"Kind words are like honey ~ sweet to the soul & healthy for the body."

A special "thank you" for keeping my family in your thoughts & prayers during my Mother's recent surgery and recovery. We appreciate your kind words during this difficult time and believe in the power of prayer.

The CT scan showed no spread to other organs and the surgery went well. We are now waiting pathology reports on the lymph nodes...hope to have those by midweek.

Thanks again,


The dreaded word...


My mother will be undergoing surgery Friday AM to remove a mass in her colon.
We received the shocking phone call on Tuesday afternoon. The numbness and the whole "this can't be happening thing" is starting to wear off and the reality of it all is beginning to sink in...
We are praying for the successful removal of the cancer and a benign lymph node biopsy report to follow.

If you have a moment, please say a little prayer for Millie. Thank you!


Pincushions & Prosperity...

Located on an old cupboard by my front door sets an ironstone dish filled with old ivory buttons, a pair of tiny scissors & two tomato pincushions. I collect anything old that is "sewing related", but the tomato pincushions are my favorite...
they are teeny tiny...
measuring just 1 1/2" across
so petite, yet
nice and heavy to the touch.

In Victorian times, a real tomato was placed in the entree area of homes and it was believed it would bring prosperity. During times when there were no fresh tomatoes, the woman would make red balls of fabric and stuff them with straw or sawdust. They eventually would become by accident, what we know today as the tomato pincushion!

And this is the story
the plate of tomatoes
that sits by my front door...

With thy Needle & Thread,



You've come a long way baby....

From wearing cute little ski sweaters...

to cross country skiing in the front yard, using dad's skis with your mom's tennis shoes clipped in...

to shreddin' the moguls...

to a little air time in the Rockies...

About your sweater in the first photo...

I know you'd love to get your hands on that ski sweater in a larger size to wear to your next ugly sweater event...you know that doesn't mean the sweater was ugly, it just means you are getting older dear!

Wishing we could deliver a hug and wishes to you on this day in person...

Happy Birthday Sonny Boy!


Mom & Dad


Much too much to do...

You'll find me burning the midnight oil from now through May
as there
is much to finish up in
preparation for International Spring Quilt Market...
it is just 2 short months away, eeekkkkk!!!
Pattern designs need to be finished, instructions wrote & proofed, and
then the dreaded task of figuring out my booth...

NOTICE - Country Stitches will be closed March 29th - April 4th to concentrate on all things Quilt Market related. There will be no shipping of orders during this time frame.

I will be releasing various needlework patterns at market, including wool applique, penny rugs, dolls, punch needle & cross stitch too! Watch for release dates of these after I get back from market around the end of May.

With thy Needle & Thread,



Just 4 more days...


Ready to say
to a winter
to be remembered...

Looking forward to spring...
I'm just going to pretend
that I don't
we can
get big
snowfalls in
month of March...

Hoping your day is full of sunshine,


We have a winner!

Congratulations to French Bear, you are the winner of the $50.00 shopping spree!

Thanks to everyone for posting comments & congratulations on the blog or via email.
There were 13 people with correct answers. Your name went in the pot as many times as there were correct titles given.
The following had all 3 titles:
Sandy, Sisters of the Season
Simple Pleasure

The following had 2 titles:

The remaining had 1 title:
French Bear
Sweet William Primitives
Woolen Sails

Would the winner French Bear please email me at order@countrystitchesonline.com so I can email you back. Congratulations to French Bear once again...
you even beat some odds here, perhaps you should buy a lottery ticket today!!

Thanks again everyone, it was fun to hear that some of you had old catalogs, newspaper clippings from 1987 & some even did some spring cleaning in their search of the old patterns...now that is impressive!!
Have a good week,


23 years ago...

This month Country Stitches celebrates her 23rd year of business. It all began in a tiny little married student housing apartment in Ames, Iowa. I was a young mother of 2 little ones and husband Dave was finishing up his degree at Iowa State University. My sister Sandra of Pieces from my Heart & I were selling original finished handcrafts to various "country" gift shops in the area. This allowed me to be at home with my little ones and make some money at the same time. Then "burnout" set it...
The year was 1987, it was at that time I decided to market the idea rather then the finished product in pattern form.

I began with 3 patterns, the 1st three shown below. I printed them at the local Kinko's, pasted on a photo and invested in 1000 zip lock bags. I then took the 3 patterns plus 2 screaming little ones over to a great little craft/gift shop in Boone Iowa called Down Memory Lane. I wanted to get the owners (Nancy Hughes) opinion of whether she thought the patterns had any chance of selling. Nancy was busy with another customer so I laid the patterns down on the cutting table and went about my way to corral my 2 children so they didn't destroy the place. Once Nancy had a free moment, I went back to the counter to get the 3 patterns only to find they were gone & in the hands of a customer...made my day & the rest is history!

My kitchen table was my "studio", a rescued desk from the University's garbage was my "office" and the stair steps leading upstairs was my "warehouse", small and humbling BUT it worked! The pattern photos were taken with borrowed camera & lighting equipment from the universities photo department and my darling husband was the photographer!!
So, if you're ready for a good laugh, take a look at the pattern designs from my 1st year in business...

Love Bunny

Surprise for Mom

Best Friends

Lit'l Bo Peep

Going to Market

Country Folk Angel

Green Meadow Flock

19th Century St. Nick

Sorry contest has ended, winner will be announced Monday morning!
Let's turn this post into some fun...
Can you tell me the pattern titles of any or all of those first three patterns (the photos without titles)? Time to dig out those vintage patterns you have tucked away ladies! If you know any of the titles, leave a comment. If you don't know the names, well shoot you can always guess! Comments with correct titles will go into a pot and one winner will be drawn from the pot. The winning name will enjoy a $50.00 shopping spree at http://www.countrystitchesonline.com/. Contest ends on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM CST. Winner will be announced Monday morning.

To "thank you" for 23 wonderful years in the pattern business I will be offering free shipping on Saturday, March 13th for 23 hours. Offer begins at 9:00 AM CST Saturday, ending at 8:00 AM Sunday morning CST. Remember we turn our clocks ahead this weekend! This offer applies to domestic Internet orders only, thanks for understanding.
Have a good day,

Just had to share this...
As I was preparing this post, I laid the photos out and showed them to my DH...and he even remembered the pattern title of the very 1st pattern design. We sat and reminisced, and mainly critiqued his photography skills, and laughed a whole lot. I should probably mention he wasn't schooling to be a photographer...it's probably best he sticks with designing & engineering machines, don't ya think??


So sweet...

New charm arrivals & they are as cute as can be...measuring in at just a 1/2" or less. I can hardly wait to add these to the Patera pendants...need to get my jewelry making goodies out again! They would make cute doll necklaces, adornments to cross stitch or how about pinning one to a pin keep. The little mittens would be darling stitched to the chest of a snowman doll...so many ideas, so little time!
All charms are available in either silver or gold and very affordable at just $1.50 each!

Old fashioned Sewing Machine
Button charm with thread & the thread forms the loop for hanging...very cute!

Teeny tiny thimble with needle...precious!

Cute little daisy dangle...

Mittens on a string...string forms the loop for hanging.

Love the teeny tiny snowflake that dangles from this charm...wonderful!

Jack o Lantern charm is just 1/2" tall and is 3 dimensional!

Love this one!

And last but not least is this sweet little 3 dimensional acorn charm.
Charms are now posted on our website for purchase.

Have a good evening,


The truth about the tulips...

First let me say that my darling husband isn't one of those guys that surprises me with flowers....darn it! He knows I love flowers, but still very rarely does he give me flowers. So....a lady's got to do what she's gotta do! I've been gifting myself each week with a fresh new bouquet of tulips! If you've noticed I've had tulips in my photos here on my blog and even as props on my new pattern covers.
My darling husband has noticed the tulips each week and nonchalantly asks, "Where did the flowers come from?" I reply with, from my lover or I might mix it up a tad and say from my secret admirer". He says,"hmm" and end of conversation.

Its quite funny really...well worth the 10 bucks to see the expression, or should I say lack of expression! But he keeps asking, so I just keep telling little white lies...

This weeks tulips are a beautiful pink with white tipped edges. I have displayed them in one of my Ironstone pitchers. See the large pitcher to the right of the flowers? Tis a new purchase and a great bargain at just 7 bucks...isn't a Meakin piece, but oh well...I love it just the same! Won't it look beautiful filled with peonies this summer?

At least one male in the house likes flowers...
He likes to be apart of the display & enjoys a catnap under the tulips. His silky white Birman fur looks lovely with the ironstone...

Oh, yea...
the truth about the tulips?

Dearest Darling Husband of mine,
If you should happen to ever read your wife's blog...
the tulips come from Wally World (aka Wal-mart)
and there is no secret admirer...
just you!
But it's been fun while it lasted...no need to ask where they came from again!
if you should ever venture out to Wal-Mart, they are right in the doorway on your left-hand side and they are only 5 bucks a bunch & 2 bunches fills my pitcher nicely!



Fun things to stitch!

Some new pattern arrivals from our favorite designers!
Here's a peek at a few...

"Antique Chalk Rabbit"
punch needle pattern by Jan Goos

"Love Letters Booklet"
various cross stitch patterns by Stacy Nash

"Peace & Plenty Quilt Pattern"
by Cheri Payne

"A Bird in Hand"
a nice mix of quilts, wool applique, pinkeeps and sewing rolls
by Renee Plains

and there's more...

hop on over to our website to see all of the new Spring~time pattern arrivals!

Have a good week...think Spring!



What a fun week...

We snuggled up on the couch
watched Thomas the Train,
Sesame Street...

brand new
shared our
acted silly
The only problem...
it went
too darn