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Claire Murray's Original Nantucket Needleworks Designs

Laughter and fun with needlepoint, cross stitch and rug hooking kits on Cape Cod.

If you go into the West Barnstable Claire Murray store you are likely to hear a chorus of giggling and laughter. What’s going on? Colleen Kennedy-Amaral, store manager, is once again running a needlepoint, rug hooking or any of the dozen arts and crafts classes in Claire Murray’s Cape Cod store on Rte 6A.

Colleen’s joy-filled days include helping vacationers and Cape Cod customers learn the needle arts. She’ll sometimes schedule a class on the spot to help those on a Cape Cod visit learn how to make up the dozens of needlepoint kits, rug hooking kits and cross stitch kits. The kits are all assembled in the USA in Claire Murray’s art studio on Cape Cod.

Claire Murray’s Nantucket Needleworks kits seem so much more fun than others because of the incredible variety of colors included in the kit designs. "The designs have so much more clarity and depth because of the tonal variations and detail.” says Kennedy-Amaral. "I’m always changing colors and excited about moving on to do the next flower and the next seashell or butterfly. It just seems to move so fast.“

"In the rug hooking kits, the jute is top quality. I’ve found some others to be less sturdy and harder to work with. Then there is the 6-ply Nantucket wool that is just unsurpassed in quality. I’m not saying this just because I work here,” says Kennedy –Amaral. “I was working with Claire Murray rug hooking and needlepoint kits long before I came to work for Claire. They are truly the best I’ve ever encountered.”

In the past, Colleen has hooked rugs with wool strips and likes hooking with Nantucket wool yarn the best. “The colors are just so beautiful! Claire has developed her own unique color palette over the years and you just can’t find the outstanding combinations of colors in other needlepoint, cross stitch or rug hooking kits.”

“The best thing of all about Claire Murray’s Nantucket Needleworks designs of needlepoint kits, cross stitch kits and rug hooking kits is that they make you feel good. The designs are so pretty, just looking at them makes me smile.” said Colleen in a recent interview.

The designs are more distinct and clear. Unlike some needlepoint, cross stitch and rug hooking kits on the market today, these are well-drawn with crispness and a real-life feel to them. “The finished kit looks so real! When I look at my Coral Reef hand hooked rug that was made from a Claire Murray Nantucket Needleworks rug hooking kit, I see something new every time I look at it. It’s like having my own little aquarium right here. It looks so real. Look at the fish behind the little seahorse. Was she there yesterday? ” Colleen giggles with her distinct laugh that can be recognized anywhere. "I find some other kits often appear one-dimensional. Not so with Claire’s kits.“

In teaching cross stitch, needlepoint and rug hooking, Colleen finds that for beginners, the dark backgrounds are sometimes harder to see. It’s a little harder on the eyes. It’s the same with cross stitch and needlepoint, dark is harder on the eyes.

The Claire Murray Nantucket Needleworks needlepoint, cross stitch and rug hooking kits all come with everything you need to create a wonderful work of art. Both the needlepoint and rug hooking kits include 100% Nantucket wool yarn. Cross stitch kits include high quality traditional floss.
Classes in the Claire Murray West Barnstable store are about, but not limited to needle arts. There are many arts and crafts classes to choose from in the Cape Cod store.

Needlepoint Classes are held regularly and are provided free of charge for anyone who purchases a needlepoint kit.

Counted Cross Stitch classes are held regularly and are provided free of charge for anyone who purchases a cross stitch kit.

Rug Hooking classes are held regularly and are provided free of charge for anyone who purchases a hooked rug kit.

Knitting class Make socks or twelve different stitches. Your 12-stitch project can be a lap quilt made with your 12 squares. Colleen likes to use her squares as wash cloths in the kitchen. They hold up much better than the ones you buy in the store. Includes four 2-hour sessions for $45

Sailor’s Valentines This very popular class will give you a choice of 3 different designs. All include a 10-inch cherry box that is hand-crafted in Pennsylvania and all materials needed to make your very own Sailor’s valentine. Includes five 2-hour sessions and is $295

Ribbon Embroidery Includes a choice of designs, when finished are suitable for framing. Includes: Four 2-hour sessions for $45

Felt Appliqué With wool felt, 3 different designs to choose from. Make a table runner or a carry bag lined with Claire’s fabric. Includes: Five 2-hour sessions for $85

Painted Floor Class Includes 2x3 sizes, 2 designs to choose from. Five two-hour sessions $85

Nantucket Basket Weaving Classes are being planned. Sign up for the Claire Murray Nantucket Needleworks mailing list to learn more.
All who purchase a needlepoint, cross stitch or rug hooking kit receive a free ½ -hour class. If you are just visiting the Cape, they try if at all possible to do it right there on the spot for you or within a few hours.
Monthly get-togethers are scheduled for rug hookers.
Contact Colleen at 508-375-0331