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Thea's April - May Newsletter!  [contents

Dear friends...!

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

Victoria Sampler News!


Some news from Victoria Sampler -  I'm 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
scr oll down to bottom of this Newsletter for dates and times!

Victoria 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 students!  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 Mi 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 year..
And now.. o
ur newest offerings...and news below..

  Ocean Boulevard  Sampler!
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!

NEW! #179 "Tulip Terrace"

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 for everyone. 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 Tulip Terrace. HS02 - Buy Tulip Terrace as a Student Kit and SAVE!

#HS03 - "Stitching Under the Oaks" Student Kit “Stitching Under 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  Student Kit!
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.

Magazine Designs and Free Patterns!          
NEW! Inspired by tradition, this little Free pattern is perfect for your fellow readers! Look in our catalogue for 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 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! :) 

#87 Heirloom Nativity Sampler!

Hello! 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. - Wendy Welsh

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 person
Come and join me... the next in-person CLASS or my new  Home Study 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 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 2017 !  - waiting list being taken
Will be held in Victoria, April 27 - 30, 2017
Email Lisa at:

Stitching Under the Oaks 2017 ! 
Will be held in Florida, June 2 - 4, 2017
Email Jen at:
Phone Jen at: 352-406-1176

NEW! Needlework Guild of Minnesota 2017 !
Will be held in Buffalo Minnesota, August 2017
Email Gloria at:

NEW! Stitcher's Hideaway 2017 !
Will be held in Sturbridge, Sept-Oct 2017
Email Sue at:

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


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"160 Beach Cottage.."!

This is a perfect design to hang in your home or cottage while you dream of sand and sunshine! This beautiful beach retreat is surrounded by a bountiful garden full of flowers, grasses, roses and a white picket fence, truly your ideal beach getaway. Stitched on light blue linen with lovely summery colours, you'll love stitching it this summer to bring this project to life! ... click and scroll down for more