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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.

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           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,