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Thea's June - July Newsletter!  [contents

Dear friends...!

 It's near the end of June on southern Vancouver Island. It's a perfect summer day with weather predictions of 72 degrees and a light breeze off the ocean. We're so blessed to live here and we really feel it because of ideal days like this. We do pay during the winter with grey skies and wet weather, but we are all the richer for the stamina to be able to enjoy the delicious contrast. I can honestly say I've found my place on this earth!

At the end of April, Lisa, Kathleen and I hosted over 44 stitchers to our VS Retreat 2017. I was so very very excited and happy to see everyone again!  In previous years, we've made  such close friends with many of our returnees, and we also had some newbies.. who were quickly part of our VS family. Because of the size of this class, we had a new bigger classroom, and it worked out so well! We stitched on the Happy Birthday Sampler, we exchanged gifts, took a bus to enjoy a full studio tour with wine and cheese, and had a delicious final celebration meal at the hotel together on the last day. What a joy to know I could still do this despite my advancing years..!  But I know I could not do any of these things without Kathleen and Lisa's help.

Particularly Lisa's help organizing and remembering things I find hard to remember. She kept all the lists straight and all of us organized without seeming effort. Thank you Lisa and Kathleen!

The past few months have flown by like they should, with plenty of fun but also work and even some pain!  Sometime in early May, I sprained the ligament in my lower back near the coccyx when I attended a hot Yoga session on a whim, and this injury has had quite enormous repercussions, mostly good ones!

 I was determined to heal, preferably as quickly as possible. I realized  that this pain really was only a symptom of an underlying weakness in the muscles around it. I spent some time getting re-acquainted with my chiropractor, massage therapist, physiotherapist for the next 3 weeks.

Thanks to these professionals, I was able to manage the 6 hour plane ride to Florida to teach in spite of the discomfort sitting caused me! I'm pretty sure if anyone noticed, I was the only one who walked to the back of the plane every 20 minutes just to stretch my sore butt! LOL Teaching went well and I enjoyed my time standing while teaching so much, that I've made a few changes since I came back.  I continued with treatments, began a series of online excercises by Miranda calle d Essentrics (unlock your body from pain). They are really good, and gentle for the older person. She's my age and you should see how she moves! So if you're interested, go check them out.

As a final change, I bought a Boost Industries 35" wide Sit-to-Stand Desk Riser (from amazon) that allows me to stand at my desk, in front of my computer screens!  I love it.. I've been standing at my desk for a week now, doing my Essentrics for over two weeks, and I'm stronger, in less pain, and I feel more alive!  I am still a bit physically tired at the end of the day, but being less sedentary is doing all sorts of good things I'm sure, so thanks to the injury, I'm feeling better in the long run!

My trip to Florida with the ladies at Stitc hing Under the Oaks, was an enormously fun time. The ladies and I had become good friends during the past few years, as this was my third summer teaching in a row! I absolutely loved the smaller class, as it was more intimate and more relaxed overall, and I could pay more attention to everyone individually.

The weather co-operated by being a bit overcast and not quite so warm as it could have been, and I was thrilled with their enthusiasm and enjoyment of the "Happy Birthday" Sampler that I brought them. That sampler is full of specialty stitches, so I brought my usual videos to show the stitches up close, and that was great too. You will all get to see these videos when w e release this project as a Home Study project next year! Thanks always to Harriet, John, and Pat for going out of their way to show me their kindess and encouragement. Thanks also to Jennifer, who was unable to attend.

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

Victoria Sampler News!

FROM THE STUDIO ...  Some design news -   I've completed the  Beginner's Hardanger Home Study Course. There will be videos explaining exactly how to work Kloster Blocks properly, as w ell 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 we'll even show you how to put that together!  The other designs I'm working on involve additions to the Gingerbread Village for September, and a cute Button Sampler for January.

Teaching Projects coming up!
Scroll down to bottom of this Newsletter for dates and times!

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" Sampler.. bright and cheerful and easy to stitch!  I was also asked to design a G ingerbread 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.. 

VS Retreat April 2018 in Sidney B.C.  We are just finalizing plans for a new Spring Retreat from April 26 to 29 of 2018 ! However, instead of the Harbour Towers hotel in Victoria, we're going to be 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 sleeping rooms are lovely, and we're so excited to set up in this lovely new place! Please check your calendars so you'll be ready when we open registration. We are looking forward to seeing all old and new students, but only will have room for 30.

#184 Sister Sampler

“Whether together or far apart, you are the sister of my Heart.”

Stitch this feminine and heartfelt“Sister”Sampler! I don’t have a birth sister, but I do have a few very dear friends who are my own chosen sisters, and I designed it with them in mind. The verse is suitable for various people, including gifting friends that feel like your sisters. Elegant and timeless, yet fitting more modern decor, this sampler is just the thing to spend extra time stitching to celebrate your own sister, or those who are sisters of your heart. At the top is a lovely urn holding stylized flowers, surrounded by vines and birds in shades of blue and pale fuschia. The lace is all stitched with ivory threads and makes this a really feminine sampler. There is a wonderful shade of deep gold which adds drama to the stitching. You will enjoy stitching bands of specialty stitches, flowers, and lovely Hardanger lace, as you work with the overdyed silk flosses chosen for their joy and happy feelings. The band in the middle that shows two ladies having tea together symbolizes the special relationship between sisters. Stitch this sampler for yourself, your sister(s) or a friend who is your chosen sister, to celebrate your relationship and show them how much they mean to you. Stitch it with joy as you know you are a sister of the heart to so many, and hang it in your own home! This is a labour of love. - Thea

#183 Stitching Under the Oaks
Needlepocket and Smalls.  

“Stitching Under the Oaks” “Stitching Under the Oaks” Needlepocket was created to convey 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 where I’ve taught some special students. 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 additio nal 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. There are special Stitch and Finishing Videos avaialble online. 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

Buy the Leaflet and Acc Packs, or the Student Kit and Save!

#180 - July   -   #181 - August
#182 September

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 bir th flowers, this design is dedicated to all those special people who are born in July, August or September! The  Birthstones for each month are Ruby, Peridot, and Sapphire.. and they are stitched as little Rhodes hearts in metallics. The flowers for each month are larkspur, Gladiola, and Aster. Using the enclosed Alphabet and finishing directions, you can personalize this little sampler and finish it 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!

The Victoria Sampler is on Facebook in the FB Search Box.  Our Company Page is a great place to come visit for news. Then there is the VS-Home Study Group where we come and learn some of our special projects for which we have full kits!   Come and 'like' us and leave a message or comment..!  It's fun to keep up with Victoria Sampler! ;) We have a new VicSampler CHAT Group on Facebook as well. Just check out the link or search for it. I also have a personal page listed under my name.

Learning with videos and Animations! 

Have some fun learning new stitches with Thea's informal VS-Home Study Facebook Group classroom videos. 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! 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 organized in Alphabetical order of Stitches; 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 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 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! :) 

#32 Woodland Garden Baby Sampler!

Hi Thea, I wanted to show you the baby sampler I stitched for my newest granddaughter. I stitched the first 12 bands of your #32 Woodland Garden Sampler, then I added the name and date, then I finished it with the buttonhole border and bottom Hardanger from the Noel Sampler. Thank you so much for these lovely designs. They were perfect for my little sampler.  Love and Hugs, Ginger

Hello Ginger!.. Love this idea!  Almost any sampler can be dedicated to the little ones in our lives. You have made the woodland garden a place of wonder and delight. Thank you for sharing!  - Thea

Spreading the VS Cheer  .. !  

Hi Thea, I had about 4 minutes for a presentation to the Winchester EGA meeting. I passed out a screenshot of your homepage with the free patterns and stitch animations hig hlighted . I told them how great a teacher you are both in person and online and when retreats are this year. I put out a spread of Victoria Sampler handouts, accessory packs, and projects I had finished for all to see. Several members have contacted me to say how much they have enjoyed the website. I enjoyed spreading Victoria Sampler happiness, Kathi

Thanks Kathi! What a wonderful thing for you to do, thank you!  - Thea

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 and even 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

 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:

Victoria Sampler's Retreat 2018 !  - waiting list being taken

Will be held in Victoria, April 26 - 30, 2018
Email Lisa at:

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


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#CVJS53 Button Up Birdies - from Cathy Jean ... !

Stitch all ‘Button Up Birdies` and by next December your Christmas Tree will be covered with 18 adorable Birdie Christmas ornaments! All Boo Button ornaments are quick and easy to stitch and finish.. ... click and scroll down for more