For 40 years the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) has been educating its members about needlepoint, now ANG would like to educate others as well.
ANG’s celebration of needlepoint and samplers is a three- year event, coinciding with the annual Seminars in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Coast to coast for the
coming three years, you are invited to join“A JOURNEY WITH NEEDLEART – From the Past to the Future.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Do you have these tools?

These needlework tools were photographed by me in a display case at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I could only admire them; none were taken away in my luggage. Too bad, they are beauties!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Postponement Clarification

“A JOURNEY WITH NEEDLEART – From the past to the future” is an event planned by the ANG Development Committee to be held in addition to the regular ANG Seminar. In no way  is the postponement of the "Journey" affecting the fantastic plans for Seminar 2012 in Philadelphia or 2013 in California. When Seminar 2014 is held in Chicago, the "Journey" will be there, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


“A JOURNEY WITH NEEDLEART – From the past to the future”

After much thought and discussion the ANG Development Committee has made the difficult decision to postpone the August exhibit and auction planned for Philadelphia until 2014 during the ANG Seminar in Chicago.
The “Journey” will continue to be planned and supported through the efforts of many. This is merely a wise detour on this “Journey”; this allows sufficient time to produce fantastic results. The work of the many volunteers who have been planning for months is not wasted. The foundation has been laid and will be maintained to allow the event to be truly spectacular at Seminar 2014.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Forerunner of Today's Purse

The French word, châtelaine, referred to the keeper of the keys to the castle in the Middle Ages. The guard who was responsible for the keys wore the châtelaine at his waist or pocket. In 17th century England men and women wore this decorative ornament on which to hang small household items. Attached to a pocket or waist, they had chains with a swivel hook at the end of each to hang tools which might be needed to perform daily duties. Keys, writing paper, pill bottles, writing implements, scissors, eyeglasses, or a watch are just a few of the items that might be found on a châtelaine.

As pockets became a part of daily attire and coin purses became more common, the châtelaine was repurposed. The châtelaine became more commonly used for sewing equipment, smelling boxes, and watches. The popularity of the châtelaine dwindled at the end of the 19th century as dresses with no waistline or pockets became increasingly more popular.

More recently stitchers have made their own châtelaines on which to hang their scissors, thimbles, needles, and other stitching implements.

To see truly historical châtelaines one needs to visit a fine museum. The pictured châtelaine in this blog is a personal photograph that I took at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do you have one of these?

A few years ago I saw this in a display case in a museum, but I knew that I would never own one myself.

Do you have one?

Monday, March 12, 2012

More Thread Talk by Kathy

Kathy Holman continues her thoughts on use of threads, especially those novelty threads.

Now consider that you want to use the wonderful new thread in a diagonal stitch on 18 count, what do you do? Any thread that is too large to tent stitch on any given canvas size, can be used in a diagonal stitch by doubling the size of the stitch.  Yes, this will distort the canvas under the stitch, but will look fine on the top of the canvas.  Do we really care what happens below the stitching as long as it looks fabulous on the top? Of course not, it’s the finished product that counts.  We adjust to create the look that we want.
Now, let’s look at the threads similar to the six strand embroidery floss.  This encompasses any thread that can be separated into its component parts.  One has to experiment with these threads, every stitcher has their own tension, and the number of strands needed to work a stitch will vary  with each person.  Generally we can say that:

On 14 count, 6-8 strands will be needed

On 28 count, 3-4 strands will be needed

On 24 count, 2 strands will be needed

On 30 count, 2 strands will be needed

On 40 count, 1 strand will be needed

The relationships are now:

If a thread works tent stitch on 24 count, it will take twice the amount to tent stitch in 18 count.

If a thread works tent stitch on 18 count, it will take twice the amount of thread to tent stitch on 14 count.

Always use a needle that is a bit bigger than the hole in the canvas.  Canvas sizing will wear out your thread, so let the needle take the stress.  #20 tapestry needles are easy to thread, and they keep your thread in good condition throughout the entire length.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Novelty Threads by Kathy Holman

Today, we are delighted to have our first guest contributor, Kathy Holman. Kathy, as many of you know, is an accomplished needlework designer and teacher. Kathy is sharing some of her thoughts about threads, ground fabric, and stitches.

Want to stitch with a novelty thread?

There are many times when one has found a particular thread that is the perfect color and/or texture for an element in a design, but it seems to be the wrong size, or it is a knitting yarn that has no reference for needlepoint. There are some standards that can be applied to tell how to use the wonderful thread. The standards that are generally used and readily available are:

Pearl cotton #3

Pearl cotton #5

Pearl cotton #8 and #12

Six strand embroidery cotton (commonly referred to as floss)

We usually have canvas sizes of 14 threads per inch, 18 threads per inch, 24 threads per inch (congress cloth), and then there are evenweave linens and other fabrics for counted thread work, as well as 30 and 40 count silk gauze.

Pearl cotton #3 will tent stitch on 14 count canvas.

Pearl cotton #5 will tent stitch on 18 count canvas.

Pearl cotton #8 and #12 will tent stitch on 24 count canvas.

Looking at new threads, one can compare them to these standards to find out where to start. Let’s say that the project you are working on is on 18 count canvas, and the wonderful thread is the size of pearl #3. We now have these relationships to consider:

If a thread will tent stitch on 14 count, it will do an upright stitch on 18 count.

If a thread will tent stitch on 18 count, it will do an upright stitch on 24 count.

If a thread will tent stitch on 24 count, it will also tent stitch on 30 count, or work upright on 40 count.

To be continued..........