Why I need a new Needlepoint Finisher…

I really hate to be negative and I have been trying to remove myself from negative influences; be they family, friends, or co-workers.  I used to hang out a local needlework shop.  When the owner first opened the store I would hang out there every Saturday and I even stitched a lot of her shop models.  I helped her catch a few employees who were stealing from her.  I stopped going there as much around 2006 when I went back to school and I took in an ornament to be finished and it got lost.  She told me the finisher had misplaced it.  Then she changed locations and I was unaware of the move.  I thought she had gone out of business.   I found out in 2008 that she had moved about 1 mile east of her previous location.

As preparation for the Stars for a New Millennium SAL, I went there in July for help picking fibers and canvas.  The owner has always been talented at picking fibers and knowing what stitches will look good where.  I was shocked at how little inventory she had in the store.  She had tons of canvases but the fiber selection was limited.  We still managed to find everything except enough Rainbow Gallery Splendor 808 for what I needed.  I paid for everything, including the Splendor knowing that she would call me when it came in.

So fast forward to this weekend. I wanted a new stitch for the spines and wings of my Dragon Dreams Dragon Doorstop so I went to the shop Saturday during a time I expected her to be open (she has variable hours despite what’s posted to the side of the door).  There was a note on the door that the shop would be closed Friday and Saturday but would be open on Labor Day.  So I arrive today with my project and for the first 15 minutes I get lambasted with how horrible the candidate she assumes I’m supporting for president is at running his campaign, what a bitch his wife is, and then she launches in on my religion.  As her Monday morning stitching class arrives she starts in on how horrible it is to make people prove they are who they say they are when it comes to voting because you know those poor saps on the East Coast are too dumb to know how to get picture ID from their states.  They don’t drive like those of us out West so why should they have driver’s licenses or any form of government issued ID? One of the class members then brings up then how do East coast people cash checks or go through airports?  That gives enough of a pause that someone asks a stitching question and I get a chance to ask if my 808 has come in.  “No it hasn’t,” she’ll check on the order.  I’m suddenly very grateful that I’ve ordered the Splendor from a 2nd source who told me that she loves ordering from Rainbow Galleries since they ship quickly.  Yes, they have a minimum order but it’s such an easy level for her to meet that she should have my Splendor no later than next Friday, even with the Labor Day weekend.

So with the class there, the shop owner then attacks my position on a social issue I used to be fanatical about not realizing that over the years I’ve reached the point that I don’t care strongly about it any more and in fact I would be leaning more toward the other side if it weren’t for the behaviour of the nutcases I see supporting it strongly.  I don’t want to be lumped into their group.  I just let it slide and the room lapses into silence.  I then mention that I built my blocking board and got IVY blocked and it’s looking gorgeous.  I just need to figure out how to make it into a pillow.  She then offers to send it to her finisher.  I look up and say, “I’m not bringing anything back here for finishing until my purple ornament comes back.”

She bounces up from her chair and says, “That reminds me, I found it.”  She pulls my finished ornament canvas out of a basket behind the cash register.  It’s in exactly the same shape as when I dropped it off, it hasn’t been blocked at all.  That means all these years that she’s been blaming the finisher, it never left her shop.  The finisher only gets items which have been blocked.  She had me write up a new finishing ticket and she’s doing it free.  Which is nice considering she charged me $80 for the last ornament of similar size and she’s had my canvas for 6 years.  She didn’t give me a deadline for when it would be competed though.  I’m hoping I’ll see it before 2015.

Now, my husband has showed me how to set the timer on my phone to have the alarm sound like a phone call.  I knew from the time we pulled the fibers for Stars for a New Millennium that I really do not like being around this woman for more than an hour anymore.  Before I went into the shop I had set my timer for 1 hour and right after I finished the finishing ticket, it went off.  I have never been happier.  I pretended it was from my husband wanting to have a family holiday together.  As I was gathering my stitching supplies up, I was subjected to her standard lecture of how husbands are only useful if they are funding your lifestyle.

I left the place feeling sick to my stomach and stopped at Burger King for “therapy.”  Yes, I know food should not be a comfort but I just needed a sugar/carb boost to counter the energy drain the hour in the shop created.

Just doing this brain dump, reasons I can see for not going back once I get my ornament back:

1. Anything she has in stock I can get elsewhere for less money and less emotional stress.

2. I have resources for stitch guides on my canvases.  Not to mention I have access to some of the greatest stitching minds on the internet.

3. I do not need that kind of negativity.  I have been out of her shop for over 3 hours and I’m still reeling from her personal attacks on me and my family.

4. Would I have ever walked back into any other shop where the proprietor attacked my family, my religion or my political beliefs?

The only con I can see is finding a finisher for my needlepoint canvases.  Over the past 6 months, I’ve surfed around a little and dropped emails to people who don’t respond.  Maybe it’s time for me to learn how to do this myself.  But then again, I always loved the finishing work at Stitcher’s Paradise in Las Vegas and it gives me an excuse for a road trip.

Oh and I have a credit for $32 at the local shop unless the Splendor 808 ever comes in – maybe I can find something in the limited stock when I pick up my ornament.

Leave a comment


  1. Which store was this? It sounds like a terrible experience.

    • It’s one of the two shops which do not serve the cross-stitch community in town. Both shops carry fibers that are used in cross-stitch but will treat you like dirt if you tell them it is for fabric and not canvas.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I wouldn’t go back either. Who needs the stress?

  3. Wow. When I think of the nice, decent people out there trying to make a living running a speciality shop, it makes me want to see people like this fail. She sounds like an unhappy, hostile person who cares less about her customers needs (she found your ornament and didn’t call you and apologize profusely!?) and more about having a bitch session with those who agree with her. I’d get your ornament back from her in its present state and wash your hands of her completely – forgoing your credit there might give you a sense of power.

  4. Wow! Kick this one to the curb!

    My LNS is a wonderful place with a positive vibe. No politics happening there. (I make it a rule to not discuss politics with people unless I know they are firmly in the same camp as I am.) Too bad you’re not in Illinois. You’d love Welcome Stitchery!

  5. That really stinks. If you are interested, check out myneedlepoint.com for Rittenhouse Needlepoint. They have tons of fibers and are friendly. They also have in-house finishers and will take mail-order finishing projects. They have tons of canvases on their site, too. You can order online, email them for information, or talk to someone on the phone. I am affiliated with them, as I teach some needlepoint and cross stitch classes there. Also, their prices tend to be lower than I’ve seen in some other stores. I hope this helps, as nobody should be treated in that manner.

  6. Ellen Altman Milhiser

     /  September 5, 2012

    Wow! You poor thing! An excellent finisher is DeVaris in Alexandria, VA. I know she’s nowhere near you, but they do function via mail — a number of customers mail things in to them for finishing. My mother (and now I) have been using this shop since 1965. The original Mr. DeVaris recently sold out, and one of his customers bought the shop because she didn’t know where else she would go if it closed! The new owner has kept the same employees, and I’ve seen no drop in quality or rise in prices. Good luck!

  7. Becky

     /  October 1, 2012

    That’s really sad and stinks. I’m a custom needle finisher. I have been finishing cross stitch and needlepoint for over 15 years. The best part of my job is seeing beautiful pieces of needlework completed by talented people from all over the United States and abroad. Finishing is a wonderful way of expressing my creativity. If you are needing a finisher, I’d like to help you out. I’m located in the Midwest and ship items out all the time. My turn around time is roughly 3-4 weeks depending on the time of year. Also anytime you take your pieces into a shop to have them finished, they will automatically add 25 to 50% more to the finishers amount, that being their cut. When you are able to work directly with a finisher, I believe you will be able to get more bang for your buck. Anyway, if I can help you out, please let me know. Good Luck!


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