• Travel

    After the Retreat…

    I never showed you the photos of what we did after the retreat was over!

    Pat and Ann, Norma and Sybil, and Jeanette and I headed into Washington, D.C., and despite the government closings of many of the places we were hoping to see, we had a fantastic time. (Except for the part where I desperately needed to find a public restroom, and after what seemed like hours of searching, finally found one… only to be greeted with the same sign we'd encountered too many times that day: Due to Government Shutdown, this facility is closed." Bah!)

    The first place we visited was the National Cathedral. What a breathtaking structure it is!

    Cathedral tp-2

    One can't fathom all of the details; even the spires are covered in acorns. Hundreds of them!

    Cathedral tp-1

    And the downspouts were fish…

    Cathedral tp-3

    Even the street signs in front of the building have gorgeous accents…

    Cathedral tp-4

    There are over 200 stained glass windows…

    Cathedral tp-8

    Cathedral tp-5

    Cathedral tp-7

    Cathedral tp-13

    The needlepoint kneelers were so beautiful, each one different…

    Cathedral tp-12

    I love this picture; everyone would become mesmerized when they caught sight of the incredible detailing over this particular entryway….

    Cathedral tp-11

    My camera settings were way off, but at least you can see one of the little bird creatures that everyone was staring at in the photo above…

    Cathedral tp-9

    Cathedral tp-10

    Cathedral tp-14

    On our way out, I noticed that every single column had a different animal etched into it. And of course, this one was my favorite:

    Cathedral tp-15

    If you'd like to learn more about the Washington National Cathedral (officially called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul), visit here: Washington National Cathedral.

    I'll be back with more photos soon, so if you'd like to see what else we did, come back! Jeanette Douglas also has a fun synopsis of our week after the retreat, so check out her blog too!

  • Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    Mary’s Sampler, Part 5

    Welcome back! Is everyone still hanging in there? We've only got 4 weeks left after today! If you've fallen behind, or decided to just catch up at a later date, I'd like to gently urge you to get caught up as soon as possible (if you really do want a newly-finished sampler to begin your holiday season with!), because for both Mary's Sampler and Mary's Sampler II, the final week will take longer to finish than what our average motifs have taken us; I'd be sad if I heard you say, "Oh no! Why didn't I keep up? Wello shoot, now I may as well just go eat a gallon of Haagen Dazs." 🙂

    Your printable links are below the post, as always. 🙂 Have a lovely Sunday!

    Week 5 Scripture




    Download Week 5 Scripture
    Download SMS Week 5 PRINTOUT


    Download Week 5 Scripture
    Download SMS II Wk 5 PRINTOUT

    Sms tp

    I'll see you all next week for Part 6!

  • Hodgepodge Cottage,  Stitching

    October Goodies

    Before the busy weekend descends upon us all, I have to show you a few things that are just too cute to not share!

    First, look at these darling new Needleminders from Kelmscott Designs… this one is a miniature version of the Owl Scissors, and although in the photo I've got it resting on a Jeanette Douglas Quaker Pincushion, you would normally attach it with its magnet to your current stitching project, so your needle doesn't go missing.


    Secondly, take a look at the tiny Steweb Needleminder! Isn't it cutest thing? You can see the Steweb Scissors laying in the background, to compare the sizes…


    What a fabulous way to store your needle! They lay so nice and flat on the fabric, and I just love them!

    And lastly, I am so in love with Bre's newest release.. she loved Halloween as a kid, and it definitely shows in her two new Etsy releases.

    Photo 2(3)

    I'm so bummed that Bre lives so far away from me, because I used to be able to swipe her models and display them in my house. heehee…. I do still have all of the models to her older patterns though (which I'm hoping she'll eventually add to her Etsy shop). The two that are there now are available for instant download, so if you'd like to order them (this one is only $3.99!), here is the link to her shop: Hodgepodge Cottage1.

    (Am I being terribly obvious that I'm very proud of her, so I'm trying to plug her new creations and probably embarrassing her to death?)

    I'm off to hurry and clean the house before my Sabrina arrives home.. she's coming back for the evening so that we can have our annual Chills and Chili night at my parents' house. We normally watch an old black-and-white movie and eat chili and whatever else we conjure up, but tonight we're going to drag my mother into the 21st century and make her watch World War Z. 

    Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you here on Sunday for the next installment of the Sunday Mystery Sampler!

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    Thankful for Thee

    Good morning! When I dropped Sophie off to school a short while ago, the sky was painted in the most beautiful array of pinks and purples and blues, and the clouds rippled out in a way that made it all so dramatic! It was so breathtaking, and all I could say was, "Thank you, Lord." What a Great Artist He is.

    Here's my next release for this glorious season of thanksgiving! (Although my "art" certainly doesn't do justice for it.)

    Thankful for Thee tp

    Thankful for Thee

    Stitch count: 132 x 83
    Fabric used: 40 ct. Olde Town Blend (1 strand of silk over 2 linen threads) by R&R Reproductions.
    Threads used: Needlepoint Inc. silks (128, 964, 346, 981, 316, 967, 724, 694, 122, 587, and 991).

    The model was stitched by Rindy Richards and framed by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing.
    (I think that olive wood moulding is some of the most gorgeous I've ever seen!)

    If you'd like to use DMC instead of NPI silks, here are the colors you'll need:
    300, 646, 730, 822, 830, 844, 920, 3045, 3064, 3371, and 3865.

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    His & Hers

    Back in Virginia Beach at the Dyeing to Stitch retreat, I released this chart at the boutique. Your shops will have them next week, so if you'd like yours to set one aside for you, be sure and give them a call! Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday (right along with Christmas), and I can't wait to finally have our family all together again. (I also can't wait to see who gets more of those sweet-honey-candied parts off of the Honeybaked Ham – myself or my dad!)

    H&H Stockings2

    His & Hers Thanksgiving Stockings

    Stitch count: 44 x 121 for each stocking
    Fabric used: 35 ct. Olde Town Blend by R&R Reproductions
    Threads used: Weeks Dye Works (Putty, Adobe, Chickpea, Oak,
    Cinnabar, Confederate Gray, Pelican Gray, Light Khaki,
    Oscar, and Onyx)
    Mini Rickrack trim in Cocoa and Cinnamon provided by: R&R Reproductions
    Buttons provided by: Just Another Button Company *

    (Finishing instructions are included in the chart pack.)

    * Shop owners, the button packs will be available through Hoffman Distributing.

    When I designed these little stockings, I envisioned Mr. Pilgrim being late in bringing dinner home, so to calm Mrs. Pilgrim's ire, he presented her with a large flower.

    I'm not sure if his plan worked, however.

    I'll see you soon with another Thanksgiving release! You may have already seen it on some blogs, but nevertheless, I'll be showing it soon, with all the info you'll need if you'll be wanting to stitch it.

    Happy Day to you!

    ETA: Both stockings are stitched over 2 linen threads.

  • Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    Mary’s Sampler, Part 4

    With Halloween fast approaching, I hope your pre-Christmas spirit isn't being overshadowed by candy corn and goblins! 🙂 Here is this week's installment – and everyone say this in unison:

    "Please don't click on the images themselves, but use the links posted at the bottom of this post for printing."

    Very nice! Let's begin!

    Week 4 Scripture




    SMS wk 4 tp



    Download Week 4 Scripture

    Download SMS Week 4 PRINTOUT


    Download Week 4 Scripture

    Download SMS II Wk 4 PRINTOUT 

    Enjoy your week!

  • Crazy Kids,  Family,  Sports,  Travel


    Bean, Bean, the Party Machine.

    That was the nickname given to Sabrina at summer camp one year when she was in middle school, and she's definitely still living up to it at twenty. But in a good way, mind you;  she loves to have fun wherever she goes, despite the new nickname given to her in college: Soberina. 🙂

    This past weekend we headed to Kansas City to celebrate Sabrina's twentieth birthday by heading to the USA – Jamaica World Cup Qualifier. This was something we knew Bean would love to do, because when she was an exchange student in Germany, one of the highlights of her visit was getting to go to a Public Viewing, which in this case refers to the public's gathering to view a football game; her host family was quite proud of her for donning the colors of Deutschland!

    This time, however, she was wearing her patriotic colors, joining the throngs of American Outlaw crazies who were there to cheer the USA on to victory. What a party!








    I'd be horrified at all those cameras pointing at me…


    After the game, the USA members walked the perimeter of the field, which was really fun for the specatators…


    What a fun time that was! The next morning we headed to IHOP for Sabrina's birthday breakfast, and she insisted on bringing her unopened gifts into the restaurant to open them there. 🙂 (Didn't I say she loves to have fun wherever she's at?)


    After our pancake breakfast we headed to Worlds of Fun and spent the day riding rides and going into haunted houses…

    I love this picture of Bean and Soph trying to take a selfie on the Fjord Fairlane ride…

    IMG_2116 cr

    We sure missed having Bre with us… I think it was her first year not being able to celebrate her sister's birthday with us, but her job wouldn't allow her the time off. 🙁


    Happy 20th birthday, Bean. We love you so much! Now let's see if you can hang onto that Soberina title for one more year… 😉

  • Retreats,  Stitching,  Travel

    Dyeing to Stitch Retreat, Part 2

    Welcome back! Here are some more pictures from our retreat weekend, which was an absolutely wonderful time! My classes were so much fun (perhaps I'm only speaking for myself! Ha!), and it was a fabulous time chatting with lots of familiar friends and newly-made ones.

    I'm sad to say I didn't get any pictures of the class pieces that the other designers taught, which is surprising, since I had several opportunities to get some. (How did this happen?) But the truth of it is, we were having so much fun laughing and being silly that it didn't occur to me to take any class piece photos, and I didn't have my camera when we were revealing them to those in attendance.

    The only ones I have to share with you are mine, which sounds awfully selfish, but I don't mean for it to be. 🙁

    The theme for the retreat was It's A Celebration! So I decided to combine two things that I love to celebrate in October: the gorgeous orange of jack o'lanterns and my sweet Sabrina's birthday. 

    This is Jack's Bash:

    Jack's Bash tp

    The verse reads:

    Here in the rust and autumn bower,
        the knobby gourd and bitter flower,
    We merry-make and sing Hooray!
        to our friend Jack on his birthday.

    (The word "rust" contains an old-style letter s, which looks like a half-crossed lower-case f.)

    Nicole Neville stitched the model beautifully and in record time, and I love love love the moulding that Sherri at Total Framing used for it!

    The kitted piece that the class actually worked on is called Jack's Birthday Tart, and it accompanied the larger sampler, using all the same threads:

    JBT 13


    Jack's Bash will be released next fall, and most likely Jack's Birthday Tart will be also. (The tart will probably have a companion or two to go with it.) I thought it was a lot of fun to make, and very easy!

    By the way, this was the sunrise that greeted me every morning from the balcony of the hotel room:


    And as the sun rose higher, the beach grew more crowded…


    On Saturday evening we had a huge banquet, and each person dressed in something that denoted the era in which they were born. The food was beautifully presented, and Ann and Pat (despite the challenges of the elevators being inaccessible for the better part of the day) did a wonderful job as our hostesses…




































    And the winner of the costume contest was…. Barefoot and Pregnant!


    What a crazy good time that was! The door prizes were amazing, the cheering was raucus, and the whole room was full of stitchy friends who were relieved that the elevators started working just in time for the party, as the banquet was held on the 11th floor. 🙂

    I'd like to thank Ann and Pat and Sybil and Norma and all the wonderful people who helped pull this retreat together. You all are the best!

    I'll be back soon with Part 3, which isn't so much the retreat as it is what we did after the retreat was over. See you soon!