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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!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Hello fellow stitchers,
            I had planned to insert a Thanksgiving photo to the greeting, but for some reason, which I've yet to figure out, Blogger is not allowing me to upload photos.  So my heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving header is all I can do -- UPDATE:  I figured it out!  Happy Thanksgiving!

            On another note, for those who purchased the kit for the 2013 Mayflower Sampler Guild's Annual Christmas Ornament, I have a correction to make to the instructions.  There is a difference in the over one section of the chart between the "master chart" and the "ship detail" chart.  The "ship detail" chart shows the over one section stitched as I stitched it on my model.  The "master chart" has an alternate over one section  for those who are not fond of over one stitching -- it has less.  I forgot to mention it in my chart instructions and apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Stitched either way, you will still have a lovely ornament.
            If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
Yours in friendship & stitches,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
             I can hardly believe how quickly the time has gone since we started this Stitch-a-Long for my first published design, “A Maryland Inspiration”.  I’d like to thank Ellen Chester, an incredible designer, teacher, and most importantly, a dear friend, for asking me if I’d be interested in having my design be one of the choices for the 2013 SALs.  As I stated when we first started, I’m very new to all of this, so I hope I didn’t confuse anyone too much with my inexperience.  It has definitely built my confidence, helped to prepare me for future teaching projects, and opened doors to many opportunities to design and teach exclusive projects for several upcoming venues.
            If you’ve been able to keep up with the stitching schedule, your Maryland Inspiration should be complete except for the Diamond Eyelets in sets of four at the top of the sampler in the alphabet band.  I purposely saved those for last so you can stitch them all at the same time which will aid in your tension being consistent throughout.  Below is a diagram of the stitch with the sequence numbered.  As stated, if you stitch in hand as I do, you should use a hoop for this part of the sampler. It will keep your fabric taut and make it much easier to see the holes.
If you should have any questions regarding any portion of the sampler, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help in any way I can.
            It has been a real pleasure leading this SAL and I most appreciate the helpful suggestions and alerts to chart errors, as well as all of the complimentary emails I received through the year.  Have a wonderful holiday season and please send me pictures of your finished samplers when you have the time.  I'd love to post them on my blog to inspire other's to get theirs completed.  And, again, a big thanks to Ellen for all of her support and encouragement.
                    Yours in friendship and stitches,

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
               Fall is definitely in the air here in Delaware and I am so looking forward to the wonderful colors of the foliage. By far, it is my favorite season, especially since my birthday is on Halloween, and that makes me a "Stitch Witch"!
               Well, it looks like we are getting close to the finish line for this sampler. I hope you’ve all been able to keep up, but don’t worry or be discouraged if you haven’t. I know it is a big sampler, but the end result will be well worth the effort. Since this was my first time leading a SAL for my own design, I would appreciate any input you can give me on how I did with the monthly stitching schedule, stitch and assignment diagrams, and instructions. Let me know where I need improvement – any suggestions would be most welcome.
               This month’s assignment is to stitch the rest of the verse and to add the flowers to the vine at the bottom (dianthus and honeysuckles). You will also stitch the pineapple motif and the two birds. Last month’s assignment contained a close up section of the chart for the pineapple and the honeysuckle. Just in case you missed it, I will include it again.  The eyelets in the pineapple use Belle Soie "Cinnamon Stick" for the dark eyelets, and Belle Soie "Butterscotch" for the light eyelets.  I suggest that if you stitch in hand, a hoop will make it much easier to control your tension and see more clearly the linen threads, while doing the over one stitching as well as the eyelets used for the pineapple.

               As always, if you have a question, please feel free to email me at and I will do my best to help you. Have a spooky good time on Halloween and don’t eat too much candy.
                           Yours in friendship and stitches,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Fall!
My Favorite Season of the Year

Hello everyone,
            My newest design, the "Norfolk Diligence" sampler, will be released in mid-October, so I thought I would give you a preview before I take it to the framer.  I've always loved Norfolk samplers and was drawn to a particular antique I found on the Antique Samplers site.  That sampler is the Mary Taylor sampler, stitched in 1734.  It is a little different than the more common Norfolk style as it is a band sampler, but I loved the border so much I thought I would design something based on the antique.  I hope you like my modern inspiration of the original.
It contains several specialty stitches, but nothing too difficult.  As usual, I stitched mine with Belle Soie, but will have a conversion to NPI and DMC with the chart.  If you are interested in purchasing the chart, contact your favorite needlework shop and they can pre-order it for you.   Here is a picture of the antique that inspired my design:
Have a wonderful fall!
                                                                                                               Yours in friendship and stitches,