Some Beautiful Finds

Posted on

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.


What a Find!

Posted on


Yesterday while out for a walk we spotted a garage sale where everything was free. There wasn’t much left, as it had probably been quite picked over before we got there. But imagine my surprise when I found a box full of cross stitch goodies! There were a couple dozen leaflets from back in the 1980s, some folded up pieces of Aida, and even a finished, framed piece. I could tell by looking at it that it was a Stoney Creek design. Of course, I grabbed anything cross stitch related and went home to check out my new treasures. The framed piece was taped to a piece of cardboard and then put in a cheap frame with a broken piece of glass. I removed the stitched piece and will wash it, and then I will reframe it and hang it in my shop. I did a quick search on Google for “Stoney Creek cross stitch teddy wheelbarrow” and found the book it came from – Teddy Treasures, Book 158.

Another finished piece came from the booklet Something Special in Plaids and Monograms by T&N Designs Inc, Book 4. Copyright 1982! Ironically, it is a finished pillow cover with the name James, which is my husband’s name! But the date, 1991, means nothing to me. I have no idea what I will do with this. I am not sure if it was meant to commemorate the birth of a child, or to represent a last name.


There was a barely started piece from the book Country Barnyard which I think I will just cut up and save the smaller unstitched parts for other projects. It is not my style, so I won’t bother finishing it. But the Aida is in good shape and should be fine after a quick washing.

There was another barely started piece, a sampler, which I actually would finish and frame, but the chart was just a photocopy and I actually don’t think it is all there. The top of the piece is the end of the alphabet, and no top border design. I have no idea what the piece is called, and could not find it when searching Google. I think I will post a picture of it on Facebook and see if anyone knows what it is.


The last piece has a good amount done on it and I can tell it was stitched on Smoketone Aida. It is a sampler with an alphabet, some waves, and lightning. At first I could not find anything like it in Google, and then I decided to search for a Noah’s Ark sampler. It turns out that not only do the waves and lightning represent Noah’s Ark, but that the pattern was with the leaflets I got! It is the cover piece from Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine, Jan/Feb 1987. The magazine is in such bad shape, I didn’t even realize the pattern was there all along until I saw the images on Google. At first I thought I might finish this one, but now that I know what it is, I doubt that I will. It is a huge project and I just don’t have time to work on something like this. It is also done on fabric much darker than the magazine sample, and the pastel colors kind of get lost. I think I will probably cut the excess fabric off of this one, too.


I don’t know the woman who owned these charts or stitched pieces, or why someone was giving them away for free at a yard sale. I do know that they had belonged to a woman named Julie Ziegler. I found a birthday card with her name on the envelope, and inside it was signed Jeremy, Jessica, and Travis (her children, I presume). The card came with “birthday coupons” for things like breakfast in bed and a day of housecleaning. None of them had ever been used. There was also a photocopied recipe with her name at the top. Perhaps she died, or just couldn’t see well enough to stitch anymore. Maybe her children had no idea what the items were. But I feel good knowing that at least one of her pieces will be “rescued” and put back up on the wall.

Also included in this set of goodies was a couple of small kits and a Dimensions stocking kit. It has been opened, but all of the materials are there and are in good shape. I don’t care for the design, and I don’t need to stitch another stocking anyway, but this will be a nice piece of fabric to add to my stash.