Tuesday 14 July 2009

Support your Needlework Store

Once upon a time it wasn't a case of simply walking in a shop to obtain your needlework supplies, you had to wait for the needlework supplies to come to you via a pedlar or chapman. And hope that the items you would have chosen hadn't all been taken by other people first! Even today in some parts of the world, obtaining needlework supplies requires considerable compromises - and I'll illustrate this more next week. We are experiencing a considerable downturn and now, more than ever before, when times were good and we could afford it, now is the time to keep buying something from your local needlework store, or it may not survive. To celebrate July 14th I am showing a French pedlar-doll and it is revealing to see what exactly she would have been selling when she came to your door.


  1. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful needlework shop so close to me (around 10k). I just wanted to leave a comment and give kudos to Diana (shop owner) and the rest of the crew at Needlepoints, Ltd. in Garden Grove, CA.

  2. This seems to be a 'chicken and egg' situation. I would dearly love to support UK needlework shops but the specialist shops keep closing down. I used to travel far and wide to support good shops. However, Chipping Camden Needlecraft in the Cotswolds is no more, Hepatica in Cheshire finished some years ago and both Voirrey on the Wirral and Wye Needlecraft, by common consent, do not specialise in needlwork items the way they once did. It seems that once these shops start selling knitting wool the serious embroiderer must look elsewhere - hence the reliance on internet sites. I do have one 'up my sleeve' near Muncaster in the Lakes; does anyone know of any more?

  3. I am blessed to have a wonderful LNS about 8 miles from me. Her shop is amazing and is packed with just about everything you would want. I only order online if she cannot get it for me (which isn't very often):)

  4. My local shop closed down a little over a year ago. When more money was coming in I was able to drive the 4 hrs total, spend a wonderful day, get loads of stash about every two weeks. then I had to cut back to once a month, then just as a special treat. By that time her business was really hurting. I miss it, even as a special treat.

  5. Back in the day- when cross stitch shops were thriving- my friends and I used to do shopping days. Getting to shop #1 involved a drive of about 20 miles, and getting home from #4 was about the same, but for 4 shops in one day, and the cameraderie, it was worth it.

    We would start with breakfast at a cafe near shop #1, then simply by following a certain road we would visit #2, stop for a light lunch, visit #3 and #4, then finish with snacks and drinks. We would end up about 20 miles from where we started and literally, all the shops were along one county route in the suburbs.

    Only one of those shops is still open.

    The largest shop in the area- about 30 miles in the opposite direction- is still open. I haven't been there physically in years. Fortunately, they now offer online shopping. (Unfortunately, their website is difficult to navigate, which, while *I* persist out of loyalty, may be hurting them with those less persistent.) I do miss the fun of seeing the models and handling the new fibers, but time and age have made such trips a luxury outside the stitching experience.

    I think that what is missing is the sharing of needlework so that more and younger stitchers become involved in our wonderful hobby/craft/art. Unknown numbers are buying kits from the big hobby/craft stores and think that those are all there is in needlework. ANG and EGA can offer wonderful opportunities for learning but can also be intimidating and clique-ish.

    When you teach a new stitcher- and we should all be trying to do that- you should also introduce them to what is available on the 'net for ideas and learning, and also show them the wonders of a good store.

    I don't know any other way to help- I wish I did.

  6. Yes, if people who don't stitch can see us stitching and we can share our knowledge and sources with them, it would make such a difference. So often we stitch only in our stitching groups. It is lovely to have the company of other stitchers, but maybe we can take our stitching circle to an area where there is general public also - the museum, the art gallery, the coffee shop, the park bench (when it is not thundering and lightening!, the airport terminal, the library, ......