New From DMC!

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I just got an email from my DMC rep which said that DMC has created a new floss called Étoile! This premium embroidery thread features an added sparkle. The new 6-strand divisible thread comes in 35 shades, that all feature a unique twinkle effect.  This floss is made of 73% cotton and 27% Lurex. The skeins are 8m/8.7y and will retail for $1.95 each (in the US).

We will be putting in an order for all 35 colors as soon as they are available, probably around the end of September. The 35 colors correspond to the most popular embroidery floss colors, and not the 35 newest floss colors that were just released last year. The numbers will be the same as the regular floss numbers, but starting with a “C”. For example, black floss 310 will be C310 in Etoile.

The floss also will come in a collector’s tin featuring one skein of each color. This will retail for $69.99.

XXX
Carrie



Made in America Tax

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I have just received information from my sales rep at the main wholesaler I use for ordering the merchandise for my store. It appears that there is a new “Made in America Tax” on the ballot. Under a series of proposed tariffs, the price of commonly-used craft supplies and fabrics could increase by as much as 25%, unintentionally putting a tax on products “Made in America.”  Crafters, craft suppliers, small shops, and manufacturers are urging people to sign the petition to tell USTR and Congress to exempt craft supplies and fabrics from proposed section 301 tariffs.

This new tax, as well as the recent decision to make small businesses collect sales tax in each state and even city (which would be about 10,000 different tax locations) could absolutely put small independent needlework stores (like me) out of business. It could also harm anyone who makes and sells finished craft items for a living. Please find out more information about this proposed tax and do what you can to tell our leaders in Washington why it is a bad idea.

You can read more and sign the petition at https://madeinamericatax.com

XXX
Carrie


It’s Almost Halloween

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It’s almost October, and that means it is time to start thinking about Halloween stitching. If you need a new project or two, just turn to the 2018 issue of Just Cross Stitch Halloween. It is packed with scary (and cute) projects of all sizes. Here is an inside peeks of just a few of the designs you’ll find!

                

You can purchase this book at my website: http://www.crossstitchers.com/shop/store.php?&view=JCS2018H-75

XXX
Carrie


DMC Price Increase

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DMC has announced a price increase on their floss (AGAIN)!  The MSRP will be $0.91 per skein and the MAP pricing will be at $0.56 per skein. MAP stands for Minimum Advertised Pricing and will be the lowest price a store can sell their floss for. So this price will be for all the big chain stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. The price increase will take place on September 10, 2018.

XXX
Carrie



Exciting News!

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On May 11, issue 267 of The World of Cross Stitching (British magazine) came to my mailbox. At the very end of the magazine there was an article about the winners of the 2018 British Craft Awards, and who all the winners were in the various categories. I thought it was hilarious when I saw the 2nd place winner of the Best Blog category.

It was funny to me that my blog would share the same name, Stitching Corner, with the 2nd place winner of the Blog of the Year. I got on Google and tried to find this other blog. But I was puzzled that I couldn’t find another blog with that name, just my own. My husband suggested that maybe it WAS me. But I thought that was extremely unlikely. For one thing, I’m American, not British. And this past year I’ve really neglected my blog, so I didn’t think it was all that great compared to others out there. I had planned to contact the magazine and ask them about it, but time slipped by and before I knew it, the next issue of the magazine came out. I always start at the beginning and work my way through to the end, so it was almost a week before I came upon THIS:

My jaw dropped and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The British Craft Awards are a HUGE deal, even in America. Although we do have some great designers here in the states, as well as shops, there just is no competing with the Brits. They know cross stitching, inside and out. And you’ve seen my posts here about how fantastic their magazines are compared to our American counterparts (which are dwindling fast). To be mentioned in WOXS, which I treasure dearly, is big for me. I’ve subscribed to it in print form since 2012 and have kept every issue (as well as some back issues that I have been lucky enough to find at yard sales).

Congrats to Vonna for being the winner this year!

This is the cover of issue 268, which is packed with some great patterns including two from one of my favorite designers, Faby Reilly.

I am just so excited about this and I am going to try my hardest this year to blog even more, and to post interesting things that stitchers would want to read. Maybe next year I can go for the #1 spot!

XXX
Carrie



Snowed In

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It has now been 4 days since I left the house. The kids can’t go to school, I can’t get to my shop, and it would be dangerous to try to head to town for groceries or to run errands. That’s all thanks to a freak winter snow storm. No, that’s not right. It has been spring for almost a month. Well, tell that to mother nature. She has been dumping snow on us for days, along with freezing rain. On Sunday a lot of churches were closed. Today (Tuesday) several colleges and universities are closed. We could not get our driveway cleared until late afternoon yesterday, but it didn’t really matter because the county had not plowed our road yet anyway. It was dinner time before they plowed the “main” road, and then after that when they got around to our street. Luckily I had my taxes done early, because there is no way I would be able to make it to the post office either yesterday or today (this year they are due on the 17th). There have been about 3 days in the past week where we did not get any mail at all. When I woke up this morning I looked out the window to find that we had been dumped on yet again. It is a never-ending battle of plowing, shoveling, and trudging through snow. Since snow here is very common in October and can even start in September, this is a very depressing time of year. After 7 months of looking at this stuff, you just want it gone. Other parts of the country are busy mowing their green lawns, and their spring tulips and daffodils are long gone already. Here, I am seeing friends post on Facebook pictures of their car temperature gauges registering below zero temps, and photos of the snow only a few inches below the street signs on the corner.

The past two days I have spent “spring” cleaning the house, doing laundry, and organizing. I guess today will be more of the same, with maybe a bit of time for stitching as well. I just completed the 4th of 9 gingerbread houses (pics to come!) and I am going to kit up the materials needed to finally start the red haired mermaid from long ago. I just got some new fabrics in, and I can’t wait to play around with the fabrics, floss, and beads to see which one I should use.

XXX
Carrie


A New Year, New Problems

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Today I finally mustered up the strength to sit down at my computer and write a blog post. It has been 5 months since I last wrote, and this is feeling like so many other years in the past where I say, “I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to blog, but I will get back into it now.” Unfortunately, I now realize I won’t be able to blog (or stitch) the way I used to. The last few years have been a struggle for me dealing with raising kids, household chores, work, volunteering, and so many other things – all on top of not being very healthy. My joint issues have been a problem for a long time, and the pain that comes with it is something I just learned to deal with. But, the overwhelming fatigue is what really started to do me in. Add to that a lot of tasks that I took on which I really shouldn’t have, and I unraveled pretty quickly. I have had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome since I was born, and had issues with it as a child, but I didn’t actually find out that I had it until after my second child was born. For the last 10 years my joint pain and dislocations has been pretty bad. But I was dealing with it, and able to live a pretty full (although tired) life. Last fall, right before I stopped blogging, I was really not feeling well at all. I was nauseous a lot, losing weight, and my hands were constantly in pain – right across the knuckles. I knew I had my yearly physical the end of November, so I just dealt with it until then. At my appointment, I told my doctor what was going on and that I was not sleeping more than 3 hours a night, every night. He ordered more than the usual blood work, referred me to a rheumatologist, and gave me something to help me sleep. When my blood work came back I found out that I was iron deficient and vitamin D deficient. I was put on supplements and had to check back in 6 weeks later. When I went back, both numbers had gone up. Yay! I still had to be on the pills, but at least I wasn’t really low like I had been. My husband noticed that I wasn’t in as much of a “brain fog” as I was before. I was also sleeping better. In February came my appointment with the rheumatologist. She examined me and found I had more tender joints than a person with uncontrolled Rheumatoid Arthritis would have. She decided to do blood work for RA, and I got the call a few days later. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. This was a huge shock to me, because I figured my problems were all related to EDS. I started on medication which will take about 4 months to start working, but the side effects were immediate. Unbearable fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and joint pain have been my constant companion for a couple of months now. I think what is making it worse is that I have so many irons in the fire. I did become a Girl Scout leader (I know, I said I wouldn’t!) and we just finished up with Cookie Season a couple of days ago (it started in January). That has been a huge time consumer for me. I still have 11 classes at school that come into the library, and I am still my local DAR chapter librarian. This has meant that my “real” job, which I do from home, has suffered. If there is a plus side to all of this, it is that I now have an “excuse” to focus on ME. Since school will be over in a little more than 2 months, I have decided that I am going to have to take it easy next year. Working is the most important thing, and volunteering is just going to have to be put on the back burner. I still want to be a Girl Scout leader, so I am pretty sure I will be giving up my school library duties. Hopefully this summer I will be able to catch up with work, housework, and of course spend more time with my kids. I do feel like I have been a pretty lousy mom lately, having to go to bed by 8:30 and not really wanting to do anything on the weekends.

I also want to get back into stitching and blogging. I have actually worked on my gingerbread houses a little bit since October, I just haven’t found time to take photos of my progress. Spring Break starts in a few days, and although my house is currently a disaster and desperately needs to be cleaned, and my taxes are sprawled all over the kitchen table waiting to be worked on, I am determined to get in some stitching time for the 11 days that my kids have off from school. It might not be much, since I don’t know what my hands will be able to handle. But it is my “me” time, and I am desperately in need of that. I think I deserve it!

XXX
Carrie


A Summer Ball is available again!

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I’m pleased to announce that A Summer Ball is once again available for purchase! Sandy Littlejohns and Deborah Lester have put the pdf version online for purchase through their Facebook Page, Cross Stitch Arts. The cost is £5.00, which is about $6.50 US. I think this is an exceptional deal, since I spent at least double that when it was offered before.

I have started working on this chart again, although it is slow going because I am working with white floss on white fabric, and even with the gridding the counting is difficult. I am at the edge of two pages, and I am trying to finish up those pages but also looking ahead to the next set of pages to make sure I don’t neglect a few stitches of white on them. I would hate to have to go back and fill in a few stitches here and there when I could have just done it now.

Please note that this version may vary slightly from the pattern that was in the magazine, because it is the “designer’s own version”. I am guessing it is the same version that I purchased, though. This is probably just a little technicality to be able to publish the design a second time, and there probably isn’t much difference from the original.

XXX
Carrie

 


Not enough hours in the day

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There hasn’t been much time for stitching lately. Once again, my husband and I are the volunteer librarians for our daughter’s school. This involves coming in every week to help 11 classrooms check books out, check in the books that come back, shelve the books that have been checked in, and keep up on overdue books and fines. Today is the end of the first full week of library duty. Overall, it has gone quite well, but I am exhausted! I have also been trying to figure out what to do with my daughter for Girl Scouts. For the last two years she has had commitments on the day that they had their meetings, so this would be her first year to join. It would also be the final year for Brownies. The troop that she was assigned to has a lot of members, ranging from 2nd grade through 7th. I guess last year they didn’t do a whole lot in terms of earning badges, and some of the other moms have thought about starting another troop just for 2nd and 3rd graders. I would love to help with that, but I certainly can’t be the leader, and I’m worried that none of the other moms will be able to find the time to do it either. So at the moment we are at a stand-still, although we have already paid this year’s membership dues. My daughter is so anxious to start, and keeps asking when the first meeting will be. I am also the chapter librarian for our local DAR chapter, which is keeping me busy. By the time you add in cleaning house and taking care of the kids, that doesn’t leave much time for my actual, paying job! And of course, cross stitch is absolutely last on the list, sadly. But I did manage to get in about 30 minutes yesterday on A Summer Ball, and have finished the man’s white pants. I have only a little bit left to do to have two full pages completed! That means I will be 1/5 of the way done with the chart. Yikes, that sounds impossible. I have also just received issue 141 of Cross Stitch Gold which has an adorable Gingerbread house sampler, and a Victorian Christmas scene. I know I will regret saying this later, but sometimes I wish my kids would hurry and finish growing up so I can retire and do nothing but stitch all day. Of course, that will probably never happen, and if it does I will be wishing that my kids were little again. But that’s life, I suppose.

XXX
Carrie


Farewell, Thread Heaven

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It was announced on September 12 that after 22 years in business, Thread Heaven has ceased production. They have decided to retire and have no plans of selling the business or formula. Whatever stock is out in the stores is all that will every be available, so if you are a Thread Heaven user you will want to buy up all that you can find!

For more information, you can visit their Facebook page.

XXX
Carrie


Some Beautiful Finds

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Every year our local Boy Scouts have a Labor Day “yard sale”, where every item is donated and you pay for things on a donation basis. This year we got there just as the gates opened, and after checking out the book section (which was disappointing compared to previous years) I decided to see what kind of frames they had. I always have projects needing to be framed, and I was delighted with the frames I found this year. But what I immediately noticed, and could not pass up, were two framed pieces of completed stitchery. They appeared to be in great condition, and I couldn’t bear the thought of these countless hours of work being thrown away at the end of the weekend (sadly, anything that is not purchased is either recycled or trashed at the end of the last day). One of the pieces was small but contained a ton of beading, and appears to be worked on canvas. The back of the frame was professionally done with kraft paper and a hanging wire. The other project, a blackwork design done in all brown and gold was framed very poorly. The fabric was simply folded over the cardboard backing from a cheap frame, then inserted into the frame with glass on the front. When I took it out, it was rusty around the edges and there were actually a few bugs trapped between the fabric and the cardboard. I soaked this piece in a warm water and a drop of dishwashing liquid, and the water immediately turned yellow. I don’t think this is from the floss bleeding, but from the grime and rust on the piece. Perhaps the owner was a smoker. Here is a picture of the piece right out of the wash, wrinkles and all.

A query on a Facebook stitching page led me to believe that this piece was a correspondence course through the Embroiderers’ Guild of America. Sure enough, I was able to find that it was designed by Judith Logan and was from about 1990. The tile of the course was Blackwork is Fun! The main outlines are the same for everyone, but a Google images search shows that each individual personalized their design with blackwork filling patterns of their own choosing.

My search for good bargains also turned up a good sized stack of cross stitch fabric. Some pieces were large, some were small. There was Aida and linen and evenweaves, in all colors and counts. When I finally sat down to look at everything this afternoon, I was shocked. In the stash were two completed pieces, all folded up. One was definitely a Hinzeit pattern, because of the block lettering and charms. I did a quick Google search and found that although it is now out of print, the last price on it was $19 for the chart and charms!

There was also a large piece of an eagle, soaring with wings spread open. Sadly, I had no way of knowing who the designer is. But then I uploaded a picture of it (right out of the wash bowl!) and found that it was a chart by Cross My Heart Inc, from their book Majestic Birds of Prey. This project took a long time to stitch, and I can’t believe someone would just toss it away like that. It does have some rust marks along the edges, but they can either be cut off or, worst case scenario, they will not show when the project is framed.

I will iron these projects and then get better pictures.

XXX
Carrie


Autumn Flowers

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I have decided that my next project will be from the latest issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine, October 2017. Featured on page 15 is this lovely piece called Autumn Flowers, designed by Ladonna Snellbaker of Black Branch Needlework. I am about to raid my stash for the appropriate supplies, but I am guessing that I won’t have all the threads called for, as they are Needlepoint Inc Silks (one color) and Gloriana hand dyed silk floss (three colors). Actually, I doubt I have any of those! But no worries, I should be able to find something that matches closely, and most likely silk. Or, maybe I will find overdyed cotton floss to use. The 32 count linen might be a challenge to my eyes, as I am used to working on 28 count linen. But this chart isn’t very large and features only whole stitches (yay!) so it should work up quickly.

I can’t wait to get started!

XXX
Carrie




Busy, busy!

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The past few weeks have been hectic, as always. End of the year field trips, the last day of school, dentist appointments galore, and basketball camp has meant pretty much no stitching time. Then yesterday while I was quickly scrolling through Facebook, a stitcher asked the question of “what would your ideal stitching stash include”? Because I have been stitching for over 3 decades and have become quite a hoarder collector of stitching supplies, as well as owning my own store, I don’t really need any material goods. The one thing I need to be truly stitch happy is… time. I can’t recall the last time I picked up a needle. According to this blog post, it was about a month ago. I decided that needed to change. So yesterday and today I have made myself find time to work on my sugar skull project. I haven’t abandoned my work altogether; we still need clean dishes to eat off of and clean clothes to wear. The bills need to get paid and customers need to be kept happy. But who cares if the laundry is clean and folded, but still sitting in the basket? So what if there are a few crumbs on the kitchen floor? Is it the end of the world if dominoes and board game pieces and Go Fish cards are laying on the living room floor? Just giving up a few chores means I can sit and stitch for 30 minutes, and it is a WONDERFUL 30 minutes! Mom is calmer, happier, and more relaxed. I haven’t snapped a photo of the progress I’ve made on my project, because let’s face it – that is work. But these two days of stitching have really gotten me thinking about how I need to be selfish and take some “me time” every day. Or even a few days a week. Hopefully my kids will see that a happy mom is a better mom, and will allow me to get in my stitch fix whenever I need it.

XXX
Carrie


What’s Next?

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I have been thinking about what project I should start next. I want to stitch the mermaid, but I can’t seem to find the right fabric. If it is the right type and count, then the color is all wrong. If the color is perfect, the piece of fabric isn’t big enough for that project. I don’t want to buy any new fabric since my stash is so huge, so for now I think I will move on to something else. I really want to work on the sugar skull from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue. I thought I had the perfect fabric and floss for that, but I am worried that it won’t be enough floss (I only have one skein). So instead I have decided to stitch it on white fabric, and use lots of different shades of DMC Color Variations. Last night my daughter and I sat down to color together – her with an adult coloring book (those pages take FOREVER!) and me with the skull pattern. I used colored pencils to color in each area with different shades of purple, pink, teal, yellow, and green. Then I got out the whole set of CV floss and tried to pick which colors I like best. I think these shades will look nice on white fabric, and I will keep the lime green fabric and over-dyed silk floss that I had picked out, for something else.

XXX
Carrie


Upcycling

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orthosil-silicone-dental-wax-for-braces-10-pack-16

A while back I found that I had a bunch of these cute, colorful cases laying around that had previously held dental wax – the kind you get from the orthodontist to help with the pain of braces. First my son received them, and then when I got braces I acquired a lot of them as well. When the wax was gone, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw these out or even recycle them. They were just too darn cute, and I knew they had to be good for something. Then a burst of inspiration hit. Why not turn them into needle cases? I am always losing needles in the couch or on the floor, much to the dismay of my husband, who is wondering which family member will have to be rushed to the ER for a needle in the foot. Although I do have a couple of needle cases, they are never around when I need them. But I had a LOT of these empty cases, which meant I could keep them all over in the areas where I stitch. So I dug around in my craft supplies and found just what I was looking for – a roll of sticky backed magnetic strip. I simply cut the magnetic strip to the correct length, peeled off the backing, and stuck it down in place. Two pieces, side by side, were the perfect size for covering the whole case bottom. The needles stick to the magnets just perfectly, and the cases are cute and convenient.

case1

One of these needles definitely looks like it has passed its useful life!

If I want to, I can even use a Sharpie to write on the outside of the case which size needle is inside.

case2

If someone you know has braces, they probably have a load of these cases of wax laying around, and I’m sure they would send them your way when they are empty for you to make some needle cases of your own. Happy crafting!

XXX
Carrie


Just Cross Stitch Halloween 2017

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I just received an email from my sales rep at Annie’s, letting me know the 2017 issue of Just Cross Stitch Halloween will be out soon. So far only the cover photo has been released:

2017halloween

As soon as I receive more photos I will post them here. Hearing this news, I decided to get out my copy of the 2016 issue and take a look at it again. When it came out, I had other things going on so I didn’t do much more than glance at it. Now, looking through it again, I found a project I really MUST stitch! It is a sugar skull and was designed by Breanne Jackson.

sugarskull

As soon as I saw this design, I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use. I have had a piece of Aida in my stash for a few years, not knowing what it should be used for. It is a gorgeous lime green, and it needed just the right project. Now I just needed to find the prefect floss for it. The pattern calls for all black, but that’s not my style. I love colors! I got out my bin of silk floss and found something perfect. It’s called Ada’s Rainbow and it is from Gloriana. I have only used silk one other time, and never on Aida, so this should be interesting.

greenaida

I think the bright colors will really pop on this fabric, and I think they would make a wonderful sugar skull. I can’t wait to get started, but I am feeling guilty about all of the projects I have lined up. There’s the red haired mermaid, the bright butterflies, the primitive pincushions, and of course at least a dozen Egyptian designs. It’s already been a month since I received the magazine that had the mermaid in it, and I have made very little progress on my pyramids. Oh, why can’t there be more hours in the day?

XXX
Carrie


Primitive Pincushions

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The June issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine arrived, and it has several great projects in it. One of them that I was immediately drawn to is this set of pincushions by Nicoletta Farrauto of Nikyscreations.

M53373_HelloSpring_300

I especially love the one on the bottom, with the two girls. The pattern is quite easy, and I think the whole thing could be worked up in a weekend. It also would be a great way to use up small scraps of linen, and I love the fact that it uses regular old DMC floss. I have the full line of colors, but this would be so easy to adapt to whatever little bits of floss you have leftover from another project. My husband is always agonizing over my lost needles, so I think this would not only look good sitting on the end table where I keep my supplies while I stitch, but it would be functional too. I do have a magnetic needle minder, but one of these pincushions would be great for when you are working on a larger project and have lots of needles threaded, ready to go.

You can visit the Nikyscreations blog at http://niky-nikyscreations.blogspot.com

XXX
Carrie

 


DMC floss price increase

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Sadly, the rumors going around online are true. DMC is indeed raising the MSRP of their 6 strand embroidery floss, from 77 cents to 87 cents per skein. The change took effect on April 6, 2017. I have waited until today to raise the price on my website, from 44 to 47 cents. I hated to do it, but since my price went up I had to pass along the increase to my customers. But stay tuned; I plan to offer special discount coupon codes to readers of my blog in the near future. And, my price is still lower than many online retailers, who went up to 52 cents per skein. You can view the full selection of threads that we carry at http://www.crossstitchers.com/floss.htm

DMC-Logo-0001

XXX
Carrie


Cross Stitch – a Dying Art?

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I am so bummed about all of the cross stitching magazines that have ceased publication recently. First, Cross Country Stitching published their last magazine in December 2013. Then Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly went out of business with the release of their Fall 2015 issue. Their sister magazine, Just Cross Stitch, has since published some articles and samplers in their issues, but it is just not the same. Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine, which has seen many name changes and publication changes over the years, first went to a quarterly format and then decided to cease altogether at the end of 2016. In exchange for the remainder of my subscription, I was given a gift certificate to Herrschners, which I am not sure what I will use on. (When you own a needlework store, you sort of have access to everything that every other store sells!) Most recently, the British magazine Cross Stitch Collection went out of business after the February 2017 issue. This came about a year or so after being bought out by another publishing company, and I just don’t think the new publishers cared much about the fate of it. It was a wonderful magazine, full of great patterns and articles, and it will be sadly missed. Since it is a British magazine, and therefore quite expensive to get in the States, I subscribed to it through Zinio (a digital magazine platform). I will treasure my back issue collection, and luckily I was given the remainder of my issues for that magazine in a different title (Cross Stitch Gold, which I was also subscribing to on Zinio). Back in 2011, Stoney Creek Collection changed to a quarterly format but they are still going strong. I believe Just Cross Stitch is the only other American magazine still in publication. I am hoping that our beloved hobby is not dying out. At least I have a stash of patterns to last me several lifetimes!

XXX
Carrie