Header Photo

Header Photo
American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New start -- Hornbook Bestiary

I've been watching Lisa's progress on her lovely Hornbook Bestiary from the beginning, and now that she's finished hers, I've decided to start on mine.  lol!  I've gotten slightly farther than this since I took this picture, but only a bit.

I'm using the kit materials provided in the AVAS kit from Marsha.  I'm loving stitching this so far!  The over one tent on 35ct is a nice change.  I'm also using the millennium frame and lap stand to hold the linen, which works really well for this piece.

I'm not very consistent in working on Scarlet Letter pieces.  It's nice to be stitching one again, and to be  using lovely AVAS silks again.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Emma Miles update

I haven't work on this for a while, but hope to soon.

What was I thinking using 40 ct?  I love over one, but not so much on 40 ct!  :-)

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hornbook Bestiary...DONE!

Started:  12/25/12
Finished:  6/18/14
Linen:  35 ct. as kitted
Floss:  AVAS silks as kitted

I am pleased to finally report I've finished the Hornbook Bestiary!  The kit was a gift from my honey on Christmas day 2012.  It has taken me almost a year and a half to stitch all those tent stitches over one but now she's done.

I was inspired by Marsha's gift to Nicola so I decided to do my signature in the same manner.  I wanted it to complement the rest of the sampler.  I think it does and I'm pleased with the result.  For privacy's sake, I've blocked out my last name, city and state.  The dates represent the years I stitched it.

Just for curiosity, I counted up all the stitches.  In the angel, there are 7,633 stitches, in the charted squares, not counting my signature, there are 75,825 and my signature added an additional 4,725 for a grand total of 88,183 stitches!

I plan to search for a frame that looks like an actual hornbook with the handle.  A regular rectangular frame just won't do for a piece this special.  It may take me a while to locate it but I'm willing to spend some time hunting for just the right one.

I also want to note that I had plenty of floss to see me to the end and still stitch my signature. Marsha was quite generous with the contents of this kit. Thank you so much, Marsha!

Thank you also to Nicola and Jo for inviting me along on this grand adventure.  I've enjoyed the journey.  Seeing all the lovely samplers our group has stitched together has inspired me.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered me to this finish. You all kept me motivated. I truly appreciate each and every email, comment and encouragement I received. I'm so pleased to be able to share this milestone finish with you today!

With gratitude,

The Inspired Stitcher

P.S. If you want to read about the whole finishing experience, please visit my blog.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Winner and Another Draw Prize !!!

Well done Laura, Bob has drawn your name for the monthly draw. You have won a Scarlet Letter chart of your choice.

Please contact me with your chosen chart.

Thank you Bob for your generosity in sponsoring this month prize.

Stitchers - for your name to be entered into the draw for next month's prize you need to post your progress, every post will give you an entry.

Carmen has donated a gorgeous half yard of R & R in Expresso and a notebook from Needlework Press. A lovely prize !!!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Elizabeth Cox

Elizabeth is on the frame and after a few nervous moments soothed by  Marsha and Sandra's words of advice has begun to take shape.

It is very hot today, far too hot to wallk the dogs, garden, shop, cook, iron or anything else remotely like chores that I should be doing. Instead it has been spent with my needle listening to an audio book in the shade offered by the verandah. The gentle breeze coming off the sea is very welcome.

The french doors are wide open and two little birds have flown in and been shooed back out. I think I will have to find space for two little birds in Miss Cox.

Ruthy came back from the framers and has been hung with The Blue Ribbon Sampler, SDW and Dona Dorothea. Her colours brighten the group.

On Miss Cox I have had a dilemia with AVAS 5386 and 5384.

There is hardly any difference so I have chosen a lighter shade to work with 5386. I am also having a problem with 2224, the thread is shedding its fibres as I stitch. I have had this once before with AVAS so I have also substituted it.

It is Father's Day in the UK tomorrow so not sure if much will be acheived although the lure of the Football (Soccer) World Cup may mean that Ray will not want to stray too far from the TV.  

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Margaret Randolph and Seventeen Sailors

Well, Miss Margaret was coming along quite nicely until I was struck down with pneumonia.  I had made quite a lot of progress but found myself being unable to concentrate and making lots of mistakes.

So, I resurrected Seventeen Sailors which I hadn't worked on since last summer. This is on 25ct linen and I had stopped doing it as I found I enjoyed working on 28 ct  linen so much more - this is the lady who had to be persuaded to try linen!

Anyway, I have so enjoyed working on this and bringing the sampler to life. Both samplers are ready to go in the car along with my Millennium frame as we are going to Cornwall for two weeks. Nicola will be able to see both works in progress and I will be able to access her expert advice!

I feel that my stitching has become quite messy - not so neat. I don't know if that is because I am experimenting with becoming more 'stitch efficient' (not sure how I can explain that better). I have until now always made my stitch from bottom left to top right and then bottom right to top left. Anyway I now try alternating rows with as described above and then the return row top left to bottom right and bottom right to top left. I am trying to figure out if it makes a difference and would welcome any advice.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Beyond the Little X - An Interview with Bob of Winderwood Farm!

This month we sit down with Bob of Winderwood Farm.  Bob has been stitching Scarlet Letter samplers for years and is sharing some of his wonderful finishes with us.  You will not believe what his first sampler was…. he definitely jumped in with both feet!  I hope you enjoy his interesting story! 

How old were you when you first picked up a needle and who taught you to stitch?  What was the first sampler that you stitched?

I started stitching when I was 23, newly married, I was at the Strong museum in Rochester, New York and they had the original sampler of the Shepherdess.  In the gift shop they had a repro kit by the Examplarery.  I had to buy it and try, and I was hooked!  No one told me I needed a beginners one to start with.  However, I stitched this with no problems, that’s because I did not know any better!

What is your favorite time of day to stitch?

Any time I can steal to stitch is a good time.  Somehow most of the time I have is in the evening.  I just need to know when to stop and go to bed!


Do you sit in a set place and what tools do you like to have on hand?

At the moment the living room is being redone so I sit where ever I can to stitch. Normally I have my corner where I have a side table and my wingback chair.  On the table I have a three drawer spool box where I keep my scissors, tomato pin cushion and needle threader in along with my glasses.  I have little toys in the box I get out from time to time like my sewing bird.

Mary Gail

Do you use the stick and stab technique, or a sewing stitch?

Stick and stab...

Do you prefer to stitch in hand, or with a hoop or frame?

I use a frame on a floor stand.  I have ordered the millennium frames, floor and table stands as well… just awaiting their arrival. Seventeen years ago I lost my dominate arm to infection, having just the dumb one left I needed to figure out how I was going to continue to stitch.  The first thing I did coming home from the hospital was to grab a tomato pin cushion and a loran needle threader.  I put my pin in the cushion, slid the threader through the eye of the needle and laid my floss upon it.  It worked!!  Next was a floor stand and I was back stitching!

Damaris Underwood

What is your favorite linen and thread?

I have a couple of yards of a hand-woven uneven linen.  This is my all time favorite. I can no longer get it so I do not use it often.

My favorite thread is silk.  I am fussy, I use silk, danish flower thread or wool that I dye myself.  Nothing else.

Have you tried specialty stitches and do you have a favorite?

I have tried almost every stitch I have been able to find.  I like most but my favorite is the queen stitch, I think it looks wonderful stitched on a piece.

Scottish Sampler

When did you discover the Scarlet Letter?
I found the Scarlet Letter in 1989 when I bought a catalog but did not order.  At that time my children were little and there was no extra money. I was able to start purchasing in the early nineties.

Boscobel Oak

What was the first Scarlet Letter sampler you stitched?

The chimney piece.  I thought it was a wonderful piece and enjoyed stitching it.

What is your favourite period of sampler-making and why? 

17th and 18th century, because I like the looks of this time period and the pictures on many are just awesome! I like so many I need four lifetimes!

Abigail Gould

Currently Bob is working on Ruthy Rogers and making wonderful progress……

Ruthy Rogers in progress

Amazing stitching on all, Bob!  And I agree with you, I need four lifetimes too to stitch all that I wish to!  Thank you so much for sharing your story.  You are truly an inspiration to us.  We look forward to your stitching updates. 

Bob is very generous to sponsor this month’s giveaway so remember to post an update to be included in the drawing!

The hornbook bestiary

Hello girls !

You have not heard from me for a long time. But, like many embroiderers I have lot of projects in progress.

Today I come back with my hornbook bestiary I work in 1/1 for 14 count


It's not a fantastic progress, but as you seen I am always with you.

Love from France


Long Time - No Blog

Hello Everyone,

Well, it’s been ages since I last posted.  And poor Elizabeth Mitchell has been neglected.

We were on vacation for 2 weeks…not the best weather (lots of rain and fog) and no visit to the Scarlet Letter (boo-hoo).  Then we came home and it has been non-stop ever since.  At work we are in the midst of our budget season (preparing FY 2015 budgets) and my first week back I had two meetings each day – all day long – in two separate locations, plus "work" dinners.  How to split oneself? 

Then we had company visit which gave me the necessary shove to finally start going through the boxes and boxes and boxes of files, papers, etc. from my Dad.  I had tried earlier but was way too emotional to deal with it all.  But, since our guest room was piled with boxes and we were having company, I didn’t really have a choice. 

What little time I found for stitching was devoted to an exchange piece which I managed to finish (well, not finish-finish, but you know…the stitching is complete), and finally I picked up Elizabeth Mitchell yesterday morning and managed a few more stitches this morning.  Here is an overall shot and then a close-up of the center which is where I am working.  Yay!  The border for the center met up.  About half-way through with the lighter color inside snug up against the border.  The middle of that section will be over 1.  Still a few motifs for the bottom part and then this gorgeous sampler will be completed.  Already contemplating what to choose next…I have a couple in mind.  Any guesses?




Hope everyone is enjoying summer and hopefully I’ll be back soon.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Ruthy Rogers - A Finish

Miss Rogers was finished yesterday evening. I have chosen the sentiment as she has given me the confidence to stitch samplers that I was nervous about. She has opened a door for me and the next sampler is Eliz. Cox. Lanie will be joining me and Sandra has given me some links to photos on her blog which will guide me through the chart.

I made some changes to Ruthy - the most noticeable being the strawberies which I satin stitched. I used AVAS and 36ct Floba in Cream.

If you have not used stem stitch before I would reccommend that you try it. The stitch is so versatile and amazingly fluid.

I am looking forward to seeing Debbie, Debby and Bob's Ruthys grow.

Thursday, 5 June 2014



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us.

Monday, 2 June 2014

An update on Ruthy

I have just put the last stem stitches into Ruthy, there were an awful lot of them. Now onto the border and dediction.

I changed the strawberries below the base of the tree from cross to satin stitch. I think that I am going to unpick the one I have cross stitched in the border when I started Ruthy and work them all in satin stitch.

JCS Progress!

Hello everyone!

It's been some time since I've posted a progress picture of JCS.  I have been very busy lately and there's been some stresses at work, since we are on a strike.  Hopefully things will turn around and our greedy government will give us teachers a raise since they gave themselves a hefty raise! 

Onto stitching!! It's been beautiful here in New Westminster lately.  Yesterday, I took JCS for a walk in the park, laid on a towel then stitched in the sunshine.  It was so lovely to see the silks in the sunlight, shining with silkiness.  Here is what I've accomplished so far.  I'm getting into the lacy vine part which is exciting.

Leaping deer
I am aiming to finish this sampler by the end of the year however, I have other samplers on the go! I try to focus on JCS at least once a week but this weekend, it was all about JCS. 

Until the next update, happy stitching everyone!!


Sunday, 1 June 2014



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us.