Stitcher Showcase: Ann Hotson

In the Stitcher’s Showcase this week, our friend and frequent Retreat attendee, Ann Hotson, from New Zealand sent me this photo and says, “Just thought you might like to see my Monkey blanket I have just about finished for my new great grandson that will be born early March. I just have the backing to put on.”

This blanket design is in the new issue of Inspirations, #72.

Stitcher Showcase: Betty Wilkin

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness”, John Keats wrote. The love and care this trunk has had through the generations certainly bears this out.

In April, 1863, an unknown craftsman in Christiansund, Norway, created this trunk for my great-grandmother, Anna Haagensdatter Furseth. Painted in the Valdres style of rosemaling, large bouquets of flowers are centered on each side, and her name and date are beautifully painted in a perfect script across the front. Almost 40 years later, in 1900, the blue trunk was fitted with iron bands to strengthen it, and made the trip across the Atlantic with my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

The trunk is fitted with a magnificently crafted spring lock and handmade key. This trunk, passed from grandmother to granddaughter twice over, is in its original condition. My daughter, who has the trunk now, was chosen from several granddaughters to receive it due to her love of painting and the arts. While visiting me this past spring, she saw the Hardanger wall hanging made from the pattern created by Mildred Torgerson in the book “Norwegian Heritage in Hardanger Embroidery”. She suggested I take the same wall hanging, substituting the names of the women in our family, showing the direct lineage through six generations. My granddaughter is unmarried, so space has been left for the future.

Soon, the trunk and the wall hanging will both be hers. Knowing she has a strong affinity for her Norwegian heritage, I’m confident these well loved pieces will always hold a special place in her heart and her home, as they will be a constant reminder of the love our family shares.

Betty Wilkin from El Paso, Texas

Stitcher Showcase: Lynnette Hanzal

Lynnette Hanzal writes, “I wanted to send you a picture of my finished project, I purchased the patterns and fabric from Nordic Needle. I’m from Minneapolis, but was in Fargo in May 2010 for a college track meet, and Nordic Needle was my first stop when we got into town. I’ve ordered from you before, but have never been in the store. I had so much fun in there. I had never seen fractal patterns before, but loved the look of them and bought one bookmark booklet and another pattern.

Then, later on I returned and bought the other fractal bookmark booklet and another pattern. Overnight I came up with the idea for a project in which I could cross stitch all the bookmarks into a ‘sampler’, since I couldn’t decide which ones I liked best. So the next morning I was back again to buy fabric and another couple of other patterns. I can’t imagine how much more stuff I would have bought if we had been in town any longer. Anyway, this is stitched on 32 ct black lugana, 2 over 2, and took 14.5 months to make. One of the stitched bookmarks was a free download from xscollectibles that I substituted for one of the booklet patterns.

I’ve never entered anything in any fairs before, but I really wanted to show this off, as I thought it was rather unique–I ended up getting a second place ribbon for this, in this year’s Minnesota State Fair. Now, on to the rest of my patterns-I have enough to last for years!”

Stitcher Showcase: Mila Ollenburg

Hi! I am Mila Ollenburg. I too, am an avid cross stitcher. Over the last 2 years I have completed nearly 15 projects, all different sizes and counts. About 7 years ago, I started working on a male and female cardinal. It was in the fall of 2005. My husband says, “You finish both of those by Christmas and I will have a surprise for you.” He wouldn’t tell me what! I finished both in 2 months. Attached is the photo of my Christmas gift. It is the most treasured piece in my home. Many have asked to buy it, with the work I did, and many ask if he will make them one.

It is 3 feet 10 inches wide by 2 feet 1 1/2 inches tall. The shelf is not included in that measurement. He special ordered the mirror and even bought me Ceramic Cardinals from Home interiors to place on the shelf. Since then, the birds have broken. This is a custom piece by far and probably will never be duplicated.

My husband has made furniture over the years. He is very particular and a perfectionist and very picky over the wood he uses.

Mila Ollenburg, Grand Marsh, Wisconsin

Meet the Staff: Lisa


    Lisa works in retail store, assisting customers and filling orders.

  • How long have you been with Nordic Needle?

    I have been here a year in March.

  • Favorite needlework technique?

    Hardanger is my favorite needlework technique. My grandmother taught me over 30 years ago. I didn’t do much then but I am getting back into it now that I am working here.

  • Favorite tool, gadget, thread, or other Nordic Needle item?

    My Ott lights are my favorite tool – I have 3 of them! The best light and one of mine has a magnifier on it so that’s the one I use the most. I couldn’t stitch without it.