Golden Thread Needlearts, East Rochester, NY

East Rochester Needlearts Store

Behind those doors are hours of needleworker Nirvana!

When I first joined the Rochester Chapter of the Embroiders’ Guild of America, I learned about this shop. It is staple for EGA and American Needlepoint Guild members of the area, as well as the solitary stitcher. I can honestly say all stitching needs are met here!

There is an abundant sampling of countless thread types suitable for needlepoint, crewel, any form of embroidery or surface arts. There are a number of walls loaded with instruction books for all these art forms as well as a special rack for the newest and/or most popular texts. Tools and buttons and frames and trunk shows and samples of completed works fill all remaining space including the glass showcase counter in the center of the store. There is a separate fabric cutting area and a corner in the very back devoted to framing needs for your treasures. And that’s just the “stuff”.

Whenever I have a question the very busy staff answer it completely and in turn. (I think this is important, some shops tend to give all their attention to the frequent and familiar shopper or let familiar people interupt. Those sorts of shops will not find their names on this blog!) When I have seen a finished piece somewhere all I have to do is describe it and the owner (Andrea Kelly) walks right to where that obscure little packet is filed. Case in point. I saw a set of blackwork “Alice Through the Looking Glass” pieces framed in another shop. That shop did not have the patterns available. (Why showcase a piece you can’t sell the pattern for?!) When I described the piece, the Andrea put a couple different patterns from the line in my hand. I walked out with what you see on the right.The needlepoint in the heading area was my first attempt at needlepoint. The Andrea helped me pick out the materials every step of the way. And did not make me feel stupid, either. You see she’s a stitcher, too. Once I walked in and she was repairing a sampler that was dated in the 1800s! She let me touch it! I get shivers just thinking about it. But that’s how good Andrea Kelly is.

Nostalgic Needle Pattern

“Off with her head!” by Nostalgic Needle

Golden Thread Needleart Choices

Tough choices must be made!

On my last visit before we hit the road, after she had helped me with my purchase, I asked Andrea my questions. What color, what fiber, what stitch? No one so far has had as much trouble as she did! I felt like I was asking her to name her favorite child. Sacrilegious! In fact, she really balked at doing this. Finally, though, Andrea revealed that that she liked vibrant earthy colors that spoke of life. She named a couple fibers that had the quality that she liked. I picked out several possibilities with these descriptions in mind. This is the selection. No, Andrea absolutely could not choose just one! And there are special directions for the working!Caron’s Watercolours in #144 Pomegranate should be stitched (on 18 count mono canvas) as the flat stitch in Criss-cross Hungarian stitch and Rainbow Gallery’s Fyre Werks #FT26 for the crossed part of the Criss-cross Hungarian. Actually Neon Rays Plus was the first choice for the metallic fiber, but the colors on hand just didn’t work as well with the overdyed floss.

It’s very clear why stitchers return again and again to this stitcher friendly shop. You should put it on your “To Visit” list, too!

Expressions in Needleart: Canandaigua, NY

This past weekend, I “needed” to get some fibers for the ANG National nametag design I want to submit.  We happened to be visiting my partner’s kids–the first time we’ve seen all the grandkids together!  It was lots of fun to see the lifetime relationships begin to develop.  But I digress!

Biz Card and Lori's Choice

Click on pic for close up!

I’ve always wanted to check out Expressions in Needleart as members of the Rochester EGA Chapter frequently spoke of “going to Lori’s.”  It sounded like lots of fun as they would include going to lunch and visiting Suzanne’s shop, too.  (She is an EGA member and has a shop devoted to rug making.)  Canandaigua itself is a wonderful little community with fine dining and access to local vintners.  If you love Victorian type villages, you must try to visit here.  The buildings and main street make you feel like you’ve entered a different time and should be wearing billowy skirts and charming hats while looking for a trolley to take you back to the Spa.  I wished I had a sketch pad with me so I could draw some of the building adornments that would look lovely in a piece of blackwork.

It was exciting walking into the shop as the display in the windows got the drooling going.  But even before that, the white adirondack chair outside the door grabbed your eye.  It had a blue lake scene type painting on the lower part and was a prize in a community fundraising raffle.   While there, a couple came in specifically to get tickets for the chair.  They, surprisingly, needed to be reminded to put their on the tickets!  Maybe their minds were boggled by all the goodies to look at, too!

What especially caught my eye was the Kathy Rees pieces hanging on the wall.  It was great to see Galaxy up close and personal. I so enjoyed watching Jan Sprague complete hers in a personal color scheme.  Funny, but I thought the piece would be larger.  Maybe it’s the name.  Another favorite Kathy Rees piece that I got to oogle was “Oh, My Stars.”  That’s on my  “wish list,” too.  Lori had a wide variety of Needle Delight Patterns on hand.

Designed by Kathy Rees

Galaxy

Also designed by Kathy Rees

Oh, My Stars!

Lori also has all the threads you could possibly need to complete these and anything else you might have in your UFO pile.  On top of that there are cool tools to choose from, too.

If you’re like most, you have more than one craft love.  If your other love is knitting, you’re in luck because Lori has a nice supply of knitting supplies and yarn to choose from as well.  In fact, I am trying to learn Domino Knitting and must go back to Expressions in Needleart to pick out a nice heavy cotton to doodle up some Domino Potholders.

So, the bottom line?  Lori was no different than other shop keepers.  When asked her favorite thread and color, she wandered around a bit.  Then narrowed it down to silks, her favorite to work with.  It was a toss up, but Gloriana won her over–for today!  And the color?  One of my favorite fruits–Granny Smith Green.  That would be number 053 Gloriana.  And the stitch?  Well, lately Lori has been doing a lot of T Stitch.  That’s cool, I like T Stitch.  But that’s not going to be the stitch for 053 Gloriana.  This thread is going to be dressed in style in the lovely Nobuko Stitch.  I can hardly wait to stitch it.  But this  sampler is no where near ready to go.  Until it is, I think I’ll work up a sample for my Stitch Guide Notebook that I started with the Stitches For Effect Class I’m taking through Shining Needle Society.  (Although, I’m thinking I’d like to try Sharon B’s Stitch Worksheets model.)When I get back to Expressions in Needleart, I’ll try to get photos of the shop if okay with Lori and post them when I post my sample of Gloriana 053 in Nobuko Stitch–unless you send a pic of yours first!

Works in Progress

I’m all over the place these days.  I’ve got my three blogs I am trying to get beyond infancy.  Only one is ready to walk, Blackwork Lessons.  I’ve finally figured out just about everything I need for right now, except the tag and category stuff along with promoting.  My site for the dogs, Sight Sniffing, is really still waiting to be born.  I’ve gone through about four themes for that one, but I think the one I’ve settled on will work nicely.  Now just to get into content which will be mostly photographic.

I think the next step that is necessary for success is to develop a schedule of when I will sit down and update each blog so they each stay current.  It’s hard to do because I am so focused on blackwork and design right now.  That is not to say that I’m not doing other stitching.  I am.  But, I am committed to writing a book that will be called Blackwork Lessons.  And my head is wrapped all around what the book will look like and include as well as getting permissions from other artists to be able to include some of their work because no one can do it better.  Like the Skinner Sisters.

Nonetheless, I’ve started these three blogs and I must care for all of them.  I will start this one with an update on Works in Progress.  I am working on Carol Leather’s Blackwork Chessboard which is a sampler of fill patterns shaped into a chess board.  I am also working on Kathy Rees’ Amazing Color sampler.  Amazing is an understatement.  Just got the third set of instructions from the Shining Needle Society class being run by Robertson and Howren called Stitches For Effect:  Climb Every Mountain.  I have two name tags to complete for two ladies who will be instructors at ANG’s 2012 Seminar in Philadelphia.  Then there’s that piece I want to give to Mom for Christmas.  (It’s okay, still a secret–she only uses a computer for playing games!)

I’ve just downloaded a new (to me) software (open source) that will allow me to use the same system Kim Brody Salazar uses and describes in her blog, String or Nothing.  A little stuck right now, but tomorrow’s another day.  Today I started a database on my Blackwork Lessons Yahoo group to list symbols found in stitching as I came across a couple Mayan references while reading the HandEye newsletter.  Also wrote a note to self to start a database to include cool sayings I’ve found that would be great on samplers so I can finally throw all those little slips of paper away!  And I need to start a poll to see if the yahoo group wants to have an online meeting in October.  That’s when I had originally planned to unveil my own blackwork sampler creation.

So, I haven’t been avoiding you, dear Shop Sampler!  Just too disorganized to give you the time you deserve.  I’ll be better.  Promise!