Free Bird Makeover

I decided recently that I'd like to repurpose my Free Bird sampler so that I can display it a little differently this year. So I removed it from its frame, dyed it in a black walnut brew (a coffee dye would work also), and set to making it into a walnut-shell-filled cushion. I'm very please with how it turned out!

Here's the front of it…

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And here's the back…

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Since I sewed it shut using very crude stitches on both the back seam and the side seams, it will be easy to take apart, press out, and re-frame it, should I ever wish to do so. But I think I like it just as it is! (Nevermind the goofed stitch in the very middle of the back seam.. I have no idea how I missed making the "x" part of the little stars I was stitching!)

By the way, here's how Free Bird originally looked, stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Basketweave by Lakeside Linens:

Free Bird Before

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! I'm making cookout plans with Mom, and wondering how to break it to Mike that he won't be able to light his firecrackers this year. Maybe he'll be satisfied with a sparkler.

Or not.

An Inspiring Weekend!

What a fantastic time I had last weekend at the Inspired Summer Seminar! It was one of the best times I've ever had, meeting so many new friends and visiting the gorgeous Inspired Needle shop, owned by Cathy Roginela. She was the most perfect hostess, and everyone had such a fun time.

Friday night I got to visit the shop, and everywhere I looked, there was something new to see…

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I've never seen so many fibers in one place!

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This isn't the whole shop; up around the corner on the left, it continues on, where she had some of my models displayed for a trunk show…

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To welcome all who visited the shop that night, Cathy had set up the most beautiful selection of appetizers…

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She had several varieties of mini cheesecakes, and they were all absolutely delicious. (Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Blueberry, Raspberry… too many to choose from!)

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The next morning our workshop began at the Ruffled Feathers Country Club. It was a gorgeous venue, with beautiful sunny windows all around. We even got to witness a wedding outside! (But I didn't take pictures of that, don't worry.)

Here's one of the tables, with everyone busily stitching away on Liberty Inn…

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Cathy had the most wonderful thread-minders made, modeled after the flag star in the sampler, and with the weekend's inscription on the flip side!

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It was such a lovely day, and if she holds another workshop, I'd highly recommend attending! Thank you to Cathy and to each person who was able to attend (we had 52 stitchers there!) for being so warm and welcoming to me. I'll never forget the fun I had with you, and I look forward to hopefully visiting with you again some day!

And a huge thank you to my dear friend Karin, for allowing me to stay in her lovely home. (I'll be back soon with pictures of her beautiful stitching room!)

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New Releases!

What? Two posts in one day?

I apologize for not being able to update my blog more often; things around here have been non-stop go go go go go, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit! For starters, Big Papa fell down outside and broke his leg in two places, requiring twelve screws and a metal plate in his driving leg, no less.

Guess what that means. Just guess. Yep, I'm now his chauffer! For three whole months! He's to put no weight on his foot for the entire summer, which is pretty hard for a very active fellow like him. (As I type this, he's playing a new video game to keep himself busy, so I'm typing to the sounds of dragons bellowing and swords clanging and his fingers deftly pressing controller buttons as quickly as he can. I never could understand that sort of hand-eye coordination, but he's definitely got it… until it comes to his crutches. Oh my, is that a sad, hobbly sight!)

I'm headed to Chicago tomorrow to Inspired Needle's workshop, the Inspired Summer Seminar, and I'm very excited! But it's a quick trip, and Mike will be in good hands with sweet Sophie. (Of course, he may want to get used to being served macaroni and cheese for three meals per day…)

My goodness, I'm quite chatty this evening! Okay, here's the real reason I'm posting again: I've got two releases headed out to my autos next week, and to the distributors the following week. Here's all the info you need for them, and if you'd like one or both, just contact your local or online shop owner!

Since my last release set was a pink theme, this one is red. 🙂 No, I don't usually have themes, but it's fun when I do!

First up is an antique reproduction/adaptation. I don't actually have a full photograph of the original antique, because I completely forgot to take one, but you can see part of it behind the model. The antique was stitched in 1837 by Ann Barson Loughbro, and it's done in spruce green and ivory and tan. However, I really wanted to change the color palette to something much different, and I truly hope Ann would have approved! Her verse is an outstanding one, and one that should be remembered:

Hark from the tomb a doleful sound,
my hear attend the cry.
Ye living men come view the ground
where you must shortly lie.
Princes, this clay must be your bed,
in spite of all your tow[e]rs:
The tall, the wise, the reverend head
must lie as low as ours.

Isn't that fabulous? And I love the ivory border all around the sampler itself.

Ann Barson Loughbro preview

Ann Barson Loughbro 1837

Stitch count: 203w x 236h

The model was stitched on: 40 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens

All cross stitch, except for a few backstitches in the lettering.

Threads used for the MODEL VERSION:

Classic Colorworks in Manor Red, Barn Door, Zach Black, Ye Olde Gold, 12 Grain (2 skeins suggested), Old Oak Tree, Hickory Sticks, and Stepping Stones.

The Gentle Art in Piney Woods.

Threads used for the ANTIQUE VERSION:

Classic Colorworks in Brandied Pears, Old Blue Jeans, Onion Skin, 12 Grain (2 skeins suggested), Whatley Woodlands, Hickory Sticks, and River Rocks.

The Gentle Art in Blue Spruce (this color is used for 2 different symbols in the chart.)

The model was stitched by Rindy Richards, and the frame was done by Sherri Berkman of Total Framing, in Fairfax, Virginia!

Next up: A class piece for the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild in Dallas, Texas. This was originally released in the spring of 2013. What a fun time that was with all the Tudor Rose ladies (and gentleman!) ..

Crowned Bird preview

Crowned Bird Sampler

Stitch count: 273w x 270h

The model was stitched on: 36 ct. Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens

All cross stitch throughout.

Threads used:

Classic Colorworks Silk in Angel Blush, Icing, Tumbleweed, Scarecrow, Sister Scarlet, and Weathered Vine.

Needlepoint Inc. silk in 967, 124, 588, 928, and 256.

The model stitcher for this sampler was Sharon Schutjer.

And that's it! I hope you like the new/newish patterns, and that your summer is going beautifully! When I'm not driving Mike to doctor appointments and board game tournaments, I've been out in my yard trying to get back in touch with the gardening I used to love. It's been a long time since I've planted flowers, and I'm thoroughly enjoying their return to my porch.

I'll talk to you soon!