Celebrating Our Talented Stitchers

Stitcher of the Month

Katie Oringel

Explore a stunning collection of completed needlepoint projects that have been transformed into extraordinary masterpieces. From elegant pillows and framed artwork to functional accessories and home decor items, our finishing services add the perfect final touch to your stitching creations.

Katie's Needlepoint Journey

I’m not your grandmother’s needlepointer, but my grandmother’s needlepoints are my inspiration. My childhood was decorated with beautiful needlepoints stitched by my mother and grandmother. My nursery walls were populated by a stitched Noah’s Ark growth chart, Peanuts characters and ‘KATIE’. Beautiful colors stitched, one hole at a time, with love.

I came to needlepoint the day I submitted my master’s thesis. I dropped it off at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in preparation to be ordained as a cantor. My next stop was Rita’s Needlepoint on the east side of Manhattan. I found the perfect canvas: ‘HALLELUJAH’. I stitched my excitement for finishing five years of graduate school and fulfilling my dream of becoming a cantor. It became the first decoration in my office at Temple Sinai in Toronto

Among my mother’s gifts for that accomplishment: 1) a needlepoint of a Torah scroll and 2) my grandmother’s needlepoint books. Jane Levy Lucas, my grandmother, died several years before I was born. My name, Katie Jane, honors her legacy of caring, Jewish leadership and needlepointing. As I began my stitching journey, I felt connected to her in a new way.

In Toronto, Cindy’s Needleart became my home away from home. Cindy introduced me to the world of creative stitching, beading, ribboning, threads and framing. An entire new world of creativity lay on the blank canvas before me. 

An early stitching challenge was Marc Chagall’s ‘The Green Violinist’. I was drawn to this canvas because of my master’s thesis, “A Polyphonic Canvas: The Intersection of Marc Chagall and Jewish Music”. Cindy helped bring this hundred year old masterpiece into a contemporary milieu with whimsical stitches and color combinations. I became hooked on reinterpreting masterworks in needlepoint. I’ve stitched works by Pablo Picasso, Itzchak Tarkay, and Romero Britto. I am currently working on a piece by Georges Seurat

My stuffed bear named Cantor Beary was a labor of love. Each panel represents a different Jewish holiday or moment from the Torah. Upon each foot is a kiddush cup and Shabbat candles. One arm bears a mask for Purim and the other a dreidel and menorah for Hanukkah. I added a beaded kippah and a removable tallit. His sweet face inspired accompanying Cantor Beary’s Tales.

As an avid traveler, Covid cut me off from exploring the world. As a response, I began stitching two women traveling around the world. They ‘visited’ The Amalfi Coast, Paris, New York and Tokyo. This series kept my mind abroad while safely stitching from my then home, in Florida. 

A year and a half ago I moved to Westchester to become the Senior Cantor at Larchmont Temple. My second stop upon moving here was to Stitch By Stitch. It has become a new home away from home with such wonderful stitchers and caring staff. I’m excited for all the needlepoints to come with this new creative team. If you would like to follow my needlepoint journey, please follow me on instagram: cantor.stitcher

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