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Thea's November - December Newsletter! 

Dear friends...!

 I've enjoyed a busy and exciting fall, with lots of activity at home, and increased participation in the Victoria Sampler studios. The weather here in Sidney B.C. has been pretty typical for this time of year; some rain and some blue skies and sunshine.. but now it's seriously looking like Winter.  No wonder.. it's getting to look a lot like Christmas, too! The arrival of Black Friday means we're all gearing up for St. Nicholas to arrive.

Back in October, I took a trip to Massachusets, where I connected  with stitchers at a favorite Retreat, Stitcher's Hideaway in Sturbridge. I was invited to teach, so I created the 'Bling Tree'.. a fun creativity excercise for everyone! Students were sent their pre-work ahead, which was to Cross Stitch the entire tree, and the words around it. Then during class I taught the Specialty Stitches for a day, and on the second day we all decorated our tree with sparkly stuff; beads, strings of Xmas lights, buttons, charms and other fun things. I had also asked that if they wanted to, everyone could bring their own decorations, and that meant that everyone's tree wa s quite different!  What fun it was to see our students having fun attaching their Bling to their trees!

Lots of fun times; laughter and shopping during class, even  Santa came to visit, we enjoyed fabulous meals at the Pioneer Inn where we were staying, and Jen really thought of everything to make things fun! Jen is the new owner of Stitcher's Hideaway..She is such a kind and gentle person! Even with a family with kids and a full time job, she still manages to find the time and energy needed for a super successful retreat! Plus, she really knows how to make everyone feel welcome, thanks so much Jen for having me! It wa s truly a blast!!

Directly after the Retreat was over, Sue (the original owner of Stitchers' Hideway) had planned to whisk me away in her little Blue Super Bug (VW) to a 4 day vacation in Vermont..!  We drove up north quite a way into the mountains to Stowe, the place where all the best foliage colours was meant to be. Well, we did find a few trees ablaze with gold, but the true colours had apparently already been a week before! LOL We were left to read, relax, shop at the Vermont Country Store, walk through the town, and generally make nuisances of ourselves.  Thanks Sue for an unforgettable vacation!  

I've been very lucky and haven't had any untoward health problems, and am very grateful for my good health. Life is good here in Sidney!  Love riding my bike, and hiking along the beaches.. this view is of a bumper Pumpkin crop a few blocks from my house.. the ocean view behind this field is so spectacular! Click on this link for my latest Halloween Bookmark  Free Pattern now on our website.. you'll recognize the pumpkins !

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

Victoria Sampler News!
  • From the Studio..    
  • NEW! Thea's Gingerbread Mice Leaflet and Acc Pack
  • NEW!! Thea's Christmas Hollow Leaflet and Acc Pack
  • NEW!! Thea's Introduction to Hardanger Student Kit!
  •  Three different Hardanger Scissors, and Thea's Scroll LapFrame!
  • Teaching Schedule Updated

FROM THE STUDIO ...  Some design news -  

The Victoria Sampler Studios are sooo busy.. We're both very pre-occupied with our lovely Facebook Chat Group, This past September, I designed a free Nativity Christmas Ornament (available in VS Facebook group) for our Mystery Stitch-Alongs! Come a nd join us, as we're all still stitching on our Ornament and all 1700+ of us would love to have you stitch-along with us too! Lisa and I are creating a bunch of new ideas for you all to stitch in the New Year too!

In January you'll find an adorable and scrumptious Strawberry Pincushion design along with the wooden form to put it on! We're also finally releasing the Victorian Pincushion design, and both can be mounted on a Wooden Pedestal for m, imported from Italy! I k now you'll LOVE both designs! The Intro to Hardanger will be available as a Leaflet and Acc Pack, and I'm also designing an "I Love Dogs" sampler, one that I hope any Sampler lover will adore. And now, on with the Victoria Sampler Releases!

NEW!  #203 Gingerbread Hollow - Leaflet and Pack! 

Welcome to our Gingerbread house in the woods! Imagine visiting this delicious candy covered home, full of the aroma of ginger cookies and delicious candies..yum! This Cross Stitched scene is so much fun to stitch! The kids and the family dog are playing outside in the snow. They’ve made snowman and fed the birds while Mom is busy stitching inside waiting for them to come in for lunch. This scene is easy to stitch and frame, the stitches are mainly Cross Stitch, and will add to your Gingerbread decor on your walls.. especially if you have no time to stitch and finish a three-dimensional Gingerbread Village building this year!  We even found the perfect Gingerbread Frame for you! It’s painted with hearts and tiny gingerbread men and fits your piece beautifully. The linen I used is a wonderful dark grey-blue, to evoke a dark and snowy winter sky and to set off the white snow. Buy the matching Gingerbread Frame, and go to our Youtube Channel for easy finishing directions! This is a perfect design to hang in your home or cottage, or to give to someone dear, to remind us of the delicious scents of Christmas!

NEW!  #202 Gingerbread Mice Ornaments and Packs!

 “...Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...!”
Mice have been associated with Christmas for many years, and this year, I’ve created three tiny Gingerbread Mice for you, each one stitched with different Christmassy floral motifs and specialty stitches. One features Poinsettias, another has a Bunny with some lovely Hellebore Blossoms, and another some Pine Boughs and Cones. The bottoms of each mouse can be personalized with name and date if you like (Alphabet in our online Free Patterns - in menu to left) and they are meant to live either in your Gingerbread Village, on the boughs of your Christmas tree, as part of your Christmas table decorations, or peeking around a book on your shelf ! Go to the Victoria Sampler Youtube Channel for Lisa's easy finishing directions on video. Buy the Accessory Pack for this leaflet, so you can stitch and finish all three Gingerbread Mice to enjoy as part of your Christmas decor! I just love these sweet little creatures!

NEW!  #200  Christmas Memories - Leaflet and Packs! 

Cross Stitch these two delightful ornaments that speak of yester-year! One ornament shows a little red truck which carries a freshly cut Fir tree and the other shows some carolers stinging out on the town. There are memories of Christmas that are common to many of us, whether you’re young or young at heart. The memories I cherish are embedded in my daily life. I would visit my grandparents on a neighbouring island, and there we would drive their red farm truck to pick out the one perfect tree somewhere in the forest on their 300 acre farm. Bringing that home was a huge adventure!  I have sung almost all my life, so not a Christmas went by without the joy of singing carols with my group of singers. The air was crisp and our cheeks red! We even have some lovely green Wool Felt for you to finish these ornaments! Enjoy stitching these two heartfelt ornaments, each a special memory in my heart! I will likely add more designs to the Christmas Memories Series!

#201 Gingerbread Flower Shop - Leaflet and Pack!

 Finally we are releasing the Gingerbread Flower Shop as a Leaflet and Accessory Pack! It is the10th addition to the Gingerbread Village; including the Tree Etui, the Stitching House, Church, Candy Cane Cottage, Bakery, Haunted House, Needlework Shop, Quilt Shop, and Retreat Cottage! 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 specialty stitched flowers to learn to stitch! The roof is decorated with white buttons and Cross Stitched snow patterns, 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

#HS08-SK  Introduction to Hardanger Student Kit!    

Stitch these two beautiful pillows designed for the Cross Stitcher to learn Beginner's Hardanger! The little roses are Cross Stitched with luscious silk flosses and the Hardanger is stitched with 2 different sizes of white Perle Cotton. The kit also includes buttons and sparkling metallic threads and antique white evenweave fabric with optional tea-dyeing instructions included.

Each of the five pieces are a manageable size, so you can more easily master the  Hardanger stitches. The little pillow is meant to be stitched first, so you can learn the stitches without any cutwork.

Then you will learn to cut, withdraw thr eads, and work the needleweaving of each of the other four designs of the large pillow, progressing step-by-step with the basic but intricate cutwork designs.  Buy the exclusive the Student Kit  from us!

Finishing instructions to create the two pillows, both small and large, are also included. All stitch and finishing videos are available online so you can learn along with Thea! This design continues our new series of Home Study learning projects; including the “Gingerbread Retreat Cottage”, the “Tulip Terrace Sampler” pillow, Stitching Under the Oaks, Celebrate Sampler and Gingerbread Flower Shop” 

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!

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 need s!  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!  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/gold 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..!

 Free Patterns on our website!          
NEW! The Halloween Bookmark Free pattern is available! Enjoy scrolling down to view and print our needlework gifts to you! You are welcome to print some or all, but please don't kit these designs for profit. Be sure to include all the information, including copyright and company information, in all printouts.

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

Teaching online.. or here!
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 !  -  Sorry, we're now full... Please email Lisa and ask to be put on our Waiting List. She will reply to give you your position.
Will be held in Sidney by the Sea, October, 2019
Email Lisa at:

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


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#LP20-22 Canadian Souvenir Cross Stitch Designs..

Stitch these souvenirs of Victoria! Three full charts and instructions for the Victoria Legislative Buildings, Fisgard Lighthouse,Craigdarroch Castle, some Beautiful First Nations designs, and Butchart Gardens! ... click and scroll down for more