Garlands of Joy

In recent travels, everywhere we turned, garlands adorned windows, doorways, mantles and bookshelves. Most sparkled with lights or glitter or glass ornaments. Some were carefully woven fragrant, fresh greens. All beckoned the viewer to take a closer look, to savor the sights of the season. There had to be a way to capture them on linen before Christmas arrived.

Decking the halls...tables, doors & trees, too!

Sometimes too many good and wonderful things are happening (not to mention the fact that they're complicated by the challenging moments). But, for now, the peace and plenty of a wonderful Thanksgiving with family is giving way to making our hearts and homes ready for Christmas. Decorating has always been a big part of the process, and this year we're thrilled to add a fun little stitched piece to the mix.

Gratitude for our favorite things

We might not always be able to extract too much factual information from antique samplers--it's wonderful when we can--but sometimes the stitched images give us just enough information to imagine what was important to the maker. We recently added a new sampler to our collection stitched by Sarah Butler in 1783. It is a true sampler in every sense of the word (although, much to Vickie's sadness, it does NOT contain an alphabet).

Lost a post here or there...

We love technology; truly we do! It's what helps us create and deliver the wonderful samplers and needleework-related products. Sometimes, though, glitches and updates create snags here and there. We're reposting this photo because it somehow fell off the page during a recent update. Still thrilled about our presence in both Piecework magazine and Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly.

Lots to share...first up, 2015 Book of Days

Last week this time, the new NeedleWorkPress products were making their debut at the Fall Market in St. Charles, MO. The entire process of creating and sharing new and reproduction designs is a true joy.

Happy World Cross Stitch Day!

Well, we figured this was an appropriate day for a LONG-OVERDUE update! Between readying projects for market, teaching and swimming with Zoe, paperwork and computerwork sort of took a back seat.

Class prep is great fun!

A rainy weekend in the mountains is just what we needed to get kits ready for our Summer School at the Attic class in three weeks. We snapped the work-in-progress photo as Maegan recreated parts of this little Victorian thimble case with red thread to tie in the "Six Shades of Red theme." Deconstructing the antique whithout doing damage is always a challenge. Not to mention repeating the thousands of blanket stitches some patient girl completed many years ago.

Fourth finery...

Well, the day started with major yard and pool cleanup following the first "monsoon" storm of the season. The upside is that today was pleasant and cooler than most July Fourth's in the desert. But, before the sun goes down and the fireworks begin, we want to share some Independence Day images with you. The first is the talented Bonnie Olson's finish of our new "Sweet Land" chart, completed just in time for July 4.

Selecting the right frame

We are having such fun preparing for the Fall Needlework Market in August. With a break from book writing and projects, we've had time to focus on some reproductions, and it looks like we'll have five samplers and two original designs for the show in St. Charles. As projects near completion, we start asking: How are we going to finish this? Hemstitch like the original? Frame? If it's small...pin pillow? Stand-up?

Introducing our new patriotic design: "Sweet Land"

Collaborating with artist Nancy Mills to bring you “Sweet Land” was a true delight! Back in February, her daily doodle on notebook paper (at left) was a charming pencil sketch that just begged to be repurposed as a cross stitch chart. Its free-flowing lines and casual playfulness expressed a bit of whimsy while capturing a sense of pride in our “sweet land of liberty.” Check out her talented and creative multi-media work at Five Times Blessed on both Etsy and Facebook.

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