Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year!

Here we are at the close of another year! Did you meet your stitching goals for the year? Several people have given me the total number of projects that they have stitched this year. I have never thought to count how many I complete. I do more small projects so it hardly seems fair to compare them to the masterpieces that many of you complete! Maybe I can count my completed projects in 2017.

Our What’s New Page has been updated for the final time this year. You can see the latest at There are fun new designs from Abby Rose, Country Cottage Needleworks, Sue Hillis, My Big Toe, Little House Needleworks, Mirabilia and more! Several of the designs have winter themes that are perfect for stitching on long, cold evenings.

The week before Christmas my daughter and I went to the Dressing Downton Afternoon Tea and exhibit of Downton Abbey costumes at the History Museum in South Bend. (Special thanks go to her husband Erik for the tickets!) The tea was lovely and the costumes were unbelievable. The exhibit runs through January 8 if you have a chance to get to South Bend. The embroidery and bead work are amazing! When we reached the end of the costume exhibit we saw a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Upon closer examination we realized that it was covered with hand stitched ornaments! The South Bend chapter of the EGA (Embroiderers’ Guild of America) made all of the beautiful ornaments. Here is the photo  so you can admire it, too!

Make your stitching plans for 2017 and let us know what supplies you need. We know how you like to organize and plan at the beginning of a new year! Thank you for your continued patronage; we look forward to serving your cross stitch needs in 2017.  Let's see how many projects we can finish!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Merry Christmas!

December is rolling on and most of us still have plenty to accomplish before the big day.  I have decided that Lizzie Kate’s new Inspiration Boxer kit sums it up: “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.”  Now the trick is deciding which things to do and which things to delegate or just let go!   One of the things I hope you will do is visit our newly updated What’s New page at .  It will give you a breather from the hustle and bustle and maybe provide a few gift ideas for your stitching friends or yourself!  All kinds of needleworkers can use a new pair of scissors.  The new limited edition Sawyer scissors from Gingher will add a bright touch to a sewing basket with their pretty red and white design.   Kelmscott Designs new needle minders will do the same.  Holiday Hang-Ups - Joy from Bent Creek is a complete kit (just add a needle) that will fit nicely in a stocking.  The long-awaited designs from Lizzie Kate are in stock.  You should probably have one of each because it will be too hard to choose only one or two!  We continue to receive classic Prairie Schooler designs that are being reprinted by Hoffman Distributing.  You can have them without paying unrealistic prices on eBay!  I have brought a couple of stitched models back to the shop so you can see how timeless the designs really are.  There are many other great new charts-check them out and tell us which ones need to be added to your collection!
I will not keep you from your appointed tasks too long!  I hope you can find time for a few stitches now and then; we all know it helps improve our grip on sanity.  I probably will not write to you again until after Christmas so this comes with all of our best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and happy, healthy, stitching New Year!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Here we are at the last month of the year!  Already!!  Only a few weeks and we will have more daylight hours.  We have been hearing rumors of above average snow and below average temperatures.  So, we should consider ourselves warned and stock up on stitching supplies now!   We have the perfect place for you to begin your search for new projects!  Visit our What’s New page at .  There are even projects there that could be completed before the big day!   You can choose from Plum Street Designs, Little House Needleworks, Country Cottage Needleworks, Joan Elliott, Stoney Creek and more!   If you need a project with a warmer theme, see the two new To the Beach charts from Hands on Design. They complete the twelve part series.
If you are constantly getting the question about what you want for Christmas, we would like to suggest asking for a House of Stitches gift certificate.  They are available in any amount and we do not charge postage to mail the gift certificate.

We are in the process of lining up classes for next year.  If you have any suggestions let us know.  We want to provide help in the areas that you want!

Have fun with your holiday preparations!  We hope to put up our tree this weekend.  I am amazed at how many homes are already beautifully decorated.  My theory is that if I decorate later I can leave the decorations up later.  That is my plan and I am sticking to it!  In gloomy January the lights will brighten things considerably.
We are so grateful for your continued interest and support.  You make it all possible!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wonderful new projects await you at .  As I scrolled through the new things I wanted to stop typing and start stitching!  We have added six fun biscornus from Barbara Ana Designs.  If you have always wanted to try one, now is the time!  These are fun little projects that bring a smile.  We are planning a biscornu class after the first of the year so start stitching and we will show you how easy it is to put them together.  Prairie Schooler fans will be happy to know that some of the out of print charts have been reprinted!  And it is our understanding that more will be reprinted as time goes on.  This update also has a good selection of Christmas designs.  Two of my favorites are from Drawn Thread.  I think the four designs in Christmas Baskets would make beautiful ornaments.  The Christmas-Winter Mega Issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher has arrived.  It has 30 projects to delight your inner prim stitcher.  Just Nan has three new Christmas designs including a darling little Santa Mouse.   We are also highlighting an older design because it is a biscornu and we have this class planned and we know you  want to try stitching one!
Thanksgiving is upon us here in the US.  Our weather has been unusually warm so it is making it hard to grasp just how late in the year it is!  But, having said that, I am putting warm fall weather on my list of things to be things for which I am thankful.  And, you, stitching friends are on that list, too!  Thank you for your continued support and patronage.  And thank you for being understanding as I have had to be away from the shop much more than usual.  Nancy, Cherry, Joy and Sharon are on my thankful list, too, as they have shouldered much of the day to day business of keeping the shop going.

Happy stitching and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Time for holiday stitching!

I hope you are feeling the Christmas Spirit taking over your stitching.  Our What’s New Page,, is brimming with wonderful new Christmas projects.  Have you noticed the popularity of red pick-up trucks carrying Christmas trees as a decorating motif?  They seem to be everywhere this year; on sweaters, pillows and cards to name just a few!  Madame Chantilly and Needle Bling each have their own version to share with us.  The much anticipated annual Christmas stocking has arrived from Shepherd’s Bush.  If you are not quite ready to stitch for the holidays; there are new designs for you, too.  Mirabilia has a new Victorian lady dressed in a stunning ball gown.  And there are new fall and Halloween designs to tempt you.  Take a look and let us know which ones you want to add to your collection!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Holiday projects!

It is hard to believe it is the middle of October!  We have been experiencing summer like temperatures and it has lulled me into thinking that I have plenty of time to plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The thing that brings me back to reality is the ever earlier time of sunset each day.  The designers are doing a good job keeping us on track with new holiday projects.  You can view our most recent arrivals at .  Mill Hill brings us the latest Jim Shore perforated paper ornaments: two angels, two snowmen, an owl and a penguin.  Lizzie Kate has six new designs for the little wooden sleds that are so popular and easy to finish.  The Lizzie Kate Yearbook series is now complete with the addition of November and December.  Along with those designs there are two more new charts and two new kits!  A new chart from Abby Rose gives us some good advice: Do more of what makes you happy!  I think that has to include more stitching and more time at planning your next projects.  See you there!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

50+ new designs!

Wow!  I hope you are ready for new projects.  Our What’s New page has over 50 new items to fill your stitching basket.  You can see them at   Blackbird Designs completes their Garden Club series and several companies are continuing their series: Hands on Designs with To the Beach, Little House Needleworks with ABC Samplers, Shepherd’s Bush with Thanksgiving Trifles and Summer House Stitche Workes concludes their Zephyr Hill Mystery Sampler.  There are many autumn and Halloween designs; some are cute and fun while others are spookier in nature.  If you are looking for a beautiful Christmas project; be sure to see the two new designs from Victoria Sampler.   Mill Hill has new little stocking ornaments.  They are stitched on perforated paper in fun, bright colors. (Our next update will include new perforated paper ornaments by artist Jim Shore!) The 2016 Prairie Schooler Santa is online and he is waving good-bye.  Maybe this one is truly the final Santa in the long-running series.  We still have quite a few of the Santas from previous years if you missed getting some of them.
We had a noisy day at the shop today as a new roof was put on our part of the building.  There was hail damage but we were spared any leaks.  Hooray!  It kept things lively (Bang! Boom! Crash!) and reminded us that all too soon it will be time to listen for reindeer hooves on our roofs!
Enjoy browsing the new designs!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy autumn!

Happy autumn!  I am not sure how it arrived so quickly but here it is, ready or not.  Our newly updated What’s New page has many new autumn projects to tempt you!   Christmas designs are well represented, too.  There are fun new needle threaders and magnetic needle holders from Puffin & Co. and Kelmscott.  We think of these items as toys for stitchers.  Here is the link to the list of all 75 recently added items:  A faster way to see photos of all of them is to go to our catalog, and type sep16b in the keyword box.  It might be good to have a tall glass or large mug of your favorite beverage to enjoy as you make your shopping list!
We have a bit of exciting news for you.  Even though Prairie Schooler retired from designing earlier this year; they have designed one more of their very popular Santa cards!  They arrived too late to be included with this update but you can put a note in the customer comments area of your order and we will include it.  He is $5.00 and this is what he looks like this year:  

Today I spoke with Deb from Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher Magazine and learned that the Premier Issue is going to be reprinted!  If you missed getting a copy you will have a second chance.  Let us know you are interested and we will contact you when it arrives.  Deb thinks we will have it by mid to late October. 

What have you been stitching?  I just finished one of the Chalkboard Ornaments by Hands On Designs.  It was a fast stitch and easy to finish.   The buttons and holly leaves that come with the chart make it easy to hide the ends of the cording and ribbon!  I like easy!  I hope you are enjoying your current projects, too! 

Thank you for being our blog friend!  We appreciate your interest and support.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall fun!

Wow!  We have added a whopping 59 new things to our catalog!  Things are arriving almost dailyfrom the fall online shows.  Here’s a link to the list:  If you are a more visual kind of person, go to the catalog and type sep16a in the keyword box.  That will give you pictures of all the new things in alphabetical order.   It helps me see everything and not look at just my favorite designers.  It is fun to play a little game of guess the designer as you look at them!
I am trying to get back in the groove at the shop after being out a few days last week.  We were closed Monday for Labor Day and then I spent Friday and Saturday working on things at my mom’s.  Even though I am way behind at the shop it is definitely easier work!  Since I need to be away from work so much this fall we are going to forego a fall stitching weekend.  I apologize for the disappointment but promise to do better next year!   (Remember, it is our big three zero anniversary!)  Things are in the works for both a spring and fall weekend but are coming together slowly.  We will also have the bi-annual Stash Exchange (fundraiser for Riley Children’s Hospital), most likely in August.  Stay tuned!
Thank you for your continued interest!  We occasionally have someone tell us that no one cross stitches anymore.  We beg to differ!  We are stitching more than ever with more wonderful fibers, fabrics and designs than we could have imagined even ten years ago!  It is a great time to be a stitcher.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stash enhancement ahead!

I hope you are ready for some new projects because we have more than 60 new things for you on our What’s New Page!!   The designers outdid themselves with new things for the Norden Online Show.  There are many new fall designs and even two reprints of Prairie Schooler charts!  We are taking pre-orders for the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Ornament magazine.  It is scheduled to ship to us on August 30 so it will be here soon!  I don’t know which we anticipate more; the ornaments or the recipes!   Lizzie Kate’s 2016 Santa is here along with Tiny Tidings XXI.  The Spooked! Mystery Sampler from Lizzie Kate is now complete with the arrival of part 3.  There are two new samplers from Rosewood Manor and two new Garden Club charts from Blackbird Designs.

Have you stitched anything fun this summer?  I just finished two small projects that were fun and fast.  Here are links to pictures of them.  Sweetheart Etui with Needlebook by Cherished Stitches  and My Heart is Home by Blackbird Designs .  I see a theme here; both are hearts!

I have been trying to fit in retreat planning and I just have not had the time and focus to get things together for a retreat this fall.  We have had too many things going on in our home life to properly focus on scheduling fun weekends.  BUT!  Next year will be our 30th year at House of Stitches!   I think that calls for some special events.   We will be having our bi-annual Midwest Stash Exchange to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital---probably in August.  And we have been talking with designers about teaching at weekend events.  Stay tuned!

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  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 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   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:  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   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 .   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  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:  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 , 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!  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.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Latest arrivals!

Our What’s New page is filled with over sixty great new designs!  Hop over to visit at   The new Mill Hill kits are here!  In addition to six Autumn Buttons and Beads kits and six Autumn Harvest Magnet kits, we have the Little Monsters Trilogy and Calavera Charmed Ornaments.  Lizzie Kate’s new Yearbook Double Flip series has begun and the first half of the series is in stock and waiting for you!   Heart’s Content has a beautiful new kit called Tudor-Batik Scissors Sheath.   If you feel like stitching a summer-themed design, be sure to see the To the Beach series from Hands On Design.  Needle’s Notion has a cute design called Bandana Ranch for the little cowboy or cowgirl in your life.

Strawberry Fields from Blackbird Designs is back in print and back in stock!  And their new book, Sweet Land of Liberty also arrived today.  It has five patriotic designs!  If you need either of these just put a note in the customer comments area of your order form.

Our framer says to tell you she has framed Winter Wienerland ( from Plum Street a couple of times recently and it is as cute as can be!  It is fun to see how the same design looks when stitched on different counts and colors of fabric. 
While we are speaking of Plum Street, I started stitching Deer Friends recently.  I worked on it in the car while we traveled this past weekend and I am sure my poor husband got quite tired of hearing me exclaim over the beautiful colors. This is what is stitched so far.  (Now you can admire the colors, too! LOL) I am ready to start a deer!

Any day now we will be receiving a trunk show from Summer House Stitche Works.  I am really looking forward to having Beth’s stitched models in the shop!  It is always very inspiring to see the actual stitched piece instead of just a photo on a chart.  Once we have the models unpacked and set up I will post some photos for those who cannot visit in person.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


It seems like spring is really here to stay!  The flowers and trees are blooming and we have not had snow in at least two weeks! Hooray!  Our What’s new page at has mostly spring designs.  There is one very ambitious Christmas design from My Big Toe.  It is called Hymns of Christmas and if you start now you might have it finished in time for the holidays this year.  It is in my someday stash; would you like to add it to yours?

Today we received the latest charts and kits from Lizzie Kate.  It was too late to add the pictures to this update but you can see them on the Lizzie Kate blog:   The Double Flip charts are in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Lizzie Kate Designs!  The years have really flown by!

And speaking of how time flies; in only six months it will be Halloween!  To give you a jump start we are having a 25% off special on Spook of the Month kits from Val's Stuff.  The kits contain everything except the floss and are as cute as can be.  To see them, go to our catalog and type Spook of the Month in the key word box.  The shopping cart will not show the discount but we will subtract it and let you know the adjusted total.

Does figuring the finished size of a design frustrate you?  It is pretty simple with your handy dandy calculator.  If you have a cell phone there is probably a calculator right there.  All you need to know is the number of stitches in your design and the count of your fabric.  For example, if your design is 148 X 49 stitches and you are using 14 count fabric, you would divide 148 by 14 (10.57”) and then divide 49 by 14 (3.5”).  That tells you the stitched area is 10.57“ by  3.5”.  You will want to add a margin of fabric to all sides for finishing.  We usually recommend 3” on all sides if you are planning to frame your finished piece.  The means you need to add 6” (that is 3” on the left and right and 3” on the top and bottom) to the design area.  In our example you would want a piece of fabric at least 16.57” x 9.5”.  If you know you want a mat and frame, it is a good idea to add 4” on each side instead of just 3”.  The only other thing that might be a tad tricky is if you are working over 2.  Then you need to divide the linen count by 2 before you figure your design size.  28 count linen is figured as 14 count fabric, 32 count linen is figured as 16 count fabric and so on.   I hope this makes starting your next project a little easier.

I will let you get back to stitching or shopping for stitching and say farewell for now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Have you been stitching spring projects?  Here in northern Indiana we keep saying that it is spring but we have to bundle up in winter coats and gloves to endure the cold, wind and intermittent snow!   Working on a spring projects helps me endure.  How about you?  We have new charts and accessories for you to see at  Some have a spring theme but in honor of our up and down weather, there is a snowman book from Stoney Creek and a snowman scissor fob!
It has been awhile since I told you about the Merchant Mall at one of our suppliers: Hoffman Distributing.  They have an amazing collection of stitching books and supplies.  The wonderful thing is that you can shop there and place an order and it will go into our shopping cart and will arrive with our next weekly order.  Then we can send it on to you or you may pick it up in the store.  You may also ask us to combine your Hoffman order with other things that you order through our website.  Even though your Hoffman invoice will show shipping charges; we use our own rates which are usually lower.   There is a link on our home page ( that will take you there.  You may search by title, designer or category.  I must warn you that you may find many things that you did not know you need until you see them!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter!

We have an updated What’s New Page for you to enjoy:  This is a busy weekend for many people so the fact that it is shorter than the last one will help you take time to browse our latest offerings and still have time to enjoy your Easter festivities.   Quite a few of the new arrivals continue to be from the Nashville Needlework Market.   I know several of you have been waiting for the new Plum Street designs to arrive.   I hope you do not try to choose only one! "Dearie and Darling" from Kathy Barrick is a perfect companion to her "And Heaven and Nature Sing" design.  Puffin has new mini Needle Minders that are great for smaller projects.
Keep on stitching and let us know how we can serve your needlework needs.  Thank you for your loyalty and continuing business!  We hope you have a wonderful, blessed Easter!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I think I am finally beginning to catch my breath after the Nashville Needlework Market!  It was such a good show this year that I purchased about 50% more things than last year.  To see all of them, go to our catalog:  and type nash16 in the keyword box.  There are so many wonderful designs that I am not even going to try to describe them!  Be kind to yourself and order the things that you like fairly soon so you do not miss out on getting them.  And!  There are still more things that we will be adding soon.  We are dedicated to bringing you the cross stitch designs and supplies that you need to keep your stitching soul fed.  Thank you for your continued support!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Nashville Needlework Market!

Today was a very productive shopping day at the Nashville Needlework Market.  There are SO MANY designers here this year and they have outdone themselves!   It is going to be a long night of pricing and scanning!  This is what it looks like in our room.
If you want to see the new things as they are added to our website, you can go to our catalog at and type nash16 in the keyword box.  I have to get back to work and let my faithful computer guy get back to putting things online for you.  Thank you for taking time to visit us! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Snow day!

The shop is closed today due to our wonderful winter weather.  We officially have over 17” of snow!  LaPorte County has declared a snow emergency and only emergency vehicles are allowed on the roads.   So, I am declaring this an official stitch from your stash day!  It looks like we will be able to open tomorrow.  Thank you or your patience and understanding!

Happy stitching (from your stash),


Monday, February 22, 2016

Finally finished!

Are you still in a Valentine frame of mind?  Apparently the designers are because we have a good number of new designs with a Valentine theme.  As someone who likes anything in a heart shape, it suits me just fine!  Symbols of love are appropriate any day of the year.  The latest arrivals are on our What’s New Page at  We also have several new designs for St. Patrick’s Day as well as spring themed projects and a graduation sampler from Sweetheart Tree.

The last time I wrote to you I promised to try to show you a picture of the project that I started over five years ago and finally finished.  
It is a project from Erica Michaels called ‘tis a Small Gift.  It is stitched on 30 count silk gauze; front and back are identically stitched.  The most challenging part for me was not the actual stitching on the silk gauze but the joining together of the front and back and adding the pesky little bow!  But it is finished and I am looking for a new project to start.  I always have a portable project in my purse so I can work on that until I find another larger challenge.  If I did not have a project on hand I might break out in a rash! 

Thank you to all who helped with our inventory reduction.  The total was actually a little less than last year!  That is a huge victory since for as long as I can remember it has increased every year.  We plan to continue to whittle things down a bit by continuing to put things on sale.  A huge influx of designs and accessories will be coming in about 2 weeks.  The Nashville Needlework Market is almost here!  As you read the blogs and newsletters from your favorite designers, be sure to let us know which things you want.  I have a file started for your market wish lists!  It is not possible to buy everything so if I know what you like it will help me buy the right things. 

The computer that I usually use went to the computer hospital rather unexpectedly today.  I thought our friendly Rent-a-Geek would be able to work his magic in a few minutes at my desk.  But, alas!  It requires more serious attention.  I think I still received all of your emails and orders but if you do not get a response just resend your message.
Enjoy the new listings and let us know which ones are destined for your stash collection.  I am certain that you need a few new things to tide you over until the market things arrive.  Your continued business is greatly appreciated!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Feel free to order your own Valentine gift from the newest listings on our What’s New Page: A stitching gift will last longer than chocolate or flowers!   If you are stitching the Gingerbread Village from Country Cottage Needleworks, we have the fourth installment and the button accent that it uses.  Mill Hill brings us the Good Coffee and Friends series with six coffee themed kits from Debbie Mum.  Eileen Bennett of Sampler House has published two new reference books for your stitching library.  They are the kind of books you turn to again and again when you have a stitching question.  Lizzie Kate has five new designs.  My favorite, of course is the one that says, “Life is Better with Stitching Friends”.  Nora Corbett, the Mirabilia designer brings us two new Bewitching Pixies.  Pet lovers will want to see the cute dog and cat designs from My Big Toe.
We have been experiencing real winter weather this week.  Here at the southern shore of Lake Michigan we have been getting lake effect snow with wind and very cold temperatures.  Like I always say, it is great stitching weather!  I hope you are able to stay cozy and spend quality time with your projects.  I have been working on a project that I started about five years ago.  It is an Erica Michaels design stitched with Simply Wool thread from Gentle Art on silk gauze.  Here is a picture of the chart:  With a little luck I can finish it this weekend and I will try to post a picture of the finished product for you to critique! 

Thank you for your continued love of stitching!  Be on the lookout for someone who would like to learn to stitch and share the love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pre-Market SALE

New charts continue to arrive!  Our What’s New page has been updated at  The 2016 Heart in Hand Collector’s Heart is here!  Joan Elliott has four new charts.  Victoria Sampler has two new designs and Bent Creek brings us a new snowman kit on easy to stitch 18 count linen.  The four new charts from Satin Stitches are a preview of the new things that they will have at the Nashville Needlework Market.  (You are seeing them here first!)  If you have been waiting for Merry Noel from With Thy Needle and Thread; it is finally here.  You can get a very early start on your holiday stitching.  You will feel oh, so virtuous!

The Nashville Needlework Market is just a little over a month away!  We need to make room for the large influx of charts and kits so we are having a SALE!  From now until February 6, all in stock charts and kits will be 20 % off!  (Sorry, special orders and already discounted charts and kits will not be included.)  I think I need to clarify how our website works.  We do not have a fancy point-of-sale system that removes items when they are out of stock.  We want to let you see a wide selection of designs that are available to you, so sometimes things are pictured on our website that are not in stock.  (And sometimes we do not know that things have been discontinued by the designers until we try to re-order!)

So start shopping!  We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope your weather is warmer and less windy than ours!  But, like I always say; it is good stitching weather.  It is the perfect time-whether you are too hot in the southern hemisphere or too cold in the northern half of the world-to sit down and look at all of the new (and not so new!) things on our website.  The newest things are shown here .  While there are some lingering winter and holiday designs, we also have new spring things to brighten dull winter days.  Be sure to see all of the new spring kits from Mill Hill.  There are seashells, Easter eggs, a fishing vest and a garage with old fashioned gas pumps.  (It is nice to have designs that will be appreciated by the men in your life!)   Gypsy Queen from Mirabilia and Valentine Candy from Imaginating will put some bright spring colors in your stitching basket.  Sue Hills has a couple of cute Christmas designs if you are a forward thinker!

We are still working on our inventory.  We hope to have our inventory go down and our sales go up this year.  That will make our accounting friends happy and it seems like a good business goal!  While just the joy of planning projects and stitching them seems like plenty of reward for us needleworkers, it looks better on paper if the graph of yearly sales goes up.

Many of you have been asking for the chart Merry Noel from With Thy Needle and Thread.  I am thrilled to be able to tell you that we should have it by the end of the week!  If you would like to be added to the list of people waiting for it, just let us know.  We will also have the fourth in the Garden Club Series, Honey Bee from Blackbird Designs.

Thank you for allowing us to fill your cross stitch needs last year and we look forward to keeping you stitching in 2016!