Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Facebook Page


Hi Stitching Friends!

Did you know that Summer House Stitche Workes has a Facebook page? Well there is one and now you can link to it from my blog page. I finally figured out where I had to put the code to accomplish this little feat of technology. Just click on the link to the right and it will take you right to the Facebook page. When you "like" the page, you can stay up to date on the latest happenings here at the Summer House. I post little snippets to Facebook that don't appear on the blog. So please "like" Summer House Stitche Workes.

As Always,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ethereal Illumination Ornament in Just CrossStitch

Ethereal Illumination-JXS preview w/ Mag

Thought I would share with you my ornament that is in the July/August 2013 issue of Just CrossStitch magazine. This is the first Ethereal Illumination ornament you will see, a second design will be included in the 2013 Just CrossStitch special edition ornament issue. And if two are not enough for your tree, I will be releasing another 7 accompanying designs in a chart in September. (About the same time the ornament issue hits the newsstands.) All of the ornaments were inspired by stained glass windows in churches or cathedrals. They are stitched with Weeks Dye Works floss in Purple Rain, Curry and Garnet on 28 ct. opalescent white Lugana from Zweigart.

Ethereal Illumination-JXS Preview

A close up view, somehow the sparkles in the fabric just don't come out in the photos, you can see a little bit of sparkle here. The hanger was created using Mill Hill beads. Another sparkly touch.

Ethereal Illumination-close up finishing

Here you can see a close up of the edge finishing. I used a "biscornu" finishing technique, lacing ladderstitch through the perimeter backstitch on each side of fabric. I love this finishing, it is easy and looks really nice.

I will share more photos, once I have the other ornaments in hand. My daughter liked the designs so well she offered to stitch the models for me. I don't get to see them until she visits in August!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!!

Mr. President-Needlecase

I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating our nation's birth and what makes it great! This is a little snippet of the Mr. President chart, that I have been planning on finishing off into a needlecase since I stitched in a couple of years ago, but the needlecase is still not together... I guess we all have WIPs. I hope you find time to stitch during your festivities.

All my Best,

p.s. Just a side note to my previous posting on the Gettysburg Sesquicentennial... my great-great grandfather was injured at the Wheatfield. My cousin Duane, who is a Civil War reenactor for the PA 148th, will be playing Zachariah at Gettysburg on July 5th, as the three days of the Battle are reenacted.  Happy Fourth!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Battle of Gettysburg ~ Sesquicentennial

Gettysburg Battlefield

150 years ago today, July 2, 1863, my great-great grandfather, Zachariah Truckenmiller, was fighting in one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, The Wheatfield at Gettysburg. The twenty acre field changed hands six times during the course of the day and over 6,000 men where killed, wounded or captured there.

148th PA Regiment Monument

The monument honoring the 148th Pennsylvania Infantry where they fought at the Wheatfield at Gettysburg.

Pennsylvania Monument

The Pennsylvania Monument. As a child, it kept us quite busy looking for Zachariah's name on the Pennsylvania monument. His name is too long and doesn't fit, so it is just Z. Truckenmiller. It is in the center group of names on the right hand side of the photo below.

Zachariah's name

High Water Mark

The High Water Mark.

Gettysburg Field

If you have never had a chance to tour Gettysburg, I highly recommend it. It is a hauntingly, beautiful place. We toured the Battlefield once again in May and experienced the new visitor's center. We were impressed with how the history of both sides was presented and also the aftermath of the battle and how it effected the people of Gettysburg. It is truly sacred American ground.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sneak Peak at Rebecca's Primer

Hi All!

Well here she is, Rebecca's Primer!

Rebecca's Primer

The charts are at the printer now, I will be picking them up in the next day or so. I hope you love this primitive styled sampler. She is not a reproduction, but was inspired by an antique example. One of the things I noted on the inspiration piece was how the uppercase alphabets were so precisely stitched, but the lowercase was not. I wonder if the original stitcher had a guide for the uppercase but created the lowercase as she stitched? Either way, it seemed it was a real learning piece, hence the "primer" part of the name. You will also note the use of the "f" type letter for the lowercase "s," definitely a Pennsylvania German trait. I added my own great-grandmother's name in the piece just for fun and her birthdate. It would be a great spot to add your own name and date to personalize the piece. The chart also includes this corresponding piece, Rebecca's Pinkeep.

Rebecca's Pinkeep

Just a fun design that can be worked into so many little finishes. I love pincushions, so that is how I finished it, but it would also make a nice pocket. Actually it is about the size of my iPhone 4. I really considered making it into a phone pocket.

Now for the specifics of the models. They were both stitched over two on 30 ct. Straw linen from Weeks Dye Works with over-dyed floss from The Gentle Art. The frame for the sampler is from East Side Mouldings, one of their Olde Towne Commons frames in black. Also note that the sampler includes some fun stitches, Algerian Eye and Four-sided Stitch along with the cross stitch. I included stitch diagrams to help you along. They are both easy and fun stitches to enhance your piece.

Rebecca's Primer - close up

Here is a close-up, so you can see the four-sided stitch and Algerian eye a little bit better. I really love the old feel that this sampler emits. As I have sat at my desk the last few days with her hanging on the wall beside me, I have really bonded with this piece. It will be hard to let it go on the road with my trunk show.

And speaking of the trunk show, right now it is at Strawberry Sampler in Glen Mills, PA with Beth and Molly. I will be joining them on Saturday, 22 June for a "Meet the Designer" day. I am really excited about going, so if you are in the area, please stop by, I would love to meet you. I will also be bring Rebecca's Primer with me.

Well all for now, we are in the midst of remodeling our kitchen, so I need to get back to sanding and painting. Ugh! It will be wonderful when it is done, but you know how it is when your kitchen is torn up. Making a meal can be a challenge. I will post a few pics once things are looking a bit better!

All my Best,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stitched and Noted

Hi Stitching Friends!

I have a few photos to share of some completed Summer House Stitche Workes designs that have been sent to me. It is so rewarding to me to see how stitchers have interpreted my designs. The first photo to share is from Patti R and her wonderful finish of Calico Sampler.

photo used by permission of Patti R.

Patti used the recommended linen and floss and her sister, Petra Dennis sewed the wonderful quilt finish. Petra has her own finishing business, so if you are in need of some finishing work, here is her website: http://www.needlewoman.biz. I love the fabrics she chose, they just set off the stitching perfectly.

The next finish is Star from Jeanne Horton of Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI.

photo used by permission of Jeanne Horton, Country Sampler, Spring Green, WI

Jeanne's shop model is stitched on 28 ct. Natural linen. She and her girls have kitted up the chart, fabric and floss. If you are interested in her kit, here is her website: http://sgcountrysampler.com/wp/. I wish her shop was closer to me, as the photos of her displays of quilts, needlework and antiques are very inspiring.

I hope you have enjoyed this little show and tell and if you have any finishes of my designs, email them to me, as I would love to showcase them as well.

Next week's post will be a sneak peak of my newest design. I have the model nearing completion and the needlecase is finished. I still haven't finalized a name for her, I have several possibilities, hmmm, maybe I will let all of you vote on her name...

Enjoy the Spring and have a Happy Mother's Day this weekend.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Miss Bailey's Discovery

Baby Bunnies

Hi Friends!

On Sunday afternoon I had just sat down on the back porch with a glass of ice tea after battling the ivy on the bank in my backyard (not done yet!!) when I heard a little squeak. Bailey loves to explore the bank and snorkel through the ivy and on Sunday, she found three little somethings...newborn bunnies. We promptly removed Bailey and put her in the house. She was not happy. I grabbed my camera to take a couple of shots and then very carefully covered them up again. Believe me, moving rabbit fur with sticks is not an easy process, but I didn't want to touch anything with my fingers. I just hope mama came back at some point to feed them. I learned from our vet that rabbits only feed their young once a day, the rest of the time, the mother tries to stay far away from the nest, so that she is not drawing attention to the babes. I will be on the look out for baby bunnies lopping through my backyard.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Completed Calico Sampler

Completed Calico Sampler

Hi Friends!

I just realized that I had never posted this photo of the completed Calico Sampler design, so here it is! I backed it with a natural muslin that had a lot of natural flecks in it. I will eventually put tabs on the top, so it can hang from a dowel or most likely a branch, so it really has a nice primitive look. I loved doing this sampler and the many borders offer a myriad of applications, not to mention the alphabet. When I first played around with this idea, I was trying to create words with the alphabet, but I could not figure out how to use each of the letters, so I settled for the sampler idea, which definitely works. Someday when my stitching schedule allows, if that ever happens LOL!,  I would like to create M-E-R-R-Y C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, all letters stitched and finished individually and then strung together on a piece of jute to create a mantel swag. Perhaps one of these days, I will get to that project. Please send me photos as you complete your version of Calico Sampler. I would love to see your interpretations.

As I was talking to my daughter about the "Dyslexic" Sampler that I blogged about earlier this week, she suggested it was stitched by a rebellious teenager that didn't enjoy stitching. I thought that idea was good for a laugh, so I thought I would share. As I have tried to do some research online about samplers with backward letters, I am finding that there may be just one letter backward, or that within a word a letter may be backward, suggesting that the schoolgirl may not have known how to form that particular letter or perhaps she was dyslexic, but I did not find any samplers that had the extensive amount of backward stitching as this example does.

Well, I need to get back to stitching!! I am really trying to make some progress on my next release. Sneak peak coming soon!!

All my Best,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dyslexic Sampler?

dyslexic sampler

Hi Folks!

While antiquing this past weekend, I happened along a strange sampler and I was hoping that collectively maybe we could shed some light on this particular sampler. Either way I thought it was an interesting piece to share. When I first looked at it, I thought, they have framed it backwards, perhaps to show the quality of the stitching. But then I noticed the second row of lettering is correct. Anybody have any ideas on this one, as to why it would have been stitched this way? I apologize for the poor photo, the sampler was up rather high on the wall with a pole in front of it, so this was about as good as I could get with my phone.

Let me know your thoughts.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The National Needlearts Association Survey

Hi Stitching Friends!

You may have heard about this survey from your LNS or another blog, but I want to put the information out there as well, because this survey is so important to our industry. This is the tool that shops and designers use to find out what stitchers are interested in. It helps us to better serve you. I go back from time to time to look at the results as I am planning new releases. I also look at past survey results to see where the trends are going. So please, if you have not already done so, take a few minutes to fill out the survey. The survey will only be open until April 30. TNNA is also offering a shopping spree to one lucky participant. Here is all of the pertinent information you need, including the link.

Please complete the triennial national Yarn, Stitching, and Weaving 2013 Survey athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TNNAfiber.
The 10-minute survey asks about your experiences with the needlearts you enjoy: crocheting, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, needlepoint, spinning, or weaving. Let us know which types of projects you prefer, how you like to learn, and what you’d like to see needlearts shops do better. The needlearts community needs your advice and opinions, whether you are a beginner or an expert! This survey is conducted every few years by The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA). Your input is very important and will be included in a published national report.
Your answers are anonymous. No one will use your survey responses to market to you.
In return for your participation, you will receive valuable benefits:
· Gain a chance to win one of five $100 needlearts gift certificates.
· Ensure stores, manufacturers, and other suppliers provide what you want.
· Explore your needlearts interests.
Your valuable input will also help the needlearts community:
· Give guilds, associations, community groups, and others guidance to grow the world of needlearts.
· Help independent retailers and family-owned suppliers succeed by giving them the customer feedback they need.
The survey is sponsored by TNNA, an organization of businesses dedicated to supporting the needlearts community. Hart Business Research is conducting this survey for TNNA and compiling the results into a major national report, The State of Specialty Needlearts 2013Please complete the survey right away at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TNNAfiberThe survey closes April 30, 2013.

Spring is erupting in my neighborhood. The flowering trees are absolutely gorgeous. I have forsythia cut and placed all over my house to bring the Spring indoors. My fat cat has come out of his winter hibernation and is back to all of his feline eccentricities. We were beginning to worry about him, as he was sleeping a good part of the each day away, but no more. He is back following us around the house and being very vocal. The pup isn't quite sure what to think of him.

Until the next time, happy stitching!

Monday, April 8, 2013

And the Winner Is...

Number 26, Terri Patterson!! Terri, since you left your email address, I will contact you for your mailing address and get these lovely garden samplers shipped off to you. Enjoy!!

I have been away all weekend helping my sister pack and move her household.  We were so busy that I really didn't have time to think about the contest or internet availability to check its status. Which was probably for the best, otherwise I would have continually checked on it to see what new comments had been posted. So, when I had a break on Saturday and checked my blog from my phone, I was so happy with your responses and the increase to my followers!! Thank you all for spreading the word and entering the contest, I greatly appreciate it!! I was so excited to see all of the people that were discovering my designs for the first time. That is satisfying as well, because I love designing needlework and sharing my artistic vision with all of you. Last night after we returned home, I started to  look at all of your blogs as well, it is gratifying and inspiring to see what we all accomplish with needle and thread. On that note, I would like to add a stitchers gallery to my blog, so when you have completed stitching one of my pieces, please send me a photo and I will share it with others.

The sun is shining at my house this morning and it looks like a perfect Spring day is in order. I need to get busy, as I have started stitching both of those new samplers that I recently designed. I hope you will love them. I will post a few snippets later this week as I get a bit more stitched on them.

Keep Stitching!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blog Contest!!!

Garden Series Charts

Okay, here we go with my first blog contest! I think you can guess from the photo what the prize is... the complete set of my Garden Series. I love these little samplers and they are so much fun to stitch. The motifs are very versatile as well and can be used in a number of applications. If you have been following my blog for sometime, you will have seen how I used the center motif of Autumn Garden to create a necklace for my sister-in-law. Here is a quick link to that post in case you missed it. All four samplers are stitched on 30 count Ligonier Latte from R & R Reproductions with over-dyed floss from The Gentle Art.

So, what do you have to do to enter this contest? I would like you to recommend my blog to one of your stitching buddies to follow. Then just leave your name in the comment section of this post and I will choose a winner using a random number generator. You have until next Sunday, April 7th to post and I will choose a winner on Monday morning. I can't think of a nicer way to start a Monday morning than finding out you are the winner of these lovely charts.

Good luck and Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quaker Cross Free-bee

Quaker Cross Freebee

Hi Friends!

I hope Spring is finally starting to show itself in your area. I actually have some flowers starting to peak out in my flower bed. It is a very encouraging sign. Now if we can just get the mercury in the thermometer to go up a bit, we will be great. I usually don't mind winter, but for some reason this year it was starting to "get" to me. Perhaps it had something to do with March being colder than January?? The design above is Quaker Cross, very appropriate stitching for this weekend. I gave this chart to shops at the Nashville Market as a free-bee to pass onto their customers. So, if your shop bought from me at the Market, you should be seeing this chart at some point. I stitched it with Bellagio Red #240 from Gloriana Threads on 40 count linen. (The linen was an un-named piece in my stash, I have no idea what it is.) This floss, Tudor Silk, was created especially for working on higher count linen. It was lovely to work with!! I used two strands to stitch over two linen threads and the coverage was perfect. I then finished the piece into a little scissor pocket.

I hope you all have a very blessed Easter!

All my Best,

p.s. Be watching the blog next week for my first Blog Contest!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring and Nashville Postlude

Hi Stitching Friends!

Spring has finally arrived, even though we had snow swirling through the air again this morning. Ugh! I know I have been remiss in blogging about my Nashville releases, so I apologize for that. Nashville this year was bittersweet for me. It was wonderful in that my daughter Laura accompanied me and we had a great time together. We antiqued, indulged our love of old houses and stitched together, not to mention all of the chat time we enjoyed. The sad part of Nashville was that my father passed away while I was there. It was difficult knowing that I couldn't be there for his last hours and knowing what awaited us at the end of our journey home. So needless to say, life has been a bit hectic for me the last few weeks. But I have also taken some quiet time to work on new designs. I have two new samplers that were bursting to come out of my head and onto paper. I even have a companion piece for the one all stitched. They have sort of taken priority in my release schedule, so you will be seeing them most likely in May or June.

Mistress Mary

Now onto those new releases. First up, because I really want to feel "springy" is Mistress Mary. She is more on the lines of a traditional sampler, but with a little twist. Fabric yo-yos embellish the garden as the prize flowers. In case you are unsure about making yo-yos, instructions are included in the chart. Don't worry if your first one isn't perfect, but once you get the hang of it, yo-yo making can be quite a stitching addiction. I think I have enough to make at least a dresser scarf. One other point of note about yo-yos, I was recently reading about early Pennsylvania German samplers and one of their usual features is corners decorated with "silk rosettes." Well, these rosettes looked like yo-yos to me, so I guess it is fitting that this PA German descendant is still using them in her needlework.

Mistress Mary is stitched on 35 ct. Weeks Dye Works Cornsilk linen. This is a new linen color for Weeks and I love it!! Mistress Mary was etched into the fibers of the piece that was sent to me. She wasn't even in my Nashville line up until I gazed into that fabric. I used floss from The Gentle Art and Weeks. Stitches include cross stitch, Algerian Eye and Herringbone stitch. The main part of the sampler is stitched over two linen threads and the verse is stitched over one.

Mistress Mary close up

The verse is the nursery rhyme that we all know and love, Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary. The date of 1744 is the year the nursery rhyme was first published in England, so it has been entertaining children for quite some time.


Next up is Corona. I introduced you to her back in February. She was my contribution to The Great Model Giveaway that was held at Market this year.

Corona winner

Corona was won by Bobbie of Stitching Bits and Bobs in Plainwell, Michigan. Bobbie was thrilled to win her and I was thrilled that she went to such a loving home! So, if you are in the Plainwell, MI area, go check out Corona.

Symphonic Romance

Symphonic Romance is such a special design. I created it for my oldest son, Shane and his bride, Mackenzie, as their wedding sampler. I cut the center of out of theirs and added their wedding photo, of course, I stitched it in their wedding colors. This version showcases a lovely monogram, each letter of the alphabet is included and charted for your personalization. It is stitched on 36 count Edinburgh Light Sand linen from Zweigart using Gloriana's Topiary silk floss and Fried Pickles from Hand Dyed Fibers. The gorgeous frame is from Priscilla's Pocket

And lastly, the much anticipated addition to the Founders of Freedom series, Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator.

The Great Emancipator

I have had so many emails as to when Lincoln would be designed, that I really couldn't wait any longer. It is also very timely, as we are currently commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Great Emancipator features a snippet from The Gettysburg Address and is stitched on 28 count Sandstone/Tea-dyed linen from Wichelt with DMC floss. And another great frame from Priscilla's Pocket. I just sat and stared at this frame when I took it out of the box!!

The Great Emancipator-Close up

And a close up look at the silhouette.

That about wraps things up. I know one little posting has turned into an entire epistle. I will leave you with an image of my Dad that I took last March when I was caring for him for a few weeks. My Dad suffered from Alzheimer's for at least the last 10 years. As I am sure many of you know, it is a horrible disease and takes a little more of you each day, until nothing is left. I can't imagine how horrible it is to not remember events in your life, but most of all the people that make up your life. I am so thankful that my father is now at peace. He was 77 years old.

My Dad

Enjoy the Spring!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Calico Sampler in Constant Stitcher's new book

Calico Sampler Letters

 I wanted to let you know about a new book that is coming out at the Nashville Market from Susan Sayers, The Constant Stitcher. It is called Fantastic Flat Finishes and the wonderful gift card pocket finishing of two Calico Sampler letters in the photo above is one of six finishes that will be featured. I love this finish! Susan made these for her nieces for Christmas. What a wonderful finish, I can't wait to see the other five in her new book. Be sure to look for it!!

In Stitches,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Calico Sampler Numerals

Hi Friends!

Below is the chart to personalize the finish year on your Calico Sampler. When you pick up the last chart, you will see that it only includes the 1, 2 and 0, so you may be in need of a different number.


You should be able to pull this off the blog like you would any photo. Let me know if you have any issues. Please send me photos of your finished Calico Sampler, I would love to see your interpretations.

All my Best,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy February!!

Hi Friends!

Okay, I am a dismal failure at my New Year resolutions. One of them being that I was going to post to the blog twice a week. LOL. Here I am on the 5th of February and I am posting for the first time this year. Of course I have a ton of excuses why I haven't posted, but they are just that...  So much for beating myself up, let me share with you some of what has been occupying my time.

Calico Sampler #9

First thing, Calico Sampler is complete!! I shipped charts to the shops on my automatic program and to the distributors the end of last week, so your shop should have it or be able to get it now. This has been such a wonderful project to design and work on, I hope you all agree. It is definitely an eye catcher. I will show you a photo of the entire sampler once I am able to take a good photo. I have taken several and I was not happy with the lighting on any of them. Add to that, the weather has not been great for setting the stage and giving me good lighting for the pic.

Now onto other stuff, I have been designing and stitching up a storm for the last couple of months, thanks in part to my sister who broke her foot and hasn't been mobile since 27 Dec. I will have four new releases for the Nashville Market on March 1-3. It was such an exhilarating experience last year, that I can't wait for this year. Three of the designs are stitched and just waiting for frames, but the fourth one has been my challenge. I think I have ripped as much as I have stitched and have gone back to the drawing board many times. I think I worked out the last kink yesterday and now I can really get moving on stitching. It is a good thing that linen is such a resilient fabric!!  Here is a little sneak peak at one of the new market releases, her name is Corona and she is a cousin to Sylvania, whom I released at last year's Nashville market. She is stitched on 28 count Doubloon linen from Picture This Plus using DMC floss. She is just as friendly and fun as Sylvania and also inspired by Baltimore Album quilts.


Well, enough for now, I will share more in a few days. Well, that is my goal anyway. I am going to put it on my calendar and perhaps that will help!!

Stay warm and keep stitching,