Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Stitches

The Parting Hour : Gather Ye Tulips : Simple Bounty Cupboard Sampler
I Love You Truly, Truly Dear : (The Birds & the Bees) Olde Bouquet
(Sarah E. Schall) Sarah's Companion : My Funny Valentine
It Must Have Been the Mistletoe : (Tidings of Comfort & Joy) Noel 1705
French Harvest Basket : Great Grandma Johanne's Birth Sampler
Anna's Prayer : Now Christmas is Come
Cross Stitch Nation: Stars & Diamonds : With One Accord
George & Martha : Great Grandma Dagmar's Birth Sampler
Feniscowles Hall : Never Let You Go : A Weaver's Shuttle
1763 Band Sampler : Baby, It's Cold Outside

Monday, June 12, 2017

*NEW* A Little Quaker

I love Quaker style samplers, but have only dabbled in stitching them. I decided to ease into the style gently with this little slightly-Quaker sampler; a nod to the intricate without the investment. Super quick and easy to stitch up, whip into a pincushion or frame it as I did and hang on your wall. Purposely a little wonky, a little whimsical, a little Quaker.

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, was a dissenting Protestant group which started in England in the early part of the 17th century. Quaker beliefs about the spiritual equality of men and women led to advanced ideas about the importance of education for girls, as well as education for children from poor and enslaved families. The Quakers founded some of the first co-educational schools in England and America, with emphasis on providing a sound academic and religious education to all students.

Early Quaker samplers were not distinguishable from those of the region in which they were created. By the beginning of the 19th century, however, a transformation had occurred. Samplers produced in Quaker schools on both continents adopted similar alphabets, motifs, and formats. Prominent was use of the Roman style alphabet, in both capital and small letters. Unique to Quaker samplers was the inclusion of bold and intricate medallions and half medallions, often lined up along the edge as a border. Widespread adoption of the same alphabets and motifs led to 19th century samplers that are easily recognizable as having been created under the instruction of a Quaker teacher or one trained in a Quaker school.

Stitch Count: 101 x 93

Model stitched with one thread over two
on R&R Reproductions’ 32 count Stars Hollow

Classic Colorworks:
Cinnamon Toast, Hazelnut

The Gentle Art:
Green With Envy, Brethren Blue, Caramel Corn, Endive, Ruby Slipper

Weeks Dye Works:
Havana, Palomino

Conversion to DMC included inside.

The frame was found at a thrift store.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

*NEW* Once Upon a Summer

I have long wanted to try my hand at making a basic huswife to better transport my thread and scissors when taking my stitching away from home.

From there, it was just a matter of calculating stitch area and then filling the alotted area with happy growing things, a tiny house, an alphabet, and some little creatures. Once Upon a Summer just seemed like the right name for it. I don’t know about you, but I plan on putting this huswife to good use.

I don’t know exactly how they came to be called huswifes, but there are documents labeling them such that date back as early as the middle of the 18th century. During the American Civil War, they were often sent off with soldiers containing essential sewing implements so that they could maintain their wardrobe.

"I suppose you all know what a housewife is? It is a long piece of cloth with a number of small pockets sewed along one side, and made to fold up like a pocket-book, having separate places for buttons, thread, needles, pins, &c., such as some of you may have seen your mothers or grandmothers use." - The Reformed Presbyterian magazine. September. 1, 1864.

This design was originally released exclusively through the Dyeing to Stitch Ladies' Prim Society club, but is now available for everyone.

Stitch Count: 247 x 71

Model stitched with one thread over two
on R&R Reproductions’ 35ct. Heartstring Blend

Classic Colorworks:
Hazelnut, Poblano Pepper, Tennessee Red Clay

The Gentle Art:
Piney Woods, Pecan Pie, Ruby Slipper

Weeks Dye Works:
Dirt Road, Oscar, Whiskey

Recommended Additional Materials:
3 fat quarters of different co-ordinating cotton fabrics
2 feet of ½” Hug Snug Seam Binding “Havana”

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Rest of May

Bees, piano recital, working hard to finish school work, and finally getting enough sunshine to till and plant the garden. May was full and happy and blessed in every way.

We were absolutely shocked one evening to discover that the evening song we both always associated with American Robins actually belongs to our Black-headed Grosbeak. We don't see them very often, and always assumed that they only migrated through the area as they show up on the bird feeder occasionally, but not for very long, and never for consecutive days.

Now that we've had this quite delayed epiphany, we're amazed to realize just how much we're hearing that song and from quite a few individuals scattered throughout the woods.

It's always good to learn something new, and we were both relieved to realize that it wasn't just he or just I, but we BOTH were wrong this time!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Music Lessons

For three years now, my kiddos have stuck with their lessons; he's learning guitar, she's learning piano. Sometimes they hate practicing, but for the most part, they keep working at it without too much complaining on his part, and with mostly joy and delight on her part.

I think that we're pretty lucky and definitely very blessed to have found sisters that teach at the same location, and we can schedule the guitar and piano lessons to fit in the same 30 minute time slot. Not only is the location and time convenient, but these ladies make learning music fun. They are so encouraging and positive; the complete opposite from the piano teachers of my childhood who did nothing but critique and point out all of the things that I did wrong. I couldn't be happier to have found them.

The end of the year recital only features the piano players, so Mr. Guitar Man got off easy without needing to perform in front of strangers (which he's deathly afraid of). This being the third recital for our pianist, she was still very nervous, but handled it like a seasoned pro.

She has advanced to the second column of players listed in the evening's program, and it was a relief after all of the fumbled songs before her (the evening starts with the newest players and progresses to the 10th level graduates) when she went up and absolutely killed it. She says that she messed up on the foot pedal at one point in the song, but none of us could tell. I couldn't be prouder of my girl.

Our guitarist has mostly been learning strum patterns and chord finger positioning to enable him to play just about any song he wants, but with the focus being on worship-style songs suited for a church service. The thing that happened this year that made the kids the most excited was when our pianist advanced enough in her abilities to start learning the same on piano. They now have a total of 2 songs that they are able to play together, which is delightful to watch. Maybe some day they'll gain enough confidence to join me on stage on Sunday mornings at church.

Yes, he really IS that tall. Or she's really short... or both. :D

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Goodies for Sale

You all were so enthusiastic on Instagram about the fun things I was making for the retreat last month, that I decided to make up another batch to offer for sale. Just in case everyone else that didn't get to attend was feeling left out.

Now available in my etsy shop are:

Frog Stitch-Ripper Pins
We've all been there. Stitching away when suddenly we realize that we've done it all wrong; mis-counted, used the wrong stitch, the wrong color, you-name-it.

We call these mistakes "frogs". We call the process of taking the stitches out "frogging". Why? Because with every stitch the mantra repeats in our heads, "Rip-it, Rip-it".

I had the brilliant idea to make some pins with the specific purpose of helping such ripping to happen in a more entertaining way. So what did I do? Adorned them with frogs of course!

I start with pin blanks, to which I've added various shades of green for the bellies of the frogs along with metal alloy heads and legs. They are secured with the strongest jewelry glue I can find, so they should be able to live long lives and withstand much use and abuse. And they include a little cap to go on the sharp end to protect wayward fingers from being pricked during storage.

I currently have 3 different shades of green made up, which I refer to as: Light, Marbled, and Dark.

You will be able to select your desired shade from the drop-down menu before you check out.

These fun and very giftable pretties will arrive in a resealable cello bag on a card printed with the most perfect vintage image ever. It is titled, "As ye sew, sew shall ye rip" with the name "Alice" underneath.


Cross Stitch Sampler Pendant or Thread Rings
With images from some of my all time most popular designs, the pendants can be worn as a necklace or used as a thread ring. Each pendant comes with a 24 inch nickel plated ball chain as well as a 2 inch book ring, making it easy for you to either wear around your neck or use to kit up new design threads for stitching.

The images in the pendants vary, but are all taken from my own designs or from antique samplers that I've reproduced. They are housed in a silver metal backing (not sterling; these are a costume-jewelry grade pendant made from a metal alloy) with a glass dome to protect the image. I currently have 16 images made up, but I am open to the idea of making a custom pendant for you, so please put in a request if you don't see one of your favorite Heartstring Samplery designs represented.

You will be able to select your design name from the drop-down menu before you check out.

These fun and very giftable pretties will arrive in a resealable cello bag.

Monday, May 08, 2017

In the Spring

The first fresh and tender flowers start to show their faces in the middle of Spring. Bleeding Heart, Trillium, Grape Hyacinth, Flowering Currant. Brand new leaves on trees are my favorite Chartreuse; so vibrantly green it hurts my eyes. It is still so, so, wet and chilly, but when the sun peeks through the clouds, there is warmth and even... sometimes... heat (gasp!).

Migrating birds return and the slugs and bunnies are everywhere, evening and morning, nibbling away at the edges of the yard. Our resident part-albino doe visits the yard, still with her Mama. She doesn't look like she will ever be full-sized, which we read is common with albinism in deer. She's very shy, so pictures are never possible without shrubbery partially obscuring her bright coat. 

In the greenhouse, seeds are planted in anticipation of warmer and dryer days ahead. 

And my new second-favorite pollinator is discovered hovering over the Forget-Me-Not patch. What is it? A little ball of fuzz with long legs and wings. Like an oversized mosquito in a fur coat. Its not exactly a bee, and doesn't really look like a fly, but is so darn cute! Give up? Its a Bee Fly!

You learned something new today. You're welcome.