Friday, August 22, 2014

Back from Market

     I would like to update you with our newest patterns, but first we want to confess a mistake we have made and to apologize. Barb has loved the Beatles music since she was a teen, and wanted to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. She designed 6 patterns and named them for some of the songs she loved. One was “Octopus’s Garden” by Ringo Starr (under his real name Richard Starkey.) Her mistake was adding some of the song’s lyrics to the pattern. We both know better and certainly didn’t mean to disrespect and violate the creative rights of the people who have brought so much joy and fond memories to our lives. This pattern is on hold and will not be shipped out until we hear from Startling Music LTD. I've written a letter to them and will wait to hear what we need to do to make it right.
     Also, we didn't realize another pattern we released "Yellow Submarine" is trademarked. I have contacted a Senior Licensing Analyst at Sony/ATV, and sent a copy of the pattern for them to view. This pattern is also on hold until I hear from them.
     I feel the need to apologize to all of you. Our goal is to publish great and fun patterns for you to stitch, but we certainly don't want to hurt others in the process. We have let you down. I wish I had a good excuse for our stupidity....but I have none. What were we thinking? Certainly we need to do better research before releasing a series like this, and in the future we will do so. Please know we are contacting the companies injured, and trying to make this right.
     We would like to thank our friend Cathe A. Ray, Proprietor of Needle In A Haystack for contacting us and letting us know of our violations. Thank you Cathe! We always want a chance to correct our mistakes before getting the "go to jail" card. (I'm making light of the "go to jail" card....but please know Barb and I are really sick about this.)

Below are our new releases from market:  The first three celebrate Halloween.

Our Beatles Series:

Sweet Baby is shown on the back cover of Eleanor Rigby. Both colorways are given in the pattern.

 The Long and Winding Road is also the third in our Sewing Box Series.

and finally....two more Reward of Merit patterns...

We will keep you posted on the outcome of the remaining two patterns in the Beatles Series.

Until later,


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Evening's Work

      My summer days have been filled with weeding, cleaning, and a walking dogs at Wayside Waifs with my son Andy for fun. Summer seems to be zooming by at record speed!

     My weeding seems to be focused on our vegetable garden in the back acreage. I can hardly wait for our first tomato. 

      In the evenings, I'm stitching. This piece has been relaxing and fun for me. I try to complete a letter or two....or if I'm really ambitious, I stitch an entire line. The flower/strawberry border really makes this piece sweet.
     I used the smyrna cross to replace some of the eyelet stitches. It made this piece faster and easier. (It's all about the fun, right?)

     During a cleaning and sorting frenzy I found this sweet needle minder attached to a piece of linen in my studio. It had been forgotten and now it's  back to work, holding my needle in place. I love this sewing aid. Wish I could remember where it's from.

     Above is the most recent Loose Feather pattern. It should be at your local cross stitch shop now.
Hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Have a happy 4th of July!

Until later,

Friday, May 23, 2014


     I'm mixing up the eyelet stitches with a bit of smyrna cross stitches. My letter "A" is off a thread or two and the "D" barely hooked up on the bottom curve. Quite a bit of cheating on my part. I'm stitching in the evening while watching TV. (Excuses....excuses) I realize you are probably doing the same and not making any mistakes.

I find I enjoy stitching this project along with all of you. It makes me feel like we are united in some way.

 Elizabeth Phirman sent the photo above. (Looks like her lovely quilt was the color inspiration.)  She writes....
 This SAL has been so much fun!  My linen choice was from Lakeside Linens 36ct.  Pearl Barley.  The border and four sided alphabet is Gentle Art Burlap.  The dark blue is GA Brethren Blue, with the light blue being GA Mountain Mist.  There are more colors to come...a slight design adjustment...hint...I live by the sea!
 Judy Tukey writes:
I have attached a picture of the fibers I will be using for this fun project that I will be stitching on 32 ct R&R Apple Brown:  Many of us at Dyeing to Stitch will be stitching along with you.  I can't wait to get started!
Gentle Art Sampler Threads:
Antique Rose, Poinsetta, Joshua Tree, Briar Rose, Uniform Blue and Cidermill Brown

Pat Ryan from Dyeing to Stitch sent her colors too. Her colors are pictured above. She writes:

     Hope it is not too late to join the stitch along. I picked 40ct. R& R Vineyard Mist. Classic Color Works silk: Rosebud, Chester Blue, Pecan Pie and Herb Garden. Also used Glorianna silk: Brick and Dried Pink Roses. 

Katrina Devine writes: Having too much fun stitching this piece :-)!!!!!
 Her sampler is pictured above. I like how she has begun her piece. As she has begun each line and has her placement secure, she can now choose which alphabets she wants to work on ...good way to keep it interesting.

Many thanks to all of you for your participation. It means a lot to Barb and me. We love seeing your samplers!!!  I'm going to get Barb on Instagram soon. Will give details on the next posting. 
Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'm riding the Katy Trail and listening to some music.The Peddlers Jamboree is this weekend. Going to do a bit of cross stitch in the evening too! 

Until later,



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Are You Ready to Start?

 I've been working on these a bit more. It's amazing how quickly the border and alphabet stitch up. The one pictured above is the sampler using a 28ct. fabric and silk floss. I found that one thread of the silk floss covers very nicely. The four sided stitch is just too clumsy with 2 strands of floss.

The instagram site has pictures now of your samplers. I listed the site wrong on an earlier posting. I found out you can't use punctuation. So use #BBDhersampler1796. Actually #bbdhersampler works just fine too. I'm finding that instagram is kind of easy and fun. Who knew? Well....really....quite a few of you already knew. I'm just discovering how fun and quick it is to see everyone's progress.

 Above is the sampler using cotton floss. I worked on this a bit over the weekend.....but you can tell the four sided stitch has slowed me down. Below is a close up of the stitch. It really isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I am trying to use the "sewing method" and I just don't have the rhythm down right yet. But I'm sure I'll get the hang of it just when I'm done.

Hope you are getting ready to start! It's amazing how much you can get done in an hour! Don't forget to show us your progress.

Until later,


Monday, May 5, 2014

Quick Update

     I shouldn't work very much in the evening. I have corrected the pattern. Stitch the 36ct. fabric with 1 thread of floss over 2 linen threads. (So much easier!)

     All participants gather your supplies this week. We will begin stitching the project the week of May 12th. Just send me a picture during the week sometime, via e-mail and I can show some of them here or send to my Instagram link.   I think if everyone can devote 2-3 hours on the project sometime during the week we can have this sweet piece finished in no time!

Katrina's sent her color information as shown above: 
Linen - R&R Reproductions, Liberty Gathering Gray
Floss -  
GA Otter Creek (for Brethren Blue) 
GA Piney Woods with some Endive mixed in (made that change after the photo) (for Grecian Gold) 
CC Root Beer Float (for Copper) 
GA Pink Azalea (for Rhubarb) 
GA Mountain Mist (for Toasted Barley) 
GA Weathered Barn (for Loganberry)
Again, here is the link for our pattern. 

My instagram site is: blackbirdalma
the link for our stitch along is #BBDhersampler-1796
Can hardly wait to begin. Many thanks to all of you for joining us!!!
My e-mail is  if you have any questions.
Until later!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Stitch Along Pattern

Here is the pattern! Sorry it took so long to get posted....but it's been a very busy weekend. I still don't have the Instagram site set up....but I have a volunteer to help me. Thanks Katrina!!!

Here's a picture of Katrina's palette.  (You better send the color names our way. I'm sure many are going to want to know, myself included.) These look great.

Sorry this is such a short post....but it's time for The Bletchley Circle on PBS.

 Until later!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Stitch-along project

Gather your needles and thread and stitch a sampler with us! If you are like me, there is plenty of weeding and planting to do...but this easy piece is the perfect size to accomplish in a short time. I recently found the sampler pictured above on e-bay. It arrived in Kansas recently, along with 6 other pieces Barb and I purchased from a dealer in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. I must confess the colors attracted my attention! The pink, gold and gray combination is bright and sweet, and felt just right for a fresh summer look. Love the small row of flowers too!

     This certainly was a great learning piece for some young schoolgirl. Not only did she learn to cross stitch over one and two linen threads, the four-sided stitch and the eyelet stitch had to be mastered too. I'm not too sure about the date....unless it's the date of her birth. This doesn't look like a sampler stitched in 1796 to me. I would have guessed it would be dated about 1810 - 1860. But, I'm certainly no expert when it comes to dating samplers. If you can date this piece more accurately please let me know! Unfortunately the name of the young girl who completed this piece was removed or damaged. 

     We have a couple examples of colorways to show you today. The one above is stitched on 28ct. Sand by Picture This Plus and silk floss from Classic Colorworks. I had a row of letters done, but noticed I used the wrong color. (Late night stitching made it hard for me to see the colors correctly. Still have to take out the first border before I can progress further.)

     This one is being stitched on 36ct. Pecan Butter by Lakeside Linens. It's going to be petite and too cute for words. The floss is cotton by Gentle Arts Sampler Threads. (The picot border really shows up here.) I must admit the four-sided stitch isn't my favorite....but I'm determined to master it. It's the first time I've even tried it. 

     I'm going to experiment stitching another example of the sampler with wool floss and another linen. I will show those results too. (I've contacted Gentle Arts to see if they can send the wool colors I need. They should have the floss to me soon.)

     Just like every button in the dish above is different, we would love for you to take the pattern we will provide and make it have meaning for you and your family. Barb plans to bridge the generations with hers. She wants her mom to stitch a row of letters and then pass it to her niece so she and her young daughter can stitch a row. Barb will finish the piece so it will have the stitching of four generations.

     I'm not sure how I will change mine....I might do a reproduction and then another one with some other motifs added. I will be attending a family reunion the end of May. I'm thinking of asking my daughter and nieces to work on this project with me, using Barb's idea. I'm still in the brain storming process. Feel free to take motifs from some of our other patterns and add them to this project if you wish. You could even stitch a small portion or fragment of the piece and make it into a pincushion....

     We would love for you to send us pictures of your progress. I will set up an Instagram site and also post pictures here for those who don't do Instagram. We will post progress one day a week for 2 months .... more if needed. I will post a link for the pattern here on the blog site over the weekend. I have to finish up a couple more details. What do you think? Are you in?

Until later,