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Just got back late, late last night from Destination Dallas.  Just missed that terrible twister that did so much damage; I certainly hope everyone else got back safely.

Had a really wonderful time, except for losing my cell phone on the plane upon landing, and having all kinds of problems with my room key.

Luckily the airline’s Lost and Found called me, and it turned out I am not the only one who loses cell phones on airplanes:  when I eventually turned up at the Lost and Found desk, they had three boxes full of them, and a separate one for iPhones.  Many thanks to the kind stranger who found my cell phone and turned it in!

Other than that, it was wonderful show… the dinner was fabulous, the classes I attended were informative; and I really appreciated the opportunity to sit down in a one-on-one setting with famous designers, stitchers, vendors, as well as the chance to meet and exchange ideas with other needlepoint retailers.

Anyway, I only have time here to put up a quick pic of some of Denise’s interesting canvases, as I have to run and take care of some things today.  I don’t know about you, but I find the visuals of Day of the Dead (a celebration which in Mexico takes place on November 2) themes quite appealing… and I bought a number of canvases this year that I am sure I will have a lot of fun with,  I look forward to creating stitching guides for these, stitching some of them, and, of course, selling those I can bear parting with.

Dia de los Muertos art  has long been popularized by the work of various Mexican folk artists, including the great Jose Manuel Salas, and in literature of course was the basis of Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, one of the finest novels ever written in the English language.

Well… gotta go… expect much more news, and lots of pics, later in the week.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

This bootie is made for walking


Basketweave, T-stitch background, threads include Splendor, Petite Very Velvet, Flair, Crystal Braid, Sprinkles, with Mill Hill beads

It’s that time of year again… which reminds me of the Texas bootie I stitched for Christmas.

I’m certainly very excited about this year’s Destination Dallas.

The official attendee list is a real who’s who of American needlepoint, and I bet there’ll be some faaaaaaabulous new canvases by some of the top designers in the business, not to mention the great classes taught by world-class stitchers.

It’ll be wonderful to see old friends, and meet new ones.  I’ll be taking my trusty digital cam, as a special treat for readers of Needlepoint Land, and will put up pics, when I get back, early next week.

In the meantime, y’all take care, now, hear?

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

Needlepoint Land Matches Record

Eternal clock

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Needlepoint Land equalled its own record for the top number of page views in a single day.  The blog site recorded well over a hundred page views.  Judging by the declining number of hits in the About section, it is likely that there is large percentage of repeat visitors.

To give our user base some idea as to the preferences of the site’s visitors, we studied the Stats provided by WordPress.  About 15 per cent of the traffic went to Dancing Pencils,a one-off embedded Youtube video that has nothing to do with needlepoint.

The rest was evenly divided between looking at galleries, and reading the relatively shorter posts.  Posts with provocative titles enjoyed more traffic.  Only 3 per cent of the traffic went to the prestige Features section.  The satirical posts did particularly well.

Read the rest of this entry

Save Me the Waltz


Erin's Vintage Collection

It’s time to start focusing on the looming gallery situation.

My “studio” is ready.  It’s actually the spare bedroom, which is a bit of mess, to put it mildly.  I plan to organize my stash and finished canvases there, and  most importantly, take pictures of them.  I don’t have a tripod or a professional camera, so this ought to be rich.  Now this is not going to happen overnight, as I actually also have a storage space I rent that also has needlepoint canvases and finished pieces in it.  So I’m going to pick, and choose, over time, what to put in my galleries.

The flapper canvas in this post is actually something I bought.  I like to rescue old needlepoint canvases.  I don’t know the name of the artist who created it, nor the person who stitched it, but it’s an old Gemini kit.  I like old-fashioned canvases, so I’ll just throw this in my Vintage Collection, along with the I’d Rather be Stitching one in the previous post.  Whoever stitched the Flapper piece did a beautiful job, especially on her turkey work stole.

Like most stitchers, I have tons of stuff laying about.  Some of my stash is hanging in a closet, and some are in plastic storage bins.  I am going to try to come up with some sort of ordering scheme for all this stuff, and it’s going to take time.

I also have quite a few finished pieces.  I generally have these wrapped up in cloth.  Old pillowcases, small towels, or even acid free paper come in handy, just to keep the dust off them, unless they’re behind glass in my display armoire, or framed and hanging on the wall.

Anyway, this is what to expect around here for the next few weeks, less daily posts for now, and more needlepoint pics going up, so if you’re interested in taking a look at some of my stuff, drop in from time to time.

So a heads up to you, dear visitors:  I’m adopting a two-times-a-week posting schedule, most likely Saturday and either Tuesday or Wednesday, and ditching this daily posting business, which is, quite frankly, a major grind.

Life is short.  There’s tennis to play, and stitching to do!

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

The Skinny on the Basketweave Stitch


Today’s entry is a page that describes how to do the Basketweave Stitch. I’ve added it to the How to Do drop down menu.  Once you get the hang of it, the stitch is not difficult at all — if you just follow the diagram provided, you should be well on your way.

One thing to keep in mind about this stitch is that it works with the weave of the canvas better than the Continental, creating far, far less distortion.  Distortion is when a canvas becomes skewed.  The Continental can end up requiring a great deal of blocking by finishers to re-shape the canvas.  So, for needlepointers who don’t want the hassle of learning pattern stitches, this is the one you really want to try to learn.

A useful tip is that the best type of needlepoint canvas is interwoven. For some reason, this is called mono canvas.  Often, manufacturers of needlepoint kits use a cheaper canvas called interlock, and you will not see the “stairs” and “poles” (as I’ve described them on the Basketweave page) in this type of canvas.  But, you can still use the same basic principles, and pretend that they are there.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.

WP’s nifty blog topic search machine


Go to the Read Blogs section (I am not sure if you must be logged-in as a user to get there, but it’s deffo there), look under the left-handed column which lists topics you’re interested in, and look for a topic listed as Needlepoint, or add it (if you don’t see it, in the box provided).

I saw a number of sites that I am going to look at, later, but first I’m going out for a while to take a New York canvas I just stitched to the frame shop.

In the meantime, take a look at these two lovely arabesque cross stitch designs.


As mentioned by Alister7, of thebargellist blog fame, these designs are sourced from an extremely interesting book called Palestinian Embroidery Motifs: A Treasury of Stitches 1850-1950, by Margarita Skinner. I found a lovely video about the book on Youtube. You can watch the video here.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.