Friday, December 9, 2011

Peace Quilt release and other happenings

Peace Quilt

Hi Friends!

If you haven't seen Peace Quilt yet, here it is! The model is stitched over two on 28 count Olive Green Cashel linen from Zweigart using hand over-dyed floss from The Gentle Art and Crescent Colours. It is accented with Mill Hill Beads in the little diamonds to give it just a touch of sparkle for the Holiday season. The frame is from East Side Mouldings, their Olde Towne Commons in Black/Onion. If your needlework shop doesn't have it yet, have them give me a call or order it through Hoffman. I loved stitching this design and the whole time I had Christmas carols ringing through my head, especially the ones that include the phrase "Peace on Earth." One of my favorites is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. When I hear this song, I can still picture the page it was on in my Mom's tattered old piano book. Here are the words in case you are unfamiliar with it:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

The message in this song is so powerful. It is a reminder that we are God's hands here on Earth. Goodwill doesn't just happen. So in that spirit I donated my model of Peace Quilt to my church, St. Paul Lutheran in Enola, PA, so that it could be raffled off at their annual bazaar. The price for a raffle ticket was a canned good. We collected a 100 lbs. of food for our local food bank to help those in need. I hope this small endeavor inspires you throughout the Holiday season and beyond to use your gifts to help make the world a better place, after all it is just "a small voice, a chime, a chant sublime" that keeps us all from despair.

Now onto other of the proudest moments that I have had raising my boys is pinning their Eagle Scout award onto them. Andrew, my youngest received his on Nov. 25. Here I am pinning it on!!


For his Eagle project he (and his troop) created a prayer garden at our church's cemetery, a lovely spot for contemplation and memories. And here are all three of my wonderful children. And even though they are supposed to be young adults, they cannot be serious for a good photo.


First one isn't too bad, but then Laura had to start her antics, because she is so short in comparison to the boys. During the ceremony, Shane gave Andrew his Eagle charge and welcomed him into the ranks of fellow Eagles. Oh, it was good to have them all together and all dressed up in their uniforms!!


All my Best,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Garden Release

winter garden

Winter Garden is available starting today on the Needlework Online Show. I had so many stitchers request a continuation of Autumn Garden, so here is the next season. Like Autumn Garden, Winter Garden celebrates the colors of the season, in this case red, green and gold. The model is stitched over two on 30 count Ligonier Latte linen from R & R Reproductions using overdyed floss from The Gentle Art. My favorite part is the "Nordic Ribbon" border. I hope you enjoy stitching this fun little sampler. Spring is next, be looking for the chart to be release at Nashville in February.

The Needlework Online Show opens today, 20 October at 2pm EST and closes at midnight on 25 October. Here is the link. Browse through the General Viewing pages and note which designs you need to have, such as Winter Garden, and then let your favorite needlework shop know, so that they can place the order. There is also a list of the retail shops that are participating, in case you need to find a shop.

All my Best,

Friday, October 14, 2011

NorthCoast Tour de Stitch

Hi Friends!

If you live in Ohio or in a surrounding state, you are in luck this weekend. Five needlework shops have banned together to offer a "shop hop." They are offering door prizes, specially-designed needlework projects and trunk shows at each shop. My trunk show is on display at Just Stitching in Stongsville, Ohio. The other participating shops are: Clare's Stitching Post in Vermilion, Ohio, Craft Gallery in Findlay, Ohio, Crafty Ewe in Broadview Heights, Ohio and The Curiosity Shoppe in Oak Harbor, Ohio. For more information follow this link. Hope you are able to join the fun! My trunk show will be on display at Just Stitching until the end of October.

Keep Stitching!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Soil and Sand restitch

Soil and Sand front

Hi friends!

I recently decided that Soil and Sand needed a new look to get stitchers interested in the design. I designed this chart when I was researching weaving patterns to create my Nine Shaft Sampler design several years ago. I love the movement of this pattern. I originally stitched it in black floss on 9 count Heatherfield, I also stitched up a little needlecase at the time. I revisited my needlecase and decided to stitch it up with a bit more color. This version is stitched with Chameleon Thread's Stormy Seas space-dyed floss on Weeks Dye Works Straw linen.

Soil and Sand open

This is the fourth time that I have stitched this design and each time it stitches up so quickly.

Soil and Sand interior

The interior features a piece of blanketstitched felt for storing your needles.

Soil and Sand back

I hope the new model will inspire you to look for the chart.


Holy, Holy, Holy in Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue

The special issue of the magazine was released in the beginning part of September, so I hope you have picked up your copy. I will be getting mine this weekend and can't wait to see it, as this is the first time I have been featured in the magazine. I hope Holy, Holy, Holy becomes a special ornament on your tree this year.

All my Best,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rain, Rain...

Go away or go to Texas, anywhere but here in Central PA.

Flood D

This is the nice, tranquil Conodoguinet Creek, which flows right below my house. We are fortunate that our house is up a high bank and out of the danger zone. But...

Flood B

neighbors right down the street are not so lucky. As shown in the photo, the creek is coming up to meet the house.

Flood C

Here is another photo showing how fast the water is moving. Please remember our neighbors and others who are being displaced by the raging waters of Tropical Storm Lee in your prayers. The forecast for the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg is that it will have the second highest crest level in history.

One good thing about all of the rain...I just want to sit and stitch. I am restitching a couple of models to get them ready for a trunk show in October. I'll have more info on that, but I think I will save that for another post.

Hope you are keeping dry!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Autumn Garden Patera

Autumn Garden motif necklace

Hi Friends!

I have had so many people interested in how I make the Patera necklaces. They really are stunning. I wanted to share the latest one that I made using the central motif of Autumn Garden. I created this necklace and earring set for my sister-in-law. I changed the colors up a bit to fit her personality and wardrobe. The "island" colors give a different to the motif look along with the delicacy of stitching over one.

On another note; to all of you looking for Autumn Garden to turn into a seasonal series, you are getting your wish! Winter Garden is well underway in the design process and I am looking at releasing it in October during the Online Needlework Show. Stayed tuned for a sneak peek once I am in the stitching phase. I will be using Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art for the entire series. I love the look these threads give to the finished worke.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baltimore Market Recap

I had an absolutely fantastic time at the Baltimore Fall Market! My mind is still reeling with all of the new ideas I have for Summer House. I learned so much and meet so many great people. The needlework industry is full of the nicest people you would ever want to encounter. Since it was my first time to exhibit on the national level, I was a little apprehensive about how long it would take to set up, etc. Brenda Kocher and I shared a suite, which worked out great. She is such a fun person and we were laughing all weekend long. We were not laughing when we initially looked at our room though. It was so much smaller than we imagined and the hotel stipulated that none of the furniture was to be moved. So, after an ice cream treat from Megan at Needlework Retailer, we decided on a plan and had our booth set up in about an hour's time. Here are some photos of our booth and the Hotel.


The "Summer House" side of the booth.


We shared space on our make shift table display across the couch.


Brenda's side of the booth.


The atrium of the Embassy Suites.

I released three new designs at Market and I can tell you that Autumn Garden was very well received. It is stitched on R & R Reproduction linen in Ligonier Latte with Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art. I had a chance to meet Kristi and Nancy from The Gentle Art and you will be seeing more of my future designs featuring their thread. I was also able to see their wool floss line and I loved the feel and stitched look of it.



As a promotion, I did a drawing for the Autumn Garden model. Cathy Habermann from Cherry Wood Design Studios drew Cathy Roginela from Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL as the winner. We laughed, because when Cathy R. filled out her ticket for the drawing, she wrote down her room number, as she was positive the model was going home with her! Congratulations Cathy!!


I also released the second design in the Fathers of Freedom series, American Ambassador, featuring Benjamin Franklin. It is stitched on Sandstone/Tea-dyed linen by Wichelt with DMC floss. The beautiful frame is from Valley House Primitives.

American Ambassador close-up

Detail of the frame graining pattern. MCD moulding in Lamplight with Hairpin graining.


Last, but not least is Svetlana's Biscornu. This piece was inspired by a display of Ukrainian cross stitch at Hand Dyed Fibers Needlework Exhibition in June. I love the contrast of the vibrant colors with black. This was my first attempt at creating a biscornu and it was not a difficult process at all. Finishing instructions are included in the chart.

I hope you enjoy my newest designs and I am already making plans for Nashville's Market in February.

All my Best,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Baltimore Fall Market

Hi Friends!

Well, my car is all packed up and I am ready to head to Baltimore for the Fall Market. I am really excited, as this is my first "big" show. I can't wait to meet fellow designers, shop owners, etc. It should prove to be a real learning experience for me. I will be releasing three new designs, including the next installment of the Founders of Freedom series. I will post photos soon and give you updates on all the fun at Baltimore!

All my Best,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Hi Friends!

I know, I am the world's worst blogger! I am so behind in posting that the thought of everything I have to tell you just overwhelms me, so I keep procrastinating. Well, I decided if I break it down, maybe the task wouldn't be quite so daunting. Let's start with Amazing Grace. I released this design in May, so I hope you have seen it before now. The inspiration for this design came from a Bible study that I participated in during Lent. It was an enlightening study of a few of the Parables. We all need a little reminder that it is indeed, "all about Grace." The pamphlet includes charts for the main design and two companion pieces. The main chart is cross stitched over two threads, except for the verse, which is cross stitched over one linen thread. It also features Algerian Eye Stitch, which is a fun little stitch.

Amazing Grace-complete
I applied my finished pieces to a repurposed wooden box to create a sewing box.

Amazing Grace-pin cushion
Here is a close-up of the pin cushion. I filled it with polyfill and lead fishing sinkers for weight.

Amazing Grace-companion B
Companion B was applied to the top of an Altoid tin and now holds small sewing implements. All three pieces were stitched on 28 count Cashel linen from Zweigart in Raw Linen with DMC floss. Hope you enjoy this design!

Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How do you stitch?

stitching tools
some of my favorite stitching tools

Hello fellow stitchers!

Today's posting is a bit different. I would love to know how you stitch. We know how to create the actual stitches, but what tools do you use? Do you sit at a table or your easy chair? What stitching hints can you offer for your fellow stitchers. When I am stitching with others, I always like to see how they stitch and I have definitely learned a thing or two. Let me share how I stitch.

My favorite stitching frame is a Q-snap frame. I use the 6 x 6 one. I have tried using the 11 x 11 one for larger projects, but I find it awkward to hold, so I usually just go back to the small one. I have always wrapped my project around the tubes from the top, so that what I am stitching is on top. But, every time I go to end my thread, I have to twist the holders, so that I can get to the stitches to run the thread under them. So, on the last piece I stitched, I wrapped the fabric from the bottom, so I had to stitch down into the frame, but I avoided having to twist the holders and adjust my tension all the time.

I love my little Mighty Bright clip on light. It clips right onto the Q-snap frame. I also have another one that has the magnifier attached. Since I have discovered magnifier glasses, I don't use the one with the magnifier as much. It is heavier and you have to constantly be moving the magnifier around. The glasses work much better for me.

The floss for the project I am working on goes into a small dish, so that I can keep it contained. I put my embroidery scissors in the dish as well. I do wrap my floss onto bobbins and store them numerically.

It depends on what time of the day it is as to where I sit to stitch. During the day, I will sit at my work table in my studio, but in the evenings, I prefer the family room with my comfy recliner. My only problem then is where to put my magnetic chart holder. I lean it up against the cat when he is on my lap, but he sometimes gets annoyed with that. ;)

I hope maybe you learned something from me through this little description and I hope to learn from what you have to say, so please leave comments.

Happy Stitching!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Catching up with Summer House

E. Pluribus Unum

E. Pluribus Unum Release
E. Pluribus Unum is ready for your stitching pleasure! It will be available starting tomorrow through The Needlework Show. This is an online show, running April 14 - 19, open to wholesale customers only. Contact your favorite shop, brick and mortar or online, as they will have "customer view" pages for your perusal. Here is a link to the show: My show special is free shipping to any shop within the US.

Studio Rearrangement
One of my favorite pastimes is rearranging my living spaces. I have had this condition since I was a child. My family has always been very patient and understanding with me. Quite a lot to ask of them, since on any given day, my hubby will come home and the living room will be completely rearranged. Sometimes my kids would wake up in one bedroom and go to sleep in a different one. I can justify it by various explanations such as space usage evolving and the current set-up just doesn't work or the kids need more room to set up a train track. How about we need to wear the carpet evenly. Whatever my line is, moving furniture just plain ol' makes me happy! Sometimes my new configuration doesn't work, but then you get the opportunity to try something else. It is always a win-win situation, for me at least.

This past weekend, my studio was on the agenda. Since moving into this house two years ago, I have had this room in at least three different configurations. (Sometimes I just move a few pieces, so that doesn't really count.) It is a large room, as it is the formal living room of the house, so I share the space with a conversation area and the piano. This is a very important room to me, since I spend a considerable amount of time in it each day. I needed a space where my creative energy can be unleashed, in whatever project I am working on. My problem with my previous arrangement was it was more like an office, instead of a studio. I concluded that I needed a work table, more than I needed a desk. I needed a place where I could throw fabric across to cut for a finishing project or perhaps paint a shelf along with the usual office duties of computer and files. So, take a look at my result. I think the arrangement is much better. (I always say that!!! Just part of the "condition.")

studio left

The studio from the left. I use old picnic baskets to organize and store ribbon, linen, drawing tools, etc.

studio right

And looking to the right. The closet in the foyer holds fabric and art supplies.

burlap bulletin board

The first project that I created on my new work table was this burlap bulletin board. I covered foamboard with a piece of burlap and framed it in an old frame that I bought years ago. Take note of the push pins. I glued thumbtacks to vintage buttons, so that I have a complete needle art look.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Have a great day!!

Always my best,

Monday, April 4, 2011

E. Pluribus Unum Preview

E. Pluribus Unum preview

My apologies for being a horrible blogger during the month of March. I have been busy stitching away, mostly on my newest release E. Pluribus Unum. It is an adaptation of the Great Seal, based on an old wool coverlet I saw woven in 1852. I stitched it using Weeks Dye Works over-dyed floss (in Kohl) on 28 count Weeks Dye Works gingham linen. I stitched it over one, just because I wanted the finished image to be small, but the chart can be read as over two just as well. More photos to come, as I get it framed. It will be released at the Online Needlework Show on April 14 - 19 2011, so see your favorite shop, as the show is open to wholesale customers only.

All my Best,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



After a week of schedule changes and delays, we finally welcomed home our oldest son, Shane, from his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had been stationed there for a year with the Army's 10th Mountain Division. He had a good tour and shared with us some of his experiences of the Afghan culture, the food, village life, etc. As you can well imagine, this mom is very glad to have her son back on American soil. He is pictured here with his girl, Mackenzie.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gathering of the Guilds, Harrisburg, PA

9th Annual Gathering of Central PA Fiber & Needlework Guilds

The place to be this Saturday, February 26, 2011, is the Swatara Church of God Gym at 4860 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111, from 9am - 4pm. The church is easily accessible from I-283, exit 2. Eighteen Central Pennsylvania guilds will be participating with displays of members' work, demonstrations and make-it/take-it projects available. The guilds include a vast array of handcrafts such as lacemaking, quilting, basket making, polymer clay, sewing, wheat weaving and embroidery. (I am sure I missed something in there!) Admission is a canned good donation for the Central PA Food Bank. Parking is available at the church and also in the WITF parking lot across the street. A shuttle will be running between that parking lot and the church. Soup, sandwiches and baked goods will be offered by the ladies of the Church of God.

I will be displaying my stitched models along with two other area designers, Brenda Kocher (Brenda Kocher Designs) and Mary Fox (A. Fox Originals.) Half Moon Handwerks will also be on hand with supplies for a large array of needlework, including gorgeous Chameleon Threads from South Africa. It should be quite a day!!! I hope if you live within driving distance of Harrisburg, PA you make the trip!!

All my Best,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Stitching News!

I am so excited, I just learned the ornament I submitted to Just Cross Stitch will be included in their 2011 Ornament issue. As a stitcher this has always been one of my favorite publications. If you have never picked up an Ornament issue, it is filled with wonderful ornaments designed by all of the industry favorites along with personal Holiday stories and recipes submitted by those same designers. I have always been able to find a chart for the perfect ornament that I need for a special gift. It will be such an honor to be included in this publication. I will definitely keep you up to date and let you know the publication date and a little preview of my ornament.

Keep Stitching!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nashville Release

Midnight Frost

Introducing Midnight Frost
I love snowflakes! My favorite are the kind that you can really "see." I think I have been fascinated by these frosty fractals my entire life. Their endless array of pattern is soul food. As a child, I used to decorate our livingroom walls, my bedroom walls and pretty much any other wall I could cover, with cutout snowflakes. With as much paper cutting as I did, I should be a scherenschnitte designer instead of cross-stitch. Okay, I admit, I don't like the grueling act of shoveling mountains of snow, but there is excitement in their downy freshness when they are newly fallen. Now onto the elements of creation. The gorgeous, gorgeous fabric is 28 count Cashel Linen in Mercedes from Picture This Plus. I really recommend a hand-dyed for this project, as it adds dimension to the overall look. The floss is DMC and the frame is Old Cupboard in Blue from East Side Mouldings. A hand-dyed floss would also be lovely for this. I will not be attending Nashville (hopefully next year!), but Hoffman will have Midnight Frost at their booth.


Frost Necklace
I love to show that these charts can be used in a myriad of ways, here is another idea for Midnight Frost. I created this necklace for a friend of mine for Christmas. Using a small portion of the Midnight Frost chart, I stitched it over one on the same Mercedes fabric from Picture This Plus. I then inserted it into a silver Patera from Nunn Designs, covered it with DG3 gel to protect it and added various beads and charms. (See my previous blog posting on the Patera's.) She absolutely loved it. I think I need to create another for me...

Thank You!!
A big thank you to all of the wonderful viewers and followers that have welcomed me into the "cyberside of stitching." Your response has completely overwhelmed me. I wasn't able to think straight the entire weekend!! I loved your comments, please keep them coming, as your responses help me get to know you and so, in turn help me to create designs that you will love.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Stitching Heritage

Calisca's Stitching

If someone was to ask me about my most prized possessions, I would have to include this little piece of linen that my great-grandmother, Calisca Diana Hoy Corman cross-stitched on her 17th birthday. As a child, my Grandfather was sharing our family history with me, including some old family Bibles. As we were leafing through the pages, I discovered this little piece of linen. It is about 3.5 inches in length and 2 inches in width. We were both confused with the "f" in her name, which I later learned in German class was properly used for a double "s." The Hoy family by this time spoke and wrote in English, so the "s" must have just been a little leftover from their German ancestors. My Grandfather also thought the "7" was a "9," since she was married in 1875, it makes sense that she stitched this on her 17th birthday.

Calisca's Stitching-close-up
As a stitcher, I have become fascinated with how small the stitches really are. They are absolutely miniscule. I can't imagine stitching them, especially without very strong magnification!! I have no idea why she decided to stitch her name and date on this piece of linen, other than it was her birthday, but I am glad she did. I don't know much about her besides her basic statistics, but I know that she could stitch. I hope that someday my great-granddaughter can look at one of my workes and feel connected to me through the stitches as I do with Calisca.

All my Best,

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years ~ In Memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger

Certain images burn into your memory and capture a generation. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was one of those. The astronauts of today are our pioneers, daring to cross into the unknown to discover what lies ahead of for all of us. The seven crew members of the Challenger were such intrepid travelers. Today we remember the ultimate price they paid to extend our knowledge of the unknown. I wanted to share a photographic triptych I created in February of 2003 after the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon entrance into Earth's atmosphere. It speaks of the wonder of space, the infantile knowledge we hold of the vast universe and our continuing quest for the future. I used images of the disasters and my children, along with those from the Pearl, located in Reykjavik, Iceland, training site of the first American astronauts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the brave crew and also to our current astronauts who daily face the challenges of space.

image © 2003 Beth A. Seal

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mr. President is Released Today!

Hi Friends!

Introducing my first new chart for 2011, Mr. President, the initial pattern in my new series entitled Fathers of Freedom. This series will feature quotes from our founding fathers along with their silhouettes. Of course George Washington is the logical first founding father to feature, as "Lighthorse" Henry Lee stated, "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." George Washington played many roles in the development of our new nation, from Commander in Chief of the struggling patriot army to our first president. As president, he had the task of developing the executive and judicial branches of our Federal government. Many of the precedents that he established are still followed today. The quote that is featured in Mr. President was in a letter to James Madison a year before General Washington became our first president.

Now for the specifics of the worke. The model was stitched on 28 count Golden Tan Cashel linen from Zweigart using DMC floss. The incredibly gorgeous frame is hand-grained from Valley House Primitives. ( ) Their MCQ moulding in Lancaster Red with Yorktown graining. I can't say enough of how great Janet and Joy are to work with! The stitch count is 189 x 68.

I hope you enjoy stitching this series, look for the next installment in May.

All my Best,