Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bell Ringer

 I thought you might like to see the Salvation Army bell ringer that greeted me at the Post Office Saturday. I should have snapped the picture on the way in because she was holding a bell in her mouth and nodding her head to ring it!   Her name is Libby and she's no bigger than a large dog. Too cute!  She seemed to be very successful in collecting donations!  She reminds me of the little pony I had when I was growing up.
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  Our gathering was smaller than usual but we all did our part to consume the turkey an all the trimmings.  I am pretty sure no one was hungry when they left!  And, just a few hours later we felt obliged to tackle the leftovers! 
We continue to receive new designs at the shop.  The latest Shepherd's Bush kits arrived Saturday.  They are all nice but we especially like the little pre-made stockings.  You just do a quick stitch on the attached band and you have a perfect way to present a gift card or other small treasure.  We should have pictures on our website in the next couple of days.  The next update is "in the works". 
If you have something that you want to have framed for Christmas, you need to get it to us NOW!  We are framing as fast as we can and we do not want anyone to be disappointed.
I need to pay some bills so I'd better stop playing with Blogger!
Happy stitching,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Busy week!

Last week was very exciting at House of Stitches!  On Thursday we had a visit from Pam and Bob Reed from Olde Colonial Designs.  They were on their way to a retreat and realized that we were right on the way.  (It was a popular weekend for stitching retreats!)  We had a nice visit; we usually only get together at needlework markets so this was a fun change. As we gave Pam a tour of the shop she said that we have some of her out of production kits!  Take a look at our website if you have been looking for something in particular.  Look at the size of their trailer!!  One can only imagine how many stitching treasures are waiting inside! 

Our Weekend of Stitches began Friday evening and continued through Sunday afternoon.  We hope it will be the first of many weekend retreats.   Ellen Chester from With My Needle was our fearless teacher.  Our project was "A Lady's Worke Box" and we had enthusiastic stitchers from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Alabama!  Ellen is a wonderful teacher.  I think everyone learned a new tip or two (at least)!  She is a very knowledgeable needlewoman and she doesn't hesitate to share what she knows.  Her step by step instructions and prepared models made it easy to see how the stitched pieces will be finished.  I spaced out and didn't take pictures of the beautiful Worke Box and all of the wonderful smalls that Ellen designed to go inside. The whole project is just exquisite!  Fortunately Ellen and Barb were more "with it" and you can see more pictures, including pictures of the finished project, at their blogs: and .
You can see all the step by step examples in front of the projector.

Ellen spent much time interacting with us as we stitched.

An important part of any gathering of needlewomen is food!  You can see that my spot at the table in the foreground has no food left at all! 
Monday morning it was back to real world of jobs and obligations but guess what!?  We are already planning next year's Weekend of Stitches.  Ellen will be coming again and we plan on having TWO projects; "Long May She Wave" and "Fruit of the Vine Sampler Huswif". 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Fun!

Summer is winding down-ready or not- and we are trying to squeeze in as much fun as we can!  I recently took my grandchildren to the zoo.  I intended to take lots of pictures of them with the animals.  Well!  Neither the animals or the children were inclined to stand still long enough for photos.  So, I settled for a picture at the entrance of the zoo as we left.  Grace and Jonathan are striking an Olympic pose!  They also had a really good time at the splash pad that is just across the street from the zoo.

Last saturday was our 6th Annual Midwest Stash Exchange fundraiser for Riley Children's Hospital. The weather was beautiful and we raised a nice amount of money for a very good cause. (Donations are still being accepted! I will wait about another week before I send the check.)  Among other things, we had music, shopping, kid's games, and magic! 

If you need a new late summer project, head over to our website,,  and click on the What's New button.  We just added the latest arrivals.  The designers are giving us many new autumn and Christmas projects!

Happy stitching,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic stitching

Have you been watching the Olympics?  We think it is the perfect excuse to spend extra time stitching.  Many of our customers have been working on special patriotic pieces to commemorate the games.  I wish I could stitch as fast as the Olympians run/swim/row, etc.!

I have a wonderful piece of stitching to share with you.  Our friend and former co-worker, Donna Rudnick recently completed Rosewood Manor's "Inspiration".  She says it was a joy to stitch from start to finish!  It is absolutely breathtaking; the photo doesn't do it justice.  I am anxious to see it in the frame!
It is only a little over two weeks until the 6th Annual Midwest Stash Exchange!   You are invited to shop, swap, and sell your needlework related stash.  It is a great way to clear out those projects you will never stitch and find new ones!  Think of it as the world’s best yard sale…all dedicated to stitching!  Enjoy socializing with other needleworkers!  If you would like to sell your extra stash, booth rental is $20.00 and all of the proceeds from booth rental will go to Riley Children’s Hospital.  Your booth will be large enough for two card tables or a banquet size table.  Set up begins at 9:00 AM central time.  We have a large parking lot and still have booth space availble.  (There is no admission fee to attend as a shopper!)  I hope you can come to support a worthwile cause!  Call for more information: 1-800-455-8517.
Happy stitching,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It is hot, hot, hot here in northern Indiana!  We are trying various ways to beat the heat.  Of course, our favorite is staying inside and stitching.  My grandchildren have other ideas about summer fun.  Here are some photos taken on recent summer days.  The top two photos were taken at a local park and the bottom two were taken at a South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game.
Look at the big smile on Jonathan's face as he anticipates catching a wayward ball at the game.  Can you see Grace's patriotic fingernails as she gets ready to swing on the playground?  They said the splash pad was icy cold but it did not seem to diminish the fun.  They delighted in stepping on the jets of water so they would spray out sideways at those of us "too old" to play in the water.
We have been having fun at the shop as stitchers stop in on their vacations.  It is nice to put names  and faces together as we meet friends from the Internet.  We are very near Interstate 94 and the Indiana Toll Road (I 80/I 90.)  If you are going by we are a great spot for a rest stop.  The park in the top two pictures is only two blocks from the shop so if you have little ones, they can get a bit of exercise.
The What's New Page on our website ( been updated so be sure to see our latest acquisitions. Perhaps some of them are destined to become your latest acquisitions!

Happy stitching,

Monday, June 18, 2012


Tuesday is the last official day of spring even though we have had several weeks of summer temperatures.  When it is too hot to do anything else, I think it is the perfect time to find a shady (or air conditioned!) spot to stitch!  And, if you are planning to travel, every stitcher knows that the very first thing to pack is your stitching bag!  Don't forget extra needles and an extra project.  You never know when you might need an alternate plan!
Awhile ago I promised to show you the With Thy Needle Mystery Sampler once it was framed.  The name of the sampler is "Birds of a Feather" but we seem to keep calling it the Mystery Sampler!  That may change next week with the arrival of the new mystery sampler from Lizzie Kate!  Anyway, here is the completed sampler.  Once again my photography skillls are lacking but you can still get an idea of what it looks like.  If you haven't signed up for the new mystery sampler, now is the ideal time to do it!

I think I have mentioned that this is my 25th year at House of Stitches.  Recently, when I came back to work after a day off, Nancy and Joy had a suprprise for me.  They raided the picture drawer and made a display with pictures from the last two and a half decades.  It gave me a sweet little trip down memory lane.  When I purchased the shop it was located in a small space in a house on a side street.  Hence the name, House of Stitches.  After three years there, we outgrew the space and moved to our current spot on the main east/west street, Lincolnway.  After three more years our landlords wanted to add more shops in our little shopping center so we decided to increase our size before it was too late to add on without moving.  (The thought of moving makes me faint!)  It is amazing to look at the pictures and see how we have filled up the space!  And, the shop isn't the only thing that has changed.  When my daughter looked at the pictures, her comment was, "Nice hair, mom!" 
I will leave you with another picture from the shop.  We have an ongoing trunk show from C Street Samplerworks.  This shows just some of the samplers from the talented hands of Ruth Ann Russell.  You can see more in our catalog at  And, watch for new releases in the near future.  I'm stitching a model for one of them now!
Until next time keep on stitching; some days it is the only thing that keeps us sane!
Happy stitching,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Trunk Show

This is our latest trunk show from Summer House Stitche Workes.  These designs are perfect for people who like stitching Americana or patriotic things in the summer.  For a closer look at the designs go to our catalog and click on Summer House Stitche Workes in the manufacturer box.  All the charts are in stock and ready for you to stitch!

In spite of not having much time to stitch lately, I did manage to finish the needlebook from Little House Needlework's "Fresh From the Garden".  I decided I liked the stitched pocket on the front of the needlebook instead of inside.  Some of the tomato pincushions from my collection are keeping it company.  It is large enough to hold many needles on the felt page inside and packets of needles can go in the pocket.  You can see my "Red Hots" scissors also peeking out of the pocket.

We have set the date for our annual Midwest Stash Exchange!  It will be August 18 from 10-3 Central time.  This is a swap meet type of thing for needleworkers.  You rent a table for $20.00 (This fee goes completely to Riley Children's Hospital.) and sell, trade or give away your extra "stash".  (You keep the money from your sales.) There will be also be music, games for kids, drawings for gift baskets and a whole lot of fun.  We hope to raise a lot of money for a very worthwhile cause.  Riley Hospital is near and dear to our hearts and I know many other Hoosiers feel the same way.

Happy stitching,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Exciting events!

I have several exciting events to announce!  This is my twenty-fifth year at House of Stitches and we are celebrating all year.  (Where did the time go?!)  I hope you can join us for all of the fun things we are planning.
First we are having a Sue Hillis Trunk show from now until May 5. And the best part is that Sue will be here to meet you and sign her charts on Saturday, April 28!  What fun!  She is bringing a prize package of her charts for a drawing on Saturday afternoon.  (You do not have to be present to win.)  We are enjoying the Santas, pirates, Halloween designs and more!  It is always nice to see finished pieces in person.  The photo above shows just some of the trunk show on display as you enter our front door.
During the month of May we will have a trunk show from Summer House Stitche Workes.  She is a fairly “new to us” designer with Americana themed charts.  You can see examples at her website:  My favorites are the ones with monochromatic color schemes.
You have a little more time to plan for the third event.  Ellen Chester from With My Needle is coming to be our guest teacher at a weekend stitching event!  We are calling it Weekend of Stitches.  It will be October 6th and 7th with a get acquainted time on Friday evening the 5th.  The project will be Ellen’s new teaching project, “A Lady’s Worke Box”.  You can see a picture and description of the project at  The classes will be at the LaPorte Holiday Inn Express and you can stay there or commute if you live close enough.  More information will be coming soon.  Email us if you would like a registration form.

We look forward to sharing our silver celebrations with you!

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Show & Tell

One of our friends sent us photos of several recently completed projects and she said we could share them with you.  Chris Retseck is a prolific stitcher when she's not working at her "day job"- adult services librarian.  She is a member of the Needle Artisans of Northwest Indiana (NANI) chapter of the EGA.  When I asked Chris about her stitching, she said, "I have been stitching since about 1982!  Some of my favorite designers are La-D-Da, Country Cottage Needlework, Bent Creek, Cricket Collection, Blackbird Designs.  I truly LOVE stitching.  It is my sanctuary and keeps me sane!"  I think we can all relate to that.  Enjoy looking at her work; it is inspiring!

I have started a facebook page if you are a facebook fan.  Be sure to look for the correct House of Stitches when you visit.  Our page has a picture of the front of our shop.  I plan to  use it to let you know about new things as soon as they arrive.  Until next time....

Happy stitching,
Mares Eat Oats by La-D-Da

Christmas Tree by Alessandra Adelaide
Button, Button by Country Cottage

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nancy's recent finish

I thought you might like to see a project that Nancy recently finished.  She used a design by Brenda Gervais of With thy Needle & Thread. It's called "Be My Valentine" and you can see it here: I helped out with the buttons and lace but she did the real work!  The scissors are the Primitive Storklettes from Kelmscott.  They add a nice antique look and can be removed to use by untying the ribbon.

We are planning an exciting event for the fall!  Mark your calendar for the first weekend in October and I will get you details as soon as we have things "nailed down".  I can tell you it involves an internationally renowned teacher and a wonderful new project!  Stay tuned.

 I hope you have had a nice weekend with plenty of time to stitch. After paying bills I was doing some stitching on the "Fresh From the Garden" kit from Little House Needleworks. 

All stitching stopped when we realized that our refrigerator was not cooling properly.  Luckily we have a back-up in the basement so we had to transfer the things that could be salvaged.  This good old refrigerator has a rounded top and was most likely purchased during the Eisenhower administration!  It doesn't have an energy star rating but it is still working.  Somehow I don't think we will find a new model that will last as long.  I am afraid it will be a few days before I get back to stitching that tomato! 

Happy stitching,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back home in Indiana

When we returned from market last week our life got a little complicated.  While we were gone I developed a swollen, painful knee.  The eight hour drive home didn't help so I spent the week with ice packs, elevating it and doctor visits.  By the weekend it had improved greatly.  Then, on Sunday morning my husband awoke with serious abdominal pain.  By early afternoon he was in surgery for an appendectomy!  He came home yesterday and I am slowly starting to get back to a "normal" routine.  That is why I have been so long in getting a post market report to you.  All the time spent at the hospital gave me longer blocks of stitching time than I usually have!  I finished the With Thy Needle and Thread Mystery Sampler that I showed you a couple of posts back.  I'll get a photo for you when we  have it all framed.  I have to say that even my worst stitches are prettier than the doctor's!

It was a very encouraging time in Nashville.  Everyone seemed to have a positive attitude and outlook.  As usual I found all kinds of wonderful things to bring back to the shop.  Our "What's New" page at  will show you most of them!  Barb and Sue from Prairie Moon have generously loaned us many models to display in the shop.  We made a wall of their Crypt Club models as well as several other designs.  The photo on the left gives you an idea of what it looks like.  (I say an idea because once again my photography skills are less than the best!  I'll work on it!)  The picture on the right was taken in Cherrywood Design's room at Nashville.  They are planning a series of Halloween designs to be released between now and Halloween.  "Peace, Love and Candy Corn" is available now and the others will follow.

If you are a fan of Just Nan designs, the latest releases arrived today.  We saw them at market and they are stunning, as usual!  They aren't on our site yet but you can see them at  The latest from Cricket Collection also came in this week.  They are shown at .  They are a real breath of spring!  We should have all of them in our online catalog next week!

That's it for now.  I hope the new designs are as exciting to you as they are to me!  All that stitching time at the hospital makes me want to stitch MORE, just not in that setting!

Happy stitching,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nashville, part 2

I had every intention of posting last night but I truly "shopped 'til I dropped".  We had a nice dinnner at Romano's Macaroni Grill and if I didn't know better I would think my date drugged my Diet Coke!  When we got back to the hotel, I sat down on the couch to work on pricing charts.  The next thing I knew, it was 4:00 AM!  There was nothing to do but brush my teeth and go to bed. 

Today was another very good day of shopping.  (I should have been snapping pictures to show you as I went along.  I'll try to remember next time.)  Our room is filled with bags and bags of new charts, kits and "toys".  Just a few of the designers that we purchased from are:  Chessie & Me, Blackbird Designs (limited edition kit and 44 page book), Olde Colonial (5 new kits) Lizzie Kate (one limited edition kit and one Easter kit), Prairie Moon (5 Halloween themed designs), Milady's Needle (beautiful sampler pendants and charts), and Workbasket.  We have new threads from Crescent Colours, Gentle Art, and Weeks Dye Works.   I have to stop!   To see the latest, go to the website,, click on catalog, and type nash12 in the key word box.  We will be adding things as fast as we can!

I scheduled a trunk show from Summer House Stitche Workes for the month of May.  (Road trip anyone?!)  And, we have an ongoing trunk show from Prairie Moon.  Because Sue lives nearby, she and Barb are kind enough loan us many of their models.  This evening Sue called and asked if we would like to take more models back to the shop.  No brainer!  So we have more than a dozen stitched pieces that will be on display as soon as we can get home and get them on the wall.  I'll post a picture soon.

I'm going to give the computer back to Hal now.  While I am typing he isn't uploading!  He hasn't been slacking, though, he's been pricing charts.  What a great guy!

Happy stitching,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nashville Needlework Show 2012

Hello from Nashville (OK, Franklin) Tennessee.  It is about an 8 hour drive to get here and we had no problems; the snow is back home in Indiana!  We arrived yesterday in time for dinner at our traditional first night eatery, Santa Fe Steakhouse.  Yummm....peanuts in the shell and a nice steak dinner.  That gave us the energy that we needed to unload the car and settle into our room.

This morning we had a big hotel breakfast with Linda and Alan Ebright, aka Mr. and Mrs. Lizzie Kate.  One of the nicest things about market is catching up with stitching friends.  We had so much fun chatting that I was almost late for my class.  Barbara Rakosnik from Periwinkle Promises taught her "Red Strawberry Fob & Sheath" project.  She showed us a way to make queen stitches that makes them a bit more stitcher friendly.  I wish I could say my project looks like the photo above but I have many more hours of stitching to do before that happens.

This evening we plan an early dinner (Food is never far from our minds!) so we can be back for early bird shopping.  The sooner I start shopping, the sooner I'll have new things to show you.  Husband Hal will be uploading things as I buy.  The only problem is that I can shop faster than he can upload!  Tonight there is also a "Make it! Take it!" event that will give us a preview of the products we will see when the market officially opens tomorrow morning.  Keep watching this space; I plan to blog throughout the weekend.  It will be the next best thing to being here!

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

This is the project that I spent time with last weekend.  It is the With Thy Needle & Thread Mystery Sampler, "Birds of a Feather".  Please pardon my not so great photography skills!  You would laugh if you knew how long it took me to get the picutre that you see posted!  I should have asked a twelve year old to help me!

I hope you are able to spend time with those you love today! If you can't be together in person, find another way to connect: telephone, email, texting. You could even write an old fashioned letter with pen and paper! Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I don't know why but I love hearts! Maybe it has something to do with the heart shaped cakes my mom always made for my birthday. Hearts have curves but they aren't round, a point but they aren't square-they are just a great shape!

As I write, I hear the snow plows going by our house. It is finally acting like it might really be winter. Saturday morning we had a blizzardy kind of snow fall that made travel a bit hazardous. Perfect stitching weather! And now that we can shop online; perfect shopping for cross stitch weather!! And, coincidentally, a new "What's New" page will be going up on our website soon; probably late today or tomorrow. Watch for our email or just keep checking Just to make things more fun, anything you purchase with the word "heart" in the title will be 14% off this week (through February 18).

Happy Valentine's Day! We love YOU!

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Warm Welcome

Thank you for the kind words and warm welcome to the world of blogging.  Your encouragement will help motivate me to keep posting!  I enjoy reading your blogs, too.  Stitchers really are some of the nicest people!

 Many designers will be posting some "sneak peeks" and previews of their market offerings in the next couple of weeks.  As you are browsing their websites and blogs, please let me know which things you would like me to bring back from the needlework market.  There are so many wonderful things that sensory overload can kick in and I might miss getting the one design (or toy or fabric...) that you really want!  I don't know how they do it but the designers always amaze me with their creativity.

Thanks for helping us with the sale items.  Keep checking our catalog on the website; we'll be adding more!  We keep trying to put more things in the same amount of space and we are bursting at the seams.  So, you reap the benefits with great discounts on many wonderful designs.  We only have a little over two weeks to make room for the market merchandise.  Help!

I hope you are finding time to stitch.  I have a quote from Ginnie Thompson on the wall behind my computer.  It says, "What cross stitch does not cure, it alleviates."  Quite true!

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas Stockings

I have been promising photos of the Shepherd's Bush Christmas stockings that I stitched for my family.  At long last; here they are!  The first picture is from 2010 and the second is 2011.  You can see that I have made progress but I still have one more stocking to stitch.  It is started but I am not terribly motivated right now, maybe because it is for me.  It makes a good "take along project" since it is a larger count fabric (18 count linen over 2).  I can stitch on it in the car so I can make good progress when we go to the Nashville Needlework market next month.   Rest assured, I'm the passenger not the driver when I stitch!!

Nancy is still adding more things to the sale section of our catalog  Quantities are limited so don't delay!  Help us make room for the new things that will be arriving from the Needlework Market next month.

Happy stitching,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A new adventure!

Hi, stitching friends!

I hope our new blog will provide a way to keep you informed of the latest happenings here at House of Stitches.  For today, the big news is that the latest Prairie Schooler charts and Shepherd's Bush kits have arrived.  We will have pictures on the website soon.  Until then you can order them by putting a note in the customer comments area of your order.  I have much to learn about blogging; thank you in advance for your patience!

Happy stitching,