November Blog

Since writing my last blog in July many things have changed.  I think we all hoped that the contagion rates would continue to fall and hopefully, September or early October would begin to show some normality in our lives.

Sadly that was not to be, in fact, it is unlikely to be normal by Christmas or even further away;  other countries are
similarly affected and the prospect of a lockdown in a British winter is not good!

However, for us who enjoy stitching or indeed any craft making beautiful things, many aspects are positive, we are very lucky.  My plan to keep a record of stitching during lockdown is progressing;  the exhibition to share these pieces will have to be postponed but it is not forgotten - so please continue to send me details and photos of anything you are doing.  I love to hear from you and will add your information to my records.

So far the projects you are stitching range from one American friend finishing more than ten pieces plus two fresh cushions for new grandchildren.  Another has finished 'Spring Flowers' that she started in my class in Washington more than 25 years ago.  Since the original so many exciting new threads are available, she replaced some of those in the original kit with the new silks and overdyed flosses making it even prettier.   Others have made a start at Christmas Stockings, both regular size and small to hang on the Tree;  one student makes an additional mini stocking for each member of her family each year; she has already made a good start on this year's list

In my last blog, I described the enthusiasm for bright colours and small projects, this has continued, but in addition, a number of you have had beautiful painted canvases;  one butterfly panel has been completed to be followed by a second companion piece, different butterflies but a similar size.

I remember some years ago we moved out to remodel our apartment and with 6 months in a comfortable rented

home, I worked a large panel inspired by a David Hockney painting 'Mulholland Drive, the road to the Studio'  I had fallen in love with this painting at his London exhibition and did it entirely for my own pleasure and personal display at home.  My panel measures 22 x 48 inches and was worked in a mix of crewel wools, silks and overdyed floss.    So far none of you has told me of working on such a large project, please tell me of anything similar that is underway.

However, my recent enquiries have revealed that many of the custom-making up services are either inundated with work or, indeed have had to refuse any new commissions at least for now. No doubt the run-up to Christmas will be even busier.

One of the great things about needlepoint is getting together in small groups, having a 'show and tell' which of course is not easy at present.  However, during the warmer weather, I have held small classes in the garden and plan, when allowed, to have classes (max 4 people) here this Autumn.  At present, I am recording names of you who might be interested rules and regulations allowing.  Do register your name with us. Am looking for an efficient patio heater  which should help!

We did go to Italy in September and were just so pleased to have gone.  A few decided not to come, mainly concerned about the travel, but those who came took three different carriers - depending on where they were travelling from - and all our possible fears were set aside and, of course, when we were at Pirapora (13th visit at least) they took every possible care for everyone's safety  The sun, good food and company did us all tremendous good.

Back in August, we had a local kerb-side exhibition which was fun.  Held on a sunny Sunday afternoon, local craftspeople, painters, photographers, embroiderers made their own display on garden railings that could be viewed from the street.   A map was available to show who and what they were showing.  I made a display on my front steps that could be viewed from the gateway and made some lovely new friends.  I hope they might do it again.

With the infection numbers increasing dramatically in many countries as well as in parts of the UK I have introduced a regular Needlepoint Forum, once a fortnight on Zoom.  When choosing a name for these informal get-togethers I liked the idea of a forum;  on looking it up in my dictionary - 'a marketplace in Rome, an open-air meeting place to discuss topics of interest to the public' I thought it even more appropriate!

We had our first one this week, at 2pm BST  to enable friends from the US and Europe to join us. Seeing friends, 
having not seen some for more than 10 years was so exciting and hearing their stitching news. Better still, our clocks in the UK have fallen back this weekend so we are only 4 hours different from the East Coast.

Each session will have a theme, discussed and agreed at the previous one. On the 4th November, there will be a Christmas theme, everyone will be encouraged to show and tell the group ideas for presents and decorations.   Already people have told me of exciting ideas they are prepared to share including some amazing Christmas Tree Skirts.
Please tell me if you would like to share some of your ideas so time can be allowed.
This Forum is open to everyone, there is a small charge for the 3 remaining sessions before Christmas of £15.00 or $20.00 and can be paid by a simple bank transfer.  Send you details, email, name and location to and we will send you all the necessary information.    We plan to record each session so should you miss one we can send it to you included in this fee. 


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