Tag Archives: needlepoint

Gros Point

Everyday little surprises pop up in my in box.  Products and services that folks are trying very hard to sell and promote.  Sometimes they are quite good and I pass them along.  Yesterday I received a notice that the newest issue of St. Louis Seasons, a regional magazine, was available on line.  “Oh!  I like St. Louis!  I’ll check it out.”


Aren’t there times when things just come to you and all of a sudden you realize why?  One of the features of this month’s issue was on a Ladue resident who makes me look like sloppy seconds when it comes to needlepoint.  She stitches rugs.  Really.  Big rugs and a lot of them.

“When we moved into the house 54 years ago, I couldn’t afford an Aubusson rug, so I decided to make my own.”  That first rug was actually designed and made by someone else, but then the owner began to design and stitch rugs herself.  Fourteen so far.  Some she has made for her own home, but she comes from a long line of women who have acquired things with generations in mind and she has stitched for her children as well.

The top three images are her dining room and the rug pattern was based on her wedding china.  In addition, each chair cushion is stitched with the initials of a family member.  The entry rug is based on a French garden design and the runner, above, features the blooms from her garden as they appear through the seasons.

The first rug took her seven years to make.  Her partner in craft is First and Last Stitch a nationally known (for people who know these things) needlepoint shop.

The rug above and below is her daughter’s dining room and, again, the pattern is based on wedding china.

She says she is never bored and finds stitching soothing and I must say that is part of the appeal for me as well.

This is the daughter’s living room and the pattern was based on Chinese Export pottery that has been in the family for several generations.

When asked how she’s cares for her rugs the daughter replied, “You hope someone spills something and then you don’t worry about it anymore.”

“Everyone should enjoy their things.”  That came from mother to daughter as well, I bet.  To read the text and enjoy the rest of the magazine, click here.
All images courtesy of St. Louis Seasons.  No, really, this time I asked.
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More Still

You know, I thought I was finished, too. I thought I’d had my little run with style icons and their affinity for needlepoint. (You’re kidding, she’s still on this?) I know. But. As I have been stalking the mail slot – my big city friend has had his Elle Decor for over a week – Vogue arrived and offered additional evidence that stitching is bewitching.

Polly Mellen, a fashion editor at Vogue for 28 (!) years with an additional eight years as creative director at Allure is interviewed in the current issue of Vogue by the equally beguiling Marina Rust.
Mellen exclaims, “I am a big needlepointer.” I must agree. She stitched the plaid rug, above, in small squares while biding her time at shoots and shows.

She has a large collection of pillows that she has made based on artists she admires and pieces of her mother’s as well. Rust writes, “in the 1950’s her mother, Leslie Smith Allen, won first price in the world needlepoint exhibition.” Says Mellen, “I miss her, and I will always miss her.”

How I do hope I’m in the garden, serving strawberries, wearing red, talking needlepoint with my granddaughter someday.
Images, Vogue, April, 2009. Photography by Eric Boman.
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“Off With Her Head!”

So could have proclaimed Lucy, a reader with a keen eye, who gave me the heads-up that the pillow used in the Bazaar shoot is available to any and all without toil.  But she didn’t, she just sent me the link.  Simply click here (and pay) and Jonathan Adler would be delighted to send one of these beauties right to your door.

Or this.  Or both!

I will tell you that Adler’s bargello pillows were one of my favorites from the New York Gift Fair in January.

Bright, cheerful, loaded with color and well-executed they would give a pop of color to brighten up any room looking a little down in the heels.

And I know that Katie has already told you, but Adler is giving away the store.  Sort of.  Sign up for his email list and you are entered in a sweepstakes.  You’ll receive the happy thrill of Adler’s updates and a chance to win prizes including a JA $2000 gift card.  That would be happy chic, indeed.
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There was a snappy layout in Harper’s Bazaar recently featuring Sarah Jessica Parker as Diana Vreeland.  This particularly terrific needlepoint pillow was part of the styling.

The inspiration for the photo, above, was chocked full of needlepoint treasures.  

The card pillows would be a breeze to whip up yourself.  Super easy to enlarge a copy of a card, place under the canvas, outline the pattern and stitch away.  Be sure to leave plenty of room around the pattern for finishing as the Studio has gotten after me a couple of times for this.

Needlepoint is a very personal gift, though one of my friends said once, “You should only stitch for someone who needlepoints; no one else will understand what it means.”

I haven’t ever signed a piece, but seeing Vreeland’s stitched signature here is quite endearing.

No time?  No energy?  No interest?  Then follow Vreeland’s lead on parrot tulips which are never a bad choice.
Image, top, Harper’s Bazaar, photograph by Peter Lindbergh.  Other images, House & Garden, May, 1988, photographs by Oberto Gili.
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It’s Inside That Counts

Last weekend was the annual bringing home of the tree and all the excitement that goes with. The boys planned to play hide and seek at the lot.  “I have a lost little boy at the information desk.  If you are missing one, please claim him.”  We were and we did.  It was very cold, which Mr. Blandings enjoys because it make me choose faster.  They all seem to look pretty good as the wind is blowing in your face and your eyes are watering.  Next, add 400 ornaments.  Based on Christopher’s tree I decided what mine had been missing was ball garland.  Better.  Needs more still.

The only thing really missing for the tree trimming was the needlepoint ornaments that I stitch for the boys each year.  They were finished yesterday and I picked them up so they could join the party.  When they were little I chose the design but now they get to pick.  The middle chose his turtle, Custard.

The eldest wanted to memorialize the Chicago trip with the Sears Tower.

And the third, “I am not a baby,” chose a Lego.

They’ve had a lot of fun designing them from year to year and they are fast and easy projects.

So these, and the ones we give on Thanksgiving, will someday be packed up to be hung on their own trees.

I’m worried that the tree will begin to be a little bare.

I could stitch for Mr. Blandings,

but it isn’t quite the same.

Anyway, the tree is up, the frames are out, the stockings are hung.  The big fun will be adding stocking for daughters-in-law and grandchildren someday.  “You forgot.  I’m not getting married; I’m going to be a rock star.”  Oh, maybe next year a guitar.  Or some drums.  I think I’ll stop just short of the hypodermic needle.
(“She sure is talking about herself a lot this week.”  “Be patient. She never stays on topic long.”)
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