Summertime

The loveliest rain just fell after a very hot morning, and now the sun is back out again from its siesta. I can't remember the last time our day had a sudden break in it like this, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! (My family and I still talk about how interesting the weather pattern was in Florida, when we were visiting Disney World in 2001. Every single day, at 4:00 pm, it would suddenly pour for about 1o or 15 minutes, and everyone would scramble out of the open and inside the nearest souvenir shops. After the third day, we stopped being worried about our vacation being hampered and just enjoyed it! We would always laugh at the people who wore the plastic yellow ponchos to keep the rain off, thinking that they looked like a bunch of rubber ducks walking the park. But on the last day, the deluge was so great, guess what we ended up buying? I should post a picture here some time.. we still have those plastic yellow ponchos, and still laugh at the "karma" of it all.)

It's been a very busy and enjoyable summer here at Plum Street, and if you haven't seen them by now, I'll show you my three releases from earlier in the month.

As you may know, last year I released the very first "BYOF" (Bring Your Own Fabric) kit, also known as the Serial Bowl Collection, called Sampler Lesson One. I've decided to release it as a chart only, for those who missed out on the kit!

Sampler Lesson One COVER

Sampler Lesson One
Stitch count: 144w x 69h
Classic Colorworks floss in Barn Door, Cherry Cobbler, Cinnamon Toast (one of my favorite CC colors!), Pea Pod, Sunkissed, and Timber.
Linen used: 36 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R Reproductions
Trim used is cream chenille that has been coffee-dyed.

The threads that went into the kits were so beautiful, I just had to post their photo again!

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My second July release introduces Miss Babushka, tending to her pumpkin blossoms. I originally had a Mr. Babushka designed in the piece, but as I stated on Facebook earlier, he was a doppelganger for Willie Nelson, so I removed him and gave him his own blank canvas, possibly to be revisited some day.

Babushka's Blossoms Cover

Babushka's Blossoms
Stitch count: 139w x 130h
Classic Colorworks floss in Rose Petal (very few stitches in this color), Brown Sugar, Ye Olde Gold, Bean Sprout, Just Rust, Hickory Sticks, and Colonial Copper.
Gentle Art in Gold Leaf, Oatmeal, Heirloom Gold, Lambswool (very few stitches), Espresso Bean, and Wood Trail.
Linen used: 36 ct. Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens.
Framed by Sherri Berkman of Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia.
Thank you, Jean Hohulin, for stitching the model, and restitching my error!

Lastly, I have a brand new Serial Bowl Collection to introduce! It's an autumn-and-Halloween-themed one, and I hope you like the first design in the series!

Scary One Cover

Scary One
Stitch count: 124w x 71h
The kit contains threads and chenille to complete the project once on 28, 32, 36, or 40 ct. linen or Aida.
Threads included in the kit are by Weeks Dye Works, and the chenille is by Lady Dot Creates, in the color Vintage.
The model was stitched in Pat Ryan's usual light-speed style. Thank you, Pat!

These kits are only shipped to shops that request them, so if you're interested in purchasing one, let your local or online shop know!

Thank you so much for stopping by my oft-neglected blog. Every time I vow to do better, my time gets absorbed by other things, and I really miss blogging! Here is a picture of Sophie and I from the Fourth of July.. I miss her so much! She's in Texas right now, visiting her sister Sabrina, and she comes home tomorrow. I can't wait!

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Enjoy your day, and I'll see you soon!

 

Sampler Lesson Five

We made it! We are at the final release in the Sampler Lessons series of the Serial Bowl Collection. I've really enjoyed this series, and have had fun looking for interesting admonitions from old samplers to use; there were an awful lot of words of wisdom among those young stitchers!

As with the other kits, this will come with plenty of floss for you to stitch your project once, using one strand of floss over two linen threads, as the model is stitched. Have fun with your fabric – choose whatever you'd like to use!

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Sampler Lesson 5 COVER

Thank you so much to Pat Ryan for stitching this model for me! She used 36 ct. Winter Brew by R&R Reproductions.

Thank you once again for stopping by my blog.. it's been very busy around here (as I'm sure it is at your house too!), and I've got a few different models in the works right now. I've got fall fever! What on earth is wrong with me? I just can't help myself. 🙂

Final Releases for 2015

My goodness, where did January go? Is it already December first? That truly doesn't seem possible.

Here are my very last releases for this year.. I hope you've enjoyed all of the projects you've worked on, whether you finished them or not! Please let your shop owner know if there are any of these below that you'd like for her/him to order in for you.

MERRY BREW

This is the one I stitched for my mother last year for Christmas! After I give you the information for this release, I'll tell you the changes I made on it from my mom's piece to the model, in case there is any confusion out there.

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The stitch count for this is 106w x 100h, and the model's fabric was 36 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens. The threads (one strand over two linen threads) used were a combination of The Gentle Art (GA) and Classic Colorworks (CC) in the following colors (with DMC in parentheses): GA Old Hickory (611), GA Cherry Bark (221), GA Sable (3781), GA Caramel Corn (437), GA Oatmeal (3865), GA Dried Thyme (3011), GA Parchment (822), GA Antique Rose (223); CC Balsam Fir (935), and CC Hickory Sticks (834).

The model was stitched by the ever-amazing Deborah Bixby.. but you may recognize her as cranberrysampling on Instagram. I believe she had it finished in 11.34 minutes. Or so it seemed. Thank you, Deborah!

The frame for this piece is by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia. She does such an amazing job! Thank you, Sherri!

Now.. here's the information on my mom's piece, as many of you saw it last year (pictured below):

Photo 3

This original Merry Brew was stitched on 32 ct. Plum Street Paddock by R&R Reproductions using two strands of floss over two linen threads. The threads used were The Gentle Art in Toasted Barley (611), Cucumber (935), Cherry Bark (221), Walnut (646), Caramel Corn (437), Oatmeal (3865), Dried Thyme (3011), Parchment (822), Carriage Black (844), and Antique Rose (223). These original supplies are not listed on the new release, and I honestly don't recall why I ever changed the colors, but I believe it has something to do with not being able to find my original list of threads used until very recently. 🙂

Next up:

MERRY EWE

I've had lots of requests for a Christmas tart to add to the Jack's Sweet Shoppe collection, so I finally got one done!

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The stitch count for the tart is 77w x 69h, and it is stitched on 36 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R Reproductions. The threads (one strand over two linen threads) used are by The Gentle Art (GA), Weeks Dye Works (WDW), and DMC in the following colors: Antique Lace (822), Espresso Bean (3371), Portabella (612), Garden Gate (3787), Endive (730), Heirloom Gold (only four stitches total in this color)(729), WDW Baked Apple (3777), and DMC B5200 (B5200).

There is optional chenille trim around the piece, which can be purchased from Dyeing to Stitch at 757-366-8740, and the tarts can either be purchased by your local shop (if they choose to stock them) or ordered from www.amazon.com or www.wilton.com (tarts come in sets of 6, and they are the 4.75" size with the removable bottoms). As usual, finishing instructions are included with each tart chart. Don't be afraid of them! They're very easy!

And lastly…

A BOWL FULL OF MERRIES: MERRY TWO

This is the follow-up to Merry One, which is sold out. I showed this design on Instagram yesterday, and noted that I was curious to see if anyone would change Santa's coat to red! I love it when I see the changes people make to designs to suit their personal tastes. 🙂 As usual, this chart comes with the threads and trim to complete one project. You supply whichever color and count fabric you like!

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The stitch count for Merry Two is 129w x 62h, and the model was stitched with Weeks Dye Works on 36 ct. Stars Hollow Blend from R&R Reproductions. Most of it is stitched with one strand over two linen threads, but here are the places you will switch to over one thread: Santa's eye, the snowman's eye and mouth, and the snowman's buttons. If you abhor over-one stitching or are stitching on Aida, you may certainly substitute the over-one areas with seed beads or French knots, or stitch them over two threads, making a few minor adjustments. Any way you choose will be wonderful!

As with the other Serial Bowl Collection kits, these are limited in number. The Sampler Lessons series has one more kit to go, to be released next year, and the Bowl Full of Merries series will go on indefinitely – most likely with two per year being released. But I do have lots of other themes in mind, so if you are waiting on anything in particular, I imagine it's on its way! 🙂

I will be back soon to post some pictures I took at the pumpkin patch with the girls.. there is snow on the ground as I write this, but I still haven't had my fill of orange and red and bonfires and acorns and those last warm days of autumn.

Enjoy your week!

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!

 

BYOF – Sampler Lesson Two

I might actually be recovered from the kitting whirlwind that was Sampler Lesson One.. then again, it may just be the caffeine I've had today that's giving me a false sense of invincibility.

Either way, at least for now I'm ready to begin kitting again! Sampler Lesson One was a quick, few-day project for me, and the second one was too. As with the first project, this one will feature a prudent verse that can be found on some old samplers. I've given the sampler a slight patriotic theme, and thought it was fitting for the verse. But for those of you who are out of the country that ordered the first Sampler Lesson, I've included some miniature flags for you as well.. please know that I did my best to chart your country's flags accurately, but because of the diminutive size of the motif, some details could not be incorporated.

Here are the flags included.. if you don't see your country here, please let your shop owner know. I don't take direct orders, as I'm a wholesaler, but your shop owner can place the order for you and request your flag. I'll do my best!

Sampler Flags

Something I did make note of in the chart is that there are a few colors for flags that are not included in the kit. Please be aware of this, as you'll need to use either the DMC listed or find your own conversion. To maintain the "faded" look of the overall design, I've also used faded colors for flags (as you can see in Germany's case… the black has been changed to a dark gray, and the gold has been toned down to a faded cream; in Ireland's flag, the bright orange has also been muted somewhat). But as with all of my samplers, the color key is only a suggestion; always use what you love the most!

And now, here is a peek of the upcoming Sampler Lesson Two, to be mailed out on April 30 to shops who pre-order. Shop owners, if you are not on my mailing list, please feel free to contact me for the details.

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I hope you all have a lovely day! If you'd like to be on the list for this next Serial Bowl kit, please let your shop owner know!

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!