My Bags are packed...

How can he possibly be big enough to go down the slippery slide
all by himself
It.Just.Can't Be.
Looking forward to spending a few days with Beckham & Mommy while Daddy's gone to Iceland on business.

It's been five l-o-n-g weeks since I've seen this little guy. I'm sure he has learned all sorts of new "things" since I saw him last.

Looking forward to days filled with Thomas Train, sticker books, story books, walks to the park, Cheetos's & slippery slide rides.

Have a good week,


A day's worth of stitching
"The Pumpkin Farm"...

The design itself is small, measuring 6 3/4" x 6 1/4", but there are a lot of stitches in the piece. Estimated release date of this pattern is mid July. I will be spending every free moment with this piece in hand. The base for "Pumpkin Farm" is 40 count linen that I gently aged, before beginning, to give the cloth a nice "time-worn" look. Design is worked with 1 strand of DMC over 2 threads.

Check back each Sunday afternoon for
pictures of progression of this piece.

With thy Needle & Thread,


Your wish is granted...

From this...
to this...
The Candy Corn design is now available in a cross stitch pattern! We had several requests for a cross stitch version of this design, so we converted it for you! We try hard to always meet our customers requests.
The Candy Corn cross stitch piece is worked on 30 count Gold Weeks Dye Works linen over 2 threads using WDW flosses as well. The orange & white portions of the corn are stitched, leaving the linen to be the golden yellow portion of the corn. I couldn't decide on a finish for this piece...do I put it on an oil can base, or do I just leave. I decided to keep it simple, putting no base on this piece. Corn measures 5 1/2" tall and will be fun tucked into an old wooden bowl filled with acorns & pine cones.

With thy Needle & Thread,



Dictionary Style...


Just arrived...
These & other new patterns,
from some of our
favorite designers,
just posted
on our website...
Check them out when you have a moment.

With thy Needle & Thread,

Meet my assistant...

Just as quick as my sewing machine starts a hummin',
out of nowhere,
even out of a deep cat-nap
he appears...
Look whose come to help...
That's fine, you can help.
you must be a good kitty.
you may curl up on your human mom's wool stash,
no toe-taps on the wool
will be allowed.
And for sure, no pushing
mom's pins off onto the floor...
that pretty tinsel garland over there
is definitely
off limits.
Sometimes it's really tough being a good kitty...

Have a good weekend,




My exact words as I'm heading out my back door on my way to Country Stitches.

Scared the bejeebers out of me!

Just a short 6 feet away was Bambi! Only the window screen separated us..

My windows with flower boxes,

flower boxes about Bambi's height...

You don't spose?

He wouldn't?

He wouldn't think about having a breakfast of


Would he?

Upon closer examination of my plants in the window boxes, I've decided breakfast is now over...
a breakfast of begonia blossoms.
And here all along I've been blaming the slugs...
sorry slugs.

A better shot of him through the glass portion of the window...

Oh, wait!

The tail goes up!

It must be startled by the roofers next door, I'm thinkin. The mother deer raises her tail to warn her young of danger.


Scratch that thought.

They also raise their tail to
not quite sure how to say this...

Thanks for the "present" Dear Deer. So glad you came for a visit.

Note to myself: Remember location of this "present" when I mow this afternoon...
Too many fresh garden greens will do this to ya!

Now how's that for an action shot! Sorry dear...didn't mean to scare the "you know what" out of you.
Don't mind me... just finish what you're doin' there & perhaps next time do it somewhere else, please... just want to take a quick picture of you to share with my blog friends this morning.



More deer treats?

This is a young deer, I think. Not a deer pro by any means, but judging from his fuzzy little antler stubs on the top of it's head it makes me think he is a young deer. Please tell me, was this deer just born this Spring or is it older? Look at how skinny his tummy is. He needs corn, not begonias...

I hope it isn't sick...
Seems very strange for a deer to be in our yard, in town...
Not a typical place to see these guys.

My first instincts were I must go to the farm-supply store on my way to work and buy him some corn. He looks hungry. But my better judgement tells me no as I've heard of horror stories about deers going through windows. My old house is full of big windows and I really don't need for this little fella to make a grand appearance into our home.

So off he goes to the next yard to perhaps nibble on
Iris greens...

Tis now 10:30...

I really need to leave this dear deer
& get to work,



Summer Time

There shall be
eternal summer
in the

Happy 1st day of summer everyone...



~A Fun & Fast Stitch ~

a new pattern design from With thy Needle & Thread

A sweet little Hilda the witch


Halloween motifs

are stitched on 28 count flax linen over 1 thread.

The band is wrapped around an old whisk broom,

then carefully whip stitched

to secure.

The broom pictured was taken from my ever-growing collection of brooms, most

of which were purchased

on ebay.

A fun little Halloween ditty to tuck in a cupboard or hang from a peg rack or door
One can never have too many "quick-stitch" projects, in your stitching basket,
to work in between those bigger pieces...

This design can be finished in an afternoon of stitching!

Pattern now available for purchase online

With thy Needle & Thread,




What once were

three young Service Berry trees

heavy laden

with red berries

in my backyard

are now



A favorite verse of mine

came to mind

as I was entertained by Mrs. Ruby Red-Breast


jumping & plucking

the ripe berries from my trees...

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. ~ Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712

Spending this rainy Friday charting a new cross stitch design...

I'm thinking it will have fruit trees laden with pretty little red fruit,

a bird or two,

or three

and perhaps the above verse (with a few minor word changes).

I'll keep you posted on it's process...

The sampler will be named ~ Fruit for a Song

With thy Needle & Thread,



Cross Stitch Tip...

We all know knotting our thread when doing cross stitch is a huge NO NO. We all know that it can be a tedious task to keep the end of our thread securely tucked under our first few stitches to secure the loose end, right?

Well I thought I'd pass on this little knotting trick. Some of you may already use this method, but for those of you just beginning, I thought you'd like to give this little trick a try. This method only works when you are using 2 strands of floss.

So, here goes....

Pull out approximately 24" of floss from your floss skein and cut. Separate out just 1 strand of floss (yes 1 strand, not 2). We are now ready to begin. Remember you can click on the photos below to enlarge them for better viewing if necessary.

Bring the 2 cut edges of the floss together, having cut edges even.

Thread these two cut ends through your needle. So you have one continuous piece of floss with cut ends going through the eye of the needle, forming 2 strands for stitching.

Let's begin to stitch. Bring your needle up at your beginning location of the cross stitch.

Before pulling thread all of the way through, poke needle down into linen forming half of your cross stitch.

Now flip your linen over to the wrong side...

see the little loop?
Now run your needle through the loop, pulling thread until it is tight up against the linen.

And that is it! Your thread is now secure on the backside of your work without knots or tucking loose ends of floss under stitches.

With thy Needle & Thread,


I've received a couple emails asking if this knotting method works with the hand dyed threads. I DO, I use this method with hand dyed flosses that have subtle changes in color. The piece I'm currently working on (picture below) is using Weeks Dye Works flosses and with this knotting method. But you want to keep your thread on your needle relatively short in length (12" or so). I still complete each cross stitch before moving onto the next as you would with the regular knotting method.

Here is the effect of hand dyed floss using this knotting method...


Free Shipping at Country Stitches!

Offer has now ended

In celebration of Flag Day
is offering
Free shipping applies to online orders only.
Hurry though, free shipping
ends tonight
at 10:00 pm CST
Offer good on domestic orders only, thanks for understanding.
Have a good day,


Is it okay...

for the cook (or in this case, the baker)
to taste test her food?
Or is this just a total
Worse yet, I am taking these to someone elses home...
but it's just my sister's house, so then it's okay...right?
The taste test gives these a 5 star. Now I will spend the rest of the afternoon trying to forget about the fact that I very badly would like another sample...
DH and I are spending the weekend with my sister and her DH at their cabin. It should be a fun brother/sister weekend. My DH is her DH's brother...sisters married brothers. We are going to sneak over to Country Threads in Garner, IA for their annual Flag Day event in the morning. Their flag day event includes outdoor vendors, antiques & a plant sale....should be a good time and I suppose I'll feed my fabric addiction while I'm there and bring home a couple more bags of fabric...

I asked my sister what I should bring for food and her response email goes like this...

I suck at baking so you could bring something sweat (she means sweet:-) but I am trying to loose (she means lose :-) weight.
I tried to wear the pants I wore to market Saturday night and they were about an 1 ½”
from meeting in the middles (she means middle:-) – a bag of Carmel corn a day will do that!
I’m keeping the food simple.

She makes me regurgitate...she's the skinny sister in the family and she can't get her size 2 pants to button. That is too bad, don't we all feel sorry for her??? Can we all throw rotten tomatoes at her? If I ate a bag of Carmel corn a day I would be a Two Ton Tessie.
Life just isn't fair sometimes...
I think I need

Almond Toffee Squares
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup cold butter
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (yum, love this stuff...i can eat this by spoonfuls right from the can...perhaps this is why I'm not a size 2)
1 (6 oz.) package Heath English Toffee Bits
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure Almond extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar and 1/4 cup almonds in a large bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I used my food processor for this). Press into ungreased 13" x 9" baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Combine sweetened condensed milk, toffee bits, egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour mixture over hot, partially baked crust. Top with remaining almonds. Continue baking for 23 - 27 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into squares.

Have a good weekend,


Wool crazy!

The postman delivered a package today
full of fun & exciting
wool applique patterns
from Deborah Busby
Wooden Spool Designs.
Hop on over to our website
check them out!
Patterns pictured, plus many others, can be found
under the
NEW ITEMS category there.
With thy Needle & Thread,


Don't feel bad...

I've never been able to master the eye-liner brush either! Grandma looks like a racoon when she tries...
Maybe next time...
put the make-up on after you've eaten your Wheaties! That might be the trick, no?

It's here...

The prairie cloth (not to be confused with osnaburg) and ric rac used on the 3 new table runner patterns have arrived. I will be taking photos and uploading these items onto our website, for purchase, over the weekend. Prairie cloth is a wonderful, slightly coarser, cloth. It is used for the base of the below runners with cross stitched and wool appliqued motifs.
I spent my early morning hours with the beautiful Country Red Prairie Cloth in my hoop. I am working over 1 thread which is to be about 28 count. The coarseness of the cloth keeps the floss from slipping behind the threads, which is always helpful, when working itty bitty stitches.
So far, we have the Linen & Country Red colors in stock. Other colors are due in sometime later in the month...will keep you posted on their arrival. Prairie cloth is 100% cotton.
With thy Needle & Thread,



We enjoyed a relaxing & quiet holiday weekend, just the dh and myself. I enjoyed some much needed R&R,
took the bikes for a ride on the Sauk Rail Trail which goes from tree covered trail, to winding along marshland, to wide open Iowa countryside, to picturesque pastures filled with cows. The highlight of the ride was the sighting of a male bald eagle, perched in a dead tree in the wetland, keeping watch over the mother Canada geese and goslings below (was a bit nervous for the goslings)
grilled some great summer-time food.
Sharing with you today is a family favorite...
Grilled Mustard~Glazed Pork Loin
1/2 cup grainy mustard
6 tablespoons apple jelly
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 boneless pork loin roast (2 1/2 - 3 pound)
Whisk together jelly, sugar, oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in bowl. Reserve one-third of mustard mixture for serving. Coat meat completely with half of remaining mustard mixture.
I grill this on our Weber charcoal grill with the indirect heat method. Periodically brush with mustard mixture. Grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (approximately 1 hour 15 min). Take off grill and let set until temperature reaches 170 degrees.

Slice and serve with reserved mustard mixture. So yummy....enjoy!

Have a good day,