Thea's April - May Newsletter!
Sooo glad the spring is officially here now! I must tell you we're not used to
winter here on the wet coast..! The windy, snowy, icy and/or rainy days started
late November, and haven't really let up until last week. Usually Victoria
starts our spring blossom flower count mid-February but my cherry trees are only
just now flowering, and it's the end of March already! Climate change a
ffects us all it seems.
However, we are now well into sunnier dryer days, with blossoms galore! My
cherry trees are in full bloom (finally) and the magnolia is just budding out.
The camellia in my front yard has popped it's first pink rosy blossom and the
crocuses and daffodils create colour in our meadows and beds. Our forcythia bush
is ablaze with yellow blossoms and the lilacs are starting to leaf out...
ahhh.. it's spring! Yesterday morning I walked along the oceanside in Sidney,
and drank in the blue blue skies overhead and the scent of the briny ocean in my
nostrils. What a relief to know that we'll see more of them in th
e months ahead! I can't remember when the dark and cold weather has affected me
in this way before.. maybe I'm just feeling my bones..! :)
On a personal level, I've noticed a change in our business as I take things a
bit easier and I work in the slow lane instead of the fast lane. I'm noticing
that our stitchers are very understanding of our slower pace now, but that there
is still a wonderful appreciation of what we do. There are of course those who
abuse our copyright, but I suppose that is to be expected in this digital age.
Our loyal customers are very scrupulous about buying and not copying, and
so allow us to continue to have the financial su
pport to makeour labour intensive high quality designs. Thank you all for that!
A month or so ago, I asked my VS Chat Group on Facebook for their opinion on
colours for a new "Sister Sampler" design..!I don't have a sister sibling, but
do have sisters in my heart, so it's a wonderful theme to work on! The
colours that were most requested were yellow, purple, and green.. so this latest
sampler follows their suggestions most closely. I wanted to make the colours look feminine,
not too dark, but light and airy.. so I hope that those of you who voted with
your suggestions, are happy with this colourway.. it's half way done now, and I
can hardly wait until I can get back at it again this weekend!
At the end of April, Lisa, Kathleen and I are hosting over 48 stitchers to our
VS Retreat 2017. It's now less than a month til they come and I'm getting soo
very excited and happy to see everyone again! In previous years, we've
enjoyed a very personal intimate time together, with lots of opportunity for
making friends for a lifetime. This is our biggest classroom yet, although one
year we had two retreats back to back, there was then still only room for 30 in
each class. Because of the size of this class, we have a new bigger classroom,
and I'm thrilled because I can see everyone at the same time. Besides stitching
this cute sampler, with a lot of different stitches to learn and practice..
we will be exchanging gifts, taking a bus to enjoy a full studio tour here at my
home in Sidney, B.C., and there will be wine and cake and lots laughter and joy
once again in our little VS world. What a joy to know I could still do this, and
I know I could not do it without L
isa's help..! I'll be teaching all 48 stitchers
to work the Birthday Sampler, as this coming July is the Victoria Sampler
Company's 20th Birthday! This sampler is so cute framed, but Lisa's also
finished it with some bright cheery fabric.. it's it cute?
Now on to more news about what's happening with Victoria Sampler designs! - Thea
FROM THE STUDIO
Some news from Victoria Sampler -
thrilled to tell you I'm working on a Beginner's Hardanger Home Study
Course. This course will start the stitcher with counted
cross stitch experience in the beautiful cutwork called Hardanger. There will be videos
explaining exactly how to work Kloster Blocks properly, as well as showing you
how to cut your linen threads, and fix cutting mistakes(!) and also some simple
needle-weaving like Dove's Eyelets. Here's a small sampling of the Project
pillow fabric to whet your appetite!
Teaching Projects for 2017
oll down to bottom of this Newsletter for dates and times!
Sampler Retreat in 2017 in Victoria B.C.
This Retreat is
Full now. In July of 2017, the Victoria Sampler turns
20 years old! So I created the "Happy Birthday" Sampler to celebrate! I try to keep
my teaching designs enjoyable for all levels, so there are specialty stitches,
and a bit of Hardanger and other cutwork in this one too. There is video
instruction to illustrate each stitch.. and to accomodate everyone's different
level of mastery. We are all soo looking forward to seeing all old and new
click to view...!
Stitching Under the Oaks 2017! The same "Happy Birthday" Sampler design will also
be taught on the East Coast in Florida in June of 2017! Those of you who
are unable to come to Victoria, may want to join me there instead! I'm so
happy that I'll be going back to teach the
SUTO gang in Florida again this year! Thank you for inviting me back.. to teach you
something colourful and fun during my 20th year in business..
In Minnesota, I'm teaching two projects for the
nnesota Needlework Guild, which
holds their retreat
in August of 2017. For my first class, I designed a simple but very cute
"Sunflower Cottage" Pillow".. a sweet little house on an
imaginary street in an imaginary floral town.. where Sunflowers grow... ! It is
part of the collection of easy and quick learning samplers started last summer
with the "Hydrangea House" and then the winter "Poinsettia Place" Sa
mpler.. bright and cheerful and easy to stitch!
I was also asked to design a Gingerbread Flower Shop with Sunflowers outside,
for a second class, and now that it's done, I just know this will fit in
beautifully with my Gingerbread Village Collection! It was soo much fun to design, with flowers on every side.
Finally, Sue at Stitcher's Hideaway
asked me to design a Thanksgiving Sampler for her Retreat at Sturbridge in
October of 2017.. So, I created a project I call "Thanksgiving Sampler".
It was inspired by all the different ways we spend this favorite holiday of the
And now.. our
newest offerings...and news below..
Happiness is a walk on the beach...! I live on Vancouver Island just west of the
city of Vancouver, an island surrounded by ocean, so our beaches are never too
far away for walking, tanning, reading, beachcombing, sandcastling, or romance!
My favorite times of my life have often included walking on a beach, whether it
is in our northern rainforest, or a tropical part of the world, or in between,
along lakes or streams. This beautiful imaginary beach walk has some sweet
little beach houses built right near the surf. Surrounded by gardens full of
flowers, grasses, and even a white picket fence. You can stitch and imagine
yourself walking along this beach, sand in your sandals, kids playing ball, with
the sound of the surf soothing your soul. The linen used is called “Coastal”
from PTP, a hand dyed aqua linen perfect for this design, but you can use a
light blue linen of your choice.. (preferably aqua toned). Your LNS will have
several available, so enjoy choosing your own favorite linen to bring this
project to life! This is a perfect design to hang in your home or cottage while
you dream of sand and sunshine!
Stitch this sweet little sampler full of tulips! Tulips are close to my heart.
Every year, when we still lived in Amsterdam, my family would drive out of the
city and through tthrough the tulip fields of Keukenhof to celebrate the return
of spring! Seeing the carpets of nature’s colour must have influenced my being
even then, because I simply love masses of bright colour in all areas of my
life..! The third of what will be a collection of lovely little samplers focused
on cottages and garden flowers, this sampler will glow with love and colour.
Stitched with luscious over-dyed silks, silk flosses, Perle Cotton, and
sparkling beads on cream linen, it is perfectly designed for learning! It is not
too big, so you can more effectively master how to stitch the few lovely
specialty stitches. Cross Stitched areas at the top and bottom depict a Delft
Pot of Tulips picked from the fields surrounding the little cottage. Follow our
clear and simple diagrams included in this leaflet and enjoy the journey to
Tulip Terrace! To finish, instructions to create a pillow are at the back of
this leaflet. All stitch and finishing instructional videos are also available
In our Home Study Facebook Group, I share excellent STITCH VIDEOS
teaching you how to do the specialty stitches and how to finish this pillow,
unless you'd rather frame yours. Follow our
clear and simple diagrams included in this leaflet and enjoy the journey to
HS02 - Buy Tulip Terrace as a Student Kit and SAVE!
"Stitching Under the Oaks"
the Oaks” Needlepocket was created for my last Florida Retreat. It conves that
sense of loving cameraderie we feel as we stitch together. It is stitched on a
light blue cashel linen with lovely silk flosses, to reflect the beautiful blue
skies and bright colours of Florida, a tropical paradise. I really enjoyed
including some different motifs of the area, including tables with stitchers
sitting under the moss laden live Oak Trees, a lovely Hardanger Heart with a
Blanket Stitched flower in the center, palm trees, the lake, pink roses, and
even two wee Florida alligators to keep those pesky stitching errors at bay! The
flamingo charms are a
whimsical touch. You will find many additional specialty stitches and tidbits on
both the front and back of this pocket, including some drawn thread work, and
some silk ribbon work to have fun with! There is an area at the lower front of
the pocket to include your name and date to personalize your pocket (you can
even accomodate a longer name than shown, if necessary). Be prepared to learn
some new techniques and have some fun stitching the many Cross Stitched areas.
To finish, instructions to create a pillow or wallhanging are at the back of
this leaflet. and there are also special Stitch and Finishing Videos avaialble
online. Just go to our Website to see where we’ve put them! The accompanying
pinkeep and scissors case will also surely capture your hearts! I hope you will
take this set to future reatreats where we truly are drawn together in
friendship as we stitch! Thea
#HS01 - Gingerbread Retreat Cottage
Get an exclusive Student Kit from VS online, to stitch this delicious
Gingerbread Retreat Cottage, another addition to the Gingerbread Village. This
full kit contains the Leaflet, the Accessory Pack, the Linen Pack, the White
Silk Floss Pack, Perle Cottons, and needles needed to complete this project.
(except acid-free mat board which you can get at your local framers). Register
for our dedicated Facebook Group to enjoy stitching with others and to
view our Stitch and Finishing Videos!
The Victoria Sampler is on Facebook. Just enter The
Victoria Sampler in the FB Search Box. We've been
there for quite some time. Come and 'like' us and leave a message..! It's fun to keep
up with Victoria Sampler! ;)
We have a new
Victoria Sampler Chat Group as
well as the new
VS-Home Study Group
Just check out the link or search for it. I also have a personal page listed
under my name.
Designs and Free Patterns!
Inspired by tradition, this little Free pattern is perfect for your fellow
readers! Look in our
Tiny Packs for Tiny Packs for the latest of these free patterns for your convenience! Check our
Website menu to find some free patterns as well as other features like our Search feature,
Shop Finder, Catalogue, Stitch Animations. Also, you can find our new Stitcherama Webcast classes to learn
some of the specialty stitches!
Discontinued Products Notice!
REMINDER: Just a note to let you know, we are discontinuing some
of our products as we run out of stock. Almost all our full kits have been
discontinued or will be soon, except the Beyond Cross Stitch Learning series.
Many of Cathy's
and some of Linda's and my Accessory Packs are now discontinued. Many of our Tiny Packs are also discontinued. So remember to buy the products in
your wish list now, as they may no longer be available from us in future!
NEW Office Hours! Just a quick note to all my stitching friends. I love my work and
won't retire yet, but my designing will slow down a bit.. :) I am going to cut back my stitching time, computer time,
and online teaching time, to take it easier. Lisa will work full time, and
Kathleen will join us part time too, as Cathy has retired. So, now our office hours will be 9am - 4pm
A few letters
from our readers.
for your email and notes. For more comments and participation, please visit
'The Victoria Sampler' and the
Sampler CHAT Group'
where many of our fans
now write to us!
I also want to remind you to notify your service provider that our
email address is safe, and to
keep your VS online Account current by updating your
email and details as needed! :)
Heirloom Nativity Sampler!
I'm just putting away the last of my Christmas decorations. These are my most
special decorations - all made from your wonderful Victoria Sampler patterns. -
Hello Wendy!.. Leaving mine up a little longer also.. but it's a wonderful idea
to put it away for a while, so you can have the pleasure of unpacking it again
next Christmas. Nice choices! :) Thanks for the peek! - Thea
Beautiful #F07 Spring Box .. !
Hi Lisa, Thea,All finished ready to give to my sister. Her birthday is C
hristmas day so I am giving her the box for her birthday and the
others for Christmas. All the octagon pieces weren't all exactky the same but
still fitted 😆Now I should make up the first box. It was square. Think it was
winter and it has stitching over one around the sides of the lid. Once I got
started it wasn't that bad. Just shows it doesn't matter how long you have had a
project for, you can finish it. I have the gingerbread house to stitch as well
Thank you ...! We are grateful for your personal pictures and letters
to share your experiences with Victoria Sampler designs, so keep em coming!
Send stories letters etc and pics to
me. Thanks to
all of you who wrote.. you make our hearts glad. I am more grateful than ever that you are all in our Victoria Sampler
family.. ! - Thea
Classes online or in
Come and join
...in the next in-person
CLASS or my new
Courses through Facebook. You will meet new people and learn new stitches and finishing. I am always looking forward to meeting old and new friends... so check
Link in the menu of our website for all Teaching events, to check for dates and times.
See below. -
Future Stitching Retreats and Webcasts with Thea
Welcome to VS