Beloved borders

We were out trimming trees the other day when I noticed a vine winding its way along a Palo Verde tree. The leaves were so evenly spaced, alternating angles every-other orderly, so border-like. So, I snapped a photo and came in to see if any of our antique samplers had a leafy pattern similar to the creeping fig vine. While I wasn't successful in finding a monochrome border, I did nab a few that illustrate the harmony that borders can create.

We love cows. We love bee skeps. But...

Sorry it took a while to get these photos loaded. Thanks to Mary McCallester, we have our beloved cow next to a tidy little bee skep atop a large pasture. Problem is, those bees decided to make our homes their homes a week or so back! Pesky critters set up shop in the wall between the outside slump block and the drywall at Maegan's house and in the block wall of Vickie's house. We sure prefer they stay tucked inside their official skeps or hives.

Works in progress

First up is AH 1837, the alphabet sampler in the background.Its array of varied alphabets will make it a terrific resource for your stitching stash. Although the original was wool on canvas, we opted for overdyed cottons on linen. Next off the drawing board and into our hoop is this Mexican band sampler. Although unnamed an undated, its vibrant colors and delightful borders begged to be charted and stitched in silks that closely resemble the original fibers.

No fooling..."Hippity Hop" is cute over-one too!

A week or so ago we introduced the over-two, framed version of "Hippity Hop" to welcome the first day of Spring. Now that April 1 is here, the over-one version makes his debut, stacked atop some old books while visiting with a pair of vintage porcelain bunnies. We fashioned this version into a sort of pin mattress and tacked an array of buttons along all four sides. The chart includes a photo of the 1905 hand-drawn Easter greeting that inspired the project.

Things we love

Quite often, our posts are shared news of new projects we are excited to show you. This time, though, it's Vickie writing from her grandmotherly perspective. Sad. That's how I felt as I moved the Shaker sewing case back into place, carefully stacking the old spectacles atop several antique autograph albums. You see, they all live harmoniously on a glass-top table next to the fireplace in our usually serene living room.

Welcome Spring!

Several years ago we found a simplt, little handmae Easter greeting from 1905.  Tucked away in a dusty corner of an antiques booth, it begged to be recreated as a cross stitch chart to greet Spring. This is the over-two version, using Weeks Dye Works fabric and fibers. We added a tulip and perked up one of the bunny ears in adapting the pastel design that was bordered by decorative stitching.

Could this be a shamrock in Mary Magee's border?

 Sometime in 1826, Mary Magee practiced stitching her alphabet--three times. Then she added some numerals, birds, trees, crowns, hearts and flowers. These cheerful elements are all surrounded by a surprisingly pleasing three-sided border (we won't even mind stitching this one), capped off at the top corners by what perhaps might be stylized shamroks. Really, we have no idea what kind of leaves grace this charming sampler, but since it's St.

Our purse is featured in the Spring issue of SANQ!

Don't you love receiving real mail? Letters, cards and magazines you truly enjoy? We were so excited to open our mailbox recently to find not only the Spring Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, but also the return of our purse featured on pages 20-23 of that issue. The lucious colors make this simple spray of flowers a delight to stitch. Now to sneak out for a night on the town and an opportunity to put the pretty little purse to practical use.

A Schoolroom Alphabet: Your enthusiasm is greatly appreciated!

We are so excited to roll out projects featured in our new book, A Schoolroom Alphabet. We'll be doing local book signings this month, and will display all 12 projects as well as related items, including a real, modern-day printed handkerchief and a micro-fiber cloth (to clean eye glasses, phones, computer screens, etc.). We can't tell you how much fun it is to bring you these little pieces of the past, recreated for functional use in the twenty-first century.

Great springtime stitching: Margret Rogers' Garden of Eden

Little Margret Rogers sure had a sense of whimsy! Thankfully her work survived through the years and is here to greet spring with cheerful birds perched on the tree of life and two children joining Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. A peahen joins the peacock at the top of her sampler, accompanied by two dogs, all flanking a giant tulip. Then there are the spotted dogs on the lawn, accompanied by a grey cat.