Header Photo

Header Photo
American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista


Friday, 28 February 2014

Some New Starts

Hi Everyone!

I have a couple of new starts for Our Scarlet Letter Years.

I am working on Ellenor Wykcs in a SAL group and after starting and ripping out and doing again I am getting the hang of the double running stitch.  I am using 36 ct flax linen with dmc thread.  I have switched out some of the colors that were charted.

After seeing the lovely recent finishes on the blog of N. Hinde, I decided to do that one too!  Instead of over one though I am doing it over two on 32 ct vintage vanilla creme using Waterlilies silk in Cherries.  The 32 ct is a dream to work on after working on 36 ct and the silk glides through the linen like a whisper.   love the variegated look and the reds really pop.

I hope to have a very stitch-y weekend especially with more snow in the forecast!  I hope you all have a very stitch-y weekend too!  xx

Updates and a New Start

Hi Everyone,

Will this winter ever end?  We are forecast to be hit again Sunday/Monday with the latest winter storm – Titan I think it is called?  (when did we start naming winter storms?).  I am looking forward to the weekend.  Today started off with getting rear-ended on the way to work.  Luckily nothing at all – no damage to either car, no damage to me or the other driver.  Then, my normal 20 minute commute morphed into 1.5 hours.  So much caked ice on the roads…and potholes…I either want Spring to come right now…or I may have to hibernate until June or July.

Not a whole lot of stitching has been accomplished recently.  Here is a picture of Elizabeth Mitchell.  Sad that I have neglected her some.  I love the pattern, but the woodsmoke linen is tough on my eyes, so I can’t put many stitches in her before I need to put her aside.

Since I am unable to work as much as I would like on Elizabeth Mitchell, I just had to start something new:  Scottish Sampler circa 1740.  I am stitching this on 32 count white fabric (can you hear my eyes shouting Thank You!!?) with DMC threads.  The colors are rich and this is a fun and quick stitch.  First an overall picture and then a close up showing the eyelet stitches.


Well, waiting for our son to call, then I need to call a friend…then I hope to get a few stitches in before the bed calls my name too loudly.  Here’s hoping everyone has a fun, relaxing weekend (and an easier commute for me tomorrow…please).

Stay warm!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Post for Theresa G

Please welcome a new member Theresa:-

YES! Maria Theresa Wilkinson  has an H in her THeresa like me. I too adore the verse. I  also love all the little whimsical figures AND the fact that the young lady who created her also shares an H in her name. It's a challenging piece for a new beginner, but I'm so pleased with my choice!

Progress has been slow, but steady, and I am having such fun with this new project! I haven't made a sampler since I was a little girl. I loved cross stitch then and am loving it now. I also recall how much I loved embroidering little pillow cases for my bed when I was a child. My mother bought several for me at the local dime store. Despite being a bit yellowed now, I still use many of them and love how soft, old cotton feels on my face. ;-)

I feel like I've made a great start on MTW, despite a couple of false ones where I had to start ALL over. I'm an avid knitter, so I'm well used to fiddling until I'm satisfied that I've done my very best. I'm not too crazy tho, so am OK with leaving a few mistakes to remind me of human imperfection. Do you know the Joyce Kilmer poem, "Trees"? The last line is my favorite, "... only God can make a tree." ;-) 

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918
119. Trees
THINK that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day,         5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  10
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.

... At first I just sort of danced around MTW, looked over the chart at least 10 times...picked up the linen, felt it, put it down...worried about if i would make a mess of the back side....then I just jumped in! So far the greatest challenges have been my aging eyesight on this 40 count linen, and the fact that I don't have enough needles.  I'm constantly threading the same needle. Any suggestions for the best size to stash for 1 DMC over 2 on 40 count?  My brother Tom, "bless his heart", loaned me the headset magnifier that he uses for making models. It helps a great deal, but it doesn't quite flip down  properly over my specs. It actually causes my glasses to dent my nose! I've been researching the best options. Any advice? I also look forward to buying a Millennium Frame. 

I'm following  the SLY blogs 1 and 2 via email every day from my home near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

 Nettie, my Welshie, collects my stray threads on her ungroomed ears and returns them each morning. I find them in my bed!

A 70th Birthday for Isabel


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Band 4 - EK 1653

My needles have been flying on this band. I must confess that I did get some extra time in this afternoon whilst a workman was attending to a job in the house and I was house bound.

These little boxers are cuties with their pink legs and bare torsos. I am not quite sure what the dark peach squares are meant to be on their bodies !!! 

I have received some AVAS silks today and the letter B appears after the shade number. Does anyone know what this signifies?

Monday, 24 February 2014



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Frances B Jones.

 Sorry that I haven't posted on the SL Year for awhile since finishing my Rebecca Cullin Sampler.  I have had a lot going on in my life and wanted to finished a sampler called Hestera Harmer.

I have times where I have to go to appointments and will have a bit of a wait.  I call this my "take anywhere sampler".  I take Frances with me and we spend time together.

Frances is being stitched on 36ct cream linen with the AVAS threads called for.

Band 2 - Ellenor Wykcs

This has been a busy week and I have been wearing my Nana hat again so stitching time has been reduced. I did manage to acheive my goals of Band 2 on Ellenor and Band 3 on EK.

These bands are very similiar.

I was wondering if there are any facsimiles available to view online of the pattern books stitchers used to create some of the orginal samplers?


Saturday, 22 February 2014


Ladies - Bethany has posted a super giveaway on Blog 2. Well worth checking out if you haven't already seen it




Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us.

Friday, 21 February 2014

The upper border of the Knox Family Sampler is finished

This took me quite a while, but here it is:

Not the best photo. I am still mourning the loss of my Nikon, and I am still learning to use my little camera.
This sampler is a little deceptive when you look at it. It is actually wider than it is long. I had to be careful with the linen when I started it.

Most of the border is done in cross stitch using two strands of DMC, except for the little tendrils that are done in a straight stitch using only one strand.

Next, I will do the inner border which is a gold line done in a straight stitch.

Will be back soon with an update.

A Post for Maria Del Valle - MD 1660 The Unicorn Sampler

At last I can show a new progress of MD 1660 The Unicorn Sampler  

I'm doing the first band of this sampler; and here is the figure of almost complete unicorn!! 
This part of the work was just very slow to do, because it's like to do lace with needle. Since in each square you must to spend several times the needle and keep the same proper tension on your stitches... but I love my Unicorn Sampler!!
I am very glad I joined this group because there are friends and all I can to see, enriches me.  I am very grateful for that.
Also thank you so much by the beautiful sampler Miriem Brocklehurst 1726!!

Maria del Valle "

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Happy Birthday, Nicola!

Even though we are far apart, we are stitching friends of the heart! 
I hope your day is as special as you are! We all appreciate you sharing this space with us and all your encouragement throughout the year. 
With great big hugs,
Lisa aka The Inspired Stitcher

Thank You, Thank You & Thank You

Where to start ? 

I think the most important thing that I want to say is THANK YOU so:-

THANK YOU to Jo. Without Jo this challenge and blog would have remained an idea.

THANK YOU to Marsha, who after getting an email from a total stranger agreed that we could use the Scarlet Letter as the theme for the challenge and who has donated so generously to the giveaways.

THANK YOU to the contributors who have donated charts, vouchers, project bags and other prizes. You are all amazing.

I mustn't forget to mention Ray for his sponsorship too.

THANK YOU to Krista and Debra for their help with editing the interviews and to the interviewees.

What fun we have had sharing our needlework. I know that my knowledge and confidence has grown so much from stitching with you and many friendships have been made.

Krista recently posted her SDW finish and the sentiment she has stitched - "I am with you, however far away you may be" is such a fitting one for us. Even though many, many thousands of miles separate us the blog/group has been a meeting place just as if we were gathering regularly for a stitching bee in the local village hall.

Time goes quickly when you are enjoying yourself and it really has flown by - here we are some 2,189 posts, 18,054 comments,  435,617 page views and 160 finishes later and time for the Grand Draw.

Jo and I discussed how the draw should be made and we decided the best way was Ray's top hat and that it would be videoed for fairness and transparency.

Here is a link to a video of the draw so here goes:-

1st name - $50 SL gift voucher - Cindy - S A Green No: 13
2nd name - $50 SL gift voucher - Susan - Scottish Band Sampler No: 143
3rd name - SL chart of your choice - 
Kate - Scottish Band Sampler No: 10
4th name - 
SL chart of your choice -Bhooma - Merry Cox No: 130
5th name - 
SL chart of your choice - Leigh (Kelrain) - Black Gryphon No: 46
6th name - 
SL chart of your choice - Illknbillburg - AW 1661 No: 136
7th name - 
SL chart of your choice - Deb - Ann Smith No: 56 

I wish everyone could have received a prize but I think we all have gained something from the year.

I am going to finish as I started with THANK YOUS  - THANK YOU to all who have participated either as a contributor or follower - it has been the best birthday celebration I could ever have had and I look forward to stitching with you in the future.

Here's a toast to Our Scarlet Letter Years (as our group will now be known as) and long may Marsha continue to chart her beautiful reproductions and original designs and to us being able to stitch them.


Thank you for sharing your Birthday Year Celebrations with us all.

From the most experienced stitchers with walls full of Scarlet Letter Samplers to the newbies who finished their first piece just for this challenge.
From the specialist stitch specialists to the cross-stitch purists.
From the bloggers of many years to those who have never made a post before.
From the East, the West, the North and the South of the World.

We have all joined together to celebrate the Scarlet Letter Year of a woman who few of us had met before the Challenge started, but now is a dear friend to us all.

Thank you for your generosity in sharing this special year with us,

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Blogs - I give you a toast to 


And a Special Message from Marsha, Adam and Eve, they would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday too:

"Adam and Eve giving you the "high five" (plus one).

I plan to chart this sampler in 2014."

In the Nick of Time

I thought this last finish was not going to be.
However I was able to put in the last few eyelet letters just in time!
This has been the best year of stitching, inspired by of all your  finishes I have been able to finish 2 works in progress and start and finish 3 samplers over the past year.
Thank you Nicola and Jo for the idea and all of your hard work to make this wonderful year happen.
I am looking forward to another year full of inspiration.
My last finish
Jane Parish
35 ct Natural Linen 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cutting it close!

Hello fellow stitchers!  I cant believe all the beautiful progress that has been made within the last year on the Scarlet Letter samplers!  I have finished 2, one during the challenge and 1 just before. 
First up is American Band Sampler stitched on 40ct along with AVS silks, some modified to my liking.  I enjoyed practicing the queen stitch on this one!
Next is one of my absolute favorites, and I am just over the moon with this one!
Dona Doreathea stitched on 45ct Vintage Meadow Rue Lakeside Linen along with my conversion of overdyed silks-- Gloriana, Belle Soie, Silk N Colors, Florimel.  Sorry the pic isnt that great, but I do have more on my blog www.lovetostitch-onestitchatatime.blogspot.com.  I highly recommend this sampler to anyone, the colors are just fabulous and the motifs are wonderful.  Alot of texture in this one.
I enjoyed working on the SDW Band Sampler, however I got sidetracked with this one and I am itching to get it back out now that I see Krista (Juststitchingalong) has completed her gorgeous sampler.  You never know, I might just go crazy and pull it out :))))
Until next time~!  Enjoy your day :)

I made it!!

With a day to spare as well!

Remember my first post back in November 2012 when I was trying to decide which of the many Scarlet Letter samplers to stitch?  I wish I'd known back then how much work is involved!  My choice was the English Transtitional which is absolutely gorgeous but much more than a year's work for me.  If I am lucky I may finish it by my own 50th Birthday (2016 in case you wondered)

So luckily for me I won a prize in the Advent Calendar giveaways, the lovely petite Elizabeth Burrows.  But even with a small sampler like this, the cover picture is deceptive.  There are different stitches and techiques to learn.  Much of Elizabeth is stitched over three rather than the usual one or two.  So that involves careful counting.  She is also larger than she first appears, I used 35 count and she is the same size as a piece of A4 paper.

According to my stitching diary I started her on the 8th January 2014 and finished her last night on 18th February 2014.  And here she is:

Stitched on 35 count SL linen
Using Olde Willow and DMC

This is a scanned picture rather than a photograph because it shows the colours so much better.  I used some linen threads from Olde Willow Linen Threads for three of the colours and DMC 152 for the pale pink.

The linen threads were an interesting experience.  As you may expect they are similar to linen fabric with uneven parts and even slubs!  I wonder if the young Elizabeth stitched with something similar to them or if she had silks to use?  They are also very slightly variegated which shows well in the dividing borders.  I do like the subtle effect.

So, my first Scarlet Letter finish, the only question now is - what next?  Do I start Janet Carsels who was my Christmas present, do I press on with some of the English Transitional or do I buy another small chart and get another finish sometime this summer?

A big SDW finish!

My journey on SDW has come to an end!

I stitched fast and furious this past weekend to finish for the challenge.

SDW a German Band Sampler
36ct flax linen with dmc thread

This has been such an amazing SAL journey and I treasure the friendships I have made along the way. From every motif to every band, I enjoyed each and every stitch.  

Across the top I took out the blackwork band and decided to repeat a band from the bottom.  I also charted a few lines from a Goethe poem in German which seemed appropriate since SDW is a German sampler.  Its translation is "I am with you, however far away you may be" and is a dedication to my SAL mates.    

I love, love, love the floral bouquets in this band.  The church had me exhausted at one point and all but done in! 

With the alpha bands I changed out the bottom row to include the first initials of everyone in the SAL.  

In the smaller alphas I found a spot for my own initials and the year.  

A BIG thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement all along the way!  

I am looking forward to many more Scarlet Letter Years with all of you.  Thank you to Nicola and Jo for starting this amazing community.  

Happy Stitching!  xxxx