The Embellishment Squad, formerly known As The Fab Four

When four experienced needlepoint teachers get together and collaborate, some of the most fun and the most learning occurs. 

From the top clockwise: Beth Robertson, Meredith Willett, Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri

From the top clockwise: Beth Robertson, Meredith Willett, Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri

One day Beth Robertson called Tony and Meredith Willett, asking if they wanted to join Beth and Suzanne Howren to form a teaching group. What a wild thought, but they figured out a way to conduct canvas embellishment classes as a team.

Sadly, Beth passed away, leaving the other three to regroup their efforts. Recruiting a guest teacher has proved to be a marvelous evolution, and Debbie Stiehler adds her flair and humor to the group.

As in Tony's other canvas embellishment classes, the student selects his/her canvas and sends a full-sized copy to the team for review. The Squad discuss it and determine the overall goals of embellishment while making notes of some individual style ideas.

In class, it's a rotation-style teaching event, with 4 groups of students and (usually) four days. Every day, the group gets a different teacher. By the end, the student has a stitch guide that's designed collaboratively by the four teachers, with each teacher being responsible for a unique section of the canvas. 

With this group, the sky is the limit. There's fun, laughter, learning, creating, collaborating, and loads of happiness.

Beth's contributions to the needlepoint world are great:  She was the co-author with Suzanne Howren of Stitches for Effect, More Stitches for Effect, Even More Stitches for EffectStitches to Go, and others, and she co-wrote Knots, Fur and Turkeywork with Meredith Willett. Her spirit lives on.