Kissing Pillow Project

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The Kissing Pillow Project is an ongoing project by the Evergreen Chapter EGA that provides hand-stitched pillows that are distributed to soldiers and their families upon deployment. The soldier and family each have their own pillows as reminders of home and their loved ones. Nordic Needle is proud to provide a compiled packet for this wonderful project so that more stitchers can participate and create their own Kissing Pillows:

Download the Kissing Pillow Project Packet »

All finished pillows – either just the tops or completed pillows are all to be mailed to Nancy (address below) and she has finishers who will take care of them for Evergreen.

The supplies are generally purchased by those who are stitching the tops (the supplies required are listed on the pattern) – but Nancy will send fabric and floss to anyone who would like her to. All they have to do is request them.”

Nancy says, “My name and address can be published along with my email and phone number – so anyone can get in touch with me for any reason. Thanks so much.”

Nancy Behrendt President Evergreen EGA

280 E. Westlake Dr. S.

Allyn, WA. 98524


E-mail Nancy

Thanks again for all your support!

Roz first received this testimony from a newsletter subscriber during her “Stitching in Public Experiences” interactive topic:

For many years now, unfortunately too many to count, I have participated in the Kissing Pillow project through both my EGA and ANG chapters. They are wonderful “carry alongs” because they are small stitch up quickly and after doing a few, I don’t need to look at the pattern any more.

A few years ago coming back from the gulf coast for a family wedding, I was stranded in the Atlanta airport for hours. I found a seat at the edge of the check in area by the main corridor. As I was stitching, I became aware of someone behind me. I turned saw a younger (than me anyway) man in army uniform. I smiled and, as I always do when seeing anyone in uniform, thanked him for his service. He smiled back and said “Let me thank you for your gift.” He went on to explain that he had recently returned from service in Iraq and had been the recipient of kissing pillows, 1 for him, 1 for his wife, and 2 for his small children. He said that being able to feel the pillow that his family had kissed when they said good bye at the airport made each night bearable for him. His children held on to their pillows as they drifted off to sleep. He said this small gesture meant so much to his family and to the rest of his unit.

He never thought he would find someone to thank in person, but he did. I accepted his thanks for all the many, many stitchers over the years who had donated time and effort to see that all units that requested pillows had them before deploying. I have to admit that as we hugged and said our goodbyes and best wishes, we both had tears in our eyes. When I think I have stitched my last pillow I remember this encounter and put aside all thoughts of stopping, until the last soldier, sailor, or airman is home from harms way.


Roz then contacted the organizers and received this response:

So very glad to hear from you and yes this program is alive and well. In fact on the 24th of September we will once again be out at the base and giving out the Kissing Pillows to two Military Police units and their families.

Evergreen Chapter EGA is continuing with this out-reach program for as long as there are deploying soldiers at Joint Base Lewis McChord. We have been involved with the Kissing Pillows for seven years and in that time we have distributed approximately 24,000 pillows. We do keep busy.

As well as being President of Evergreen Chapter I am also the Out-reach Chair and it does keep me going. But we all feel that this small gesture is so important and so appreciated by our soldiers and their families that this effort is priceless. Because of our love, respect, and appreciation for the sacrifices made by all the soldiers and family members that hopefully these pillows show them all that we care.

I am the contact person and all pillows, finished and just the tops can be sent to me and I will get them to our members to finish. I willingly and gratefully accept all help. You have my permission to print my address, e-mail and phone number – I am fine with that and hopefully we will entice new volunteers to help with this cause.

Thanks so much for contacting me and I hope this information is on time for you. PS I love the Nordic Needle!!!

Thanks for your help.


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Ask Roz: How do you anchor your thread ends?

Ask Roz Hardanger Questions, Stitching Tips and Hints No Comments

How do you anchor your thread ends? I tend to weave the end back and forth in a corner block. I usually go back and forth about three times. Is that enough or am I over doing it? Sometimes, I can tell from the front where I’ve attached a thread. I start with an away knot, then weave it in later.

Sharon Howell

Roz Answers:

In my opinion, going back and forth under one block will definitely create a bump on the front. Rather, on the back of the piece run the end thread beneath 4-5 blocks and then snip off the end. When you come in with the new thread, do the waste knot on the top of the fabric about 2" away from the new stitch, or if you are comfortable, hold the end of the new thread in place on the back of the fabric and stitch over it for 4-5 blocks. Then snip off the end.

If you are doing other stitches like the cable stitch or box stitch, you can anchor the old and new threads beneath satin stitch blocks if they are right by the stitch you are working. Otherwise, anchor them in your closest stitch row.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

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Ask Roz: Is there any trick to turning the corners?

Ask Roz Hardanger Questions, Stitching Tips and Hints No Comments


First let me say that if there is anything about Hardanger you don’t know, it’s probably not worth knowing. I have always loved the look of Hardanger, but I have the world of trouble turning corners in buttonhole stitches. Outer corners aren’t so bad, but inside corners are my downfall. I get so discouraged. Is there any trick to turning the corners?

Janet in Pennsylvania

Roz Answers:

Thank you for your question, Janet. For most people it is the outside corners that cause the most questions. The inside corners are worked basically the same as the corners of the satin stitch blocks. Two stitches share the same inside corner hole, one going horizontal and one going vertical as you begin the next group of satin stitches. This link will bring you to the stitch instructions on our website in the "stitches" section for the Blanket Stitch, commonly used for the buttonhole edge.

For a few years now I have been using the Tailored Buttonhole Stitch method where the needle comes in from the outside, opposite of the Blanket Stitch. I much prefer this method because it locks the edge fabric threads in place so much better and does not pull out like a Blanket stitch buttonhole can do (personal experience). I also do not need to "stitch in the ditch" (the indentation at the outer edge) with a sewing machine when using the Tailored Buttonhole method. In both methods you MUST end the old thread and start a new thread correctly or this will be a weak point in the edging and will often pull out with use.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

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Ask Roz: What threads should you use in Hardanger?

Ask Roz Hardanger Questions, Stitching Tips and Hints No Comments

Dear Roz,

I am wondering about the threads used for Hardanger. I’ve made a simple beginner’s heart using Perle #5 and #8. Is this the only two sizes of perle thread that should be used in Hardanger? Also a question about fabric – for the heart it was a 20 count linen used. If I made this on 22 count fabric should I use a Perle #5 and #8? How does this affect the outcome?

Thanks, Karen Crowell

Harpers Ferry, WV

Roz Answers:

Thank you for your question, Karen. For fabric that is 18 count to about 24 or 25 count, use size #5 pearl cotton for the satin stitch blocks, solid motifs, box stitch and buttonhole edge. Use size #8 for the cable stitch, and filling stitches. I like using size #8 for everything when I work on 24 and 25 count fabric and up to 28 count.

When using finer fabric from 25 to 36 count, use size #8 for the satin stitch blocks, buttonhole edge, solid motifs and box stitch and use #12 for the finer stitches. You CAN use size #12 for the filling stitches and cable stitch when working on the smaller count fabrics as well. It gives a much lacier looking piece but it does take longer to do because you need more stitches to fill the bars when weaving.

Thank you,

Roz Watnemo

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

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Uff da! This week’s Newsletter

Uff Da! No Comments

The cold weather and blowing snow has gotten to our brains and we made an error in our latest newsletter. :( The first several paragraphs are from the previous Featured Newsletter on Jan Barwick. The current featured stitcher is Andrew Paulsen! We have updated our archives with the correction, and apologize for the error!

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Stitcher’s Showcase: Lynne De’ath

Stitcher Showcase 3 Comments

Lynne De’ath from the UK stitched the Angel of Christmas by Mirabilia. Lynne says, “She took me about three months to stitch on 32# linen, a tad longer than I thought, because I made a big boo-boo when sticking together the two halves of the photocopies (working copies only, please note!), and lost one and one-half lines of the chart! So, I had to do a bit of “creative work” and hope it didn’t spoil the overall effect. Then I had trouble with the darker of the two gold metallic threads, which refused to lie flat like the others. Using the Whisper thread was a novel experience too, but it made all the difference to the finished article. It’s a pity the photo doesn’t do justice to the sparkle and the furriness on the gown, but I’d recommend this piece to anyone who isn’t faint-hearted – she is a joy to behold.

My daughter Paula doesn’t usually want anything stitched by Mom, but during the working of it, she muttered very quietly, “I don’t suppose you’d do me one as well?” – I was so surprised that I said “Of course! You can have this one!” – silly me, that means I have to do battle with the metallics and beads again!

Have a wonderful Christmastide, and many blessings for the New Year!

Love as always, Lynne xx”

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