Yesterday six of us met at Madison, Indiana’s new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott to “sit and stitch” in their beautiful (and well lit) lobby. Old and new friends with old and new projects. Each of us with a tote bag stuffed with one or more needlework/fiber arts projects and a desire to spend time stitching, talking, and learning from each other.
My friend Hilary and I have enjoyed working on our needlepoint projects together for several years. During the early days of Covid, we gathered to stitch on my breezeway to be able to work outdoors and stay socially distanced. We’ve also met a nearby John Paul Park and stitched under the trees in our folding chairs! We’re both members of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, and although we aren’t close to our member chapters in Manhattan (Hilary) or Louisville (me), we enjoy receiving their magazine for inspiration and opportunities for online learning.
New friend Kate expressed an interest in stitching with us, so we recently met at Clifty Inn in Clifty Falls State Park to get to know each other, share our needlework history and interests, stitch a little and have lunch. We discovered we all love to shop for supplies at Stitch needlepoint shop in Louisville. A delightful afternoon!
We decided it would be fun to reach out to other friends and acquaintences and see if we could enlarge our stitching circle and meet on a more regular basis. Phone calls were made, emails sent, locations discussed, and we’re off and running. Take a look at the people and projects gathered around the table at our first “sit and stitch.”
Hilary loves needlepoint and has several canvases, large and small, in the works. Yesterday, she brought a new Erhman Tapestry “Phoenix” needlepoint kit she’s been working on. The pillow design, “taken from a Japanese robe… makes a magnificent long bolster,” as described by the company. You can always count on Hilary to have a colorful design!
Kate also loves to needlepoint, but she brought a vintage crewel piece to work on. Gorgeous! She’s finishing the embroidery project that was started by her mother. She has all of the threads to complete the pieces that cover a chair back and seat. Unfortunately, she has no stitch instructions, nor a chair to cover, but that’s not stopping her! She’s rocking the fiber artist role by completing the design with the colors and stitches she feels look right. Go Kate!
We learned that Kate is very convincing when it comes to enticing others to try new types of stitching projects, and that Natalie is willing to give them a go! She’s ready to tackle needlpoint, but she’s learned that knitting and embroidery are not for her. Lucky me – she was happy to unload her purple yarn and needles so I could share with my granddaughter, Bridget!
What Natalie really loves is crochet. It’s her needlework of choice, and she’s made at least 10 blankets for family members and close friends. She’s just begun a new blanket project in a varigated blue yarn using a “popcorn” stitch. The puffed texture of this stitch adds warmth and thickness when grouped together to make hats, blankets, etc. Can’t wait to see the finished project!
My cousin Julie was the multitasker at the party! She’s recently discovered she loves weaving potholders, and she’s turned her “fun and therapeutic” activity into a money maker. Look for her colorful potholders for sale at The Attic.
She’s also working on a needlpoint project she began in high school – like 40 years ago! She likes the canvas design, but wants to use new threads and correct a few areas. So she’s embarked on the tedious task of removing all of the previously worked areas so she can start fresh. Now that’s a motivated stitcher!
It’s not often you get two Sally’s in one spot! Sally W is an accomplished needlepointer, knitter and weaver. Julie remembers her teaching needlepoint decades ago at The Attic, and examples of her “pillow class” projects are in several homes around town. Sally W has a few needlepoint projects going, but she brought a colorful koi pillow to work on when we got together. I think all of us will pick up some pointers from her!
And what am I working on? I have a few needlepoint and knitting projects going as well, but I brought my footstool needlepoint cover project to yesterday’s “sit and stitch.” Julie had given me her mother’s (my cousin Judy George) Victorian barrel top footstool earlier this year. At ArtNeedlepoint.com, I found a William Morris “Willow Bough” design I thought would be perfect to replace the stool’s worn cover. I contacted the company, and they were happy to create a large canvas for me in that pattern. They also supplied the Pepper Pot silk threads. It’s my largest needlepoint canvas to date, and I worry it might become a “lifetime project”!
As you can see, the interests and projects brought to yesterday’s “sit and stitch” were quite varied. We’re meeting at the Fairfield Inn again in two weeks (map), on Thursday, November 11th, 2-4pm. We plan to change our stitching location now and then, so if you’re interested in joining us, please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out where we’ll be! Anyone who enjoys needlework of any kind is invited (and encouraged) to join us. No need to R.S.V.P – just show up with your totebag of awesome! Hope to see you there.