Welcome! Iâ€™m back from TNNA in San Diego and mostly warm. Southern California was having an uncharacteristic cold snap (it was as cold there as here) and, like most folks, I wasnâ€™t dressed for it. For which you could blame San Diegoâ€™s generally consistent climate.
Anyhow, it was a fantastic show and in the one long article Iâ€™ll share with you what I saw and trends I see emerging.
TNNA WINTER 2007 ROUND-UP
TNNA gets bigger every year and thereâ€™s more and more to see. The show floor was so big, it was hard to see everything, and I stayed all three days. I saw great stuff and both designers and attendees were excited about the growing interest in needlepoint.
Barbara Elmore (of Sundance) had what was probably my favorite designs of the show. She has two fanciful chandeliers. One of flowers and one of sea life. The sea life one has an octopus providing the arms of the chandelier and red coral for the top, along with fish, shells, and other fancy stuff. This would be such a treat to stitch.
Lovers of childrenâ€™s literature will be delighted because Silver Needle has licensed the illustrations for Goodnight Moon for needlepoint. There is a stocking, a picture (the bookâ€™s cover) and four round ornaments. If a baby is on the way, this would be a wonderful gift accompanied with the classic book.
Waterweave is new needlepoint company with a witty style. They have a series of needlepoint sweaters which are finished like toppers and come with miniature hangers and stitch guides. Some of the designs include a great cat silhouette, a wonderful Japanese wave, and lots more. They also make some witty animals with carts, wagons and bikes. Each one is different and very clever.
f you are looking for Christmas stockings in non-traditional colors, Tapestry Tent has a set of three stockings mainly in black and white. There is an angel, Santa or and a design without a figure. You need to see them as they are both unique and lovely.
Pamela Hill is a new designer with a clever set of pieces for chairs. There is are covers for the front and back of the chair and a seat cushion. I loved the Noahâ€™s Ark because the seat cushion was under the sea.
DeElda has introduced a series of hearts of the month with stitch guides from Terry Christopher of 2 the Point. These feature many interesting threads, stitches, and embellishments. Happy Heart also has a delightful series of calendar hearts with stitch guides.
There were several designers with canvases which make you want to stitch an heirloom. Sharon G had two glorious sailboat canvas and a series of shapes on black canvas which took your breath away. I loved Leighâ€™s carnivale designs of Venetian carnivale masks on black metallic canvas. They were large and crying out for the best thread and embellishments you can find.
Little Shoppe Canvas is a new designer who has some adorable designs. Every time I passed the booth I saw something else which I loved. There is a great big Easter egg, a wonderful large flower which is a stitch sampler, and another stitch sampler of a Christmas tree. There are great mini-flip flops and a series of fancy cookies and cakes which look good enough to eat. There were also cell phone cases and a needlepoint bowl. What a perfect place for candy!
Susan Roberts has many new quilt designs in all sizes. I just love to stitch these for myself to use up my stash. They make fantastic pillows and thereâ€™s at least one in every color scheme you can imagine. She also has a magnificent tress skirt with Santas and plaid around the tree.
Speaking of tree skirts, the Elizabeth Turner Collection has a great skirt for a table top tree. Itâ€™s made in diamond-shaped components which you can mix or match. Five are sewn together to make a skirt. My favorite panel was the Christmas Criss-Cross puzzle.
Needlepoint Broad has two absolutely delightful series of large canvases. Take Me out to the Ballgame, highlights baseball parks and football stadiums in a great vintage style. There is also a fireworks series which shows fireworks bursting over landmarks like the St. Louis Arch, Independence Hall or the White House. I also loved her state postcards which had scenes which werenâ€™t the expected shots, but were still typical of the states.
Needlework Unlimited Presents has many wonderful Judaic designs. They also have lots of traditional animals but the animals have lots of character and liveliness. I really liked them.
Rosalie Peters has some really adorable 3-D bears. Unlike many of the 3-D animals out there, these are not jointed, so the canvas is just in two parts. They would make great gifts. She also had four shallow 3-D houses. Put up against something like mantel, these would be great decorations.
Dream House Ventures had some great stuff. One was a Celtic knotwork cube, which when finished creates unbroken lines around the box. They will also be adapting the great French Knot designs of Teresa Layman to needlepoint.
A Bradley is one of my favorite designers, who was at the Winter Market for the first time. She had great mini-socks, and delightful mutli-patty hamburger man which was available in two sizes. There was a great Tiffany blue ring box with a big bow and a clever set of 12 Days mini-socks. My favorite thing of all was a very tiny nativity which fit onto one canvas.
Melissa Shirley is always testing the boundaries of what you can do with needlepoint. This year she introduced needlepoint berets. They come in two pieces, the round top and the band and they were just too cool She also added 12 new bracelets, each coming with an interesting glass cabochon as a centerpiece.
Peas of Mind is another new company who makes some lovely contemporary florals. Speaking of florals, Jean Smith had a magnificent close-up of an Iris as a rug. It blew me away.
Juliaâ€™s Needleworks has two sizes of glass jars with needlepoint lids available. The jars com in the pink and green colors of carnival glass. Since the canvases are available with the jars, these make a great gift.
You know the large frogs which can be finished as frameweights? The collection has created a mini size of them, which make perfect pincushions. They are really cute. Keri Designs has a fantastic series of Hawaiian quilt ornaments based on Keriâ€™s own quilt designs. Theyâ€™re great and I want to stitch them all.
For Halloween several designers had great stuff. Melissa Shirley has â€œ13 days to Halloween,â€ a backdrop with 13 pumpkin buttons for the countdown. Sandy Grossman-Morris has three two-side ghosts I loved with various pieces of clothing. There were witchâ€™s stockings, figures. and Halloween designs galore.
For Christmas I saw lots of great things. The Studio has taken their musical stocking and turned it into a mini-sock. Bongo has new mini-socks and a series of needlepoint cubes, 1â€ per side. They come with crystal and semiprecious beads and all the instructions you need to make a beaded tassel and beaded hanger. Just add thread an go. The Point of It All has a fantastic series of state ornaments, based on each stateâ€™s flag. I loved them all. JB Needlepoint has come out with a new twist on the 12 Days of Christmas with the first eight in the series available as either roll-ups or stand-ups.
GailVail has brought out another series of Fancy Carole designs, her self-finishing squares. The corners of these squares are folded back and sewn, making a two-sided diamond ornament. For a different Christmas look, I loved Raymond Crawfordâ€™s â€œbroochesâ€ which reminded me of vintage pins and come in several colors. Stitched in glitzy colors, they would be great on the tree.
Another fun Christmas series is Winnetka Stitcheryâ€™s set of twelve different doors decorated for Christmas or their very small mini-socks. Birds of a Feather has added lots of great ornaments to their line.
Other holidays besides Christmas and Halloween are becoming popular. The Princess & Meâ€™s monthly series is for Easter. Needledeeva has a charming collection of hearts for Valentineâ€™s day. Gimmies has some great hearts for scissors fobs or zipper pulls.
Another big trend is home decor. Kelly Clarke has some wonderful canvases based on her wallpaper and fabric designs. Since we were separated at birth, it will come as no surprise that her paisley piece would go perfectly in my living room — if I had time to stitch it! I rugs are more your line, Shorebird Studio had a stunner. It had realistic African animals all over it and was a treasure.
Paisleys are a big part of home decor and in addition to Kellyâ€™s complex pattern, Winnetka Stitchery has several great single paisleys which would make great pillows.
dede Ogden has made some big changes. Her canvas designs are now distributed by All About Stitching, along with her new pieces, like needlepoint clock faces. She has begun a new venture with her sister, combining knitting with needlepoint. A sweater might have needlepoint cuffs, closure or a collar. Lâ€™Espit de France also had removable needlepoint collars and cuffs on jackets.
Finally Sundance has â€œSunspots,â€ a series of needlepoint cards. Each little canvas comes with itâ€™s own card surround. The fronts were witty, with combos like a runnber duck and the words â€œJust Ducky.â€
Kits are getting more popular and I saw some great things. If your taste runs to oriental rugs and you want to make large pieces on large mesh (7 mesh) look at a new company called Terian. They have pillows and small rugs in kits. The patterns are drawn onto the canvas and are easy to see.
Alice Peterson also has some great kids kits called Canoodles. Some of these designs are sophisticated and would work well for older children.
Cleopatraâ€™s Needle, a British company, came out with a great series of kidâ€™s kits a couple of years back. To this they have added some great kits for slightly older kids and teens. My favorite is a triptych of hot air balloons. They are on slightly smaller mesh and are more sophisticated than their kids kits.
Tapestry Guild is now distributing Elizabeth Bradley kits in the US. Itâ€™s her 20th anniversary and she has aa magnificent rose wreath limited edition kit to celebrate. Itâ€™s much larger than most of her pieces and really magnificent.
Camus imports many lovely kits from the UK. One of my favorites is The Stitchery, which has lots of Arts & Crafts designs. If you like English needlepoint, check them out.
There is lots of thread news, mostly new colors. The Pure Palette has introduced 23 new colors of Soy Luster. Of particular note in this great silky thread are the four new greens and seven new blues, including a lovely greyed navy and some great sky colors. Wiltex, the makes of Vineyard Silk have come out with Vineyard Cashmere. It only comes in black and white, but they will add colors as the market demands.
I really liked Amyâ€™s new colors of Burmilana. I have mentioned them in earlier newsletters, but they looked so much different in person. The argyles are lovely variegated colors, like overdyes. When using two strands, this will give lovely swirls of color,very subtle.
Kreinik had the best thread news of the show — matte metallics! These twelve colors have just a bit of sheen and include a true orange (perfect for Halloween canvases), a lovely gold, and lots more. I was blown away. They come in #8, #12, and #16 with more sizes on the way. Once I get my samples and can play, Iâ€™ll write a blog posting about some of the great ways to use this thread. If youâ€™ve ever wanted to do a metallic background but been worried about dye lot changes, Kreinik has heard you and is now packaging any thread on 50m cones. There are also twelve colors added to #24 braid.
Clover is packaging Leto, a 100% polyester thread on cards for hand embroidery. There are both solids and overdyes.
A new thread company is Valdani, making floss and pearl cotton in Romania. They have a unique dyeing process which creates hand-dyed threads in many different weights, including 6 and 3 strand floss (3 strand for punchneedle), and 5, 8 and 12 pearls. Iâ€™ve used their quilting thread in Temari and their stuff is lovely.
Conjoined Creations, maker of a soy thread for needlework, has come out with 35 soft & subtle overdyes. These colors have variations in shade, not in hue and are used to make realistic shading on canvas. Among the other colors is an outstanding bright green They are just lovely.
Caron has come out with 18 new Impressions colors. Gumnut Yarns has added 10 new colors which fill out some of the families in the line. The new colors of SIlk & Ivory include three colors in the â€œpink cocktail familyâ€ and another great bright green.
Rainbow Gallery has a great new thread, Neon Rays + which is Neon Rays with a bit of metallic in it. Another new thread is Treasure Ribbon, a metallic ribbon for 13 & 14 mesh. It comes in 19 colors. There are twelve colors. They have completed the line of Splendor colors, with 8 more. There are also new colors in lots of other threads.
Custom House has just released the last two kits from Terry Gifford, who has passed away. Tiger Lily and Chrysanthemum have two of her great geometric designs in each pack. There are also four new Finger Step designs.
Sunshine is a new company with a wonderful charted design. Its a complex geometric which is built up from the center. The book gives complete instructions and includes threads for three colorways. It look great.
The Collection has a wonderful purse front in charted canvas.
Looking for a project for the man in your life? Tapestry Guild has striking chess pillow in their charted kit line which is just fantastic. Although the design is charted, everything comes in the kit.
FINISHING & ACCESSORIES
Leeâ€™s Needle Arts has a canvas barrel bag out as well as a round gift box. The box comes in eight colors, including a great bright yellow. The popular round mirror/luggage tag canvas fit these boxes.
My favorite thing of all in the show were the fantastic pendants, earrings, and cuff links from FAS-Stitch. These clean, brushed aluminum rectangle and squares hold a piece of needlepoint to make a wonderful piece of jewelry. You buy the kit (which has their canvas) or the finishing (which does not include the canvas) and they finish it with their patent-pending process and send it back to you. I just couldnâ€™t get enough of these designs. Currently besides their own designs, Associated Talents make initials to fit their frames and JP Needlepoint makes several other designs. Expect to find more companies getting involved soon.
Finally I also saw an exciting product for Kumihimo (Japanese braided cords). Called Kumihimo to Go, the starter kit comes wittily packaged in a small pizza box. It includes a round foam disk which takes the place of the expensive (and traditional) wooden strand. The foam grips all kinds of materials securely, from thick chenille to pearl cottons. The starter pack comes with bobbins for the cord several yards of cord and instructions. If youâ€™ve been hankering to try this technique, this is a great option.
Several years ago I started hearing the words â€œnot your grandmotherâ€™s needlepoint.â€ But your can really say that now. Although there are traditional needlepoint designs out there, there are now so many which are different and witty. Even something as simple as a floral now has grace and charm which often was lacking. Artists of all kinds are flocking to needlepoint as it grows in popularity. Even better, they bring their artistic vision to their designs.
This is wonderful for us as stitchers because it adds so many more options for our stitching. We can find pieces for any occasion, for any style. While at any time, some styles will be more popular than others, I was so delighted by all the great needlepoint I saw.
The market seems to have responded to the two types of needlepoint people like best. On the one hand, smaller pieces predominate. These are projects for evenings watching TV, plane trips, or waiting in the car for the kids. On the other hand there are showcase pieces which will be treasures handed down for generations, like the magnificent needlepoint rugs and tree skirts.
This gives us such an abundance of choices.
Another trend I noticed last year, which is growing, is the recognition by the designers that stitchers want ideas and the designers are in a great position to provide them with these ideas. Stitch guides were rare a few years ago, but they are becoming more and more common. I get the biggest kick out of seeing the models at the shows, and guides are a way to share this.
Needlepoint is clearly at the start of an upswing, with new designers and new shops. Itâ€™s an exciting time to be stitching.
DIDNâ€™T FIND WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?
If you want a particular type of needlepoint and didnâ€™t find mention of it in the round-up, email me (napaneedlepoint @ gmail.com – remover spaces) — the chances are good that I saw something but didnâ€™t have space to mention it.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Do you want to maximize the fuzz on Fuzzy Stuff? Do the opposite of what youâ€™ve been trained to do, go out the dirty hole and in the clean hole. The rough handling of thread against thread will bring out the fuzz. I learned this from one of the students in my class.
That’s it for now, I don’t think I got everything, so expect new postings in news & notes for awhile.