• A Colonial Gathering Club,  New Designs,  Stitching

    Final Call!

    If you haven't already signed up for A Colonial Gathering through Dyeing to Stitch, we'd love to have you join! Tanya Brockmeyer from The Scarlett House and I are taking turns presenting an exclusive project for those who are in the club, and the shipments go out every other month. This month's kit will be mailing out next week, so if you'd like to go to the Dyeing to Stitch website and register, you've got only until midnight of May 31st (that's tomorrow night!).

    This time the project is one that I thought has a fun, summer palette. When I showed it to Sophie, she said, "Those look like cotton blooms!"

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    I hope you've enjoyed the projects so far, and I hope you'll have fun with Cotton Bird as a relaxing summer stitch…

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    Have a lovely weekend, and I'll be back soon!

  • Freebie,  Holidays,  Travel


    I'd like to take a moment to thank every single member of our Armed Forces for their service to this beautiful country of ours. You have served and sacrificed, and to simply offer my gratitude for what you've given to protect what I have will never be enough, but I give it with all my heart.

    Thank you to our Founding Fathers and to Those who served under them for their faith in God Almighty.

    Thank you to Those who gave their lives for the freedom of their generations and ours.

    And thank you to Those who would have given their lives. Praise God They are still here for us to honor.

    I was privileged to visit Arlington National Cemetery last fall, and what an impact it had on me. I wish every American could walk those solemn grounds and remember what was given.

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    At the tomb of President John F. Kennedy…

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    A view of Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee…

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    This is the view from the porch of Arlington House…

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    Inside Selena Gray's quarters (a house slave of of the Lee's). The doorway to her family's quarters is to the far right of the above photo.


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    The gardens at Arlington House were beautiful…

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    The Tomb for the Unknown Civil War Dead, constructed in the rose garden…

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     The US Army rehearsed for a forthcoming funeral…

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    The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…Known but to God.

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    To our Military and their families, God bless you.


    If you would like to read a very interesting article on how Arlington came to be our National Cemetery, click here: The Beginnings of Arlington National Cemetery


     In 2011 I posted this free chart for Memorial Day. In case you missed it, here it is again… Please note that the color image you see below is slightly different from the chart, in that the words have been changed to blue. 

    To download the chart, click here: A Patriot's Sampler

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    And a very Happy Memorial Day to you!

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    Pink House Sampler

    Hello again!

    We celebrated my Sophie-Joon's fourteenth birthday yesterday! I can't believe my little baby is fourteen! Do those of you who have been reading my blog a while remember when she was just a little thing, constantly annoying Bre and Cody? Or when she got dressed up to play her guitar and sing a Taylor Swift song? Or when she tied up her Barbie doll and pretended "the others" from the Lost tv series had done it?

    She's not as bouncy and giggly as she used to be.. she's very much grown-up and much quieter these days.


    Anyway, more on Sophie's birthday in another post. I haven't looked through the pictures yet, but once I do, hopefully you'll stop back and take a look! 🙂

    Next week I've got two releases coming out, and I hope you like them! You've seen Esther Syer's reproduction sampler, but this next one is an original, and since its main color is pink also, I thought it would make a good release companion for Esther.

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    If any of you are like me, you like to read the back of a chart before you start to work on it. If you're familiar with the backs of my charts, you'll know I have a Bible verse on each one. I always try to choose one that reflects either the content of the sampler, or perhaps one that I simply like. In this case, I chose Psalm 42:1, which reads, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God." You may know that a hart is a deer, and since this sampler has a deer on it (and I love that verse!), it's the one I chose.

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    Mary Jane Carver was my great-grandmother, and her birth year is under her name. I've included a personalization chart for you to stitch either your own name, or the name of a loved one in place of my great-grandmother's name.

    The verse on the top left of the sampler is one that you can find on many old samplers. It's always been a favorite of mine.

    Pink House Sampler Preview email

    Pink House Sampler

    Stitch count: 247w x 215h

    Fabric used: 40 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R Reproductions
    (Some suggested alternatives: Weeks Dye Works' Parchment or Lakeside Linens' Lentil)

    Threads used:
    Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Art, and Classic Colorworks…

    Weeks' colors are: Brick and Cranberry Ice.
    Gentle Art's colors are: Faded Rose (2 skeins suggested), Cameo Pink, Old Hickory, Piney Woods (3 skeins suggested), Roasted Marshmallow, and Garden Gate (2 skeins suggested).
    Classic Colorworks' colors are: Cinnamon Toast, Old Money, Blue Beadboard, Jakey Brown, and Toasted Marshmallow.

    All stitches in this sampler are cross stitch over 2 threads.

    Can you just stand how gorgeous that moulding is? I love love love what Sherri has done with the model! If you'd like more information on it, give her a call at Total Framing! The number is 703-426-0660, or you can find them on Facebook.

    The model was stitched by Kathy Krause… Kathy! Are you recovering from my demands on your stitching time? You are positively wonderful, and I can't thank you enough for stitching this model for me!

    These charts will be heading out the door tomorrow to the shops on my automatic, and then a week or so after that, they'll make their way to the distributors.

    Thank you so much for stopping by to see my new "pink house," and I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

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  • Crazy Kids,  New Designs,  Plum Street Antiques,  Stitching

    A Completely False Life Lesson

    A few posts ago, I showed you a sneak peek of an antique I purchased last year after I fell in love with the soft pinks and tawny browns that were used to stitch it. Recently I did a little research on the internet to look for information about Esther Syer, and was only able to come up with a few family tree names and dates. Nevertheless, it was nice to learn these small things about the young stitcher's story, and I've included what I found on the back of the chart.

    As I was thinking about Miss Syer, I imagined her to be a carefree sort of young lady, and decided to have a little fun with presenting her to you. So I wrote a little story and asked Sophie to do an interpretation of it with facial expressions. She obliged, and here is what we came up with…

    Once upon a time, little Esther Syer was born.
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    Esther was a very happy child, whose favorite color was pink.
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    She loved to play and frolick, and always neglected her mending and sewing chores.
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    This made her mother (whose favorite color was black) very fretful, because she knew that Esther would never gain a suitor if she couldn't mend or sew or be serious. "To catch a man, keep a needle in hand!" she would always say to Esther.
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    So one day Esther set out to catch a man by stitching a lovely sampler in both her and her mother's favorite colors.
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    When Esther was eighteen, a man came along, admired her work, and asked to become her suitor. She agreed, and soon afterward, they were married.
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    And Esther and her man lived happily ever after.
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      Esther Syer 1796 sp tp
    No model was stitched for this antique, as I felt the motifs and colors have survived beautifully, despite the sampler being 218 years old. If you choose to stitch it, then a soft, neutral linen will work well for the background. I've listed a few suggestions on the chart, but please use what you like best. The linens I suggested are these:
    Lakeside Linens' Vintage Pecan Butter
    R&R Reproductions' Olde Towne Blend
    Weeks Dye Works' Parchment
    Esther's antique was stitched on a 32/34 ct. ground with silks. The silks I've chosen are by Needlepoint Inc., and are as follows (with the DMC equivalent in parentheses):
    754 (152)
    912 (167)
    998 (310)
    761 (422)
    882 (746)
    692 (3047)
    602 (3727)
    The stitch count is 172(w) x 197(h)
    The gorgeous frame was done by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, VA. As always, Sherri is very happy to take any phone orders for any stitching you may have, and trust me when I say she is the most friendly person to work with! (Believe it or not, I never choose my moulding.. I just mail the models to her and ask her to surprise me, and she never disappoints!)
    The number for Total Framing is 703-426-0660, or you can find them on Facebook.
    I hope you enjoyed our little story, and that if you do choose to stitch Esther, you would consider sending me your progress photos so I can see what her recreation would look like! I would so love that!
  • Friends,  Stitching,  Travel

    Dyeing to Stitch

    I was rummaging through some photo archives on my computer last night and came across some pictures I took of the model-packed Dyeing to Stitch shop in Virginia Beach, kept by Ann Robbins and Pat Ryan of R&R Reproductions. They've been in business for 21 years now! If you are ever taking a beach vacation in that area, be sure and stop by.. they would be thrilled to see you! And you'll be thrilled with the inspiration you leave with.

    You've probably seen many of the designs in the pictures below, and keep in mind that they'll be heavy on the autumn side, as they were taken in October of last year. But who doesn't love a little heavy on the autumn side? 🙂

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    Pat's favorite thing to stitch is silk gauze, and the front window is full of these tiny models!

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    Ann and Pat have the most amazing collection of antiques and their reproductions. I just love that Ann collects "Ann samplers!"

    Mary Smithies is one of my favorites.. the stories behind the samplers are wonderful, and it's a joy to listen to Pat and Anne explain what they know of the histories of them. Mary, which is from the Utah Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake, is one that Ann painstakingly stitched the blue lines through, just like the original.

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    Those of you who know me know that I have a slightly intense love for coffee: Starbucks in particular. So of course I'm positively in love with this sampler! Here's a little information on it, as provided by history-buff Pat…

    Sally Starbuck (her family helped establish Nantucket) is the daughter of the second Starbuck brother, Edward. Edward was the real coffee-loving first mate of the whaling ship Essex. Herman Melville visited the Essex and used Edward's name in his novel Moby Dick, and provided a real-life description of him in the book…

    Fast-forward to 1971, and the Starbucks company used this name, borrowed from Melville's novel. Ever notice the coffee company's logo?

    Fast-forward to 2014, and I really need this sampler:

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    Of course, the shop is most famous for its delicious hand-dyed linens. They were the first hand-dyed company, dipping their linens in colors that are suited to reproductions and primitives and all sorts of designs, and with inviting names like Espresso and Cappuccino and Olde Towne Blend… so many gorgeous brews to choose from!

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    (I'm not entirely sure why this photo is at this odd angle, but I couldn't leave it out! I love the beach themes so many of the models reflect in this area of the shop.)

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    The Reverend Gourdon Squashbottom by Notforgotten Farms is one chart that I left with that day (all kitted up for me, of course!).. I just couldn't resist him!

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    And here's his wee companion, from a Just Cross Stitch magazine…

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    Have you seen all the Beggars from Threadwork Primitives? Nan has such a charming way with these beloved black birds!

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    I really look forward to another trip soon! I keep threatening to crash in on them one day and just be an honorary employee. I think it would be great fun, although if I really were on the payroll, I'd never make a dime; I would, however, have a massive collection of new projects to be started. 😉

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