Category Archives: Just for Fun

Posts that don’t fit elsewhere, they’re just for fun!

LNS Review: Rittenhouse Needlepoint, Philadelphia, PA

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and take a trip to Rittenhouse Needlepoint! I went there in search of the Needlework System 4 table/lap stand, but there was so much more to discover in this charming store.

The store is on the second story of a mixed commercial/residential building at 1737 Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia. I love the building; it has a lot of old-time charm.

picture of the entrance to the Rittenhouse Needlepoint store

The shop’s entrance with colorful needlepoint canvases peeking through the door

The neat old letterbox in the building's lobby

The neat old letterbox in the building’s lobby

I didn’t get many pictures of the inside of the store because 1) my camera battery was dying and 2) I was too busy looking at all the beautiful needlepoint canvases, yarns, threads, flosses, and beads.

A small sampling of the selection at Rittenhouse, with a glimpse at the nice view of Chestnut Street below

A small sampling of the selection at Rittenhouse, with a glimpse at the nice view of Chestnut Street below

The store had a great atmosphere, complemented by the friendly and outgoing staff. The large windows let in lots of light and interesting views of the street below. There’s also a big table tucked into the back corner where you can sit and take needlework lessons. They offer a free beginner’s class every Saturday at 10am and paid lessons at other times.

rittenhouse needlepoint business card advertising free beginner needlework lessons on Saturday mornings

The store obviously caters to the needlepointer, with a wide selection of hand painted canvases, crewel wool, and the like, but they also had DMC floss, evenweave linen, aida, and charts for us cross stitchers.

The customer service here was really great. I wanted to take a look at the Needlework System 4 and they had both the lap stand and the floor stand models set up in the store to try them out. My non-needle-working parents were with me, and the women who helped us were very patient in answering their questions, even if some of them were kind of silly.

The women also helped me pick out some Evertite bars to go along with my new frame. In addition to the new bars, they have gently-used Evertite- and generic-brand stretcher bar frames for a fraction of the original price — $5 per bar for the Evertites and $1 per bar for the other stretcher bars.

the needlework system 4 frame in use on a tabletop

I haven’t gotten around to setting up my new stretcher bars yet, but I love the Needlework System 4 stand, even with my old hoop!

As icing on the cake, this shop is also devoted to charity stitching — they accept donations for needlework supplies as part of a program for bringing stitching into local hospitals and halfway houses, where it can be a meditative exercise for people who could use some relaxation. Some of the donated items are sold in the shop to raise money for supplies that they need to buy, and others are used directly in the program. If you’re interested in donating some of your excess needlecraft stash, find more information here.

Shopping at Rittenhouse Needlepoint was such an enjoyable experience and I would recommend it to any needleworker who is in the Philadelphia area. The selection was great and the staff were very devoted to making sure we left as happy customers. They even gave me these adorable ‘crewel world’ and ‘crewel to be kind’ pins for free when I admired them in the display case as my order was being rung up.

pins that read "it's a crewel world" and "crewel to be kind" from rittenhouse needlepoint

Visit Rittenhouse Needlepoint on the web at rittenhouseneedlepoint.com or in person at 1737 Chestnut Street, Suite 201, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

I wasn’t compensated for writing this review; I just enjoyed my visit to this great local needlework shop & wanted to share it with my readers!

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New Social Media for PDX-Stitch

Happy Sunday, lovely readers! Yesterday I added two new venues for you to get news & updates from yours truly.

First, for those who tweet, I am now on Twitter @pdxstitch. I do not really understand Twitter, but I understand that it is some people’s preferred medium, so I’m trying to reach out.

Second, I’ve started putting together an email newsletter list. My plans for it are infrequent (no more than once monthly) distillations of the best of the blog, Etsy store, and Craftsy store, and of course notifications of sales and coupons in my Etsy shop. Sign up by following this link.

Ta-ta for now!

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PDX-Stitch Etsy shop is now open

Good news, everyone, I’ve joined Etsy! Click here to browse the PDX-Stitch shop on Etsy. I will be putting some digital cross stitch patterns up, and they will stay available at my Craftsy store, too. More importantly, I’ll be offering completed stitched pieces like my Malcolm Tucker cross stitch, for those of you without the time or inclination to stitch yourself. I will also be offering sewing and needlecraft supplies.

Even better, now through August 31, 2015 you can get $5 off a $20 purchase with the coupon code GRANDOPENING!

And if any readers want to open an Etsy store, use this link and we’ll both get forty (40!) listings for free, which at 20¢ per listing is a pretty good deal.

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Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2015

This past weekend I had the pleasure to visit Sisters, Oregon and the 40th Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show! Although I’m not a quilter (yet), it was so amazing to admire all the gorgeous quilts that they had displayed — and there were even more I couldn’t see before my feet got tired and I had to call it quits. Take a look (warning: this is a super photo-intensive post):

photograph showing two red, orange, and brown quilts hanging on the side of a building

The first quilts I saw at the show.

photograph showing a grey, black, and white striped quilt with black and grey star appliques at the Sisters Quilt Show

“Galaxy Grays” exhibited by Susan Cobb, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

four multi-colored quilts hang on the side of a building in Sisters, Oregon

Assorted colorful quilts

Two quilts exhibited by Robert Kaufman Fabrics to celebrate 30 years of Kona cottons. Left quilt quilted by Empty Bobbins; right quilt by Red Pepper Quilts, both quilts from Los Angeles.

Two quilts exhibited by Robert Kaufman Fabrics to celebrate 30 years of Kona cottons. Left quilt made by Empty Bobbins; right quilt by Red Pepper Quilts (both quilts from Los Angeles)

a small quilt depicting a grey and black tabby cat hangs on the wall

A cat quilt hanging in the Stitchin’ Post store, made as an example from the book Best Friends Animal Portrait Quilts by June Jaeger.

a portrait of the blogger posing with a mannequin that is wearing a dress made from the same pattern

That mannequin stole my dress! (actually, I stole the mannequin’s dress — we’re both wearing Sew Liberated’s Ashland dress. Who wears it better?)

a square quilt with large red medallion, hanging outdoors

“Red Giant Dahlia” made by Jan Larson of Redmond, OR.

a colorful Mondrian-inspired quilt with numerous color blocks separated by black sashing

“Remembering Mondrian,” exhibited by Susan Cobb and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

detail of green and blue quilt that is reminiscent of Necker cubes

detail of quilt titled “One” exhibited by Kristin Swan and quilted by Sandy Lachowski — I loved this one because the design reminded me of Necker cubes

quilt with red, grey, and green blocks and a border of green pine trees

“Trees Around the World,” exhibited by Jean Wells Keenan, made by an unknown quilter

a street scene with lots of people and quilts

Quilts & quilts & more quilts. It was almost impossible to get a picture that didn’t have other people in it.

an abstract bright red and white quilt

“Robot at the Whitehouse,” made by Mary Ann Pettway and exhibited by Gee’s Bend 2015

quilt with assorted flags in center and concentric bands of white, blue, red, yellow, and black to the edge

“Railroad Crossing” hand quilted by China Pettway and exhibited by Gee’s Bend 2015 — I love this one but it was $13,000 to take home.

This is getting my creative juices flowing and making me excited for trying my hand at some quilting! I’ve posted even more pictures from that day on the PDX-Stitch Instagram. I think the last quilt here (“Railroad Crossing”) is the one that inspires me the most, but I love the quilts that use lots of blacks and greys with just a little pop of color. Which quilt is your favorite, and does anyone have plans to attend Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2016?

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