Monday, November 2, 2020

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all staying safe and well and getting plenty of stitching done.  It's been a busy time for me but I thank you for your patience in getting these instructions ready.  Today I am posting assembly instructions for the Beelieve Sewing Set.  First up -- the box style pincushion.


Below are pictures of the box style pincushion for the Beelieve Sewing Set.  I want to preface my finishing description by stating first that I am NOT a professional finisher.  I’ve been sewing since I was a teenager and have a general knowledge of how to put things together, but if you have a better way to assemble this piece or any of the pieces in the set, please feel free to do so.  If you'd like, sharing it in the comment section of the blog would be most convenient for everyone and, I'm sure, most appreciated.  Thanks.

Pictures of finished pincushion:

Although the chart is designed using just cross stitch and petite stitch (for signature block on the back), I used a few specialty stitches in my piece.  They include: Spiral Trellis (flower center); Closed Herringbone (grass and border); and Smyrna Cross (basket).  I encourage everyone to try some specialty stitches of their own choice when stitching their piece.

Finishing materials needed for the entire set: (1) lightweight fusible interfacing; (2) Skirtex; (3) polyester fiber fill; (4) thin cotton quilt batting (such as Warm & Natural); and (5) thread to match the backstitching for joining purposes.  You will also need enough thread to create twisted cording for the scissors fobs.

The assembly of this sewing set is not suitable for machine stitching and must be hand stitched to control accuracy of the placement of joining stitches (ladder stitch) used to sew your pieces together.  Lightly press the stitched fabric prior to cutting out the pieces.  It is recommended that all cutting be done at the same time to avoid confusion about seam allowances which, in our case, would be  1/4" away from backstitched edge and nun-stitched edges.  I am going to explain the way I finished my piece in basic terms, but to see an in depth tutorial on how to construct the box pincushion with helpful pictures, please go to this site on the internet:

Lynn's Cross Stitch Tutorials

NOTE - Basting: I tend to do a lot of basting when I assemble my pieces.  It helps to hold the Skirtex and thin cotton batting in place without having them shift around while assembling.  I start my basting from the outside (right side of stitching) and randomly take long stitches to secure the materials together.  Once the entire piece is sewn together, stuffed and stuffing hole closed, I remove all the basting thread by grabbing the big knotted end(s) and carefully pull the basting threads out.

BOX PINCUSHION:  After pressing the stitched fabric, slightly trim 1/4" seam allowance around all pieces to decrease bulk in the seams.  Iron the lightweight interfacing onto the back (wrong side) of each panel to fit just within the backstitched border.  Cut four (4) pieces of Skirtex to fit just inside the backstitched border of each of the side panels of the pincushion.  The Skirtex will give additional support to the sides and give the pincushion clean, sharp edges.   (See Diagram 1).


After cutting the Skirtex to fit, place it on the WRONG side of your stitching and baste in place.  Do this for all four side panels.

For the top and bottom of pincushion, cut 4 squares of light cotton batting (such as Warm & Natural) to fit just inside the backstitched border (2 for top, 2 for bottom), place on the WRONG side of the pieces and, starting from the RIGHT side of your piece, baste in place.  The batting gives a smooth, plump profile to the finished piece and hides any lumps that may appear from the polyester stuffing.  After you’ve basted the Skirtex and batting in place, fold your seam edges over onto the wrong side of all the pieces and lightly press.  Picture below shows the inside of the top and sides “joined” so you can see the basted Skirtex and cotton batting in place.

Now you are ready to start joining the panels together.  Start with the top panel and one of the side panels.  With raw edges folded under, line up the backstitched border and butt it up to the back stitched border of the other piece, making sure each backstitch lines up with the backstitch on the other piece.  Thread a tapestry needle with one strand of thread that matches the back stitches and anchor the floss under the folded seam allowance at the upper left corner of the top panel.  (See Diagram 3 and 3A)  Bring your working thread through the fabric next to the first backstitch.  Starting with the first backstitches on each piece, use the ladder stitch (or whip stitch) to join the two sides together.  See Ladder Stitch diagram.  

Continue joining, making sure you go through the adjacent back stitches until you get to the bottom.  Attach the next piece at the bottom making sure the corner points meet, and continue joining the pieces together until you get them all attached. 



Once the sides are attached to the top, butt the folded ends of the side panels up against each other so that the backstitches line up.  Starting at the join at the top of the corner, proceed to stitch each corner together with the ladder stitch.  See photo below.

After all the sides are stitched together you will join the bottom of the pincushion to the rest of the piece with the ladder stitch.  You will need to leave an opening to be able to insert the polyester fiber (see diagram below).  Once it is stuffed (and don’t be afraid to stuff it full) to your satisfaction, close the opening with the ladder stitch, making sure you line up the backstitches as you do so.

Congratulations!  You’ve made a box style pincushion!
Coming up next week: Assembly for the “Working Needle Book”.

Stay safe and well and Bee forever blessed!

                                                        Yours in friendship & stitches,


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Beelieve - A Sewing Set

 Hello everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to my blog but we've experienced some crazy weather in my neck of the woods -- Middletown, Delaware -- A TORNADO!  Three weeks ago, on Tuesday, we had a tornado touch down and travel a full 29 miles on the ground from South of Dover, Delaware to Glasgow, Delaware.  Some parts of Wilmington, Delaware had damage as well.  My neighborhood suffered a lot of downed trees and tree damage, as well as damage to some structures.  The telephone poles were snapped and power lines scattered.  We were without electricity (no WiFi, etc.) for almost 5 days.  It was very scary but, thankfully, we are all fine and we only lost one tree, had some torn and fallen branches, but my house was spared.

Being without power really set me back in my work schedule, but I'm up and running and trying to get caught up.   I had a few other things I needed to take care of before I could post all the information regarding the updates to "Beelieve - A Sewing Set".  When I originally designed the piece I just wanted it to be a small chart to give away in an effort to cheer my fellow needleworkers up during the Covid-19 quarantine of 2020.  After I stitched my piece, I thought that it would really make a pretty sewing set and then it was off to the designing and stitching races!  I love the way the set turned out and am offering the complete chart to everyone as a gift.  We still need some cheering up, don't we?

My computer skills are a little above average, but for some reason I could no longer make my PDF files posted on my blog printable from Dropbox.  I finally figured out a way you can download the chart but you will have to follow my instructions below to be able to print it.  

Notice in the upper right hand corner of the blog there is a link to the Beelieve chart.  Just click on it and you will be taken to a screen that looks like the one below:

Move your cursor over to the side bar on the far right then down to the icon at the bottom that looks like three dots (see below).  

Click on it and move the cursor to the Download option in the menu.  Click and download the file to your computer.  You can then print the file out.  Note:  if you try to print from the main menu, you will only print blank pages.  You have to download it to your computer.  If anyone reading this knows a better way of doing this or how to override the glitch in printing from the main menu, please email me at with the instructions.  Thanks in advance.

NOTE:  This email came from someone with another option for downloading the file if you have a MAC.  See below:

I didn’t have any trouble downloading the pattern, but maybe these notes will help you help others. My computer is an Apple Mac, and I noticed from your picture that yours is Windows. But I expect Windows users will see a page similar to what I see on my Mac.

When you go to the Dropbox page in your browser, I believe yours looks different because you are signed in to your Dropbox account. When I click the link on your blog page, I get a different view, that has a download button near the top right. When I move the pointer to the bottom of the window, I get some controls to page through the PDF that also include a print icon. For me, clicking the print icon opened the PDF in a new browser tab, where I can then print using the browser print command (on a Mac, choose File > Print).

Rather than just printing the pattern from the dropbox page, I think it is better for people to download the file so it is saved on their computer, and then print it. That way they always have it to go back to, especially if they need to print it again or print an enlarged section of a page.

Yippee!  Now the entire chart is available to you without having to go through me directly.  If you have any questions or find any errors, again, email me at the above email address.  I will be posting pictures and explanations of my finishing of the pieces over the next few days.  I just wanted to make the complete chart available to everyone first.

Take care, stay well and have a great week ahead.

Yours in friendship & stitches,


Below is picture of the back of the set:

Monday, June 15, 2020

I'm Back!!!

It has been a very, very long time since I have posted anything on my blog and I truly apologize for being away so long.  I've had some major life events since I last posted but before I go into that I'd like to finish up the last bit of information regarding "A Time Forever Gone."  Below is a picture of the finished, framed sampler.  Yes, I finally finished stitching it and am proud to say that it won a First Place Ribbon at the 2018 Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit.

For those who joined me originally in the Stitch-a-Long for this design, you will notice that I switched out the Florentine Stitch section above the verse for a blackwork design.  I did however stitch a small section of Florentine stitch on either side of the signature cartouche.  If you've purchased the chart and haven't stitched your sampler yet, please contact me at for a free PDF chart of the changes I made.  You can then decide to stitch it as it was originally charted or make the changes I did.  Either way, I'm sure you will be pleased with the final results.

There really aren't too many things to address regarding the instructions for completion of the sampler, but if you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

As I said in the opening paragraph, I've had some major events take place in my life since I last posted in 2016.  On Thanksgiving of that year, I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and it took me a good year to recuperate and get back to stitching and designing again.  I'm very pleased and grateful to say that, aside from a little weakness in one leg, I'm fully recovered!  Thank God!

I'm planning on updating this site with some of my newest projects and hope to use it to make available some information on finishing and freebies for the needlework community.  In the meantime, stay safe and stay well.  It's good to be back!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Welcome Spring and Happy Easter!

       Wow, how time flies!  I apologize for the long intermission between posts, but because of prior commitments and some personal things going on in my life, I needed a little R&R and thought you all might appreciate some as well.
Although I haven’t had time to stitch much more on my model of “A Time Forever Gone,” I am happy to say that one conscientious stitcher was working diligently on her sampler and has completed it!  Julie Harvey has not only been kind enough to send me pictures of her finished sampler in its entirety, but has included close ups of the live oak tree with the Spanish moss, as well as the grassy area with the blooming peach trees and the azaleas done in French Knots.  Julie has also let me know if there were any areas in the sampler that needed special attention.  Here is what she wrote:
“Hi Theresa,
So I checked my pattern notes & the only things that I found were missing were the colors on the stamens of the magnolia flowers (Her Crown & Rose of Sharon) & the spiral trellis peaches in the cartouche (Poison Apple) The hints/tips I would offer for stitching are as follows:
       1.  For the Spanish moss on the live oak tree I turned my piece 180 degrees & worked the chains (I know it as the broad chain stitch) from the bottom to the top along the branches; also worked from the bottom of the tree to the top (hope this makes sense!)
       2.  For the peach tree french knots, I tried to work the green leaves approximately as depicted on the chart, then I worked the pink flowers by eyeballing where they looked best.
       3.  For the azalea shrubs on the lawn, I used the chart as a guideline for the green/pink color placement, but pretty much just eyeballed where I thought it looked best.
I hope this all makes sense & might be helpful for anyone else stitching it. As I said before, I love it & can't wait to get it framed!”
I hope this will help those of you who’ve continued on with your stitching past my last posted schedule.  I’d also like to add that I will be using two strands of silk for the Florentine stitch band instead of one, as I like heavier coverage.
       Here are the pictures of Julie’s completed sampler and the close ups:

Oh, I am so proud of Julie!  Isn’t it beautiful?!
Now, for our next suggested stitching schedule, I think we should get started with the Smyrna Cross alphabet and the butterfly motifs.  Then we will move down and stitch the magnolia flowers on either side of the verse and also the cotton plants.  After that I’d like you to move on to the cartouche and house.  I found it helpful to stitch a basting line across the center from top to bottom and left to right for accurate placement of the cartouche and house.   Please save all backstitching for last.  These are the areas we will be working on until the next post:

Well, I think you’ll have enough to keep you busy for a while.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me through the blog or my email at  Also, I have provided a printable PDF version of this stitching schedule, which can be found in the upper right margin of the blog.

Yours in friendship & stitches,

P.S.  For your convenience, following is a close up copy of the over one Brown Thatcher to add to your chart.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Welcome Autumn!!!!

Hello everyone,
          It is a soggy day here in Middletown, Delaware, but I am sitting here in my favorite stitching chair surrounded with my most current design and stitching away.  I've been very busy stitching the accompanying smalls to my Fraktur Huswif design.  I will be teaching it, along with my Mary Sophia's Pennsylvania German Sewing Set and Cottage by the Sea Sewing Set in January 2016 at the Attic in Mesa, Arizona.
          Because of the vibrant, earthy colors used to create these wonderful works of art, Fraktur always puts me in an autumn frame of mind.  I actually started designing the huswif portion of my design in the fall of 2006, but never finished it (the design) in its entirety until this year.  Earlier that year, I had attended a seminar sponsored by the Berks County Historical Society where I saw many examples of Fraktur as well as samplers stitched by young ladies of the Pennsylvania German community and was so taken with the naive style and bright colors of the art.  In 2006, being a needlework designer, was just a distant dream that I never thought would happen.  Who knew?!  Fast forward to 2015, and I'm not only designing, but teaching as well.  I love it!  Here is a sneak peek at the top of the mattress style pincushion that will go inside of the huswif.  The head and eye of the bird are done in the spiral trellis stitch, as are the cherries in the tree.  You can see pictures of this, as well as the other projects, in the Attic's Newsletter 9/15/15.
          Okay, now to the task at hand.  Oh, that word "task" makes it seem arduous -- I think I'll just say, "And now, on to Part 2 of our stitching pleasure for A Time Forever Gone."  I hope you've enjoyed stitching the flowers on the left side of the sampler because we are going to do the flowers on the right side for this part of the SAL.  In addition, we will also be doing the center basket motif. Here are some close up pictures of the basket and the spiral trellis centers on the flowers.  You might find them helpful in seeing them up close and personal.

These closeups clearly show how the addition of long stitches to the flowers make them look more detailed.  The basket is done using the diamond eyelet stitch, broken down in fractions to create the shape.  Here are some closeups of the basket portion of the design you will be working on for this part of the SAL.

Note that there is backstitching around the base of the basket, as well as the rim.  I used Belle Soie "Mud Pie" for the backstitching and "Pecan Pie" for the basket itself.  Refer to the stitch diagrams included with your chart for more information on the diamond eyelet stitch.
          Here is a combined diagram of Parts 1 and 2 of the SAL.  This is what your sampler will look like (positive thinking, lol) by the time I post Part 3 of the SAL.
          As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to assist you.  For your convenience, there is a link to a printable PDF file of Part 2 in the side bar of the blog.  Happy stitching and happy fall, y'all!
Yours in friendship and stitches,
P.S.  I will be heading to Cincinnati, Ohio in November to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Queen City Sampler Guild.  I was honored to be asked to design a sampler commemorating this event and have led a year long, 5-Part Mystery SAL for the members of the Guild.  Here is a picture of the sampler framed and a detail of the portion of the sampler that was charted specifically for the Guild's 20th anniversary.  Sorry for the poor quality of the photo of the actual sampler.  Clearly, photography is not one of my talents.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Welcome to "A Time Forever Gone" SAL!

A Time Forever Gone Stitch-a-Long

Hello fellow stitchers,

Welcome to “A Time Forever Gone” SAL!  I am so happy to have you join me in stitching this design as I think you will enjoy the specialty stitches and details that bring this tribute to Georgia to life.  I had originally planned to create a new blog for this SAL, but thought it would work just as well on my Heart's Ease Examplar Workes blog.  Before I give you the first suggested stitching schedule, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how I was inspired to do this design.  First of all, I was contacted by Caroline Thomes, from the Sampler Guild of Georgia, to see if I would be interested in coming to Atlanta to teach one of my designs.  During the conversation, we talked about how very few antique samplers from that area of the south had survived.  The Civil War, climate and insects had certainly taken their toll on whatever was there originally.  Somehow, I suggested that I could come up with a new design, that would have the spirit of an old sampler that may have been stitched by a young lady in the mid 1800's.  And that is how the process got started!

After watching “Gone With The Wind” several times I felt a surge of creativity, both in the artistic representation of the design, as well as poetically, in the composition of the verse that would accompany the design.  I knew that I wanted a swag of flowers instead of a traditional border, so I researched flowers indigenous to the Atlanta area and started putting my ideas together using my design software.  It took me a while, but I finally came up with a design that I truly love.  I hope you will feel the same. For your convenience, each stitching schedule will be converted to a downloadable/printable PDF file, the link to which will be posted in the side bar of the blog.  From this point on the schedules will be posted on the 1st of each month and will be 2 months in duration.  Here are the dates of publication:

Assignment 1 - August 15, 2015
Assignment 2 - October 1, 2015
Assignment 3 - December 1, 2015
Assignment 4 - February 1, 2016
Assignment 5 - April 1, 2016
 Assignment 6 - June 1, 2016  

That will make the SAL a year in duration and, for a large sampler such as this, by August 15, 2016 each of you participating will have your sampler completed and ready for framing.

As with all of my designs, in order to make it your “own”, I encourage you to make changes to colors and/or design as you see fit.  I have done a conversion of the Belle Soie I used to stitch my sampler, to DMC solid colors.  If you have overdyed cottons or other fibers in your stash that you would prefer using, then I suggest you use the DMC color for comparison to pick out a complimentary floss with which to stitch your sampler.

Okay, let’s get on to our first suggested assignment!  I always start my samplers from the upper left corner and work my way across and down, so that is how I will start this assignment.  Measure 3 inches from the top and side of your linen to start your first stitch.  See diagram below.
We will be working the  floral/raspberry swag across the top until we get to the basket, and then down the left side.  See the following diagram.

Stitch the vines around the white raspberry flower (diagram on next page) before you do the satin stitched petals.  If you do the satin stitches beforehand, you will have difficulty finding the holes for your stitches as the satin stitch will cover them up.  I found it easier to stitch the Rhodes Stitch center before I did the satin stitched petals as well. In the instructions that came with your chart, you will find the diagrams for the specialty stitches.  The center of the Dogwood and Coreopsis are done in the Spiral Trellis Stitch (see diagram for stitch at the end of this post), and the center of the spring violas are done with the Tied Windmill Stitch.  Save the Spiral Trellis centers for last as it will be easier to stitch them with an even tension if you do them at the same time, gaining a natural rhythm as you go, so they look consistent.  For the Azalea blooms, save the long stitched stamens for last.

       Well, that is it for the first assignment.  If you should have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress and post pictures as I continue to the finish for the “A Time Forever Gone” model. Be sure to check the right side bar of the blog for the link to the printable PDF file of this assignment.

Yours in friendship and stitches,


P.S.  My apologies for getting this posted late.  My life is giving new meaning to the old saying, "A day late and a dollar short."  I appreciate your understanding.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Materials List

Hello everyone,

Someone emailed me and asked if I had a materials list for A Time Forever Gone, so after I sent it to her I thought it would be a good idea to post it on the blog.  This way you can go through your stitching stash and, if you find you already have some of the threads, it will be one less thing to buy.  Below is the materials list.  I am also providing a printable PDF file of the list here ATFG Materials List:
Happy Stitching,