Archive for the ‘“JUST SAYING”’ Category

Oh my heck…how cute is this?

April 21st, 2012
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I just found this darling picture at This is a great site. So interesting. You should check it out!


PDF of private class cabinets released for individual sale

November 15th, 2011
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Hello everyone. As I promised I have finally gotten around to adding my Mary Wigham Wardrobe and A Ladies Cabinet to the store for PDF purchase. You may be familiar with the private class I taught some time back but the PDFs have never been released as a singer purchase chart. These will be available for a short time only. I have also added some very hard to find books for those of you that are needlework book collectors. All are in beautiful condition and all are from the original releases and not “later reprints.
I added this picture of Sandi V’s cabinet as I thought it was so beautiful stitched in blue. There are a lot more pictures in the JAT store. Just click on the “Shop” link in the top menu.

I will be adding “My Treasures Workstation” in the store shortly but I need to write directions for constructing the base as it was wood in the private class. I will send you a newsletter notification once it is added to the store.

If you have not signed up for the JAT newsletter you may want to as it is the way I contact my friends with any new news. Just click on shop in the top margin and on the first page you get look on the right side margin. Just add your email address in the “subscribe” box and that’s it.

PLEASE NOTE: I have only one of each “hard to find” book that I just added to the store.

ALSO: If you live outside the United States and see something you like…please email me directly so that I can personally send you a paypal invoice. You can see all the designs and books in the shop but ordering for outside the US is not working at this time.

Further also…. I have no kits available but if you do not want to purchase supplies as you need them, Lois at Elegant Stitch, in Modesto California, will be making kits available to you. You can find her at



May 18th, 2011
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Ok, another ufo in the works. I started this Dimples Design in 2000 and now I feel a draw to finish it. His name is Spike. Isn’t he handsome? And he has such an attitude…thinks he is “Mr. Tough Guy”. He is stitched on 32 count belfast Cream linen. Stitched over one thread. (Again, what the heck…was I nuts back in the day?) This is my last UFO…yep…it looks like I only had two. Can you believe that. So now my goal is to finish Spike, Shelley’s jewelry box, Learned Wife Sampler and my Scarlet letter sampler.

I am starting to look like a normal stitcher again and not a designer. And as I am changing my designs up I am having fun. I got quite a bit done on my Learned Wife Sampler but forgot to take a picture of it before I adjusted the linen on the q-snaps again so I will post a picture of it once I have finished it.

For now….here is Spike…


May 4th, 2011
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This is my progress on The Learned Wife Sampler. Of course I just had to make a few changes. Strange that I should pick something so blue. I really don’t like blue. Maybe I am changing now that I am retired. Honestly, I am getting really annoyed that I can’t get a picture that shows the true colors of this sampler. The linen is 30 count parchment from Weeks Dye Works and is really a beautiful light golden brown.

I am having so much fun with my “hobby” of stitching these days. I actually think I am getting the urge to change this project out and start on my jewelry box again. I will return….


The Learned Wife Sampler

April 26th, 2011
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Look what I found!

“One did commend me to a Wife both fair and young
that had French Spanish and Italian Tongue.
I thanked him kindly and told him I loved none such,
for I thought one tongue for a wife too much.
What love ye not the learned?
Yes, as my life, a learned schollar, but not a learned wife.

I love this sampler. It is The Learned Wife Sampler – c.1740 Maybe it caught me on a really good day because for some reason I just had to have it. How odd it is. And even today I am thinking that it will be my next new start. Actually, I think I am going to start a few new samplers and that way when I get bored with one I can just change it for another. So, once I pull threads and decide what linen I want to stitch it on I shall post a picture of my choices.

I am still working on Shelley’s Jewelry Box and my Joanna Warren 1655 sampler. Here is a new progress picture of Joanna Warren. It is slow going as you can see. But it is a fun sampler to stitch.

I am enjoying surfing the internet and checking out a lot of blogs. Gosh there are tons out there and so many wonderful stitching blogs. I bookmark the ones I really enjoy and find a lot of charts I want to stitch. Of course I would have to live for another 200 years. 🙂

I hope you all had a fabulous, wonderful, and the best ever Easter yesterday. I did. What a beautiful day. I had the family here and we had a picnic outside. It was just a perfect day. I now have to get busy as I seem to always have cleaning to do. But, hmmmmm….I think I shall do just a bit of stitching first, or maybe, I shall check out some more blogs. Yep, I think cleaning can be put off for awhile longer. 🙂 Hugs everyone!



March 18th, 2011
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I am so excited.  Jill Rensel has just completed my FAS framing.  I just love it.  But then I knew I would as Jill was doing the job.  I have not gotten it back yet as she just finished it.  I told her to do whatever she thought would look best.  As a professional finisher I always loved it when I was given free reign to do whatever I wished.  Anyway, here is a picture.  Thank you so much Jill….I truly love it.  🙂


I’m Back

March 6th, 2011
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Hello again…I’m Back.

I think I am getting over my funk.   Lots of unpleasant things have happened to me in a short time but I am good now and I am ready to get back to stitching.  There are some changes though.  And I think you will all like them.

I have retired.  Well, not given up needlework altogether.  I still have my store, blog and message board; but I am not designing for retail any longer.  I am only designing and stitching for my enjoyment.  That means that when I do design anything it will be available for free.  I know, it sounds weird but I got very tired of the stress and pressure of a business.  I know it was my issue as you, my friends, are just wonderful. Anyway, I am now doing only what I want to do.  And since it is not a business that I care to make any money on I shall just share my designs, progress stitching and thoughts with all my stitching
friends at no charge.

I love the idea and I have lately been having fun stitching a Scarlet Letter reproduction that I started 14 years ago.  (progress picture follows) Next I will finish a jewelry box that I started for my daughter and when it is finished it will be a design that I share with you all.  (you know…a freebie) Then who-knows, maybe some Christmas ornaments or whatever.  🙂

So for now I am adding a progress picture of my Joanna Warren sampler. But I am stopping for the time being and starting on my new jewelry box. You can see a progress picture of it if you scroll down. It is the purple design. Don’t forget to come back and see more progress pictures as I go along. Once I have finished it I shall share it with whomever wants it.

Gosh, it’s good to be back. Hugs


A new start…

January 13th, 2011
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Once I finished my daughters sampler (minus the framing) I was ready to start something new. So I started looking through my stash. You know I have tons….what stitcher doesn’t? Anyway, I decided to finish a UFO instead of starting something new. I actually don’t have many UFO’s as I started professionally finishing early in my needle work experience. I did not start stitching by working on really small projects…not me! I always jump into things way over my head and just figure I can do it. So here is the UFO I choose to work on again. I started it in 1997. I can’t believe it has been 14 years…scary! I stitched my very first piece in 1996 (not even a year before) so you can see what I mean when I say I had no fear. Now 14 years later I am wondering what the heck!!! Was I nuts. I am trying to figure this out and it is taking me hours to actually get going on it again. I can’t figure out how I did it. This is full of satin stitches, button hole and detached button hole stitches, double running stitch, queen stitches…and where’s the cross stitch????? The chart is a challenge itself. What the heck???? It is for “advanced” and now I know what that means. Mind you 14 years ago I had no idea I had to be “advanced” to stitch this. Dah…what happened?

Anyway, here it is. This is a design I purchased from The Scarlet Letter. It is Joanna Warren 1655. For those that know me, you know I love DMC and hate working with silks. Well guess what…yep…I started using silk. Who knew? I had completed about 1/3 of this before putting it away. So, wish me luck. Hopefully, as I get into it again it will get easier. I shall keep you all updated.


Shelley’s Birth Sampler

January 10th, 2011
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I finished the stitching. Isn’t it just too cute? I just love the way it turned out. Now I need to frame it. I shall share with you how I frame it once I have actually done it. I think I know exactly what I want to do but sometimes that changes on me before I have finished. 🙂 As you can see from the date on the sampler, I am late with her birthday. But, since she lives out-of-town and I will not see her for a few weeks I have time to finish it and she will never know the difference. I shall return with framing instructions for those interested.



January 4th, 2011
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Hello everyone. I hope you had a most wonderful new year. I have been quiet for a bit because I have been very stressed. A CT scan showed a spot on my sons lungs and he had to have a biopsy. Needless to say I have not been handling it too well. We are a very tight knit family and although he is 40 he is still my baby. What a wonderful new years gift we got when everything came back showing no cancer and a stamp of approval from the doctors.

I have also decided to take a little sabbatical for a bit. I am going to relax and do some relaxing stitching. I shall share with you when I do decided to do something small and hopefully post a few free designs on my blog for everyone to (hopefully) enjoy. Well, let’s say, “I will actually post the free design on my message board and give you all a picture here on my blog.” Then if you are interested you can pick it up on my message board.

This is the chart I am presently working on. I decided to stitch my daughter a sampler so she will always remember who she is. She is presently in the middle of a divorce right now and I think it might be fun to get her birth name in print. 🙂 It is a chart from The Cross-Eyed Cricket and designed by Vicki Hastings. I am really enjoying stitching it. I am changing the girl around a bit to suit my tastes and I just have to give her red hair like my daughter. 🙂 I will post another picture once it is finished.



December 22nd, 2010

Sneak Peek

November 30th, 2010
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First of all let me mention that the drawing for the beautiful Unicorn Stitcher’s Treasure Box will be tomorrow oops, I mean today. I shall post the winner on the message board. Good luck to all who entered. You still have today to get your entries in. Visit the message board to find out who won.

This is a sneak peek at the new design I have been working on but moving very slowly. I have mentioned it a few times and I thought I might just add a picture of what the design is going to look like. This is a design I have re-visited. Some of you may remember the Simple Elegance book I designed when I first started this needle work business of mine. This is going to be a jewelry box and the stitch design is a mix of the out-of-print Simple Elegance and the Array of Style free sampler I offered on the message board just recently. I hope you all like it. This, of course is only one side. And, as is usual for me, it will be very simple to change the colors to your favorite colors.

I am thinking that now that Thanksgiving is over I may move along on this a little faster than I have been moving. I want to get it finished before Christmas as it is a Christmas gift for my daughter. Hmmmmm….her birthday is in January and I may have to make it a birthday present. Now that’s a thought.


Christmas Random Drawing

November 22nd, 2010
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Happy Holidays everyone. Wow…it’s here and I am so behind on my stitching I need a few more months to catch up. I think I am out-of-luck on this though. I have decided to do something a little different this year. I am still hoping to add a Christmas ornament for the members of my message board but I have so much to do I am getting a little concerned that I may not get it done. So….I have decided to have a Christmas drawing for all the members. What is it they say…many will enter, only one will win. This is true but hey, all it takes is a quick posting to enter and it may be you that wins. So if you are not a member of the message board as yet you might like to join us as this beautiful box may be yours. Who knows….someone will win and it may as well be you.

A little about the box you may win: This was the first year the Designing Ladies got together, 2005. Wow, it seems impossible it has been so long. This particular box is the Unicorn Box and the stitch design was by the amazing designer from Germany, Martina Weber of Chatelaine Designs. I designed the actual box and I finished this particular box. As a group the complete design was entitled “A Stitcher’s Treasure Box” and this is just one of many designers from all over the world that designed one of these boxes. This Unicorn box is covered with beads, metallic threads and specialty stitches. It truly is breathtaking to see in person.

So if you are not a member of the JAT message board yet, now is the time. Just click on “Register” in the top menu bar to register and don’t forget to send me a private message with your USERNAME so I can activate you. i activate no member requests unless I get a personal email along with the submitted registration. This is my way of keeping spammers out of our message board.

Oh heck…I forgot…would you all like to see the beautiful box that could be yours? 🙂 HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. TIS THE SEASON 🙂



September 11th, 2010
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New Gallery Pictures

September 10th, 2010
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Look at the beautiful pictures I received from some of my stitchers. Thanks for sharing ladies. I love to receive pictures of your finishes. It makes me proud. 🙂

Sallie B. stitched this. Can you believe it is the Attic Collection in a different color. She added some stitching instead of beads. It always amazes me what a difference just a color change will make. Beautiful work Sallie.

Sally W. sent me a picture of her Sampler Garden Casket. Absolutely beautiful work Sally.

There are lots more pictures of finished works on the message board. We stitchers love to share. 🙂


Free Sampler: Array of Style – part 1 – Outside border

July 23rd, 2010
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Free Sampler located on the JAT message board:

The first section of the Array of Style sampler is the outside border. It is free and it is on the message board just waiting for you to download. It is turning out just beautiful. I have added cross stitch, French knots and Satin stitches on the border. Cross stitching with overdyed fibers and adding tiny French knots over the cross stitching makes the little flowers absolutely beautiful. I am very happy with them and I think you will like them also. I am working on the next section. I am not sure how it will turn out but for now it is looking beautiful with some pulled thread work and decorative stitches.


Lady’s Cabinet Class finish

July 16th, 2010
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The Lady’s Cabinet class has just finished and we have some beautiful finishes already. Look at this blue cabinet that Sandi V. completed. How beautiful is this. There are more to see posted on the message board.
Way to go ladies. I am always amazed at how changing the color of the fibers gives such a different look to the box. Beautiful work Sandi.


I’m Back!

June 29th, 2010
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I have moved my office and it is somewhat put back together. I still have lots to do but it is together enough for me to work again. I got all the stash reduction orders out. Wow, it surprised me how quickly things went. It is almost time to get our Christmas exchange started. We always have lots of stitchers that join the exchange because it is easy and tons of fun; no stitching necessary. This year we will be exchanging decorative boxes. With stitching or not…just think of the possibilities. More on this later….

What am I up to now? So glad you asked. 🙂
This is the beginning of a free design I am going to be sharing with all my message board members. I don’t plan on it being a mystery sampler…I hate mysteries. But, I am stitching and designing as I go so it will come in parts. I will share my progress as I release sections each month for you all. This is just the start of this sampler. I am hoping to have all kinds of different stitching techniques so I am calling it “Array of Style” for now. Who knows what it will end up being called. The name generally comes to me as I stitch. I can tell you that this free design will be a sampler but there will be a most beautiful treasure chest to match once this sampler is done. It is going to be hard for me to wait to start the chest but I am going to try to be patient. Gosh…I hate having to be patient…just ask anyone who knows me. Patience is not my virtue. Hmmmmm…my virtue???? 🙂

Just two more things:
1. If you want to be notified when a new section of this sampler is released then you may want to click on the “Shop” link in the top menu of this page and subscribe to the newsletter. Otherwise, just keep checking back to see my progress.

2. Each new section will be released in PDF format on the message board so you should register if you are not a member yet. Just click on the “Message Board” link in the top menu also. NOTE: be sure to send me a private email with your user name once your registration is complete. Your membership will not be activated until I receive your personal email. Hitting the submit button does not send a personal email…it just sends your registration form.

Ok, way to much talk and not enough work so I am off. I shall return with something more for you soon.
Hugs everyone!


Random Thoughts

June 9th, 2010
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I am currently busy moving my office from the garage to the back bedroom. It is empty now and, as the picture shows, the view is just beautiful. So why not…I cannot believe the accumulation of stuff…this seems to be the only word that fits as it is not junk nor is it necessary…it is stuff. 🙂 Anyway, for some reason I am a little sentimental and emotional. Maybe it is just the fact that the room is empty and used to be full of kids and messes…the kids that occupied this room have grown but are not far away as yet…18 and 21…and I am not ready to kick them out of the nest. So…they have taken my spot in the garage. I think all of us are happy for the move. 🙂 I know that one day I shall look at that garage and, like this room, it will be empty of kids and their mess and I will wish they were still here. I tend to not let go…and I know I hold on too tight…but hey, who’s perfect.

My daughter sent me this beautiful poem the other day. She left the nest quite some time ago and is going through some trials herself currently. Anyway…it seems to fit each person that reads it differently…so I thought I would share it with you all…..

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too
uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get to much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for
someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…that you really are strong,
And you do have worth.
And you learn and learn…with every goodbye you learn.
……..Comes The Dawn…….Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall……………


Newsletter: Summer 2010

May 22nd, 2010
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Welcome friends. I hope you enjoy yourself and find something you are interested in.

What’s New………………………………………

The Northwest Sampler Guild (NSG) class project is finished. The name is Ribbon and Roses – Scissor Safe Workstation and you can sign up for it through NSG by going to their website and reading all about it. If you want to see more pictures of this little scissor safe you can scroll down to the blog below this one where you will find lots of pictures for you and also a direct link to their guild site. You will find the information regarding the cost and time of the class on their site also. The design is a scissor safe with scissor cubbies inside that move back and forth so you can get the scissor you want out. The side compartment is for your larger working scissors and tools. Add smaller tools like pins, thimbles and needle threaders in the small drawers below the scissor cubby. The cute little needle book on the side will hold your needles while not in use. The private class will be held on the JAT message board and registration is through NSG only. I will add you to the private class but they will register you.

Let’s Talk Finishing!

Let’s talk finishing! This is a new thought. I wanted to write finish instruction for designs that could be made in one or two days. No stitching required unless you choose to add it. Embellish it as you choose. I will embellish it the way I like but you can embellish yours any way you choose. Or, if you prefer, don’t add any embellishment at all. This is the Victorian set and is the first set in the “Let’s Talk Finishing!” series. These little PDF’s are available in the JAT store in the Design section, left margin-“Let’s Talk Finishing”. I plan on releasing more of these little sets so you can just mix and match them as you like. These little designs are perfect for a quick easy gift or just for the fun of finishing. 🙂

What’s Happening Now………………………………..

Mary Wigham Wardrobe is in full swing. Everyone seems to be enjoying the class and the stitching. It is such fun to chat with other stitchers and see what colors they have chosen for their wardrobe. Registration for this class is now closed. Pictures will be posted of the different finished wardrobes once the class is over and maybe some of the stitchers will share their thought’s on the class.

A Lady’s Cabinet class will be ending soon. The stitchers are finishing up the last section and the finish class will be held sometime in July. At the time of this blog we have not settled on a date but once the class is over we will be sure to add some pictures of finished cabinets. I am very excited to show the class members how easy it really is to finish. I know some are a little intimidated by finishing but I think they will all be surprised. We shall see. 🙂

The JAT store is still coming along.  I keep adding things as often as I can, which is slow going.  Anyway, I have set up some categories in the design section to help you find things a little easier.  Here is how it works…When you click on “Shop” in the top menu of this page you will see a  “What’s New” page.  Hopefully I have a few new things showing.  Then you can click on “Designs” in the top menu.  You will get a page that has all my designs.  Look at the left menu.  There you will see categories you can click on instead of scrolling through all my designs to find a particular design.   I hope this helps.    Moosie is trying to teach me how to do this and I know I am frustrating her and testing her patience most of the time.  Well you know the saying about “Old dogs and new tricks”?  I am a very old dog.  And I want to do the tricks my way. Thank goodness Moosie is a very dear friend.  🙂

Hot Tip ………………………………..

Away knots? Knot anymore! I don’t use away knots any longer. Not even when I stitch with over-dyed fibers that have to be turned in the same direction or are pre-cut so are too short to fold over. With DMC one can just fold the thread in half, making a loop on one end. Thread the two loose ends into the needle. Make the first leg of your cross stitch, or whatever stitch your working, and catch the loop of the thread when you come back up for the next stitch.

Well, with over-dyed fibers you have no folded end. (Remember, both lengths of thread have to go the same direction.) So I tie a little tiny knot at the end of my thread. I cut the tail off right at the knot and work it just as if it were a folded thread. Perfect, no away knots for me. 🙂

How to?……………………….

Thread Roll-up

So fast, so easy and ever so cute. I did get the old dusty sewing machine out for this but you could do it by hand….well you could!

1. Cut a piece of cotton batting or wool felt about 8 inches by 36 inches. Cut a piece of decorative fabric 8 inches by 36 1/4 inch. Pin whatever lace you have chosen onto the cotton batting so that the lace is facing the inside. If you don’t want lace you could add beads, cording or whatever you can think of once your thread roll is finished. But if you want lace like the picture, you need to add it now.

2. Pin the decorative fabric, right side down, onto the cotton batting, sandwiching the lace between them. Sew around the thread roll-up about 1/4 of an inch away from the edges. Leave one short end open so you can turn it.

3. Turn your thread roll-up inside out. Pin the open end closed. Stitch about 1/8 of an inch all the way around the roll-up.

4. Add a ribbon tie to the outside of your thread roll up. I cut about a 24 inch ribbon.

5. Roll it up, tie it and tuck it away until you need it again.

This is so easy I know you are thinking…why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 The threads stick like magic. They stay where you put them.

Give as gifts and you will be a star. Who would not want one or two of these. I just love them. Make a larger one and roll your working linen in it for storage. You could roll your thread roll-up inside your linen roll-up. Make one larger and you have a bed cover…oh ha…now I am just being too silly. 🙂 But you get the idea. Enjoy!

Spotlight on Accessories……………………

PVA Finishing Glue: Wow, this is great stuff. It opens the door to many wonderful ideas for me. No more hot glue, well ok, just a bit maybe here and there for instant bond. But this glue is fabulous. I will be carrying it in my store for a short time…not sure how long though. We shall see. But I have it while it lasts for now.

This is acid free glue. It dries fast, flexible and clear. You can clean up any messes with water. I think the most important factor is that it is flexible when it dries. After I heard about this glue I had to find a manufacturer and try this stuff. I was not disappointed…it is wonderful. I love it and I use it now instead of any other glue on my designs. Actually, I use super strong double sided tape and this PVA glue. They partner so well together.

Spotlight on Finishing……………………

Ribbon Gathering Many of you have heard me say this before…I tried ribbon roching and just could not do it. So I came up with ribbon gathering. Here is how I ribbon gather.

Start by folding the beginning of your ribbon under and taking a few tacking stitches to keep it folded in place. Attach the folded end to your project.

Weave your threaded needle in and out of the ribbon just like when you gather normally. I generally space my weaving about 1/8 inch apart and weave three times each trip.

Pull your thread to gather the ribbon and insert your needle into the linen about 1/4 inch away from where you last attached to the linen.

Weave again…pull your thread…insert your needle into the linen about 1/4 inch away from where you last attached to the linen.

Continue repeating these steps until you are done. Attach the end of the ribbon by folding it under again and tacking the folded end securely where it meets the beginning of the ribbon.

What’s coming?……………………

I am working on a new cabinet with a pyn cushion to go with it. I am thinking it will be a PDF release and not a private group release. I am not sure but I am leaning this direction.

I am also going to be releasing a new box for the “Just A Box” series and of course I have plans already for a new “Let’s Talk Finishing” design series. These are so much fun to make.

Who knows what will happen first but I am antsy to do the cabinet and cushion so I am thinking that will be my next release. 🙂 I will be sending newsletters out each time I release something new so if you don’t want to hear from me from time-to-time then just option out when you get the newsletter. If you just happened on this blog and want to be sure you do not miss anything then look at the top of this page and click on “shop”. The first page you get will have a “subscribe” box in the right menu. Just add your email address and submit. You will receive a verification email that you need to click on to let me know it is really you and you really do want to subscribe. Just click on it and you will be done. Finished…easy as that!

That’s it….I hope you enjoyed yourself. I shall be posting another large blog this coming winter. There will be more surprises for you, new ideas for you to try and hopefully some new designs for you to check out. Oh, I will still be here but my blogs won’t be quite as long winded as this one.

Keep stitching everyone…and remember to “Keep looking up – you can bet someone will be looking back.” Just A Thought from Judy Odell