Chocolate Harts

Coming to market!

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For Shop Owners: I'll be putting together a list of my market release information soon, so if you'd like to be included in this email, please let me know!

Pictured above: Lone Elm Lane's 8" round Dark Chocolate box, also available at market in Room #611.

B.Y.O.F.

Oh my, the countdown to the Nashville market is on, and I barely feel ready!

This market is a special one to me because I'll be releasing my very first Bring-Your-Own-Fabric kit. I've always loved kits because they take the challenge out of pulling everything together, and they're easy to grab-and-start when I need something new to work on. And while I've always toyed with the idea of releasing a kit myself, I've held back because of the simple fact that not everyone may like the same linen color or count I choose to work on.

So I lamented a bit about it to my good friend Pat, and she suggested this: "Why don't you just do the chart and threads?" And I thought, "Of course! The chart, the threads, and the finishing trim!" And that's how my very first B.Y.O.F. kit came into my imagination.

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As a stitcher, one of the things that I find so appealing is a bowl full of pin cushions or other "smalls" that I stumble across online (or better yet, in person!). I suddenly get this extreme urge to hunt down every design I see represented in that bowl so that I can have one of my own collections – Patriotic cushions, Christmas cushions, Halloween cushions – I want them all! (Isn't that one of the best parts of this wonderful hobby of ours – to find something that makes our hearts sing? Or all-out bellow, like mine does?)

With that in mind, I've decided to release a series of small designs, in various themes, to satisfy that part of me that needs to just put stuff in bowls. Which brings me back to my first-ever chart-and-threads-and-trim kit, which will release at market.

I'm calling this endeavor the Serial Bowl Collection. There will be different themes in this collection in the coming months, but the first theme is going to be titled Sampler Lessons, which are designs bearing some of the honest and valuable teachings that young girls stitched onto their samplers long ago.

The photo above shows the luscious threads from Classic Colorworks that will be carded up and included in the chart pack, and below you'll see a peek at the finished design.

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Also included in this pack will be the chenille trim from R&R Reproductions for the finished cushion. As for fabric, I've got listed on the chart what the model uses, but of course you can go smaller, bigger, brighter, or more neutral, if you'd like. There are so many beautiful fabrics that your shop owner can get for you, so pull out the thread card and do a few floss-tosses onto different colors of fabric to see what suits your eye the best.

Remember, our stitching is for our fancy, so whatever you find beautiful will go beautifully in your home. Don't worry about  "what looks right."  If it is lovely to you, it will make you happy to stitch it!

I hope you like my first go at this… I will be bringing a limited number of these packs to market, but I haven't decided yet if, after market, I'll continue them in their packaged form or if I'll go forward with just the chart. Since I've never done this before, I have no idea what to expect, so I really don't know what my plan is after this first run.

Please let your shop owner know if you are interested in one of these packs, and hopefully she or he will find me at market! It's going to be an exciting one!

A Colonial Gathering: 2015 Edition

I'm so excited to announce that we're beginning another year of Colonial-inspired projects! I really hope you'll join us if you haven't yet! All of the information is below…

ACG 2015 Announcement

And now I'd like to present to you the first sneak peek of this new season of Colonial-Club-Stitching; this little cushion was designed by me, and was inspired by one of my favorite Colonial figures, Mr. John Adams, who wrote the following paragraph in a letter to his wife and "dearest friend," Abigail:

"…I begin now to think All time lost, that is not employed in Farming. Innocent, healthy gay, elegant Amusement! Enchanting Employment! How my imagination roves over my rocky Mountains and through my brushy Meadows!" (Philadelphia, January 22, 1794)

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Tanya and I, and the ladies at Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach are really looking forward to this new year, and we hope you like what we've got planned for you!

Yours, ever, ever, ever yours (as Mr. Adams signed),

Paulette

Fall Releases, Part 3

Me again, back to show you my final two autumn releases (in case you haven't seen them already)!

The first design below was originally released at last year's Dyeing to Stitch retreat in Virgina Beach, as an accompanying small to Jack's Bash. It was named Jack's Birthday Tart, but since I've decided to design a series of these tarts, I've changed the name to Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Birthday Tart.

  The Birthday Tart

Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Birthday Tart

Stitch count: 71w x 66h
Linen used: 35 ct. Espresso by R&R
Threads used: The Gentle Art (with DMC equivalents in parentheses) in the following colors:

Raven (310)
Aged Pewter (647)
Piney Woods (730)
Pumpkin Pie (781)
Apple Cider (829)
Brandy (834)
Sarsaparilla (975)
Walnut (646)
Parchment (3023)
Old Hickory (640)
Mustard Seed (832)
Oatmeal (Ecru)
Endive (3012)

This design was stitched over 2 threads, and a personalization chart has been included. Additionally, a short tutorial on how to finish this design into a tart is included.

I found the 4.75" tarts on Amazon (sold in sets of 6), but since they're by Wilton, you should also be able to order them from Wilton's website or perhaps find them in a cake decorating aisle or hobby store. And if you're really lucky, your shop owner may have some on order, and you can pick one up with the chart!

Finally, my last release for this glorious, orange-and-gold season! The second in the Jack's Sweet Shoppe series! This one features a cat motif similar to what can be found on lots of very old samplers.

The Autumn Tart
 

Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Autumn Tart

Stitch count: 67w x 65h
Linen used: 36 ct. Ligonier Latte by R&R
Threads used: The Gentle Art in the following colors:

Carriage Black (3799)
Harvest Basket (644)
Piney Woods (730)
Gingersnap (400)
Apple Cider (829)
Sarsaparilla (975)
Walnut (646)
Old Hickory (640)
Oatmeal (Ecru)
Endive (3012)

All cross stitch over two threads, with a chart for any personalization you may want to include. There is also a short tutorial on the personalization page that tells you how to put the tart together.

And thank you to the best mom in the world, Marsha Kwaak, for stitching this for me! I love love love you, Mom!

I haven't even begun to think of winter and Christmas designs yet, but I do have the Twelve Days of Christmas about 1/4 of the way finished. I told so many of you that I'd be releasing it this year, and I'll do my best, but I am so sorry to say that I don't know if it will make the cut. I'm working as fast as I can though, and will do my very best!

In other news, I'll be posting the Shepherd's Bush retreat photos soon, in case there are those of you who'd like to see how it went. I'm pre-blogging this post before I've even left for Utah, but I can definitely say that it will go most excellently, and I can't wait to share the experience with you!

One last note: All of the designs I've shown you this week can be pre-ordered from your favorite shop, and will be sent out to them very soon. However, any re-orders or add-ons that your shop makes will not get sent out until the end of the month, as I'll be out of town with my newly-minted 21-year-old daughter, Sabrina. (We've planned this trip together since she was a middle-schooler!)

I hope you all have a wonderful day, filled with love for one another, blessings, no poxes, birds in autumn boughs, and plenty of sweets.

See what I did there?

Fall Releases, Part 2

This next release was inspired by old Pennsylvania Dutch watercolors that I find so fascinating! I hope you enjoy my autumn version.

Autumn Fraktur

Autumn Fraktur

Stitch count: 239w x 107h
Linen used: 36 ct. Ligonier Latte by R&R
Threads used: The Gentle Art (with DMC equivalents in parentheses):

Nutmeg (433)
Old Hickory (612)
Sarsaparilla (632)
Aged Pewter (646)
Piney Woods (730)
Brandy (833)
Espresso Bean (3371)
Wood Trail (3781)

All cross stitch over two threads, and stitched amazingly fast by Kathy Krause! Thank you so much, Kathy!

Framing by Sherri Berkman (love this girl) at Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia. (703.426.0660)

I'll be back with my last two autumn releases tomorrow. And just a reminder: the shops on my auto will have these charts very soon, so if you'd like to preorder any of them, let your local or online needlework shop know!

Fall Releases, Part 1

What a busy, busy, busy, busy, busy month! It's flying by! Where on earth did January even go?

I've got some new releases to show you, and if you like them, just let your shop know! The shops on my auto will receive theirs very soon, and they've already got the info in hand for the supplies you'll need if you choose to stitch any of them.

First up is Love One Another, stitched by the lovely Nicole Neville.

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 Love One Another

Stitch count: 133w x 77h
Linen used: 36 ct. Vintage Cedar Plank by Lakeside Linens
Threads used: Classic Colorworks in the following colors (the DMC equivalent
is given in parentheses):

Roasted Chestnut (400)
Zach Black (645)
Fool's Gold (832)
Pea Pod (3011)
Antique Lace (Ecru)
Black Coffe (310)
Calico Kitty (356)
Whatley Woodlands (869)
Stepping Stones (3021)

All cross stitch over 2 linen threads.

Framed by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, VA. (703.426.0660) (By the way, the moulding is really deep and absolutely fabulous in person!)

 Next up is Primitive Moodkeep… as stitchers, we have all kinds of "keeps" we stitch, like pinkeeps, threadkeeps, scissorskeeps.. so why not a little pillow to let others know what mood you're keeping that day? One side for a good stitching day, and another for a day of frogging. 😉

  Primitive Moodkeep Blessings to Thee

Primitive Moodkeep A Pox Upon Thee

Primitive Moodkeep

Stitch count for Blessings to Thee: 138w x 77h
Linen used: 40 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R
Threads used: Weeks Dye Works in the following colors:

Swamp Water (844)
Tarragon (3011)
Cocoa (611)
Tatanka (3031)
Oak (3782)
Copper (3776)

Stitch count for A Pox Upon Thee: 142w x 72h
Linen used: 35 ct. Creek Bed Brown
Theads used: See above list.

All cross stitch over two threads.

Optional embellishments: The Gold Quaker Star button, sewn to the Blessings to Thee side, is by Just Another Button Company. The rusted safety pin attached to the A Pox Upon Thee side was made by my mom. I'm not sure how she made them, but I believe you can find a tutorial online.

These designs were stitched on two very different colors and fabric counts, and although they were sewn back-to-back to form one pillow, you can just as easily use two matching fabric counts or colors. And if you don't ever find yourself in a dark mood, feel free to make a single-sided pillow wishing blessings upon all who enter your home. 🙂 Or maybe stitch it as a birthday gift for a dear friend!

I'll be back tomorrow with another release to show you! In the mean time, enjoy this gorgeous fall day, wherever you are!

October’s Coming!

Oh my, has my work been cut out for me! Packaging, shipping, designing, every single day since market, and all I can do is thank the Lord that I'm so blessed to be working at something I love with all my heart.

Thank you again, so kindly, to those who emailed to ask if everything is okay, and how Mike's leg is faring. He still hasn't been cleared to go back to work, and his leg is quite painful and swollen most days, but he hardly complains. Mostly he just busies himself however he can – going to physical therapy, playing bored games with buddies, and offering to help bag Plum Street charts. (I timed him once, and I got 9 charts bagged to his 1. He kept asking me what I was snickering at.)

Other than that, Sophie has started high school, Sabrina is in her senior year in college (and is planning a trip to Botswana to study abroad next year, if all goes well), and Bre just moved to her beloved mountains this past weekend to start her new life in Colorado.

In the mean time, here I am packaging, shipping, designing, and finally sitting down here to show you what's out (if you haven't seen it) and what's up next.

If you got the Just Cross Stitch Halloween Issue last year, you may have seen Ghoul Tidings. But if you missed it, and you'd like the chart, your shop owner should be able to get it very soon, as they'll be off to the distributors tomorrow!

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Ghoul Tidings

Stitch Count: 133w x 89h

Stitched on: 28 ct. Foglifter by R&R Reproductions.

Threads used:
The Gentle Art in Carriage Black (DMC 310), Gingersnap (920), Baked Clay (422),Pumpkin Patch (402), Wood Smoke (3787), Chamomile (3011), and Oatmeal (Ecru).

All cross stitch, except for the long-stitching on the reins.

The frame is, of course, by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing. (I told her I thought the texture in the moulding looked like an old broom handle, so it was quite fitting!)

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And at last, at last, Jack's Bash will be released! This was a class piece for the Dyeing to Stitch retreat last year, and I am thrilled to death that so many people have emailed me over the past year to ask when it will be releasing. Thank you so much! The big mail-out day is October 1, and the shops on my auto will be getting it in their shops first. Shortly thereafter, I'll send it to the distributors.

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Jack's Bash

Stitch Count: 168w x 185h

Linen used: 35 ct. Abecedarian by R&R Reproductions.

Threads used:
The Gentle Art in Raven (DMC 310), Aged Pewter (647), Piney Woods (730),
Pumpkin Pie (781), Apple Cider (829), Endive (3012), Brandy (834),
Sarsaparilla (975), Walnut (646), Parchment (3023), Old Hickory (640),
Mustard Seed (832), and Oatmeal (Ecru).

Cross stitch over two, some over one thread.

Verse reads:

Here in the rust and autumn bower,
The knobby gourd and bitter flower;
We merry-make and sing Hooray!
To our friend Jack on his birthday.

(When I use poems written by others, I always credit them; when no credit is given, it is my own. This is one I wrote myself, and you'll notice that the "s" in "rust" actually looks like the letter "f." Sometimes you'll find this in old samplers, and I've always loved it, so I went with it!)

The absolutely gorgeous frame was done by Sherri Berkman of Total Framing in Fairfax, Va. If you ever see a frame you have to have, give her a call at 703-426-0660, and she'll help you out!

For those of you asking for Jack's Birthday Tart  (the class piece that went with this sampler), that will be hopefully releasing later this fall. I'm working as quickly as I can to get a few more pieces released as well, but there are only so many hours in the day! And it looks like it's almost the dinner hour around here, so I'd better scoot and go figure something out before Big Papa and Sophie start acting like one of those people in the Snickers bar commercials.

Have a fantastic week! And is it too late to post market pictures? I know they're all around here somewhere, gathering dust… I'm so sorry I never got around to doing that!

 

At Last!

Welcome to the opening day of market! I can hardly stand the excitement!

As promised, for those of you who are still with me, here is my final fall market release:

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A Ghoultide Welcome

Stitch Count: 332w x 176h

Linen used: 36 ct. Vintage Sand Dune by Lakeside Linens. A great substitute
would be 36 ct. Lingonier Latte by R&R Reproductions.

Threads used: Needlepoint Inc. silk (with their DMC equivalents in parentheses):

903 (435)
964 (645)
962 (648)
692 (677)
245 (730) (2 skeins suggested)
241 (733)
981 (822) (2 skeins suggested)
954 (611)
694 (833)
767 (975)
316 (830)
976 (3021)
588 (3371) (3-4 skeins suggested)
721 (3830)
124 (3772)

Please note: while each stitcher's floss usage is different, I've included what I think would be best for you to have on hand, in case you run just a little short. If you choose to use a lower-count linen, please know that you may need more floss, just as you may need less if you use a higher count. However, since these are not overdyed threads, you will most likely be safe if you don't have all the skeins you need on hand right away, as dye lots for these silks don't vary as much as an overdyed silk or cotton would. It's possible that you've had a different experience, but mine has been one of color consistency among these particular threads.

The frame for A Ghoultide Welcome is extremely complimentary to the piece, and was chosen by Sherri Berkman of Total Framing in Virginia. I never see my pieces before she sends them to me, as I like to be surprised. I trust Sherri implicitly, and she never disappoints! If you'd like more information on this frame or any others used on my designs, please give her a call at 703-426-0660.

There is a small area of personalization on this chart that will require either a tent stitch (basically a half stitch, or a stitch that hasn't been crossed) or a full over-one-thread stitch, whichever you choose to do. An alphabet chart has been provided for you to graph out your own name, or you can certainly fill the area instead with a motif from elsewhere in the chart.

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I hope you've had fun looking at the previews this week! I'm very excited to get back to the drawing board and see what comes out of the mouse. It almost never matches what is in my mind, but that's okay. I'm always up for surprises!

Happy Market to You!

P.S. A patriotic-themed "Welcome" is brewing…

 

A Sneak Peek…

It's almost time for market to open! It's open early tonight for the designers who have Early Bird Specials or Limited Editions they're selling. But I generally don't participate because I'd be dying to get out of my room and into their rooms to see what wonderful creations they've come up with! Isn't that just awful? Every year I say, "Okay, Paulette, you're doing a Limited Edition for Friday night, next year." Then along comes Friday-night-next-year, and all is dark in the Plum Street Suite.

Crickets… crickets…

I can usually be found bouncing from room to room, trying not to look like a regular Peeping Tom if the doors are shut. I just can't help myself. Market is just so exciting!

Instead of a preview of my last release, I've decided to do a sneak peek instead. The reason for this is because some shops have told me that they actually do like a surprise sometimes! So I really hope I'm not frustrating those of you who may have stopped back by to see what the last release is, but I'm sure by this photo, you'll be able to figure it out quite easily…

Hint: It's a companion to a sampler released at last year's St. Charles market.

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I will definitely have it posted tomorrow, along with all the information you need if you'd like to stitch it!

In the mean time, I'm going to look forward to pressing my face up against all the suite windows to try to see what goodies await in exchange for what's in my pocketbook. I'll try to take lots of pictures for you, too, so you can experience a little of what it's like as well!

It's almost market day!