Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Halloween at Salty Yarns

Hello Sampler Friends,

I am a sampler lover first; and most of my designs are focused on samplers from my own collection of over 35 samplers.  However, occasionally I do design special pieces for a class at a shop or for a guild.  This next piece is a design for a class at Salty Yarns in Ocean City Maryland this next weekend (October 13-17).

This piece is a Halloween spool scissors keep and is based on a design given to me by my dear friends Barb and Sue from Prairie Moon.  They have retired and are currently pursuing other adventures.  I changed and added quite a few things on this in order for the design to fit on the spool, but I know they will recognize some of the design elements. is "Witches Harvest".

If you would like to take this class, come join us at Salty Yarns.   There are two other designers joining in the fun at the Ocean City Stitcher's Jamboree, including Sue Hillis and Deborah Merrick-Wilson.  Go to the Salty Yarn website at: for more information.

Again a big thank-you to Barb and Sue for their gracious offering of the design ideas included in this piece.  All the best to them in their future adventures.

Until next time...keep those needles busy!!


Attic Summer School

Hello Sampler Friends and Shop Owners,

Time for an update on Milady's activities in the sampler world!!  At the end of August I taught at the Attic Summer School in Mesa Arizona.  Of course, I am so lucky to have the Attic just across town from me and I do enjoy time spent in Jean's shop!!  If you have not visited,  you need to put this shop on your bucket list.  It's a must see!!

The class I taught was a small sewing case and I must say it's one of my favorite pieces so far.  I enjoyed designing and stitching this piece.  Had to put on my thinking cap for the finishing.  I am learning a lot about finishing as I play with a piece to see what will work.  Below are pictures of "A Lady's Sewing Companion".  

This design is based on a sampler in my collection.  The sampler makers name is Ann Emptage and she stitched her sampler in 1845.  The verse reads:

There we shall meet again
When all our toils are o'er,
And Death, and grief and Pain
And Parting are no more:
We shall with all our brethren rise,
And grasp thee in the flaming skies.

All participants in the seminar received an advance copy of this lovely sampler.  It will be available to all of you sometime next year. 

If you want to take this class you might steer your guild or local needlework shop to my blog to ask for more information.  Love to hear your thoughts on this piece and stay tuned for news of my next class at Salty Yarns.

Keeping You In Stitches,


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.