In Stitches: Needlepoint

While I don’t make resolutions, I do choose a word each year as a guide. “Intentional” is the one for 2021, and I strive to be intentional about learning to make things, specifically needlepoint.

Jonathan Adler Bestie Worstie needlepoint pillow.

The rainbow array of threads and their textures excite me. But it is the patterns and the people who created them that truly motivate me to give this new hobby a go. Specifically:

  • The cheeky needlepoint pillows of Jonathan Adler. A standout says Bestie on top, Worstie below.
  • The one-of-a-kind gifts my aunts Jill and Linda have made for me. My favorite is a framed piece of a leggy redhead sitting atop luggage with a tiger on a leash and a ship in the background. Goals!
  • The cool canvases my friend Patricia O’Dell has created for her Mrs. Blandings line that are sold in needlepoint stores throughout the U.S., including ones with peacocks, orange blossoms, and famous designers.
Mrs. Blandings Peacocks in Love needlepoint pillow.

“There’s a movement toward fresh and fun in needlepoint,” says O’Dell, versus the complicated, fussy patterns of yesteryear. Still, for her contemporary designs, she looks to antique and vintage fabrics and pottery for inspiration.

“I find the process of stitching to be so soothing,” she says. “It’s almost like meditation.”

O’Dell has encouraging advice for newbies like me on getting started.

  • While it might seem more intuitive to start with a small piece like a coaster, there’s more opportunity in getting the hang of it by working on something a little larger like a pillow. “When you stitch, you’re working on the diagonal and the trickiest part is turning.  A bigger piece gives you more opportunity to get the hang of it.”
  • Seek help from people who work at the needlepoint store. “It’s an incredibly strong community.”
  • Choose a canvas you love. “Just enjoy it!”

Local Needlepoint Shops | 410 E. Gregory Blvd. | 9555 Nall Ave.

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