Needlepoint Update

I see my reading public does not care to comment about my renewed passion for needlepoint. That is just going to make me try harder.

Look at this beautiful thing!


This whole needlepoint thing re-started with the idea that when I move to Florida later this year God Willing, I’ll have a decorating do-over. Or Life Do-Over. Either one will suit. And so I started making plans for the pillow pile on a big curved sectional (of butterscotch colored leather if such a thing exists and maybe I’ll even cover a frigging chair) but since it’s FLORIDA, why not make something with a coastal/seashore theme? And so this beautiful thing and maybe one of its companion pieces hits every mark I’m looking for in terms of color, design and complexity. But the kit to make it is $230.00!

TWO HUNDRED THIRTY DOLLARS PLUS SHIPPING PLUS FINISHING COSTS. Which is insane. And yet, I still want it. Perhaps the more level headed among you are thinking Gee, Suzette – why don’t you finish or at least start the little eBay kit you plan to use as a test to see if the act of needlepoint still appeals to you? Or perhaps even get through the subsequent 8 or so pieces you’ve already identified as crucial to your future happiness. That is not the point. The point is examining every aspect of the thing that is keeping my brain busy – not actually taking any definitive action. Although if any one of you says go ahead and buy this, I probably would do it with the next keystroke.

The choice is yours: respond to my needlepoint musings now or bear the increasing intensity until you do. Actually there’s a third choice here: we can delve into the deepest details of Luci Baines Johnson’s 1996 White House Wedding. Would you like that better? I don’t think so.

22 thoughts on “Needlepoint Update”

  1. Floriduh? As I scratch my way out of the state, you make plans to move here? Well, there’s a certain symmetry to that… I used to needlepoint about 40 years ago. Wouldn’t know how to start it again, but good luck!!

  2. Once again…if only you could come to my antique store, I could retire. For a while, I had boxes and boxes filled to the brim with needlepoint kits….most of them new, some half started. I couldn’t sell them to save my soul. I could barely give them away. Alas, they are gone now in dumpster heaven.
    Where were you when I needed you?!

    1. It was shocking to me to take a recent stroll though a crafts store and see that dopey latch hook kits survived consumer taste trends but needlepoint kits did not. I think this is going to make the surviving needlepointers an elite and envied segment of society. I think.

      You and I do have the same opinions about what makes a desirable collectible. We differ only in opinion about where to wave our bewbs around.

  3. I never did needlepoint, so can’t really comment on that. Latch hook; I made one small pillow with a panda on it. Have no idea what happened to it. I recently had carpal tunnel surgery on both my hands, so now can start crocheting afghans again. Embroidery, my Mom made me learn at 6. But no needlepoint. As for Florida, I grew up in Florida; lived all over the state. A butterscotch leather sofa is not recommended unless you plan on running the air conditioner year round. Why Florida? No/low humidity out west.

  4. I was big into needlepoint back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It was expensive then but has definitely increased in cost exponentially. I made Christmas stockings for my sons and now older son wants stocking for his wife… $300 for just the canvas …doesn’t include any fibers or finishing… yikes!

    As for the piece you’ve shown I think it is gorgeous… good luck in whatever decision you make!

    1. The American craft market is flooded with supplies for things like to gluing things onto foam shapes and painting Mason jars. I guess the needlepoint market takes advantage of people with good taste desperate to pursue an out-of-favor hobby.

  5. The pictures is so detailed that you could do this without the kit. Buy the canvas and yarn. Enlarge it. Chart it, stitch. Or if it is the design you love and not totally determined that it be in needlepoint, do it in cross-stitch and use embroidery floss.

  6. Florida move: I’d love to hear every detail.
    Needlepoint: Bring it!
    Luci Baines Johnson’s wedding: OK
    Hillary fashion choices and their meaning: Jumping up and down with anticipation.
    Michelle Obama and her little darlings: I’m salivating.
    Anything else your little blogging heart desires to share: I’m in!
    Discussions of snow and anything else to do with winter: Thumbs down.

    1. I wish I still thought Hillary and MOO were still funny but I don’t. They make me sick.

      I did get a random piece of hate mail from a genuine LoFo over the weekend advising me that “… The First Lady is the most powerful women in the world that is undisputed.” So that was kind of amusing but the email was full of partial sentences, misspellings and grammatical errors so in the end, it was more sad than funny. It closed with this passive-aggressive admonition/smiley face : “You need Jesus in a hurry now:)!” so I guess it was funny after all.

  7. Suzette – Do it! The needle point [cross-stitch?]. But instead of paying $230 for a kit, draw a similar picture or find one, and then pay the $40 or $60 it made into a chart. There are software kits that will do it – change any picture into a chart. Then you can make what you want for a lot less! Butterscotch leather… Sounds gorgeous!

  8. Sorry to post again, but I went back and re-read what you wrote. Luci Johnson was married the first time, in the White House in 1966. The second time in 1984, in Texas. Looking forward to all the details though.

    1. Oh, it’s the White House wedding for sure! “I only want,” the 19 year old Lucy said “as
      personal a wedding as possible in the circumstances in which I find myself.” And the she named her 12 bridesmaids.

  9. Please keep on needlepointing so I can live vicariously. I made many pillows, Christmas stockings, even a bargello flamestitch wall hanging in the what-I-thought-was-lovely-in-the-70s browns and yellows. Still have the books and a couple of unfinished projects but don’t think my eyesight is up to it after all the years staring at computer screens. If I did take it up again it would be bargello all the way because no kits are required. Since I’m from Texas, I don’t have the same fondness for the Johnsons that you do.

    1. Well, I do need a magnifying Ott light to do even a single stitch. I was great at taping the edges of the canvas and finding the center of the canvas, but once I actually went to make the first few stitches, things slowed down.

  10. For awhile I did a lot of cross stitch. I probably have every color floss in existence because I would go on ebay and buy used lots for cheap. I also have tons of fabric. Alas, my eyesight doesn’t permit me to do a lot of it now, so I knit instead. And I love it. And now I have tons of yarn. I think I have hoarding tendencies.

    The needlepoint picture is beautiful. I agree with BT in SC. Get the charting software. Lots cheaper than a $230 kit.

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