- June Newsletter!
Oh, how lovely May is..! It makes
the past few months of unsettled weather albeit with steadily increasing light and
higher temps, worth the trouble. Really, I love the spring but I would rather it
made up it's mind, and get warm already. Guess you can tell I've become rather impatient
for a bit more sunshine, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. However, that
only goes for the northern hemisphere. I just heard from a
friend in Australia, and she said for her the temps reached 37 Celcius
(98F).. one of the hottest Aprils on record. When I hear that, I guess I'm a bit
bothered about my cool weather. I'd be feeling pretty
warm with those temps. Victoria is mostly just right for me.. I'm not comfortable
in hot weather, so temps of 12C to 18C for our spring is just right!
I attended a very fun literary afternoon at a friend's place in March. We wore
hats or fascinators, brought our favorite tea cups to drink from, and just had fun! The two authors were retired college literature professors, both obviously
loving their new found retirement freedom. Susan Braley, Victoria's own poet and
novelist, read us some very beautiful and inspiring poetry and a short story. We
were mesmerized at her elegant use of language and her ability to bring us the emotions
in the story. The second lady, Janet Bergunder writing as
Serena James, read from her newly published novels called Just Deserts and
Cult of the Black Virgin! Yes, you read right, Janet decided that if she could
not break into the market with a historical novel, she would fulfil
her lifelong dream by turning to genre fiction, in this case,
romantic bodice rippers! She had us all in stitches as she read portions of
on my kitchen reno:
Here's the the 'before' picture for comparison, and as you can
see the bank of upper cupboards that hung over the center island have now been removed! The view out the windows is
so much more expansive, and the whole kitchen has opened up. The backsplash of tiles under the counters and behind the stove is really nice. I am already used to no upper storage, and the new cabinet
w/drawers under the counter now hold my dishes! The good thing is
that I've also reduced the amount of dishes I had collected. Anyway, it's time for more culling. I seem to
have sets of at least 12 of each, and I
just don't entertain like I used to, so
why bother to have that much china to wash?
Soon there will be boxes of dishes sitting
in the basement, ready to be sold at auction or donated. :) I can hardly wait!
The end of April brought the highlight of our springtime.. our VS Retreat reunion
was a delight for all! Such a wonderful Retreat.. thank you all for coming to make
this another 'best' one! We enjoyed each other, laughed a lot, and had great meals..
The Stitcher's Heart Tray Cloth project seemed
to work so well for many of you, a little something for everyone. I am so grateful
to have been able to share in another weekend with so many of my special stitching
sisters. Looved all my little hostess gifts and presents..! I'm so spoiled.. thank
you! The class was very relaxed, chatty and friendly... teaching is so easy
with such accomplished stitchers, and the closeup videos of the stitching and finishing
I made ahead of time, allow me to teach clearly and visually while giving
me the time to come around and connect with everyone, as I look at what they've
Over the years, this wonderful bunch
of women have evolved into our core group, many of whom come often.. so we all are
good friends, reconnecting without effort when we
see each other
again. Newbies are enfolded into a warm blanket of support and love by all the regulars
and we form a kind of family circle.. where the gentle discussion of children, marriages,
retirement, illnesses, births, deaths etc are all discussed with genuine interest
and generosity. I think we're blessed to have stitching groups, and for me, I'm
so blessed to host this one in particular. Thank you for making my weekend so gratifying
and inspirational. I loved having you over to my studios, to shop in my room full
of models, and to munch on chocolate and punched punch!
My only isse
was banging my already sore toe against the leg of a chair while teaching. This
silly toe has enjoyed being kept on the couch and iced for the past two days and
it's healing although I definitely bruised it. :) Thanks for all your concern, friends.
I did manage to get off the couch long enough to visit Mom right after the retreat.
She had fractured her wrist last week, which resulted in a full arm cast. For the
past week she's been so frustrated with it.. so yesterday morning the nurses found
it in her room. Apparently she worked all night to slide it off her arm while in
bed...! Way to go Mom!! :) She's taking veeery good care of it she told me.. I'm
still laughing. I've never known anyone who has taken off their own cast.
She's got her victory smile on.. and everyone's calling her 'Houdini' at her rest
I sooo enjoyed my amazing and
wonderful time with all our of Retreat attendees..! The
weather was intermittently lovely, the new venue was perfect, and the people are
just sooo dear.. thank you all for coming to make our weekend so perfect!
Well it's been an amazing March and April.. and now, let's move on to Victoria Sampler news with all the new stitching thingies....!
FROM THE STUDIO
Cathy and I have each made another little ornament for the Just Cross Stitch Ornament
Issue for September, so here's two sneak peeks for you! Mine is a delicious Gingerbread
Cupcake and Cathy's created
a wee gingham heart with a baby bird design buttonhole
stitched on it.. just
the end of May you'll find another Stitcherama will open for the Happy Hearts Sweet
Bag and Accessories. You may have seen this as I did create and teach this
a few years ago for my VSRetreat, but now we can teach it online, including all
the amazing stitch and finishing videos that are part of the class..!
creating some more wonderful bird
ornaments. She's just finished the Button Up Birdies for #9 in the series.. what
a lot of fun people have had stitching these.! I've sen them done up as individual
ornaments, or as wall hangings, or as quilt tops, and even as a lovely bellpull
Linda's newest design features a very summery looking set of lavender
pillows to tuck between your linens. I'm noticing that now that she's moved to the French
countryside, her designs are also becoming more delicate and remind me a lot of
the French influences around her.
Reminder: please don't forget to sign up for the Victorian Pincushion.
This Stitcherama Webcast class will not be repeated this year, so please sign up
Now below are our newest offerings for you...
new VS projects, Cyberclasses, letters and news below.
- Thea :)
#F12 Beautiful Finishing
#12 "Heart Etui"...
this beautiful Heart Etui and matching Biscornu and Scissors Fob! The entire set
is a symphony of Hardanger Lace, sparkling beads, and beautiful Buillion Knot roses
made of luscious silk flosses and Perle Cottons. On the front of the etui are two
hinged ‘half-hearts’.. which are designed with Kloster Blocks, a very special Dove’s
Cote Hardanger square, and several cute specialty stitches, including the words
“Stitched With Love”. When you open the two front panels, you find an elastic band
to hold your scissors or other tools, as well as two sections of wool felt for your
needles and pins. Turn the etui over, and you see a full Hardanger Heart on the
back. It is an echo of the front, but with beautiful Hardanger cutwork, and more
Buillion Knot roses! Adding to the charm of this set are two accessories; a lovely
Biscornu and a delicate Scissors Fob. I hope you have fun learning and stitching
this elegant design and practicing your
Hardanger weaving. When it’s finished, take it with you to your future retreats
or display and use it in your own home! See how easy Beautiful Finishing really
LIVE Heart Etui Class!
for July 6th and 20th,
2013. Class stays up for 4 weeks! Learn stitches and finishing, sharing video
how-to's, hints. Price includes webcast, leaflet, linen pack, acc pack, and finishing
pack including silk ribbon, wool felt, heart buttons, finishing fabrics and needles.
Full Student Kit will be shipped after registration. Come join the fun!
"Summer Welcome" Banner
You'll love this beautiful new Summer Welcome Banner! The little blossoms on the
elegant alphabet letters really speak of home and a generous hospitality. The colours
are soft and antique looking, overdyed silks make this piece an instant heirloom.
The frame around the letters include a beautiful vine with some specialty stitch
flowers in matching colours, herringbone stitches and plait stitches, four corners
of satin stitches with sweet floral buttons, and some lovely drawn thread bands as the piece de resistance of the whole
banner. You can finish it with calico and
dupioni silk strips sewn together in a quilted banner, or you can frame it or use
bellpull hardware to hang it in your hallway. This would be a beautiful gift to
give to a newly married couple for their home, or to give to your best friend when
she moves into a new condo. The stitches are a wonderful challenge, but not too difficult for most
stitchers. Enjoy working this sampler and create an heirloom
#CJVS65 Button Up Birdies#8
by Cathy Jean..!
Collect all of Cathy Jean's ‘Button-up Birdies’, and by Christmas your Tree will
be covered with these adorable ornaments! The 16th in the series, the Baltimore
Oriole is so bright and colourful! You can find them in your back yard if you live
in Eastern North America, Mexico or South America in winter. They love open woodland
where you can hear their beloved familiar sound all during summer. The Barn Swallow
also has beautiful blue and tan coloured feathers, and they can be
all over the world! These birdies are so cute and colourful, you can't help but
imagine them all in your small Christmas tree. All Button-up Birdie ornaments are
quick and easy to stitch so you can use them for other gifts as well. They are designed
with gentle overdyed cottons and many
different silks in soft shades. Stitch all
16 and use them in a quilt or wall hanging! Finish the way you see, or use your
own imagination! Victoria Sampler provides an Accessory Pack which contains all
the overdyed threads, black wire for you to create and add the special curly hangers
and handmade wooden branch buttons you need for this design. Collect and enjoy your
Aviary Tree this Christmas!
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! ;)
My personal page is also listed under Thea Dueck.
Free Patterns! - look at these choices..!
Look for my newest Moon Angel pattern in the FREE Patterns section of our website!
We still have a few
Tiny Packs to help you with the materials..! All our free patterns are just
lovely! Check menu
to find the free patterns as well as other features like our Search feature, Cyberclasses, the Catalogue, Stitch Animations and Search Features. Also, you can find our new Stitcherama Webcast classes to learn
some of the specialty stitches!
Take an online
Our next original and written
Cyberclasses start September 12th,
directions and ask questions of our Angels online.
for one of our popular Cyberclasses, which are based on our published designs! Look for these wonderful Xmas designs:
"Tea and Stitches", or
"Christmas Treasures", "Tea Party"!
Etui" Stitcherama Webcast class!
Register for July 6th and 20th, 2013.
Class stays up for 4 weeks! Learn stitches and finishing, sharing video how-to's,
hints. Price includes webcast, leaflet, linen pack, acc pack, and finishing pack
including silk ribbon, wool felt, heart buttons, finishing fabrics and needles.
Full Student Kit will be shipped after registration. Come join
fun of taking a live class.. it's easy as opening a website !!
"Victorian Pincushion" Webcast Stitcherama!
We have only a couple of Student Kits left for our second exclusive Victorian Pincushion Webcast
a wonderful gift for yourself! This Victorian Pincushion Class starts on June 15th, 2013, and includes a full Student Kit to be mailed
after you register.
Registration includes full webcast, wooden pincushion, leaflet with coloured photos,
acc pack, linens
pack, perle cotton, finishing fabrics and all your needles.
Discontinued Products Notice!
REMINDER: Just a note to let you know that we are discontinuing some products as we run out of stock. For instance, there
are no Canadian or International
Hearts kits, or Birthday
Needleroll kits left. Some of Cathy's
and some of my Accessory Packs are now discontinued and Yvonne's Designs and
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!
A few letters
from our readers.
I would like to thank all of our
readers, as well as our many shopowners, and stitchers for the hundreds of positive
messages that we get via email, cards and letters. Our Stitching world is filled with soo many kind and thoughtful people! I also want to remind you to notify your service provider that our
email address is safe, and to
update your email address! :)
Dear Thea, Hi Thea, I am sorry
to say I missed today's webcast because I had worked all day. I raced home to watch
the video and have finished the first part. Thank you for posting the recording.
I just want you to know that you looked wonderful today and your stitching is an
inspiration. Hugs Nataly K
Hi, Thea! Just wanted to let you know that I finally was
able to view both parts of the Stitcherama videos! Hooray! It was so much fun to
see them in their entirety and to get all of your great hints! I really enjoyed
all the extra tips you gave - they were very helpful! I'm so glad you have the webcast
videos available for us to view - otherwise
I would have missed almost the whole
Stitcherama due to the marginal internet coverage in our rural area. So thanks so
much for doing the videos! I'll also look forward to having the DVD so I can look
at the class more easily any time of day. Thanks for all you do and I am looking
forward to the next webcast - hopefully I will have better connections that day!
Have a great visit with your Mom! Peggy E.
Hi Thea, I wanted to let that I really enjoyed to webcast this morning. It was very
informative & fun hearing about your life & you stitching & designing
career. There were also a lot of good tips from the other class members as well.
I don't have my kit yet but I am really looking foward to getting in & discovering
all of the goodies included. I am looking forward to our next webcast in
Thanks, Karen Noel
Dear Thea sorry for the delay, I've been trapped once again in a swirl of things
such as studying,
cleaning, sweeping, sleeping, eating, .. well, the usual! I've just finished the
stitching on the front of the purse on my own choice of fabric and threads, hope
you like it too! I added some back stitching to the house and the hills, and decided
to have all roses pink, they looked too good!! ;)
I'm so very happy to hear from so many of you that you
loved the Victorian Purse Stitcherama. Of course there were other comments and lots
of chatter on the live chat group, so I just chose a few of your letters. Thank
you to all of you for being such good students and for your enthusiasm! - Thea :)
Gingerbread Tree Etui
Good Morning, Are there plans to release the Gingerbread Tree
Etui? Either as another web class or as a leaflet? I brought the Candy cane house
and the Gingerbread house in December last year, now I would love to have the tree
as well. Thank you, with fingers crossed - Sally.
The Gingerbread Tree Etui will be released in fall of 2013. Watch for further portions of the village designs coming up later this
Another satisfied customer!
What a great start to the
week! The sun is shining and the postman has brought me a VS box – I do soooooooooooo
love unpacking boxes from you – with the tissue paper they always seem so extra
extra special and packed with loving care. Boy am I going to enjoy the Victorian
Pincushion. Thank you so much! XX Janet
I'm so glad you have signed up and love the Victorian Pincushion,
Janet! There's only a couple of Student Kits left, so I hope that people won't wait
to sign up! I can hardly wait until the very first class.. we'll have a great
time, and what a precious souvenir of the class you'll have when you're done! - Thea
French Linen Pockets!
Hello to all at Victoria Sampler! I am working on the French Linen Pockets. I bought the chart and accessory pack with all the threads and beads from Janet at the Cross
Stitch Station here in Miami. This has been so much fun! I never did silk flowers
before and your directions were great. Here is my work in progress. The pocket will
be for my daughter’s 45th Birthday. Sincerely, Eileen Hoffman
Hi Eileen.. it's so nice to hear from you. Linda's
French Linen Pockets are soo pretty.. so I'm glad you are enjoying them... Your
daughter is lucky to get this beautiful gift..! I think your silk ribbon stitching
is exquisite.. well done! - Thea
the weeks have flown by! I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and meeting new stitching
friends. We have so much to learn and share with each other. I have joined the yahoo
VS site and hope each one of you will do the same, so we can keep in touch. I have just a few more branches above the presents to
finish. I am working on the other bands also. I am far from finished, but am enjoying
all the stitching. My stitching time is divided among two other current projects
(a ribbon embroidery piece from the Embroidery Guild of America and the anniversary
sampler from the American Needlepoint Guild). With the excellent pictures and detailed
instructions I have not had any problems or questions so far. Wish the class was
spread out for a longer period so I possibly keep up! LOL A special thanks to our cyber angels, Marietta and Ginger for your support and encouragement.
I haven't finished the Heirloom Christmas sampler yet but I have the confidence
I will be able to do so with the wonderful instructions I received. Take care everyone
and I hope to be chatting with you soon! Happy Stitching!!! - Carole in NC
I know that by now many have completed their projects and I am sure they re thrilled
with their achievements. You have all been so industrious that here in Greece I
can almost feel the concentration - not a joke, a recipe, not even a stitching ancedote.
I got out the atlas to see where Gail was "freezing in Fort Wayne".
I can see why now. After a slow start with the tree I am enjoying the other bands
and am now managing to stitch for a couple of hours each evening. Penny in Greece
Carole and Penny.. glad to read about your
participation in the Cyberclasses. It seems you've both begun with the Heirloom
Christmas sampler, and I'm delighted to hear you're managing the tree just fine!
This design is just as popular now as when I designed it a few years ago.. thank
you for your feedback! - Thea
Victorian Purse Stitcherama Class..
Hi, Thea! Hi Thea and Cathy You have probably been wondering who won your
wonderful class and kit.... well, it was me and I forgot
to register! (Anytime I
went to phone, it was either the wrong time of day or I didn't have the kit right
in front of me to remind me!), so I thought the easiest way to get myself registered
was to email you. I realize the class started yesterday, but I have been overwhelmed
with cleaning and reorganizing my studio and today is my birthday and so now I owe
myself a stitching treat!!!! Barbara G.
Hi Barbara..! What a nice prize to win at the Embroiderer's
Guild Seminar last year. Thanks for letting us know you're ready to enjoy the pattern
and learn the stitches, Barbara.. and I hope you love the result! :) .
Purse and Pincushion fans.. !
Thea I was signed up for the Victorian Purse stitcherama........and last night I
signed up for the Victorian Pincushion. I truly enjoyed the Sturbridge Box
stitcherama and can't wait for the two upcoming classes. The projects are absolutely
beautiful and the finishing techniques are like no others I've ever experienced.
I've collected many charts / projects from Victoria Sampler through the years, and
love them all, but I am so glad I finally discovered your Stitcherama! Hugs from
Oakham, Massachusetts... where we are in the middle of an old fashioned snow storm!
The Governor has declared a state of emergency so there's nothing to do but stitch!
Jasia (pronounced "Yasha")
I'm on the Digest, so I finally saw this morning that you had made the change to
the status of the Victorian Pincushion. I've already signed up--didn't waste any
time this morning! I'm so happy to be doing The Mushroom (that's what one of my
Stitcharama groups was calling it last year) -- I've been watching for it, actually.
:-) I've been teaching since 1971 and it just takes over your life--consumes you.
I'm even working right now. So it's time to have some major fun and this class is
definitely going to qualify! I'll "see" you for the Victorian Purse soon and then
the Pincushion in May. Yay! Jana
. . and another sign up. I also fell in love with this Pincushion design when I
first saw it, and I must stitch it to go with my Victorian Purse. Thanks Thea and
Lisa for making this available to us in this format. It will be so much fun! I'd
best go get to work . . . I have so many projects either currently on the go, or
waiting in line to be stitched. - Sharlotte
Dear Thea... I jumped all over the Victorian Pincushion (you may remember I always
referred to it as a mushroom in our chats at Stitcheramas ). I'm thrilled to have
signed up before it sold out, whew! I was on the fence about the Victorian Purse,
and decided to take the plunge today! Many thanks, and hugs in stitches, Anya
Dear Yasha, Sharlotte, Jana, Anya and Janet! Thanks ever
so much for sharing your delight in our Stitcherama Webcast classes. I'll be doing
a few more webcast classes this year, as it seems that those who have taken them
really enjoy them, and feel they not only learn lots, but enjoy themselves in
the chat room with all our other stitchers. I especially enjoy being able to interact
with you.. thank you! :) - Thea
Timely Reminder... Friends are Precious...
Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character?
it possible that I can get along with them all? I think that each one helps to bring
out a "different" part of me. With one of them I am polite. With another I joke,
With another I can be a bit naughty. I can sit down and talk about serious matters
with one. With another I laugh a lot. I listen to one friend's problems. Then I
listen to another one's advice for me. My friends are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
When completed they form a treasure box. A treasure of friends! They are my friends
who understand me better than I understand myself. They are friends who support
me through good days and bad. Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for
our health. Dr Oz calls them Vitamin F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of
friends as essential to our well being. Research shows that people in strong social
circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. If you enjoy Vitamin
F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. The warmth of friendship
stops stress and even in your most intense moments, it decreases the
chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%. In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them.
Some of my friends I see every day, some every week, others maybe monthly, some
I haven't seen for years but I still know they are my friends. We should try to
see the funny side of things and laugh together and pray for each other in the tough
moments. Some of my friends are friends on-line. I know I am one of their friends
because their names appear on my computer screen often and I feel blessed that they
care as much for me as I care for them. Thank you for being one of my Vitamin F's!
Thank you to ALL...!
We are grateful for your personal pictures and letters to share your experiences
with Victoria Sampler designs, so keep em coming! PLEASE Send stories letters etc
and pics to Cathy here. Thanks to
all of you who wrote.. you say things that make our hearts glad.. Each time I complete
this newsletter, I am more grateful than ever that you are all in our Victoria Sampler
family.. ! - Thea
Come and join
...at the next place I'll
be teaching. I know you will have
a marvelous time meeting new people and learning new stitches. I am always looking forward to meeting old and new friends... :) so check
Link in the website for all my Retreat and
Teaching events, and email the organizers
to check for availability and times. -
Future Stitching Retreats and Webcasts with Thea
Welcome to VS