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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,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
            We’ve had a small taste of fall for a few days here in Delaware and I am so looking forward to when the crisp cool air and fall foliage are here for real. Autumn is my favorite season of the year!
            We are getting close to the finish line for this SAL and I hope you’ve been able to keep up. I’ve received several email regarding the color of the stamens on the honeysuckles so I am attaching a color picture of that portion of the chart. I am also attaching a color picture of the chart containing the pineapple. It is stitched with Belle Soie's Cinnamon Stick (dark eyelet) and Butterscotch (light eyelet).

This month we are moving on to the right side of the house where we will begin stitching the fence, trees, and birds, as well as the butterfly. (See diagram 1)

Diagram 1

You will also stitch the next 3 layers of grass (under the grass portion you stitched last month). Follow the same directions for the fence and cardinals as you did last month for the left hand side of the sampler.
            Although you do not have to finish the entire thing, this month I’d also like you to start stitching the verse. It is stitched over one thread using NPI 993 (black). I find it easier to stitch over one when I use a hoop. It is easier to see the linen threads, especially on 40 ct. linen.
            As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 
Yours in friendship and stitches,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
            I hope you are all having a wonderful summer, and for those plagued with the heat wave, I hope you are staying cool as well.
            If you’ve been able to keep up with the stitching schedule, then you know the end is in sight! This month’s schedule is to stitch the steps on the house, the first layer of grass, the fence, trees, cardinals and butterfly on the left hand side of the house. The stairs and the fence will go quickly by doing them in the Closed Herringbone Stitch. They are stitched using Belle Soie’s "Walk the Plank". See Diagram 1.
            Always go in one direction for the steps and fence, stitching from left to right on the stairs, and top to bottom on the fence. The Closed Herringbone gives the fence a nice texture and helps it to stand out more. I learned this stitch from Ellen Chester’s beautiful design, "Cherished Workes Sewing Set" and it has become my all time favorite. You’ll find it used in just about everything I design.
            We are going to start this stitch with the stairs – they are stitched up four threads and over two threads. See Diagram 2.

            Next we’ll move on to the first layer of grass. This is stitched in regular cross stitch and can be boring, but if you haven’t caught up to the stitching schedule, now would be a good time to alternate your stitching between the catch up stitching and the grass. It will be less monotonous that way.
            Okay, now on to the fence. You’ll notice that the fence does not meet the grass, except where the posts are. The closed herringbone for the fence is done vertically (see Diagram 3). Each square counts as 1 thread. You’ll follow the same sequence you used for the steps, except now you will be stitching it vertically instead of horizontally, and going over two threads instead of four.
            Now we’ll move on to the trees, cardinals and butterfly. You’ll notice that a section of the tree trunk is under the fence. It is easy to overlook so I thought I would mention it just in case. After the trees are stitched you will stitch the cardinals. The first two coming in from the left are stitched as charted. The third (in the square – do not stitch the square) is done the same as the first two, but you will follow up with Cinnamon Stick in a half cross over the previously stitched full cross done in Sister Scarlet. This is the female cardinal and her feathers are more of a rust brown than a bright red as in the male. After you’ve finished stitching the cardinals, move on to the butterfly. This is also done in straight cross stitch so no special instructions are needed here.
            Well, I hope this month’s assignment is not too much. Like I said earlier, if you are caught up with all the stitching assignments, the end is very close in sight! As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at and I will do my best to help you.
            Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay cool!

Yours in friendship and stitches,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
          I have some wonderful pictures to share of "A Maryland Inspiration" from two stitchers!
John has finished his and here is the picture.  Marvelous job John!
And here is a progress picture of Anne's.  Again, marvelous job and great progress!
Thanks so much for sharing your photos.  If anyone else has progress pictures and wants me to post them, please send them to me and I'll include them in the next WMN newsletter and here on the blog.
          Speaking of newsletter, here is the stitching schedule for July.
*     *     *     *     *
          Happy 4th of July! I’d like to keep the schedule light this month, so if you are behind schedule you can catch up, or if you are right on target, you’ll have some free time for some other things. The schedule this month is to stitch the over one sections in the right set of cartouches (Diagram 1). As I stated in last month’s schedule, when I stitch over one, I always use a small hoop. For me it is a lot easier to see and do the stitches when the fabric is tight. Since this is 40 count linen and you will be stitching over one, I suggest you use the tent stitch on the motifs in the cartouches. Your stitches will look less bulky and it will be a lot easier to do your stitching.
Here is a link with diagrams and instructions to do the tent stitch:
Click on the menu at the top of the page where it says "Stitches" and it will take you to a page with a selection of stitches on the left hand side of the page. You will find the tent stitch option there.
          If you are traveling for the 4th of July, or taking your vacation this month, be safe, have fun and relax! As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at and I will do my best to help you.

Yours in friendship and stitches,

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

          For those who've been waiting for its release -- Good News!  Cottage by the Sea, a Salty Yarns shop exclusive, is now available for purchase.  If you are interested, you can purchase the chart at:
          A little story about how this design came to be -- My local needlework guild, the Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild, has a retreat twice a year in Ocean City, MD at the Lankford Hotel.  Sally, the owner of the hotel and the shop, Salty Yarns, jokingly asked if I would design a "beach" themed sampler for the shop.  I knew that I did not want to design a sampler with beach pails and umbrellas or sea creatures - I really wanted to do something different.  The sampler actually evolved from the verse I composed and the above picture is the final result.  I hope you like it.
          Here is another picture of Cottage by the Sea, but with enhanced detail.  The colors, however, are more muted as in the first picture.
A number of people tell me that the design reminds them of Mackenzie Childs pottery.  If so, this is totally by accident, but it does have the characteristics of the check and roses on some of the pottery.  To be honest, I love checks and try to use them whenever I can in my designs.  The roses are my interpretation of the wild coastal rose that blooms along the dunes in New England, the Rugosa Rosa.  It is a rather flat rose, but has a wonderful fragrance and, so,  the theme built from there.  Here is a picture of the Rugosa Rosa:

           After I designed and stitched the sampler, I had a wonderful idea for a needlework set based on the design.  "Cottage by the Sea Sewing Set" won Best in Show and First Place at the 2nd annual Rehoboth Historical Society's Needlework Exhibit, and will be available as a teaching piece sometime in the future.  Here is a picture of the design:
          Sally, is now semi-retired (or so she says) and her wonderful daughters, Sara and Mary, run the day to day business affairs of the hotel and shop.  If you ever have a chance to visit Ocean City, MD, or better yet, book a stay and the Lankford, please stop by the shop - it is filled with eye candy for the stitching fanatic (and the knitter, too).  Have a great summer, everyone!
                                       Yours in friendship and stitches,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Has Arrived!

     And I just had my air conditioner repaired -- not a minute too soon!  Whew!
     I have a lot to report since last I posted.  The class at the Schwenkfelder Museum's "Penn Dry Goods Market Days" went very well.  It's always a good thing when no tomatoes are thrown.  I met some very nice people and may be invited to teach in several places in 2015!  How cool is that?
     I know I hinted about a new design that I wasn't able to disclose, but, now I am happy to be able to show you a picture of the design and tell you a little about it.  Earlier in the year, I was asked if I'd be interested in designing a sampler based on the style of antique samplers from Delaware.  After a little research, I settled on a beautiful footprint to follow for my model.  Since it is a Delaware Sampler, I decided to incorporate symbols from the "First State" into the design:  The Blue Hen, our State bird (as well as the Cardinal, as it was the Blue Hen's runner up); Holly, our State Tree; Sweet Goldenrod, our State herb; Peach Blossom, our State flower; Ladybug, our State insect; Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, our State butterfly; Grey Fox, our State Wildlife; and Strawberry, our State fruit.  Below is a picture of "A Delaware Inspiration", my design.  See if you can find the State symbols.
I drew my inspiration from the "Fruit and Flower" style samplers that were stitched by schoolgirls in New Castle County, Delaware.  Below are two examples of the style.

The border of these samplers was stitched using satin and stem stitches.  My interpretation uses cross stitches and a few specialty stitches thrown in for fun.  I will be teaching this sampler at the Delaware Sampler Symposium in November 2013.  More news to come ...
     Now, on to the task at hand.  I am attaching June's stitching schedule for A Maryland Inspiration.  Hope everyone has a wonderful June!
Yours in friendship and stitches,
*     *     *     *     *
Hello everyone,
      I hope you’ve had a wonderful spring and that you’ve made progress on your Maryland Inspiration sampler. Since this is June’s schedule, it means we have reached the half way mark in our stitching. I know that the house and roof are quite a lot to stitch, so if you did not finish it last month, I hope you can do so this month. 
     We are going to move on to the detail work on the house. After you’ve finished last month’s assignment on the house you will be ready to do the backstitching. This will give dimension to your shutters and door and make your house come to life! 
     You will also be stitching the grids for the window panes. You will notice that I’ve given you two ways to do the grids – backstitching, or over one. Diagram 1 shows the over one choice and the backstitched choice. Either way you will have to pay attention to the compensation for the center window over the door. Both are clearly illustrated in the Diagrams. If you choose to backstitch, please don’t forget to go over the area indicated in the diagram "2 times" to give definition to the upper and lower sashes.
      If you are all caught up and ready to do the detail, then I would like you to also stitch the over one sections in the left set of cartouches. When I stitch over one, I always use a small hoop. For me it is a lot easier to see and do the stitches when the fabric is tight. Since this is 40 count linen and you will be stitching over one, I suggest you use the tent stitch on the motifs in the cartouches. Your stitches will look less bulky and it will be a lot easier to do your stitching.
Here is a link with diagrams and instructions to do the tent stitch:
Click on the menu at the top of the page where it says "Stitches" and it will take you to a page with a selection of stitches on the left hand side of the page. You will find the tent stitch option there.

     Well, I hope I haven’t given you too much to do. As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at and I will do my best to help you. This is a large sampler and I apologize for the equally big assignments, but I am hoping we can get through the entire chart by November and free up your Christmas holidays for other things. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to treat yourself to the gift of your sampler being framed and ready to hang on the wall for all of your holiday guests to see?!

Yours in friendship and stitches,

*     *     *     *     *
Oh!  I almost forgot.  "Stone House on the Brandywine" is now available for purchase.  Please contact your LNS and they can contact me regarding how to purchase the chart for sale.  Thanks so much for all your support.  It is much appreciated.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy May!
          There is nothing like a big bouquet of flowers to sing out the praises of the month of May!  Here is a bouquet for all of you.
          It has been a very hectic month for me.  I am getting ready for a teaching project (my first) at the Schwenkfelder Museum's "Penn Dry Goods Market Days".  I will be teaching the stacking biscornus from my design "Mary Sophia's Pennsylvania German Sewing Set". 

It has been a real learning experience getting ready for this class, especially about ordering materials and how to put kits together.  I still have a lot to learn but hope that all will go well as I am a bit nervous, being a first time teacher and all.  Most of the people who've signed up are familiar to me, so I will be very grateful to look out among the participants and see their wonderful, friendly faces in the class.  And really, I think the stitching community are among the nicest, friendliest people ever!  Just don't bring any ripe tomatoes to class,
okay? ;-)
          I have some more good news regarding my designs.  "Stone House on the Brandywine" received a First Place Ribbon at the 50th Annul Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit.  I just got her back and am finishing up the final details on the chart.  She will be available for purchase within the next week or two, so check with your favorite needlework shop to regarding availability.  I also entered Mary Sophia's ... in the 3rd Annual Needlework Exhibit at the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and won another First Place Ribbon for it (the design won a First Place Ribbon last year at Woodlawn).  Needless to say, I am so honored and thrilled!
          As I have done the past few months, I am attaching a copy of With my Needle and Pen's May stitching schedule for "A Maryland Inspiration."  I hope everyone is enjoying the project.
*   *   *   *   *   *
Hello everyone,
          Okay, I think I finally know why they call people of a certain age "over the hill"! It is because everything goes very fast on the other side of the hill, especially time. I can hardly believe that it is May already and we are five months into the new year. If you are calculating the passed time by how much you’ve done on your sampler, I’m hoping that you are at least somewhere near May, in May or, perhaps, in June, July or August! Hope springs eternal!
          The stitching assignment for this month is the house. We will start with the roof and work our way down. I think you will find that the roof will be easier to stitch if you do just one color at a time. I also suggest that you stitch back and forth rather than diagonally, as it will help your stitching to lay much better and the roof will look more consistent with the color blend.
          When you’ve moved on to the house (bricks, windows, etc.) please be aware of the stitch change on the center window – there is one additional stitch to accommodate centering. You will note from the diagram that the windows, door and shutters do not have any detail in them yet, i.e., backstitching. You will not do the backstitching until all the stitching on the house is complete. I am saving that for next month, along with the window panes. Needless to say, it is a lot of stitching and I do not expect you to do it all in one month. I am going to break up the monotony with some of the motifs surrounding the house. The diagram below will show you what is on the plan for May:
          I’d also like to mention, there have been some concerns expressed over the colors of silk being too light or too dark for the linen. I mentioned in the chart instructions that it is impossible to guarantee colors of overdyed threads and linen. I purchased my Belle Soie when it was first introduced, and bought it as a package deal of 25 skeins. My "Butterscotch" is a rich, golden color with good overdyed effects along the strand. Several people have emailed me stating that their Butterscotch was very light. If you find that any color does not work with your linen, please don’t be afraid to change it. If you need some color suggestions, email me and I will let you know what alternatives might work. For the most part, if you are using NPI, then you would just choose a color shade darker or lighter, whichever the case may be, in the NPI color series, i.e., Palomino Gold series, etc.
          Have a wonderful month of May and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!
Yours in stitches and friendship,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hello again,

I just wanted to add two more update pictures from Anne.  She is really moving along and is way ahead of the stitching schedule.  Here are the pictures:

Great job Anne!

I would like to mention, Anne expressed concern over the bright color of the peacocks.  As I stated earlier in the SAL, dye lots of hand dyed silks can vary considerably.  If you feel that a color is too bright, or too light, or whatever, feel free to change it to something you like better.  There are no hard and fast rules for the colors used in any sampler, and I encourage you to use your own color sense if you don't like what I've chosen.  That will release the designer in you!

Yours in friendship and stitches,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter.  The stitching schedule for April is going to be the upper right quadrant of the sampler:
You will note that I’ve added a few motifs from the body of the sampler, i.e., the peacock, apple tree, hearts and crown. You will stitch these on both the right and left quadrant of the sampler. I’ve also included the queen stitched grape cluster/strawberry centered above the carnation motif. If you are current with the schedule, you will have already stitched the center carnation motif but, if not, stitch that now as well. Stitch everything in the illustration above (if you didn’t already stitch the upper case alphabet, you can stitch it now). NOTE: the Eyelet in the right corner border of the floral border is stitched using Belle Soie "Chester’s Blue". As indicated in last month’s schedule, I’ve left out the interior of the lozenges, as they are over one and can be quite tedious. In future schedules, we will intersperse the over one stitching and the house stitching with other elements of the sampler interior so that you don’t get too bored or overwhelmed with the redundant stitching areas.

If you did not complete March’s schedule, you can incorporate that into this month’s schedule. Attached to this schedule are several shots of progress photos from SAL participants. Great job! As always, if you have any questions of comments, you can contact me at

Thanks again for your participation in this SAL and have a very happy spring!
Yours in stitches,

P.S.  Here are update pictures from two of our SAL members:
Anne's progress:

Kay's progress:
Congratulations ladies and thanks for sharing your pictures.  Looking very, very good!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It is hard to believe that it is almost the middle of March already and that St. Patrick's Day (not to mention Spring, Easter, etc.) is just around the corner.  I hope everyone has kept busy and warm stitching this winter.  I, for one, have been very busy.  I was asked to create a Delaware Sampler based on antiques from the area.  I settled on a New Castle County design to use as my footprint and filled the sampler with symbols representing Delaware, i.e., the Blue Hen (our State bird); Cardinal (runner up for State bird); Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (State butterfly); Grey Fox (State wildlife); Peach Blossom (State flower); you get the idea.  At any rate, I believe it is the best sampler I've designed so far!  I wish I could post a picture but, for now, I cannot as it may become a teaching piece for a sampler symposium in the Fall of 2013.  I can assure you, though, it will be worth the wait!

Also, I was asked to design the Mayflower Sampler Guild's Annual Christmas Ornament for 2013.  Each year the guild reaches out to a designer to have a limited edition Christmas ornament designed specifically for the purposes of raising money for conservation. In the past the monies raised from the ornament sale have gone to the New Bedford Whaling Museum to conserve a sampler, as well as to the Connecticut Historical Society to fund a sampler exhibit.  They also sent them a donation to acquire a sampler from Finkel's where the Historical Society owned a portrait of a young girl and wanted to get her sampler to bring both together. Last year's ornament, designed by Fran Colburn of Legacy Designs went to the Plimoth Plantation to help build a permanent home for the Plimoth Jacket.
I just finished stitching it and am waiting for the arrival of some beautiful tartan ribbon so I can assemble it.  Here is a sneek peak at the digital rendering.
It will be available for purchase through the Mayflower Sampler Guild as a limited edition of 50 kits.  As soon as I have information regarding the availability, I will post it on my blog.

Now, on to the business of the Maryland Inspiration SAL.  I'm a little late getting the schedule for March posted here on my blog, but for those who are following the SAL through Ellen Chester's "With My Needle and Pen" Newsletter, you already have it.  Here is March's schedule:
*  *  *  *  *
Hello fellow stitchers,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The stitching schedule for March is going to be the upper left quadrant of the sampler:

Stitch everything in the illustration above (if you didn’t already stitch the numbers and the alphabet, you can stitch them now). NOTE: the Eyelet in the left corner border of the floral border is stitched using Belle Soie "Chester’s Blue". I’ve left out the interior of the lozenges, as they are over one and can be quite tedious. In future schedules, we will intersperse the over one stitching and the house stitching with other elements of the sampler interior so that you don’t get too bored or overwhelmed with the redundant stitching areas.

If you did not complete February’s schedule, you can incorporate that into this month’s schedule. The schedule for April will be the right side of the sampler (same as diagram above, but flipped). So, if you are ahead of schedule and would like to continue on, you can start on the right side of the sampler.

Since this is my first foray into leading my own SAL, please let me know if I am suggesting too much stitching, too little stitching, if I need to explain thing more thoroughly, etc. I’m all for constructive criticism and welcome your thoughts. You can contact me at
Thanks again for your participation in this SAL. Stay warm for now – Spring is just around the corner!

Yours in stitches,


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hello everyone,
           What a surprise to wake up this morning and see a few inches of snow on the ground!  I don't think snow was in the forcast, so it was really unexpected, but very pretty.  That thought just reminded me of something my big brother said when we were kids -- it was snowing and was getting deeper by the minute.  I commented that the snow was so pretty, it covered everything that was ugly outside.  My brother didn't miss a  beat when he suggested, "Why don't you go out and stand in it for a while."  Wasn't that mean?  LOL
          After six months of stitching, I finally finished "Stone House on the Brandywine."  My framer, Karen (also a fellow DVHSG member), sent me a picture before framing.  Since I stitch in hand, by the time I finish the piece, the linen is pretty wrinkled.  Karen always does a wonderful job stretching and lacing my pieces, so a picture of it during the process, without all the wrinkles, was a welcome treat.

As you can see, it is still in the process of being stretched, etc., but I thought you'd like to see it.  This design means a lot to me as it brings back many memories of "rides in the country" when my children were little.  We lived in the city, so I often took them for rides in the Brandywine River area, hoping to see some wildlife, horses and grazing sheep and cattle.  There were many stone houses in the area and I often wondered to myself about the stories they could tell of all the history of the area and the people who had lived and visited there.  So when I wrote the poem, it was a take on that memory.  The sampler itself is rather large, but if you don't want to stitch the whole thing, you can stitch the top or bottom part alone, just move the bottom border to replace the blue cornflower border.  I tried to incorporate symbols of Pennsylvania in the sampler, i.e., quaker motifs, which I pumped up with a bit of color; quilt blocks; deer -- you get the idea.  It is stitched on 40 count Lakeside "Maple Sugar".  The linen is not vintage like it was for A Maryland Inspiration, because this design was not meant to look like a reproduction.  I hope you like it.
          Have a great super bowl Sunday, and I hope your team wins!

Yours in friendship and stitches,