Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 19...

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~
Day 19...
This summer I was dreaming about Christmas and stitching ornaments. That started the whole wheels in my head turning, spinning really. I had this idea in my mind...I'm stitcher, not a designer. But I have a good friend who is a designer so... I pitched the idea to her and her wheels started turning, and whammo! A whole design line came out the other side :)

Today I am honored to present...

"The Sampler Tree"
designed by: Little House Needleworks ~ Diane Williams

I am the model stitcher and finisher for this entire series.

You may read about the new 12 month series at the Little House Website: HERE

I've stitched and finished the first four in the series and I have (in my hot little hands) the next 4 designs ready to stitch and finish them. I know there has been much speculation about the series and I can say without a doubt this series is fabulous and will result in 12 gorgeous, sampler inspired ornaments for your very own Sampler Tree!

The first installment is entitled:
"Old Colonial"

when I came up with this idea for myself, before I had talked to Diane about it,  I was dreaming of  "themed" trees. I was stitching on a Prairie Schooler ornament thinking that I was going to finally (after years of desiring a Prairie Schooler Santa tree)  have one! Then I started thinking about other trees. Trees that sum me up, sum up my stitching, my interests, what I really like when I am stitching. What do I like? I like Samplers. I like houses, I like big, stylized urns, reindeer, snowflakes on big snow dusted evergreens....

All of these things can be incorporated in a Sampler....
pull them out and stitch just "parts" and "pieces" and what do you have...
"The Sampler Tree"!

I've been making ornaments...
like these on my own for years, using "parts" and "pieces" of patterns to make "family" ornaments for my big tree. Here let me show you what I mean...
(NOTE: All of these patterns are from Little House Needleworks and may be viewed: HERE )

Let's start off with: 
"Poinsettia House"

This pattern dings my bell and toots my whistle on many levels. Let me tell you why, its simple, the house and the urn. Diane does the best houses. When I saw that urn...I nearly flipped over my chair. I love urns, I adore wheels start turning and I stitched these ornaments to commemorate our 2011 Christmas:
Poinsettia House_Little House Needleworks
Poinsettia House
stitched 1 over 1 on 25 count Vintage Country Mocha using called for Classic Colorworks Cottons

Then I stitched one of each of these for our family members:
Poinsettia House Urn_Little House
"Poinsettia House Urn"
I stitched these on 32 ct. linen that I hand-dyed myself all I did was "pull out" the urn from the original design.
(I'm just showing Katie's, but I have one for each family member)
When I got these done...well they were just as I envisioned!

The next year....Diane released
"Holiday House"

 I stitched my copy of"Holiday House" like this:
Holiday House_Little House
"Holiday House"
stitched over 1 on 25 ct. Vintage Country Mocha
and pulled out the big black urn holding the topiary trees on either side of the house...
and filled it by stitching either the little snow flower bushes (for the girls of the family) or the evergreens for the boys. Here is an example of one of them:
Holiday House Urn_Little House
"Holiday House Urn"
stitched over 2 on 25 ct. fabric to make the ornament larger
Do you see a pattern here? I do! :)

So see...
as I was thinking of "The Sampler Tree" of my dreams, it all consists of things like these that I've shown you. So am I getting all of Diane's new "The Sampler Tree" ornaments to stitch for my own "Sampler Tree"? YOU BETCHA!
and then while I wait each month for the next pattern to arrive, I'm going back over all of the patterns I have with a fine tooth comb and pull out "motifs" from them to make for my own "Sampler Tree". 

Let me show you...
For instance, take the pattern by Diane (again found HERE on her Holiday and Winter page of LHN Website) entitled:
"New England Winter Sampler"

You could stitch for little Sampler Ornaments:
  •  The house with the trees on either side, the snow, fence and birds and a couple of those snowflakes
  • The man and lady with the flower urn on her side and the ever green on his side...just move the trees closer and stitch a couple of small snowflakes falling around them 
  • The large urn with the red flowers 
  •  The big tall tree 
  • The whole top half of the sampler: large trees on either side, house, man, woman, etc. 
  •  The large snowflakes

**The border can be stitched around some of these ornaments too, to give the "sampler feel" to all of them, or left off completely.
See folks! Right there is 6 ornaments (and there are more than that in the design...) all you have to do is use your creative eye and you can see all the different possibilities!

Want to do another? Let's do it! How about:
"Winter Whites"

Well what ornaments do you see....
  • the house with a tree on either side
  • the house with the tree on the left side, sheep, bitty tree and moon
  • the house with tree on right side, sheep, star and bitty tree
  • The alphabet alone with the evergreen boughs and berries at the bottom using the border to frame it
  • the big tree with the bird house
  • the big tree with the bird
  • the whole darn pattern stitched over 1 on appropriate linen to make small enough for ornament
That's SEVEN ornaments from one design!

It's like a game! ;) and I bet you have TONS of designs in your stash that you can use this technique on. The only thing you need is your design that you want to use, some time to pull out the motifs you want to stitch and a stitch calculator such as this one that I use: STITCH CALCULATOR to determine what count fabric you want to stitch it on to make the size appropriate for your very own "Sampler Tree"! I like my ornaments to sort of be various sizes and shapes, I believe that adds visual interest to a tree that you are viewing. But that is all up to you! I like a mix of pillow and flat ornaments, but that's up to you too! What do you like?

Now I've just told you about Little House Designs...
 that you can pull motifs from...but let's say you are a big school-girl sampler stitcher. Well guess what?! Those work too for this idea! Like Adam and Eve? Pull them out of a sampler and stitch them up. Lots of sweet roses and urns on a sampler you are stitching...HEY there's an ornament! What about that sweet Bessie the cow on the school-girl sampler you're stitching....stitch her with a garland of greenery around her neck for an ornament for your tree. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

Another Designer that I own a bushel basket of patterns by (and had really good intentions of stitching and HA HA HA! right...) are the Blackbird Designs gals. Think of all the possibilities that these ladies bring to the table for Sampler Tree Ornaments...urns, trees, houses...OMGosh!

How about some more designers? 
OK...I've got loads of patterns from: 
Plum Street Samplers
The Scarlett House
City Stitcher
Little by Little

Do I need to go on? 
No, I don' get the idea. Make 2015 the year of "The Sampler Tree"!! Stitcher's unite! Sign up today at your Local Needlework Shop or your On-Line Stitching source for Diane's gorgeous "The Sampler tree" ornaments! GO GO GO!

Then while you are waiting for them to arrive...
start pawing through your stash. You've got ZILLIONS of Sampler Tree ornaments right at your finger tips waiting, literally waiting to be stitched. Change the colors, change the style...get your creative juices flowing! 

Let me start them flowing by my vision of my 2015 Sampler Tree:
I can see it in my head. A smaller tree. A large, silver, antique looking star on the very top of it. Tarnished silver beads strung among the branches. All of my sampler ornaments that I'm going to stitch finished with shiny, antique colored rushed ribbons, flashy beads on some, just sort of plain on others hanging from the boughs, with shiny, slightly distressed jewel toned glass balls strewn among the hand stitched pretties or houses, urns, flowers, trees, reindeer, antique sleds, horses......

Sounds pretty perfect to me....
May my dream for Christmas 2015 and the Pfeiffer House Sampler Tree become reality!
May it be so!

That does it for Day 19... little heart is all aflutter with dreams of Samplers :)

Until tomorrow...
I'll be keeping my hands to work and heart to God, just like always! Join me while a dream of my Sampler Tree!

Love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Vonna - You are without a doubt - so very very talented and so very giving to share these ideas with us. You made me realize that right before my eyes are many opportunities to use my creative (sometimes) mind too. And as many times as I have seen the first ornament for the Sampler series, I totally missed the red birds. My late Mother and I loved to stitch alphabets and houses and she loved cardinals, so my focus is on those things for 2015. Thanks for showing me ways to feature them, using what I already have. Blessings to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Linda

  2. When I saw that Diane began a new ornament series I was trillend. I do like the theme very much, so I signed up for a auto shipment right away. Can't wait to stitch the first one.
    thank you for this wonderful idea and that Diane designed them !!
    Happy Holiday to you !

  3. WOW.........I love this post !! So much creativity in your heart and mind.
    I've already signed up for an auto on the new LHN series, can't wait to see all 12 months.
    Your tree is so beautiful with all the hand crafted ornaments and each one has a special meaning.
    Thanks so much for sharing these 25 days with each of us !!

  4. Vonna,
    Thank you for sharing your vision and creativity! Now I need to go dig through my stash! Thanks for the 25 days!


  5. WOW! It is so fun to pull bits and pieces from larger pieces (Quaker samplers are perfect) and stitch them individually. On there are endless possibilities. Thank you for sharing--this is great inspiration for all us crazy stitchers

  6. You are brilliant! You are so creative. I love this idea! This has really got me to thinking now. I need some stitching time!! Thanks for sharing Vonna!


  7. You are so creative and very talented! I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing this idea! I really need some stitching time!

  8. What a great idea, lovely ornament finish!

  9. That's such a gread idea, my dear! A sampler tree - that's perfect for me!
    And I LOVE the first design of the new series (and am very much looking forward to seeing the others).
    I heard the first time about the new series here in your blog - thank you for all this creative input!

  10. You are an inspiration with a very generous heart! Beautiful creative post. Thank you

  11. You are so talented and I just love reading about all the things you stitch.

  12. Oh, wow! My head is spinning with all of the wonderful ideas that you presented us!! Thank you!

  13. I really enjoy reading your blog, Vonna. Thank you for sharing your ideas, and finishing techniques! The examples in this post for pulling motifs from other samplers were very helpful. I've been stitching for a long time, but still haven't made any ornaments for my tree. Hopefully this will be the inspiration I need to finally get some done.

  14. Love, love, love this new series and happy to see that you will be doing them. I love to see your finishes, it always gives me ideas. I vow this year to start doing at least a couple of ornaments for me..starting a little tree of my own. I love all your ideas...thank you! And I can "see" your new tree...beautiful! I make ornaments for all my family and this gives me some more great ideas for them also. Thanks for taking the time to share all of this with us. I feel your energy....I am getting excited too.

  15. Your blog post today made me smile at your excitement! You got me excited too! Lots of creative them.
    I sometimes think about pulling parts of a design and I like the sampler idea. Have fun stitching lots of them!

  16. You just accepted me as a friend on FB. I have been following your blog for quite awhile, and you have inspired my creative imagination many times. Thank you. Like you I too take small parts from many designs and do my own spin on them.

  17. Love..Love..Love this idea ! Where can I stick another tree ??!!?? Your ornaments are amazing ! You Truly are the ornament queen !

  18. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Vonna! I just loved it! :)

  19. I wish I had your imagination! LOL! I really do! Fabulous ideas. I don't develop any of my own. I get them all from you! ( - :

    Thx Vonna. Great ideas.

  20. Vonna, I had gotten behind reading your blog as I've been trying to get some projects of my own done! Thank you for reminding me we don't always have to stitch the entire chart to have a wonderful project. I've done the same thing in the past but had kinda forgotten. I'm already thinking about making ornaments for the grandbabies using the little toy soldier and doll from Under the Tree after reading your blog today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Vonna, you are amazing! I have always loved your insight and your stitching ornament idea for your kids. It is so fun! Thanks for inspiring us to look at our charts differently. And, what a way to enjoy them without stitching the whole design! Anxious to see the new series!

    Pam in Iowa

  22. You get so much done during the year that I know your Sampler Tree will be complete and beautiful next Christmas!!! GoGoGo!!! :) Can't wait to see it!

  23. Happy Holidays Vonna! Thx ever so much for indulging us again this year with 25. Wishing you a rewarding stitchy 2015! xo

  24. I never think to do this! Thanks for taking the time to post (with fabulous examples!) how we can use our favorite elements to create a number of other projects.

  25. I love it ALL!

    Now...if only we can figure out a way to not need sleep so we can have more stitching time.

  26. So lets all unite to hit the sales the week after Christmas to get our displays at sale prices!! Then keep them out all year and motivate ourselves to have them filled by December 2015. I m talking a small table topper tree myself. I have always had this goal just never achieved it - a table tree with ornaments I stitched. One per month all year. Thanks for the motivation Vonna🎄

  27. Vonna love this post and how I wish I could finish my ornaments like you. Your work is amazing. I love this new series and plan on doing them.

  28. What a fabulous idea--A Sampler Tree! You really must do that! What fun!
    I also would like a Prairie Schooler Tree--my very favorite--but it hasn't happened yet! Who knows--maybe 2015 will be the year!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  29. just love this new series so much, Vonna--a definite must stitch! I love the idea of your sampler tree, too. I am getting older and trying to downsize so I just tend to dump all my ornaments on one large tree and hope it doesn't keel over :) But, for you younger stitchers, I love the idea of themed trees. I, too, often pull little motifs from larger samplers as I don't want to stitch a giant piece--I think you've planted that idea in others with this post :) You and Diane make a great team--keep up the wonderful work!!

  30. Perfect! So creative. And exciting. Have fun dear!

  31. Great idea! Can't wait to see you bring it to fruition!

  32. Nice idea! I know I have tons of charts that I could pull from. Fun!

  33. Oh my gosh Vonna, what an inspiration you are. You really have my juices flowing!! I love the idea of a sampler tree!!

  34. What a wonderful ideas. The ornaments you have already stitched are great.

  35. I love your idea for themed trees! I had a friend who had a different one in each room of his house one year. It was a delight to take a tour and see them all!

  36. Oh, oh, oh! I love the new designs, and, yes, Diane Williams does make excellent houses!

  37. I really enjoyed your post today! It really got me to thinking outside the box or in this case, outside the grid. Enjoy your weekend!

    Robin in Virginia

  38. Beautiful stitching!

  39. You are so creative, clever, talented and above all so generous to share all these wonderful ideas. Your children are so lucky that you stitch such beautiful ornaments for them - they will treasure them forever.

    xo. :-)

  40. Wow! Had to read this post twice, so much information! And, like you said, so many different ideas. I love samplers, primitive designs, so these would be perfect for me.

  41. Amazing Vonna, each day gets better!!!

  42. What a wonderful idea!! You are so creative and such a talented stitcher.
    Love the idea of a sampler tree, and can imagine it in my head, looking forward to seeing your progress through the year and the big unveiling of your tree next December.
    The LHN Sampler series look beautiful
    Love to all
    Linda O xxx

  43. Vonna, I was so excited by this post! I love themed trees and you are so right about pulling out motifs from patterns we already have! I have been excited for weeks by the new LHN series that is starting but did not know the inspiration came from you - beautiful, thank you!! I have a few themed trees already (snowmen, Santas, snowflakes, gingerbread plus the big tree) so surely I can find room for one more! Samplers make me feel warm and fuzzy as I think of the little girls stitching them, learning their alphabet, a lesson and having fun as they added houses and big plants. Thanks as always for the inspiration!

  44. Talk about excitement! That's how I felt after reading your blog today I wanted to get busy right now LOL thank you for all the's going to be a wonderful 2015! Many blessing....

  45. GREAT post!!!!!! Again so inspiring and making me think about more creativity to my stitching. You rock!

  46. Anonymous8:30 AM

    I signed up for the automatic for the sampler ornament as soon as I saw them! I love them, can't wait for the first one to arrive! you are so inspiring! Your creativity amazes me!

  47. Hi Vonna-I've been wanting to do this forever but just couldn't decide on a theme but girlie now I know! I've seen the Poinsettia house all over Pinterest and love it more with each sighting. I'm also toying around with making some simple statement ornaments to accompany my little houses..."home is where the heart is", "all hearts come home for Christmas", etc. Wouldn't that be cute? Love, love, love this post! Kudos to LHN for such inspiring and beautiful artwork to stitch!

  48. Thank you for presenting a wonderful and creative way of finding ornament ideas. Looking forward to the new LHN series next year.

  49. Your stitching finishing are beautiful Vonna! I often take "bits & pieces" of Blackbird Designs to stitch...a small motif just jumps onto my fabric while stitching for them. Have a wonderful weekend and keep that inspiration going!

  50. Merry Christmas Vonna and Family: I love this post, you have inspired me to do a small sampler tree next year, I love the little houses Diane designs, they look so cozy when stitched up.
    Love your finishing on your ornaments.

    Merry Christmas

  51. So many pretties, Vonna! You are so creative. You are inspiring me to try to do a real ornament with the proper finishing for next year! I have always done perforated paper ornaments because I am so finishing-challenged. LOL

  52. What a creative mind you have! And a great partnership between the 2 of you. Congrats on being the vision behind the new series. I'm sure it makes your heart happy.

  53. Hi Vonna, What a great post! I remember when you originally posted your "subset" finishes from the Poinsettia House and Holiday House patterns. You inspired me at the time to get both patterns!

  54. Vonna.....Oh my never cease to amaze me girl.....a whole new series.....WOW! I just love Little House and wonder about a Little House tree?!!! Thanks for all your inspiration. Lisa K

  55. A sampler tree sounds wonderful. I have had the poinsettia house on my to do list since you first showed your finish. Maybe 2015 will be my year to get it stitched. I love the idea of an annual family ornament! Can I get back the last 25 years to start over? Maybe not - so 2015 will be my year for the ornaments! sign me up!

  56. I was reading this Friday but wanted to read again and AGAIN - it was awesome ! I have already signed up for the LHN sampler tree series. I hope I can remain inspired to stitch ornaments all year long so that I can use your sampler tree idea, what a great one ! thanks for the inspiration. Hope you have a great Christmas week - Mel

  57. Well, now I will have to get ANOTHER tree! Don't think I can stitch as many ornaments as it would take to do the Sampler Tree theme on my 'big' tree, and my small one has a 'regular' variety of my stitched ones.... so..... another tree?? But where would I put it? Oh you have started something here girl!! Inspiring to say the least! Thanks for sharing!

  58. When I seen the first ornament in the sampler tree series I loved it, and I am so impressed you had your hand in making them happen! "Old Colonial" is so pretty. LHN can do no wrong in my eyes. And thanks for the inspiration for some ornaments, I am going to look at my patterns and see what I can find :)


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The Twisted Stitcher