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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

          Well, it looks as though another year is about to have come and gone.  I hope everyone had a beautiful and blessed Christmas and, now, it is on to the New Year!  Happy New Year to you all!
          I've been busy at the old drawing board (or should I say, computer), designing some new things, redesigning some old things and, of course, always stitching in between.  Here is a digital rendering of one of my new designs.  I hope you like it.  It is called "Willow Flower".

I haven't started to stitch it yet, as I have several things that are taking priority right now.  I can't wait to start it, though.  Here is a redo on an older design, which I've renamed "Belsnickle's Journey". 

The original one was square and, I felt, had too many trees.  I've narrowed and elongated the design and I like it much better.  What do you think?  This is another I have to stitch.
          On another note, I would like your thoughts on purchasing digital rendered charts.  Several designers do release charts that have not been stitched but are digital renderings of the design on the cover.  Do you prefer a stitched sample or digital, or both?  Your response would be greatly appreciated.

          Well, again, Happy New Year!  May it be the best one for all!
Yours in stitches,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello, Hello, Hello
          Is everyone ready for Christmas?  Okay, I won't ask -- but if you must know about me -- I am NOT, in any way, shape or form, ready for Christmas this year.  That's okay though, my grandchildren are grown and prefer a card with cash (as do my children) so they can take advantage of the after holiday sales.  They have come a long way from wearing the things I used to buy and/or make for them.  Here are Jacki and Ashley in flower girl dresses I made for them in 1995:

The dresses had 7 layers of tulle in the skirt, my first time working with it no less, but I used my handy, dandy rotary cutter to cut them out, and especially for the hems, it worked marvelously!  Aren't they (the girls) just beautiful!  Time passes so swiftly ...  I'm hoping someday their interest in stitching and knitting will be rekindled, as I taught them all how to do basic needlework when they were little.  I can still remember how they would describe me when their Grandpop would ask, "What is Grandmom doing?"  They would reply, "She's needleing."
          Speaking of needleing, I just finished putting the last stitch in "Stone House on the Brandwine" a few evenings ago.  I stayed up until I finished -- 3:30 a.m., to be exact.  I commented on one of the needlework forums that I actually felt a little sad to be finishing it.  I wonder if anyone else has ever felt that way when they finish a big project that has been a constant companion for many months?  Now I will have to get it to the framer, but that will have to wait until after the holidays.
          On another note, I have decided to post the stitching schedule here as well as in Ellen's Newsletter for the With My Needle & Pen 2013 SAL "A Maryland Inspiration".  So now those who are participating will have two places to check and see what is on the drawing board for the month.  Here is the schedule for January as written for the newsletter.

*     *     *     *     *

           Ever since Ellen asked to feature my sampler “A Maryland Inspiration” as one of the 2013 SAL picks, I’ve been counting the days until we begin. Before I get too far ahead of myself though, I’d like to welcome everyone and thank you all for your kind words and enthusiasm regarding my first published sampler design. I hope you will enjoy stitching this sampler as much as I did. It is a biggie, that is for sure, but I found it to be a fun and interesting stitch, especially the motifs.
          As most of you already know, the nature of over-dyed flosses and linens can change significantly with each dye lot. If your floss colors get lost in the linen because they are too light or dark, feel free to change out the colors to one that is more suitable. I did a conversion to all NPI silks and, since they do most of their colors by range (light to dark), you can check the color number and go lighter or darker by the hue in the particular color range. Another suggestion is, if you are changing out solid colors to over dyed ones, use the color chart for the NPI silks to gauge the correct hue of your new selection.
          I am hoping to break the sampler schedule down to 11 months, so everyone who is stitching along will be finished in time for the holidays. For the first month of the schedule, I would suggest you stitch the vine of the Strawberry Border – then stitch the vine of the floral border. The Strawberry Border uses "Belle Soie Collard Greens" which is very close in hue to the "Belle Soie Creme de Menthe". The dye lot I used for these colors had a significant difference between the two -- the Creme de Menthe being nicely variegated between the light and dark along the strand. Some of the latest dye lots of this color closely resemble the Collard Greens. If you find this to be so with your dye lot, I would like to suggest that you can switch out the Creme de Menthe for "Belle Soie Ivy League". It is up to you, of course.
          The vines will be the most tedious part of the sampler to stitch, but it is necessary as it will aid in the placement of the Alphabet Border, as well as the motifs within the body of the sampler. Also, when your Strawberry Border meets, you’ll breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that your count was spot on!
          If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Yours in stitches,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hello again,
Donna, one of the participants in the 2013 SAL, pointed out to me that on the chart I had referenced NPI 298 twice on the floss chart.  This will help solve the confusion (I hope ;-)  I had originally used a few of Vikki Clayton's Hand Dyed Fibers' silks when I stitched my sampler. Since Vikki is going out of the silk floss business, I did not want future stitcher's of the sampler to not be able to find that floss, so I did a complete conversion to NPI for all the floss used in the design. In the conversion, the closest color to Belle Soie "Collard Greens" was NPI 298. You will need 3 skeins of 298 if you don't use Collard Greens. If you do use Collard Greens, you will need 2 skeins of Collard Greens and 1 skein of 298.
On another note, I just want to thank everyone for the wonderful response to my designs and, especially, my first publication "A Maryland Inspiration".  I spent a wonderful day yesterday in Ocean City, MD at the Salty Yarns and, as always, enjoyed my time chatting and laughing with Sally and friends from the DVHSG.  Sally and Sarah host a retreat for our guild 2 times a year and it is always something I look forward to.  Sally has supported and encouraged me in my designing endeavors for a number of years now and I know she is happy that I finally made the step to publish my designs.  She's the BEST!
Yours in stitches,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hello everyone,

Some of you may already know this, but I wanted to post an announcement for those who do not.  The "A Maryland Inspiration" chart is now available for purchase.  I am also pleased and honored to announce that the sampler has been chosen as the Attic's October Sampler of the Month, as well as one of the 2013 SALs on Ellen Chester's With my Needle and Pen forum.

The Attic in Mesa, AZ has all the supplies you will need to stitch this design, as well as the chart.  Here is a link to the website:

You can also purchase the chart from In Stitches, Alexandria, VA:
and Salty Yarns, Ocean City, MD:

I will be leading the 2013 SAL and break down the sampler into manageable and, hopefully, interesting segments to keep you stitching throughout the year.  I'm looking forward to it!

On another note, I've had requests for Belsnickle's Victorian Christmas, Mary Sophia's Pennsylvania German Sewing Set, and Stone House on the Brandywine.  These are not ready for publication yet.  I am planning a move from my house of 25 years and will probably not be able to get these charts ready until January.  I'm still not sure if I want to do Mary Sophia's ... as a teaching piece or release it as a chart with finishing instructions.  Once I am settled into my new place I will have the time, and the organization, to get most of my designs ready for publication or as teaching projects.  I am going to sign with a distributor so my designs will be available in most LNS after the new year.

In closing, I want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding my designs and for your support of my new business venture.

Yours in stitches,


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stitching and stitching and stitching and .....

Hello everyone,

I admit it!  I am a lousy blogger.  My only excuse is that I'm busy stitching away on the Stone House on the Brandywine Sampler.  I am now in the home stretch and will, hopefully, have it completed in the next month or two.

In the meantime, I wanted to post pictures of my finished samplers -- Thistle House and The Dianthus Sampler.

I had these both stretched and matted but haven't chosen the frames yet.

I also wanted to post some pictures of my Cottage by the Sea Sewing Set.  I'm very proud of it and was so honored and humbled that it won the Best In Show and First Place Ribbon for Counted Thread at the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society's 2nd Annual Needlework Exhibit.

Here is the basket with all the pieces:

Here is the inside of the basket.  A ribbon ruched cartouche -- that rhymes!

Here it is in the display case at the museum wearing it's wonderful ribbons.

I hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cool.

Yours in stitches,


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Christmas in May????

Just thought I'd post a preview digital rendering of a small Christmas design I'm stitching.  It should be ready to purchase in July -- stitched on 36 ct. linen it is 5-3/4" wide by 5-1/2" long, and can be made up as a framed piece, a door hanger pillow, ornament or needleroll --  more news to come ...

I thought I would throw in this little Christmas design I did for myself.  Do you think I have a fondness for Old English Sheepdogs???

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Regal Bee Finish!!!

Hello all,

I just have to share a link to Stasi's blog where she has posted pictures of her completed "Regal Bee".

I love the little personal additions Stasi has made to her set.  Congrats for a wonderful job stitching and assembling my design (and in record time too)!!

Yours in stitches,


Monday, May 14, 2012

A Banner Year!!!

I hope you won't mind, but I just have to share this with everyone.  This morning I found out that my designs "A Maryland Inspiration" and "Mary Sophia's Pennsylvania German Needlework Set" won ribbons at the Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Exhibit.  "A Maryland Inspiration" won the Frank Lloyd Wright Award for Outstanding Original Design, and "Mary Sophia ..." won a First Place Ribbon in the Counted Thread category.  Needless to say, I am both humbled and honored to have received the awards, especially since this is the first time I've ever entered anything at Woodlawn.  Here are pictures of the two designs:

Oh, my goodness, I am so excited!

Yours in stitches,


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.  I hope it was a good one for all. 

I thought I would write a short note to show you my latest design.  I am busily stitching away on it and am very pleased so far.  My mother was of Pennsylvania/German decent and this design was inspired by the Brandywine Valley and the flora and fauna of the area.  The corner blocks on the edges of the flower bands are in homage to the quilt, the colorful quaker adaptations are in homage to their influence in the Brandywine area.  The many fruit motifs signify the richness of the soil and the verdant pastures.  Of course, the stone house speaks for itself.  It is inspired by the many stone houses that dot the Pennsylvania countryside.  I composed the poem to go along with the design.  It reads:

Oh, what stories it could tell, this old house of mine
a long standing sentinel on the Brandywine
Built strong of granite and of wood,
on verdant acres my stone house stood
with window sills so deep and wide and
walls made thick on every side
While o'er the hill, not far away,
the Brandywine River did flow and play
Afar to behold the strength of the two,
the house and the river and the stories they knew.

I hope you like it.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Okay, here I am again, lagging waaaaaaay behind in posting, but I do have some news.  For the first time, I entered a needlework exhibit/competition -- it was (is) at the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society.  I submitted my design "Cottage by the Sea" and the accompanying sewing set.  To my amazement, I received "Best in Show" and "First Place" ribbons for the sewing set and a "Second Place" ribbon for the sampler.  Here I am posing along side of my winning designs.