Who's got the thimble?

How many of you played hide the thimble
as a child?
I did.
We used buttons too,
if we couldn't locate Mom's thimble...
My older sisters
 were always the hiders
 and it was I 
who was always
 the finder...


I wanted so badly to be the hider...
It probably has something to do with my obsession
that I have with thimbles
Isn't it funny how our childhood
reflects what we 
like & do
as adults?

 There is just something about these little
or not so ornate,
 dome shaped
pieces of metal,
 with dimples in them
that fascinates me...

I collect all shapes, sizes and various metals...
I currently have a small collection
 of thimbles
 displayed on the frame
of Mary Murgatroyd's sampler.
  I have two samplers stitched by Mary,
 they are some of my personal favorites. 
 They are companion samplers,
 both worked it lots of reds, sage greens and sea foam blues
and both completed in 1842.

This seems to be a safe spot for the thimbles, 
high up
and away from fur paws...
the fur child
  likes to swat them off surfaces
 then roll them across the floor...
I then once again
am thee finder of the thimbles!

See those teeny little thimbles in the front?
Those are child-sized thimbles,
they measure less then a 1/2" tall.
 So tiny & sweet...
 I treasure these.

Up until sometime in the 20th century
most young girls
 were taught to sew by their mothers
or sewing schools,
so there was a large need for small thimbles.
These thimbles were typically made from copper,
 a cheaper alloy,
 as these thimbles
were typically out-grown
 before they wore out. 

 You will usually find children sized thimbles
 in good conditions
 due to the fact
 that they weren't used
years and years.

The fancier silver thimbles
were usually custom made.
Many of these will have verses
 hand engraved along the bands.

 Shown here are 3 sizes of thimbles,
women's ...

Look at how these thimbles have aged...
their copper surface 
has become a lovely
green verdigris.

Aren't they lovely?
Even thimbles grow 
old gracefully,
don't your think?

I have worked with my Thimble, and like it extremely.
- M.J. Holroyd, Girlhood, 1793

With thy needle & thread,

The THIMBLE PURSE, a stitcher's necklace
pattern series
releases June 6th!
Hurry up,
go find your thimbles!


Midweek Musings...

I've been getting some emails in regards to which Whitman's Sampler box is needed for the upcoming release of the "Strawberry Hill Sampler" pattern...
I want to clarify this for everyone, so you don't buy the wrong one and have to eat 2 boxes of chocolates...darn!

It is the 12 oz Whitman's Sampler Assorted Chocolate box
as shown here...

You can buy these at Walgreens, Wal-Mart and I was doing the happy dance when I even saw a small display of thee box in my local grocery store last night!   You can also order them online directly from Whitman's

This box of chocolates is celebrating it's 100 years and what could be more appropriate then buying a box, sampling a chocolate each morning with your morning cup, and then re-purposing the box into a little box to keep your stitching needfuls
at your fingertips?

Take a few moments to go here and read some history about the sampler and  how a family heirloom inspired the packaging for the Whitman's Sampler...one of the greatest packaging ideas in history.   If you are a sampler lover you will enjoy the story and history behind the lid of the box.

The release date for "Strawberry Hill Sampler" is June 6th.

X X X X X 

I'm taking a few days off ...
we are going to have some very important visitors,
the grand darlings
  are coming to g-ma's house for a few days.
It should be lots & lots of fun!

With thy Needle & Thread,



Busy Busy...

I hope you are all enjoying
 the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 
I think all weekends should be 3 days long,
don't you?
Will be a working weekend for me
 in preparation
 of upcoming pattern releases.

I worked all day on
pattern things
 stuff like this...
he did this
all day!

The dh treated me to a carry out dinner
 that we enjoyed
 along the lake shore
 this evening.
The mother mallards
 Canada geese
 had their young out on the water...
they were enjoying
 a carry out dinner of water bugs & critters.
I don't think there is anything
 cuter then
baby ducklings.
  One little duckling liked to wander off
mom & siblings,
and then
he'd have to hurry hurry
to catch up
with lots of peep peeps
telling everyone to wait up
as he was running on top of the water...
so stinkin' cute!

Was a very warm & humid day,
summer has arrived!

With thy Needle & Thread,


and her name was Mildred...

 she has come to grace a nook or cranny of my house
or maybe a wall...
 she's not too big,
no fancy borders,
no frame,
just edges that are simply
 turned under...

See the urn?
I love it's delicate little handles...
The sampler isn't without imperfections.
She has a couple holes 
 her dark green threads
have bled overtime...
Fairly common
 with this floss color
in antique samplers.
Simple little motifs worked in rows.
See the little man with the walking stick?
I love him too...
Eyelet stitches worked in magenta silk floss.
See the crown? 
It too,
 seems so delicate to me.
The verse reads,
 in old English alphabet,
This I have done that you might see
what care my parents took of me.
and her name was Mildred...
my mother's name.
That's why I really really love this sampler,
must have.

Mildred Brown Fotherb, age 18 

X X X X 

In response to emails
blog comment questions
 in regards to the photo in the blog banner...
this is a new pattern that will be part of a 3 new pattern release
coming in early June.
  July Word Play,
 Strawberry Hill Sampler
Thimble Purses, a stitcher's necklace,
charts will release together
 at that time. 

With thy Needle & Thread,


Momma's big helper & garbage day!

Grandpa and I had the pleasure to sneak away for a couple of days to babysit the grand darlings and celebrate their Momma's 32nd birthday.  
 I keep asking myself,
 can I really have children in their 30's already?

  Upon arrival,
 we were greeted at the door by Beckham...
it's so fun when they reach the age
 where they remember
 who you are from visit to visit.
Gives Grandma warm fuzzies!
 We hadn't seen Miss Avry
 since her birth. 
I think she looks like her Momma  ;)
 She is busy moving her arms and legs,
 trying to control her little fist
 and on
 occasion will even get her thumb in her mouth.
  With a little coaxing
 there are 
coos and smiles.  

Big brother is such a good helper,
even helps keep her pacifier in place!
Momma can be heard saying, "be gentle, be gentle"...
Here she is in her tutu.  
Big brother straightening her tutu so it is just so.
  I overheard him telling his baby sister,
 "Oh Avy you're so cute"!  
Suppose he will think she is cute when she starts crawling
and discovers
 his Thomas the Trains?
Watching over his little sister while she sleeps.  
Big Brother,
Mother's Helper
 For the most part baby sister approves...
we are still working on the "being gentle" part...
Learning how to hold Avry
 with out squeezing too hard!
He keeps pretty busy
being Momma's helper...
watering Momma's herb garden...
Aren't they cute?
Wine crates re purposed into herb boxes.
Herb markers are wine corks!
Oh, and I forgot...

How could I forget?
We got to witness the excitement of "Garbage Day Friday".
This is a big deal! 
We arise early,
stand by the windows/door in our jammies...
what else?
Of course,
 watch garbage truck videos on YouTube 
on Momma's iphone while we wait for the 
garbage truck to arrive...
This garbage day is a big deal..
it's a whole family affair,
even Bella,
 the family fur child,
 comes to see what all the excitement is about.
"the garbage truck is coming!"
"the garbage truck is coming!"
and in a matter of seconds
the garbage is picked up
 the truck disappears
off in the distance...
 then we spend the rest of our day 
doing this...
and this...
What a fun Friday!

Have a good day everyone,


Looking towards July...

Charting, check.
 Color planning, check.

So let the stitching begin
 on July's Word Play!

 It takes about a weeks
 worth of
 morning coffee stitching 
to complete
 a Word Play.
I love the quick stitch
 of this series...
quick gratification!

It's hard to believe
 that I am down the home stretch
 on this 12 chart series...
just two more months left!

 I've enjoyed designing this series
 and found that finding
 the little monthly props
 for the photo shoots
 to be even more enjoying!
 last month
 I got to buy 3 quarts of fresh strawberries
 for the photo shoot...
which meant
 sugared strawberries & ice cream
when pictures were done!

 I'm now gathering
 antique nautical goodies
 for photo props...
just a little hint
for what's to come
 July's Word Play! 

Watch for July's Word Play release on June 1st!

With thy Needle & Thread,


New Patterns Coming Soon!

- a stitcher's necklace -

As you may remember from previous posts,
I've been working on a new series for your stitching pleasure...
The tiny little purse frames are on their way from China
 and should be here soon!

 They are tiny
 they are sweet!
  As I early indicated, 
this series will be offered in
 cross stitch,
 wool applique
punch needle....
The cross stitch series
will be the first to release,
sometime in early June...
something to please everyone!

 The Strawberry Hill chart will be releasing in June,
get you needles threaded,
lots of fun stitching goodies coming your way!

Have a good weekend,

No play until your work is done...

I'd rather be digging in the dirt right now.
 I'd rather be planting geraniums right now.
 like mother always said,
"No play until your work is done"...
Somewhere on that sheet of paper 
 in that pile of floss 
 July's Word Play,

I just haven't found it yet...

June 1st is quickly approaching isn't it?
The release date of July's Word Play...
I best get the needle a flyin',

With thy Needle & Thread,




It's Friday...

and that means it's garbage day! 
The highlight of this little ones day
as you may remember from
a previous posting...
Momma asked him
 if he would like to go outside
 and sit on the steps 
to watch the garbage truck...

his response,
"no, I'd be scared."
You got to love the honesty here...

Grandma B wonders
 if the driver of the truck
 ever notices
 the little blonde haired boy
 peering out the window
 at him.  
She's also thinking
 a simple wave
 to this little one
 would really
 make his
 Friday morning...

Have a good weekend everyone,

When it rains it pours...

If you've been trying to ring me,
I am having phone issues at the shop.

When it rains, my phone gets cranky.
 I'm here...
 if you need to get in contact with me,
 you can email me at

 Have a good weekend, Brenda

Many thanks to those who commented with eyelet-making tips.
  I'm still trying...
I know the basics,
but have come to the acceptance
that I'm just not a good eyelet stitcher ;-)


Trying to master...

the eyelet stitch.

I love the eyelet stitch.
I love old samplers
 with eyelet stitches.
I just don't
 stitching them...

I'm trying to master this stitch.
Trying to per-fect it,
 I still struggle...

A future pattern,
Strawberry Hill will have a few
eyelet stitches in it.
Nothing too showy,
not a lot of contrast between linen and floss...
 just for a few eyelet stitches
here and there
for texture, 

Here's a peak...
I see a couple of eyelets that need frogging.
It's my tension,
I'm not pulling the floss tight enough
 having problems with the tension of the 
first stitch.

I am currently just holding my loose end
on the backside.
 My next attempt will be using a waste knot,
sort of method...
I'm thinking this may allow me to pull the threads tension
on that first stitch as it gets
woven through some stitches to secure.

Do we have any master eyelet stitchers out there?
What is your method?

Inquiring minds want to know... 
So as I sit and stitch,
 and frog,
my eyelet stitches,
I look around
the house

Old samplers...
my eyes fixating
 on the eyelets stitches,
 looking at the uniformity of the center holes,
the floss tension...
I find myself 
in total amazement,
 that a 10 year old
make such beautiful
 eyelet stitches...
I tell myself,
if a 10 year old
 can stitch
 a perfect
 eyelet stitch,
so can I...


With thy Needle & Thread,