Monthly Archives: May 2012

Manhattan Skyline


Here’s another deconstructed / reconstructed needlepoint canvas gallery.

This time, it’s S. Gilmore’s Manhattan Skyline.

It’s not difficult to imagine a canvas, like this one, forming the basis of an interactive jigsaw puzzle game, where a child or young adult moves randomly mixed pieces around, on a tablet computer or smartphone, to create a unified needlepoint image.  Mazes made of gorgeous mandala canvases also seem like a cool idea.

Zynga, eat your heart out!, 2012 – 2016.


More Silly Mandala Tricks


Keep your eye on the innermost square.

Now if you click on the gallery, real fast, you can actually watch Eileen Best’s beautiful Mandala spin.


And totally addictive!, 2012 – 2016.

Stairstep Stitch Tutorial


Also just added a new needlepoint stitch tutorial in the How To menu option, and linking to it in my famous “No Frills” Stitch Guide for Mr. Owl.   The guide, btw, is almost ready, just proofing it one last time, at this point.  The canvas image in the tutorial came out a little gigantic, but I think it’s part of the DIY charm of it all!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Parisian “2-1-2” Stitch Tutorial


I’ve added a new stitch tutorial in the How To menu option.  I’m linking to this in my now extremely famous “No Frills” Stitch Guide for Mr. Owl (which is actually a .pdf doc).  I’m sure this stitch has a standard name, but I couldn’t think of it off the top of my head, so it was simpler just to make up my own, and show exactly how I do this particular stitch.  It’s not fancy-schmancy, or anything, as tutorials go, but gets the job done!


Panther on a Tree


Sometime one’s passion for needlepoint stitching can spill into other areas of one’s life.  I know it has in mine.  For example, as readers of my blog know, I absolutely love Florida panthers, specifically, and big cats in general.

The biggest concentration of panthers can be found in Collier County, about 170 m. due southwest from where I live.  I also think there’s one that hangs out in the preserve area that’s right next to our house, but my husband is somewhat skeptical of what he terms a “theory.”  I know I saw one running across the road, one rainy night, like a rocket.

At any rate, there’s a National Florida Panther Refuge Park, by Collier County, near Big Cypress, at the top of the Everglades.   You can walk along a trail that is open to the public, and if you are lucky, you might spot one.  Unfortunately, there are only 160, or so, panthers left in the entire state.

Sadly, three panthers have been killed from being hit by cars, so far, this year.  Go here, and here, to read all about it, and learn more about these beautiful cats.

Recently, I asked my brother, Max, to draw one for me, so that I could stitch a custom needlepoint canvas of a Florida Panther.

Nothing fancy, just a pseudo-naïve art experiment, to show my readers how to  go about creating as simply and cheaply as possibleunique needlepoint canvas on a favorite subject or theme, using simple DIY technology that is available for free, on any Windows computer, coupled with maybe a little visit to the nearest office services store, and a few other, inexpensive little shortcuts.  After all, there’s nothing wrong with taking your creativity in needlepointing in a new direction, and being thrifty about it in the bargain.

Max was nice enough to draw me an illustration right away.

Stay tuned, as I intend to keep everyone posted about how this project comes along. I’m sure it will be lots of fun, and who knows, I might end up marketing it (or future iterations of this concept) as a benefit to Florida Panthers, or whatever, and maybe even write up a guide or two, should the resulting canvas turn out halfway decent.  Stranger things have happened.  We’ll see how it goes, easy-peasy, Florida-style, in upcoming posts.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ve enjoyed the little gallery of closeups, taken from the original of Max’s quick-and-dirty sketch.  By the way, I haven’t given this panther a nickname yet, and there’s still plenty of time for suggestions!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.