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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 20, 2009 8 years ago

All Angels member has hobby all sewn up

by: Dora Walters Senior Editor

Bill Walker and Los Angeles Rams football legend Rosey Grier have something in common.

Both like to relax by doing needlepoint.

Walker’s initial interest began when he was looking for something to occupy his time on the beach while his multi-tasking wife, Daphne, talked and read.

His summer home in Nantucket Island, Mass., is also where well-known needlepoint artist Erica Wilson had a studio. Walker decided to take a class.

“The class was all women except for one other man, a doctor,” Walker said. “He flunked and left the class.
He couldn’t thread the needle.”

Walker didn’t have that problem and stuck with the class, which he enjoyed.

But Walker did have one problem to conquer: He’s colorblind.

“My wife, Daphne, has to select the colors for me,” Walker says with a chuckle.

His first needlepoint project was a simple, brick doorstop cover. He has progressed to 6-by-9-foot rugs.

Walker’s most ambitious project was kneelers for All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church, for which he is a lay Eucharistic minister. Daphne Walker designed the altar kneelers, which are inspired by the circular stained-glass window over the altar.

Similar designs can also be found on a stole Walker made for All Angels rector, the Rev. David Danner.

But Walker agrees that needlepoint isn’t for everyone.
It requires a lot of patience, and it takes careful and meticulous stitching.

“If you make an error, you rip it out and start again,” he says.

There are dozens of stitches in needlepoint, many of them complex, but Walker says he sticks to the simpler stitches.

His advice to anyone interested in taking up needlepoint is to start simple with pre-designed pieces and to take some classes.

“It is easy to get overwhelmed, so it is critical to start simple and get help as you begin,” Walker says.

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