Tuesday, March 25, 2014

10 Tips from a Needlework Framer

I have been helping out with the framing and I have come up with a list of 10 things your needlework framer wants you to know and practice!  Here they are in no particular order:

1. Trim your tails close!  If they extend beyond your stitched area, they WILL show!  And, do not carry your thread across unstitched areas on the back of your fabric.

2. Wash your hands before you start stitching.

3. Do not always fold your piece the same way when you put it away.  The fold lines get soiled and are very hard to remove.

4. Fold your fabric with the right sides inside.

5. While stitching, fold or roll your fabric so you are holding the back side.  This also applies to rolling your fabric on a scroll frame.

6. Keep newspapers away from your stitching.

7. Please do not use masking tape on the edges of your projects.  Overcast the edges with your sewing machine or serger or use a fray-stopping liquid.

8. Do not use lead pencils to mark your fabric.

9. Be sure to allow enough fabric around the edges to finish your project the way you want.

10. If you have used colorfast floss and fabric, wash your project when finished.  Use mild dishwashing liquid, rinse well and roll in a towel.  Place face down on a terry towel and iron on the back.

I hope these tips will help you.  I know your framer will thank you if you follow them!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cross stitch alleviates cabin fever!

We continue to have snowy, cold weather here in the Midwest.  The only thing that we have found to ease the symptoms of cabin fever is stitching!  We have new things to show you on our What's New Page at http://www.houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.  There are many new designs to brighten your winter weary spirit!  A number of them are appropriate for Valentine’s Day and some have a winter theme. Little House Needleworks and Country Cottage Needleworks continue their series and Nora Corbett completes her four seasons of faeries with Faerie Winter Dream.  Ronnie Rowe Designs had three new ship designs that are taken from pen and ink drawings.  If you like punch needle, be sure to see The Night Shift from Three Sheep Studio.  These three cute snowmen make winter look like fun!  Miles to Go is a new designer with a couple of cute new charts.  Sampler lovers will want to see the two new samplers from Ellen Chester of With My Needle.  Elizabeth Wood is a reproduction sampler and Of Female Arts is an original design.

I thought you might like to see the mountain of snow in our parking lot.  It has even grown a little since I took this picture.  Maybe we should get some sleds to rent out to the kids who seem to have snow days every day!  One of our favorite customers says we don't have snow days, we have SEW days!  I like the way she thinks.

I hope you can stay inside, stay warm and stitch like mad.  For those of you who live in the southern hemisphere; you may be having visitors soon!  We can't take much more of this!

Happy stitching,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter continues; think spring!

How are you surviving the brutal winter weather?  We are thinking that this would be a good time to visit our customers in the southern hemisphere!

We recently framed a wonderful sampler for one of our customers.  Deb gave us permission to share it with you.  It is "Tribute to Summer Sampler" from Stacy Nash Primitives.  With the extreme winter weather that we are currently experiencing, it is nice to contemplate summer!  We love the fact that Stacy Nash is also from Indiana!  If you would like to stitch this dream of warmer weather, you can order it here: http://www.houseofstitches.com/detail.cfm?ID=29793 .  Thanks for sharing your sampler with us, Deb!

Don't forget our Just Cross Stitch Ornament Magazine sale.  Even if you have all of the magazines, this is an opportunity to have a nice, new copy for your stitching library and a stitching copy for your project bag. 25% off won't last forever!

We all know what a wonderful stress reliever it is to stitch.  Many of us consider it our "therapy".  If you know someone who needs a source of relaxation, share your love of cross stitch!  It just might save their sanity.

Happy stitching,

Monday, December 30, 2013


I was shocked to discover how long it has been since I last posted anything on our blog. Many things have kept me busier than usual; if that's possible!  We did some major remodeling at home and I realized once again how much I am a "creature of habit".  I didn't cope well with living in chaos and construction dust!  We still have some painting to do but we are mostly finished and have a beautiful new bathroom and refinished hardwood floors.  We finished just in time for Thanksgiving and then rushed headlong into Christmas preparations.  I did manage to finish the last stocking so everyone in our family has one.  My granddaughter was unhappy last year that I didn't have a stocking like everyone else.  Here is a picture of our mantel filled with Shepherd's Bush stockings.

While we are talking about Christmas, we have decided to start NOW for next year.  We have all of our back issues of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazines on sale for 25% off.  We also have grab bags with linen or aida remnants that are perfect for stitching ornaments.  (The grab bags will be listed on our What's New page:http://www.houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm. )  As an added bonus, the ornament magazines have many wonderful recipes from the designers.  You can stitch and cook your way through the magazines!

Have a very Happy New Year!  I hope it is one filled with good health, happiness and many wonderful new projects!

Happy stitching,

Sunday, August 25, 2013

St. Charles Needlework Market

The National Needlework Association's Fall Market was in St. Charles, Missouri this weekend.  It was a marathon classes, shopping, networking and planning. Talking with designers and other shop owners is a great experience.  It's nice to know that there are many others who are also doing their best to spread the love of needlework.  If you are reading this, you probably already know how therapeutic and rewarding stitching can be.  I have a quote from Ginnie Thompson on the wall by my computer.  It says, "What cross stitch does not cure it alleviates!"

Now that my shopping is finished, we have everything priced and packed so we can travel home tomorrow. The new things will be in the shop and ready to purchase on Tuesday.  If you have placed an order through our website or by phone, we will mail it on Tuesday.

The atrium of the hotel was decorated with banners from the many designers and companies that were exhibiting.  It was festive and hinted at the good things that were waiting to be purchased.  Here are a few photos from the exhibitors' rooms.
Rosewood Manor's Spring, Summer and Winter Quakers.
More samplers from Rosewood Manor.
"His Glory" from Lone Elm Lane, one of the new designers.
One of the samplers in the book "Sisters" from Blackbird Designs.
The sampler on the left is from "Sisters", "Away We Ride" is on the right.
 Both are from Blackbird Designs.
These cute Chalkboard Designs are from another new designer, Brenda Riddle Designs. Stitched with White Lightning on Gunmetal Linen (both from Weeks Dye Works), they look just like chalkboard art.
"Ann Leech" and "Evergreen Friendship" from C Street Samplerworks, a designer from our hometown!  We are proud of you Ruth Ann!
To see all of the other new things from market, go to our website catalog, http://www.houseofstitches.com/search.cfm, and type stchas13 in the keyword box.  I think you will have a good time planning your next projects!
Happy stitching,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Midwest Stash Exchange 2013

Last Saturday was our Midwest Stash Exchange and fundraiser for Riley Children's Hospital.  We had loads of fun and by all indications, those who attended did, too.  There was a whole lot of stash being exchanged with many happy stitchers finding special treasures!  The weather was beautiful (just look at that blue sky) and many people came to help raise money for a very worthwhile cause.  Here are a couple of pictures of the fun.  The picture above shows some of the stash tables and the one below shows the food table and prize table.  The red buckets were for the prize drawings.  We will continue to take donations until Labor Day weekend if you would like to contribute.  We also still have some bags of delicious kettle corn available. It is a perfectly blended sweet and salty snack. I cannot resist it!
I had some very exciting news today! There are 16 new colors coming from DMC! The collection features eight soft, natural shades and eight bright, vibrant hues. All 16 colors are available exclusively in a convenient, clear plastic pack. They say they will begin shipping at the beginning of October, so my guess is that we will see them in time for trick or treat! For some reason new releases always take longer than predicted. I will let you know when they arrive. Pre-orders are welcome!

Monday, June 10, 2013


I thought you might like to see a couple of projects that we have been stitching.  First is one from our framer, Cherry.  It is from a JBW leaflet, "Needle Roll & Needle Case".  What a beautiful project!  She accessorized it with Tulip Thread Rings, Hare Threadwinders and an Acorn Needle Minder, all from Kelmscott Designs.  If sewing isn't your favorite thing, we can order the pre-made accessories for you.  Then you just stitch on the linen bands and quick as a wink youhave a finished project!  The  floss colors beautifully echo the colors in the fabrics used in the needle roll and needle case.  If you want to sew the accessories in another color, it would be easy to change the color of the flowers to match your fabric.  This would be a great gift for your stitching friends!

I have been working on some Christmas ornaments from Lizzie Kate's "Flora McSample Ornaments 2011 and 2012".  (I can't wait to see the 2013 leaflet!)  The two ornaments at the top of the photo are stitched on Lakeside Linen's 32 count Woodsmoke.  The two at the bottom are stitched on Milk Chocolate Linen from Wichelt.  My photography doesn't do the colors justice!  Once I started stitching these designs I couldn't stop;  they are fun and fast.  I am going to use them as models in an ornament class later this summer.  If you are interested in the class, just let us know and we will get you the details as soon as we have them.
Thank you for allowing me to show you just a few of the projects that we have been enjoying!  I was going to balance my checkbook tonight but this seemed like more fun!  I hope you are stitching some fun summer projects, too!

Happy stitching,