Monday, February 23, 2008
Features Newsletter #241
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Before I tell you about my featured stitcher this week, I want to make sure you all read about our upcoming Stitching Retreat and the great chance for a night's free lodging when you come!


For all of you who have registered so far and for those of you who will register by March 15, your name will be entered into a drawing for $100.00 towards your room expenses at the Holiday Inn.

Don't delay – register today and make your hotel reservations as quickly as possible. The hotel promises to be filled to capacity that weekend with a major concert (again) at the Fargo Dome (Billy Joel and Elton John). Click here to see all details for the retreat and hotel at this link.

We still have several class openings in Hardanger embroidery, Brazilian embroidery, embroidery on paper, canvaswork, drawn/pulled thread, tatting, and crazy quilt and silk ribbon. Check it out right away! We welcome you to our 7th Annual Stitching Retreat where you will join stitchers from all over the USA, England, New Zealand, and Bermuda, for an unforgettable time of stitching, laughing, door prizes for everyone, SHOPPING, and eating together. If you have any questions, please call 800-433-4321 or email: Debi or Christine or Duane or Roz. I can't believe all the wonderful products our vendors are sending us for door prizes, goodie bags and meal gifts. Don't miss this exciting chance to learn a new needlework technique or advance in your current interests, become friends with stitchers from all over the world, stitch til you can't see straight and shop til you drop.

Now, on to our featured stitcher this week. Patricia Barber of Huntsville, Alabama, still has the first piece of stitching she made when she was 7 or 8 years old. It is a little clothes pin apron. I remember having one of those too but had forgotten about it until now! Since then, Patricia has advanced to more stamped embroidery, counted cross stitch, crewel, drawn thread, pulled thread, goldwork, Hardanger, blackwork, temari and other techniques. Patricia likes blackwork the best.

Patricia Barber

Photo of Patricia was taken in St Mark's Square in Venice last May.

Patricia continues her stitching story, "Since I have retired I am lucky to get in four or five hours a week of stitching. I do a little gardening, reading, keep three cats happy, volunteer at church and work at a charity thrift store one day a week

I had a thirty year career as a Logistics Management Specialist for the U.S. Army. It was my job to see that the support necessary to sustain the systems I worked on was available in the Army system when it was fielded. This included repair parts, service manuals, training and support equipment. I started on tanks and Artillery and then moved on to calibration equipment. I also taught logistics at an Army school for a few years.

Currently in my stitching I am working on Hilda's Heart, the 2008 EGA Heart fund project to teach in February at my local EGA. Right now I just want to reduce the stash.

My Grandmother taught knitting and always said you do not know how to knit if you do not know how to rip. Being an expert in life is not 'never making mistakes', it is knowing how to correct them. Too many people will not try anything new or different for fear of failure. Boo Boos are the very best teachers.

I am careful who I give my finished needlework to; if I do not think the person will treasure the work involved I buy them something at the store. I have always had more money than time." Photo shows some of the needlework Patricia has stitched.

My favorite designer is Just Nan. I prefer working on linen with silk threads. Clip-on Magnifiers are my favorite stitching accessory.

The largest piece I ever stitched was "Flower Power" by Cross Wings Design. It took 5 months and is sofa size. My framer was glad when I passed on a mat, because she would have had to order extra wide glass.

This design is no longer available at Nordic Needle. Sorry.

Needlework has been my avenue of creativity. It has also lead me to many friends. My job moved me around the country but I have always found like souls in the local needlework shop and for the past 18 years in EGA.

Stitching runs in the family. My great grandmother did award wining cutwork . My grand father did needlepoint for every chair in the house. My grandmother taught knitting and the other grandmother (who I never met) left me her hope chest of Hardanger linens."

Thank you, Patricia, I enjoyed reading your stitching story.

There is a lot of stitching talent right here within the walls of Nordic Needle. Karen works in our shipping department and she recently finished this beautiful Mirabilia mermaid design for her granddaughter's birthday gift. Her little granddaughter loved it and it proudly hangs in her room so she can look at it every day. Great job, Karen!

A letter in the mailbag this week has a question for you! If you have any input for Sheila, please reply directly to her.

I'd like to put a question to the readers of the needlework designer section of your e-newsletter.

"In your opinion, what makes a design suitable to turn into needlework"

Thanks Roz,
Sheila Kimmel (e-mail Sheila)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I keep getting responses to my topic "If I had no limits on time and money, the project I would stitch next would be......"

Here are some more that our readers sent to me.

  1. I have been stitching and sewing for 44 years and over these many years I have accumulated many, many projects, sewing, cross stitch and crochet. I would love to be able to make every pattern I have ever purchased. I guess we all do that. I still have dresses cut out for my granddaughter when she was two, and she is now 14, and I found them the other day looking for something. I had a friend make them for me, at least they will not go to waste. I actually have another granddaughter who is 4 and might be able to wear them soon. I guess I made them larger than what I thought. Well this is my story, boring but o-so true.......
    Chris Hubbard

  2. I would take the class and stitch Eileen Bennett's Crown of Pearls Sampler, Father Winter from Teresa Wentzler My Fractal, I forget which one it is Illuminated Medieval Sampler, Weeping Willow Keep, and Mermaid's Treasure Chest from Chatelaine, Burda pulled thread tablecloth 1082 and 1077A. Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Christmas Sampler

    All the other charts and projects I have

    West Chester, PA

  3. The design I've been trying to find for years is of one of the stained glass Cathedral Rose. I'm sure they are out there but I haven't been able to find one!

    If anyone knows of one I'd be grateful for any info!

    Connie (e-mail Connie)

  4. My next project would be the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. I have plenty of other projects I want to get to, but that is something that I am really looking forward to in retirement.

    Beth C.

  5. I think I already stitched one of these. I recently finished "Her Celtic Journey" from Butternut Road. It's a good thing I didn't think about the cost of everything before I started - the chart, linen and Wildflowers thread definitely add up. But it's worth it. It's now waiting to be finished off as a banner. (The final finishing is usually where my projects hit the UFO stage - don't ask about the birth announcement for my 2-year-old niece...) I would love to do a Hardanger table cloth in raw linen - I think that's a fabric that goes very nicely with Mission-style furniture. Time isn't really an issue for me - if I like a project well enough, there's always enough time to do it. TV time is stitching time - and I watch way too much TV.

    Kaye S.

My next question I have asked you to reply to is, "If I were a professional needlework designer, the next piece I would like to design would be............"

  1. I would like to design more video game themed designs. There really are not nearly enough out there for the true gaming family. :0)

    Deanna (e-mail Deanna)

  2. Hi, If I were a professional designer, I'd convert Audubon paintings of birds, in their natural settings into cross stitch. The paintings are beautifully detailed and have a vintage look to them.

    - Sandy Gelnaw (e-mail Sandy)

  3. Right now my sister-in-law Barb and I are designing an altar cloth for my new church that is being built. We have completed the artwork with the help of my husband, and are eagerly awaiting the fabric and thread.

    When we finish this project I would like to complete the designs I did several years ago when I crocheted clothespin angels for our Christmas giving tree at church. I designed several in the pineapple design and they are beautiful.

    Patricia Elliott (e-mail Patricia)

  4. If I could design professionally, I would create a design of the Stowe Community Church in Stowe, VT. This somewhat typical New England white church has an extremely tall steeple and in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains. One cannot take a picture without getting some of the mountains in the shot. In fact, the church and part of the Village of Stowe used to be pictured on boxes of Maypo cereal. I know, now I am dating myself!

    Autumn would be my favorite time to capture the church with all the glorious fall colors surrounding the building. The church was built in the 1840's and has gone through several renovations inside but not so much outside. Inside there is a huge tracker organ that was installed in the 1860's. This organ was recently repaired and updated all paid for by donations from the community including members of the Trapp family who live in Stowe.

    Judi, from the Green Mountains of Vermont (e-mail Judi)

  5. Cats Playing Poker. I can wait. I have "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple," two fractals, several Dimensions/Wysocki cat pictures, and dozens of JCS Christmas ornaments to do first.

    Evelyn Rowe (e-mail Evelyn)
    Washington, DC

I would love to hear from more of you on these two interactive topics. Please click here to write to me with your in put.


Did any of you try my Old Fashioned Cream Cake recipe? I discovered (after someone pointed it out) that I listed 1 tsp. of vanilla twice. Sorry about that. It should be one tsp. vanilla and one-half tsp. salt.

This week I would like to share a recipe for an older casserole I recently made and updated a bit. It's in the category of "comfort food" and even most kids would like it.

Ham and Macaroni Pie

  • Three-fourths cup uncooked macaroni
  • One-half pound ham, cubed
  • 1 cup soda cracker crumbs
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • One-half pound (2 cups) grated cheese – Cheddar, jack, Colby or American
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon grated onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped red or green pepper
  • 2 tsp. chopped pimento (optional)
  • 1 cup Crushed potato chips

Cook macaroni in 6 cups water with a little salt for flavoring. When macaroni is tender, drain water and set aside. Mix all ingredients together except the crushed potato chips. Spray a round pie pan with oil and fill with ingredients. Top with crushed potato chips. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 45 minutes. If the topping gets too dark, place foil over the top for the remaining minutes. Serve with corn and bread for a hearty meal.

Featured Products

Crazy Quilt: the Complete Guide

Now on to our NEW items this week. One of the classes in our up-coming Stitchers Retreat is a class on Crazy Quilt Embroidery. This new book is all about that and very complete and exciting. Crazy Quilting: The Complete Guide book (1680) by J. Marsha Michler. This is your one-stop source for crazy quilting know-how! This guide tells you everything you need to know to create your own beautiful heirloom crazy quilts, or smaller quilted items including: 10 different methods for piecing, more than 100 embroidery stitches for ribbons, flosses, and threads, techniques for dyeing, painting, stamping, printing, and embroidering on silk, cotton, rayon, wool and linen, instructions for adding buttons, beads, tassels, cording, and other dimensional embellishments, tips for finishing your quilts, and more! From Victorian quilts to contemporary works of art, crazy quilting has evolved into a beautiful mixture of piecing, embroidery, and fabric techniques. Whether you are just getting started or have been quilting for years, this guide is guaranteed to be the crazy quilting resource you turn to the most!

Hardanger Costume on Fiddler's Card Kit

We just added ten counted cross stitch card design kits and this is one of my favorites.

Hardanger Costume (bunad) on Fiddler's Card Kit (205-558-0005) is perfect for any occasion. This traditional Scandinavian costume is a great way to preserve the heritage in a card. Within the kit a colored picture, pattern, and working instructions as well as all of the necessary supplies are included to complete this small project. The card can be given for a number of special events in your life. The card itself is white with a blank inside and measures 5" x 7" with a 3.5" x 4" opening and is accompanied by a coordinating envelope. This piece is stitched on 14 count Antique Blue Aida cloth along with DMC floss which is included. This is a project anyone would be thrilled to receive in the mail for any occasion or just to say "Hi".

Click here to see the entire collection and all of our card kits.

Cross Stitch 100 Cards

Speaking of cards, here is a new book with 100 card designs. Cross Stitch 100 Cards (4624) is a fun book with a fabulous collection of 100 cross stitch card designs to celebrate every occasion. Each chapter showcases eight beautifully stitched themed cards to mark every milestone, from christenings and Christmas to Mother's day and moving home. This book includes a gallery of twenty quick-to-stitch motifs for crafting simple cards that make a big impression when time is short. Follow the clear instructions, full color charts and imaginative embellishment ideas for stunning cards that family and friends will treasure forever.

Krafter's Purse Original

Krafter's Purse Original 'Everything has a place and everything in its place' is a great motto for this crafter's best friend. It is an organizational dream! The Krafter's Purse is perfect for storing and traveling with any craft project including beading, stitching, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, and sewing. Pockets surround the bag which can hold scissors, pens, markers, needles, knitting needles, or beads. A large pocket is provided in the center to hold larger items such as hoops, patterns, yarns, paper, or anything else your project demands. Inner pockets are also provided with zippers to secure smaller items. Handles are provided to make it easy to organize and go! Purses come in colors of purple, bright blue, black, and lime green. Get your Krafter's purse today and get organized! Measures 7.5" x 4" x 6.5".

Jasmine - Pixie Couture

Jasmine – Pixie Couture Collection (4889C). Another addition to the Pixie collection by Nora Corbett is this graceful Pixie which would add elegant sparkle to a room. The pattern has many different options for what it can be stitched on; those carried by Nordic Needle are Jobelan 28 count Antique white (429-101) or an alternative Lugana 32 count Antique White (3270-101). When stitched over two threads on 32 count fabric the finished design size is 113 stitches by 160 stitches (7.06" x 10"). To complete this project the use of DMC floss (colors provided on pattern), Kreinik Metallic #4 braid (BR004-011HL), and Mill Hill beads (MH0168, 3026, 42010) adds depth and texture to the piece.

Click here to see more designs by Nora Corbett, Mirabilia Designs.

Beaded Sunset Glow Keychain Kit

New from Threaded Needle Designs, three new bead kits including this Beaded Sunset Glow Keychain Kit (K2346). This intricately beaded keychain is sure to add style to any bag or set of keys. The bright vibrant colors of the beads resemble a sunset with yellow, red, pink, and orange beads. Two ounces of each color, a keychain, a beading needle, and Nymo thread are provided within the kit. Tips and instructions are also provided in the kit to easily help you create this project using bead-weaving and the Peyote stitch. After this 2" long keychain is finish it will be a beautiful beaded addition to your stitching bag or purse your friends will admire.

Inspirations Magazine, Issue 61

This new issue of Inspirations Magazine, Issue 61 (040-693-0061), from Australia is filled with gorgeous color and inspiring projects. Patterns include a stitched tape measure, embroidered sachet, whitework cushion, and an heirloom crib quilt. Other stitching techniques featured in this issue are goldwork, stumpwork, and silk ribbon embroidery. With a total of 112 pages this magazine is sure to offer hours of stitching enjoyment as well as many projects to choose from. Also included with the magazine is a full set of fold-out patterns to complete your projects.

Click here to see more Inspirations magazines.

Harbor Lights

Harbor Lights (0429) is my newest Hardanger design in the Memories Of Norway Hardanger embroidery Collection. About this Set: My trip to Norway in July of 2007, was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. The breathtaking beauty of the land, the ancestral ties to our Norwegian heritage, visiting relatives, reconnecting with three exchange students and families, and the discovery of old Hardanger embroidery pieces were some of the highlights. While in the quaint coastal village of Risor, Norway, I purchased this very bright and cheerful set of Hardanger embroidery. It was rather plain and simple and a bit bright but after close consideration, I knew I could enhance this design and tone it down a bit. I added all the cable stitches and the solid motifs in white. The "ship" motif I used added to the meaning of this piece and I decided to call it "Harbor Lights", since the town of Risor is centered around a beautiful harbor with many small islands right off the coast on the southern tip of Norway. We were honored to have a boat ride into the sea and stopped at a cousin's beautiful little cabin with a view of the North Sea that was amazing.

The finished size of the Harbor Lights runner is 12" x 28" when worked on 24 count white Congress cloth (3990-100). Thread required is 2 skeins DMC pearl cotton size #5, color 0444 lemon dark (DM005-0444) and 2 balls DMC pearl cotton size #8, color white (DM008-white).

The Table Center measures 19" x 19" on 24 count white Congress cloth (3990-100), using the same amount of the same threads as listed above.

The chartpack includes a color photo showing four alternate colors in this design; purple, blue, green and red. Also included are clear charts, stitch and design instructions and close-up photos. Placemats and pillows would be easy to create using this patterns as well.

The Hardanger Embroidery Design Contest is soon coming to a close for this year. If you have an original Hardanger embroidery design you would like to enter in our contest, we welcome your entry. Click here to read all about it.

Deadline is March 31, 2009, and this is our 31st year of the contest! The winning designs are published in a beautiful pattern book with photos and autobiographies of the winners.

We look forward to seeing your original Hardanger embroidery design!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The generosity of our readers never ceases to amaze us. We have received several hundred pair of glasses so far to help the folks of Mazatlan. There is still time to send in your old prescription glasses. They need to be here by Friday, February 27th to make this trip. If glasses arrive after that date, we will donate them to a local Lion's club for future use. Thank you again for all you do to make a difference! Here are the details in case you missed them:

In the Stash Newsletter #18, Sue sent out a heartfelt request, imploring our newsletter subscribers to donate their old glasses out of charity. We have received several pairs of glasses so far but there is still time for you to send your old eyeglasses to us. We're encouraging everyone to hunt for their old prescription glasses (even prescription sunglasses) and send them in to us by February 27th.

Nordic Needle, Inc.
1314 Gateway Dr SW
Fargo, ND 58103

Please write "Glasses" on the outside of the package so we know what they are!

After the last mail delivery that day, we will draw out one lucky pair of glasses. The person who sent us those glasses will get their choice of either a Mag-Eyes or an Opticaid to make their own stitching easier. That's a $33 value!

Be sure to put your name, address, phone number and/or email address on a little slip of paper and attach that to the glasses you send to us.

Thank you in advance for supporting this mission of sight - we're looking forward to your contribution!

Click here to read Sue's request in full detail.

As Debi wrote in her newsletter last week, I want to continue to bring the Bookmark Challenge to your attention. You can be involved two ways; by stitching a bookmark in any technique and donating it to the Bookmark Challenge by May 15, 2009, or by designing and stitching a bookmark and enter it into the design competition. Here is what Debi wrote regarding the bookmark design contest.

Are you up for the challenge??

Last year we asked our readers if they would be interested in a Bookmark Design Challenge, and we got an overwhelming response-YES! We are pleased to announce the first Bookmark Design Contest! It's time to get creative. The bookmark must be of your own design. Your finished bookmark(s) must be received by Nordic Needle by May 30, 2009. Between eight and fifteen winners will be selected based on overall design, technique, workmanship, materials, and originality. The winners will be awarded a Nordic Needle gift certificate and have their design published by Nordic Needle along with the winner's name, photograph, and biographical information. To see the full contest rules and download the required entry form, go to:

Watch for future announcements about the Christmas Ornament and Stitching Accessories Challenges!

If you are not into designing, we still encourage you to stitch a bookmark and send it to us so we can share them with children and adults, promoting literacy. Last year we were able to donate over 450 bookmarks! Let's see if we can surpass that number this year! Send your original (by May 30, 2009) and non-original bookmarks (by May 15, 2009) to: Debi at Nordic Needle, 1314 Gateway Drive., Fargo, ND 58103. THANK YOU for your involvement that can really make a difference in the literacy of hundreds of children and adults.

Needlework is very important during these days of economic concern and trials. Whether you sit down and stitch a bookmark for the Bookmark Challenge, or stitch an original Hardanger piece for the design contest, or work on a new or work-in-progress piece, let the power of that little bit of steel calm your anxiety as you create something that will last for generations to come. Get carried away and relax as you pull your thread through the fabric. It's good therapy!

Thank you for your time,

Photo shows Roz with her Mom, Carol, enjoying her birthday strawberry shortcake.
Photo shows Roz with her Mom, Carol, enjoying her birthday strawberry shortcake.

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