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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A Place To Stitch, Commune and Create Things of Beauty

This country might have a loneliness epidemic, but you wouldn’t know it at Stitches by the Sea in Delray Beach.

The reason is simply that this Mecca of needlepoint art has become a place where everyone with a creative eye for color, creation and beauty can convene.

It’s also a place where camaraderie and kinship are in full bloom to match the colorful canvases made into wall art, handbags, Lucite trays, pillows, belts and much more.

Though the world seems to be spinning rapidly in all directions, time stops when you come to Stitches by the Sea. That is why clients and creative needlepoint stitchers love going there.

“To the outside world this looks like a needlepoint store. But to those who know it from the inside, it is a community where those of us who share a love of art, craft, and tapestry gather to smile, create, and commune,” said therapist Dr Seena Axel.

That is exactly the formula that owner Judi and her daughter Karen wanted the shop to be – open and welcoming. They also knew (and others found out) that the art of needlepoint is a form of therapy, or as Karen puts it “Needlepoint is Yoga for the Mind.®. The repetitive motion of stitching is also a form of therapy for whatever ails you.

“I was so anxious the other day I didn’t know what to do,” said one needlepoint customer. “I was going to go to the mall because it usually helps. But I decided to start needle-pointing and my anxiety went down immensely. It really is yoga for the mind.”

The canvases reflect fine art and can be spiritual, whimsical, traditional, geometric or have heartfelt messages.

This art form has been passed down in the Alweil family for four generations. It started over 57 years ago when Judi started a needle-point shop in her Mother-in-law’s house in Hewlett, NY.

After having a successful needlepoint and yarn business on Long Island, Judi and her husband Dick moved to Delray Beach. They opened Stitches by the Sea (in Delray) and their needlepoint business thrived. Their daughter Karen (who worked in their wholesale business – Judi & Co.) later joined her parents in the family business.

Karen’s daughter Mollie recently joined the family business that her grandmother and great-grandmother started years ago. “Mollie has become an integral part of Stitches by the Sea. She takes photographs and videos for our social media and website, which have grown tremendously. Mollie’s eye for color and design are surely hereditary,” said mom Karen.

Both Judi and Karen have a watchful eye on trends in the fashion and décor world that can be translated (and transformed) into a needlepoint art form. They attend market shows and have their hands on the pulse of the latest items to augment your home or fashion palette.

So does Mollie.

“Young people are getting more into needlepoint and Fiber Arts. They see magazines with handmade crochet and needlepoint pieces and want to make things with their own hands,” said Mollie.

The canvases, threads, décor and fashion items begin their descent with sheer beauty. The canvases range from geometric to floral, with exotic scenery and expressive characters. They also sell Self-finishing items as well.

Threads of all types are chosen to make this needlepoint treasure come to life. SBTS has an amazing collection of Metallics, Rayon, Cotton, Wool, Silks and different blends to personalize your canvas or accessory. Some have texture and create three-dimensional realism.

Trunk shows throughout the year highlight some of the most talented designers such as Colors of Praise, Penny McCloud, Kate Dickerson and Judi & Co.

“Stitches By the Sea is not an ordinary needlepoint store. It’s a special place where people feel the good vibrations and uplifting energy. There’s camaraderie between the people who work here and our customers,” said Karen, who adds that SBTS is like “Cheers,” where everyone knows your name and is considered part of the family.

So much so that, on occasion, a red carpet is rolled out for guests. This red carpet feeling permeates the country. Just recently at a needlepoint trade show in Texas, antique needlepoint chairs were auctioned off for charity. One of the chairs was gifted to Stitches by the Sea and now sits in its rightful place among the beauty and majesty of the shop.
Whether you want a designer-inspired Lucite tray with a needle-point insert, handbag, crossbody straps, or custom-initiated wed-ding gift, Stitches by the Sea can make your creative needlepoint dreams come true.

In a family, everyone is taken care of and nurtured to become the best version of themselves. Come to Stitches by the Sea; they will embrace you with their kindness and guide you with their needle-point expertise.

710 East Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, Florida


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