Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rabbit Run and Garden Visit Errata

Hello Stitching Friends and Shop Owners,

As many of you know, I was able to find a much more reliable source for the spools enclosed in several of my designs.  Last year both the Rabbit Run and Garden Visit designs had spools from a company that could not give me consistent quality.  I was throwing out about 1/4 of the orders that I was receiving.  Because of this I had new spools custom made by another company who could guarantee that the holes would be in the middle, no large chips out of the wood, no glued together cracks and a consistent size from the top to the bottom of the spool. One thing that did change was the height of the spools.  The new spool is slightly taller than the older spools.

The finishing directions for the new releases at Nashville 2017 were adjusted to reflect the new height.  However, it appears that we missed adjusting the directions for the 2016 designs which include Rabbit Run and Garden Visit.  This will result in the nun's stitch fringe being slightly shorter and may not reach the top and bottom of the spool when mounting the final piece onto the spool.

Anyone purchasing these kits from their local needlework shops after the market in 2016 will not be affected by this change as the spools are from the old company.  But those shops who purchased and received these two designs at the 2017 Nashville Market; and customers who purchased their kits from their local needlework shop after this 2017 market will want to make the following change to their pattern.

On the first page of each of these designs is a section called Nun's Stitch.  On number 5 in these directions you will want to increase the number of threads that you leave for the fringe. The changes are reflected as underlined in red.

5. Once the stitching is complete, count out 5 threads away from the horizontal bottom stitches of the Nun’s Stitch.  Remove the 6th thread on all four sides.  Cut the linen in the channel where the thread has been removed.  Check to see that the linen fits between the top and bottom of the spool.  Trim if needed.   Make a fringe by pulling the threads on the outer side of the horizontal bottom stitches.  The Nun’s Stitch will act as a finished border and keep all the threads in place.

I am sure that all of you know how hard we try to make sure there are no mistakes in patterns before we publish them.  But...sometimes things do slip by our editors and myself.   I appreciate your understanding as we continue to strive to make designs that you will enjoy stitching.

Until next time, keep those needles busy.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Nashville Needlework Market News

Hello Stitching Sisters,

As promised here is a news flash for the Nashville Needlework Market which opens this Friday. I have been hard at work coming up with new designs.  I hope you will like what you see.

This first new design will actually be released shortly after the Nashville Market.  However, it will be available for pre-order at the market.  It is a reproduction sampler entitled Milady's Manor. This piece was used as an inspiration for a project that I taught at the Attic Summer School last year.

This is probably the most challenging sampler that I have reproduced.  While fairly easy to stitch the actual charting was the challenge.  I charted both the reproduction for those who are purists and an adaptation for those who prefer primarily Cross Stitch.  Enlarged color charts will help you reproduce this quaint sampler.  There is no name or other information on the sampler, but based on the condition and the place of purchase (England) I would hazard a guess that the original was completed C1800's. Robert Harris stitched the model and informed me it was a fun and fast stitch.  I personally love the choice of motifs which include a country estate home, a family crest and a two figures dressed in their best finery, bringing flowers from their garden. It's lovely quaint piece of history and I am curious about the girl or woman who stitched this sampler!

The next release is a pin cushion spool which I showed you a couple of days ago.  The design is called A Stitcher's Pin Spool.

This design was worked on 40 count and the kit has all the supplies to make one pin cushion.  It is charted with both "Sampler Sisters" and "Stitching Sisters", so you have a choice on the wording.  The kit includes a chart for the design on 36 count (no fabric included), which will basically take off the top band.  The kit does include one spool and additional spools can be obtained from your local needlework shop. These spools are exclusively sold by Milady's Needle.  The pins in the pin cushion are also included in the kit and are made especially for this design by Kim Lewis of Kim's Needle Needfuls.

Two more kits with spool designs are also being released at the market.  Christmas decorations are popular all through the year, so these next designs will appeal to those who like to get an early start on their Christmas gifts for friends of for their own tree.

The first is entitled Quaker Christmas Spools. The kit comes with enough supplies to stitch both designs.  One spool is included and additional spools can be obtain from your local needlework shop.  The tops of the spools have buttons from Just Another Button Company which are used to aid in the finishing.

                                  The second is entitled Joyful Yuletide Spools.  Again the kit comes with enough supplies to stitch both designs.  One spool is included and additional spools can be obtained from your local needlework shop. Below see the entire design.

This last items being released at the market are gift items.  I have a sampler in my collection that has a verse on it that is my favorite sampler verse ever.  I am going to reproduce the sampler at some point, but just now I am producing note cards and notebooks with a photo of the sampler with the verse visible.  The sampler was stitched by Mary Cubitt and probably finished in the year (1770) which is stitched on the sampler.

The verse reads:

Young Ladies Fair, whose Gentle minds incline:
To all that's Curious, Innocent and Fine;
With Admiration in your Works are Read,
The various Texturs, of the twined Thread,
Then let your Fingers, use Unriveled Skill,
Exalt the Nedle, grace the Noble Quill.

Mary Cubitt's  Note Cards and Notebooks are sold separately.  I hope you enjoy looking at this sampler and that each time you open the note book or send a card you will think of Mary doing needlework or writing notes to her friends so very long ago.

That's the market report for Nashville 2017.  If you like what you see, be sure to talk with your local needlework shop about ordering these designs.  Most needlework shops go to market with a list these days and they count on you to let them know what you want them to bring back with them.  They are busy compiling these as I type.

All the best and until next time...

Keep those needles busy.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Just a Quick Note

Hello Friends In Stitches,

I thought I would take a moment away from my needlework market preparations for a quick note to give you the news from my little corner of the world.  Getting close to a year now since I last posted, but I guess a few things have happened for Milady's Needle since then.

Last July, I taught in La Crosse, Wisconsin for Crosse Stitchery and Main Street Framing owned by Sarah Hall.  This group of ladies were the first to have a chance to stitch a new design before it's release.  This new spool pin cushion design is going to the Nashville Needlework Market in just a week, so here is a picture of the design entitled "Sampler Sisters Pin Cushion".

The class afforded the opportunity for participants to learn the finishing techniques for this design and included making the pin cushion top and Bri-Waxing the spool.  We had a lovely day for the class and did our work on the spool outside.  I think that the class participants had a wonderful time; at least there seemed to be a lot of smiles and much laughter while working.  I know I had a delightful time with a great group of ladies as we shared our love of stitching.  I look forward to returning for another class someday.

I have updated this design for 2017 and included a chart with the words "Stitching Sisters Pin Cushion". Since there are some needleworkers out there who don't particularly like samplers; I thought I would make the design more inclusive of all who love to stitch.  Also included is a chart for doing the design on 36 count for those who don't like to work on 40 Count fabric.  I will post a picture of the other pin cushion with the rest of the Nashville Releases later this week.

In August I taught at the Attic Needlework Shop for Jean's Summer School.  Once again eight designers who live in the Phoenix area came together with a wonderful selection of projects for those stitchers who love samplers.  Each year the projects seem to get better and better.  I found a wonderful small sampler at the last Nashville Needlework Market and I used the motifs to develop a stitcher's sewing book.  I really challenged myself with the finishing part of this project, but in the end it was worth it!  The design is called "Milady's Manor Sewing Book".   The class participants were very patient with me as I explained the finishing process.  I was given some great ideas for future books like this from a few women who know their way around a sewing machine better than I do.  I can say without a doubt that I have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine and the details of my adventure provided a few laughs for the class.

                 Inside of Milady's Manor Sewing Book

From the feedback received, I think this project will be one that I can teach in other venues and it will be available for classes after August this year.  As part of the Summer School offerings in 2016, participants received a copy of the full sampler in addition to the project developed by each teacher. Unfortunately due to circumstances related to the health of a family member, my larger sampler for Summer School was not finished.  It is now in the process of editing and printing.  It will be ready to send out to those who participated in Summer School at The Attic as well as finding it's way to the Nashville Needlework Market next week.  So those of you who thought you might never see this sampler...never will soon be on it's way to you.  I have to be honest, the sampler has been a challenge to chart and I have had to invent some stitches in my charting program in order to complete the reproduction.  I do think you will be happy with the results though.  The chart will have a true reproduction using all the stitches used in the original as well as an adaptation using only Cross Stitch and Tent Stitch.  When I post the 2017 Nashville releases in a few days you will see the end result of a lot of hard work.

I will be back in a few days with the market new releases.

Until then...keep those needles busy.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Chart Correction

Hello All,

As a designer I try very hard to put out a product that does not have any mistakes in the pattern. However, no matter how many times something is reviewed there can still be mistakes made. 
So my apologies to those who purchased the Mary Ann Lynn 1855 or by another name the Procrastination Sampler. It appears that the patterns went out with two pages exactly the same. Page 9 and 10 of the chart show the same part of the chart on them. So, I am asking that all those who purchased this chart to please email me and I will send you a PDF of the corrected page 10. Or if you prefer a hard copy, I can send it by snail mail.

I am sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you. You will find my email address on the front of the pattern.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Releases at the Nashville Needlework Market.

Hello Needlework Friends,

I am on the road to the Nashville Market and thought I would post about the upcoming new releases.  You still have time to contact your favorite shop to order these if you wish.  Shops now come to markets with lists of what their customers want.  You might want to contact them so they will have what you want on market day.  I have already seen quite a few new designs from many designers who will be at the show.  I am excited to see the models in person.  It looks like there a lot of wonderful new designs. 

I will be rooming next to Niky of Niky's Creations who is such a sweet person.  We always have a lot of fun along with Candy and Mary of Workbasket whose suite is on the other side of mine.  I am looking forward to seeing all of them again as they are all very special ladies.  Niky has been posting about her new releases so be sure to go to her blog.  I guess Mary and Candy will be surprising all of us with their new releases as I haven't yet seen pictures of their new things.  I like surprises too.  I always have to bring something home from both of these designers as I really like their designs. 

As for designs from Milady's Needle...I have been working hard to come up with some new designs that I hope will tempt you.  I have five new releases for Nashville.

The first new release is a reproduction sampler called Mary Ann Lynn 1855.  The border is unique and the verse "Procrastination" is also unique.  It's one that I can relate to a lot. How about you?  I haven't seen either verse or border on an antique sampler before.  I am sure there is an sampler out there that might have used one of them, but I just haven't seen it yet.  If you know where to direct me for a sampler that has either the verse or the border, I would love to see it.      

                                                                Mary Ann Lynn 1855

The second new release is a small original sampler in memory of two friends who live in another state.  I miss seeing them, but we do stay in touch and go to a retreat together every May.  I designed the sampler so that you can add your friend's names by simply adding or subtracting the number of flowers in the border. 

To Friends Far Away
The third new release is a small pin cushion stitched in some of my favorite colors.  The spelling of pins as "Pyns" is from the archaic English spelling of the past.  I like old fashioned. 
Spring Pyn Pillow
The 4th and 5th new releases are something I have been working on for awhile.  Then a few weeks ago another friend posted her finishing of an ornament that is similar to these two designs.  It always seems to happen that way.  As the saying goes...."There is nothing new under the sun".  Both of these come as kits and are a Nashville Needlework Show Special.  The kits come with the linen, Needle point Inc Silks ( 10 or 11 colors), one 3" tall wooden spool, coordinating fabric and either a scissors fob or two butterfly pins.  Both the scissors fob and the butterfly pins are made by Kim Lewis of Kim's Needle Needfuls.  The kits are packaged in a reusable vinyl pouch.  I have used the pouches for carrying small kits, needlework tools or fibers.

        Rabbit Run Pin Cushion                                                  Garden Visit Scissors Keep
I hope you are excited about the new releases.  Let me know what you think.  I am looking forward to seeing how these go at the market. 
We will be in Nashville tomorrow night and it will be wonderful to see old friends.  Sadly we will miss those who have come in the past, but are no longer with us.  Each new market seems to bring news of another of our needlework friends gone too soon.  I think they will be with us in spirit.
That's about all for now.  Support your favorite needlework shop and attend their market days after they return from Nashville.  I know you are going to love all the new things that needlework designers have been working hard on for the last few months.
See you after Nashville.

A New Sampler Book, Market and Teaching

Hello Sampler Friends,

Looks like I wrote this a few weeks ago and never posted it.  So...I will post it now and follow it up with another post about the market releases. 

I recently received my copy of a new book called "Threads of Useful Learning" by Mary Uhl Brooks.  I have already read several chapters and I really like the writing style.  Easy to read and keeps you engaged.  The photos are excellent and show samplers, globes and a few sewing smalls up close.  It's an enjoyable read.  You might want to check this book out on the Westtown School website.

On another note...the Nashville Market is approaching in about 5 weeks and I am sure that all of you are really anxious to see what all of your favorite designers are releasing at market.  Several shops already have pictures of the new releases on their websites or in their newsletters.  My new releases will be pictured  here in a few weeks.

Looks like my last post was in May of 2015.  So...I could probably catch you up on what I have been doing. 

               Home Spun Pin Drum

I taught at the Attic Summer School in August last year and the project was well-received.  This piece is a reproduction of an antique pin drum in my collection of needlework tools.  I gave a short educational talk on the history of pin cushions and then taught a few specialty stitches and the assembly of the pin drum and mat.  I made up the poem to reflect some of the historical names for pin cushions.  I am available to teach this class after August 2016.  I do have openings for classes this year and next year.  I have heard from a few guilds already, so I hope to have an idea of my schedule in the near future.

I also taught in Buffalo at the Examplary Needle Guild in September.  I had a wonderful time with all those lovely women in New York. They were excellent hostesses and put up with a few hiccups as this was my first out of town teaching engagement.

I followed that up in November with teaching in Dallas / Fort Worth at the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild.  This is a guild that I helped to start in 2000, so I knew a lot of the women who came to the class.  It was fun to see familiar faces that I hadn't see in a very long time.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a wonderful time with old friends.

This is a very busy time of year, so I best be off to continue with work for the upcoming market. 

Keep those needles busy,


Friday, May 1, 2015

New Release Now at Needlework Shops // Winner of the Sweetheart Tin!!

Hello All,

The market this year was fantastic!!  We had many orders for the Sweetheart Tin and I have been working on kitting for what seems like weeks.  I got sick when I returned from the market and it dragged me down for a month.  Before I  knew it April had arrived.  I was finally done shipping all the orders by the middle of April.  I have just been taking it easy and getting other tasks done not related to business.

Out to shops by the end of April was the newest release "My Spirit's Lift Whenever I Stitch".  This is exactly how I feel when I pick up a needle and thread.  The tray is also available from Retromantic at your local needlework shop.  I am using mine for a small scissors, needle book and various other stitching tools.  Hope you will enjoy stitching this one up.

Thanks so much for all your feedback about blogs vs. Facebook.  For now I guess I will stick with both since the consensus seemed to be that you use both for keeping up with different types of news. 

The winner of the Sweetheart Tin is Nancy Stevens.  Nancy...send me an email with your address and I can send you your gift.  Again thanks all for your comments.  I do enjoy hearing what you think so please continue to post comments on my blog.

Keep your needles flying!