Monthly Archives: March 2012

This bootie is made for walking


Basketweave, T-stitch background, threads include Splendor, Petite Very Velvet, Flair, Crystal Braid, Sprinkles, with Mill Hill beads

It’s that time of year again… which reminds me of the Texas bootie I stitched for Christmas.

I’m certainly very excited about this year’s Destination Dallas.

The official attendee list is a real who’s who of American needlepoint, and I bet there’ll be some faaaaaaabulous new canvases by some of the top designers in the business, not to mention the great classes taught by world-class stitchers.

It’ll be wonderful to see old friends, and meet new ones.  I’ll be taking my trusty digital cam, as a special treat for readers of Needlepoint Land, and will put up pics, when I get back, early next week.

In the meantime, y’all take care, now, hear?

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.


Pink Flamingos



This canvas design reminds me of an attractive Visit Florida tourism poster: pink flamingos, oranges, beaches, and plentiful sunshine.

The canvas is 18-mesh mono. I think the flamingo would look lovely if stitched in hot pink Gumnuts “poppies,” combined with a whispy thread, such as Fuzzy Stuff, or Petite Peluche.

I would use the Nobuko stitch for the sand, and, just for excitement, a bargello variation for the ocean, in a sparkly thread like Petite Sparkle Rays. A sparkly woven stitch in a bright green metallic might work nicely for the palm leaves.

But while this design is fine and dandy for the tourist crowd, sometimes what you really want to see is what Florida used to be like, before all the marinas, condos, and million dollar homes on the water.

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The Turtles Are Coming


HP Designs

Turtle season feels early this year.

Near where I live is the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.

This is a Federal preserve, so it’s protected from development.  I like that.  No high rises on the beach here.  And no artificial lights to confuse the little baby turtles when they hatch.

All that lives in this area are wild sea and coastal birds, osprey, eagles, crabs, snakes, and a variety of small animals you never see, who hide in the native vegetation, past the high dune mark.  This beach is where my beloved turtles come every year to dig their nests in the sand.

Let’s go see.

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Why I live Here


Thought I’d sneak in a quick whimsy post.

I like to occasionally visit a hidden-away strip of pure white sugar sand beach on the Intercoastal near where I live.

Yesterday, I was coming back from such a visit, and ran into a lady wearing a badge and carrying a small plastic bucket full of water.  It had tiny things swimming in it.  At first, I couldn’t tell what they were.  But then, I saw that each one was a perfect miniature sea-horse.  They were, in fact, baby Atlantic Lined Seahorses.

Of course they made me think immediately of two canvases I have in my stash.

Nan Hemple

Melissa Shirley Designs

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A fish out of water


Made by Laila

This is a picture of a fish trinket that my husband brought back from a diving expedition off the Sinai coast in Dahab on the Red Sea.  It was made from bugle and seed beads by a 10-year old Bedouin girl named Laila.

To help support their large and extremely poor families, girls like Laila run up and down the beach in Dahab in small groups, selling hand-made arts and crafts items to divers from around the world.  They do this until the age of 14, or so, when they are usually married off, and are rarely seen in public again, unless veiled.  But all that is another story.

I have a brief announcement to make.

Like most blogs, Needlepoint Land has been an unpaid labor of love.  I hope I’ve succeeded in conveying my deep passion for the art of needlepoint.  Judging by the upward trend in visitor counts, and favorable comments that viewers have been kind enough to leave, Needlepoint Land has been well received outside of my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances.

Yesterday, for example, the number of views exceeded by 50 per cent the prior all-time single day record for people visiting this little nook of Irish blarney and stitching.  Overall traffic is doubling every two weeks.  People are continuing to read older features, posts, and click through the various galleries.

But while the best things in life might be free, it’s now time to refocus on my professional activities in this field.

Look for additional updates, soon.

In the meantime, if you are new, or returning to this blog, please enjoy what has already been posted.  There is much more coming down the pike, and it ain’t no blenny (sorry, ichthyology joke:  no doubt a holdover from my Museum of Natural History days).



© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


For those of you just finishing up with the grand parade on 5th Ave in New York, what a better way, unless you’re stuck up on a lamppost, to spend the rest of St. Paddy’s day, a pint of  Guinness in hand, with some good friends, listening to a recording of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem sing Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go.  So New York.  So Ireland.

Try to listen to it, without tearing up.  If your heart is truly Irish, it’s impossible.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Swimming with the Fishes


Artist Unknown

I stitched this canvas on the island of Manhattan during a really cold winter, as I was waiting to vacation in Anguilla, or someplace on the islands.  It’s a cross-stitch design that makes a great gift idea for your favorite scuba or snorkeling fanatic.  It might even look funky on the wall in a dentist’s waiting room, instead of the usual bubbling tank with Japanese gold-fish.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.