Saturday, February 28, 2015

*NEW* IL 1817 (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler)

I spotted this 200 year old sampler in Kathy Barrick's collection and immediately fell in love. When she offered it for sale, I jumped at the chance to add it to my small but growing collection.

IL started or finished her work in 1817, comprised of a delightful collection of animals in pasture, birds in flight, houses, ponds with swimming swans, and fanciful trees. I had no idea of the detail contained in the faded stitches until I started using a magnifying glass to help me chart the color changes.

It took me two years to get her faded stitches charted, with lots of stops and starts along the way, but that hasn’t stopped me from counting her as a favorite. I hope you find her to be equally enchanting.

I would usually stitch with overdyed threads, but really wanted to avoid the variegation that comes hand in hand with specialty colors for this sampler. I felt that the solid and dependable colors of DMC would give a better interpretation of the antique’s faded appearance.

Stitch Count: 349 x 249
Model stitched with one thread over two on Weeks Dye Works 40ct. Straw

Using flosses from DMC: 167, 422, 433, 503, 610, 676, 680 (2 skeins), 829, 830, 869 (2 skeins), 934 (2 skeins), 935, 936, 3371, 3782, 3828, 3859

Frame by Valley House Primitives:
Profile: MCN, Color: Tavern Gold, Design: Marble

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and is already in the hands of my distributors and can be found in any of the shops that bought from me at Market. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nashville Release Pictures are Here!

All boxes full of charts and models are already on their way to Nashville ahead of me. I am down to cleaning up this mess of a house and putting together my list of things to carry on the airplane with me. It is hard to believe that my first Market show is almost here. Goodness, I hope I remembered everything!

The official cover photos for my new designs are here for your viewing pleasure...

IL 1817 (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler) will retail for $12 and calls for DMC threads on Weeks 40 count Straw linen (don't you love that Valley House Primitives frame?)...

Spring Flame Pincushion will retail for $10 and calls for Weeks and Gentle Art threads on Picture This Plus 32ct Ale linen with Sea Glass mini pom pom trim from Dames of the Needle...
Only shops that attend and purchase from me at the show will be able to get their hands on this chart. That is, through the end of March... So if you want it right away, let your shop owner know! I will release it to the public and my distributors at the beginning of April.

I was told that the pom pom trim will be increasing in price starting at the beginning of March, so you might also want to tell your shop owners to grab some at Market for you!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I'm Going to Nashville!

After years of being in this needlework business, I have yet to make the trip to a Market or Show. I have met very few stitchers in-person, and really know very little still about how what makes this industry keep ticking.

I've stayed away from shows not for lack of desire to go, but for lack of desire to leave my kids for that long, not to mention the expense of the necessary air travel. I hear stories of designers loading up their cars and driving to Market, knowing that I could never do the same (unless I want to drive 11 hours a day for three days- nope).

So I've always known that I would most likely not be able to test the waters when I did decide to go to Market, but would have to dive in fully in order to make the trip cost effective. But a few key conversations with a few people in the industry, and I have decided to take the plunge and make an appearance at the Needlework Retailer show in Nashville at the end of the month. I can hardly contain my excitement! And I'm completely overwhelmed with all of the little details necessary to make it come together well...

Display stands for models... a gazillion patterns to print, fold, stuff... business cards and order forms and flyers... finishing two new designs and developing their covers... what to wear, what to wear, what to wear!... booking travel and a rental car... and wondering constantly what I could possibly be forgetting.

There is a lot of excited buzz about this show, being Needlework Retailer's first, and the attendance list is phenomenal. I hope I get a chance while I'm there to finally put faces to a long list of names.

Oh, and did I mention the only reason this trip has been made possible? If you're looking forward to seeing me there, you can thank Kathy Barrick, who is so generously letting me crash her show room and display alongside her designs. That's right, you'll find Heartstring Samplery and Kathy Barrick together in room 222. Come by and see us! I'll be showing close to 20 of my top sellers, including older designs that you may have never seen, and will have two brand new that will be released at the show.

The first new release is an exclusive pincushion that will only be available to those that purchase from me at the show, but will continue to be available exclusively to them until the end of March by ordering directly from me. I will then release the design to everyone else at the beginning of April. I'm still stitching madly away at this one, but here's a sneak peek (yes! flame-stitch! in bright Spring colors!)...

The second new release is an antique reproduction called "IL 1817" that you've seen a few sneak peeks of in the past few years. The antique is a gorgeous sampler that I bought from none other than Kathy Barrick a few years ago. It has taken me a long time to get its dense and faded stitches charted, and between Charity Watral and I, the model has finally been stitched.
So if I seem quiet over the next few weeks, its most likely because I'm stuck at the kitchen counter binge-watching Friends on Netflix and putting together a zillion patterns that hopefully won't have to come back home with me on March 2nd.

Monday, February 09, 2015

*Ladies' Prim Society Design* Handprint on My Heart

With Valentine’s Day approaching, my thoughts turn to love, but not always romantic love. I wanted to create a design for Dyeing to Stitch's Ladies' Prim Society Club to fit the season, that could commemorate a lost love or be a reminder of someone still in our lives that had moved to a far away place, just as easily as it could be made to celebrate romance.

As I browsed for ideas, I came across the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked”. It has a line that reads, “You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart”. I added the word “always”, some simple motifs and patterns, and stitched it with red thread, the color of strength and joy.

I’m sure there are a thousand different scenarios of loved ones in your life that this little pin cushion can be made to fit.

If you've already joined the Ladies' Prim Society Club, then you'll be happy to know that your kits are going to start going out in the mail very, very soon. If you haven't joined yet, its not too late! There are still a few spots left open, so if you want to get in on this first kit, click here to join up! This design is exclusive to the club, and will not be available for purchase from anyone else, including my own etsy shop.

Designs this year will alternate between the super talented ladies of Blackbird Designs and myself. I'm already brainstorming ideas for my next offering, and can hardly wait to see what the Blackbird ladies come up with for theirs.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

New Mug Design!

I finally made the time to get a new mug graphic added to my available collection. My design, His Eye is on the Sparrow has surprised me with its popularity, and I just know that you and your stitching friends will love sipping your favorite hot beverage out of the matching mug.
As before, with the other mug designs I've created, you can either purchase the graphic through my etsy shop for $5 and take it to your own place to have made into as many mugs as you want (for your personal use or for gifts only), or you can order completed mugs by contacting me via email (

If you choose to order a finished mug directly through me, and you live in the continental USA, your total will be $20, which will cover the mug plus all shipping fees. If you live outside the US, please contact me directly and I will work up a quote based on shipping to where you live.

These would be perfect for Birthday gifts, or "Just-Because" gifts, or for YOURSELF, to enjoy while you stitch.

Monday, February 02, 2015


It has been unseasonably warm around here lately. We went for an entire week without lighting a fire in the woodstove. We did still have to use our central heating, but it was *just* warm enough that a fire would get the house too hot too quickly. I missed having a fire. Which is why I was happy for the rain and wind today.

I have finally put the last remnants of Christmas away, and even did a fair amount of organizing in my office/catchall room over the weekend. Somehow it is so much easier to relax and breathe when there isn't a massive mess hanging above ones' head (literally... the office is upstairs).

I also had my hair cut for the first time since July, and had someone out to tune and assess repair needs for my piano for the first time in probably 20 years... there were a few moments of thinking it was going to fall apart under the tuner's hands. What relief when it was discovered that there was a row of loose screws that tightened things back up nicely.

We are tentatively holding onto good health, with just a little sniffle or sore throat here and there. After our November full of doctor's appointments, I'll take a normal old head cold any day. The warmer days aren't helping in the health department though; along with way-too-early blooming flowers and bugs galore, there have also been a corresponding blooming of allergy symptoms. I'm praying for a good cold snap to settle everything down again. You East-coasters can feel free to blow some of that snow our way any time. Our landscape is very confused.

I have fun things to announce and show later this week (fingers crossed), so stay tuned!
Winter Branches :: Fluffy :: Dew Drops :: Out of Tune :: Kitty Love :: Hello, Son :: Match Made in Heaven :: Woodsy :: Stacked :: Elsa's Head Fell Off :: Forest Floor :: Spider Lace :: Mossy :: Blue :: A New Skill :: They Don't Look Angry to Me :: Bubbles :: Beams :: Buds :: Peek-a-Boo :: George and the Too Early Blooms :: Perch :: Look Closely :: Nearly Finished