I haven’t been ignoring my blog but I have been busy designing needlepoint hearts and making beaded butterflies. But, I have been remiss in writing about my guild’s philanthropic project, Hearts For Hospice.

Guild members (really anyone who wants to help on this project, you do not have to be a guild member) stitch hearts; Sue and her 12 year old Grandson, Jon, make the twists (DMC #3 perle) to finish the hearts, Georgia and Sara (and sometimes we have a finishing day) finish these hearts at no cost and the hearts are donated to three (3) local Hospice Houses, one is a children’s home.

Maybe you saw the article in ANG NeedlePointers, Jan/Feb 2019 and May 2017; Needlepoint Now, January/February 2019, and on Facebook.

It all began when our friend Georgia went over to “The Home” at her retirement community to volunteer. They asked her if she had received her flu shot and of course she had not (doesn’t like them or maybe they don’t like her…can’t remember), so she could not volunteer. A staff member saw hearts Georgia was stitching and inquired about them and asked if she could make more.  Knowing she could stitch a heart, she returned home and started making hearts and that’s how it began…one heart at a time.

Within the month she had convinced several of her friends to join her and soon it became a project and another friend, Sue Hart organized us into a philanthropic group and offered the project to our guild as an ongoing philanthropic project.

Side note: did you know that all non-for-profit organizations need a philanthropic program to qualify as a 501(3)(c)? I didn’t but it makes sense if you are a non-for-profit organization that you would do something. I know our national bylaws state that our purpose is to teach, promote and preserve the art of needlepoint but I did not know you need to have an ongoing philanthropic project.

We have encouraged members to just try a stitch and variations. These hearts make great doodle canvases. Then if you take a picture of it you will have a permanent copy and a family will receive a lovely remembrance. We have also encouraged needlepointers to take the painted canvas they thought they couldn’t live without, but have now become less likely to finish and make a heart(s) out of the painted canvas. There are two hearts from a painted canvas in this picture.

Barbara Richardson; a friend of GKCNG members and past president of ANG adapted her heart design for us to use. We use it to teach groups of needlepointers how to start and some first time needlepointers. We even have a class that shows you how to finish these hearts.


Several months ago Colour Complements: https://colourcomplements.com/ embroidery threads sent me samples to hand out to guild members I had several left over and so I stitched hearts with  them and sent pictures to Colour Complements. The owner contacted me and I have designed a couple hearts for her use (soon to appear on her website, I think).


This summer, one of the bead groups I belong to posted a beaded butterfly and I stitched those for some hearts. I asked permission of the designer, Patricia Parker to stitch them for other hearts and she gladly gave her permission. So guild members that request butterflies for their hearts will get one and I have made several for the two finishers to use at their discretion.

We (I use this term loosely, because I am but a small part of this endeavor) have been doing this for the last four years and have completed over 1400 hearts. We have received hearts from 26 states and 2 countries. There are at least three other guilds that we know about who have started their own program.

If you or your guild would like the information, contact Sue Hart at Heartsforhospicegkcng@gmail.com

If you have any #5 or #3 perle cotton or #12-16 Kreinik Braid (Ribbons work too), or any thread suitable for cording laying around, it needs to be skeins not cut. And you don’t know what to do with it , Hearts For Hospice would be happy to use it. Just contact me or Sue Hart.

I have designed another heart in two colorways for our Hearts For Hospice program and I will PDF you the instructions for free These hearts used Colour Complements Overdye, DMC #5 perle cotton, and Kreinik #12 braid but any of your stash will work. All I ask is that you please stitch one for our Hearts For Hospice program and return to them. All the information to return to Hearts For Hospice are in the instructions. Thank you.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.


UFBS(UnFinished but Stitched) Supplies

I spent a couple hours making sure I had all the supplies I thought I might need for this massive project I am undertaking, but I know it is like any needlepoint project I will need something. Supplies vary from project to project but the following are some than I keep in my finishing box and general sewing box and as we go along this summer I will add to this list. By the way these tools are not listed in order of importance…but rather how I took the pictures. 14-06-18 supplies A Picture 1

1. Fabric pen and pencil: make sure they are fabric safe. I have two pencils one for light fabrics and one for dark fabrics.

2. Seam ripper: Never know when yu will need to frog stitch the finishing.

3. Hem gauge: I have a couple of these but this is my new fancy one.

4. Wood creaser and pointer…saves the nails.

5. Chop Sticks: I use these for stiffing stand-ups. And it is a good reason to eat oriental food…like I need a reason.

6. Beeswax: I beeswax every thread I finish with. Gives extra strength and also seems like it keeps the thread from twisting as much.

7. Pins: Make sure you have good sharp pins. 8. Good needles I use quilting needles and embroidery needles, if I need a needle with a larger eye I use Chenille needles. The size varies with the project, larger needles for larger projects; remember the larger the needles number the smaller the needle. There are great online resourses about needles; just Google “Hand sewing needle identification.”

Sewing machine needles will be on your list if you plan on doing any of your finishing with a sewing machine. Of course this assumes you have a sewing machine too.

9. Thimble: sometimes you need a good thimble and I like these two the best. Clover makes the tan leather one and I’m not sure where I got the other but I would bet at a quilting shop.

10. Scissors: can you ever have too many pair? I have this hierarchy system I use for larger scissors, especially sewing scissors. MY system works pretty well (now that I do not have small children in the house that will pick up the closest pair of scissor their little hands can find.) I change my scissors about every year and only when they are 50% off at local sewing store.

My system: Fabric scissors…cuts nothing but fabric! When these get dull I buy another pair and move this pair to the general sewing scissors stage.

Pinking shears: cuts NOTHING but fabric and not all fabrics just when I don’t want fabric to fray. I have had two pair of pinking shears in the last 40 years so that will give you an idea how particular I am about using these.

General sewing scissors: used to cut trims threads etc…Do not use for canvas or paper. I also have a couple pair of snips I keep by the sewing machine and in my finishing box.

General scissors move to the… Needlepoint scissor stage for cutting canvas only; they are not sharp enough for fabrics but not yet ready for paper. I think canvas dulls scissors and so I move these on down to the anything else category.

Anything else scissors: I cut paper patterns and small mat-board shapes. After this stage they are not much good but I do take them to general household use and even donate to the men’s workshop area. 14-06-18 supplies B Picture 2:

11. Pressing cloth: I have a silicone one, a lightweight fabric one and muslin for a third. Keeps ickies from the iron off your finished needlework.

12. Rulers: I have lots of these in various sizes. I use them to cut fabrics

13. Water bottle: I put fresh water in this before I use. Sometimes I have to spritz blocked needlepoint, but I never try to soak a needlepoint piece and always keep blocking board flat with an old towel underneath.

14. Iron: I never put water in my iron…think it clogs them up an over time makes funny stuff come out the steam holes. That being said you would think the sole plate of my iron would stay pretty clean but it does not, so that’s why I use a press cloth.

15. Silicone mat: this happens to be a hot pad holder but I use it to sit my hot iron on when I move it off the ironing board. Saves scorch marks. Other thinks I’ve thought of since I took the pictures.

16 Adjustable ironing board: mine is the same height as my sewing machine table and sits just to the left of the sewing table. I use it not only to press but assemble too.

17. Fray Check: never know when your going t need some.

18. Glue: White tacky archival safe.

19. Mat boards: I have a lightweight illustration boards. I have two weights, one is heavier than the other…but the lighter is not poster board.

20. Thread: I use regular thread or quilting thread

21. Fabrics: I have a pretty good supply of fabrics that I have amassed over the years.

22. Pelon: I have several weights, both fusible and plain.

23. Cotton Quilt batting: two weight, light and medium.

24. Aquarium gravel: I rinse this well and use in a plastic bag as weight for stand-ups. I have a friend who claims a roll of pennies ($1.00) or nickles ($2.00) is cheaper.

25. Hand drill: Kreinik makes one (http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Custom-Corder-AMCDW-HD.html); mine is red but the new one is black.

26. Fishing Weights: use to make cording.

I can think of other things but they are item specific like mat board is for ornaments and standups…so I’ll wait and add these if I use them.

I have started the finishing but am going to wait until next week to tell you about it because: a. this post is getting long and b. my book from Pat Mazu just arrived and I want to look it over.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! I’ll be stitching some finishing. ttfn…sue

With a sparkle in my eye and a smile on my face

I, Torin Ailfred O’Patrick, Toppy for short now have a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eye.

My mouth is a series of red Cross Stitches over one canvas intersection filled with white Continental stitches for my pearly whites. Great grin, n’est-ce pas? Also every get a hair in your mouth…obviously I have picked up a doggy hair. I know it will be removed now that everyone can see it. But it sure is annoying!

My nose are Gobelin stitches over the Basketweave, the center two longer Gobelins were stitched twice to add move height

I like my cheeks too; they are padded Gobelins with a darker pink floss. The padding is stitched first in Basketweave followed by horizontal Gobelins. I look like someone just pinched my cheeks.

But my eyes say it all! Yes, I’m winking at you with my Gobelin stitched eyelid. I still need eyelashes but then I need a canvas full of hair too. But my green eye is sparkling; four little Continental stitches in black and white surrounded by a Kreinik 008 green Jessica. When stitching a Jessica don’t forget to tuck last stitches under previous stitches; otherwise would have a spiral eye and look like a pirate instead of the noble chief I am.

This week-end I am getting at least a shirt coat and maybe pants…Aren’t you glad I’m a painted canvas, otherwise I might be x-rated.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Jerry M. Kreinik

Last week we lost another pioneer and innovator in the needlepoint world. Until Kreinik threads came along we stitched mostly in wool. Those really adventurous stitches might chose silk or cotton but metallic threads? …unheard of in the late 60’s and 70’s. 

I never met Jerry Kreinik but I remember the first time I saw the Kreinik threads.

We have always had at least two needlepoint shops in town, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 shops in the 70’s. At one shop in particular, they still hold needlepoint in their hands (no frames) and as a friend of mine once said: they have the most Paternayan wool (tapestry and rug) of any shop she had ever been into. At one point in time (70’s) this shop was the best game in town and it was also closest to my house. They had walls of wool, a spin rack of DMC threads (maybe 30 basic colors of floss and perle) and the silk was in a bag in the back room and a basket on the cash register counter with Kreinik threads in gold and silver.

This is where I first saw and bought a Kreinik thread. I had gone in to purchase thread (wool) to make my sons’ school Christmas ornaments…I made a simple Christmas ornament for every teacher who taught my kids (sometimes 20 ornaments…I had 3 sons), the school principal and his secretary (she has a complete set of ornaments I made over the years).  As I was paying for the wool I saw this basket with metallic thread; I thought the gold thread would be a bit of sparkle for the ornament and I could also use a piece of it for the hanger. The then owner of the shop told me I really didn’t want it, the metallic thread would discolor and then I would have black marks on my needlework.  I bought the thread anyway!

I never pick up a spool of Kreinik thread (remember when it on a heavy cardboard spool?) that I don’t think of this shop owner…little did she know that this thread would change needlepoint forever. No longer were we limited to wool, cotton or silk now we could add sparkle!

Jerry Kreinik was an innovator who allows us to think outside the box, to try something other than basketweave in wool and to add sparkle to our art.

Thank you, Mr Kreinik.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today with some Kreinik!  ttfn…sue

Lucy has ears & eyes

Lucy eyes and ears 3 Lucy eyes and ears 1 Lucy got eyes and ears this week and in fact has some of her legs stitched now. But for today’s post I want to talk about her eyes and ears.

Lucy’s eyes are stitched with DMC floss in basketweave whenever possible; otherwise it is a continental stitch when necessary. And yes, I carried the threads from one eye to the other…I measured it’s less than 14 threads and since she is painted on 18 mesh canvas that translates to less than one inch…and I’d have done it anyway.  Although her pupils appear to be black they are stitched with 6 strands DMC floss #3371 and 1 strand of Kreinik Blending Filament: #005HL Black. I try to remember to do this to all my eyes, it adds just a tad of sparkle in certain light. The outer eye color is 6 strands DMC floss #3860 and the small areas of white are 6 strands DMC floss #822. White and black floss seemed to stark and so I frog stitched and re-stitched them again.   Around the outside of her eyes I did a stem/outline stitch using  1 strand Epic #201 Earth. When I finished stitching her eyes I thought she looked a bit bug eyed, but then she is a bit bug eyed  and I think when her fur is stitched , it will tone these eyes down.

Lucy’s ear were stitched in a random basketweave, shading these areas using a needle blending technique. Her ears are stitched using 6 strands DMC floss. I started with her inner ear using the lightest pink color DMC #754. Next I added several stitches using 3 stands of the lightest pink color DMC #754 and 3 strands of the dark pink DMC #3859 blended in the needle. I did not lay these threads because I wanted them to fall as they would. I completed the inner ear pink areas with 6 strands of dk pink DMC floss #3859. I next outlined her ears with 6 strands dark cocoa brown DMC #3860. I filled the remaining parts of the ears with random basketweave stitches using three needles filled with:

1. 6 strands DMC lt cocoa #3861

2. 4 strands DMC lt cocoa #3861 and 2 strands dark pink #3859

2. 2 strands DMC lt cocoa #3861 and 4 strands dark pink #3859.

As I was stitching the ears, I wasn’t sure I was going to like them either…but then I am usually over critical of my own stitching. I do hate to “frog stitch” and so usually have been able to talk myself into a wait and see attitude. When I finished stitching these area I set her away from me and just looked at her. Now I think these areas are going to work…and of course I am stitching another area so I am critical of the new area now…

Until next time…ttfn sue