Pepita Needlepoint is Going to the Israeli Shuk on the Main Line

We are exhibiting our designs and stitched samples at the Israeli Shuk at Adath Israel in Merion Station, PA, on June 1, 2014:

Bring the entire family to visit The Israeli Shuk: The Marketplace on The Main Line, where you’ll experience the sights, sounds, fragrances, and flavors of a Shuk in Old Jerusalem. Buy Israeli products and Judaica, taste popular Israeli foods, enjoy Israeli music and dancing, and connect with non-profit organizations. The children’s area will engage pre-schoolers through teens in Israeli-themed activities, games, story times, craft projects, and dancing. Free admission. Wheelchair and stroller access.

The Israeli Shuk is presented by Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Main Line Reform Temple, Har Zion Temple, Beth Am Israel, Beth David, and Adath Israel, and sponsored by Joseph Levine & Sons, Inc. It promises to be a wonderful experience.

Re-Upholster Vintage Pieces in Needlepoint

Gina writes how she purchased a Victorian-esque bench (costed $6.25 back in 1881), and wants to redo the upholstery in needlepoint. A resourceful woman who isn’t afraid to try new things, she purchased a pre-worked project off eBay, had a friend teach her how to needlepoint the background, acquired some great shades of wool, and off she goes! Read about her unfolding experience at her blog.

The Society for the Prevention of Unfinished Needlepoints

Also known as SPUN, the Society for the Prevention of Unfinished Needlepoints aims to locate all the unfinished works of needlepoint scattered across the world and bring them closure. I read about this fine organization in this article at NewsWorks:

Many people buy needlepoint kits to stitch a image out of colored yarn, and sometimes never finish it. Strange as it may sound, many of those unfinished stitching projects are for sale. Mary Smull buys them.

She then finishes them using plain white thread. Check out her gallery of before-and-after projects. Here is one example, a “before” and “after” formerly unfinished needlepoint of a ship:

While I was adding a caption to the image above the post, it occurred to me that “Mary Smull and the Unfinished Poodle Needlepoint” would make a great title for a cheap mystery novel.

Needlepoint Inspires Chocolate

Needlepoint in all forms can be very inspiring. Witness the source of Whitman’s Sampler candy box design, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

A hundred years ago, Walter P. Sharp, president of Whitman’s candies, was looking for a name for a new sample box of assorted chocolates when — voila! — he looked on his living room wall and saw a framed needlepoint sampler created by his great-aunt. He thought the cross-stitch design of birds, animals and flowers on the linen backing was so delightful that he borrowed the name and design idea for the sample box.

The Ultimate in Needlepoint Appreciation

We once wrote about a valuable needlepoint work that was appraised for $2,500, and then about another fine work that was appraised at a whopping $50,000.

Now try and top this: a needlepoint creation made by a lass back in 1807 was just sold at auction for more than a million dollars! Here is the Art Newspaper with the story:

The top lot was a Burlington County sampler, 1807, by Mary Antrim of a home with farmyard animals selling for $1.1m

And here is Jamie Frevele:

Back in 1807, when a young New Jersey resident named Mary Antrim embroidered the farm scene pictured above, the thought of something like this — a children’s needlepoint sampler — being sold at a fancy auction for just over a million dollars would have been preposterous…But that is exactly what happened — someone bid on and won this 19th century farm house scene, shelling out $1.07 million to own a piece of folk art a kid made to pass the time 200 years ago.

This is some serious needlepoint appreciation, folks. How much will your needlepoint masterpiece sell for, 200 years hence?

Favorite Gift: Needlepoint Wins Again

Dr. Lisa Dana bought a bunch of gifts for her siblings’ kids, but was surprised which of them was the favorite. In her words:

The gifts we thought would be favorites were ignored after the first 5 minutes. [The top favorite gift was] a needlepoint kit for our 8 year old niece. The needlepoint was of a horse, and before the other kids had finished unwrapping, she was fireside asking our youngest for directions on how to get started.

It is a charming little design – see photo – and I could have predicted that it would be the winner. Easily.

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

New Belts at Tucker Blair

A dynamic duo of designers, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, have teamed up with Tucker Blair, the needlepoint belt manufacturer extraordinaire. From the blog post at the New York Times:

Aiming to have you in stitches this summer, Opening Ceremony releases its first collection of needlepoint belts with Tucker Blair, the Washington-based purveyor of the classic preppy pant cinchers.






Today’s Riddle: What is the Most Noticeable Item in Byron Nelson’s Den?

If you guessed a needlepoint, well, duh. Byron Nelson was one of the world’s most famous professional golfers. Peggy Nelson, Byron’s widow, invited fellow golfers to their ranch to look around, and here is something they saw:

The most noticeable item in the den hangs above the mantel. It’s a large needlepoint of the scorecard from Nelson’s 1937 Masters. Joan and Jake Keever, friends of Nelson’s, played golf with Byron many times and, during one round, Nelson decided he was tired of seeing Joan struggle in the bunker.

“After the round was over, he told her, ‘You’re going to go in this bunker and you’re not coming out until you’re doing what I tell you to do,'” Peggy Nelson said. “Byron worked with her for 45 minutes, but she got it. The next year, she won the ladies championship at her club. To thank Byron, she did the needlepoint. It was one of Byron’s favorite things.”

Peggy said it took four months and 377,000 stitches to do it.