• Critters

    Gloomy Day

    Martha loves to look outside the window in our living room. There is almost always a squirrel outside, flicking its tail at Martha, knowing that the only thing Martha can do is to whine and pant furiously because she can't get to it through the glass.

    But today, it rained, and the squirrel did not come out to play.


    Maybe tomorrow, Martha.

  • Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    Sunday Mystery Sampler: Week 2

    Here we are again! I'm so happy you're back!

    Did you figure out whether you would stitch the charts as ornaments or a sampler? Did you gather all your supplies? Have you already put your first stitches in?

    I had several questions this past week, so I will answer just a few of them quickly…

    Q: How many skeins do I need of each color?
    A: Since I haven't stitched the sampler (and only the first 2 ornaments), I'm honestly not sure. If you're stitching over two threads with ONE strand of floss, then I would say you should be safe with 2 skeins the red and one of each of the others. (Please note: There are only 60 stitches used with the color gold.)

    Q: What colors did you use for the gold and the black?
    A: I never used those colors, because until this stitchalong, I had not designed or stitched any of the other blocks. So please feel free to choose whichever gold and black you like the best! (And the same goes with the red and green!)

    Q: Are the red and green you used (Cranberry and Weathered Vine) cottons or silks?
    A: They were silks. Those two colors aren't available in the Classic Colorworks (formerly Belle Soie) line of cotton fibers.

    Q: Will there be an additional border around the sampler layout?
    A: There will be no additional border, unless you'd like to add one yourself (which would be fun!).

    If there is anything I haven't covered in any of my previous few blog posts, let me know, and I'll get back to you!

    And now it's time for your Week 2 chart! I hope you enjoy stitching Four Calling Birds.. and I've added an interesting little note on this particular lyric on your chart. 🙂

    Week 2 Sampler Layout

    Click here to print the Fourth Day chart: Download Four Calling Birds

    Thank you again for stopping by, and enjoy your week!

  • Autumn,  BYOF,  New Designs,  Stitching

    New Releases for Fall!

    I'll be shipping the following three releases to all shops on my automatic very soon.. hopefully next week!



    This was originally released at the Shepherd's Bush retreat in 2014, and the model was stitched and framed by the wonderful, lovely, darling Sherri-Berkman-of-Total-Framing-in-Virginia!

    The stitch count is 182w x 164h, and it is stitched using all cross stitch over two linen threads.

    The model was stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens, and the threads used were by Classic Colorworks in Milady's Teal (DMC 169), Cayenne (300), Copper Penny (402), Fool's Gold (435), Deep Fennel (598), Stepping Stones (611), Pebble Beach (642), Ye Olde Gold (833), Weeping Willow (3011), Hickory Sticks (3021), Timber (3781), River Rocks (3787), and Tennessee Red Clay (3859).



    These three little cushions are fast little stitches, and if you have an autumn tree (like my sister, who decorates a small tree for any and every holiday!), you could easily attach hangers for them to be hung there, or on the handle of a cabinet, or even a door knob. Or maybe in your car's rear-view mirror. Or maybe not.

    Here are the stitch counts for all three cushions:

    Goodness & Plenty: 113w x 38h
    Alphabet Sampler: 59w x 50h
    Harvest Bird: 74w x 57h

    The models were stitched on 36 ct. Stars Hollow Blend from R&R Reproductions, and the finishing was done by my Pike's-Place-Partner, Donna Otlowski. She did such a beautiful job!

    The threads used were by Classic Colorworks in Roasted Chestnut (DMC 400), Hazelnut (420), Brandied Pears (434), Wilderness (830), Manor Red (902), Caterpillar (3371), Cinnamon Toast (3772), and Antique Lace (Ecru).

    The stitches used in these cushions are cross stitch and back stitch, all over two.


    This is the fourth of five Sampler Lessons that will be released. (The other Collection in progress is A Bowl Full of Merries, but Merry Two is still being worked on; there will, however, be brand new Collections coming to the Serial Bowl family next year!)

    The kit is a BYOF (Bring Your Own Fabric) kit, which means it includes the threads and trim to complete the project, but you will need to supply the fabric you want to use. The model was stitched on 36 ct. American Chestnut linen, by an extremely kind stitcher with the most perfect x's: Jean Hohulin.

    The stitch count for Sampler Lesson Four is 83w x 81h. All stitches are cross stitch over two threads, but the chart says "except where noted." This was an oversight on my part, and should not have been there. I apologize for that!


    Please remember that all of the Serial Bowl Collection kits are limited in number; all prior kits have sold out, and for that, I thank you tremendously. (You all have no idea how sweet and encouraging it is to get such lovely feedback from you. Stitchers are truly the best kind of people!)

     As soon as these ship out, it's back to the drawing board for me… Enjoy the weekend!

  • Crazy Kids,  Family,  Friends


    Sophie attended her school's homecoming dance this month, and she had such a fun time! She didn't go with a date, but instead went with two of her sweet friends…but of course, we had to get some Big Papa and Big Mama photos before she left for the main event. 🙂




    (I had to sneak this one in here.. don't tell Big Papa.)







    I just love their giggling, silly selves.


  • Holidays,  Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    Welcome to the Sunday Mystery Sampler!

    Good morning to you all!

    Is your printer plugged in? Is it loaded with paper? Are your stitching supplies gathered? It's time for the mystery project to begin! (This is so exciting, even though I know how it ends already..)

    If you're just now finding out about the Sunday Mystery Sampler, you may want to scroll backwards just a few posts to catch up on what supplies you'll need to participate. And then you will need to decide if you want to stitch twelve individual ornaments, or one large sampler.

    Here we go!

    First, for those of you who are stitching one large sampler, here is a picture of what your layout will look like. The picture is not the chart; the chart file link will be shown below the picture. (Please feel free to orient the boxes however you like; just make sure your fabric size will accommodate any changes you make!)

    Your outline should be stitched in whichever red fiber you chose.

    Twelve Days outline

    Here is the printable chart for the above sampler layout (1 page): Download Twelve Days Outline Layout

    If you prefer to print out the layout in larger print for easier counting (and coloring, if you like to color in your charts), then print out this chart (4 pages): Download Twelve Days Outline Chart

    And now for the ornament charts! Rather than posting pictures of each individual design, I will show them as they are added to the sampler blocks. Those of you who are stitching ornaments will still be able to see what your individual ornaments will look like when you're finished with them.

    If the Twelve Drummers Drumming were here, I'd ask them for a drum roll… Here are the first three ornaments for the Sunday Mystery Sampler!

    Week 1 Sampler Layout

    Click here to print the First Day chart: Download A Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Click here to print the Second Day chart: Download Two Turtle Doves

    Click here to print the Third Day chart: Download Three French Hens

    And that's your Week One portion of the Sunday Mystery Sampler! I hope you have a wonderful time stitching, and if you're stitching the sampler, you don't necessarily have to stitch the entire outline first. I tend to get very bored with straight lines, so I would stitch one box and then fill it, and move on to the next box when I was finished. (But that's just me.. I'm always amazed at people who can just keep going and going and not want to throw their stitching down and stomp on it when it grows monotonous. And have you ever noticed that the word monotonous has repeating o's? What kind of a sick joke is that, anyway?)

    I'll see you next Sunday for Week 2, but I may be back here for other topics before then.. Enjoy this beautiful day of rest!


  • Sunday Mystery Sampler

    FAQ’s Regarding the Sunday Mystery Sampler

    Hi again!

    I just thought I'd answer a few questions I've received before the stitch-along starts. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll address them in another blog post. 🙂

    A: It's free! Just come back here each Sunday for the next 10 weeks, and download to your heart's content.

    A: You're right where you should be! Just come to my blog, right where you find yourself now, and you'll find a link to open up and print the PDF's. You will also see an image of the chart in front of you; DO NOT TRY TO DOWNLOAD THE IMAGE. Not because the Feds will surround your house or anything, but because you won't get the chart to print properly. Make sure you use the link I provide you to allow your computer to open up the file. Your printer will love you for it. (And if your printer doesn't work, you can always stitch it from your computer monitor!)

    A: No worries! I will keep the charts up for as long as I keep my blog. (Mary's Sampler was published in 2013 and still remains under "Sunday Mystery Sampler" in the right side-bar.) All you'll need to do when you return to your computer is to scroll down to whichever posts you missed and find the link to open up the charts. REMEMBER: Do not try printing from the picture of the chart; this is not the file your computer wants to print, or you'll use a whole lot of unnecessary toner!

    A: I used Belle Soie (now Classic Colorworks) Cranberry for the red, and Weathered Vine for the green. For the fabric, I used 36 ct. Vintage Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens. However, please use any fibers and fabric you like, including Aida. There are no specialty stitches – everything is worked in full cross stitches over two threads (for linen users), so there will be no issues if you prefer Aida. And you can use one or two strands as well.. there are no rules!

    I think that covers it so far.. if I've left anything out, please let me know! I'm here to help! Enjoy your day. 🙂

  • Holidays,  Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    The 2015 Sunday Mystery Sampler!

    When I announced the first Sunday Mystery Sampler in 2013, I was so surprised at the enormous response! I couldn't believe how many of you tuned in each week on my blog to download each installment of the mystery… and what fun it was to see everyone's progress on all the Mary's Samplers out there! (For those of you who missed out, the installments are all still there under Sunday Mystery Sampler in the right side-bar of the blog.)

    I've been mulling over doing one again this year for some time now, but just couldn't figure out what it was I wanted to do. And then it slowly dawned on me…

    Back in 2011, I submitted an ornament to Just Cross Stitch for their annual Christmas Preview Issue. I went with a "Twelve Days of Christmas" theme, and proudly titled my ornament submission "First Day."


    Then, in 2012, I followed it up with "Second Day."


    Shortly afterward, I started receiving the occasional email from various subscribers, gently mentioning to me that it would take a full twelve years at that rate to actually have the whole set. I was absolutely stunned that I had never thought of that before!

    So to the back burner the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments idea went… until I realized very recently that it would be awfully fun to finish the entire series in one fell swoop and offer them for free – and all in time for Christmas 2015!

    This year's Sunday Mystery Sampler will be all twelve days, and they can be stitched individually, as ornaments, or all together, as one large sampler! (I can't decide which option I like better.)

    If you have the first two stitched, then you've got a good head start. But if you don't, it's okay! Here are all the details you'll need to know… (ETA: The original red was Belle Soie (now Classic Colorworks) Cranberry, and the original green was Belle Soie (now Classic Colorsworks) Weathered Vine. The original fabric used was Lakeside Linens' 36 ct. Vintage Light Examplar.)

    SMS p1
    SMS p2

     I'll see you soon!

    ETA: I found a photo for Second Day! I can't seem to find one for First Day though..

    176E jcs tp

  • Market

    Late to the Party

    What on earth is going on with all the clocks in my house? I wake up before the birds and suddenly it's bedtime again, and I have no idea what happened to the day. Is this part of getting older, as my mom tells me?

    Wait a sec… did my mom call me old?

    For the sake of completion, I feel the need to post my last releases, although they are completely old news by now. So bear with me.

    At the Harvest Market, I released 3 new charts and 1 new BYOF/Serial Bowl kit in the new Christmas theme, called A Bowl Full of Merries. The three releases are getting ready to head to distributors this week, so if you haven't been able to order one yet, your shop should be able to get them very soon! But as for Merry One (the first installment in the 'Merries Collection), they were sold out in the first few days (which is thrilling! Thank you all so much!).

    Thanksgiving has always been one of my very favorite holidays! But it always seems to get ushered out too quickly, between Halloween and Christmas stitching, which is just so sad! I hope you'll find time this fall season to work on something Pilgrim-or-turkey related, because there really is something special about stitching a fall piece that doesn't necessarily have a black cat on it. (I didn't mean it, Fezziwig.)


    Next is Blessings Abound…


    Here is Labor for Learning (inspired by schoolgirls and Rhode Island-style samplers)…


    And lastly, here is Merry One (sold out)…


    I'm working on a few new things for this month as well, so stay tuned! One of them is Sampler Lesson Four, and there will be two more releases also.

    Okay, I think I can get a good night's sleep now, since I finally got those charts posted! And if I don't sleep well, and I end up lacking energy, I'm sure Mom will tell me I should be taking Centrum Silver or something.

    I'll be back soon with news about the upcoming Sunday Mystery Sampler for 2015!