• Freebie,  Holidays,  Patriotic,  Stitching

    Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

    I sort of really like George Washington.

    Maybe you knew that.

    So to celebrate his birthday this week, I've got a free chart for you! (This little design was inspired by one of my favorite peep-peeps, Wendy Davis, because she was thoughtful enough to send me an e-birthday card this morning – for George's birthday, of course; mine was last month. Thank you for the laugh, Wendy!)

    If you'd like to download and print the chart, the link is below the image. 🙂

    Happy Presidents Day Eve! (Don't worry, Mr. Lincoln, I love you too.)

    Happy Birthday Mr President tp

    Download and print: Happy Birthday Mr President

    I'll see you all soon!


  • Freebie,  New Designs,  Stitching

    Flash Release!

    I've been asked on more than one occasion how far in advance I come up with a design before I release it. My usual response is that I'm an eleventh-hour designer who doesn't realize it's the Christmas stitching season until about December 20. 

    I say all that to let you know that I had intended to come out with these designs earlier, but I couldn't, because I had not thought them up yet. 🙂

    Shipping to your local needlework shop (those on my auto) next week are two new releases that I'm very excited about! I don't know why, other than each contains a favorite thing of mine: the color pink, and little stitched animals.

    First, the color pink…

    I've always loved Jane Austen quotes, and the one in the design below comes from Emma. My dear friend Pat Ryan stitched the model in no time at all, and she used a gorgeous linen by R&R Reproductions called In the Pink (32 ct). (The color equivalent of In the Pink would be roughly DMC 225, to give you an idea of what it should look like on your monitor.) 

    A Hundred Ways Cover

    Stitch Count: 62w x 169h

    Fabric: 32 ct. In the Pink by R&R Reproductions

    Threads used:

    DMC 3045 , 758, 950, and 3721;
    Weeks Dye Works in Artichoke, Charlotte's Pink, Chablis, Oscar, Pelican Gray, Blackboard, and Gunmetal;
    Classic Colorworks Bamboo.

    There is a little bit of over-one stitching in the faces and hair, as well as a few little letters,  but other than this, all cross stitch is used.

    Framed beautifully by: Sherri Berkman of Total Framing in Fairfax, VA (Hi, Sherri!)

    You'll notice the four DMC colors I listed above; I always give a conversion to DMC on all of my charts, for all of the colors. But in this case, there were two colors that were used for only a very small number of stitches. Therefore, I decided to go with the DMC color, rather than switch to a more expensive overdyed floss. Read on, if you'd like further explanation:

    Generally, when I'm reviewing the colors of a chart before it's finalized, I will take very similar colors in that design and condense them into fewer colors, so that there aren't so many colors to purchase for one design. Other times, I really do prefer the subtle differences, so I leave them as they are. Recently, however, I've taken to noting how many stitches per color are in my designs, and I'm going to try to start using DMC where there are very few stitches used. Of course, if you prefer all overdyed flosses, then simply ask your needlework shop what their suggestion is, based on the dye lots they have in their inventory.


    My next release is the first in a series of Christmas ornaments! This will be a year-long series, with two ornaments per chart released 6 times throughout the year. There are 12 ornaments total (plus one more – I'll explain in a bit!), which can be stitched as they are shown on the covers, or all together, on one piece of fabric! It just depends on if you want a larger sampler at the end of the year, or 12 + 1 individual ornaments.

    And here is the first of Noah's Christmas Ark…

    Noah's Christmas Ark I

    Here is a little bit of info for you…

    If you choose to stitch these as ornaments, each block will be 58w x 48h. But if you want to stitch them all on one piece of fabric (three horizontal rows with four blocks each, pictured below), your stitch count will be 244w x 152h. This stitch count includes four blank rows (or 8 threads if using linen) both horizontally and vertically between each of the twelve blocks.

    The ornaments will be stitched on 36 ct. Patriot's Brew by R&R Reproductions.

    The threads used on just the Crocodiles and Giraffes are as follows:

    DMC 3072;
    Weeks Dye Works in Sanguine, Dove, Bullfrog, Parchment, Garrison Green, Kudzu, Grapevine, Collards, Molasses, Cayenne, and Gunmetal;
    Classic Colorworks in Stepping Stones and Hazelnut.

    If you want to have all the threads on hand for the entire project, regardless of how it is stitched, you will also need the following six colors:

    DMC 3013 and 3033;
    Weeks Dye Works in Tin Roof, Galvanized, Crimson, and Baked Apple.

    I would also recomment that you have 2 Grapevine and 2 Parchment on hand.

    All of the ornaments are stitched in full cross stitch over two threads, but there are just a couple of blocks with a few back-stitches or long-stitches in them.

    Finishing by: Joy Hayward of Finely Finished. Thank you, Joy!

    Here is a suggested layout for the ornaments, if you'd like them all stitched as one project:

    Full Project Grid tp2

    I would not, however, suggest stitching all of the borders first, as there is one upcoming release that actually extends into its own border by just one stitch. I can't say which one that is, bc it's not out yet, but also because I don't know where you would like your animals placed on the grid above! It's completely up to you! 🙂


    But wait! There's more!

    As a way of introducing this series, I'd like to offer you a complimentary chart called "Noah's Welcome Mat." It's yours for the printing, and it is the 13th block in this series I mentioned earlier. The grid above shows all twelve borders for the regular releases… you may, of course, choose to stitch Noah's Welcome Mat in one of the blocks, but if you use an even-grid layout, one of your animals will have to be kicked off of the ark, so to speak. 

    Here is what the finished Noah's Welcome Mat looks like, stitched by my friend Pat Ryan (who also stitched the first two above, and will be stitching the entire series! Thank you, Pat!).  The printable chart is available in the link under the photo. 

    Welcome Mat small

    Click here to print your chart:   Noah's Welcome Mat 

    I hope you like these first two Plum Street charts for 2018! I think this is going to be a fantastic year, and I hope you have lots of fun with your needlework projects… even if you don't start your Christmas stitching until December 20. 😉

    Thank you so much for stopping by to visit my blog… I'll see you all again soon! 

  • Christmas,  Freebie,  Holidays

    Our Savior’s Birth

    I am so thankful for the Gift that God gave to the world that He loves so much.

    Please accept this small gift from me to you, and if you choose to stitch it, my hope is that you will be able to slow down and reflect on why we celebrate this beautiful season of Christ's birthday.

    Merry Christmas to you! (And please click both of the links below the image, or your pattern will not print out correctly!)

    Our Savior's Birth 2

    Our Savior's Birth

    Download Our Savior's Birth CHART

    Download Our Savior's Birth INSTRUCTIONS

  • Christmas,  Freebie,  Holidays,  Stitching

    An Ornament for You

    My goodness… has it really been since October 20th? I haven't chatted with you since before Thanksgiving? And I just left you hanging with only the first part of the Shepherd's Bush boutique! I am so sorry!

    There has been an awful lot going on in my household this summer and fall, and believe you me when I tell you I can't believe I lived to tell about it. Not because I was in any danger, mind you, but because I've had one plumbing/remodeling/everything disaster after the next, and I think at one point I was near to squatting in a corner and rocking back and forth.

    But let's not relive that. I sat down today and designed a little ornament for you, in case you were all out of things to stitch. 😉 I've been drawn to lighter colors these days, so that's what I designed with, but if you choose to stitch this ornament, please feel free to stitch it in your favorite palette! Or whatever color scheme you're drawn to this season. (Sometimes mine changes from year to year.. one year I'll want lots of deep, antiqued hues, and other years I prefer lighter-colored decorations… like this year!)

    Anyway, I hope you all are having a beautiful Christmas season thus far… it's my very favorite time of the year!

    Merry Christmas!

    P.S. Remember to click the link below the image to print out your chart! 🙂

    Holy Night tp

    Download Holy Night PRINTOUT

  • 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.

  • Freebie,  Holidays,  Stitching

    And So He Came

    I saw a commercial this morning on the In Touch Ministries website that showed a dad calling each one of his family members down to the living room. They had no idea why he wanted them all together, but they soon found that the reason he took the time to interrupt their routines was so that they could all rediscover why we celebrate such a beautiful holiday… he said "Last year I woke up the day after Christmas, feeling like I'd missed something."

    I'm ashamed to confess that I've felt that very thing before.

    So before the season is once again past, I'm going to take the time to remember and celebrate what I should have been dwelling on all along: not frenzied shopping and repetitive list-making and seeing to it that all the sticks of butter are at room temperature so I can bake all those cookies, but rather the One whose birth was the first Christmas gift to us all.

    Please enjoy this complimentary chart from my heart to yours. And Merry Christmas!

    Click here for the printable chart, and not on the images: Download Christmas Ornament 2014 PRINTOUT

    (Pictured below are some different fabric options, just to give you an idea of what you may want to work with.)

    Christmas 2014 Examplar

    Christmas 2014 Black

    Christmas 2014 Conf Gray

    Christmas 2014 Olde Towne

    And if you haven't taken the time yet to read the "story" of Christmas, here is something else you may want to either pull up on your tablet/laptop/computer, or print out. The link to print is at the bottom of the image.

    This is Christmas

    Download This is Christmas

  • 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.

    Arlington tp

    Arlington tp-2

    Arlington tp-4

    Arlington tp-7

    At the tomb of President John F. Kennedy…

    Arlington tp-8

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

    Arlington tp-9

    This is the view from the porch of Arlington House…

    Arlington tp-15

    Arlington tp-17

    Arlington tp-20

    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.


    Arlington tp-18

    Arlington tp-19

    The gardens at Arlington House were beautiful…

    Arlington tp-21

    Arlington tp-22

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

    Arlington tp-13

    Arlington tp-12

    Arlington tp-11

     The US Army rehearsed for a forthcoming funeral…

    Arlington tp-23

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

    Arlington tp-24

    Arlington tp-25

    Arlington tp-6

    Arlington tp-26

    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

    A Patriot's Sampler 2

    And a very Happy Memorial Day to you!

  • Freebie,  Friends

    Zoya and Hawg

    Happy April to you all!

    A couple of years ago, I designed this little chart for my friend Katrina to stitch for her husband, who loves to take his motorcycle out on beautiful summer days. I thought since today was a day for silliness, I'd go ahead and share it here with you all, just in case there are any stitchers out there who like to ride motorcycles themselves, or know someone who does.

    Katrina, have you stitched this yet?

    Well? Have you??   😉

    Please click on the link below the post to print out your chart, and not on the image. 🙂

    Zoya and Hawg Complimentary Chart COLOR

    Download Zoya and Hawg Complimentary Chart PRINTOUT