Aug 18, 2017

For your viewing

I've listed the sale items on the For SALE tab under the header photo for you to view.  You can email with questions, additional information, comments, just click the link.  I haven't worked on prices for everything yet, the photos took quite a while and posting forever!  So I am done for now.   
I am having major pain again with the jaw and having a tooth extracted beginning of next week.  With this TMJ flareup, I don't even know how he can work on me since my mouth only opens so far.  Regardless, a little miserable right now and I'm sure much more next week so the sale may be the last week of August.  Did I just say that?  Last week of summer?  Just added to my misery.  I will post before the sale to let you know when it will be.
Have a good weekend.

Aug 17, 2017

One more thing

Greetings folks.  Yes, I know comments are disabled.  I am tiring of dealing with an intruder, registered with Google so the only way to block is to stop it all.  Decided to report to Google and let them handle it.
The sale next week will be by email as were the boxes.  Still working on descriptions and photos for you.

I wanted to add to yesterday's post but before that - if any of you use the PITA flea meds on your cats, here is a real deal.  Pet Armor Plus has the same active ingredient as Frontline for less.  I can only find 4 packs in the store, no longer the 6.  So I checked online and the 6 pack must be on clearance because it is only $25.  Great price for 6 vials if you have multiple cats.
One thing I forgot to add about the naked samplers.  If there is a chance you may frame them at some point, do not use fusible interfacing.  I always do when making a tuck or ornament, but not for framing.  It stabilizes the linen for hanging but the fusing would prevent any stretch to the piece when lacing or mounting to get a perfect edge. 
A few Christmas designs which are packed away with the others, were done differently.  I wanted more structure to the wimpy linen so I fused medium weight interfacing to muslin, laid the fused muslin on the back of the linen, folded the side edges over it and pressed, and folded down the top to create the hem pocket for the braid or boning.  It completely lines the linen, makes a nicer presentation, no folded edges visible through a sheer fabric.
That's all folks!

Aug 16, 2017

The fringed and the free

In response to a question regarding the way I display some samplers, here are some photos to show the backs of the pieces that are unframed, fringed, or hemmed.
But first there's this.  A few happenings from the last few days.  When I was on the phone scheduling Carole's Direct TV tech, he kept saying "Wednesday the 16th".  I kept saying "Wednesday is the 15th".  Since I was having a difficult time with his accent, I thought maybe I was hearing sixteen but it was actually fifteen that he was repeating.  ONE SIX.  Sorry sir, ONE FIVE is Wednesday!  This went on for a few minutes until I glanced at the top of the Carole's calendar to see that it is for 2018.  So if anyone is interested, August 16th is on a Thursday next year.
I was concerned about Nitzy since he has a wound on his leg and spend the entire day indoors.  That never happens.  But he bounced back and was fine the next morning.  For two nights, I have screamed his name out back to come in for the night.  When I scream, I open wide and suck in creating a vacuum that can be too strong for small insects.  It brought in a few moths hanging around the door light.  None flew down my throat and all were removed with a good mouth rinse.
Not paying attention to where I was going, I walked into the hummer feeder and had really sweet hair for a while.
I was cleaning out the grain bin in the back room, bending over to reach the bright orange lid to a spray paint can at the very bottom, and was surprised when it blew fluorescent orange over my upper body, the wall, and window.  Seems I left the ground marking paint which has a nozzle straight up and uncovered, in the wrong place.  That stuff is very difficult to remove once dried.
So here's the photos.  The majority of these are done on stiff unbleached linen, and pressing with a hot iron is usually enough to hold back the sides.  A few have machine sewn sides in a thread matching the linen color.  A hem is sewn on the tops and boning or horsehair braid is slipped inside.  Once the edge is pressed, before sewing the hem down, the braid or bone can be attached to the back hem piece directly on the pressed edge instead of inserting in a sewn hem.  Both items can be found at JoAnn's in the notions aisle with elastics and banding.  These samplers should have interfacing fused or a muslin lining since some are sheer, but I never did.  I would hang as soon as completed and expect to go back later.  It's later.
 This is typical of the stiff linens, pressed back leaving enough fabric for framing in the future (or not), top is hemmed with horsehair braid that is sewn to the back flap, or slipped through.  I count the linen threads out from the stitching on each side for proper centering.  This one has a machine sewn edge.  When fringing, make sure you leave enough linen at the bottom for future framing, before removing the threads.

This piece is over 30" long and has been hanging for a few years.  This one I am considering framing.  Same method, just pressed, boning at the top for extra support against sagging.
 Another pretty long piece on a little softer linen, but pressing was still enough to hold the edge.   The contrast thread zig zag is only on the edge to prevent fraying.  This one definitely needs a muslin lining.  I would open the top hem to insert the muslin and let it hang freely, cut to fit exactly within the pressed edges with the linen sides folded over the muslin so it doesn't show.
Big girl Lucy Redd is hemmed on four sides by machine, basting stitch for easy removal, with enough fabric for mounting to frame.  A few other smalls are also finished this way, no fringe. 
Lucy and Sally Fiske (23" x 25") both have boning in the top hem because of their size, which is heavier and stiffer than the horsehair braid.
I hope this helps answers any questions, but if not, email me.  This started as a way to display finishes rather than have them lying in a drawer until framing.  But after seeing a few antiques hanging naked, even stretched out of shape,  I prefer the more primitive samplers naked and unafraid.
Have a good one!

Aug 15, 2017

A few more

If anyone has suggestions as to how to offer the pieces, please do so.  I don't know if I should just open a sale page and list them all or a few a week.  I doubt they will sell for a while.  It's like trying to sell eggs in a hen house.  You're all stitchers!  Why would you want stitchery!
Took all afternoon to get the TV set up at Carole's and then 2 HOURS on the phone with Direct TV to get an upgraded box in order for the new UHD to look like it.  I sure hope it helps with the clarity, otherwise, pack it up and exchange.  The tech was very very nice and polite but I had a very hard time understanding him, more difficult than any other tech conversation.  But the new box is coming Wednesday and we're keeping fingers crossed.
That's all folks.
Probably the last of the sale items but you never know.
Have a good hump day.

Aug 13, 2017

Where's the heat?

Hi folks.  Hope your weekend went well.  We were close ... but still haven't needed the air conditioner in weeks.  August is half over.  So upset the end is near and we've had such a short summer.  Jacqueline was surprised that I wanted a hot summer after complaining about my hot flashes (for years), but when I am hot and sticky from the weather, I do not notice them much at all.  As soon as I am cooled off, they make me feel like a roasted marshmallow melting off the stick.
Anyway, I wanted to mention that if anyone needs an answer to a question, please click the link to email me directly.  There are so few left that are not no-reply and I have no way to respond.  That being said, here's a few tidbits of info.
Yes, stuffed cabbage freezes well. 
Watching my carbs is not technically a diet.  I just read labels and try to hold the total to around 50 carbs a day, some days less, some days more.   Lots of info online about counts in various foods.  Dove dark is 5 carbs.  Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom chocolate ice cream is fabulous and actually has fiber which can be deducted from the carb count, very doable!  If I have a cupcake day, I am just more strict the next.  I love meat and layered salads, mayo based dressings, so this works better for me than WW did.
The design shown in the selling photo with the large bird is Random Thoughts by Sheepish Designs.
I don't know when the sale will be, hoping to have decisions made this week and sale next week.  I thought Ebay may be easier for me but I may just list them on the blog page.  I added a few more, not absolutely sure, still gathering and thinning.
I'll post the photos and descriptions ahead of the sale and give notice of when it will be.
I will mention that none of them will be able to be disassembled and framed.  I cut my seam allowance short and usually seam close to the stitching, nothing at all left for mounting or framing.  The Random Thoughts design was at first a large drum, which I tired off, and changed to shelf display.
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 12, 2017

A stinky day

But worth it.

A few more to add to the sale.  Probably more coming.

Aug 11, 2017

As primitive as it gets

That's what I think this pouch is, stitched from Notforgotten Farm's Pennsylvania Pillowe design.  It is stained, the linen threads broken from sanding, errors in stitching.  Fully lined and beat up.  This will be one of the items for sale soon.

My Simple Life magazine came and there is an article entitled "Keepers of the Flame", about antique wallets worked in the flamestitch as many of Ann's were.  One line brought a chuckle - "The purse of 'IP' was worked in 1773 by a not-too-skilled needlewoman who dealt with her mistakes by ignoring them"! 
By the time I got the camera, most of the flock was gone.  There was a little scuffle between the doe and hens, but everyone was able to have a snack.  See how tiny the chick is, to the left of its mom?
I have been trying to down the gallon of water daily before my next test (which was supposed to be this week) but I am having so much trouble.  I can't have iced tea, nothing with caffeine, so I am adding MiO flavors (love those little squirters) but still not drinking enough.  Slices of fruit in the water does nothing for me.  I'll keep trying though.
Good grief it's Friday and we're getting into the middle of August.  Since the start, evenings have been really chilly, not summer like at all.  Days have been below normal too.  So disappointed in the summer of 2017 which started with the furnace still running in JUNE!!  Damn.
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 9, 2017


Greetings folks.  Hope you enjoyed seeing Ann's work.  She has quite a collection of wallets, fifteen that I have shared.
Our weekend went well, Mark won a 40" SmartTV at the golf outing.  Since we need to replace Carole's old 36", this was great.  Except, she wants a 50", even though this is still larger than she had.  Does this frost my crabass?  You betcha.  I just bought her great grandkids new outfits and shoes for school, (love my Kohl's discounts!) and asked her to have the little guy try on the three pair I brought home for size.  Two fit.  She let them take the shoes home, and two days later he is playing outside in the woods with the new school shoes on.  I told her NOT to give them to him now because I know how irresponsible that family is, but she did anyway and let him keep two of the pairs instead of one.  When I had to give her my much loved car with the understanding she would take care of it, and then see it filthy, parked in the sun with her oak trees' catkins covering it instead of the garage, I could spontaneously combust. You know, I hate to get upset with her because I keep thinking she may be gone one day, but I am so fricking tired of grinding my teeth down to stubs.  So I scream at Mark and he answers with "you know what she is like".  So what are we doing?  Exchanging the 40" to get her the 50", according to my husband.  I am so tired of my family relying on me for everything.  How do you stop a situation that has been ongoing for many years, and how do you disappoint one brother, one sister, one nephew, when they are all you have?  How do you not feel you are failing your parents who helped her before they passed and asked you to continue?  How do you accept the way your gifts are accepted and abused, expected instead of appreciated?  Here's how.  Grow up!  If you can help someone, do it.  Do not expect them to take care of what you buy, it is a gift, and it will be ruined shortly.  It's now theirs, not yours.  If you want to help someone, do it. If you feel obligated instead of generous, get over it.  Help is help.  Do not expect them to be grateful, just feel good that you were able to make someone happy whether they deserve it or not.  If this is continually happening, and you get phone calls all the time asking to look up information online, run an errand, fill out a form, download a manual, fix something, pay for repairs, get groceries, pick up meds, just take a deep breath.  Take comfort in the fact that you are 13 years younger, much smarter, thinner, and cuter than they are.  And buy a good dental plan.
So now that that is off my non-existent chest, here's what I made today. 
Cupcakes for the Italian Home's golf league for husband and nephew birthdays.  Last night I cooked a monster cabbage to make halupki and it was in the basement fridge with the cupcake boxes, leaves laid over bowls and mugs so they don't tear.  When I opened the fridge, the smell was powerful but the boxes were only in there for an hour so they should be fine. 
That's all this crabass has to report today.
I'm going to be selling a few older stitcheries and am getting them ready. 
Nothing else involves a needle.
Thanks for visiting.

Aug 8, 2017

Wallets part 2

#4  Amy Mitten adapted her Ann Wade 1772 sampler into a Needleworker's Pocketbook.
Amy's website is
Ann Wade's tutorial is

This was on online class using 32 count Lambswool linen, Fibers to Dye For silk thread, silk ribbon and silk lining.  Stitches include buttonhole, eyelet, cross, tent and more.
#5  Mary Wright Alsop 1740-1829 is part of the extensive collections of Winterthur Museum and Gardens. All Queen Stitches, worked using 21 hues of silk thread on 32 count linen, glazed dusty rose colored inner cotton lining and silk ribbon
Kit is available from The Examplarery, Joanne Harvey

I think the queen (Rococo) stitch is a time consuming, detail oriented stitch.  It takes longer for me to do a single queen stitch than cross or tent stitches and some may find it hard to get into a rhythm, however, I love this stitch and the look of a wallet comprised entirely of queen.  Here is a look a the construction of a queen stitch -
You can watch an interesting video entitiled "Who's your Daddy?" that features the works of Mary Alsop, toward the end.  The long purses or reticules look stitched, but they are actually knitted with the finest of needles.  Amazing work, one of the beautiful items was worked at age 74.

#6  Flame Stitched Man's Wallet, Circa 1770.  This wallet appeared on a 2015 PBS Antiques Roadshow and I adapted and stitched this piece on 36 ct linen using Textile Reproduction ( vegetable dyed wool thread and linen lining.  Both Bargello and tent stitches were used.
#7  This is a wallet In Progress.  I'm adapting from the Winterthur Collection using 35 count Wichelt Antique Lambswool and Textile Reproduction vegetable dyed thread.  The entire wallet will be a repetition of 4 rows of green threads and 8 rows of red in various shades.  Finishing is yet to be determined.
Included is a picture of the actual Winterthur wallet.

And of course, there is .... the ponies.


That's all folks! 
Hope you enjoyed seeing these reproduction needleworks.  
Thank you Ann for sharing your work and passion!


Aug 7, 2017


A note from Ann - A few of my wallets were stitched without a pattern, that I adapted from photos and information.  I use them for my personal use only and don't sell, profit or share any of my drawings.  I just want to be sure all understand that some are my interpretation and reproduction of originals I have seen photos of, and I do them just for the joy of stitching them.

#1  ​This is my adaptation of a 1730-1780 Winterthur Pocketbook​ bequest of Henry Francis duPont.  I used the pictures/information they show online in their Collections section and transferred it to 28 ct linen.  I hand stitched the entire wallet with tent stitch using Textile Reproductions vegetable dyed wool thread, vegetable dyed linen lining and tape binding.

Tent stitch is a small diagonal stitch that crosses over the intersection of one horizontal (weft) and one vertical (warp) thread of linen or canvas forming a slanted stitch at a 45 degree angle.  This is a look at examples of the tent stitch  ...

#2  This is an unfinished Bargello/flamestitch fragment that I adapted using my stash for completion so the colors aren't too exact.  Wool threads, mostly Paternayan, on 28 ct linen, with a leftover piece of vegetable dyed linen for the lining and a reproduction clasp for closure was used.  A picture of the original piece (Unfinished fragment) is shown below.
Bargello is a form of needlework utilizing vertical (straight up and down) stitches that move in a series of "steps" up, across and down the fabric to create a repetitive geometric design.  My favorite choice is 4 threads (steps) up and 2 thread (steps) down, repeated (Flamestitch).   If an alteration is made in the stitch length, step length, or number of stitches taken, the design will be altered, creating patterns such as peaks valleys, curves, diamonds, flames, bars, stripes, or latticework.  Tapestry needles are used for Bargello embroidery due to their blunt end and large eye.  The size of the needle will depend on the choice of fabric and thread used.  For cotton or silk threads a #22 or #24 will work if using 2 to 5 strands;, however, a #20-#22 would be better for wool thread since the larger eye will allow the wool to pass through easily.  For Bargello reference, visit Nuts About Needlepoint, Janet Perry.

#3  This design, 1810-1820 Florentine Wallet is a reproduction of a pocketbook in the Old Salem Collection of  Old Salem Museums & Gardens.  It is by Cissy Bailey Smith, Gentle Pursuit Designs and is available at  


I completed this Flamestitch wallet on 32 count linen using Needlepoint silk, silk lining, and pewter clasp  and made a small change to the front closure. 

One more post with more wallets next.

Aug 6, 2017

Wallet basics 101

I asked Ann to give us a little insight into the construction of her wallets.
Three layers (stitched piece, stiffening, and lining) appear to have twill tape folded over the edges and hand stitched.  Not all wallets have a divider, some are just one pocket.  Folding the bottom up and closing the sides to form the pocket, folding the top down and attaching a clasp or tie, seems like it is doable.  Sure it is.  Ann not only is an expert at this finishing, she uses appropriate material to create a period reproduction correct in every way.  I may try a very small pocket constructed more like I would for a lined needleroll, certainly nothing close to this caliber.  Sort of a cross between a primitive short needleroll and a wallet.  A needlet.  I'll put that on my list.  Wherever the hell it is.

From Ann ...

All of my wallets are hand stitched, both the actual design and the finishing.  Although I have used canvas and soft congress cloth a few times, I prefer Wichelt linen because it is a stiffer linen and, for me, easier to use.  The count I use (28 to 40 count) depends on the design and the size I would like to see in the finished piece.  My wallets are predominantly either Bargello, Queen, or tent stitches.

For my first attempt to stitch a wallet, I purchased a kit so I would receive the pattern and also the instructions/supplies for finishing the wallet.  Be sure that finishing instructions are included in the kit.

For finishing my reproduction wallets, my choices for supplies are the following:

Textile Reproductions, Kathleen B. Smith of Massachusetts
- Vegetable dyed wool lining
- Vegetable dyed 5/8" wide wool twill tape
Etsy -

Buckram is an open-weave cotton or linen fabric with a resin/starch finish used for interlinings in garments and for stiffening in millinery.  Although available in many weights, for historic wallets, the light or medium weight seems to work best.  It is sometimes available at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn fabrics but in limited weights.  I order mine online at Online Fabric Store.

Silver or pewter clasps - I use cloak clasps
Patterns of Time
Twin Roses Designs

To see prior posts of Ann's finished wallets, visit these posts - WELL worth another look!

John Storrs' wallet 1754
Two posts of Ann's latest wallets, next.

Ann's needlerolls part 2

Needlework Tool Case - a Mary Long design written exclusively for the Correspondence School of The Embroiderers' Guild of America.

This project required using materials and stitches that were very much outside my comfort zone, however, it was such fun and a joy to complete.

I used 18 count mono canvas, overdyed ribbon, DMC and metallic and pearl cotton threads.

Prickly Pine Stitching Etui, the Essamplaire here.

 This design/kit is worked in Irish/Florentine stitch in a pattern known as Prickly Pine.  The etui is based on 18th century American pocket books which were worked in a wool yarn; however, this one is silk thread for stitching on 35 count linen and silk fabric for the lining. 

The inside has pockets for stitching tools, and a stitched needle book with wool felt pages.  A stitched scissor sheath is included, a thread winder, and a 4"ruler made by their woodworker. 
The top straight edge is personalized in cross stitch with my name and date.

My "Practice Stitch" needlebook.  In 2012 our EGA Dayton Chapter did a program that included introducing a variety of stitches

 Each month at the meeting, different stitches were introduced and we could practice these stitches prior to incorporating into our needlework piece.  I decided that since I was going to be spending so much time "practicing" new stitches, I wanted a record and a permanent reminder. 

Since I LOVE wallets, I chose a blue ticking and included a line of each stitch and to the right I jotted down the name of the stitch on the ticking as I completed the line.  Prior to finishing the inside with partitions for my needlework tools, I cut off the list of stitches and keep it inside the needlebook for future reference of each stitch name.

**************  Next - wallets  ***************
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