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Making a Point : * Needlework can be therapeutic. And at this store, you see a bit of shrink in the prices too.

March 25, 1994|GERI COOK

NORTHRIDGE — Hidden away--and still standing--at the end of Business Center Drive is a building housing one of Southern California's largest inventories of supplies for a proven method of stress therapy--needlework.

Customers come from as far away as Santa Barbara, Riverside and Balboa Island to J. B. Unique Needlework Inc.

Owner Judith Bober's reputation for expertise seems to have spread. While I was chatting with her, a stitcher from Oklahoma City called for supplies and advice.

This beautifully organized store is strictly for the needlework crowd, not knitters or crocheters. Petit point, embroidery and cross-stitch are also included, but the emphasis is on needlepoint.

For beginners or experts, there are hundreds of canvases to choose from. The hand-painted patterns run from $10 to $3,500, and European-stamped canvases go for as little as $1 for a four-inch square to $400 for one that measures 3 by 4 feet.

For those who are just learning, canvases that have been pre-worked are a good starting point. The floral design in a 30-inch bell pull already has been done; just the background needs stitching. These run about $25 and have been spotted at various antique stores for well over $100, so by practicing your stitchery on the background, you have already saved a lot.

Pre-worked piano seats run from $30 to $100, chair seats from $25 to $60.

The range of patterns in books, with three to four designs in each one, is astonishing. Subjects range from all forms of animals to florals, landscapes, castles, birds and clowns.

There are endangered animals, comical cats and mythical dragons. Many of these books are sold at 50% off the cover price.


In the store's Bargain Corner, there's a sale every day. Cross-stitch, needlepoint, crewel and embroidery kits are 40% to 50% off retail.

But throughout the store, you'll find sizable reductions on other items. In addition to featuring a monthly special, Bober and her silver-haired staff mark down items each week. And the wall of the back room displays a dazzling selection of yarns.

In the shop's classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced students mix, a practice that Bober says spurs the beginners on.

"There's a lot of conversation that goes on in the classes, and that's OK," Bober said. "I tell them they can move their mouths as much as they want as long as they're moving their hands."

Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Friday in Valley Life!.


What: J. B. Unique Needlework Inc.

Location: 19505 Business Center Drive, Northridge.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, till 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Classes: 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Also 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Price: Day classes are $40 for five consecutive lessons; evening classes are $10 more. Cost does not include canvas, fibers or materials.

Cards: MasterCard, Visa.

Call: (818) 993-3999.

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