Thursday, September 18, 2014

Long Tall Santa

This Saturday, September 20th, is our first workshop of the season. Open to all levels this beginner cross stitch class is being taught by Michelle Edmunds.  Michelle is our Designer of the Month and she will cover cross stitch, backstitching, french knots, and working with different fibres.

There is still time to join Michelle for this workshop and finish her folksy Santa in plenty of time for Christmas.
Once the Santa is complete, you can then join one of our Ornament Finishing classes later on.

So drop by this Saturday to either join the workshop or Meet the Designer.  Michelle will be in the shop as of 12:30 pm, and don't forget to pick up her Free pattern, the next added to our Designer Collaboration Sampler.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Designer of the Month - Michelle Edmunds of Great Bear Canada

Together with her husband, Michelle creates needlework projects that celebrate the things she holds dear.  The ideas come from everyday experiences such as going to fall fairs, dream-planning her garden, and her fascination of Celtic design.
Being graphic designers, Michelle and her husband have put an equal (if not greater) effort into the layout, presentation and quality of their leaflets,  with big, easy to follow charts.

Michelle's designs are composed of only full stitches, so they will also look great in petit point or needlepoint.  In fact I have always been fascinated with her "Source of Strength" design and wanting to needlepoint it as a pillow.  I am inspired with the saying and just generally love the layout of the design.

I am also quite taken with her Spirit Series.  She matches an element of nature with a single word.  I find the simplicity of these designs fascinating and inspiring.  Although one can cross stitch or needlepoint these patterns from the chart, Michelle also has this series available as painted canvases.

So whether you cross stitch or needlepoint drop by the shop during September to see Michelle's models.  Michelle has also donated package of Notecards for a prize draw.  With every purchase of one of her designs will earn you a ballot form for the prize draw at the end of the month.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our home additions

Over the last few weeks, it has been my house that has demanded most of my attention.  With my Dad not wanting to live on his own in the near future, my husband and I decided to add two additions to our house.  The front addition will add an in-law suite for my Dad and a guest bedroom to our second floor.  The rear addition is to enlarge our great room. We started with the rear addition and took hundreds of photos.  Here are a few photos from the last 5 weeks.

 Breaking ground -   After weeks of David tearing down walls and preparing the inside of the house for the addition, it was so exciting to finally "start".

This is how it looked when the basement was dug out and the opening cut into the existing basement wall. 


Next  forms were built and  cement poured for the basement footings.

  One week after they first started to dig the basement , the brick layers arrived to build the block wall.  The wall was then sealed, wrapped in a waterproofing  membrane, and back filled with sand.

It was very exciting to see the addition taking shape, but with every crew that arrived my backyard was looking more and more like a builder's yard.

Then over the  next 2 days the framers framed up the floor and walls. 

 The beam to support the roof was also installed on the second day.

This is a view from the inside with the old roof ripped off.  They did tarp it for over night, just in case of rain and to keep out any four legged guests.

This is how the rear of the house looked with the walls and roof.  Next the patio door and window were relocated to the new outer wall.

Lastly David and I, with the help of our son, covered the walls with builders wrap. For now the rear addition is on hold until the front addition is in the same stage of completion.  Then the roofers, brick layers and stucco guys will come in and compete the exterior.

If you are interested in the progress, let me know and I'll follow up with the front addition in a few weeks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All done!!

After ripping out half of the sampler to make room for the year, I decided I was going to finish it and not just tuck it into my drawer.  It took me two nights.  I was on a roll, and had figured out what I would do with the stitched pieces, so I stitched the alphabet sampler as well.

A simple little throw pillow is what I had in mind.  Other than the Sulky Threads (Blendables 4016 and Solid 1198) everything else was in my stash at home.
The fabric is a fat 1/4 yard of Batik.  I can never resist these little bundles of colourful fabric pieces at tradeshows.  The button is out of my Grandmother's button box.  It probably came off of one of her old jackets.  She never discarded a button, to one day give new life to something old.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quick Work

OMG, I can't believe we're already into the second half of July.  I'm not sure where all that time has gone.  I didn't get much stitching done over the last few weeks, at least not much I can show as the stitch I used the most over the last month was the "Rip-it".  I started stitching my Mini Quaker Sampler with  Sulky 4106 to venture outside my comfort colours.  With counting errors, I must have ripped and restitched it 3 times, before I decided the colour must be a little too far from home.  So I started again with Sulky 4016 (I only just realized as I am typing the colour numbers, that with just a flip of the digits, I felt so much better). But I still can't show a completed sampler.  I was almost done and wanting to insert the date when  I realized that "all's not well ....."  With yet another counting error, there was not enough space for the year and I had to rip out the top and the right motifs.  But I do love the colours!!!! and I am really enjoying stitching with the Sulky threads.  Even ripping them out is easy. Haha!!

Before completing the Mini Quaker Sampler,
I returned to my Swedish (Huck) weaving and finished my table runner.  Although I started this runner a little over a month ago, the entire project was only about 16 hours in total.  Not bad.  With Swedish weaving your starting and ending threads are woven in on the front and not hidden on the back as with cross stitching.  No threads are actually visible on the reverse side.  I wanted the stitches to look even from end to end, with no doubling up due to starting and ending threads, so I cut each thread length accordingly.  With the intricate weave of the center motif I needed to cut the threads 3 times the length of my table runner ( the table runner measuring 60").  I then started in the middle of the runner to avoid having to weave the entire thread length along the entire fabric.
I find Swedish weaving quite relaxing as once you have the stitch order in your head you can move along quickly.
Give it a try and see for yourself.  Visit our Swedish weaving page at  to see all the new patterns we received in from Germany.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sulky Petites - Mini Quaker

Gitta's is carrying a new fibre, Sulky Petites 12 wt. cotton.  There are 66 solid colours and 14 variegates in their Blendable line.  They're made of the highest quality, long-staple, 100% Egyptian Cotton and are ideal for cross stitch, petit point,  quilting, thread lace, bobbin work, thread painting, red work, decorative embroidery, and many other handworks.

I have had a few inquiries for these threads as they are slowly appearing in cross stitch designs. One of these are Many Many Welcomes by Rosewood Manor Just Stunning.

When the threads arrrived this past week, I too fell in love with this fibre.  The colours have a striking sheen, and one strand of the Sulky Petites equals 2 strands of DMC floss.  They are convenient to use as the thread winds off of the spool with no tangling.

I wanted to start using them straight away, and I
searched for a small pattern to give them a try. Not having much luck,  I designed this Mini Quaker sampler using motifs from our Hannah Beeby 1816 Sampler.

I started stitching with the Sulky Petites this evening and I am pleased with the results.
Click here to download the pattern and give them a try for yourself.  They are only $1.89 / 50yrd spool.  A great value.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Proud Parent

This past Friday, my daughter graduated Cum Laude from York University with a Bachelor in Design.  Convocation was a wonderful ceremony, and although there were over 800 graduates, it did not seem long.  All the pomp and tradition  made it a very memorable occasion, and I almost cried as I watched my daughter cross the stage to shake hands with the Chancellor.  I was filled with so much love and pride.

I remember her first day of Kindergarten those many years ago.  With a great big smile she waved good bye as she entered the classroom and yelled "bye Mommy".  I then walked home in tears.  She was so anxious to finally go to school and move on to a new and exciting phase in her life, and I,  realizing the same feared that I would not always be there with her; sharing in her experiences.
Graduating from University is another one of life's milestones, and I was honoured and proud to have been able to share it with her.

Here is a photo of my Graduate with her proud parents

And this is a photo of my little cutie on her first day of Kindergarten.

I love you Sarah, and I know you will always have the courage to stand up and speak out for what you feel is right.  I know you will work hard and put your creative stamp on everything you do.  And through it all I will always be right there to cheer you on.