Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Attic Needlework

We have just come back from a wonderful, fun-filled long weekend in Arizona, and couldn't wait to tell you all about it.  Attic Needlework has been hosting Sampler Symposiums (Symposia?) for some years now, and we have been so lucky to get to three of them so far.  And as far as we're concerned, we'll be back for more!

This was a wonderful weekend for a number of reasons.  The speakers and teachers were terrific - the people we met were so fun and friendly, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!  It's been cold here in the Pacific Northwest, so we appreciated the sunshine and 70 degree weather so much!

To say we were thrilled when Jean wanted to feature our sampler (the one that is included in the book Imitation and Improvement:  The Norfolk Sampler Tradition) is an understatement!  This is our first big sampler that we've designed and it's a huge departure for us.  To be honored this way was so wonderful!  And through January, this is the Attic's "Sampler of the Month" which means a 15% discount on the book (as that's the only way to get the chart) if you also buy the materials to stitch it!  How great is that?  This is a terrific program that Jean uses to introduce new samplers, and give her customers a break on the costs!  This discount is for the month of January only - come February, another sampler will be featured, so be sure to jump in now!  And do sign up for her terrific newsletter - it keeps you up on all the fantastic goings-on in her shop!

Becky and I arrived early for the seminar - on Thursday evening.  Friday was to be a "play day".  We met our friend Barbara in the morning for breakfast, and Joanne Lukacher (the author of the book) joined us as well.  This was a wonderful reunion, as we hadn't seen Joanne face to face since 2005!  All our work on the book was done by telephone and email correspondence!  It was so fun to have the day to catch up and shop a little, and find a wonderful out-of-the way spot for tea! Here we have Julie getting ready for a cuppa with a friend... 

Back to the hotel for a 5 p.m. reception - a gathering of all the attendees as well as the teachers and lecturers.  What fun - we see some new faces, and some old friends.  Everyone happy, chatting and ready to share the weekend's adventure!  After a lovely light dinner, we moved to the meeting room to partake of the first offering:  Vickie LoPiccolo Jennett’s  “A Token of Friendship”!  Some will remember this from the cover of the spring 2003 Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly.  Fewer yet will be as lucky as me and have one of these treasured little books!  Mine was sent to me by a dear friend, and I have always cherished it.  I showed it to Vickie as we worked on the project, and she was so charmed that someone had stitched her design and given it, just as intended "as a token of friendship"!  She admired the work and pronounced me a very lucky girl!

Vickie had designed a new piece for the booklet and we could choose to do the original, or the new one.  A pre-stitching kit had arrived a few weeks before the event, and many of us had finished our stitching in time to finish our booklets at the class.  Vickie walked us through the steps and we were all so pleased with our results.  Don't you love mine? 

And look at how Vickie used her calligraphy skills to personalize it for me!  I opted to put both fold-out pieces in my book, as I knew I wouldn't stitch another any time soon.  I love how it looks with both sets of charts in there!

In the morning, we headed back to the room for a day of lectures.  Lorraine Mootz was there to give us a wonderful slide show history of Sajou booklets! (Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread blog has a great write-up on this topic!) This was the companion piece to the charming little booklets we had made the evening before.  There is so much history involved in the development of printed charts for "the masses" - and Lorraine was so interesting as she took us through the many variations and showed us examples of lovely pieces!  

The afternoon had our own Joanne Lukacher giving a power-point lecture on the girls of Norfolk, England, and their beautiful samplers.  What a treat to see the girls we'd now become so familiar with, and see how they are admired by so many of the other sampler lovers in the room!  Wouldn't those little girls be amazed at the fuss being made over them still, 200 years later?  

After Joanne's talk, Lorraine took the floor again to show a fascinating bunch of decorated towels.  We often know them as "show towels" here in America, though they were never called that at the time - that is a name we've made up for them.  And we learned that sometimes, they are called "Parade Towels", with the same thought as "Show Towels" - something to "show off"!  Lorraine took us on a tour through the German, Danish and other European towels, pointing out differences and consistencies, and then finally, showed those that crossed the Atlantic and are familiar to many of us as something the Pennsylvania Germans displayed with pride in their homes.  It was wonderful to see how different and similar they were through history.  

That evening, we had our first glimpse of the Attic's shop for the weekend.  If you have never been to the Attic, it's absolutely a "destination needlework shop"!  Well worth any trip!  Jean and her wonderful staff has lots of samplers lining the walls - gorgeous models of so many wonderful pieces available there.  She had several trunk shows of special pieces, and it was not possible to walk through that store without having several pieces just jump up into your hands of their own volition!  We all came home with a few "souvenirs"!  

The next morning found us gathering for a very special class.  Sherri Jones of Patrick's Woods was going to teach us the "Button Lover's Brag Book" - a fabulous design which can be seen on her website!  

While you're there - check out her blog, and notice the free charts she has for you - we saw models of those stitched up and couldn't believe that the charts for them were free!  Sherri is so generous with her time and talent!  The Button Book has pages and pages of buttons shown at their best!  Sherri makes it easy to personalize our books to feature our favorite buttons from our collections and gave us terrific, step-by-step directions on how to finish the book.  The kit had everything we needed to complete the task except those special buttons, so in case we were wondering where we might find them, Sherri spent part of the day with us giving us a complete history of buttons, wonderful slides of the beautiful buttons she's collected or seen in other collections, and a primer on how to "shop" a button show!  Now that we know what we're looking for, we'll be unstoppable!  

The end of the day came too soon - and Becky and I found ourselves getting ready to leave for the airport at the end of class on Sunday.  A quick flight and we were back in Seattle, wondering where all the warm weather had gone!  It was such a great weekend away, and of course, now we are hitting the ground running to fill orders and work on upcoming projects.

We still have some of the Gilded Swan Boxed sets, 

and have introduced a whole line of Norfolk products to go with the book launch!  Take a look:

We have our own version of the foldout Sajou booklet...

A huswif complete with scissors and wooden thread spool...

A Kaleidoscope Etui...

A Norfolk Pin Keep...

A Horn Book Etui...

and a Magnetic Book Mark.

So do drop in and visit our website - there's lots new to see!


  1. almost feel like I was there with you and the "Queen" :) Is there anything left I can buy?
    I'm always too late. hugs

  2. Oh what a wonderful weekend! I would love something like that! Your things are so pretty too. You and Becky are a very talented team. I love reading about your trips. Thanks for sharing the free charts link too!


We love to get discussions going - please let us know what you're thinking!

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails