Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Traveling and Embroidery Shops


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I’m home from a long road trip through the Southeast, where I did manage to get in a few embroidery shops along the way. I thought I’d give you the lowdown on the ones I visited, in case you’re ever in the area – or looking for them online.

My first embroidery stop was supposed to be at the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta, Georgia. I knew it would be the highlight of my trip, and I couldn’t wait to check it out and to SHOP there! Alas, it was not to be. I thought I was lost, since the directions took me to a beautiful residential area in Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta. I landed at the address that I had, but it looked to me like one of the fine residences. It was 10:00 a.m., and I didn’t think ringing someone’s doorbell quite the thing to do, so I chalked the experience up to bad directions, and went on with my journey. When I finally had the opportunity to call to let them know I wouldn’t be there for a tour (you have to arrange one with them at least 48 hours in advance), I found out that I had indeed been in the right place! So if you’re ever looking for the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta, it is in a residential area. Don’t be shy! Ring the doorbell.

While in Florida, I made it to a little needlework shop in Altamonte Springs, called Needle Orts.

Florida needlework shop map - Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs

The shop is conveniently located in Altamonte Springs, just a bit outside (north) of Orlando. If you’re vacationing in Orlando and love threads especially, this is a great place to stop to take a look at what they have. I was there on a Saturday morning, when they have their local stitch get-together. It looked like heaps of fun, with small group of stitches around a table, with lunch and snacks set out for all.

Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs, FL

The shop itself (like the other shops I went into in the Southeast) specializes in hand-painted canvases for needlepoint, but they also have a good array of fabrics for (counted) embroidery, many of which can certainly be used for surface embroidery.

Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs, FL

Painted canvases line the walls, and thread racks fill the center of the shop. They carry the full range of Soie d’Alger by Au Ver a Soie, as well as the 100/3. They have Trebizond as well. They’ve also got the full range of Needle Necessities silk, as well as a large selection of wools and other combinations of fibers. Caron Collection threads, DMC, and too many others to count are in abundance.

Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs, FL

They’ve got plenty of little kits, too, which are perfect for the traveller looking for something to do in leisure time. I purchased a couple pretty little counted thread kits to keep me occupied, as well as selecting a bunch of Soie d’Alger colors for an upcoming guild project.

Needle Orts in Altamonte Springs, FL

Just like many places in Florida, the shop overlooks a pretty little lake. This is a big sell-point for me. Being from Kansas, we don’t see abundant water throughout the year, so I like to see it everywhere I go!

The staff was friendly. My only complaint as a shopper would be that the shop is Very Crowded! However, I think that has to do with the Saturday gathering they were having. But hey – I’d rather have it crowded with stuff I’m looking for than roomy as anything, but with a lousy stock! So this wasn’t really a negative point. They had a great selection of all kinds of stuff.

Needle Orts has a website, but it isn’t fully functional for shopping, although it apparently will be soon. If you’re looking for something in particular, you can find their contact information online and you can order over the phone.

My next needlework stop was in Charleston, South Carolina, where I found some real gems …. I’ll fill you in on that next time!


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(3) Comments

  1. It seems like you had a wonderful time. Did you ever go back to the
    Japanese Embroidery Center? Also, the Needle Orts is almost an exact replica of a little place we have here in Cali, called the Enchanted Unicorn.

  2. *Sigh* No, I didn’t make it back to the JEC – I went home via a different route. Someday, someday…. in the meantime, they ahve a great online store!

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