Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mystery and Ornament Chart Stickers and Labels

Apparently at least some of the mystery charts that Loretta mailed out were folded in half and held that way by a sticker that reads:

The sticker must be torn in half to open the chart. I have seen photographs of these white stickers but they are all very blurry and hard to read, so they are not reproduced here.  Loretta doesn't seem to have used these stickers consistently, so their absence doesn't prove a chart is a reproduction.


A current eBay auction for Mystery #12 Ecrusheen has a photograph of one of these stickers.

Luckily, Jo has given the Diet Pepsi and Xanax blog a sticker photo.

Photograph of Label Courtesy of Jo and Lara

UPDATE:  Lara has asked around and discovered more information about the labels and
stickers that Loretta Spears used on her various designs.  Many thanks to Sue, Jo and Lara for this information and the photograph above, which shows a label just above a photograph of the finished Sunset ornament.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loretta's Goodbye to Her Shop

Of the fifteen folks who have provided information about Loretta Spears for this site, no one has worked harder than Lara Hartley, who just managed to turn up Loretta's posting on the old RCTN forum about closing her shop Fiesta Needleart, located in Arvada, Colorado. Here is what Lara wrote:


This is the direct link to the posting, made on September 10, 1996.  If you click on View Profile at the top of the page, you can see other messages Loretta posted here.

Good job, Lara!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is Loretta In Your Stash?

If Loretta Spears designs are languishing in your stash, why not stitch them?  Or why not share them if you've stitched them already?  Put them up for sale on eBay, gift a friend, donate the charts to EGA's library, do whatever works for you to get these designs in circulation.

Remember, the copyright on these patterns belongs to her heirs for 70 years after the date of her death.  Keeping them in circulation so that stitchers in the future have a chance of being able to get the charts when the copyright runs out is vital.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Loretta's Business Cards

Loretta occasionally put a business card in with her correspondence or charts.  She did not do this consistently, so having a business card with an eBay sale (or not having one) is not a good way to judge authenticity of a chart.  Each card is described by the card stock and credited to the person who sent me a photo.

So far I have seen seven different business cards, six of which are on different stock.  If you also have a business card from Loretta, I'd love to hear from you and have a photograph for the collection.  Email me at LorettaSpearsDesigns@gmail.com.  Thanks!


Business Cards Courtesy of G

The business cards in the photo above are (top to bottom) on blue cloud stock, pale floral stock, and cream stock.  All have identical wording, lettering and contact information. Many thanks to G for sending in this photograph.

Business Cards Courtesy of Jo

The business cards in the next photograph are courtesy of Jo and were originally published by Lara Hartley on her blog.  They appear to be on cream, pink and a ecru stock with a marbled pattern.  Note that the middle card has a logo and contact information different than what is on the other five business cards.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Christmas Heirlooms Victorian Gem

Victorian Gem

Victorian Gem was released as "Christmas Heirlooms Victorian Gem" in June 1993 as part of Loretta's Christmas ornament club collection.  This design is also found in the Needle Adventures Artists Collection leaflet called Medallions.  See the separate Medallions article for further information and a photograph of how it was finished.

Victorian Gem Cover 

This is apparently finished folded over in the middle with a tassel at the bottom and cording to hang it.

Close Up


Lara Hartley is stitching this.  She says the materials list includes ivory congress cloth and Anchor flosses in light, medium and dark blues; Anchor flosses in light tan, medium light tan, medium tan, medium dark tan, and dark tan; and the thin metallic Lacquered Jewels 484.

The first photo above is her finished stitched piece in the original colors and is reproduced here courtesy of Lara Hartley.

Materials for Victorian Gem

Materials List:
ivory Congress cloth
Anchor cotton floss in light tan, medium light tan, medium tan, medium dark tan, dark tan
Lacquered Jewels 484
another thin metallic

Some of the thread color numbers are partly visible in the above photograph

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shell Pattern Roll-Up Ornament

The only design available to anyone from Loretta Spears these days is the free pattern from the Rainbow Gallery website.  It is called Shell Pattern Roll-Up Ornament, dated 1994.    This was on the Rainbow Gallery website and available as a free download but when Rainbow Gallery updated their website, they removed the free design because it uses threads that are discontinued.    However, they have agreed to allow me to post the instructions here.  I will put them in a separate tab above.  Feel free to copy and print these to work for a roll up ornament or an all over pattern for a background.


Lara stitched this ornament.

Shell Pattern Roll Up, Courtesy of Lara Hartley
This is the finished design.  It's quite pretty, isn't it?

Needleart Nut did the finishing of Lara's Shell Pattern Roll Up.  I think it is lovely!

Materials List:

7" x7" piece of 18 count Aquamarina Mono Canvas
7" x 7" Stretcher Bars
#22 &#24 Tapestry Needles
1 card Rainbow Linen (R437-Turquoise)
1 card Tiara (fI18-Gold)

Loretta included three other alternate color schemes for this design.  Use the same 7x7 piece of 18 count needlepoint canvas and 2 threads but substitute these colors:

Levantine Blue Canvas
1 card Rainbow Linen (R448-Blue) and 1 card Tiara (T117 White Pearl)

White Canvas
1 card Rainbow Linen (R402 White) and 1 card Tiara (Tll8 Gold)

Lavendula Canvas
1 card Rainbow Linen (R40E Lavender)  and 1 card Tiara (T12l-Lilac)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Christmas Heirloom January 1993 (Needle Adventures)

Christmas Heirloom (Needle Adventures)
This small ornament was self published under the Needle Adventures name in January of 1993.  It is totally different from the Christmas Heirlooms ornaments published commercially by Needle Adventures Artist Collection in one leaflet.  There are two other ornaments published under the Christmas Heirloom name, one in September 1992 and one in February 1993.

Here is the complete cover page with a glimpse of the instructions, courtesy of Needleartnut.


Needle Necessites and DMC Flosses

The original materials list calls for rose colored canvas, DMC floss, two Anchor flosses, and an overdyed floss from Needle Necessities.  The DMC and NN flosses called for are shown above.  Needleartnut didn't have the other two threads called for so she changed the colors entirely.

Materials List:
7x7 piece of 18 count mono rose needlepoint canvas
Needle Necessities overdyed floss #150
Anchor cotton floss #873 and #968
DMC cotton floss #315

Christmas Heirloom in Blues

The photos are all courtesy of Needleartnut who has blog-stitched this piece. You can see more about her stitching here.

Here is another photo of the cover page and the threads and canvas that came with the kit.

Finished January '93 Christmas Heirloom

Here is the final blue version, from Needleart Nut.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another Loretta Mystery to be Solved (Victorian Needlework Stocking)

Unidentified Loretta Spears Designs Stocking

Needleartnut copied this image from an old eBay sale.  I am tentatively titling it "Victorian Needlework Stocking" based on the description.  The design is apparently from Loretta Spears Designs and is dated 1989.  There is a partial materials list, but no title.  Does anyone know what this is called?  If you do, email me at LorettaSpearsDesigns@gmail.com.  Thanks!


Partial Materials List:
9x12 18 count gray canvas
Balger metallic ribbon
Balger blending filament

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chequer Sparkle (Needle Adventures)

Chequer Sparkle
Chequer Sparkle is an ornament self published under the Needle Adventures name in January 1994.

Closeup, Courtesy of Fireside Stitchery

This is supposed to be finished into a tube, about the size of a toilet paper cardboard roll.  The instructions cover and the stitched example are both courtesy of Lara Hartley.  Here is the link to her blog where she posted these items.

Chequer Sparkle Stitched

Supplies, Courtesy of Fireside Stitchery

 Materials List:
7x7 #18 mono canvas, ash rose
7x7 stretcher bars
Rainbow Linen #R418 (pink)
Tiara #T 103 (silver)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Spring from Loretta Spears Designs
Spring is one of the small ornaments self published under the Loretta Spears Designs name.   The cover page image, finished photo and all the information here is courtesy of Needleartnut.  The 0396 you see on the title page refers to the date this was published, March of 1996.


Spring, Courtesy of Needleart Nut

Materials List:
7x6 18 count mono canvas
Anchor floss 185
Needle Necessities overdyed floss 135
Kreinik #8 fine braid #829

Loretta's Original Colors, Courtesy of eBay Seller msritter50

You can see the original thread set on Needleartnut's blog.  She changed color.

She also talks about the stitches a bit.

Spring, Courtesy of Needleart Nut

Here is the finished piece.  There are more views of the little pillow ornament here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Christmas Heirlooms: Beaded Circle

Christmas Heirlooms:  Beaded Circle

Beaded Circle, from the Christmas Heirlooms Collection, was published under the Needle Adventures name.   It was self published in September, 1992.  The cover, courtesy of Lara Hartley, shows a photograph pasted on a sheet with Needle Adventures at the top.  The photographs of the stitched but unfinished design below are also courtesy of Ms. Hartley.

Beaded Circle with Beads
See Christmas Heirlooms October 1992 and Brilliance which seem similar.

Unfinished Beaded Circle and Beads

Here is the supply list:
Santa Fe green #18 mono cavas 7x7
overdye floss (Needle Necessities #178)
Mill Hill glass beads #00252
beading needle
7x7 stretcher bars

Closeup of the Model, Courtesy of Needleart Nut

Friday, February 10, 2012

Christmas Heirloom: Bliss (Needle Adventures)

Christmas Heirloom:  Bliss

Bliss was published in June, 1994 as a Needle Adventures Christmas Heirlooms chart.  This is self-published under the Needle Adventures name with a photo glued to the cover page.  The photos of the cover and original threads are courtesy of Lara Hartley.  Note the green lettering on white paper.


Threads for Bliss
Materials list:
18 mono canvas white 7x7
Anchor floss #1
Flair #502
Neon Rays #02
Balger/Kreinik 1/16th metallic ribbon #001

Needleart Nut is blog-stitching Bliss.  The photo above shows the finished design which will be made up into an ornament.



UPDATE:  Here is a red and gold version along with the original.  I hope to post finished ornaments once Pat has time to make them up.

Needleart Nut has created a two-sided ornament of two different colorways of Bliss.  Photos are below but here is the link to her blog.  She did the same for Snowflake.

Snowflake (left) and Bliss (right), Courtesy of Needleart Nut

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Christmas Heirlooms: Holly Package

Holly Package

Holly Package is one of the Christmas Heirlooms Collection series. It was published in May, 1993 under the Needle Adventures name.  Both photographs are courtesy of Needleart Nut.


Holly Cube Closeup

Materials List:
Congress cloth 7x9
stretcher bars 7x9
DMC floss 1 skein each of:
Balger/Kreinik #8, 1 spool, #221

Supplies Courtesy of Fireside

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Christmas Heirlooms: Elegance (Needle Adventures)

Christmas Heirlooms Elegance

Christmas Heirlooms Elegance was published in November 1993 under the Needle Adventures name as part of the Christmas Heirlooms Collection.  The chart cover photograph is courtesy of Lara Hartley.   I don't have the size of canvas needed for this ornament but it is obviously rather small.

Image Courtesy of Fireside Stitchery


Materials, Also from Fireside

Materials List:
white 18 count mono canvas
Waterlilies - Honeysuckle #132
Balger/Kreinik cord 104C
AK beads #14/812
gold filled paillettes #14
beading needle

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bargello Fantasy (Needlepoint Plus)

Bargello Fantasy (Needlepoint Plus)

Bargello Fantasy was original published  in the July August 1991 issue of Needlepoint Plus.   In 1994 Needle Adventures republished this design as a chart with a photo of the finished model on the back cover.  The chart version of Bargello Fantasy is discussed separately.

Needleartnut's Bargello Fantasy from NP Plus

The two designs are almost, but not quite, identical.  The "ribbon" across the top of the design is shorter in this version and the lower left bargello pattern is different as you can see in this photo of the finished magazine version, courtesy of Needleartnut.  The bottom triangles may also differ.  I can't be sure of that based on the images I've seen.  The scans of the Needlepoint Plus model and magazine cover are courtesy of Ann in Baton Rouge.

Needlepoint Plus July Aug 1991

I will be posting corrections to the magazine chart in the Errata tab above shortly.

Bargello Fantasy, Courtesy of Tara K.

By the way, this is Tara K's version, stitched in her favorite blues and teals.  It won a red ribbon at the Calgary Stampede Western Living Exhibition, too!  Congratulations, and thanks very much for allowing us to see how the different colors turned out.

The delicate version stitched by Sue. H.

And this is Sue H.'s version on congress cloth.   It isn't framed yet.  Thanks, Sue!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Bargello Fantasy (Needle Adventures Artists Collection)

Bargello Fantasy, Courtesy of Terry

This Needle Adventures Artists Collection chart was published in 1994, based on a 1991 Loretta Spears design which was published originally in the July August 1991 issue of Needlepoint Plus.   The magazine version of Bargello Fantasy is discussed separately.  The two designs are almost, but not quite, identical.  The "ribbon" across the top of the design is longer in this version and the lower left bargello pattern is different.  The bottom triangles may also differ.  I can't be sure of that based on the images I've seen.

As you can see from this old eBay auction description, the design was intended to be done on a piece of 12X18 inch 24 count congress cloth.

Another Color Scheme, Courtesy of Julie T.

The supply list for this project is as follows:
Congress cloth, 24-count, French blue cut 12x18"
12x18" stretcher bars
DMC floss (with Anchor and Madeira conversions listed in the chart)
Blue Violet 324 — 3 skeins
Dk. Cornflower Blue 791 — 1 skein
Med. Cornflower Blue 793 — 3 skeins
Lt. Antique Blue 3752 — 4 skeins
Very Lt. Antique Blue 3753? — 2 skeins
Lt. Baby Blue 3752 and/or 3756?— 4 skeins
Blue Needle Necessities overdye floss — 110 — 1 skein
Danish Flower Thread 230 — 1 skein  (I have seen Guterman sewing thread substituted.)
Balger/Kreinik #8 Braid — Silver 001 and Sky Blue — 014, 1 spool each
Balger/Kreinik Cord — Silver 001, 1 spool
Mill Hill Beads #02009 — Ice Lilac


Bargello Fantasy Chart Cover

You can see Terry's unframed and then framed versions at these two links, but she kindly allowed me to reproduce the unframed version above.


There were three other Loretta charts published by The Artists Collection under the "Needle Adventures" name--Florentine Fantasy, Medallions, and Today is Someday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tobacco Leaf

Tobacco Leaf
Tobacco Leaf was quite unusual as it was based on a Marcy Covington painted canvas of a traditional pattern.   It was published in the July August 1986 issue of Needlepoint News with a line drawing that was supposed to be transferred to blank needlepoint canvas.  Each section was then to be filled in with the stitches Loretta choose when she stitched the painted canvas version.  I believe this was the first published design by Mrs. Spears.

Line Drawing Showing Stitch Placement

The line drawing, model and magazine cover are courtesy of Ann in Baton Rouge.  By the way, Marcy Covington painted canvases are still available.  They are distributed by Julia's Needleworks.  I do not see the tobacco leaf pattern in the catalog but it might still be available.


Needlepoint News July August 1986