Saturday, March 30, 2019


I am amazed at how quickly time goes by.  Amazed.

Next week I will be teaching in Philadelphia at Rittenhouse.  I am really looking forward to it.  We will be working on several technique classes. Come by and visit if you are in the area.

I decided that I would make another post covering some of my 'trinkets'.

Needles run the gamut of what is available and what they can be used for.  I am sharing my personal use here, not making an advertisement of which needles are the best, most expensive, break the easiest, etc.  It is just my sharing with you what I use.

Needle use has changed over the years for me because they have become more difficult for me to thread and I never think to use a needle threader - mainly because I never know where I put them.  Because of this I tend to favor size 22 needles in the tapestry line.  They seem to work perfectly for me.  Most threads that I use work well in them - Pepper Pot Silk, Vineyard Silk, Kreinik sizes 8 and 12, some ribbons, straw silk and of course, most all stranded threads such as silks and cottons.

I do change needles as required of course.  I will use a much larger needle when the thread calls for same.  For instance when I use a boucle' I would use a size 20 to help enlarge the canvas hole to make passage of the thread easier.  There are many threads that need this assistance.  Velvet is another one. There are even a few threads that require size 18 needle.  When one chooses to use these threads it is sometimes better to couch them in place instead of trying to stitch with them.

Another stitching needle that I use is the beading needle.  For me I normally use a size 11 chenille needle.  I still manage to thread them most of the time and they will pass through most beads that I use.  The reason I prefer chenille is because I do most of my  beading on needlework and I prefer the stability of these.  If I am beading in the traditional sense - peyote, etc - then of course the long thin beading needle is required and much more suited for the technique.

There are needles that we don't often think of that are utilized more in other stitching arenas such as quilting, traditional embroidery, etc, that come in quite handy at times.

One such needle is the bullion needle.  There is now available a tapestry bullion needle.  When used for Brazilian embroidery the chenille is more popular.  For us in the needlepoint world, the tapestry needle works much better.

Another needle I find handy to have in my arsenal is the curved quilting needles.  These are wonderful in some instances where we choose to wrap our stitches but it is very tedious to do so.  These little guys just slip right under those threads and are up and away from other stitches allowing us to grasp the needle and continue on.  (There are also curved beading needles but I'd still be trying to thread them.)

One more needle that might not readily come to mind is a huck embroidery needle.  See the one on the right in the picture below?  This needle is perfect for weaving - you know those baskets where we go over and under, in and out, etc.  This little curved tip is perfect for that technique.

Of course there are lots more needles in my toys - punch needles, felting needles, knitting needles, crocheting needles, and many more - to many to go on and on about here.  I just wanted to point out a couple that I think you might find useful and that you may not have thought of before if you had never taken one of my classes.

So have a great weekend and we'll visit after I return from my wonderful classes at Rittenhouse.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Beautiful day in Kentucky - Sunny but crispy cool!  Has an edge.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite toys with you this posting.  I have not done that in a while.

You know how big the fad is for needle minders.  There are clubs and fun competitions amongst members of various groups, etc.  There are all kinds of themed ones, ones with sayings, pictures of project one is working on, travel ones, plastic, metal, wood,  etc.  While I too have a collection, it has no theme.  I do try to get a magnet from each shop where I teach as a reminder of great memories.  Sometimes I pick up some where I travel.  But most of these are on my magnet board.

The toys I like to work with have a totally different purpose, including my needle minders.  Some of my most favorite and practical toys come from Merry L. Needlework Accessories.  My first introduction to Ellen's fabulous fun things were her Cozy Needle Minders. How can you not be happy when stitching with one of these colorful beauties on your canvas?

 Then I discovered that there is also a larger version.  This picture shows how the needles can be held by the magnets, laid inside against the bottom and even stuck through the felt.
Additionally she has fobs of all kinds.  Holiday fobs, fobs that match beaded minders, etc. for scissors, zipper tabs, and more.


Another innovative item Ellen came up with was to magnetize the end of a laying tool!  This allows us to keep track of where our laying tool is at all times by laying it against our magnet so it stays right on top of our work.

Lanyards are another of her wonderful products.  In fact, she generously helped me put together make-your-own-kits for one of my stitching cruises so I could surprise my participants.  That was much fun - and much work on her part.

This is a pic of the lady herself setting up her trunk show and you can get a small glimpse of her creativity.

Another producer of some of my favorite toys is Accoutrement Designs.  Lisa comes up with some of the cutest magnets.  These can be beautifully painted enamels or encrusted in bling gems!

Some of my very - mostest!- favorites are the beading and/or needle cases.  These are just perfect for working with beads on your canvas.  She makes them with all sorts of cute sayings, wonderful characters on top, etc. And you can put together sets.

Here is a picture of my personal case (it has a horse on top) that I use when beading on canvas.  Notice how it can be held in place on the canvas. I use magnets to hold on top.

There is also a case that does not have the sticky mat on the bottom but another magnet and it is used for needles and pin.

Another real plus for this beading tray is that it is shallow and you can access your beads without flipping them all over the place while trying to get them on the needle.

I have tons more favorites but these are two of my tops that I will share with you this week.  I'll try to remember to throw some of these types posts in from time to time.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 16, 2019


LaJolla has come and gone.  What a fabulous week.  I had the greatest class participants as did all the teachers!  We are blessed indeed.

Surprise guest thanks to Miss Vicky of NeedleNook of LaJolla! The one and only Maggie stopped in for a short visit for a couple days.

Remember it is her fabulous Winter Cardinal design that I am teaching at the ANG Seminar in Houston August 2019 - be sure to go over to and sign up for the classes.

My other classes are the Bluebonnet Boot Vase and the Personalized Plaid Snap Tray.  Check them out.  Would love to have you in class.


NeedleNook of LaJolla hosted another fantastic annual retreat.  Here's a glimpse at a couple of those items from my class that drew a lot of attention.  Lauren probably won the prize for her Rosary Mary from Love You More as far as trips over to have a look. People loved the halo, the white wrap, the cross, the, the, the - on and on.

I know, WOW, right?  I'll be having a stitch guide before long.  

Probably second was Sandy's hair on her Morning Coffee from Patti Mann.

Can't wait to see the hair tamed and finished and the rest of the stitches added!  Such fun. She's doing a fantastic job.

See the ball of yarn being created by our 'cat lady' Pat?  She is bringing life to a Maggie canvas for us.

Victoria's starfish reminds me of ones I caught before they were bleached.  Don't you just love it!

I'm not sure where my other pictures have gone.  If I find them I'll share later.  We have a fantastic golfer trophy, loved Dottie's threads to bring it to life; precious 'hats' created by Catherine, and many more.  


Yesterday was mid-month and we posted our monthly lessons for the various classes.  

We gave our Raymond Crawford Reindeer a Poinsettia Blanket and some other accessories.

Penny MacLeod's Dana received some additional borders to add to her design.

And we added a new project this month!  Lily Wreath from Raymond Crawford Designs. This one is going to have a ton of techniques, stitches, etc.


Another butterfly joined our group this month as well.  

These classes are a one-shot deal.  You receive the canvas, cut threads, embellishments and stitch instructions all in one mailing.  Email me at if you would like to play with us.


We are so happy that our participants continue to increase as we move closer to our cruising date.  We also have many repeaters - how wonderful!  Come join us on the Azamara Pursuit October 24-November 4, 2019.  You may choose the optional class project or bring your own - we are very flexible.  Lots of surprises along the way too.

For travel questions contact our agent Liz at and for other questions email me at

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Good Morning from LaJolla, CA

Good Morning all.  I am just posting so you know that all is well.  I am teaching this week at the Needle Nook Retreat in LaJolla and I just have not had the time to post anything.

By the way, for me it is quite chilly here - beautiful but chilly.

Maybe next week will be a loooonnnng one!

Have a great week and remember to stitch with a smile.

Saturday, March 2, 2019


Registration is ongoing for our upcoming Mediterranean Stitching Memories Cruise - October 24 - November 4, 2019. We begin in Rome and end in Barcelona - but oh all the 'stuff' along the way. We will have our first scheduled stitching class in Rome - but it will be in the evening so we don not miss one single thing while in this fabulous historic city. When we leave Rome we will go next to Sorrento! Here we have the opportunity to visit the Isle of Capri! A chair lift is an optional trip to the top of the island! Can you imagine the view? WOW! Next is the fabulous Amalfi Coast. This is often referred to as the most stunning of coastlines. Then Sicily! I recall while in grade school how cool I thought it was that a country existed that looked like a boot! The toe of that boot is Sicily! Malta will be our next stop - Valletta to be exact. When we leave Malta we will be spending a full day a sea. On this day we plan more stitching, eating, stitching, relaxing, stitching - you get the picture. Sardinia is next - our last visit in Italy where beaches, cliffs and caves await our exploration. We'll move on to Spain which will have us docking at Mahon in Menorca, Spain - shopping anyone? Next day we're at Palma De Mallorca.- architecture and caves call to us. We disembark at Barcelona, Spain. Many of us are going to stay over a night or two to see a little more of this fantastic city!
Be sure to read over the brochure and come join us for 12 days of delightful fun - eating - stitching - touring - meeting old friends - making new friends - did I mention stitching?


Face-2-Face class in Philly!  Those of you lucky enough to be close to Philly should consider coming by Rittenhouse Needlepoint and registering for my Work Shops they are hosting. April 4, 5,6, 2019. AND they are having a fantastic offer for participants.  If 2 people register you get 50% off the second registration, There are 3 really fun WorkShops going on each 1 day in length. There will be Can Do Hairdos – which will include the book as well.  Another day will be Beading on Needlework – seed beads, delicas, bugles, oats – oh my! The third day will be Ribbons and Such – ruching, folding, gathering, singeing. (Check with the shop for the class order.)  In these 3 workshops we will be playing with a whole plethora of fun threads and fibers. We will use 18ct canvas for our base but for the most part the canvas size is not critical for our playing purposes. I always love teaching these classes because we all are very relaxed and having a good time! Don’t live close to Philly?  Hey, there are all kinds of flights in and out! Please come join us if you can.  Here’s a direct link for information and to register:

ANG Seminar - Houston - August 2019

Beginning Registration for Seminar classes is only a few days away.  I am fortunate to have 3 offerings for this year's seminar.  I would love to have you come and play with me.  And, there is so much to offer in Houston - including a plethora of needlepoint shops!

First up will be August 15-16 2019 - the Bluebonnet Boot Vase

Then on August 17-19 we do the Personalized Plaid with your color choice of snap trays and threads

Last, but not least, on August 18-19 is the wonder Maggie's Winter Cardinal

On to the East Coast - - -

With both our hectic schedules, it is rare that Duo Designs, Inc. teaches together.  I am fortunate that my partner/daughter Teresa Kinberger, will be teaching at the Winterthur Event this coming June!  We are so excited.

I will be teaching an interpretation of The Vessels by Jaci Holden.  This design affords the opportunity to really work with a variety of stitches.  The Vessels provides enough room to become familiar with a stitch before it is necessary to move on to another procedure.  Stitched in metallics and sundry silks from Gloriana, Planet Earth and Vineyard Silk you will experience the feel of the different brands.
Some stitch techniques include running stitch, woven variations, wave stitch  - just to name a few.

Teresa will be teaching this cute whimsical snowman.  His focal technique will be needle felting.
Shared tools will enable the participants to experience this technique that is saturating the needle art venues.  It is so fun for so many applications.  Clothing, animals, foliage, etc.

Lots of cute snowflake embellishments, fun icicles using wonderful Flair, needle weaving and much more for dimension and interest.


Classes are June 7, 8 and 9, 2019.  Check out the full details by contacting Art Needlepoint - follow the registration link below.

Before we head to Winterthur, however, we must go by way of LaJolla, CA!  (Long way around don't you think?  I love it!). I will be teaching at the annual Needle Nook of LaJolla Retreat starting next week!  These are always great fun and Vicky put on a retreat to be envied by many!  I always look forward to this event and the fun canvases that my students present to me for suggested stitches, threads and embellishments.  Always, always a great time.

Rittenhour Needlepoint is next as described above - - -

Next up will be a week in Orlando, FL at a private stitch away. It is always fun to run away - right?

Then next will be Stitch-Stash in Delaware in May.  There we'll be teaching the beautiful red-white-blue Flags of Glory.  Some great stuff going on there.  We will also be doing a notebook class on Conventional Techniques using Unconventional Resources.  Heck that just sounds like trouble - right?

Wow! Classes have been posted and registration is open for the Blue Bonnet Retreat for 2020! Mark your calendars for February 15-18, 2020. Plan to come to Sugarland, TX.I am fortunate to have 2 classes offered. One is of Venice Memories. There is more than one way to visit Venice - right? This 2-day class has a hand-painted 18ct canvas that is 12" x 14" cut size. The design area is approximately 10" x 12." Silks, metallics, ribbons - lots of fun!

The second class is the BlueBonnet Boot Vase. This line-drawn design on 18ct canvas features familiar Texas icons. Experience working with sundry silks and ribbons. Techniques galore.
Check out the website for registration form and information for all classes that are being offered.
Okay, gotta start getting stuff put together to pack for LaJolla - until next time - stay warm and remember to Stitch with a Smile!