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Thea's April - June Newsletter! 

Dear friends...!

Oh, it's such a treat to see Spring flowers poking their heads above the soil isn't it? Our daffodils have been out for a few weeks already, and the fields down the block from my street is flooded with a bright yellow colours dotted with bent over farm workers who pick and package them for export! Our bulb farmers send all their daffodils and tulips to some of our still frozen citizens as cut flowers, to liven up the last gasps of the north eastern winter! 

Last year spring, my sister-in-law went to Maui to decompress, and I was struck by my failure to take my own vacation! So I arranged a 2 week holiday in the same place she stayed... north of Lahaina. It was probably the first pre-planned 14 day holiday I've taken in 30 years! Yay!   It's true that I do take short breaks.. and am not sorry for myself at all, because I love working in my needlework studios! But my usual 4 day 'holiday' is a working one, where I go somewhere beautiful to teach, arriving one day ahead to relax and acclimatize or I go for 5 days at a time north of here to stay in a cottage on one of the picturesque Tofino beaches.. But in truth, the last break was over 10 years ago now. Time flies when you work a lot!

When I was younger, my ex and I took many tropical holidays to Maui and Arizona because his parents owned rental condos there and we could have them cheaply. Peter had grown up with much older parents who spoiled him from a young age with time off to just relax and explore. My immigrant parents in contrast, taught me by example never to take time off for long so I ended up with lifelong habit of working for a living with few holidays. But while married, Peter took his young family to luxurious places like Hawaii, California, and Europe and I am now left with many happy memories of travel, specially Maui, as a result. Of course my role as 'Mom' meant that I didn't quite have quite as carefree a holiday as they had (!) but it was amazing and beautiful and exotic just the same and I'm so looking forward to re-visiting our old haunts.

This year's visit to Maui will lay to rest the ghosts of vacations of the past, and also create memories in the present. I hope to visit places that I spent time in before, and find other new places to relax and enjoy. I can hardly wait, and hope to also take lots of photos.. and share them with you when I get back! The photo above was taken in 1984 ish.. and the one below is a pretty recent photo of where I'm going!    


Just a reminder: Lisa and I broadcast a weekly LIVE stream on Facebook! We call it Facebook Fridays, and it's a wonderful new way to contact all our stitchers!  We often just chat, but we also try to bring everyone up to speed on what we're up to, and all our latest news. We stream from the Facebook VicSampler CHAT group, and so that's where you'll find us at 10:30AM Pacific Time (or daylight time).. every Friday morning. Please feel free to click on the link for the Chat Group, and ask to join. We'd love to have you join us every Fri day and we are inspired by the interaction with our stitchers!  We will soon also be able to start some informal contests with prizes, or any other kind of fun activity!  Come and join us there LIVE, and if you can't join us at the time, then by all means watch us on the instant video recording.

Now on to more news about what's happening with Victoria Sampler designs! - Thea

Victoria Sampler News!
  • From the Studio..   NEW!! 
  • New! Thea's Celebrate Sampler and Acc Pack released!!
  • New! Thea's Gingerbread Flower Shop!
  • New! Thea's Spring Birthday Needleroll Samplers!
  •  New! Three different Hardanger Scissors, and Thea's Scroll LapFrame!
  • Teaching Schedule Updated

FROM THE STUDIO ...  Some design news -   I've completed the Introductory Hardanger Home Study Course. 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. The finished piece will be a lovely pillow, and  will be released next, I promise! 

Last year I taught a Thanksgiving Sampler for Sue at Stitcher's Hideaway Sturbridge and I have been invited back to teach another class this coming October! Sue has passed the baton to her second in command, Jen Cane, and I'm honored to be her first teacher! Thanks Jen!  Don't worry though, Sue will take an active part in future Hideaways, so you will hardly notice the difference at first. I'll be teaching this lovely Christmas Tree with all it's bling! It was inspired by all the memories of past Christmas times..  Scroll down to bottom of this Newsletter for dates and times!  Registrations are still available, but the class is already more than half full.. so don't delay sending in yours! It's going to be during the best part of a new England Fall.!

VS Retreat April 2018 in Sidney B.C.  Here's our "Day at the Beach" project that we'll be stitching at our VS Retreat this year from April 26 to 29 of 2018 ! However, instead of the Harbour Towers hotel in Victoria, we're stitching at the most luxurious 4 star hotel in Sidney-by-the-Sea, which is close to the airport and only just a few miles north of Victoria. There is an awesome meeting room there, the rooms are lovely, and we're so excited to set up in this lovely new place! We are fully booked as of now, but we can always put you on the waiting list for our cancellations. We are looking forward to seeing all old and new students and hope everyone is looking foward too! 

#197 Celebrate Sampler Leaflet and Acc Pack

It's party time! If you’ve always wanted to stitch something to celebrate the fun and joy of life, stitch this one..! I designed this Class project as a Birthday Sampler, as you can tell by the photographs. However, many of our students wanted to stitch this to celebrate other things, like an engagement, graduation or a promotion, so I charted different lettering and the “Celebrate” Sampler was born. We’ve included both words in this leaflet, so you can decide which word suits you best! At the top of the sampler is a fragrant chocolate cake with pink icing surrounded by a garland of hearts and flowers. Under the cake is a band of lace like a tablecloth. Then some lovely specialty stitches surrounded by vines and hearts and more flowers! Below you’ll find another drawn thread band, with the words “Happy Birthday” with musical notes, or the word “Celebrate” with stars. At the bottom, you will find the Hardanger flower motif. The model is stitched on a 28ct Light Sand Linen, but you can choose a different coloured linen to suit different people or events, still using our brightly coloured silks. I think these colours and beads would look fabulous on Blue or on antique white linen! Frame or finish as a bellpull and gift your family or friends on their special days and you can celebrate their those days with them!

Buy the Student Kit which includes the linen and finishing materials, OR Buy Leaflet and Acc Pack, which also contains all the threads you need! You will enjoy stitching bands of specialty stitches, flowers, and lovely Hardanger lace, as you work with the 5 overdyed silk flosses and other plain silk flosses which were chosen for their joy and happy feelings. Stitch it with joy, frame or turn into a wallhanging, and give it to your button-loving friend, or be daring, and hang it in your own home.  - Thea

Come and join our Youtube Channel, where you will find Thea and Lisa's Videos for this delightful design! You will be able to do it with our videos showing you exactly how to work the many specialty stitches in this gorgeous piece. On Youtube we share some of our excellent STITCH VIDEOS teaching you how to do the special stitches. The videos also show Lisa and Thea's FINISHING VIDEOS so you can see exactly how to construct it!

#HS07-SK  Gingerbread Flower Shop Student Kit! 

Part 10 of the Gingerbread Village!
Buy the exclusive the Student Kit  from us to stitch this wonderfully beautiful Gingerbread Flower Shop! It is the latest addition to the Gingerbread Village. This little Gingerbread Flower Shop looks positively European with its striped awnings and colourful floral display! At the front of the shop you’ll see buckets full of cut flowers, a topiary tree with French Knot blossoms, A potted Christmas Tree and a potted Sunflower, while the shopkeeper brings out a flat of forgetmenots. On the back, you see more staff working at their potting counter where there are a variety of flowers. On the two sides are fantasy speci alty stitched flowers to learn to stitch, our focus for the class! The roof is decorated with white buttons and Cross Stitched snow, and there are a few lovely vines under the eaves. You will be stitching with yummy silk flosses, Perle Cottons, silk ribbon, sparkling beads and delicious looking ‘candy’ buttons. This building was not lined, which makes finishing easier and faster! Finishing instructions and colour photos are included at the end of this leaflet. Look for more Gingerbread Village additions in future years! -Thea

NEW! - Home Study videos on Youtube! Once you've bought your Student Kit, come and join our Youtube Channel, where you will find Thea and Lisa's Videos for this delightful design! There is lots of help, and you can get started sorting your threads, putting your linen on your frame. This project is for Intermediate Level stitchers. On Youtube we share some of our excellent STITCH VIDEOS teaching you how to do the special stitches. The videos also show Lisa and Thea's FINISHING VIDEOS so you can see exactly how to construct this and other Gingerbread Houses!

Buy the  Student Kit which includes all the materials you need!

#194 April #195 May #196 June

Three Birthday Samplers
"For You, With Love..."
Remember someone's birth day by stitching this little sampler. Featuring a Birthstone Heart stitched in sparkling metallic thread, and a medallion and tiny garden showing the appropriate birth flowers, these designs are dedicated to all those special people who are born in April, May and June! The  Birthstones for ea ch month are stitched as little Rhodes hearts in metallics. The flowers for each month are Sweet Pea, Lily of the Valley and the Rose. Using the enclosed Alphabet and finishing directions, you can personalize these little samplers and finish them into a needleroll, or frame it using any easy to find 5" X 7" frame. I'm sure that the birthday recipient will truly appreciate this as a gift from your heart.

Stitched with DMC flosses and some gold Kreinik Braid. There are no ACCESSORY PACKS for these three charts 
Ask for this leaflet at participating needlework shops or check our Victorian Sampler online catalogue for this item!

Standard Scroll Lap Frame with 1 arm, comes with 16" rods!

Buy a good Lap Frame to create beautiful needlework!

The Standard Z-Frame is one of my favorite tools! Both Lisa and I each have two frames on the go, and we've enjoyed the K's Z - Frame's versatility and quality for the last 20 years.

Why use a Frame? The question is why use a frame at all?
Comfort - Stitching on a Frame reduces the stress and fatigue associated with holding your needlework project for prolonged periods. If you suffer from arthritis or any other ailment, when using frames you will be able to stitch for greater periods of time with a new level of comfort and enjoyment.
Cleaner Work
-  frames will minimize them number of times you have to touch or handle your work. This will reduce the amount of hand oil and dirt that will accumulate on your project.
Easier Finishing
- When you work on a scroll frame, the project held with even tension results in a less distorted project. When you "free stitch" or hold your work in your hand threads will tend to bunch in certain areas.
Finer Quality Finished Product
- The less cleaning and blocking required to finish the project the more beautiful the end result is. Why take any chances on the finishing after months and sometimes years or hard labor on your needlework project?

Needlework is fine art and should be treated accordingly. K's fine quality frames and accessories are top in the needlework industry. We recommend buying one each of the scroll rods (10" and 12") for those smaller projects!

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for assembly and use instructions!

Scissors for Hardanger Cutting!
Our newest Bohin 3.5" Embroidery Scissors for ALL your needs!

All of  3.5" embroidery scissors are tested in our studios, and pass with flying colours! They are good for snipping errant floss ends, cutting a bit of fabric, as well as making the clean cuts necessary for 'nub'-less Hardanger embroidery. We stand behind these mid- range models for all your basic and advanced stitching needs!  A beautiful pair of scissors always lifts our hearts as we stitch. We love the various colours of the handles and blades that are now available, but more than that, we  really appreciate a good cut! 

A lovely indulence, this collector's pair has handles in peacock colours - gorgeous! Designed for lasting beauty, this is another pair we recommend for easy, clean Hardanger cutting and other embroidery needs! The gold is one of my favorite pairs of embroidery scissors! I love the heft, and the very fine blades. If the blades are narrow, I can easily slip them under the fabric threads for drawn thread or Hardanger cutting! Even the toughest linen threads cut like butter and there are very few nubs!A must for all your delicate needlework projects. The red handled scissors have soft handles for ease of use, and very sharp blades, the better to make that perfect Cross Stitch or Hardanger cut! Made of the highest quality steel in France.

The Victoria Sampler is on Facebook in the FB Search Box.  Our Company Page is a great place to come visit for news. Come and 'like' us and leave a message or comment..!  It's fun to keep up with Victoria Sampler! ;) We have a  VicSampler CHAT Group on Facebook as well. That's where you can find us most Facebook Fridays at 10:30 am Pacific Time. Just check out the link or search for it. I also have a personal page listed under my name.

Learning with videos and Animations! 

Learn how to work specialty stitches of the featured design, and our great finishing techniques to make Thea's designs come alive. What a fun way to learn!
Click on this link to Buy Full Student Kits for these exclusive Home Study designs!

Click here to subscribe to our NEW Victoria Sampler YOUTUBE Channel!  We have launched a new Youtube Channel for your enjoyment and education! Enjoy stitching with us as you learn how to make the designs and projects shown in the "Home Study" or "Previous Designs" sections. There is also a section for Hardanger stitches only; and a section for previous Live Webcast Classes recordings.  Spend some time browing through..!

 Magazine Designs and Free Patterns!          
NEW! Inspired by tradition, this little Free pattern is perfect for a bookworm! Look for other features on our website like the VS Retreat, Tools and Frames, Home Study Kits, Bellpull Hardware, Canadian Designs, Animated Stitches and Thea's Teaching schedule. Check our Website menu to find all the latest news in the newsletter!l

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 and our Home Study 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 Monday-Thursday.

A few letters from our readers.
Thank you for your email and notes. For more comments and participation, please visit Facebook: 'The Victoria Sampler' and the 'Victoria 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! :) 

Thank you ...! We are grateful for your emails to our studios, Lisa and I love receiving your kind notes and congrats.. you make our hearts glad! If you want to share your progress or happy dancing finishes, we now urge you to check out our Social Media presences. At the moment we're mostly on Facebook but we plan to share through a few others to share our love of needlework with everyone there! I am more grateful than ever that there are so many nice people in our Victoria Sampler family.. ! - Thea

Classes online or in person
Come and join me... the next in-person CLASS or my new  Home Study Courses through Youtube. You will meet new people and learn new stitches and finishing. I am always looking forward to meeting old and new friends... so check the Teaching Link in the menu of our website for all Teaching events, to check for dates and times. See below.  - Thea :)

Future Stitching Retreats and Webcasts with Thea

Victoria Sampler's Retreat 2018 !  - Full but waiting list still being taken
Will be held in Victoria, April 26 - 30, 2018
Email Lisa at:

Stitcher's Hideaway 2017 !

Will be held in Sturbridge, Sept-Oct 2017
Email Sue at:

Victoria Sampler's Retreat 2019 !  - Waiting list being taken for next spring!
Will be held in Victoria, end of April, 2019
Email Lisa at:

Please let me know if there are any errors in this newsletter by emailing me at


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#CVJS46 Honeysuckle Hill - from Cathy Jean ... !

Cathy’s gorgeous new summer design is a lovely companion to her Snowdrop Hill Sampler. A sweet white farmhouse sits atop a hill of sampler bands. The specialty stitches are interspersed with summer motifs; a bluebird of happiness, a bunny,some white sheep ... click and scroll down for more