• Autumn,  New Designs,  Stitching

    Jack’s Sweet Shoppe: Olga’s Tart!

    I think this is my favorite tart of them all. 🙂

    Olga's Tart Cover

    Olga's Tart
    Stitch count: 71w x 67h
    Fabric used: 36 ct. Plum Street Blend by R&R Reproductions (NEW!)
    Threads used: The Gentle Art in Mulberry (DMC 300), Black Licorice (310), Pumpkin Pie (435), Deep Forest (646), Nutmeg (780), Weathered Barn (814), Old Hickory (869), Dried Thyme (3011), Raspberry Frost (3773), Caramel Corn (3828), and Oatmeal (Ecru).

    The stitches used in this tart are cross stitch over two threads and some back stitching, where the whiskers and pumpkin tendrils are concerned. 🙂

    As with the other tarts, this chart comes with the instructions for putting together your tart using Wilton's 4.75" tart pans (available at www.amazon.com in sets of 6, or from www.wilton.com).

    I hope you like my new releases! Olga's Tart, Blackberry House, and the third Sampler Lesson kit will be shipping to shops on August 7th!

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    Blackberry House

    I've got 2 new releases and the third Sampler Lesson ready to ship to shops in a couple of weeks, but I'm really excited about this new release because it's mounted inside a Lone Elm creation: a stitching cabinet!

    Blackberry House Cover

    Blackberry House
    Stitch count: 167w x 224h
    Fabric used: 40 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R Reproductions
    Threads used: Classic Colorworks in Tennessee Red Clay (DMC 356), Pebble Beach (640), Antique Lace (3072), Cappuccino (779), and Cobbled Peach (950). The Gentle Art in Amethyst (451), Wood Trail (645), Aged Pewter – 2 skeins suggested (169), Moss (730), Endive (3011), Garden Gate (3787), Black Licorice (3371), and Currant (3857).

    Model stitched by: The darling Kathy Krause!

    This is cross stitched over two threads throughout the design, except for the horse weathervane above the purple house (this is stitched over one thread in a tent sttich or full cross). A numbers chart is included so that you can change the year, or leave it off altogether and personalize it with the alphabet included in the graph.

    Another stitching option would be to stitch just the middle portion of the chart, omitting the stars and scalloped border above, as well as the alphabet box below the urn. (However, if you plan to mount this inside of the stitching cabinet, you may want to stitch the whole sampler!)

    The cabinet is so beautifully made, and I was honored to receive it from Stephanie to use with this design. All of the attention to detail is perfect, as is the Vintage Slate color!

    IMG_4485 email

    IMG_4492 email

    The cabinet is sold exclusively at Lone Elm Lane ($248, which includes shipping), and comes with a miniature sewing tray and the foam core to mount your needlework. Because of its construction, you can actually remove the backing inside the cabinet door to change out your samplers!

    This is the inside of the bead-board cabinet, along with the sewing tray…



    IMG_4490 email

    Thank you for stopping by to have a look! I'll be back soon with my next release: Olga's Tart!



  • BYOF,  New Designs,  Serial Bowl Collection,  Stitching

    BYOF – Sampler Lesson Three

    Here we go! It's the third little design to add to your bowlful of stitched goodies! This is the third Sampler Lesson, with a verse borrowed from one sometimes found on old samplers:

    The daily labors of the bee awake my soul to industry.

    There are countless wonderful verses on samplers stitched by young girls from so long ago, and I truly enjoy using them in my own designs. (I'm not so sure those young girls always stitched their verses for pleasure, however!)

    Sampler Lesson 3 Cover Photo

    As with the other Bring Your Own Fabric kits, this pack will include the threads and trim to complete the piece; you will need to supply your own fabric. All stitches used are full crosses over 2 threads, so those of you who prefer Aida will have no problems!

    Many of you have asked how many kits will be in the series. To clarify, there is the Serial Bowl Collection, which includes the Sampler Lessons Series, as well as several other series that are on the drawing board (one of them being Christmas-themed kits). In the Sampler Lessons Series, there will be a total of 5 designs; I'm unsure if all 5 will be released this year, but if not, then they will certainly be completed in 2016. I'm hoping that each of the other series will also have around 5 designs, so that you'll at least have some seasonal collections, if you choose.

    Have I completely confused you? I blame it on Martha's energy levels.

    Even though she's sleeping at my feet right now.

    This third installment of the Sampler Lessons will be shipping to shops on my auto on August 7th, as well as two new releases, which I will show you in the next couple of days!

    Thank you for stopping by, and as always, I thank you tremendously for your lovely comments and emails.  I'll be back soon!


  • Autumn,  Contest Winners,  Freebie,  Friends,  Stitching

    The Winner!

    Goodness gracious, I've had a terrific time trying to get an internet connection this past week.. I've been struck with Intermittent Internet Syndrome, I'm afraid, which means my modem will suddenly decide to take a nap at the most inopportune times, and I've had to resort to using my phone to get a few things done, but that didn't bode well for me either.

    But instead of rambling further about my personal technology woes, I should take advantage of this small connection window and announce the winner of the Brew Haha kit!

    I had so much fun reading all of your comments about what your perfect fall day looks like.. I read each and every line, and smiled at all of the different memories and descriptions. I've put together a little "word collage" below that highlights some of the comments you all contributed; but trust me when I say, this is only a very small sampling of all of the wonderful descriptions! Thank you all so, so much!

    Fragments tp


    Rita, please email me your address so I can get your fabric, floss, and pins sent to you! I hope you enjoy stitching on the Stars Hollow linen.. it's the loveliest color!

    Thank you all again, and I'll see you back here soon! I've got the next Serial Bowl Sampler Lesson almost ready to preview!

  • Autumn,  Freebie,  Friends,  Stitching


    Oh my, all I've wanted for weeks is for the sun to come out and warm the place up. It finally does just that, to the tune of 100 degrees and wilting flowers, and now all I can think about is fall…

    Orange leaves, bittersweet, masses of bumpy gourds on wooden carts at the pumpkin patch, and pumpkin spice lattes… opened windows for sleeping, fire pits and s'mores, new autumn designs, and new linen to stitch on.

    Fall is perfect.

    And when R&R Reproductions told me about a beautiful new linen color in their lineup, I got a really fun idea: I wanted to come up with a new autumn-themed design to go with the linen! And I wanted to have a pre-autumn celebration giveaway!


    This is the little design I came up with to go with this brand-new linen from R&R Reproductions:

    Stars Hollow Blend

    Isn't that fabulous? Love love love the name!

    And here's another fun new item: Just Another Button Company has come up with the most wonderful little coffee bean pins!


    Now here is the giveaway part: One winner will receive a piece of 36 ct. Stars Hollow Blend linen to stitch Brew-Haha!, along with the overdyed threads (listed in the post-script) to go with it, and some coffee bean pins!

    All you have to do is answer this question:

    What does your perfect fall day look like?

    The winner will be chosen from the comments left here or on my Plum Street Samplers Facebook page, and will be announced next week – some time after I return from Chicago. Probably next Tuesday. 🙂

    And surprise! The Brew-Haha! chart is yours for the downloading! You'll find the link at the bottom of this post. 🙂

    Good luck, and I hope you all have fun with this little giveaway – even if you're in the middle of a heat wave!

    P.S. The Brew-Haha! chart calls for DMC, but Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach has come up with a fun conversion to overdyed threads in these colors: Classic Colorworks' Timber (3021), Eggshell (Ecru), Pumpkin Harvest (3776), Brandied Pears (434), Straw Hat (3863), and The Gentle Art's Gingersnap (400),  Endive (3011), Grecian Gold (680), and Nutmeg (3826).

    P.P.S. This is the bottom of the post. Download Brew-Haha! 🙂

    ETA 7/15: The original color conversion called for Classic Colorworks' Gingersnap, but the correct color is The Gentle Art's Gingersnap.

  • Family,  Gardening,  Holidays


    I can't believe I'm sitting here! I've missed chatting with you all!


    Is it just me and the crickets?

    I was asking on Facebook a few days ago who out there checks designers' blogs or designers' Facebook pages for new release updates, and it appears that most people prefer Facebook for the convenience of it, but they like blogs for the details – and only if a link is posted, in many cases. I really appreciated hearing everyone's feedback, although I had not really been thinking of giving up my blog; I simply have allowed my time to be consumed by other things, which has crowded out blogging (and I've always truly enjoyed blogging).

    Isn't it funny how modern technology has made daily tasks so simple that you are able to squeeze in many more tasks, which only ends up squeezing out daily living? 

    I have been so busy in such a good way around here though (technology aside). I've had such a nice summer with my last chickadee at home, Miss Sophie, and I am trying not to think about school starting up again. I always missed my girls when they had to go off to school again. 🙁 I've also been very busy with new designs, kitting, filling orders, traveling to stitching retreats, and even stitching on some fun things just for myself.

    The fourth of July was so much fun, as it always is! It's always been one of my favorite holidays because it is spent at my parents' home, in their beautiful back yard..




    Have you ever played ladder ball? It's also known as monkey ball, and I believe I mentioned it last year on my blog as well. It's truly the only time I've ever seen my mother get so highly competitive, that we all have to let her win.

    (I'm only kidding – you can't "let" someone win at ladder ball!)

    Here are Bre and Mike, taking their turns – and Bre scored a whopping 3 points when she landed on the top wrung!



    My dad is patiently waiting for his turn, while silently suffering through the smack-talk my mother is giving him on the side.


    Sophie prefers to be in the audience while the game is going on..




    I love it when my mom repurposes a fountain..






    This is a huge whiskey barrel full of marigolds.. my mother saved all the seeds last year, and there were enough for about 20 whiskey barrels! But she gave me a bunch, so now I have a barrel-full too!



    Here is the beautiful window box that is behind Sophie and my dad in the above photo..


    When Breanna was little, her favorite series was Power Rangers, and she would not allow a photo to be taken of her unless she was in her best Power Rangers pose. So for old times' sake, we all tried to strike her favorite pose. Except for Mom, who has never seen an episode of Power Rangers in her life, and except for Sophie, who would only watch Power Rangers if there was a makeup review included in a segment.






    And that was our July 4th annual cookout!

    Now that the summer is in full swing, I'm trying to figure out what my fall design schedule will be.. a little late as far as most designers are concerned, but I've always been an eleventh-hour person. I have more energy that way it seems! (I usually don't even have any Christmas design ideas in mind until the calendar page says "December" on it.)

    Hopefully I'll be seeing some of you at the Tomorrow's Heirlooms retreat on the 17th-19th of this month in Chicago! I can't wait.. and I'm really looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, as always.

    I'll see you all SOON!