Thursday, August 11, 2016

Summer is flying by!


We are shocked to see how fast summer is going by!  It is hot and humid here in our neck of the woods but we keep reminding ourselves that we do not have to shovel or wear coats and hats and boot and gloves!  Schools are beginning for another year and I am seeing a few leaves starting to turn red!  I had a final lunch (before school starts) with my grandchildren yesterday.  We went to see their great grandmother and they had a good time telling her about all of their summer exploits.

We have updated our What’s New page at http://houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.  There are new fall designs if you are looking for seasonal projects.  JBW has four new Halloween themed designs and they are all stitched in either black or white for fast stitching!  The tenth Quaker Band of the month is here from Workbasket; only two more months to go!  August Chalk Squared is here from Hands On Designs.  And just today we received Chalkboard Christmas Ornaments part 2.  (It will be added to our website soon.  For now, just put a note in the customer comments section of your order form if you would like to order this one.

One of our distributors, Norden Crafts, is hosting an online needlework show.  It is a wholesale show but you may look at all of the new things at http://www.nordencrafts.com/C-1418/Norden-Fall-Show-2016.aspx and let us know which ones you want.   Some of the kits are limited editions so order them soon.   The show goes through August 19.

Many of you have stopped for a visit during your summer travels.  It has been wonderful to be able to put faces with names that we know from mail orders and phone calls.  Be sure to stop by if you are in our neighborhood.  We appreciate your continued interest and patronage! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Short and to the point!

It is becoming apparent that I am not going to get a proper newsletter written!  So, this is going to serve as a notification that our What’s New page has been updated.  You may see the latest arrivals at http://houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.   I hope your summer is going well!  I will try to do a better newsletter next time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Halloween and Christmas are coming!


Great new projects are in store for you on our What’s New Page!  You can see the latest additions here:  http://houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.  We are excited to have three new charts from With My Needle!  They are going in my stash; I just wish I could start stitching them NOW! Halloween lovers will want to get their copy of the Just Cross Stitch Halloween 2016 Special Collectors Issue.  It is chock full of fun and spooky designs. Chalkboard designs continue to be popular and we have part one of the Christmas Collection from Hands on Design. (It looks like the series will have three parts.) We also have Chalk Squared-July if you are collecting all the months. 
Our latest trunk show should be arriving any day.  It is from Erica Michaels and we are looking forward to sharing her exquisite models with you. Many are on silk gauze and we will have a demonstration piece that you can try.  It is easier than you might think!  The charts arrived earlier in the week and they are tantalizing us!!  We will have the show for a month so make plans to visit if you can.
Part 2 of the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler Spooked! should be here early next week. It’s not too late to sign up for the series. We can catch you up by mailing parts 1 and 2 at the same time.
Keep your needles threaded and going through the fabric!  It seems like there is never enough time to stitch but even putting in a few stitches each day will get you closer to the finish line!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July


I hope this finds all of our US friends having a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration!  We had a quiet day at our house….except when our neighbor’s tree lost a large branch.  I thought they were setting off fireworks until I saw all the leaves in a place where they shouldn’t be!  We were not experiencing wind; it just surrendered to gravity!
Our What’s New Page was updated almost a week ago so I am very tardy in letting you know about it!  You can see the latest at http://houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.   It is an exciting update with the start of two new series:  Spooked, Part 1 from Lizzie Late and ABC Samplers, Part 1 from Little House Needleworks.  Blackbird Designs and Country Cottage Needleworks both have the next installments in their ongoing series.  If you are collecting the What’s in Your Jar? charts from Needle Bling, we now have the August, September and October charts.  We frequently have stitchers looking for charts to make miniature designs for dollhouses.  Xs and Ohs has answered with a chart for a miniature tabletopper and rug!
I am off to grill some burgers and then watch fireworks!  Then maybe a little stitching will happen.  I am SO close to having a butterfly pincushion finished.  It is from Blackbird Designs Butterfly Garden leaflet http://houseofstitches.com/detail.cfm?ID=35143 .   Hope you can stitch, too!




Monday, June 13, 2016

Ready for Christmas stiching?

Once again it is time to show you all of the new things in the shop.  The latest listing can be seen at http://www.houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.  Looking at all of the new things makes me want to stop writing and start stitching!!  Ready or not, the new Mill Hill Christmas kits are here.  We have the ornament kits, the Button and Bead kits and the Santas for this year---Renaissance Santas!  If you would rather stitch for the current season, we have Fourth of July Picnic from Samplers Not Forgotten and Long May She Wave from Classic Colorworks (designed by Little House Needleworks).  We have two more charts in the To the Beach series from Hands on Design that would also be excellent summer projects.  They fit a standard 5” x 7” frame when stitches on the recommended fabric.

We are taking pre-orders for several things: the 2016 Just CrossStitch Halloween Special Collector’s issue and the Christmas Ornament Issue, the Lizzie Kate Spooked! Summer Mystery Sampler and the Little House Needleworks Little House ABC Samplers.  Just email us if you would like us to let you know when they arrive. 

We hope you can stop in as you are traveling this summer.  It is fun to meet out internet friends!  We appreciate your continued interest.  Remember to promote your love of stitching to a friend or family member who does not stitch…yet!

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer stitching!


I hope this finds you enjoying summer (those of you in the northern hemisphere of the world!) and maybe finding a few extra minutes to stitch.  If you are planning summer travels, remember that the first thing a stitcher packs is his/her project bag!  My personal rule of thumb is that it should contain at least three projects: an easy one, one that takes more concentration and a contingency project just in case something doesn’t work out with the other two!

We have updated our What’s New page with many suggestions for projects to fill your stitching bag.  You can see them here: http://www.houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm.  There are two new Bewitching Pixies from Nora Corbett, Gingerbread Village 8 from Country Cottage and two limited edition designs from Just Nan (Do not wait to get these!).  If you love owls, we have Owl Scissors in a new Primitive Black color and a chart pack with two owls from Val’s Stuff.  Scissor collectors will want to see the new, affordable Rabbit Embroidery Scissors in Gold or Pewter.  And, there are four designs with patriotic themes that would make wonderful summer projects. 

Just this week we learned that the Christmas/Winter Mill Hill kits are on the way to our store!  If you are an early Christmas gift stitcher, this will give you time to get them finished.  Our next update will have pictures but you do not have to wait until then to order them.  A new series called Chalkboard Quartet is also available.  To see pictures now, go to www.wichelt.com , and click Mill Hill Kits on the left side of the home page.
 
This is the last week of our Summer House Stitche Workes Trunk show.  Stop in soon so you will not miss seeing the beautiful models.
 
We hope to see you soon-either in person or online!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Treatise on ordering

New items are waiting for you at http://houseofstitches.com/whatsnew.cfm!  We stitchers are always on the lookout for new projects to add to our stash for future stitching.  Stoney Creek and Leisure Arts both have new books with wonderful Christmas stockings.  If you thought you missed getting Strawberry Fields Forever from Blackbird Designs, you are in luck!  It has been reprinted.  Patriotic charts are well represented with new books from Blackbird Designs, Plum Street and Cross-Point Designs.

I recently read a blog post from my friend Deb at Stitches ‘n Things.  She has given me permission to reprint it here and she also credits Cathy from Needle in a Haystack for some of the content.  The needlework industry has changed dramatically since I started at House of Stitches 29 years ago.  I used to order from 2 or 3 companies every week to get the majority of things that we sold.  Now it seems like most of my time is spent ordering, re-ordering, keeping track of backorders and trying to track down out of print charts that are suddenly THE thing to stitch in all the on-line groups.  Deb explains things in a way that I think will help you understand why it sometimes takes longer than we would like to get you the supplies that you need.


I am often asked why an item may take a while to be ordered and mailed.

In our industry, more than 99% of the vendors we deal with are small companies. While we purchase Zweigart fabric and DMC and other threads, we don't deal directly with them, but purchase through distributors here in the US. To put it into context, my local bakery (Crust here in Fenton) has more employees than most of the companies we purchase directly from.

Most are 1-2 people companies with a handful (Wichelt, Kreinik, Week's Dye Works, Norden Crafts, Fleur de Paris) having maybe 6 to 10 employees. While many cross-stitch designers also sell through one of the distributors that's not true of most thread and fabric dyers. So when you place an order for say, fabric from 4 different companies, threads from 6 more, a mug, a frame or a couple of charts, chances are we have to order from 2-10 vendors.

Where orders with most vendors took 1-2 weeks, that has now changed to more like 2-4 weeks and that's from the time we place the order. Our industry still has not recovered to pre-2008 levels and that means all of us tightened our belts. We are not able to carry as much stock as we once did nor can our vendors or distributors. So a hand-dyer of threads or fibers might no longer keep a deep inventory in stock but have to dye as needed, which means it can take longer to get orders than it once did. Plus, they all have lives outside of our industry and jury duty, an illness, a family emergency or even an unexpected school holiday can throw a spanner in the works (designers do not have 'staff' to fill in for them as they work out of their homes).

Some vendors we may only order from a few times a year; with many others once or twice a month. And, the only distributors we order from "nearly" every week are Hoffman, Norden, Wichelt and Yarn Tree. But they frequently have to backorder items to us or tell us to reorder until their shipments are filled (they have minimum order requirements to meet too from the manufacturers) and arrive back in their warehouses.

Speaking of minimum ordering amounts ... some of our companies have set dollar minimums we have to meet. until we have enough orders to meet their minimums, we cannot place our orders. And, with the companies that do dying of fabric and threads, they have to have enough yardage orders to dye a certain color before they can make that dye bath up. When they do have that minimum requirement met, those dye orders are then placed in queue to be dyed behind their existing orders.

My hope in explaining this is that you'll have a better understanding of why your orders don't magically appear and why it may take longer than you think it should. If you have a deadline for a project, let us know when you place an order and we can tell you if we think we can meet it. If not, we'll see if we can help you find an alternate, or see if another shop might have what you need. We are small industry and you would be surprised how many times we all reach out to our fellow shop owners to find things we don't have in our stock!

With that detailed explanation, just let me add that we appreciate your understanding and continued business! We want everyone to have all of the supplies that they need.