Monthly Archives: January 2013

Needlepoint, now!

needlepoint canvas

Design by Needle Crossings

Needlepoint Now is an excellent magazine for picking up new needlepoint ideas and stitching information. The book also has impressive production values, beautiful artwork, and its articles are well written, technically sophisticated, and, best of all, useful.

For example, last summer NN came out with an article featuring a needlepoint adaptation of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA (July/August 2012, vol. XIV, no. 4., p 53-55).  Anne Stradal’s “Making It Simple” column really wowed me. In particular,  I loved the sky that she created using needle blending techniques that incorporated a family of blue DMC embroidery floss.

As you know, if you read my blog regularly, I have this thing about houses:  I love to stitch designs of homes done in classic Americana style.

Now, I had been working on this design by Needle Crossings of a conch house, but was kind of stuck on what to do about the sky. I didn’t want to do a pattern stitch or use an overdyed thread and I wanted it to look realistic.

But then I remembered the article and I thought why not use Anne’s idea for the sky in this piece? After rereading the article carefully and assembling my flosses, I started my little experiment.needlepoint land

I do not have the amount of space that Anne had for her backdrop, so I have done an abbreviated version of what she outlined in her article. I love the way the sky actually makes my little conch house pop. That was an unintended consequence, but one that I am very pleased about.

There are a few things I don’t like about the canvas as it is right now. I did not use a frame (I thought I would stitch it a lot quicker than I did), so it’s kind of crooked.  Some of the silk threads have backed out of the holes and must be re-stitched. And there are some missed stitches and areas of the canvas that I have not gotten to yet.  Oh well, patience’s the thing when it comes to needlepoint.

I really like this idea of needle blending and will definitely use the technique again. It’s great to have  resources like Needlepoint Now to get fresh ideas on how to stitch a canvas.  Anyway, I will put up a nice pic of the finished piece after it’s blocked.

Later, gators.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.


F. R. A. P.


All right.  I admit it.  I’m no-one’s puppy, but I’ve been blog frapping.  Perhaps even blog overfrapping.

It’s coming across as desperate.

Even my friends are mentioning it.

One just called.

She said:  “Erin, I want you to stop.  You’re becoming like Carrie Bradshaw chasing Big.   It’s too much, and it’s really very sad.”

Yeah, right.

A Big blog who never leaves any comments… who never emails… who’s more like a weak stream than a river of traffic.

I’m hurt.

No, devastated.

I need some distance, to re-evaluate our relationship.

How did it ever get to this?

And why do I keep posting?

Why do I keep whining about how Blog the Piddler doesn’t appreciate me?

I can’t take this right now.   I’m having a meltdown.

That’s it.

Time to blow this pop stand for a bit.

I think I’ll turn down the lights in the living room, light a candle, uncork a bottle of wine, and listen to Joni Mitchell sing “don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” all evening.

See you when I see you, Blog.


© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Needlepoint bad boys


Ever wonder what else is out there in terms of sartorial needlepoint gifts for that special man in your life, something a little more adventurous than the usual preppy stitch belt?

Well, shoes are one idea.

For example, you might consider getting him a pair of stunning needlepoint slip-on Golf Crest loafers from Paige.  They are fully lined with soft kid leather, of course.

Can’t you just see the smile on his face as he shows them off at the clubhouse?

Too dowdy and conservative?

How about a pair of slightly used, tiger stripe evening slippers for lounging around the house?  You can purchase these bold cats right here.

Custom Needlepoint Slippers

Just not him, exactly?

Well, then, how about something a little more subdued, yet still quite stylish?

These Alexander McQueen flower-patterned slippers are just the thing for the self-assured, well-heeled man who likes to have a little fun when out on the town.  And they go perfectly with a bespoke tux.

He’ll thank you for them always.

ps  remember:  of course you can always needlepoint your own!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

I am the 99%


This Clay Bennett cartoon appeared in The Chattanooga Times Free Press last August.

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett

With more “fiscal war” dust-ups looming, I wonder if it would still make a good, topical needlepoint canvas?

Make your voice heard on this burning issue in Needlepoint Land’s latest poll!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Another Look List

beauvais tapestry

Tapisserie de Beauvais, c. 1700

“I’m lost!,” says the little girl, in my prized Mary Engelbreit canvas.  I like her so much, in fact, that she’s my avatar on Needlepoint Land.

There are plenty of talented people writing interesting blogs about the craft of needlepoint.  The difficulty is knowing where to find them.

Click below to view another Look List that takes you to a few more outstanding blogs.

Read the rest of this entry