6.24.2017

The story behind the series...

The Lesson #1 of the
  Summer Schoolhouse ~ Lessons in Abecedarian has released and they are on their way to your local needlework shops, as I type.  

 I thought I would share the story behind this series,
 my inspiration...

The conception for the idea for the Summer Schoolhouse ~ Lessons in Abecedarian lies within the pages of this little old book from the 1940's.

The books title is,
A Little Pretty Pocket-Book.

It was the size of this book that intrigued me.  It is tiny, it would fit in a pocket of a child's dress or britches.  I tend to love miniature things! It is the small things in life that I gravitate towards.  I found this little book while antiquing.  It was calling me, I had to pick it up and see what was inside this tiny book, a book with no title on it's cover page...
I opened it up and began to read.
It reads...
Intended for the instruction and amusement of Little Master Tommy, and Pretty Miss Polly...and so on.
Then I read this...A ball and pincushion: the use of which will infallibly make Tommy a good boy and Polly a good girl.  A pincushion?  Did I just read pincushion?  My heart may have skipped a beat!

I needed to learn more about this little old book that talks of a pincushion.  I began to do some research. The original book was written in 1770, in London, by John Newbery, a prominent publisher of children's books.  The book was considered to be the first book specifically directed at children. Hold onto your britches & garter straps, my findings are about to get good!  The book was originally sold with free gifts.  Free gifts?  A ball for a boy and a pincushion for a girl. How cool is that?   I want to learn what the pincushion looked like, don't you??!!  To date, I haven't located any photos of the pincushion.  The original book was black on one side and red on the other and good deeds were to be marked by a pin stuck on the red side and bad ones by a pin in the black.  

The book is noteworthy for containing the first documented use of the word "baseball'.
It is the oldest children's book in the Library of Congress collection and is considered to be the first children's book in print.  If you happen to visit the Library of Congress, look this tiny book up!

My little book is a facsimile of the original which was issued by F.G. Melcher on the 10th of June, 1944, on the 200th anniversary of the book's first appearance.  The first American edition was published by Isaiah Thomas at Worcester, Massachusetts in 1744.  I wonder why the American publisher didn't go with the red and black cover as the original?

As you read, you will note the use of the letter f and double f's in place of the s, this is characteristic of 18th century handwriting.  Upper case letters were used to begin nouns as well as begin sentences.  The lower case s was written in long s (elongated form), at the beginning of a word, in the middle of a word, and written twice.  The elongated s can be mistaken for an f. 



 Little rhyming stories for the letters of the alphabet fill the pages of this tiny book. They read...Great A,B and C and tumble down D, the cat's a blind buff, and she cannot see. Great E, F, and G come here follow me, and we will jump over the Rosemary Tree.  It was these pages that got my creative juices flowing.  Wouldn't it be fun to do a series around the alphabet?  Learning the letters and stitching have long been associated, why not?  


There are 4 stories about the seasons in the book.  I decided I would base the series on a season and chose summer.  The motifs on all the projects are summer-themed.  The series released on the first day of summer, with the last of the series to finish at summers-end.  Maybe there will be a future series with stitched motifs that pertain to the the other 3 seasons...



I charted the alphabet to look similar to the alphabet font used in the pocket book.  Since the book is so small I wanted the Summer Schoolhouse series to be small, or tiny work ~ as I call it  The series is meant to be worked over 1 thread on 28 count fabric.   Many of you stitchers have emailed me just to let me know this is will be your first experience at working over 1.  Just like a student, learning something new...that's great!  Stitching over 1 thread on 28 count fabric looks more like a painting then stitching, it is extraordinarily wonderful!

Here you can get a perspective how tiny the book is with the use of the thimble and buttons for comparison.  The book measures 2 1/2" x 3 3/4".

One chapter is dedicated to rules for behaviour of children....
&
 Proverbs for children...


And there you have it. 
 Inspiration can come from strange places sometimes!



Are you a student of this series?  If not, there is still time!
Gather up your "school supplies" and come along!



Kindly,
Brenda




6.02.2017

Summer Schoolhouse - Lessons in Abecedarian


Come spend the summer stitching with With thy Needle & Thread!  The series will consist of 4 charts/lessons with 6 projects.  All 6 of the Abecedarian-themed projects will coordinate, making for a great display.  All pieces are what I call "tiny work", or worked over 1 thread on 28 count Laguna.

This will be a great motivator for those to try over 1 stitching!  It is very do-able on this chosen even weave linen with it's big holes.  Don't say you can't do this, you can!  You are looking for the same holes in the same linen whether you are working over 2 threads or 1.  

Shops are now taking sign ups for this series.  Many of them are kitting the series up for you.  The series is being treated as a Mystery Stitch, only snippets of each lesson will be shared as we go along with the series.  Watch for Lesson #1 to start arriving in stores end of June/early July.  The following 3 lessons will release each month thereafter, ending in September.

At the end of summer you can gather up all your stitching goodness in a display and feel accomplished!  

A few suggestions for working over 1 thread:  Always complete your cross stitch before moving onto the next.  Tension is important, don't pull your thread too tight.  Suggested needle is a size 26 or 28 tapestry.  Use of a hoop to keep linen taught is helpful to open up the holes even further.  For smalls I love to use my little 5" Cosmo hoop. It is just the right size for these smalls.   It is today's version of the hard to find antique Dutchess hoops, and I use them exclusively.   Available for purchase here.


Abecedarian
[ey-bee-see-dair-ee-uh n] 
noun
1. a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet.
2. a beginner in any field of learning.
adjective
3. of or relating to the alphabet.
4. arranged in alphabetical order.
5. rudimentary, elementary, primary
                                                     

In its oldest documented English uses in the early 1600s, abecedarian was a noun meaning "one learning the rudiments of something"; it specifically referred to someone who was learning the alphabet. The adjective began appearing in English texts around 1665.



Come stitch along,
Brenda

2.17.2017

5th & Final Day!

Well this is it folks, the final preview of what's NEW & COMING SOON from WTN&T!  Thanks for joining me each morning.  If there is anything that you need to add to your stash, contact your LNS and put a little "bug" in their ear!

There will also be a Limited Edition Market Kit.  These will be very limited in quantity, therefore, no sneak peeks before market from me.  I will let your LNS share, as they wish, on this.   The title of the sweet little kit is "Ode to the Ort Basket".  



The second collection in the Essamplaire Petite Collections is especially created for all the A&E collectors!  The pattern will consist of 4 tiny samplers.  Once again, there is a larger (3" x 5") signature sampler and then 3 tiny (2 1/2" x 3") samplers that coordinate with the larger piece.  These are worked on 40 count linen over 2 threads.  Frame information and finishing technique will be supplied in the pattern.



 X X X X X 



Put your hands to work,
&
your hearts to God.
                         - Mother Ann Lee, 1736 - 1784

I have always loved this early Shaker saying and it was my inspiration for the 
Heart & Hand sampler.    While all the motifs in this piece are my original, I wanted the piece to have the feel of an antique Rhode Island sampler.  Floral filled urns flank a center cartouche' filled with working characters, alphabet and the heart & hand verse.  The Dove blue linen really adds charm to this piece.  I am finding myself growing more and more fond of working with the color linens...how about you?


This completes the pattern preview days.  There are still lots of things to finish up and cross off my "market to-do list".  Then I need to whip myself into shape...like, get a hair cut & color!!

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda



2.16.2017

Day 4!



 Welcome back to day 4 of new pattern preview days! 

The inspiration for this berry-themed design came from a day in early June, last year.  Dave and I went with our daughter and grandchildren to a berry farm to pick strawberries.  I don't know who had more fun...the kiddos picking strawberries for the very first time, or me just watching the grand-kiddos have fun!  I had my first attempt at home-made strawberry jam....yummy!  I see more strawberry picking days in our future...already looking forward to early June!

Berry Days at Thistle Down Farm has a fun little finish.  I have chose to finish it into a stitching companion.  The needlework is mounted onto a little wooden box that looks like a book!  The "binding" of this book has a little drawer that pulls out...a perfect spot to fill with tapestry needles, scissors, etc.  Along with the box piece, there is also a companion piece for a tiny little needle book.  Fun & functional!  I will be selling the wooden book boxes, as well.




X X X X X 


I have always loved antique Quaker samplers...love them, love them, love them!  This piece is my adaptation of a Quaker sampler.  Some motifs are borrowed from my antique samplers and some are my original motifs...a modern-day take on a Quaker sampler.   Quaker Handework is worked in shades of red, browns, golds and brownish-greens...the color palette is scrumptious!   The 2 strands of floss make the stitches look like they are resting on top of the linen, really like it!   I chose to make this a family sampler, stitching our initials randomly among the motifs.  The pattern includes an alphabet chart so that you may personalize the sampler.    A very special "THANK YOU" to Susanna Baker for stitching this piece for me!





See you tomorrow!
With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

2.15.2017

Day 3 of Market Preview!

Welcome back to day 3!  Each evening, for countless nights, has been spent in front of the TV packaging patterns.  Tonight will mark my last night of homework...all patterns should be bagged and ready to be boxed.  Are you hearing a *sigh* of relief?  


This piece turned out beautiful!  I found a frame that really finished it off nicely.  This mid-size piece features an old Chinese proverb that I have always liked, and lean on from time to time.  Faith of the Heart was stitched by Suzanne Garber.  A special "Thank You" to this sweet & dear woman.



X X X X X 

One of my favorite things to do is to sit by my back window that opens up to my bird-feeding station.  I find great solace and inspiration there.  Bird migration has always fascinated me.  One of my favorite guests are the little hummers as they migrate through each spring and fall.  So, to them I dedicate a new pattern titled, Bloom Where You're Planted.  A big "Thank You" to April Taylor for stitching this model for me.



X X X X X 

I thoroughly enjoyed designing this new collection series titled, Essamplaire Petite.  This is Collection I of II.  As the title states, these are petite!  The collection consists of 4 miniature samplers, one being what I call it's signature piece and 3 tiny samplers that compliment the larger piece.  I currently have them sitting, grouped together, on my mantel in front of an antique sampler and I love the look...simply precious!  The sizes of these are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" & 3 1/2" x 5"...yep, they are tiny!  I chose inexpensive frames and re purposed them a bit, all four for under $15.00.  I will explain this process in the pattern instructions.


Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow!

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

2.14.2017

Market Preview - Day 2

Welcome back for day 2 of Market Preview Days! 
 Today's shares are of 3 soon to be released charts that are smaller in size, and finished in small pillows for tucking or hanging.   It's always nice to have smaller projects to work on in between larger pieces...these are perfect, little quick stitches!

x x x x x x x 

Oh dear, there are more mice in the house!   The ever-popular mice have found their way into the sewing room.   And like me, they are fond of tomato pincushions and strawberry emery's.  This is one of my favorites of the mice series.  A special "THANK YOU" to April Taylor for stitching Mice in the Sewing Room

Iowa is home to two towns that are rich in Dutch heritage.  Each spring they have annual Tulip Festival celebrations.  There are thousands and thousands of tulips planted to bloom in time for their celebrations (that is if the weather cooperates)...it is absolutely gorgeous!   There is the annual street scrubbing, with woman and children dressed in costume, before the big parade.  Tulip Festival was inspired by these celebrations.   Rows of tulips, busy little bees and sophisticated rabbit motifs adorn this sweet little pillow top.  Mini pom trim and dimensional bow adds extra detailing to this piece.    A special "THANK YOU" to Penny Houser for stitching this model.  



By the time I completed Easter Peep Parade, I was craving chocolate malted-milk robin's eggs and Easter Peeps!  These favorite seasonal candies and an antique rabbit pull toy were the inspiration for this design.  The Chestnut brown linen is becoming a favorite of mine...the floss colors really pop on it!



See you tomorrow for day 3 of pattern preview week!


With thy Needle & Thread,

Brenda

2.13.2017

It's been awhile!

Pardon my absence and neglect from this blog!  The last several months have been busy preparing for the Nashville Needlework Market.  Intense stitching and intense pattern packaging has been my life since mid October.  We are now just a couple weeks away from packing up a cargo van and pushing off towards Nashville, and there is still lots to do!  The van will be loaded with tables, props, models of new patterns and boxes and boxes of patterns.  This is a wholesale market so watch for these patterns to pop up in your local needle work shops, for purchase, the latter part of the first week of March. 
 
Visit me each day,
here on my blog,
 as I give you little peaks at the
NEW
With Thy Needle & Thread cross stitch charts.
 
Our Lady Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France was the inspiration for this pattern.   A universal symbol of freedom and democracy.  I have always loved what she stands for, and it was a joy to stitch her in cloth.  She was dedicated in 1886, so you will find her completion date on the piece, as well. 
 
Stop back tomorrow for another peek!
 
With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

10.17.2016

Part 1 - Shepherd's Bush Retreat

Just returned home from a wonderful time attending the 2016 Shepherd's Bush Retreat!  Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers and I met up at our local airport, bright and early, for a 6:15 flight to Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Upon our arrival, we then hustled off to Ogden to The Shepherd's Bush store.
 Visiting their shop is every cross stiticher's dream!  



Their shop is housed in an old black smith shop.  Ogden sits at the base of the Wasatch mountains, beautiful view no matter which direction you look.

 Their shop is something that can't be described with photos, it is a must see!

 Models stitched and hanging from floor to ceiling...
 love that green fabric....
 models even hanging from the rafters...






 there are models in every inch of wall space, 
and walls upon walls of fibers, linens and notions...




 Getting to see Terri and Tina's Shepherds' Bush pieces all stitched and hanging in one place was such a treat.  Their little details on each piece is just amazing...the more you look the more you see!



 Pillows upon pillows of Christmas....

 Rows and rows of ornaments...


 Smalls displayed so pretty in frames...



 After a day of shopping and visiting with their customers we headed up to Park City, Utah - The Canyons Resort for the retreat.  It is a beautiful place and it just glowed in yellow...the aspens were in their autumn best color!    We enjoyed mid to upper 60 degree weather and the air had a hint of autumn crispness in it.

(view from my bedroom)


(view from our kitchen table)

Upon our arrival in Park City, we met up with the other designers and enjoyed a dinner together at a local brewery in Park City.  We shared stories, enjoyed a wonderful meal and a whole lot of laughs!

Shepherd's Bush 2016 Retreat teachers - L to R
Tina (Shepherd's Bush), Jeanette (Jeanette Douglas Designs), Linda (Chessie & Me), Barb & Alma (Blackbird Designs), myself (With thy Needle & Thread), Paulette (Plum Street Samplers) and Terri (Shepherd's Bush)

Part 2 to follow!

7.28.2016

New Patterns!


I am excited to share with you some fun, new cross stitch charts! 


I REST THY NEEDLE
 I had a conversation at needlework market with Lone Elm Lane, which lead to the conception of this wonderful wooden pincushion/sewing box clamp.  Stephanie's take on the idea turned out fabulous...thanks Stephanie, I love it!  The sewing box is painted in a new vintage fashion, giving the piece a gentle "time-worn" look.  I chose to use the Vintage Dove paint finish for the "I Rest Thy Needle" design.    Design is worked on 36 count Legacy linen over 2 threads, using hand dyed flosses.  The boxes are available for special order here.




"BOO"
A new chart to the flash card series.  This is the 3rd such flashcard that I have done, they are some of my best sellers!   The new word is Boo!  A sweet little field mouse can me found out in her pumpkin patch, complete in her witchy attire!  Chenille trim and tiny glass beads for stars adds detail and just the right finish.  The design is worked on 40 count Pewter linen, using hand dyed flosses.

"AUTUMN'S FRUITFUL LABOR"
The floss colors in this sampler are so pretty and rich!  This piece sort of grew, getting larger as the design process went along.  I originally started with only the upper portion and decided to add one of my favorite harvest  verses.   The design is worked on 36 count Legacy linen over 2 threads, using hand dyed flosses.



"ONE FOR THE CROW"
Pattern for two little pinkeeps that make great companion pieces to each other.  I have always liked the little gardener's verse and can almost hear the goode witch sing it as she pokes each seed into the soil.  Linen ric rac trim is hand stitched to the sides of the pieces for a perfect accent.  Designs are worked on 40 count Legacy linen over 2 threads, using hand dyed flosses.  I plan on displaying these on an old tin tray with acorns and artificial crow that I gently dusted with cinnamon.  Artificial crow and acorns are also available for purchase here.

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda