Do you want in on a little secret????
(whispering voice)

(in a much louder voice, imagine me shouting)

I made the final satin stitch, on this hot Sunday afternoon,
on the antique reproduction
Ann Dickinson - 1819 Sampler.

I plan on spending this evening
just looking at it,
loving it,
admiring it,
I might even throw in
a happy dance
or two!!

If I drank wine,
I'd pop a cork in celebration
of this finish,
but since I don't,
I'll eat blue cotton candy- flavored
salt water taffy instead...

And just a little note,
about a comment
from Lyn
in regards to yesterday's post...
The post about my short-legged cow sampler.
you see,
Lyn thinks my cow
looks like a Corgi with horns...
I'm trying my hardest not to
And if you don't know what that means,
just imagine me laughing real real hard
with blue teeth
and blue tongue
from all the salt water taffy
I've consumed today...
(do you have a visual yet???)
Thanks Lyn for making me laugh!!

Have a good week everyone,


See that cow?

The short-legged cow?
It's all his fault
that I now own this sampler...
Something more
to add
to my "bucket-list"
things to do...
I know,
most people
travel the world
to their lists
I add

I hope to reproduce
Isbell B. Mason
that others
may enjoy her too.
The sampler was stitched
by 7 year old Isbell
(love her name, by the way).
She worked the piece
at the Price School
Isbell stitched
her last stitch
on June 3,1831.

Other sampler news...
The antique reproduction
"Mansion House at Fox Hollow"
is on it's way from model stitcher, Susanna.
It is wonderful...
worked in faded blues,
peachy-salmon flosses.
Think big house,
and that cute fox in the corner,
remember him?

I'm to the last and final portion
of the
Ann Dickinson sampler,
a row of satin stitches
that runs
the width
of the sampler...
which by the way
is taking me longer then I expected.

Release dates for the
Ann Dickinson
Mansion House at Fox Hollow
coming soon!

Have a good weekend everyone,


Like Mother, Like Son?

In visiting my favorite blog
I came upon this...
Look at that blond hair...
{sigh again}

My eye was first drawn to that
cute little row,
of neatly torn,
and placed,

It made me laugh
how "Erin-like"
(his Mommies name is Erin)
that little row of bread looks...
orderly fashion.

I then couldn't help but wonder,
who tore the bread
into tiny little pieces
placed them in an orderly fashion???

Was it Beckham,
was it
his Mommy?

If it was his Mommy,
that is to be expected.

If it was Beckham,
I see he is learning
his Momma!

and the fish pond?
Where is it,
you ask?
The pond
just outside of Iowa's largest shopping mall.
The mall where Mommy likes
to shop
Pottery Barn,
William Sonoma,
Baby Gap
the likes...
The pond is bribing bait,
if you will,
to get the little one
to go to the mall
throwing fits!!!

I can hear it now...
"If you're a good boy,
we'll go feed the fish
when we're done shopping"...

L.O.V.E I.T.

Have a good one,


Trial Run...

See that cute little mother of pearl purse frame?
Isn't she sweet?
I've been wanting to incorporate these into a design for some time.
I've taken the plunge...
a trial run,
if you will!
And here is my prototype...
The frames do not come with any instructions or pattern pieces...
so there was some guessing,
by gosh
by gollying
going on.
But I'm happy with how the little purse looks now,
feel good about starting all over
with a new little purse...
One with cross stitched motifs
adorning the purse.

Yes, this little purses base fabric is linen...
as in cross stitch linen!
And its lined with
antique reproduction calico.
{sigh again}

A sweet little design has been charted
for this piece and now I'll put my needle to linen!

Think of a petite little purse,
just 5" tall...
a safe-haven for your
favorite scissors,
sewing thimble,
strawberry emery
needle case...

Stay tuned!

With thy Needle & Thread,


A little reminder...

to take time to stop and smell
the flowers...

Life is somewhat busy busy
here at Country Stitches,
I treated myself
to a little bouquet
of these...
as a little reminder to myself
to stop,
take time,
smell the flowers.

The Gerber daisies are raised by a local grower,
who sells them at our local farmers market.
She grows over 600 Gerber daisy plants
and has over
5000 Gladiolus bulbs...
that's 5000,
not 500!

Aren't they purdy?
Why they are so pretty,
I couldn't resist...
I had to "play"
with the pictures
Off to work early today.
Lots & lots to do...
We will have all the new pattern orders
shipped by mid-week.
keep an eye on your mailbox for your goodies
and many many thanks
for your patronage!

Have a good week everyone,


Why you ask...

are there letters missing?
I get asked this often
so thought it would be worth sharing with you all
in today's post.
Next time you have the opportunity
to view an antique sampler,
take note if there are any letters missing.
There are various reasons/beliefs
as to why there are letters missing.

We must remember that young hands stitched
what we know today
as "school girl samplers"
and mistakes were common.
Also depending on where the young girl lived,
many letters may be omitted
due to her nationality
and the alphabet they wrote.

Samplers were also stitched by religious groups.
Their beliefs were to include a mistake in their work.
A perfectly stitched sampler
would boast
pride & vanity
and this was shamed upon.
Perfection was left to be for their creator,
and their creator only.

Samplers stitched before the 19Th century
may also be missing the letters J and U.
The alphabet as we know today
only had 24 letters in it
at that time.
Since some letters were
similar in appearance
they were used interchangeably,
such is the case with the I and J,
and the U and V.

In keeping with the belief
of perfection
is to be saved
for our creator,
and in honor
of the young girls
who created
these wonderful keepsakes,
you will find
I too
leave the J off
not by mistake, but by purpose,
when I design a sampler...
this is my signature,
if you will,
now you know
the rest of the story!

* * * * * * *

Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler Frames!
We will be offering
a limited supply
of the above picture frames
sized to fit
35 count linen.
These are special orders,
please allow extra time.
Cost - $79.00 (includes US shipping)
Call us at (712)732.5419 to get on our list.

I've taken a couple of question in regards to
what is the framed "Birds of a Feather"
finished piece resting upon.
No, this is not part of the frame.
However, it is
a huge
antique coat hook
that works
perfectly as a frame stand.

* * * * * * *
Have you seen these?
Aren't these cuter
then a
bug's ear?
New stitching goodies
from Kelmscott Designs
just arrived!

Have a good day,


Hop on your broom...

and hurry on over
Country Stitches
the fastest way possible...
Some country-folk call this,
as the crow flies...

NEW patterns are now posted on our website
for your viewing pleasure,

Have a good evening everyone,

Busy as a Bee...

We are busy little bees,
here today,
at Country Stitches!
The queen bee
is busy getting
the NEW patterns ready for posting...
(I get to be a queen for the day, yayyyyyy...)
After today is done,
I have a hunch,
that I'll feel like trading my tiara in
for a nice glass of iced-tea
my comfy chair!!

Shouldn't "bee" too much longer of a wait folks!
Hoping to have NEW patterns
other new goodies
posted by this evening...

Remember this sweet little guy???Susanna in California,
is busy stitching
this 18th century reproduction sampler,
titled - Mansion House at Fox Hollow for me,
as I type.
Release date
for this chart
to be some time in September.

The Sampler of the Seaons - Winter chart, flosses and linen
shipping out to
model stitcher
Suzanne in Ohio

My floss order for this piece
was lost in cyber-space,
so I'm slightly late
in getting this one sent off....
Think of sleigh rides, ice skating, , and snowman building
in a quaint little village...
This chart
will be released
on the
first day of Autumn.

As for myself,
I am putting the last stitches into the Ann Sandles 1846 reproduction sampler
then I'll be moving onto some
doll & wool applique designs.

Trying to stay cool in Iowa,


Sunday at the Movies!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Click the arrow in the purple circle to begin!

With thy Needle & Thread,


This & That...

I subscribe to Country Thread's newsletter, The Goat Gazette and I've so enjoyed the July's issue. The recipes this issue all start out with a commercial mix. I'm pretty sure I've gained 5 pounds since this newsletter arrived. Each recipe sounds as good as the next.

this morning I treated the dear husband and myself to the Rhubarb Cinnabon Muffins....
and since
I don't want to get fat
all by myself,
I thought
I'd share
with you all...
Please do not notice that I spelled the word "rhubarb" wrong on the above photo
who decided
there needed to be
in this word anyway???
Looks fine without it, doesn't it???

Rhubarb Cinnabon Muffins
1 box Betty Crocker Cinnabon brand Cinnamon Streusel Muffin mix
1 cup cut up rhubarb (I used frozen and worked just fine)

Mix muffin mix according to package. Add rhubarb to muffin mix before spooning into a 12 count muffin tin. Top muffins with streusel topping. Bake for 16 - 21 minutes.
So simple and so delicious...simply delicious!

I couldn't help but think of little Beckham,
as I was eating these muffins this morning.
He is a muffin man!
Loves muffins.
I was visiting him on Wednesday,
and he and Momma had made muffins that morning.
I arrived around 9:30 AM
he was enjoying his morning breakfast of bran muffins.
His Momma says he always needs two muffins,
at a time.
One in hand
another one
sitting on a plate nearby.
One with peanut butter on
one without.
Just in case,
he wants to make sure
he has dibs
on another one.
You just have to love the funny little ways of a 2 1/2 year old, don't you?

Which reminds me of our kitty.
When his food dish gets down to about 20 pieces of food,
he goes on hunger strike,
sitting by his dish,
looking at me with those big blue eyes,
wishing his human mom would top out his bowl...
Kitties have funny ways, too!


It's been hotter
then a witch's
"you know what"
in a brass brazier
Sorry about the description,
I hope I don't offend anyone,
this does best describe
how hot
it really

Heat index has been in the 120's.
Heat warnings are in effect until Wednesday....
The warm and humid air
has really filled in the flower pots nicely,
the weeds are growing
right along
with everything else...

The mosquitoes are out in full force too,
any time of day,
making it
nearly impossible
to weed the gardens.

I stepped outside yesterday
to quickly snap a photo of my burgundy lilies.
The photo shoot didn't last long,
as the camera lens kept fogging over
from the high humidity
the mosquitoes
were about carrying me away.
welcome to summer in Iowa...

Have a good weekend everyone & stay cool,


Some pretty little girls...

You may recall from yesterday's post,
I was on the hunt
for some
Black-eyed Susan's...
Aren't they sweet?

I'll tie them in a bundle
and let them air dry
before they get tucked
into a
ditty pocket.

I just couldn't resist...

I had to do the he loves me,
he loves me not test.
How many of you
did this
when you were young?
How many of you
and counted the petals
before you started?

Have a good weekend everyone,


Finish Work...

My days are being spent
just that
extra special
finish touch
new pattern designs!
Today's finish work
will take me for a ride in the countryside,
in search of wild flowers
in full bloom around the lake...
hoping to stumble upon
my favorite,
Black Eyed-Susan's.
If I'm lucky enough to locate some,
they'll be part of the finish
in "Tending the Pumpkins".

Lots of
coming your way soon!

With thy Needle & Thread,


Oh Baby...

Grilled Iowa Pork Chops
Iowa Sweet Corn
Vine-ripened tomatoes...
Life does not get any better then this...
I love summer food!

8 oz. can pineapple slices
4 thick cut Iowa chops
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set aside. Place pork chops in a large shallow dish. Combine reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, olive oil, onion, garlic and brown sugar; mixing well. Pour over chops, cover and marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours. Remove pork chops, reserving marinade. Grill over medium coals, turning frequently and basting with marinade. Grill both sides of pineapple slices until grill marks appear. Top each pork chop with grilled pineapple ring and serve.

Have a good week everyone,


Birds of a Feather, the finish!

Part 3
is revealed...
Mystery solved!
Watch for Part 3 to be arriving in your participating shop this week.

A big "Thank You" to those of you who joined in on the fun!

With thy Needle & Thread,


Ann Sandles & Friends...

A tiny snippet of the Ann Sandles sampler...
carefully framed
in a tiny 1 1/4" frame,
sealed with a glass-like resin.
A pin back is added to the backside
for your wearing pleasure!
Fun to wear
also makes a fun gift
for that
special stitching friend.

See Ann & her friends here.

It's going to be a working weekend,
I'm afraid.
"Witch Hazel" safely arrived
on her broom this morning
and she now needs to be finished,
along with some fun
punch needle designs!

"Whatever the hand findest to do, do with all thine heart."

Hope you are all having a weekend filled with whatever you like doing best,


Rumor has it...

she's on her broom
headed to my mail box!
I have a fun finish
envisioned for this piece...
we'll see how it plays out!

"Witch Hazel Sampler"
coming soon!
Stay tuned,
right here,
for more details.

With thy Needle & Thread,


The pallette is picked...

let the stitching begin!
Watch for the release
of the
Winter Sampler of the Season
on the first day of Autumn.

Also coming soon...
New punch needle patterns!
With thy Needle & Thread,


New Colors!

Our shipment of rick rack and chenille trims arrived and there are NEW COLORS! There is also a new "skinny" chenille available in the new colors.
Vampires Cape
Beach Roses
Nautical Blue
Norfolk Pine
Christmas Wreath
Dried Roses
Candy Cane

New colors available in both sizes of rick rack and chenille. Check out the new trims out here.

We also received, in this shipment, a portion of the colors we were sold out of. If you have a rick rack or chenille trim pending, these began shipping on Friday of last week. Thanks for your patience, this trim is flying out the door faster then we can get it in. The trims are scrumptious and adds just that perfect final touch to your needle work...well worth the wait!

I love it when the work week begins on Tuesday...don't you?
Have a good week everyone,


Happy 4th of July!

A big thank you to the below ladies who supplied us photos of their finished Soar Samplers in celebration of the 4th of July.
Pat B

Sharon Heisel


Patti Dagg

Mary Vieira

Judy Lutsik

Henrietta Allegrante

Harriet Aten

Connie Schwarz

Wishing everyone a fun-filled & safe 4th!


Opening up...

I'm going to open up
this morning
tell you one of my
deep dark secrets...
Do you know what the above photo is a picture of???
Do you recognize those tabs???
Did you play with these???

I will admit,
it is a darling little dress,
sweet little hand bag
and look,
she is knitting...how sweet is that?
a picture of a fancy coat and hat...
See those tabs???
Okay, here I go...
I'm going to confess to the whole wide world..
I really
despised paper dolls
when I was a child.
There I did it.
I feel so much better now,
getting that out in the open.
And you are asking...
where is she going with this????
Let me tell you.

I collect antique picture frames.
Don't ask me why,
I just like them
you never know when you might need one, right???

On one of my antique picture frame treasure hunts,
I came across the above picture.
Now, the frame really isn't anything too special.
But it was the sweet little girl that caught my eye.
I carefully took the picture off the nail
checked the price tag
in doing so,
saw another note.
The note read...
very old paper doll,
clothes attached to backside of frame.
So, I turned the frame over
attached to the backside of the frame
was a zip lock bag
with another little dress
a fancy coat

I stood there and had flash backs of my paper doll days.
I then began to laugh
the total frustration
that this childhood toy
put upon me.
Those *&#*@?!@ tabs!
They never worked
how did they expect
to fold something straight
over a curved head, shoulder or arm????
You could always see part of the tabs
from the front side.
DID NOT like that,
it really bothered me.
My dolls were always coming undressed
DID NOT like that,
that really bothered me too...

I decided to buy the framed paper doll,
as part of my therapy.
It makes me laugh
every time
I look at the picture.

And with that
I feel as though
I've won the battle
with the paper doll...

I can even admit that
she is absolutely darling
in her 4th of July attire.
Don't you think?
Have a safe & fun 4th,

P.S. photos of finished Soar samplers must be emailed to me by tomorrow to make the 4th of July posting.