Stitching, Phishing, and a Tip from a Needlework Judge

By Teresa Frank, NAN-Certified Judge

This article first appeared in NANthology, the NAN newsletter, in winter 2021.

As with many of you, I am a member of several other needlework organizations. I try to stay current by participating through stitching opportunities, volunteering for chapter positions or just attending meetings.

One of these organizations recently experienced the distressing incident labeled “phishing”. You may ask, what in the world is “phishing”. Is it a misspelled word or am I writing an article for the wrong venue?

Security organizations define phishing as “a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a
reputable entity or person in email or other forms of communication.” (

Unfortunately, the abovementioned incident involved a sizeable sum of money and resulted not only in a financial loss but also great personal distress for the parties directly involved. All parties involved learned from this experience and procedures have now been put in place to ensure it will not happen again.

Which brings me to the tie-in about needlework judging. As a NAN judge, I have absorbed tips and suggestions over the years from other judges. One suggestion is to ask a friend to carefully look at your needlework before submitting it for judging. When we have stitched on a piece for months, it is easy to overlook something that needs to be added or repaired before going to the finisher or framer. Asking another needlework friend to give your piece a good once over could make the difference between a blue ribbon or no ribbon at all.

The same can be said when it comes to an unsolicited request for information or money. Many of us just hang up or do not answer the call or email at all; but if you get caught up in a situation where someone has captured a recognized email or name and they are using it to extract information or money from you—-STOP. There is probably a little voice in your head saying “something does not seem right”. Pick up the phone and call a friend. In this case it does not have to be a needlework friend, but a second opinion before reacting can make the difference between a traumatic mistake or a win over someone trying to take advantage of our better selves.

Be well, stay safe, be vigilant, and keep stitching. I look forward to seeing all your beautiful needlework in our virtual Exemplary.