Support This Worthy Cause


Mr. Plath holds his partially completed canvas

One Stitch is a massive needlepoint project taken up by J. Argyl Plath. The actual adjective he uses is “preposterous”. It involves stitching up a 120×240 inch tapestry at 32 stitches per inch. This adds up to 18,526,240 stitches, according to his reckoning (although according to my own calculations, that should be closer to 30 million stitches, but why quibble). He is currently 0.03805% complete as of this posting. He estimates that it will likely take him the rest of his life to complete.

To finance this effort, he has put together a fundraising page on, so that, in his words:

Your support helps me not only pay for the materials for each section, but also to afford to potentially scale back at work and have more time for the project.

The project has its own website at Of course you’re all wondering how much the thread is likely to cost, but I don’t have the patience to do the math right now. If you would like to give it a try, he’s using DMC floss, and from the sound of it, he intends on using every color available. Please post your best estimate in the comment section!

J. Argyl Plath is also managing editor of the Dirty Napkin, a periodical featuring works of poetry and other writing.

Needlepoint Signs Attract Attention

Susannah Breslin, writing on the Forbes Blog, in a post titled “How to Get a Job Without Leaving the House,” writes about the unfortunate circumstances of Mr. Alex. He was out of a job, wanted one badly, but couldn’t get one no matter how hard he tried. Then he had a brainstorm:

That’s when he picked up the needlepoint kit, sewed the sign, and stuck it in the window. To see what would happen. Because the old way wasn’t working anymore.

Did it work? Well, it attracted Susannah’s attention, didn’t it?

And that’s when I turn my head and there in the window of the apartment I am walking past is a sign, and the sign says: Hire Me. I really need a job. Just yell up!

…as for the “Hire Me” sign, it is homemade and has been made out of needlepoint. Whoever is looking for a job had needlepointed their call for employment before propping it up in the window.

If you want to hire Alex, perhaps to do your stitching, you can email him at

Joyce O’Brien Stitches City Scenes

Two articles in the Des Moines Register this week featured the same needlework artist, Joyce O’Brien. Apparently a very patient and gifted stitcher, she created a depiction of city hall, complete with shiny gold rooftops. Follow the link to see it and read more about it.

In a separate article, the writer describes how it took Joyce over 600 hours to create this needlepoint landscape of the Des Moines skyline:

“It’s a very tedious process,” she said of the 3-by-2-foot picture, made from fine wool yarn. “It takes a long time, but I love to see the picture develop.”

O’Brien is currently showing off her work in a show at the Ankeny Art Center. If you’re in the area, definitely stop in for a look.

Needlepoint Chairs at Blair House in Washington D.C.

The national president of the American Needlepoint Guild, Pat Rogers, is pitching in to help restore faded needlepoint chair upholstery at the Blair House, the president’s guest house.

Among the home’s extensive furnishings is a wingback chair with needlepoint upholstery that originally was made by Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter-in-law. In time, the threads faded and became worn by use, and house conservators approached the American Needlepoint Guild in August 2010 about recreating the upholstery.