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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Announcing Release of "Mayflower Rose Sewing Set!"

Hello fellow stitchers,
          I'd like to wish you all a Happy Mother's Day and am hoping you are enjoying the glorious warmth of spring in your neck of the woods.  Here in Delaware spring keeps making a brief appearance, followed by several days of chill and rain. This weekend the weather report is calling for a Nor Easter -- which will mean more rain with wind and cold.  Remind me of how unhappy I was with this weather when a month from now it is in the high 90's and I can't cool off fast enough!
           It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been very busy working on some special projects and have just returned from a teaching trip to Atlanta, Georgia for the Sampler Guild of Georgia and the Magnolia Sampler Guild.  I had a wonderful time and was so impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of the people I met.  Atlanta is a beautiful city and my host, while there, made my stay a lovely and memorable one.
          I'm happy to announce that on May 5, 2015, I will be releasing the long awaited, highly anticipated,  ;-)  "Mayflower Rose Sewing Set."  Here is a picture of the fully assembled set:
 This next picture includes a photo of the ornament I designed for the Mayflower Sampler Guild that started it all, which is a separate purchase from the set of smalls.  I chose to mount mine on the inside of the lid so I could remove it to hang on my tree at Christmas time.  I used a Nantucket basket purse that I purchased from Basketville about 5 years ago that, unfortunately, is no longer available.  Although this particular basket is no longer available, they still have some listed on their website if you want a similar one of your own.  I was told by the salesperson there that they are unable to get these baskets any longer as the manufacturer is no longer in business, so once their inventory is gone they won't be carrying them any longer.  It seems that it will be hard to obtain these in the future and the secondary market will be the only place to find one.  Of course you can always buy a handmade original from a Nantucket basket artisan, but that could really be cost prohibitive.  At any rate, here is a link to Basketville's website:  Nantucket Basket Purse
Also, in my previous email I showed a picture of the basket and smalls donated by the Mayflower Sampler Guild to the yearly cancer research auction at the Attic in Mesa, Arizona.  In case you don't remember, here is the picture again:
This beautiful basket was made especially to house the ornament in the lid by a member of the Mayflower Sampler Guild, Janice Card.  She kindly agreed to allow me to post her contact information in case you'd like to order a basket from her.  Here it is: 
          On another note, check back next week, as I have a special announcement regarding an upcoming event.  It is a secret right now, but I hope you will be as excited as I am once it is announced.
          Thanks so much for all of your kind words and wonderful emails regarding my designs.  I am so humbled and honored to have so many fellow stitchers like what I am doing, especially my sampler designs.  Until next week, I wish you fair weather, good health, good fortune, and lots of stitching time.
As always, yours in friendship and stitches,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone,

          I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to move on to this new year of 2015 with lots of stitching projects and finishes.  I can't tell you how busy I've been since mid-November with meeting deadlines, getting 3 private on line SAL's going and finishing the stitching for the Mayflower Rose Needlework Smalls.  Now all I have to do is assemble them, take pictures while doing so, write the finishing instructions and get the charts printed so I can put them on the retail market by the end of January.  I think you will be pleased with the set and I will be sure to post pictures of it when it is complete.

          I've also been busy finishing the design for the Sampler Guild of Georgia/Magnolia Sampler Guild for a class I'll be teaching in April.  I'm so looking forward to seeing Georgia in the springtime.  It will be my first visit there and I can hardly wait!  Here is a sneak peek at the sampler:
This design has been a labor of love for me and I am so going to need to be in my bionic stitching mode in order to finish it before April.  The floral motifs on either side of the chimneys are cotton plants.  I'll be stitching the cotton bolls using "Whisper" to give them the fluffy, cotton like appearance they need.  I can hardly wait to see how they will turn out.  This design is being stitched on 40 count Vintage Pear by Lakeside Linens.  The colors of the flowers just pop on the fabric and it is a break from the usual beige linens I usually use.  The small bird motif  on the left side of the magnolia tree is stitched over one and is the Brown Thrasher, Georgia's State Bird.  I had to design it over one in order to get the detail I wanted but it will be well worth the effort once it is stitched.  I hope you like the sampler.  It is named "A Time Forever Gone."

          Again, Happy New Year and check back by the end of January to see pictures of the Mayflower Rose smalls.

Yours in friendship and stitches,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall is on the way!

          I can't believe how quickly the summer flew by, but now I am looking forward to the cool, crisp air and the vivid blue sky of fall and the beautiful colors of the season.
          It has been a while since I last posted but a lot has been going on behind the scenes of my designing endeavors.  I know I said I would be releasing the smalls to accompany the Mayflower Ornament design, but I've had to come to a realization -- I am only one person -- and since I am my own model stitcher, I've overextended myself and gotten woefully behind on stitching and assembling the Mayflower Rose smalls. I apologize for this delay and am hoping to have them ready to publish in January.
          Aside from thinking I could do more stitching than was humanly possible, I have three reasons for the delay.  My computer with all my designs went on the fritz and is now at the repair shop, so I did/do not have access to my charts.  I've purchased a new computer but the old one would not stay on long enough to transfer the files or load the files onto a flash drive.  The old computer is not really old, so hopefully it can be repaired and all my valuable information restored to the point where I can access my charts and make changes, etc. without having to rechart them on the new computer.
           The second reason is that I was asked by the Queen City Sampler Guild (QCSG) to design a sampler for their upcoming 20th anniversary in November 2015.  I put the final stitches in the sampler over the weekend and will be teaching it as an on-line, 5 part mystery class, starting this November.  Here is a sneak peek of the upper left corner of the retail version of the design:
And here is a sneak peek at the coverlet design for the Guild Exclusive:
Both versions of the retail design area and the Guild Exclusive design area will be included with the chart for the SAL.
          I had a wonderful time designing and stitching this sampler and thanks to all my research, have added quite a bit of knowledge to my brain's database about Ohio and Cincinnati in particular.  And, in case you were wondering, the grapes are all stitched in the spiral trellis stitch.  10 bunches of grapes, with 13 grapes on each bunch -- well, you do the math -- it took a while to stitch them all but it was well worth the effort.  The floss is Classic Colorworks Silk (formerly Belle Soie) in Elegant Eggplant and Petunia.  The lighter part of the strand was purposely used on the top of each grape to give it the hazy opaque appearance of a real grape.  If you are interested in joining the QCSG in order to join in on the fun, you can contact them through their website:
          I will be following up the year long 5 part mystery SAL with a visit to Cincinnati in November 2015 to celebrate their anniversary and also to offer a set of accompanying smalls for sale to the members.  Since this sampler is rather large and labor intensive, I'm offering an incentive to the first three people who have theirs completed when I come to Cincinnati for the anniversary.  The First Prize to the first person to complete the sampler -- A full kit, including all the Classic Colorworks and NPI silks, as well as the linen for my design "Sojourner", a $300+ value.  Second Prize will be the Sojourner chart and a full stitchers half of the linen for the sampler, a $100+ value; and the Third Prize will be the chart for Sojourner, a $50 value.
          And last but not least, the third reason is that I am also working on a sampler design for the Sampler Guild of Georgia and the Magnolia Sampler Guild.  This design is my favorite of all I've done so far.  Since there are few samplers that survived in Georgia due to the Civil War and the climate, I decided to try and interpret a design that a young lady would have stitched in the 1800's.  I am adding a sneak peek to this sampler as well.
This sampler has a lot of specialty stitches and will include a beautiful plantation house and a band of Florentine stitch, as well as a verse I specially composed just for this design.  Here is the verse:

A soft wind blows through the Spanish moss that hangs from the live oak trees
The trees that line the long road home to distant memories
Of a fine old house with columns tall and porches all around
Where the sweet scent of Magnolia blooms in the spring abound
A lady fair in a flowery gown, silk ribbons in her hair
Sweetly smiles at her courting beaus, who look so debonair
And in the distance, o'er the  knoll, I can almost hear the song
Like a choir of angels singing low, of a time forever gone

I can hardly wait to have this sampler completed and ready to show to you.  I will be teaching this sampler in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2015.  If you think you might be interested in joining the Guild to take the class, here is a contact email where you can get more information.
          And so, as you can see, I've got a lot going on behind the scenes and am feverishly working on getting things stitched and ready.  I've started stitching the pieces for the Mayflower smalls and, as I said, will have them ready for retail sale in January.  Thanks so much for your patience and understanding and wish me speedy stitching fingers so I can get all my pending designs done and ready for publishing.
          BTW, starting in January 2015 I will also be teaching/leading a year long, on line SAL for my design "A Delaware Inspiration" to the members of the Swan Sampler Guild. 
 If you are a member, you will have already seen the information in their newsletter.  If you are not, you can find out about how to join on their website:
          Have a wonderful fall and, as always, if you have any questions or comments you can reach me via my email address
Yours in friendship & stitches,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Good News!

Hello fellow stitchers,
          Just in time for your holiday stitching, the chart for "Mayflower Rose" will be available for purchase on June 1st.  You may recall, I designed this for the Mayflower Sampler Guild's annual ornament last year.  The proceeds from the sale of the kits that were made (50 in all) go to their Sampler Conservation Program.
          I've made very slight changes to the original design which I'm sure you will like.  Also, I am in the process of designing and stitching a set of smalls to compliment the ornament, which will be introduced in August.  My plan is to mount the ornament on the top of a Nantucket Basket, and the smalls will go inside the basket.  I'll post pictures of the completed project prior to release of the set of smalls.
          In the meantime, here is a shot of the cover page for the ornament and a shot of the original:

          If you are interested in this chart, you may contact me at to purchase it from me directly  or contact your local or on-line needlework supplier to have them order it.  Thanks so much.
                                           Yours in friendship & stitches,
P.S.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing how two of the members of the Mayflower Sampler Guild beautifully finished their Mayflower Rose design:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hello fellow stitchers,
          I apologize for having woefully neglected my blog, but I've been working really hard behind the scenes with new projects and teaching assignments.  For some reason my work has turned to custom designs for guilds and I've been stitching like a madwoman trying to get these projects to completion for the beginning of the on-line classes.  One of my custom designs was requested by the Bay Area Sampler Guild and the on-line class for it is starting this Saturday, May 1.  Here is a picture of "Sojourner", the sampler I designed:
          I chose the name Sojourner because the design incorporates elements of some of the ethnic peoples that made their way to California and the American West in the mid 1800's.  Each band within the sawtooth border represents an ethnic design -- the Queen Stitch strawberry band, is in honor of New England and the wagon train pioneers who blazed a trail to the western frontier; the Holbein Stitch pansy band, reflects Great Britain and the Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish peoples who came to America seeking a new, better life; the floral rope is a nod to the nautical history of San Francisco as a major sea port; after that is my rendition of a Chinese style band in recognition of the thousands of Chinese who traveled East across the Pacific Ocean to find their fortune in California Gold; next to the last is a band commonly found in Russian folk art garments; and finally a traditional Mexican band with Satin Stitch and Rhodes Stitch details.
           The floral basket vine incorporates flowers indigenous to the San Francisco area.  I chose to use the following:
San Francisco Wallflower
Evening Primrose
Sticky Phacelia
California Poppy
and last, but not least, the beautiful Dahlia
          This will be my first on-line class and I'm hoping, if all goes well, to do more of these in the near future.  If you think your needlework guild or stitching group would be interested in stitching this sampler, please contact me via my email address at
and I can fill you in on the process of setting up your group.
          On another note, I taught the Delaware Inspiration sampler at the Biggs Museum in Dover, Delaware during the Delaware Sampler Symposium.  If anyone is interested in stitching this design, the Swan Stitchers are having me teach it in an on-line format starting January 1, 2015.  If you are a member of the Swans, or just want to stitch the sampler, you will have to contact them to get on the list by joining the guild.  Again, if you have any questions concerning this upcoming class feel free to contact me.
          I hope everyone is finally past the brutal winter most of us endured.  The flowers and bushes are blooming here in Delaware.  I just hope spring hangs around for awhile before the summer heat sets in -- we'll all be wishing for one of those snow days once the temperature reaches 90 degrees plus!
Yours in friendship & stitches,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

There is a poem that I read in a magazine in the mid 1970's.  I never forgot it and thought I'd pass it along so you can enjoy its message as well.
A Tale of Two Trees
by Alice E. Chase
Inside the forest straight and tall the biggest evergreen of all
Spread its giant branches wide and preened itself with snobbish pride
Thinking, "What a sight I'll be when I become a Christmas tree!
Dressed in tinsel all aglow with colored lights that come and go.
I'll be the season's biggest hit, there isn't any doubt of it!"
Not far away a little tree crouched in deep humility
With scrawny branches, twisted trunk, no wonder its morale was sunk
It knew it didn't stand a chance of rating one admiring glance
It thought, "The kind of shape I've got I'll never make it to the lot!
And even if I did who'd buy and ugly little tree like I?"
The woodsmen came to cut and fell the trees they thought would surely sell
Of course the evergreen so tall went crashing downward first of all
And when the job was nearly done a woodsman spied the little one
"This tree looks like it's nearly dead.  I'll finish it" was what he said
The tree came down with just one blow and laid rejected in the snow
By the strangest stroke of luck somebody tossed it on the truck
Which took it to the lot to be displayed like any other tree
At first it tried its very best to straighten up and meet the test
When all the mothers and the dads walked by with little girls and lads
But no one looked or seemed to care or even noticed it was there
Meanwhile, the giant evergreen with head held high had left the scene
Certain it was soon to grace some very grand, exciting place
The other trees went one by one till finally when day was done
Broken hearted and bereft the little tree alone was left
Feeling more and more forlorn it wondered why it had been born
Then suddenly, as if on cue, a small boy wandered into view
His jeans were tattered, his shirt was torn, his shoes were old and badly worn
He looked around and shook his head, "I guess I'm just too late," he said
And then he saw the little tree, "there IS one left," he said, "Oh, Gee!"
He paid a quarter for his prize and took it home with starry eyes
He set it up with tender care and though its scrawny limbs were bare
Of ornaments and lights and such, it really didn't matter much
Because in that poor home it found, shining faces all around
And voices raised in childish glee, saying, "What a pretty tree!"
No longer did it feel forlorn for now it knew why it was born!
And what about the tree so tall, the one that towered over all?
It really didn't fare too well, standing in a posh hotel
Because the people passing through had more important things to do
Than take the time to stop and gaze and shower it with words of praise
And once divested of its pride it slowly shriveled up and died

We'd like to think the little tree lived on and on in memory
Because it proved without a doubt what life's really all about
For if we can fulfill a need, we reach the greatest heights indeed!