Victoria Frank, Inc.

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Arizona: Navajo Blankets –
Study and/or Stitch

October 20-24 / October 25-26, 2014

An in-depth opportunity to study Navajo blankets from two perspectives. Feel free to join me for both segments of the program or the one that interests you most.

Phoenix Needlework

Part I - Study with an Expert:

Part II – Needlepoint with Beth Roberston and Suzanne Howren:

Navajo Rug

The itinerary – Part I

Montezuma's Castle

Day 1 – You will be met at the airport in Phoenix when you land and transferred to our hotel. The official program will begin with a welcome reception and presentation on prehistoric Native American textiles from Laurie Webster in the late afternoon. The Welcome Dinner will offer further opportunity to get to know one another.

Day 2 – In the morning we head to the Heard Museum where we will have a tour of the textile collection with curator, Ann Marshall. After the tour we will have lunch at the attractive museum café. A visit to the Desert Botanic Garden is planned for the afternoon. This visit will focus on the plants used by the prehistoric Native Americans for textiles; Dr. Webster will explain the harvesting and weaving techniques.


Day 3 – With delicious box lunches in hand we will board our chartered coach to travel to Sedona in the morning. Along the way we will stop at Montezuma’s Castle where Dr. Webster will share her knowledge of the daily life of the Native Americans who lived there 700 years ago. It’s a beautiful location and, if weather permits, we will enjoy lunch at the site. Sedona is a short trip from the Castle site and we will make a stop at Garland’s Rugs on our way into town to see their remarkable collection of museum quality Navajo blankets. We will check into our hotel in the late afternoon.

Group Lunch in Flagstaff

Day 4 – This morning we head up to Flagstaff for an amazing experience – visit the archive collection at the Museum of Northern Arizona with Dr. Webster (the woman who cataloged much of the museum’s textile collection). This is a remarkable experience as the archives are located in a building across the street from the museum and not open to the public. After the special visit we will lunch in Flagstaff and after lunch the group will have their choice of returning to the museum or returning to Sedona for a little time on your own. The day will conclude with a farewell dinner worthy of the remarkable learning experience we have shared.

Day 5 – We will travel as a group back to Phoenix. Those that are traveling home will be dropped at the airport. Those that will be staying to stitch will be dropped at the hotel. If you wish, individual transfers can be arranged as an optional expense.

The itinerary – Part II

Beth and Suzanne

Day 1 – In the morning we will settle into a comfortable room at the hotel where you will be introduced to the focus of the weekend – a beautiful hand-painted canvas designed exclusively for the program. The piece incorporates some of the many designs that became the specialty of the various trading posts who sold the blankets. Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren have created a beautiful stitch guide for the project. Two days of interesting threads and new techniques that enhance the canvas, interspersed with delicious luncheons – needlepoint nirvana!

Day 2 – A schedule similar to Day 1. If you have participated in Part I of the trip or flown in for the weekend, an airport transfer will be provided, based on your personal itinerary.


Laurie Webster, Ph.D.
Anthropologist and textile consultant, who specializes in Southwest Native American Textiles, Laurie contributes to projects at prestigious museums like The Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History (New York) and The Field Museum (Chicago). Her publications include Collecting the Weaver’s Art and Beyond Cloth and Cordage: Archaeological Textile Research in the Americas

Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson
Authors of numerous books on canvas embellishment (Stitches to Go, New Twists on Needlework Embellishment, and three volumes of Stitches for Effect) and popular teachers, Suzanne and Beth will guide us as we work on the beautiful hand painted needlepoint canvas exclusive to the program.

Heard Museum
Founded in 1929 this museum has grown to become one of the world’s finest destinations for learning about American Indian arts and cultures. Our tour of the textile collection will be led by one of the museum curators, a rare and valuable experience.

Museum of Northern Arizona
Featuring four main disciplines: anthropology, biology, geology, and fine art, the Museum has permanent exhibits in five galleries and changing exhibits in three additional galleries. The Museum houses over 600,000 artifacts in its permanent collections; extensive federal and tribal research collections; and significant library and archival collections.

Study with Expert Trip includes:

Cost: $3,350 (based on single occupancy/contact me for double occupancy pricing)

Needlepoint Weekend includes:

Cost: $1,365 for Stitch and Stay (based on single occupancy/contact me for double occupancy pricing)

$  595 for Day Students

Discount offered for those who participate in both program segments.
Contact me to discuss.

Comments from Guests who took a similar trip in 2011:

You won't have to lift a finger...