Here we will have our first get together and our first formal class.

We will gather at our hotel and try to shed some of the jet lag - although the excitement takes care of a lot of that.  

Then we will have our first exciting adventure to visit the tulips!  They promise to be magnificient!

Our second night at the hotel will be our first gathering as a stitching group and our scheduled stitching class.  We will go over some of the details of the Optional Class Kit for those of you who purchased. For those who chose to bring something from home we will share your questions and recommendations as time permits and we go through them.  

I always suggest that you bring a doodle cloth because you never know what someone is going to ask or what Teresa or I might be teaching.  

Next we will travel to our home on the river!  So beautiful!  A lovely experience just being onboard the elegant SS Antionette!

We'll have lots to see along the way.

But never fear, we always have plenty of time for stitching and playing with the needle and thread as we learn new things and strengthen our friendships.

Heck, sometimes we even have some surprises along the way in our two other scheduled stitching classes.  Who knows?  One thing though, you must be present to partake of the surprise adventures or miss out.  No having friends collect for you, etc.  It becomes and administrative headache trying to keep up with a bunch of excited women in a beautiful environment!

Check with our agent Liz at for travel information and available space.  Our reserved spots are dwindling quickly and I have not asked about how the rest of the ship space is going.

For stitching questions email us at

ANG Seminar registration is over and I hope you were able to register for the class(es) that you wanted to take.  There were lots to choose from.  We'll be setting class dates before too long so be sure to stay tuned.

Oh my gosh!  She is finally home!

For those of you who have been following me over the years, you are aware that the Royal School asked if I would loan them my stumpwork angel - Patriotic Angel - to be on exhibit at Hampton Court from September 2019 to March 2020.  Well what do you suppose I said?  Duh! Of course!  This exhibit was devoted to Faces and Figures in Embroidery.    There were 121 entries in the catalog and Patriotic Angel was No. 68.

There were a whole menu of techniques that had to be included for this piece to be judged by the RNS  - applique, off canvas creations such as her vest and over dress, wired elements, such as her skirt edge and wings, fingers actually holding something such as the flag and olive branch, independent objects such as the flag and olive branch, flowing hair, etc.  Now, keep in mind that there is also a size restriction.  This little gal is only approximately 2.5" x 4.5".  A lot of 'stuff' in such a tiny space.

She has had a rough trip apparently.  First of all she arrived home without her frame!  Have no idea what happened to that.  But the interesting part is that she is postmarked February 6, 2021 and she just arrived home yesterday June 18, 2021..  She sure is tired but I am thrilled to have her back. We can fix her mishaps that occurred such as everything is flattened out and some things are whopper-jawed, etc. but nothing major.

I'm off to Cape Cod this coming week to teach at Osterville Needlepoint Shop.  If you are in the area stop by and say hello.  Would love to see you.  We always have great fun there and I am blessed with  fantastic students!  

So must get back to the finishing touches for my stitch guides - don't want to disappoint any of my students.

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

Saturday, June 12, 2021


This is the last week to take advantage of a unique ANG Seminar that is virtual!  The way things seem to be progressing we may be back to normal in-person venues next year!

We would love to have you in one of our classes!  Go have a look at what is available at


Later this week we will be posting our monthly lesson in the sweet Two by Two design of Noah's Ark from Strictly Christmas.  

Wonder who we will feature this time around?  Stay tuned to see who it may be.


Join our private Facebook Group to follow what we are up to!

We are thrilled with the activity happening on our upcoming riverboat stitching cruise!  We will be visiting the beautiful tulip gardens as we cruise from Amsterdam down the wonderful Rhine.

Have you had the wonderful good fortune to participate in a riverboat stitching cruise?  I had one of our participants for the Tulip Time on the Rhine stitching cruise ask me recently about different tools, where do we hold classes, etc.  I shared some pictures with her of stitching events thinking this might help see.  Her response was that a picture is worth a thousand words.

I'll share a few pictures of the stitching segments from various previous cruises to whet your appetite!

Looks like a party maybe!

Our butler made us feel extra special on our UniWorld ship.  He presented every lady with a long-stemmed red rose!  

Stitching is hard work!  Gotta keep those beverages flowing.  Isn't iced tea wonderful?

Hey!  Wait a minute!  That's not stitching!

We never know what our accommodations are going to be as once we get on the ship we are at the Captain's mercy.  As I think is reflected in some of the pictures above we have alway been well cared for.

If you would like information on the upcoming trip and/or the optional stitching kit and stitching plans just email our agent Liz at for travel info and us at for stitching info.  We would love to have you join us.

Okay I must get back to the grindstone!  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 5, 2021


The ANG Seminar for 2021 has once again been forced to be a virtual event.  This presents a very unique opportunity for more persons to be able to attend than ever before.  

        This year you are not restricted by travel.  No need to make those airline reservations.

        This year you do not have to stay at a hotel.

        This year you are not restricted due to responsibilities at home that prevent you from                   attending.

        This year you are not restricted to class selection due to overlapping schedules.

        This year you may take as many classes as you desire.

So what is holding you back?  By all indications of the direction our country is heading, this could be the last time you have these opportunities!  Come on and get those registrations filed! Go to and get the ball rolling!

It is my guess that my class of Heloise Hooty is filled and not available for registration.  There are unlimited spots in most other classes, however, offered by many wonderful teachers.

One of my project classes that you can register for is the Vessels class.

As you can see there are lots of spaces to learn the stitch showcased on each Vessel.  We also work on the shading of the areas.  Come join us for this lovely collection of baskets and pots.


We are so excited at the activity that is going on for our upcoming riverboat stitching cruise along the Rhine!  We leave on March 31, 2022  - that is just around the corner!  So much awaits us on the river.  

I must say that these cruises are the topmost relaxing vacations we have ever taken.  Even though these are working trips for Duo Designs the stress and anxiety just melts away. 

On this cruise we will be hosted by the S.S. Antionette of UniWorld. We have had the good fortune to have sailed on this ship before!  So excited to get to visit her again. She and her staff provided the ultimate in care and attention.Well, all of UniWorld ships that we have been on can boast that!

One exciting aspect of this year's adventure is that we are seeing a trend of several mother/daughter pairs joining us!  How wonderful is that!  Not only are they enjoying creating wonderful memories together but they (for the most part) also share the love of needlework!

We have several singles joining us too.  They say they like the feel of safety and the great camaraderie that they experience on our journeys.  Also, we occasionally have someone looking to share a roommate.  If you prefer a roommate just let our agent Liz know. 

To receive a brochure and more information about the travel aspect of the trip, contact Liz at Our block of staterooms are dwindling so be sure to get your cabin reserved right away!  March/April isn't that far away!  

Email us at for our stitching itinerary or questions you might have on that part of the trip.  Other than the second night on land all our classes are on the ship.  No class will conflict with the advertised excursions!  So we have the best of both worlds!  Seeing beautiful spots in another land and stitching with great friends!We'd love to have you join us.


Yesterday we shared the last Session for the Raymond Crawford American Train Series.
Those who have the desire to do so can get their stitching finished in time to display for the July 4th Holiday!

Soon we will be sharing another Session of the wonderful Two by Two from Strictly Christmas.  This has been such a fun piece to do.

POCKETBOOK SERIES - Books based on selected themes

Are you familiar with our fun Pocketbook Series books?

Be sure to check with your local needlepoint shop to get your very own copy.  I have it from a very close source that No. 5 is about ready to go to the printer!  So exciting!

DuodesignsbySandra-   Etsy Shop

Have you checked our Etsy Shop lately? We are adding more and more stitch guides as time permits.  We will soon be adding a full line of handpainted canvases too so stay in touch!

It is a beautiful day here in Central Kentucky and the weather man has promised no rain.  He could not promise the same for the rest of the weekend nor next week however, so we best enjoy while we can.

Stay safe and remember to Stitch with a Smile!