I love bees.

Gosh, I've loved bees forever! And I especially love the character Queenie on the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford. The sweet gentleness with how she keeps her bees charms me (I only wish there were more scenes with her in them!), and was the inspiration for this pattern:

The Beekeeper email w text

This will be released as a kit at the Nashville Needlework Market in a couple of weeks, exclusive to Norden Crafts. The kit comes packaged in a clear box, and contains 11 skeins of Weeks Dye Works, a piece of Natural Northern Cross linen, and a size 28 embroidery needle. The kits will be available first to shop owners that attend the market, and then any kits that are left will be available to those who were unable to attend. The retail price is $44, and if you'd like your shop owner to reserve one for you, give them a call and let them know! (This is a limited run, and this pattern will not be available in chart-only form.)

I can't wait for market! Besides The Beekeeper (which will be in Norden's room), I'll have five new designs in my room, one of which is a reproduction called Elizabeth Sarah Oliver 1842. It's absolutely full of the most charming motifs, including two sweet little dogs. I can't wait to show you! I'll be back this week with a preview of it, along with one or two more next week. 🙂

Have a lovely evening! And if you have Netflix or Amazon Prime, grab your stitching and a cup of coffee or tea and see about watching Lark Rise to Candleford! It's a lovely, meandering series, and you'll fall in love with all of the residents of both the towns of Lark Rise and of Candleford.

P.S. Here's a little something for those of you already familiar with the series: Coffee is my one weakness. 😉


I am finally coming up for air! Thank you for being so patient with me for orders and emails and now this overdue blog post.

I accidentally typed "blob post," and I probably should have left it like that because that's what I feel like today!

Market was such a wonderful, exciting time for me, and I am so happy I finally got to meet so many of you in person.. what a pleasure that was! Especially for Sophie, who got to hear more than a few dozen times, "You're Sophie! I know you from your mom's blog!" She loved every bit of it though, and still teases me that we weren't in the hotel for a solid minute when someone called out her name. (Hi Mona-from-the-Silver-Needle!)

Here are a few pictures from around the suites I visited… I never made it off my floor except one time, and I didn't have my camera with me then. I'm really bummed because there were so many people I didn't get to meet, let alone take pictures of their new designs. But the few booths I did make it into were gracious enough to allow me to photograph their lovely things, so here they are, if you'd care to take a look. (I'm sure you've seen several of these types of photos around the blogosphere lately!)

We'll start with my next-door neighbor, who is new to market this year. What a fabulous designer she is, with an equally-fabulous family!


Her room was wonderful, and Sophie said it smelled delicious, like green tea. I was too taken with her displays and the banjo music in the background to notice the aroma, but she did have a very cool corner with chocolates and beverages (that I didn't get a picture of)…





A little farther down the hall was Needlework Press… (Vickie's precious grandbaby was there as well, and what a little doll Zoe is!)




Chessie and Me's room was gorgeous… and there's something about her models that makes them so photogenic! I think I could take pictures of her models all day.





Let's go back the other way down the hall now…


Walk faster…

Here we've come to The Purple Thread… This was my first time meeting Sharon, and I just loved her!


This was so cute!



Hang on, Mike, we'll be in shortly…


By the way, that lens he's holding is actually a very cool coffee mug that my sweet friend Connie gave to me! Isn't it the neatest thing?


It came in very handy that weekend. Thank you so much, Connie!


Next to The Purple Thread was Blackbird Designs. It's always a treat to go in their room!



This hooked rug, in front of their "fireplace," made me swoon…






I'm super disappointed I didn't make it to R&R's room earlier in the day, because I could have shown you linen nirvana… but I did manage to take a picture of the little bit that was left…


Pat and Ann were kind enough to send me home with some of their hand-dyed trims and some beautiful linens,  and right now I'm loving Old Towne Blend. What a beautiful, soft color.. I'm in love! Thank you, Pat and Ann!

And of course, what's a market without Shepherd's Bush? Sophie loved their room best, bc she was taken with the rows of bags waiting to be claimed by their owners. She said, "If I was a shop owner, I'd buy stuff from them just to get their bag."



My very first linen project, back in 1992'ish, was a Shepherd's Bush design. I've been a fan ever since!


I probably should have broken this post down to two days, but I'll keep going…

La D Da! Love love love La D Da!


My heart loves this one best, and I was lucky enough to be gifted with the chart and silks by a friend that is very dear to me. (Thank you again, my very dear friend…)




Another neighbor close by was Dames of the Needle/Fingerwork. It was my first time meeting Elizabeth, and what fun we had!



This was just the cutest thing…




 And finally, we have my room… I hadn't been to a market since 2007, so I forgot about how challenging it was to make everything fit where you need it to fit!


My dad built my shelving, which I was very grateful for!



I brought a few older things too…


I had Salem Sisters III hanging over a lamp, and I loved the spooky light that was cast on it. But I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who noticed the way the spooky light was shining on it. Ha!





And there you have it! Hopefully I'll get out to other floors next time, because I can only imagine all the fun I missed. But I couldn't stay away from the room too long, because Big Papa tends to tell tall tales in my absence; I even had someone tell me it was awfully nice of me to do the stitching for all these patterns Mike designed.

Say what?

Until next market! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂


P.S. On Sunday evening, there was a knock on our room's door, and sweet Teri from Shepherd's Bush was holding one of their booth's bags for Sophie, complete with a Shepherd's Bush purple t-shirt inside. 🙂 Now that's a very sweet thing!

In Case You Haven’t Already Seen Them…

…Here are the last three releases I had for market (which was absolutely wonderful, by the way!):

This is Ladies' Maids… there are 50 different maids on this piece; no two are alike! Miss Rindy Richards stitched this one for me, and also surprised me with the most darling fob with my favorite maid stitched on it (she had asked me which was my favorite, but I thought she was just asking because there were so many!). I'm going to have to take a photo of it to show you, because it really was just too cute! (Thank you again, Rindy!)

LM fb

LM tp 1

LM tp 4

I love that Rindy only stitched half the x's in the windows, because it really brought the window panes to life. I wish I'd remembered to put that on the chart instructions, but I didn't. 🙁

LM tp 3

Fabric used: 36 ct. Vintage Fawn by Lakeside Linens
Stitch count: 350(w) x 195(h)
Threads used: Weeks Dye Works in Dove, Mascara, Battleship, Graphite, Taupe, Pamlico, Tin Roof, Galvanized, Charcoal, Parchment, Bullfrog, King Mackeral, Caper, Brick, Cinnabar, and Grits.

Next up is Love Thy Neighbor, which features a Tilly-and-Effy-inspired feline duo… I thought it was appropriate to use them as the "neighbors" because they don't live together in real life, and when they get together it's amusing to see their love-hate relationship unfold. Mostly they love each other though, after they've worked out their differences. 😉 (This model was stitched by Kathy Krause, who unfortunately had to spend her time stitching this while resting a broken foot. Thank you, Kathy!)

Love Thy Neighbor tp

Speaking of one of the photo-bombing devils…


Fabric used: 36 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens
Stitch count: 144(w) x 76 (h)
Threads used: The Gentle Art in Sarsaparilla, Old Hickory, Wood Rose, Walnut, Shaker White, Heirloom Gold, Brethren Blue, Forest Glade, and Pecan Pie.

And lastly, here is My Dearest Friend (stitched by beautiful Nicole Neville!), inspired by the love letters written by John and Abigail Adams…

MDF tp fb

MDF tp 1

MDF tp 2

Fabric used: 40 ct. Vintage Gray by R&R Reproductions (fabulous new color!)
Thread Count: 195(w) x 108(h)
Threads used: The Gentle Art in Old Hickory, Honey Dew, Piney Woods, Country Redwood, Tarnished Gold, Toffee, Brandy, Cameo Pink, Wood Trail, Dark Chocolate, Brethren blue, Faded Rose, and Old Brick.

By the way, the date on the sampler is stitched in Algerian Eyelet, and reflects the year John and Abigail were married.

The outstanding frames for both My Dearest Friend and Love Thy Neighbor were done by the extremely talented and lovely Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia! If you give her a call at (703) 426-0660, she can get these done for you, as well as any other stitching you may need framed. She's got an amazing eye for color, and if you send her your piece, she'll send photos back to you of different moulding choices, and you go from there. Also, check out the Total Framing Facebook page, because you'll find lots of sales – sometimes even 50% off your framing order! Thank you again, Sherri, for sharing your talent with all of us. 🙂

Market was so much fun, and I can't wait to share with you all the photos I took! I was only able to leave my floor once, so I didn't get photos of too many suites, but I did grab several of the ones who were on the 5th floor with me. 🙂 I'll be back soon to show them to you, so you can get a feel for what the designers' booths were like. It's heaven, being surrounded by all those new designs and threads and linens!

One last note: if you are interested in any of my releases from this weekend, please let your shopowners know.. if they were not able to attend market, the distributors will have them very soon! And to each of the shop owners and designers I was privileged to meet in St. Charles, it was a pleasure! I very much enjoyed chatting with each of you and being able to put faces with names. What a marvelous weekend!

 See you soon!

To Market, to…mar…. ket…….zzzz

I was up very late last night getting some last-minute things done, but then I forgot I'd get up this morning and find more last-minute things to do, and let me tell you, I am stone tired.


I took that picture of Tasha for Instagram a long time ago, but I feel it conveys exactly what my face looks like right now.

However, all will be well later in the day when we arrive in St. Charles at last, and the fun can begin!

Oh my, it's too early for exclamation points.

It’s Almost Time…

We leave tomorrow morning for the drive to St. Charles! I got the car all packed up last night, and miraculously even had room left over for Mike and Sophie. 😉

The dogs get a bit nervous when they know we're leaving…

Tp 2

I'm not sure why though.

Tp 1

Now, if I can only get the self-proclaimed cat-hater to tear himself away and get his bags packed and ready…

Tp 3

(Anja, if you're reading this, do you think Lutz and Mike would like a Bring-Your-Cat-to-Work day?)

I've gotten several requests via email and comments from some of you, hoping to get hold of Katrina's conversion for the 1837 Crown Sampler. With her permission, I'll post her color changes here, so compare them to the DMC listed on the chart to see where they belong. It should be easy to figure out! Thank you, Katrina, for sharing your conversion with us so generously! 🙂

Katrina tp

In place of WDW Holly, she used WDW Juniper.
In place of WDW Confederate Gray, she used GAST Mountain Mist (more toward an aqua dye lot).
In place of WDW Oak, she used Crescent Colour's Fool's Gold (choose a heavily-variagated dye lot.)
Other colors used:
GAST Old Brick, GAST Ginger Snap (look for a reddish dye lot), GAST Toffee, GAST Old Hickory, WDW Teal Frost, WDW Gunmetal, WDW Kudzu, WDW Light Khaki, and Crescent Colours Old Money (lighter dye lot).

Katrina used 40 ct. Examplar for her sampler.

Thank you again, Katrina! We all appreciate it! 🙂

Now, I need to get busy getting the last few things organized before we hit the road in the morning. I'm so excited! It feels like Christmas!

And I'm sorry, Yorkie, not this time.


Three More Days…

For years I've wanted to own an antique sampler.

Or I at least wanted to be able to look at one.

But mostly I wanted to own one.

And then I met my friend Tanya of The Scarlett House, and now I own one. Or maybe it's more than one… I can't remember exactly, and that's the story I'm sticking with.

The moral of the story is this: If you want something bad enough, Tanya will persuade you to get it.

The 1837 Crown Sampler was the very first antique sampler that came to live with me, and I love dearly. What attracted me to it was the lovely coral and salmon-colored floral band on it, as well as the verse, which can also be found on other samplers from this era. I remember feeling so excited as I removed the sampler from behind the glass and just held it in my hands, marveling that someone worked on this very piece 176 years ago, by candlelight. It was breathtaking to me! Then I drove it over to my mother's house, and my dad stood by with the smelling salts as we swooned.

Here is a picture of the original sampler:


And here is the reproduction of it (which was first presented to the Sampler Guild of the Rockies back in May of this year):

1837 Crown tpjpg

1837 Crown Sampler

Stitch count: 294(w) x 229(h)
Fabric used: 32 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens
Threads used: Weeks Dye Works in…

Holly (2 skeins suggested)
Oak (3 skeins suggested)
Bright Leaf
Havana (2 skeins suggested)
Teal Frost
Confederate Gray
Pea Coat
Pelican Gray
Kudzu (2 skeins suggested)
Light Khaki

For those of you wondering about the name of this sampler, you'll find two crowns stitched in Pea Coat in the top portion. I love the symmetry of this beautiful sampler, and I found it to be a very enjoyable piece to work on. It actually went by rather quickly!

And for those of you who have been following Katrina's progress on hers, I'll have you know she's supposed to be framing it today, but is outside as I type this, mowing the lawn instead. 🙂 She came up with an outstanding conversion for hers, using a softer palette that included one of our favorite Gentle Art colors, Mountain Mist (in place of WDW Confederate Gray)…

Katrina tp

I liked Katrina's conversion so well, I decided that my next reproduction will have two colorways: one that is true to the original, faded colors of the antique, and one that is a bit more lustrous and overdyed. 😉

As far as market goes, I've got everything boxed up and ready to load into the car. My only fear is that it won't all fit, in which case I'll need to get a side car for Soph and Mike to ride in.

Wish me luck, and I'll see you soon!



Four More Days…

I am completely overwhelmed and very, very grateful for the response this sampler has gotten since I presented it those in my track at the Shepherd's Bush retreat last year. It was the first time I had been to Tina and Terri's retreat, and I had no idea what to expect or what others expected of me, so for my design, I used the best inspiration I could think of: my mom. I thought about what she would like in a sampler, and that's how A Yuletide Welcome came to be!

A Yuletide Welcome TP

Stitch count: 333(w) x 172(h)
Fabric used: 36 ct. Vintage Buttercream by Lakeside Linens
Threads used: The Gentle Art (GAST) and Needlepoint Silk (NPI):

GAST: Brandy, Walnut, Gold Leaf, Grecian Gold, Piney Woods (2 skeins suggested), Pumpkin Pie, Shaker White (2 skeins suggested), Heirloom Gold, Espresso Bean, Mulberry, Wood Smoke, and Wood Trail.

NPI: 344, 125, and 127.



(An alphabet is included for the over-one personalization on this chart. Other than this area, there are two very small areas that have over-one stitching on them: the pear's leaf and the holly on the reindeer's collar.)


Now I'm in the mood for the Christmas season!


Mom finished her piece earlier in the year and sent it off to Jill Rensel to be framed. As usual, Jill did an outstanding job on the frame, and it almost makes me want to stitch it again! ….. almost. 😉 And mom's stitching is absolutely perfect, and even though I tell her this every time, she just blushes and says something like "Oh, it's not," and hopes that I'll say it again. LOL – just kidding, Mom!


FYI: Mom changed the personalization from black to red. I love it!

For those of you who asked, I won't be releasing the Lady's Pinroll yet that I designed to go with this chart for the retreat. Sometimes the little accessories that accompany a sampler require several tutorial pages, so maybe one day I'll gather them all and put them in a book, for those of you who couldn't attend a retreat, but would like to have the littles. 🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you have lots of things on your list that you're excited to get from market.. for me, market is a highlight that happens twice per year, when my favorite designers come out with so many fun, new things, all at once! (Please keep your fingers crossed that Sophie and Big Papa can hold down the fort a moment or two so I can buzz through the rooms to see what's new!)

P.S. When I was going through the Yuletide Welcome photos from October, I ran across some photos of the Yorkie that were mixed in, as she was watching me assemble the retreat kits.


The Countdown to Market Begins!

I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it! I haven't been to market in several years, so I forgot how much commotion goes on beforehand.. I've even had to put Sophie to work, bagging charts and running through room-drills (since she'll be one of my booth associates), timing her on pulling charts accurately and presenting them to the shop owner. It's been like Plum Street Boot Camp around here, but she's very excited to do it. (Big Papa will also be joining me, but I have a hunch he's only going along in the hopes of catching a baseball game – not to mention being in a room full of women.)

I'll have 6 newish/new releases this weekend in St. Charles, 3 of which you may have seen online here and there. But I'll show them here again, in case you'd like a heads-up on the supplies you'll need if you'll be having your shop owner pick one or more of them up for you.

First up is a design I released at Attic Needlework's Sampler Symposium back in January of 2012. It's called A Lady's Trimkeep, and to go with it, I've designed a little lady and her little companion perched on top of her hat. This companion piece uses two of the new colors coming from The Gentle Art, and let me tell you, they are beautiful colors in person! (Cottage Blue has subtle shades of mocha in it, and it's one of my favorite colors by The Gentle Art.)

A Lady's Trimkeep & Companion tp

A Lady's Trimkeep & Companion
Stitch count for the Trimkeep: 195(w) x 62(h)
Stitch count for Companion: 79(w) x 49(h)

Threads used are from Gentle Art: Raven, Soot, Wood Trail, Cherry Bark, Terra Cotta and Cottage Blue (these last two will be available at market).

Please note that the chart states that the Trimkeep was stitched on 36 ct. Vintage Examplar, but both pieces were stitched on this. I somehow omitted the fabric information for the Companion!

The frame for the Companion was done by my sweet friend Sherri Berkman of Total Framing. Her taste in moulding is fabulous!

I'll be back tomorrow with another one you may have seen, along with its list of necesseties. 🙂 I hope you're all having a lovely Monday!