Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

The CARON Collection is pleased to feature one of the outstanding shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance, technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local shops and browse through our extensive SHOP LISTINGS.

The Needlewoman East
Falls Church, Virginia

Falls Church, an old incorporated town in northern Virginia, is steeped in history. The original settlement derived its name from one of the oldest churches built in the area, completed in 1734, and referred to by the residents as "The Church near the Falls", since one of the roads that intersected near the church led to the ferry below the Little Falls of the Potomac. Eventually, the inhabitants adopted the name of Falls Church for the community which grew up around this venerable old edifice. Falls Church is now home to The Needlewoman East, a shop that has for the past 21 years, been the destination of dedicated stitchers who hail from the Washington DC environs and beyond.

Sue D. Jennings, owner of The Needlewoman East, opened the shop on 1977. As a full time mom, whose youngest of 2 children had just entered junior high school, Sue was ready for another career. She decided that if she were ever to own her own business, now was the ideal time to try. Her sister owned a needlework shop in Iowa and Sue had occasionally accompanied her to needlework markets and trade shows. At the time, Sue modestly saw herself as a needlework novice, but she had a great love for canvas work and had already shared what skills she possessed with other women in her home town. When she went looking for needlework supplies in her own area, she found the supply limited and, hence, frustrating. It didn't take long for her to realize the answer to a better source of needlework materials was also the perfect solution for her own career aspirations.

Actually, Sue was no stranger to needlework at all: Her Norwegian paternal grandmother taught her to knit at age 5 and she was soon making wash cloths and slippers to donate to the Russian War Relief effort. She also learned to do huck weaving and basic cross stitch. Sue's own mother was a top notch seamstress, who made many of the outfits that Sue and her 3 sisters wore. Thus, from early on, needlework formed a vital part of Sue's cultural heritage.

The shop offers many items to pique the avid stitchers interest. Ground fabrics and canvases are available in many sizes and colors from 7 canvas to 40 silk mesh. Aida of all sizes from Zweigart and Wichelt and linens and man made mono threaded fabrics are featured from 6 herta fabric to 40 linens. The selection of threads, yarns and fibers is extraordinary and the full line of Caron Watercolours, Wildflowers, Impressions, Soie Cristale and Snow are accommodated. There is a diverse assortment of counted thread patterns and charts for cross stitch and canvas work. Hand painted canvases abound and feature designs by Kathy Schenkel, Painted Pony, Associated Talents, Peter Ashe, Amanda Lawford, Napier, Betty Smith's Traditions, JB Designs, Sharon G., Sundance and more. Also available are museum reproduction needleart from "It's Polite to Point", encompassing their entire line of kits and canvases. Additional kit inventory includes Erica Wilson, Beth Russell, Rita Klein, JCA and Dimensions.

Frames and working frame stands include K's lap, table and floor models. They have open stock of Tomorrow's Treasures scroll bars and side pieces. Artisan Design floor model Gazelle, lap Elan and scroll frame components as well as the floor, lap and table models from Grip It are on hand. Stretcher bars of all sizes are in stock items as well.

Even with all this on-hand inventory, Sue is quick to point out: "If we don't have it, we can get it for you". Folks "in the know" can assure you that this is not an idle boast. Though inventory is important, the guiding principal of the shop is SERVICE. Nine regular employees make up the roll of service oriented folks, who absolutely love what they do. Her teaching staff reads like a "Who's Who" of the needlework world: Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren, authors of "Stitches for Effect" and "More Stitches for Effect", Susan Kerndt, designer of "Stitching Kreations", Ruth Dilts designer of "Ruth Dilts Designs", Ann Caswell, noted thread authority and designer of "KAZ Designs" and Sally Hemmes, owner of "Sally Shall Sew", complete finishing services.The Needlewoman East also sponsors seminars with visiting designers and teachers of note: Catherine Coleman of "Coleman Cottage", Kimberly Crum of "Kimberly Crum Designs", Hollis Minor of "It's Polite to Point" and Catherine Theron of "Theron Traditions".

Aside from this ongoing schedule of classes and seminars, several special events punctuate the year: A Christmas in July Sale, A Shop Birthday Celebration (in September of 1998 The Needlewoman East will turn 21 and become legal!), and an annual Holiday Open House and Sale on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. For this celebration all of the shop models come down off the walls to be replaced with a show of customers' works. This display along with a festive table groaning with seasonal goodies and a blowout 25% off sale on all in stock merchandise makes this 5 hour happening the highlight of the year.

Needlewoman East is located on a main street that connects Alexandria, Va. with points west, situated between 2 major shopping centers, and is only 12 miles from the Potomac with its many bridges leading to Washington DC. With spring just around the corner, why not treat yourself to the magnificent display of cherry blossoms in our Nation's Capital on your way to the shop? The riot of colors bursting forth in nature may well inspire you to some new needlework project en route and when you arrive, you're sure to find whatever you need to get started!

© 1997 The Caron Collection / Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

CARON email: mail@caron-net.com