Sweet Scents & Serenade

The flower
late May...

always in full bloom

in our parts

for the
Memorial Day Weekend...

Their beautiful fragrance

can fill up a room.

This years bouquet

is in a recently acquired

vintage vase.

Late May

also means


I've been serenaded

by this little guy

all weekend.

He has been busy

hauling sticks into a birdhouse

that sits outside

my living room window.

The little house
jam~packed with sticks.

Occasionally he will take a break

from nest building

and sit upon the roof of the house

and sings
& sings...


for Jenny Wren

to arrive.

He has built her several nests

in and around the yard

to choose from.

She will approve of one

and then

the housekeeping will begin.

She will then begin

to pull some of the sticks out
(why is it that men always over~build things?)

and bring in finer materials,

such as grasses and animal hair,

and form a little cup-shaped nest

to house

her tiny little

white with reddish brown speckled eggs.

So in the meantime,

I'll enjoy

these sweet scents


of late spring~time




Miss Jenny Wren approves

of this

little house

outside my window.

Enjoy your day,



I'll take a hard copy, please...

We received a phone call from son Matthew, a couple of days ago, informing us that he was headed to Grand Encampment, Wyoming for the holiday weekend. He was meeting up with a college friend & 18 other guys to camp and take in some fly fishing. He was uncertain whether he'd have cell phone coverage, in case I tried reaching him.

My response...
be careful
how long of a drive is that?
stay safe
do you know how to fly fish?
be careful when your in the water
(he informs me he will be standing in knee high water)
are there bears in Wyoming?
(he laughs and replies there are no bears in Wyoming)

Two day's later...
Phone rings, I answer, it is son Matthew (who is cutting in and out on his cell phone), informing me he is somewhere in Wyoming and his GPS isn't working on his phone and was just wondering if I would "hop onto the computer" and guide him to his destination! Mother has now gone into total panic mode & starting to hyperventilate (not quite, but close), so I pass him off onto his Dad. Dad takes phone from me (the one that hangs on our wall) and grabs his cell phone out of his pocket...phone junkie! One phone at ear and another in hand... Dad's first reply, "Yea, I hear it's pretty desolate, do you have enough gas?" So now dad is fidgeting with his cell phone screen, doing the stretching of fingers thing across the phone (like the weather man does), trying to zoom in on some 1" x 3" map on his phone screen. OMG... Mother is now screaming (not really, but close to), "where is our atlas, wouldn't it be easier to just get the atlas?" Dads replying, "I have one right here, as he holds up his phone." Yes, a 1" x 3" map that his 50 year old eyes can no longer read! So dad continues to fidget with his phone map as he keeps loosing Matthew on the phone. Mom is now thinking...Wonderful, this is just great, he is out in the middle of nowhere, a gazillion miles from any town, he's lost, gps isn't working, and no cell phone coverage...
and he doesn't own an atlas!
Atlas? What's that?

Dad has now moved to a larger map that his 50 year old eyes can read, our PC. He hops onto google earth and says "how cool is this?" He is now showing me actual photos of some desolate highway that our son is lost on, very reassuring. There aren't even cars on this interstate...

Son keeps calling, dad keeps answering phone, call keeps getting dropped...

Dad is now texting son directions. Mom now needs a Xanax... her lost son is now sending & receiving text messages while driving....something this mother continues to preach to her adult children to never. ever. do.

One message sent to dad, from son, reads - "Tell Mom not to worry"...

Question of the day...

do our twenty-something-year-olds even know there is such a thing as a road map? Would they even know how to use one? Do they still teach how to use a map & how to fold up a map in school?

In the meantime, I will stick with my old, worn & tattered atlas. It will always get me to where I'm going regardless of where I'm at...give me a hard copy, please!

AND one more thing...

are there bears in Wyoming?



A Time to Remember...

say "Thank You"
to the brave men & woman
who gave the ultimate
so we
may be
safe & free...

Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth...
~Thomas Moore

Wishing you all a safe & fun-filled Memorial Day,


3 for 2!

Introducing our 3 for 2 patterns...

Three patterns for the price of 2!
Large format patterns with colored photographs of finished items including a nice mix of needle art. Wool applique, punch needle, embroidery & cross stitch...

Projects in these patterns all coordinate, each piece accents the other creating a lovely display for your home.

Patterns are now uploaded and ready for purchase on our website.

With thy Needle & Thread,


I'm Back!

International Spring Quilt Market 2010 Booth...
I am back home from a successful Quilt Market, a bit exhausted & always relieved to have this behind oneself. The past several months have been consumed by the preparation for this show. The shop owners seemed eager to buy new goodies for their shops...drop by your local shop to see what's new & what's coming!

Today's plan was to begin unpacking and organizing the office. BUT... Summer arrived while we were at market! I neglected to turn the air on at the office before leaving, BIG mistake! I was greeted by a gush of hot & humid air upon opening the door this morning....ugghhh! So...change of plans! Plan B is to begin uploading the new Country Stitches - With thy Needle & Thread patterns onto the website at home (where it is much cooler) until the air conditioning catches up at the office. Tomorrow things should be back to normal and we will begin to ship orders.
Have a good day,



Can it be?
Can this little one really be 30 years old today?
This just seemed like yesterday...

Our annual visit to Grandma's the day she brought the baby chickens home....our job, dipping their beaks into the water.

One of my favorite pictures of you Erin...the only light in the brooder house was the warm glow of the heat lamps keeping the little chicks warm. You were 21 months old...close to the age of your very own little one. Yep, you do have a bit more hair then Beckham has!

The above photo was taken by Grandma of you & I, or should I say of you & my hands and nose? Body parts half cut off or a mysterious foot showing up at the bottom of a picture was Grandma's signature...hence, just my nose over there to the right, see it over there, nice! Little did we know, Grandma was just way ahead of times in body cropping when picture taking.

So Erin, it's another birthday that falls during Quilt Market...hate that when that happens!

Dad & I'll be thinking of you as we travel, unload and set up the booth today on this your 30Th birthday. I'll be thinking of the delicious meal Rob is cooking you and that yummy piece of birthday cake piled high with ice-cream & very much wishing I was there.

See you Monday & enjoy your day!

We Love You,

Mom & Dad

Almost there...

This photo pretty well sums up my past 4 months...lots & lots of moments where I felt like I was falling apart. Life does sometimes get in the way and we don't always allow for these un-planned occurrences in our hurry-scurry lives we live.

And for the hair...


I was just short of pulling my hair out one day, the day I couldn't remember how to use my Microsoft Office Excel program...after a few blankety blankety words expressed by myself on my thoughts of this program, my darling husband rescued me & my hair!!

Speaking of my darling husband, he will be making & working the Minneapolis show, so ladies please don't be too hard on him.

And p-l-e-a-s-e don't ask him any questions that he doesn't know the answer to...

BUT, I am almost there, I am almost ready, everything is almost done...

I have just a few small show details to finish up with today and then all the dollies & ditties will get carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and packed for their trip to Minneapolis. There are 20 fresh & new pattern designs being released at the show.

They are...

A Sparrow's Song

Cute as a Button

Emery the Sewing Mouse

Miss Hilda


The Sampler House

Halloween Sampler

Berries & Birds

Bluebird Serenade

Sweet Annie

PA Dutch 1757

Sweetheart Pinkeep

Snowflake Cherub

Candy Corn

Boo-tiful Bouquet

Berries & Cream

Home of the Brave

Trick or Tweet

Hallow's Eve

Snow Day

If time allows, I'll post pics of Market photos...so check back!

With thy Needle & Thread,



These days I'm finding myself sitting & pondering ~
maybe fretting is a better word...
am I going to get everything done that needs to be done?

We leave for market in a week from tomorrow, eekkkk!!!
Procrastination is not the reason I work right up until the very final deadline...
No, I don't consider myself a procrastinator.
I have this major problem of remaking everything I create at least one time over. Does anyone else out there in blog land do this? Darives me crazy!! There must me some scientific name for this illness, right??

Reminder: Country Stitches will be closed from May 12 - 24Th for final preparations and attendance of the International Quilt Market. You are welcome to shop online during this time, but orders will not ship until I return, unpack and get settled back in on May 25Th.

With thy Needle & Thread,


A nice mix of texture...

wool + prairie cloth + cross stitch = a wonderful mix!
"The Sampler House" table runner pattern coming soon!
This pattern will tempt all you wool appliquers to get that cross stitch needle & hoop out once again. This design is mostly wool applique with just a sprinkling of cross stitch motifs here & there for added charm. I love the mix of the 2 elements - wool applique & cross stitch. Prairie cloth is a heavier loosely woven cloth with coarse threads...with a great feel. The cross stitched motifs are worked over two threads, making for larger X's and great for those who want to dabble in cross stitch...not too tough or overwhelming!

Also arriving soon at www.countrystitchesonline.com are several new colors of wool felt-
Butternut Squash
Canyon Ridge
Beach Sand
Mustard Seed
Storm Clouds
Ocean Kelp
Peat Moss
Blue Snow...
beautiful colors, all inspired by nature!
These wool felts have a content of 30& wool/70% acrylic...just enough wool that when wet and dried they felt up real nice. Perfect for penny rugs & wool applique!

With thy Needle & Thread,


It takes a special person...

Nurses Day - May 6th.

As National Nurses Day approaches I cannot help but think of the wonderful & caring nurses my mother had during her 22 day stay in the Lakes Regional Hospital, Spirit Lake, IA. The nursing care that she received was superb.

Mother came out of surgery around 9:30 and was getting situated back into her room around 11:00 am. My mother is one to make sure no one goes hungry. A hour into recovery she is telling the nurse, who is keying in Mom's vitals into a computer, that she is concerned that she is missing her lunch & asking if her lunch is getting cold. The nurse puts her arm on Mom's hand and looks at my sisters and I and gives us a twinkling wink...a wink I'll never forget. A wink that reassured me my mother is in good hands. This nurse knew she had a special patient...

A patient, named Mom.

Our daughter, Erin, chose this demanding career & we couldn't be more proud of her hard work & dedication. Having a nurse in the family does come in handy...many phone calls with questions ,during my mothers situation, were made to this nurse daughter of ours. Thanks Erin for all your informative and reassuring phone calls during Grandmas hospitalization. I always hung up the phone feeling better after getting a nurses opinion & your words of encouragement...thanks dear!

Here is a special nurse poem I'd like to share with you ~ author unknown.

When the Lord made Nurses He was into his sixth day of overtime.

An angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order?

A nurse has to be able to help an injured person, breathe life into a dying person,

and give comfort to a family that has lost their only child and not wrinkle their uniform.

They have to be able to lift 3 times their own weight,

work 12 to 16 hours straight without missing a detail,

console a grieving mother as they are doing CPR on a baby

they know will never breathe again.

They have to be in top mental condition at all times,

running on too-little sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals.

And they have to have six pairs of hands.

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way!"

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord,

"It's the two pairs of eyes a nurse has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that does quick glances while making

note of any physical changes, And another pair of eyes that can look

reassuringly at a bleeding patient and say,

"You'll be all right ma'am" when they know it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model

that can talk to a grieving family member whose child has been

hit by a drunk driver...who, by the way, is laying in the next room uninjured,

and feed a family of five on a nurse's paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the nurse very slowly,

"Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses;

recite drug calculations in it's sleep; intubate, fibrillate, medicate,

and continue CPR nonstop until help arrives...and still it keep it's sense of humor.

This nurse also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a

multi-victim trauma, coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their

door,comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper

how nurses are insensitive and uncaring and are only doing a job."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the nurse.

"There's a leak," she pronounced.

"I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled-up emotions, for patients they've tried in vain to save,

for commitment to the hope that they will make a difference

in a person's chance to survive, for life."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," He said.

Hugs & special thanks to all you nurses out there,



Hands to Work...

Busy Hands = Happy Heart

Gluegun-burned fingertips, wood stain under the fingernails, coffee stained hands, snippets of threads on my jeans


a needle pinned to my shirt...

don't I look lovely?

This has been my life the past 2 months...

Now that the pattern design process is complete, it is time to get myself whipped into shape before meeting our customers at Quilt Market.

hair cut




lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks...hmmm, probably isn't going to happen!!!

With thy Needle & Thread,



Catch a Peak!

Meet Miss Hilda...
soon to be flying in on her broom!

Shop owners attending International Quilt Market please stop by our booth #3401, we love seeing familiar faces and putting a face with the voice on the other end of the phone. It is there where you can meet Miss Hilda along with many other new pattern designs from Country Stitches ~ With thy Needle & Thread. If you are a consumer, put a little bug in the ears of your LNS or QS folks that you love Miss Hilda and perhaps they'll order it just for you....hehehee heee!

With thy Needle & Thread,


A May Day Sampler!

Wishing you all
sweet & special
May Day!

A FREE chart for your stitching pleasure...

Stitch count ~ 151 x 112

Would look lovely stitched on 40 count over 2 threads with an approximate finished size of 71/2" x 5 3/4". A sweet little size to stitch into a little hanging pinkeep to hold old treasures, such as buttons, hat pins & of course a key!

Click here for a printable May Day Sampler 2010 chart.
I think this design would look wonderfully prim on dark linen...Remember...we'd love to see your finished piece
so send us pictures & we'll post them right here!

The above chart is not to be sold, shared, linked to or used for free handouts.

All rights reserved, Copyright 2010 - Brenda Gervais

lately, pay us a visit...there are lots of new cross stitch patterns!

What was your favorite May Basket treat? My favorite was from the Gazda girls, their little cups with pipe cleaner handles were traditionally filled with popcorn, peanuts and pastel mints...yummy, loved that combination of salt & sweets.

"When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
Fresh violets open every day:
To some new bird each hour we listen."
- Lucy Larcom

Have a good weekend,