Working on the Nov/Dec issue

Working on the Nov/Dec issue

I like it when an issue falls together neatly and without incidents. I bet you will be surprised to hear that it doesn’t happen very often. The upcoming issue was not the exception. One of the cover pieces for the Nov/Dec issue arrived late and without much of the stitching completed.

For several months I have been working with Curtis Boehringer for a cover piece for the Nov/Dec issue. Curtis was designing a piece for the magazine and Carole Lake and Michael Boren were going to stitch guide the design and Michael was going to stitch it, or at least most of it. We ran into delays throughout the process of getting the piece ready for the issue. Blank canvas was backordered. Curtis and Michael both experienced health issues. Carole and Michael had to prepare their lessons for The Shining Needle Society. With Michael down, Carole tried her best to stitch the piece herself even though she has been experiencing vision problems and found the 18-count canvas hard to see.

The day before I left town for a two week trip to California for the ANG Seminar and the Fab Four class at A Stitch In Time in Pasadena, the piece arrived from Carole with a note of apology along with a plea for me to call her. She was in a panic because she couldn’t see well enough to stitch. She didn’t know what to do but send me the piece incomplete. I calmly told her not to worry about it and I would take care of it. I hung up the phone and started hyperventilating.

I still had to finish packing for an early flight the next day and most of my friends who could help me were also traveling to California. I was in a full out panic. What do I do? I had promised Curtis that I would feature the piece in the upcoming issue. I did what I always do when I need help thinking things through, I called my husband Jay. He was not available and probably wouldn’t be much help anyway so I called my friend Joanne. She immediately sensed my panic as I spewed nonsense into her ear. She calmly coaxed the story from me. Once I completed my tail of woe, without missing a beat she offered to help me and stitch the piece. Joanne also has a full-time-plus job. We often text and email while each of us are working late into the night or on weekends. As kind as the offer was, I knew I couldn’t ask her to do this for me.

With Joanne’s help, I decided that I should take it with me on my trip and work on it every chance I got. I took three pairs of the shoes out of my suitcase and replaced them with the canvas, stitch guide and threads that Carole had sent. I was going to rooming with three good friends while in Anaheim. I had booked a suite that included two sleeping rooms and a living room. Once checked in, I set up the canvas and told my roommates, Vicky De Angelis, Debbie Forney and Pat West about my problem. They all offered to help out. I could have kissed each of them.

Every night after dinner we would return to our suite and one of us would start stitching and the others poured glasses of wine and diet Coke while settling in for the evening. Debbie was on East Coast time so she would stitch in the morning when the rest of us were still asleep. Vicky couldn’t sleep through the night and would often stitch while waiting for her body to give her the signal that it was time to go to bed. Pat, my homie, kept a watchful eye on the progress and promised to finish the piece once we got home. Two other friends, Kristin Yates and Chris Allen, joined in and stitched when the rest of us were too exhausted to work on it.

By the time our Seminar class was over we had made pretty good progress. We had run out of many of the threads that Carole had sent but between the onsite boutique run by Needlepoints, Ltd., and the shops that we visited, Aristeia, and A Stitch In Time we were able to gather most of what we needed to finish the piece. During a tour of Rainbow Gallery John, the owner, even chipped in a card of Petit Silk Lamé. Once again, every night after stitching all day with Tony, Meredith, Beth and Suzanne, one of us would work on the piece trying to get as much done as we could so Pat would be able to have enough time to finish it once she returned home. By the time we were on our return flight we were only about a third of the way finished stitching the piece.

Pat, true to her word, took the piece and has been frantically working on it. Our deadline is to finish it by the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 11, so we can drop it off at Needlepoint Plus in Portland, Oregon on Thursday as we travel through on our way to Seattle for a Japanese Embroidery class with Mary Alice Sinton. Cindy Humbard, owner of Needlepoint Plus and another dear friend, agreed to work her finishing magic in time for me to take the cover photo.

IMG_1129It’s a good thing that Pat and I are close friends because we realized that in order for us to make the deadline, we would have to stitch on the piece at the same time, knee to knee. The photo was taken yesterday in the Needlepoint Now studio.

I am so lucky to have my dear friends who pulled together to help me out of a jamb. I can’t thank them enough for all of their help and support they have so generously given me when I really needed it. Stitchers are the best friends anyone could ask for.


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