Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elenor Ferrow and Maggie Bean: Harvest completed

I've got two new photographs for you today. Elenor Ferrow's frame came in, so I'll be printing graphs in the next few days for her sampler. It turned out LOVELY! The graph will retail for $12.00, and if you want to order from me, you certainly can and may. Otherwise, ask your local shop to get it in for you.

The piece is stitched in a mixture of Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works on plain ole (good ole) 32 ct. Natural Belfast linen.

And here are Maggie Bean's two new little designs -- the Harvest pack, which will be released in a week by Crescent Colours. I used 32 ct. Buttercream linen by Lakeside Linens with one strand of the silks (which come with the patterns.) This is the fourth in a series of six sampler sets by Maggie Bean, Jenny Bean's little sister. She's learning virtues, and it is so important to devote part of your life to harvesting -- taking in that which you have worked for. See the harvest moon, the shovel and sickle, wheat, a barn, a squirrel and some acorns...are are symbols of the harvest. And did you know my name means "reaper?"

I hope you like these -- pictures soon of other new things in the works. I've been stitching up a storm. Hope you have been, too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boo * Scurry * Yum

This is a new piece I designed (a Raise the Roof piece) that I finished stitching yesterday. You can't see the WHOLE thing...I'm going to save a full shot for when I get the buttons and frame in place. But this will be ready in about a week and a half for release. It has turned out really, really cute. I have plans for a sister piece for Christmas.

This one is in mostly Sampler Threads (one Weeks Dye Works) on Picture This Plus 32-count "Raisin." Which has been discontinued. I know.... Out of the 106 colors that Picture This Plus has released, I picked the only one they have discontinued. Due to dye issues, they are no longer able to make the color come out this way anymore. I had some in my stash and liked it, and had gotten too far on the stitching to start over.

Anyway, there are a few fabrics I'm recommending for this one. Lakeside Linens Vintage Sienna Night. R&R Reproductions 18th Century Rook. Picture This Plus Barnwood. Or any other dark and spooky fabric you like or have.

I hope you like it. I designed another piece this weekend, and will start reproducing another sampler this week for Christmas release. Plus, Jenny Bean said she wants to do another sampler. Oh, and her little sister Maggie is finishing up her next two mini samplers for Crescent Colours.

Happy stitching!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Safe travels and speedy stitching

The supplies for the Ann Dale Sampler (above) are going out to my model stitcher today. Chris Canaday stitched my Jane Philpott Sampler last year (and did a fabulous job.) Here's Jane, if you forgot what she looks like:

Now, for Ann Dale's Sampler, that one will be released THREE ways. The first, the one Chris is stitching, is the bottom portion of the sampler -- the main circle tree, all of the swans, dogs, eggs, trees, flowers, as well as the cartouches (cartouchi?) with the verse and the line with her name. I have wrapped the strawberry border around the top of it, and put in, as filler, and just because I like it so much, the red carnation-type border that is underneath the longer verse on the full sampler. It is going to be a stunner.

I also am releasing the graph as the ENTIRE thing. You'll get the chart to stitch the whole sampler with a picture of the original sampler on the front. I wanted to have a model stitcher work the smaller (smaller, ha!) sampler, so people could see what it looks like with the modifications (the border change.)

And, I'll release the urns in the sampler as a separate little bound (somehow) booklet. These would make great ornaments and needlework smalls.

When will it be ready? Well...it'll be ready when it's ready. Chris is speedy (and now retired), but I want her to enjoy herself and not feel rushed. I will post updates from Chris as I get them. (Those of you who know Chris can poke her from time to time to keep her going.) But the booklet, the smaller sampler and the entire reproduction will be released simultaneously. When they're ready. This fall. I promise!

Just to tempt you a little bit, and show what a stickler I am when it comes to color selections, above is a picture of the supplies Chris will be getting in the mail (on top of the original sampler.) The fabric is 40 ct. Vintage Pear by Lakeside Linens (it is almost a dead-on match for the original fabric.) The stitch count for this piece is 400 by 245. (The smaller sampler is this small...ha ha!) The large sampler's stitch count is at home, but it'll be 400 wide, and about 600+ tall. The entire sampler will fit on a half yard of 40 ct. Pear; the smaller sampler will fit on a quarter yard of 40 ct. Pear. You're going to need larger cuts if you change the size upwards.

Here's a supply list for the bottom samplers. QUANTITIES ARE UNKNOWN at this point. I just want you to see the colors and what you can start ordering/accumulating. I avoided Au Ver a Soie this time, although I love it, because there were backorder problems with Ann Grant. This sampler, judging by preorders, is going to be HUGE in terms of how many people want this one. I don't want people to be without silks. The over-dyed silk companies will be informed about these well in advance.

Needlepoint Silks: 756, 692, 987, 871, 203, 505, 348, 335, 242, 633, 155A, 976, 635, 991

Belle Soie: Wheatgrass

Gloriana: Holly Berry and Vanilla

I also tried to keep over-dyed silks to a minimum, as they are expensive. But the original has some fading/striping that looks like over-dyed floss, and these colors were closest to the original. I WILL be doing a DMC conversion for those of you who prefer cotton floss.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update. I will keep everyone posted as the process continues, as I know so many of you are planning your winter stitching around Miss Ann's sampler.

Have a great weekend! I'll be stitchin'!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Miss Ann Womack arrived on my doorstep yesterday

Time is always moving on,
Time, we soon may say is gone,
Time, is fleeting, and we know,
Time, at last, will disappear.

Ann Womack. Aged 8 Years

Here she is -- isn't she gorgeous? The fabric is about a 38/40 count uneven-weave linen. It appears she used two different colors of red that she had (one is very fine and smooth, the other is less fine and a little more coarse.)

What I really like about this (besides it all being in red) is that it is definitely a LESSON. The first alphabet is in cross stitch. The next is the lower-case alphabet in a pleasing elongated style. The next alphabet is four-sided stitch. The next is Algerian Eye (which I LOVE!). And the last alphabet is over-one.

I also find the verse very charming...because it doesn't rhyme. Ann did a fabulous job (especially for an eight-year-old.) This one will be a joy to reproduce and stitch. Don't you just love it?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


If you read my newsletter, you already know I'm on a bowling team (if you don't get my newsletter, send me an e-mail at xspeddler@yahoo.com, and I'll add you to the list.) And if you DO read my newsletter, you know I kind of stink at bowling.

Here, my good friends, is a superb example of an "anomaly."

That's right. A 154. That's basically mostly strikes and spares. I was in the zone. On fire. In the Twilight Zone. Whatever!? I'll take it! (Plus, the bowling alley guy announced my feat over the loud speaker.)

(You may notice I immediately bowled an 81 after my amazing run of luck. It's good to know I haven't lost my game.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A new reproduction and a new sampler for my fold

"Ann Womack: 1838." I called a designer friend of mine yesterday to ask her something, and while we were chatting, I saw this sampler go up on eBay for a buy-it-now price of $200. I quickly bought it. It's already on its way to me. The two pictures the seller had up were TERRIBLE, but I can tell you it is all one color (red), it is about 13 3/4 by 14 inches, and I THINK it's American. I cleaned up the better of the two photographs, but this is as clear as I could manage. I can't wait to see it. Aren't you jealous? (Yes...this will go in the "to be reproduced" file.)

Here is Elenor Ferrow's original sampler from 1842. As you can see...it's...um, interesting. The colors aren't too swell. It's in tough shape. Lots of fading, thread loss. But, I liked this sampler, and got it for a song. I saw the potential in the DESIGN of it, and so, I reproduced it, then switched the colors. And this is what I got:

I will post a picture soon of what it looks like all framed (as soon as the frame comes in.) The supply list (threads, fabric) are in the previous post. I will be releasing this one VERY SHORTLY. If you'd like to get on the automatic list to get this chart when it arrives, you can sign up by ordering through my web site or sending me an e-mail. Please do not place orders in the comments section. Happy stitching!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elenor Ferrow Sneak Peek

Hooray! And dang it! I got a model in the mail this morning from a model stitcher (thanks, Kathy!), and I stretched it, so I could photograph it and put it up on the blog while I wait for my frame to come in.

But, I left the camera on overnight, and it's dead.

Then I remembered my iPhone will take pictures, and at least I've got a little sneaky peeky for you -- I'll post a BETTER picture tomorrow, along with the original. I bought the original about two years ago for about $75.00 on eBay, but I have to tell you, the original is ... interesting. The sampler was stitched in 1842 in wools in shades like, oh, magenta, purple, black, avocado/slimy green, etc. And although I thought the DESIGN was cute, the colors had to go.

Part of what I liked about this one was the pagoda at the bottom and that little shepherdess with her dog. Kathy said it was fun to stitch, and she got it done in about a week. It's stitched on 32 ct. Natural Belfast linen, and in case you want to start kitting it up, here are the threads I had her use:

Sampler Threads: Chamomile, Mulberry (2), Piney Woods, Apple Cider, Onyx, Cinders (2), Tarnished Gold

Weeks Dye Works: Cinnabar, Rust, Terragon, Hazelnut, River Rock, Taupe, Angel Hair (2)

The finished size on 32 count is about 12 1/2 by 9 inches. I hope you like it! I'll be releasing it in about a week.

As long as I was loading pics off my phone I wanted to share this one of our dear Ruby. She never has much to say, but one evening this spring when we were grilling salmon, she wanted to remind us, without words, that she wasn't against hand-outs...you know...whenever the fish was ready.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Silks conversion for Mystery Sampler by With Thy Needle & Thread

A customer of mine asked me to do an over-dyed silks conversion for her for With Thy Needle & Thread's Mystery Sampler (available as a three-part chart series.) As long as I went to the trouble, I thought I'd share with you the conversion, in case you're interested in stepping it up a notch. Weeks Dye Works colors are on the left -- silk conversion is on the right.

Indian Summer/Rosewood (Gloriana)
Olive/Burnished Gold (Silk N Colours)
Kudzu/Wintered Grass (Silk N Colours)
Cinnabar/Terra Cotta (Gloriana)
Kentucky Bluegrass/Cormorant Gaze (Silk N Colours)
Brick/Potter's Clay (Silk N Colours)
Bark/Slug Bug (Silk N Colours)
Caper/Blackened Grass (Silk N Colours)
Sage/Wheatgrass (Belle Soie)
Light Khaki/Honeysuckle White (Silk N Colours)
Cappuccino/Angel Blush (Belle Soie)
Guacamole/Chartreuse (Silk N Colours)
Straw/Honey Bronze (Gloriana)
Confederate Grey/Concrete Meadow (Silk N Colours)
Dove/Forest Ash (Silk N Colours)

Friday, August 5, 2011

What's one more?

We're going to keep her.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This is what Zero does while I'm graphing a reproduction...

"Theresa says if I lay real still on the pad, the mouse might come back."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer's Almost Gone

Dad and little me on the lake (mid-1970's)