Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Book Shelf Review: Raw Edges

About the book:
Grayson McDonough has no use for teal ribbons, 5k runs, or ovarian cancer support groups now that his beautiful wife Jenna is gone. But their nine-year-old daughter Sadie seems to need the connection. When Annabelle Curtis, the beautiful cancer survivor organizing the memory quilt project for the Ovacome support group, begins to bring out the silly and fun side of his precious daughter again, Grayson must set aside his own grief to support the healing of Sadie’s young heart. But is there hope for Grayson’s heart too along the way?

My Review:
Rarely does a book capture my attention before I've finished reading the prologue! Most often it takes at least the second chapter or more before I'm really hooked. My heart swelled with emotion for the characters and I felt like I had a personal involvement. And in a way I do...we all do, as each one of us knows or knows of someone that has fought or is fighting a battle with cancer. I was especially touched with the journal that Jenna left behind for her daughter Sadie.
Each night Grayson reads to their daughter an entry from the journal, each one ending with a special Bible scripture to go along with whatever wisdom she wanted to impart. I love how each chapter of this wonderfully written book is dedicated to one of the journal entries! One of my favorite journal entries to Sadie, Jenna writes "But after some time has passed, I don’t want you and Daddy doing the sad thing anymore. I want you to get out there in the world and meet new people, do new things, and make some new memories. It doesn't mean I won’t be in your hearts anymore. It just means that you haven’t surrendered to the sadness."

If you're a quilter or just love quilts, you're going to love this book even more! If you've been wanting to learn, then don't be surprised if you "catch the fever!" Every handmade quilt always has a story to tell and in this book, the quilt celebrates the lives of those who have lost, are still fighting, or have won the battle against ovarian cancer and how a real life group called Ovacome, dedicated to saving lives by educating the community about these diseases and supporting those patients, survivors and spouses affected by gynecologic cancers put together a beautiful quilt to raise awareness.
And it is through the Ovacome memory quilt project, that nine-year-old Sadie and her dad Grayson meet Annabelle. Will this quilt project help heal Grayson's grief stricken heart so that he can find love again. Will precious Sadie's laughter and her fun and silly side emerge again? Can Annabelle learn to trust in love again?
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Sandra D. Bricker's Raw Edges. While I have enjoyed every book of Sandra's that I've read, Raw Edges has become my absolute favorite! Beware, tissue box may be needed as you smile through your tears. Heartwarming, heartfelt and so inspiring!
Join us at the Facebook launch party of this wonderful book on Tuesday, Sept 10th. Trivia, Q&A with the author and prizes too!  Get your copy of this wonderful book today to find out how hearts are healed.

About the author:
For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of
daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she put Southern
California in her rearview mirror and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

"I guess most people would see my career as a publicist as a sort of dream job. But giving it up
turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me!" she declares. "Not only was I
given the gift of getting to know my mother as an adult woman before she passed away, but I was
also afforded the blessing of being able to focus completely on my dream of a writing career."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising
awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for
Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has
stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research

Connect with Sandie on Facebook and be sure to read her newest book "Raw Edges." You won't be
disappointed! You'll also find more books in the Quilts of Love series here.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Hero Wears Dog Tags & Combat Boots Sets

Hi Everyone!
I think Mom's and Dad's who wear combat boots and dog tags to fight for our freedom are some of the greatest heroes! Here are two sets just for them! Stitch on t-shirts and even bibs to welcome your heroes home or wear any time to show support!

There's a sample to download on the "My Hero Wears Dog Tags" product page. Mix and match the sets for even more possibilities!
Happy Stitching!
My Hero Wears Dog Tags (Mom)
Perfect for Moms in the military!
Sentiments are separate designs for choice of placement and dog tag designs have been left blank so you can add your own text.

All designs included for 4x4 & 5x7 hoops
• 16 designs total
My Hero Wears Combat Boots (Dad)
Perfect for Dads in the military!
• 4x4 & 5x7 Boots in Filled & Colorwork
• 3 sentiments in 4x4 & 5x7
• 10 designs total
Mix and Match with the set above.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Book Shelf Review: If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale

I was first introduced to Sandra’s books when Amazon offered a free Kindle edition of Always the Baker, Never the Bride (the Emma Rae Creations Series) and The Big 5-0. Since then, I’ve been hooked! While I consider myself an eclectic reader, the inspirational genre is my favorite and I’m always looking for something that is not only faith based, but fun and inspirational as well.  Sandra D. Bricker’s books are all that and more! With each character being believable, it’s not hard to find yourself being part of the book! Like the Emma Rae Creations series, Sandie’s newest book, If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale did not disappoint when it came to laughs AND inspiration. When I was given the opportunity to review a pre-release of, If the Shoe Fits in exchange for my honest review, well, I just couldn't say no! 

In this modern day fairy tale, it’s actually the girl searching for the handsome man who wears the boot that fell off the back of his truck. Will this handsome man, who fits the leather work boot left in the middle of a busy intersection, be the Prince Charming God has in store for her or will he turn out to be another toad?

“You know the funny thing about fairy tales, honey? No one reading them ever expects a big unexpected plot twist, or has a single doubt about who the prince and princess are going to end up with at the end of the story.  That’s not the interesting part anyway…the interesting part is how they get there.”

I love this quote!  Just like any other typical girl, when I was a kid, I dreamed of one day finding my Prince Charming! While it took Julianne a bit longer to discover that her Prince Charming was the boy on the other side of the cul-de-sac, it didn't take me long to figure out that my Prince Charming was the boy showing up every day after school to order a large iced tea from the drive-through window of my family’s Dairy Queen- like restaurant.  See what I mean by being believable? Truly, the characters could be any of the people we know in real life!

This is a great read for both the young and young at heart and I couldn't help think of the young women today who are looking for their Prince Charming, but end up with toads because they couldn't see what God had/has right in front of them.  

A great summer read that’s fun, refreshing AND inspirational. You can't help but smile and laugh out loud while reading this wonderful modern-day fairy tale!  I look forward to the next one in this series!

About the book:
Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.

She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?

So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.

But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.

Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.

Get your copy of  If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale today!

Learn more about Sandra D. Bricker on Facebook: and be sure to check out these other great books too:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Shoe Sampler Set & Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Hi Everyone!
What a gorgeous day it is here in Western PA! The sun has even come out to dance between the clouds and the first hummingbirds of the season arrived this week too! LOL, I don't know if I'll ever get used to all the cloud cover in this area. I really miss those clear blue skies in The Land of Enchantment, but at least it's finally warm enough here to enjoy the outdoors!

Speaking of enchantment, I just read a wonderful book and am in the process of writing my honest review (which I'll post on my blog when finished) in exchange for a copy of the book, called "If the Shoe Fits: A Contempory Fairy Tale" by Sandra D. Bricker. If you like inspirational fiction that makes you smile and laugh out loud, then I would highly recommend reading it.

If you read my blog a couple of weeks ago then you already know the book inspired me to create an embroidery design set for the princess...or shoe lover :) in all of us! There may even be a Prince Charming shoe set in the future?!?

These would really be cute on shopping bags! Be sure to check out the Shoe Sampler Set 01 at The Country Needle! And if the shoe fits, you could make one in every color! :)

If you're looking to make a special gift for Mom on Mother's Day, you still have time and I've posted a few sets below just for the occasion!

Have a wonderful weekend full of sunshine and smiles and as always...
Happy Stitching!
Shoe Sampler Set 01
Shoe Sampler Set 01
Mix & Match
•2 Sentiments in 4x4 & 5x7
•2 Filled & Redwork Shoes in 4x4 & 5x7
• 12 designs total

Great Gift Ideas For Mother's Day:
It's In the Bag- Chocolate Chip Cookie Set
FSL Daisy Bowl & Doily Set
•Add a little Spring to your table top with this 4x4 Free-Standing Lace Bowl and Doily Set.
A great gift to make Mom for Mother's Day!
Prim Raggedy Mom
Prim Raggedy Mom Sampler Set

Set includes:
• 2 5x7 & 6x10 Samplers
• 4x4 - 5x7 - 6x10 Filled & Redwork Singles
• 2 4x4 individual sentiments
18 designs total!
Perfect for Framing & totes and makes a wonderful gift for all Mom's!
Mom's Simple Sentiments
Mom's Simple Sentiments

Always full of love and wisdom, there is so much truth in the saying that Mom's hold our hearts forever!

"Mom's Simple Sentiments" are suitable for stitching on card stock or better yet, on Aida cloth and framing!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Monster Cookie Set & If the Shoe Fits

Hi Everyone! 
Brrr! And here I thought it was Spring, but I guess Winter just had to give it one last shot with a bit of snow today! I really enjoyed that 80 degree weather we were having a few days ago! I hope wherever you are, you're enjoying sunshiny day! 

"It's In the Bag" this week with a Monster Cookie set. You can have lots of fun with these cute little monsters. Stitch them in glow-in-the-dark or bright neon embroidery threads for the kids tees. Cute on bib overalls too! Stitch the redwork designs directly on stabilizer and let the kids color them in with markers or crayons while the Monster Cookies they just made are baking for lots of rainy day fun! Create fuzzy monsters by using faux fur or Minkee fabric with the included applique designs. 

All of the "It's In the Bag" sets, including this one have the complete recipe, and two printable tags. If I can ever figure out my Silhouette Cameo, there may be some cutting files to go with these in the future.

Happy Stitching!
It's In the Bag- Monster Cookie Set
It's In the Bag- Monster Cookie Set
• Redwork, Filled & Applique Monsters in 4x4 & 5x7
• Separate text in 4x4 for easy placement
25 designs total PLUS:
Complete Recipe with printable baking instructions and "baked with love" tags also included.
The Country Needle Embroidery Designs®
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P. S.
Oh! I have some very exciting news! It's no secret that I love to read and my Kindle goes with me pretty much everywhere. So when I was given the opportunity to review a soon to be released book from one of my favorite inspirational fiction authors, I jumped at the chance!  I loved this book and I'm in the process of writing my review of this modern day fairy tale called If the Shoe Fits by Sandra D. Bricker (which I will post here), but until then, here's one of my favorite quotes from the book:
Click image above to view Sandra's official Facebook Fan Page.

Hmmmm...Perhaps a shoe embroidery design is in order???

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fabric Gift Bags- A Photo Tutorial

Determine how large you'd like your fabric bag to be and multiply by 2 adding 1/4 inch for seam allowance. This is how much fabric you will need for each bag. If adding a ribbon for tying, you will need a length equal to the width of your fabric.

For example, if you want to make a bag (without cuff) that is 10 inches tall and 6 inches wide, you will need a piece of fabric that is 10 x 12.25 inches and a piece of ribbon that is 12.25 inches in length.

After you've determined how large you want the bag to be, fold your fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, pinning the folded ribbon on the inside about 2 inches from the top. Stitch 1/4 inch seam allowance along the bottom and up the open side.

IF you are NOT going to finish the bag with a cuff, end your stitches about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top. This will allow you to trim the top of the bag with pinking shears without cutting into your stitches and gives the top of the bag a decorative effect while at the same time, helps keep fabric from unraveling.

Squaring the bottom of the bag:
To square the bottom of the bag, pull out the sides of each corner into a triangle, matching seams on side and bottom. Stitch across the widest part. and snip off the ends. Turn right side out.

To add a cuff:
If you want a 3 inch cuff, then cut your fabric twice the width of the bag and twice the height of the cuff. Using the bag size mentioned above as an example, the fabric dimensions needed will be 12.25 x 6.25. Fold wrong sides together lengthwise. Press, fold in half and stitch 1/4 inch seam on the short end. Press seam open. Turn so that the seam is now on the inside and the unfinished edges are facing the top. With bag turned RIGHT side out, pin the cuff to the inside of the bag, matching seam. Pin and stitch with 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Pull cuff out of the bag and press seam down towards the bag. Fold cuff over and press in place.
And here is a finished bag. The attached ribbon is hidden under the cuff.

Have fun! You can make these bags to be any size you like and it's a great way to use up scraps or fabric quarters! And don't forget to check out The Country Needle's "It's In the Bag!" sets for gift giving ideas!
Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 29, 2013

NEW It's In the Bag Set with Recipe & FSL Angel Dreams

Hi Everyone!
There are two new sets this week! The first (which is no surprise if you've collected them all on our Yahoo group) is a 10 piece FSL set called "Angel Dreams. Stitch them in one color or two! Each angel also has little circles for adding hot-fix crystals if you'd like.

Tip: Sprinkle a little glitter powder on them while they're still damp to give them a special glow :) 

The second set is another "It's In the Bag" set featuring a Dog Paw for our special 4-legged friends. Just like the others in this series, there's a complete recipe along with printable "Baked with Love" and baking instruction tags to attach to your baked items or "cookie mix." This particular set includes our Boxer, Sophie's absolute favorite Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Cookie recipe. LOL! When given a choice between all the cookies we've made or store bought, this has always been the one she chooses first!

There's a sample (embroidery design- not cookie :) to download when you visit It's In the Bag- Dog Paw Set product page. 

I haven't forgotten about the tutorial I mentioned in the last newsletter, but there will be a slight delay. I hope to have it posted to the blog by Wednesday at the latest! 

Have a wonderful & Happy Easter and as always...
Happy Stitching!
It's In the Bag- Chocolate Chip Cookie Set
It's In the Bag- Dog Paw Set
• Redwork, Filled & Applique Dog Paw
• 5 Sentiments & a blank heart
• All in 4x4 & 5x7
18 designs total PLUS:
2 printable gift tags & recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Cookies
Sample available for download.
FSL Angel Dreams
FSL Angel Dreams
Price: $14.97
10 FSL designs.
Stitch them in one color or two!
Each angel also has little circles for adding hot-fix crystals if you'd like.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's In the Bag: Dog Bone Set with Recipe

Hi Everyone!
I'm so excited about your responses for the "It's In the Bag!" series! Thank you "sew" much! I hope you'll share your photos either on our Yahoo group, our Facebook Fan page or you can email me directly. I love to see what you've been up to with The Country Needle's Embroidery Designs :)

This week's designs have gone to the dogs! LOL! Yes, the new "It's In the Bag!" set is for lovable and loyal furry friends and also includes one of our Boxer, Sophie's favorite dog treat recipes along with printable "Baked with Love" and baking instruction tags to attach to your baked items or "cookie mix."

You can mix and match this set with our Dogs & Sayings set for more ways of showing man's best friend how much you care!

By customer request, I'm also working on a photo tutorial on how to make fabric gift bags with a regular sewing machine for those who don't have hoops larger than a 4x4 or who need bags larger than the 7x12. So stay tuned for that (: as well as another Dog Treat set which will include Sophie's all-time favorite treat recipe!

Since this is St. Patrick's Day weekend, I created a "Lucky Dog" sentiment available for download when you visit the It's In the Bag- Dog Bone Set product page.
Have a wonderful & safe St. Patty's Day weekend and as always...
Happy Stitching!
It's In the Bag- Dog Bone Set

It's In the Bag- Dog Bone Set
•Redwork, Filled & Applique Dog Bone in 4x4 & 5x7
•6 separate Sentiments in 4x4 & 5x7 to mix and match
18 designs total PLUS:
2 printable gift tags & recipe for one of Sophie's favorite dog treats!
Download the "Lucky Dog" sentiment when you visit our website!
Dogs & Sayings
Dogs & Sayings
Cute little dogs and sayings to go with them. Mix and match nine 4x4 dogs with five 4x4 sayings to make your own sampler like the one I did.
You have many possibilities with this set of 14 designs. There's a text sample for you to download as well.
Mix & Match with the "It's in the Bag!" Dog Bone Set above

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's In the Bag! Chocolate Chip Cookie Set

Hi Everyone!
You've heard of "gifts in a jar," but how about "gifts in a bag?"
The blank ITH Drawstring Bag Set has been such a great success that I thought it was time to create sets to go with them!

Introducing the first in a new series called "It's In the Bag," this Chocolate Chip Cookie Set includes twelve designs total PLUS 2 printable gift tags and a recipe for my family's favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.

Great for gift-giving or craft fairs! AND they ship so much easier than jars!
It's also a great way to include the kids and grandkids in family baking fun!

Have a wonderful weekend and as always...
Happy Stitching!
It's In the Bag- Chocolate Chip Cookie Set
Price: $12.97

•Redwork, Filled & Applique Chocolate Chip Cookie in 4x4 & 5x7
•Cookie Mix, Balanced Diet & Friend Sentiments in 4x4 & 5x7
12 designs total PLUS:
2 printable gift tags & recipe for my family's favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie mix

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Prim Critters

You could have so much fun with this week's newest set! Great for kids' bib overalls, pockets. Use the larger critters or the combo design for an adorable wall hanging in a prim themed nursery and on a matching crib quilt. Use the individual critters for the blocks on a bumper pad.

Don't forget the adults too! Prim decor such as kitchen valances and curtains. Stitch the individual designs on flour sack towels trimmed in homespun fabric to match. 

Up-cycle an old farm window and feature the design in a message center similar like the one I showed on a previous post here.
Have a wonderful weekend and as always...
Happy Stitching!
Prim Stitch Scented Mug Mats
Prim Critters
Price: $14.97

20 designs total make up this set!
4 prim critters in filled & redwork in 4x4 & 5x7 & a prim critter "stack" in 5x7 & 6x10 which is also in filled & redwork.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Floral Angels Redwork

Hi Everyone!
I don't know about where you are, but here in Western PA, the weather has been crazy! It will snow or rain and be freezing for a week and then out of nowhere, we have 60 degree weather and sunshine for a day and then it's snowing or raining and freezing again! No wonder everyone's been sick! Thankfully I'm finally over the flu, but I'm sure wishing Spring was around the corner and with it LOTS of blue skies and sunshine! 

This week's new set is all about Spring and perhaps wishful thinking on my part :) but maybe Mr. Groundhog will predict an early Spring tomorrow rather than 6 more weeks of Winter!?!?

The Floral Angels in Redwork seem to be ushering in Spring with buds and blooms and dancing their way straight to your quilt top or beautiful and unique greeting cards using Mylar! 

Even if we do have 6 more long weeks of Winter, you can keep yourself warm with our In-the-Hoop Corn Cozies while sipping your favorite hot beverage! 

Have a wonderful weekend and as always...
Happy Stitching!
Floral Angels Redwork
Floral Angels Redwork

Set includes 10 designs for the 4x4 & 5x7 hoops. Use with Mylar to create fun and unique greeting cards and even scrapbooking papers. Great for decorating our Corn Cozy Covers or the blank Scented Mug Mat shown below.
20 designs total!
Ruby's Tidbits I
ITH Corn Cozies

Cold? Achy? Can't Sleep? Corn Cozies to the rescue!
These In-the-Hoop Corn Cozies are so much fun to make. Heat them or freeze them for those aches & pains and other boo-boos too! Or make little "dream pillows" by filling the bags with lavender buds and chamomile. They make great keyboard wrist rests too!

The Corn Cozy set includes: 1 square corn cozy & bag for the 4x4; 1 rectangle corn cozy & bag for the 5x7 & 6x10 hoops; 1 heart corn cozy & bag for the 5x7 & 6x10 hoops. Instructions with photos included.
Prim Stitch Scented Mug Mats
Prim Stitch Scented Mug Mats

Made completely in the hoop, this set includes the following:
6 mug mats • 1 Blank Mat • 1 Spice Pocket & 6 individual designs in both the 4x4 & 5x7 sizes. 28 designs total.
Stack several mats together, tie cinnamon sticks on with hemp rope for a great gift.
Download "Prim at Heart Sentiment" when you visit.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chelsea's Crosses & Other Inspirational Sets

Hi Everyone!
This week's newest design set features a Tribal style French cross that my youngest daughter had done for a tattoo. It's such a beautiful cross with a wonderful sentiment to remind us to keep our Faith, so I got permission from my daughter to create an embroidery set. 

With everything going on in today's society or even within our own personal lives, it's nice to be reminded that some things are just greater than we are and that all we have to do is believe and "let your faith be bigger than your fears." 

Be sure to check out Chelsea's Crosses and our other Inspirational Sets like the ones below.
Save 25% OFF reg. design sets priced $6.97 and up this week.
Have a wonderful weekend and as always...
Happy Stitching!
Chelsea's Crosses

Tribal style French Cross in Filled & Redwork for the 4x4 • 5x7 & 6x10 hoops
Separate Sentiment in 4x4 & 5x7 for easy placement
14 designs total
Cast Your Cares

Whether it's autism, breast cancer & other illnesses or our soldiers at war, we each know someone in our lives that is dealing with a specific cause or issue.
"Cast Your Cares," a set of awareness ribbons draped over a cross to remind us that not everything is in our hands.

This set has 11 designs for both the 4x4 and 5x7 hoops.
22 designs total
There's a sample to download as well.
Lighthouse Sampler Set

24 designs total in this Inspirational Lighthouse and Ship Sampler Set. Stitch and frame for your home or office, or create a wall hanging.
Use the ship and lighthouse alone or mix and match with the included sentiments.
Great for Father's Day and Graduation gifts too!