New Punch Needle Patterns

A dimensional punched 7" Easter basket that is filled with green sheet moss & a blue speckled robin's egg. This little basket looks darling hanging from a peg or the knob of an old cupboard door. This design is worked with the Valdani 3 strand floss.

The old farmer & farmer's wife are taken in by all the buds on their potted plants...a labor of love! This piece is mounted on one of our signature hornbook paddles. Two old keys are tied around the board for added charm. This design is worked with Valdani 3 strand floss.

The bunny family are taking in the annual Easter egg hunt! The piece is punched with the Valdani 3 strand floss & mounted on a wooden hornbook paddle.

The punch needle patterns are now in stock & ready for shipment. We also have floss kits available for these as well. To view these new patterns, visit us online at www.countrystitchesonline.com. Patterns are located under the NEW ITEMS category.

happy punching,


Loving my new eyes!

Do you do cross stitch? Do you have a hard time working with small count linen? Then you need a LED head loupe!

My darling husband gifted me with a new set of eyes for my birthday & I love them! The LED head loupe comes with 4 different lenses for magnifications of 1.5 to 3.5X. There are various magnifiers on the market but what I like about these is the bright LED light that sits on the top of them....wow, what a difference this little light makes! I can now work on higher count linens (36 - 40 ct) with no eye strain & I can even see what I am doing!

If interested in purchasing a pair of new eyes, they can be purchased online here.

happy stitching,



The house is quiet again....

After spending a few days at Grandma's house, Beckham & Mommy packed up and headed home yesterday. There was immediate silence in the house...they weren't to the edge of town and Grandma was already missing...





Loving being a grandma,



If you haven't heard....the U.S. Postal rates had yet another increase as of January 18th. After postaging a batch of mail this morning I see a need for us to increase our shipping rates, very soon like! I don't like to do this....BUT we have not had a shipping increase for 3 years. Most packages that I shipped this morning were at a loss to us on shipping. A 1 lb. few oz box is now $6.12 (customer paid $4.25) to ship and that is at the Parcel Post rate, Priority rate is higher.

I will be spending some time on this, thinking through the best way to handle this increase. There are a few options, one being to increase the prices of the items that weigh more and require larger packaging. This is something we haven't done in the past and can be a bit hairy though...people who price compare will think our sticker price is too high. Another option is just an across the board shipping increase. If we keep the increase to a bare minimum there will be a need to ship more packages via Parcel Post, which is a slower method of moving mail....but do customers want to wait longer to receive their orders? Would they prefer to pay a bit more and receive them more quickly? Lots of questions to get figured out very quickly. I do foresee our shipping increases should be in place by weeks end.

So customers, let us know if you would pay for the faster shipping or if the slower, cheaper rate is okay with you!
Have a good week,


Easter Egg Hunt

A snippet of one of our NEW punch needle patterns...coming soon!

"Easter Egg Hunt"

If you want to be the first to know when our new patterns are released, please sign up for our email list. We send email newsletters periodically, announcing new patterns & other goodies too! This is located on our home page at www.countrystitchesonline.com, near the bottom of the page.

Just 67 days until spring,


Baby Bear!

(Beckham goes to his first Iowa State University basketball game at 6 weeks old) His daddy is starting him young!

Momma Bear & Baby Bear are coming to visit next week while Papa Bear is out of town on business....Grandma Bear can hardly wait!
Have a good week,


New Pattern Preview!

I received an email from a loyal customer just makin sure I am okay because it had been a few days since I had updated my blog...glad to hear that people are looking out for me, though it did make me laugh! Ahh...what great customers I have!
I can report that I am safe & sound...just been very busy stitching, stuffing & typing pattern instructions. Below is a sneak peek of 3 new pattern designs that will be ready for shipment in a week or so.
LOVE LETTERS is worked on 28 count Cashel Linen over 1 thread. Stitch count is 105w x 106h.
CHOCOLATE BUNNIES Easter Egg is worked on 32 count Belfast Linen over two threads. Stitch count is 62w x 75h.

SWEET CLOVER is constructed from muslin, then painted & aged for a wonderful "white wash" look. Her little ditty bag, with cross stitched motif, is filled with dried sweet annie. This little bunny will make a great Easter accent, but could also be kept out year round.

Think Spring,

Worlds Largest Snow Woman!

A friend sent these pictures to me and I just had to share this story with you. The story is about a very big snowman built in 2007 in the small village of Bethel, Maine. These people know how to build a snowman!
The "snowwoman" towered over the village featuring eyelashes created from discarded skis and bright red lips made from painted car tires. She wore a giant red hat and a 100-foot-long scarf, and her blond tresses were made from rope. She got a little bling from a snowflake pendant that's 6 feet long

With the temperature in single digits, several hundred people including busloads of schoolchildren turned out for the dedication of the 122-foot-tall mountain of snow named Olympia.

This ski town of about 2,400 residents already held the record for tallest snowman, dedicated in 1999. The village of Bethel had been waiting for someone else to break the record. When no one rose to the challenge, the folks there decided they'd have to break the record themselves.

Truly amazing to see a snowman towering over the tree line.

Previous record holder, Angus - king of the mountain.

"Olympia," named for Maine's senior senator, Olympia Snowe, stood nearly 10 feet taller than "Angus, King of the Mountain," who was dedicated by the town in 1999. That snowman, named for then-Gov. Angus King, was created by the same folks responsible for Olympia

It took more than a month, dozens of volunteers and tons of snow to create Olympia. Jim Sysko, a civil engineer, oversaw design and construction

To get an idea of scale, Olympia stood about 30 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty (without the base) Her arms were made of 27-foot-tall evergreens.
Her "carrot" nose, painted by schoolchildren, measured 8 feet long. Her eyes were made from giant wreaths.

She was built with a series of concentric circles. The crane dumped the snow into frames, and volunteers climbed in for long hours shoveling and packing the snow.

Olymia is now currently the world's tallest snow woman by the Guinness Book of Records. There previously was not a separate category for snow women, so the residents of Bethel petitioned for one!

There was plenty of snow for the project. Parts of Maine had more than 100 inches of snow to work with.

Volunteers started with manmade snow and then used snow piled on the runway of the municipal airport to finish the job.

For those of you wondering...it took until July 2008 for the snowwoman to melt!
Happy Winter,


A fun-filled Friday....

I popped in on my sister Sandra Friday for a fun-filled visit. A trip to her house usually means a trip to Country Threads in Garner, Iowa. More on this later....

We shopped the shops of Algona & also Britt, Iowa (Hobo capital of the world) before making our way to Garner.
I am finding that upon entering stores I am now gravitating towards anything that is baby boy blue, cuddly & soft....hmmmmm, doesn't have anything to do with becoming a new grandma does it?

My first find is this sweet little SLEEP SHEEP ON THE GO. The lamb makes the following 4 sounds of nature:

CALM - soft, gentle stream sound that promotes a serene, peaceful rest
SLEEP - spring showers sound that creates a cozy, relaxed atmosphere
ANOTHER SLEEP SOUND - Calm ocean waves sound that provides an ideal & tranquil setting
RELAX - harmonious whale song that relaxes mind & spirit
This little guy is made from the softest, woolly fabric and Velcro's onto a stroller or car seat.

I think Grandma might strap this to her bedpost before gifting it, for when I'm having one of those tossing & turning, too hot in these jammies, can't sleep type of nights! Works for little ones, should work for old ones too....right!??

Then there was this little guy...talk about soft! What little one, that is a bit cranky, with teething pains wouldn't absolutely love chewing on this teething ring? Yeah, that is what I thought too...so I bought it!

PLUS as sister Sandra pointed out it matches the baby quilt Great Grandma Millie made...another reason I needed this!

Baby quilt made by my mother, Millie. Another fun-filled day in August was spent with sister Sandra & Mother as we traveled from quilt shop to quilt shop in rural Iowa picking blue fabrics for the background of this quilt. A fun & memorable day for sure!

Then there was this plate... what mother & young child wouldn't love putting freshly baked cookies upon it for Santa? Yep, that is what I thought too!

After a lunch of chicken salad, wild rice soup, homemade wheat roll & carrot cake dessert we finally made it to our final destination,
Country Threads Quilt Shop

As we were walking up the lane to the quilt shop, Mary & Connie shouted out to "come in". The two were in their design studio working on a fresh & springy new quilt design. These two women are a hoot & always have fun stories to share.

I'm not sure which I like more...all the quilt fabric/patterns or her 18 cats. As we entered the building that houses the civil war reproduction fabrics a very beautiful long haired cat pops out of a wicker basket that she was taking her afternoon nap in. She stood up & did her stretch and greeted us in her very own cat way! I seemed to have befriended a certain calico cat (with a squeaky sort of meow) in the main shop and she followed me from building to building. You just never know where you may find a cat curled up & napping!

The summer time is a great time to visit "Threads" as the geese are on the pond, the goats are outside, the quilts are hanging on the fences, and Mary's extensive (and I mean extensive) collection of succulents is on display outside her home.

If you love fabric, quilting, rural life, farm animals & cats and haven't made the trip to Country Threads in Garner Iowa, you do need to put it on your lists of things to do in your lifetime...you won't be disappointed!

In the civil war reproduction building I found these three pieces of fabric that I felt my "stash" needed. I never really have a plan for fabric when I buy it. I buy it because I simply like it & with hopes it will be an inspiration for the next pattern design. I'm thinking perhaps clothing for a primitive rabbit...maybe even with a little bit of cross stitch here & there...we shall see!

Now my shopping bags not only include fabric, but soft cuddly sheep, teething rings, Santa plates & MORE fabric.

Off to create,


A bit late...but still beautiful!

Each fall I plant an amaryllis bulb in hopes of it blooming at Christmas time. This year with the craziness of our busy time, I knew I was a tad bit late in planting. Not getting it potted until early November. I was off by just a week...but what better way to usher in 2009!

Besides the beauty of this flower, I get enjoyment from just being able to dig in dirt & plant when it is much too cold outside to do so.

The rule of thumb for these bulbs is, the larger the bulb the larger the bloom. The Smith & Hawkins bulbs are bulb of choice (available at Target near holiday time), often times producing more then one bloom.

These bulbs make wonderful gifts & little ones love watching them grow too!

December 30th....

December 31st....

January 1st....the first flower is open! Doesn't Mother Nature produce magnificent beauty?


Legend has it that the amaryllis - the stunning red flower we've come to associate with the holidays - began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules' strength and Apollo's beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired most - a flower so unique it had never existed in the world before - Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi.

Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart. With this romantic - albeit tragic - tale as its beginning, it's not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.

Happy New Year,


Happy New Year!