Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Annual Pony Swim

One year we were lucky enough to see the annual pony swim where "salt water" cowboys herd about 150 horses and ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island for a parade and auction... The adult horses are led back to Assateague to live in the wild for another year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A sneak peek at Chincoteague

Shopping is one of the many things I love about Chincoteague Island, Virginia! There are galleries, bookstores, collectibles and a Chincoteague tradition: waterfowl carvings and decoys. I hear that there's a decoy and arts festival every Easter, though I've yet to go.

Here's a sneak peek at a portion of our new design... Julie Murawski did a beautiful job stitching the model (Needlepoint Silk on 35 count Weeks Dye Works Putty)... and Valley House Primitives is busy creating a frame.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

Kathy joined us in Silver Spring and we fine-tuned a few cross stitch designs in between cooking.... Chincoteague was beautifully stitched by Julie Murawski and it should be available before the new year (I'll give you a sneak peak later this week).... And I heard from Gail Kilian, who stitched The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow on silk gauze, over one thread. The finished, framed piece is above. Gorgeous! Congratulations, Gail!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your Opinion, Please!

We'd love to hear from you about a few things:

Gail Kilian stitched The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow on silk gauze, over one thread. It is gorgeous! She is thinking about filling in the background of each square with one or more colors but is unsure about which color(s) since it's not easy to remove stitches from this fabric. She's concerned that the stars, moon and some of the sea creatures are getting lost as is. Alternatively, she's considering choosing a mat color to offset the piece. What would you do? It's challenging to judge from a photo, but she would appreciate your input.

Also, here at Carriage House, we've been debating whether it's wise to base a design on a place that's probably unknown to most of the country. One of my favorite places on earth is Chincoteague and Assateague Island off of Virginia's coast. It has a colorful history, wild horses (was home to the pony Misty who was featured in the 1947 book by Marguerite Henry), amazing great blue herons and snowy egrets (unfortunately, the official bird of Chincoteague is the mosquito!) and a beautiful coastline. Julie Murawski is stitching my design now but we're curious: would YOU stitch a design featuring a village that might not be familiar to you? 

And finally, with the 150th anniversary of the civil war, are you interested in seeing more Americana designs?

Thanks for your feedback!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scenes from the Baltimore Market

Thanks to Kathy for sharing her photos!
 Here's a wall of Kathy's designs! They NEVER go out-of-style!

The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow + The Tree Speaks 

Here's a project under way: pincushions and wooden chickens reproduced from an antique chicken spool holder that I gave Kathy as a wedding gift 16 years ago.
Kathy's jewelry looked great!!
 The girls had a good time, too!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who participated in The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow contest. We received over 50 insightful, eloquent and clever responses that show just how familiar you are with Kathy’s work and perceptive you are to design styles. You have a long history with Kathy’s work and I am truly humbled that you plan to stitch such a huge project designed by someone so new to the needlework arts. Or should I say mostly designed by someone new.

On to the 2 1/2 blocks that were Kathy’s work: The bottom half of Block #1 including the sunflowers, crows and fence; Block #5 with the prowling cats, the wonderful weeping willow tree, graceful swans and amazing moths! Block #9 Fishing Friday! I love all the action in this block: the surprising snake, the worm on the ground, the birds and that twisted tree!!

There were five of you who chose this combination and the person with the best explanation was Donna Lemos. She recognized many of Kathy’s motifs including the black birds, swans, barn, weeping willow tree and snake. She wrote of the composition of Block 5 and the dimension in Block 9 and observed that I tend to use more checkered areas, as in the hill with the cows in Block 1. Donna compared the many details that Kathy includes in her designs with the more sparse look of mine.

Congratulations to Donna Lemos! And thanks to everyone for participating!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Tree Speaks

Also to be presented at the market in Baltimore:
The Tree Speaks
My father-in-law admired a verse called “The Tree Speaks, Friend of Man” on a plaque on his aunt’s home in Pittsburgh. This sampler was inspired by the poem. Joanne Ambrose beautifully stitched it on 40-count Angel Hair Weeks Dye Works linen. I love this frame by Valley House Primitives!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Piping Hot!

This small pair will be perfect to stitch this fall or winter: Piping Hot Samplers. They were stitched on 35-count Weeks Dye Works onyx and garnet linen by none other than Kathy Barrick! Thanks again, Kathy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Finally! The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow, Blocks 1-12

Thanks to all of you who have sent contest entries. Your response has been truly overwhelming. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your insights and keen observations. You are really tuned in to design!! And for those who haven't participated, you have until this Friday at 9:00 a.m. to tell us which 2 1/2 blocks were designed by Kathy.

Tim and our girls have been busy printing, bagging and taking pre-orders from shops across the country. Tim is currently finishing up the 1st printing and will be ready for the show by Friday!

Thanks again for all your support,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Block No. 12: Thanks!

Now that you've seen all 12 blocks, please tell me which 2 1/2 blocks you think Kathy designed. The person who gets them all correct and offers the best explanation gets a FREE copy of The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow + enough 40 count Parchment linen to stitch it. Email by Friday, August 12 at 9:00 a.m. The winner will be posted Saturday, August 13th from The National NeedleArts Association market in Baltimore!

Thanks again to Julie Murawski for her beautiful stitching ... Needlepoint Silks for their dazzling colors ... Weeks Dye Works for their fabulous linen ... Valley House Primitives for their stunning frames ... Kathy for her endless enthusiasm and expertise ... And to all of you for your encouragement and kind comments!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Block No. 9: The fishing is fine!

Hope you're spending some time near a river or beach this summer... or under a nice shade tree!

Don't forget our contest: Can you identify the 2 1/2 blocks of The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow that were designed by Kathy? The person who correctly identifies them, along with the best explanation, wins a copy of the chart PLUS enough linen (40 count Parchment by Weeks Dye Works) to stitch it! Please email me your thoughts after you see all 12 blocks...

Just three more to go!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Block No. 8: Hawk Run Apple Butter

This block is memory my sister-in-law's mother, Jane Louise Fagan, who was always so full of joy! She was affectionately known as Grammy Jane by her nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Block No. 7: Happy Thursday!

We won't be seeing too many wool suits today... It's a great day to stay in and stitch!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Block No. 6: Hope you enjoy these chipper chickens!

Many thanks to Needlepoint Silk for creating such beautiful thread. The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow was stitched using these 30 colors:
NPS   DMC  Color
251    3053   Leaf Green, Light
256    3362   Leaf Green, Dark *
316    830     Yellow Ochre, Dark
331    3348   Avocado Green, Light
473    3821   Marigold
512    3813   Mint Green, Light
524    597     Jade Green, Light
525    3809   Jade Green
558    971     Canary Yellow, Dark
663    522     Pine Green, Light
664    520     Pine Green
665    471     Acid Green
693    422     Palomino Gold, Light
696    3829   Palomino Gold, Dark *
708    945     Soft Cream, Dark
722    920     Cinnamon
725    3857   Cinnamon, Dark
764    3828   Sable Brown
772    3852   Sunflower Gold, Light
773    781     Sunflower Gold
866    355     Pumpkin, Very Dark
869    972     Pumpkin
871    3865   Winter White
886    762     Pearl Gray, Very Light
955    839     Doeskin Brown, Dark
961    415     Dapple Gray, Light
963    318     Dapple Gray
965    317     Dapple Gray, Dark
991BB          White *
993    310     Black
* two skeins needed
And the overall stitch count: 557 wide by 185 high

Block No. 7 in just a few days!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Block No. 5: Cats on the prowl

Was this mischievous block designed by Kathy or by me?

Please wait until you see all twelve before sending your explanation as to who created which blocks.
Winner gets a FREE The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow chart plus enough 40 count Parchment Weeks Dye Works linen to stitch it.

Hope you get everything you're hunting for today,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blocks No. 3 and 4

This block was inspired by an 1848 folk art painting called "The Cornell Farm" by Edward Hicks (same artist who painted "The Peaceable Kingdom")

Speaking of works of art, we just received a beautiful hand-grained framed created by Valley House Primitives for The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow! It's perfect! They have an inspiring blog and website:
The next time I even think of complaining about Maryland's hot weather, I'll think of Joy, Janet and Mike creating frames in Tempe, Arizona (118-degree day a week ago!)

Block 5 in a few days,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Block No. 2: Who designed you?

Here's the second of twelve blocks from The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow. Do you think that is one of Kathy's designs or mine? (She created 2 1/2 blocks.) Please wait until you see all twelve before sending me your explanation as to who created which blocks. Email me at

Winner gets a FREE The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow chart plus enough 40 count Parchment Weeks Dye Works linen to stitch it!

Thanks for participating! Marty

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Win a Farm!

Can you identify the 2 1/2 blocks of The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow that were designed by Kathy? The person who correctly identifies them, along with the best explanation, wins a copy of the chart PLUS enough linen (40 count Parchment by Weeks Dye Works) to stitch it!

I want to thank Julie Murawski for doing such a beautiful job stitching The Farms!

Coming in a few days: BLOCK 2


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sneak Peeks!

TNNA's Fall Market is just two months away so we thought that we'd release The Tree Speaks then. My father-in-law read a verse called The Tree Speaks, Friend of Man on a plaque on his aunt's house in Pittsburgh and thought that it might inspire a sampler... Here are a few details of the finished piece. It was stitched by Joanne Ambrose.

And Julie Murawski is stitching the Farms of Hawk Run Hollow in all her spare time! She is doing such a great job! Here are a couple of the farm animals:

Stay tuned. A Farms of Hawk Run Hollow contest to come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

He's back! And The Tree Speaks is almost ready!

We saw Tangled the snake twice today! Don't tell my sister Kathy.... she's not a fan of snakes and we want her to visit us again!

Joy and Janet from Valley House Primitives say that the frame for The Tree Speaks is on its way. I can't wait to see it. I'm sure it's gorgeous!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Snakes Alive! An Update From Carriage House Samplings!

There's a new resident at our house. The girls named him Tangled since he wrapped himself up in one of our deer-proof garden cages. (We're surrounded by a herd of 30 deer). Tim came to his rescue and we saw him alive and well the next day!

And here's Tim building another garden cage... This one has chicken wire, so it won't be a threat to Tangled or any other snake!

As soon as this is done, Tim will be back to charting the antique Angess Rowlander sampler in his spare time.... Tim (a CPA) needed a break from his computer since he just survived another income tax season.

Also, Carriage House will be releasing a new design in a few weeks called "The Tree Speaks" inspired by a poem that my father-in-law sent to me... Joanne Ambrose did a great job stitching it!

And I'm saving the best news for last: 11 out of 12 blocks of a NEW Hawk Run Hollow are designed! We're very excited about how it's coming together!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

We really enjoyed meeting so many of you at the York, PA Country Folk Art Show!

The show in York last weekend was really fun! What stood out was how happy the stitchers were to find Carriage House patterns from the 1990's readily available. Tim used a grid of our charts to create a colorful booth, plus, Kathy was there with her wonderful French Sentiments jewelry! Here's a surprise: The biggest seller was 1824 Valentine Bird, which is a punch needle chart designed by Kathy in 2007. This show was known in past years for punch needle enthusiasts; in fact, a woman taught the craft at those shows... Thanks again to all of you who stopped by! Marty

Correction on Island Sisters... wrong linen count on The Kernel

You can tell I'm new at this: the column headers on the Floss List of Island Sisters are reversed!  The column listed as NPS should read DMC  (and DMC should read NPS). Also, NPS 844's equivalent in DMC is #3821 (not 8822).

And The Kernel was actually stitched on 32 count Relic (not 36). Sorry for any confusion! Marty

Monday, March 7, 2011

Carriage House Samplings ISO Stitchers! And CHS finished samplers!

Please let us know if you'd be interested in stitching our upcoming designs on 40-count linen. We're looking for well-seasoned stitchers who are accurate and who can quickly complete medium to large projects. Email CHSamplings@gmail for details.

Also, if you have older CHS designs stitched on the same count linen/using the same floss as pictured on our packaging  and are interested in selling them to CHS, please email us your asking price along with a photo of the sampler.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Country Fok Art Craft Show in York, PA

This weekend, March 4, 5, 6, is the Country Folk Art Show at the York Expo Center in charming York, PA! Carriage House Samplings and French Sentiments (Kathy and her beautiful jewelry) will be there! Here are the hours: Friday 5-9; Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4. We'll be in the Memorial Hall "West"...Please stop by!! Marty

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Woodlawn Manor is released!

This design was our top-seller at the Market in Nashville! I love spending time at Woodlawn Manor! It was a boarding school for Francis Scott Key's daughters and now local elementary school children (including my daughter Grace) take field trips here. We were at the beach a few years ago and met "Mr. President," a police horse who as trained at Woodlawn. The best thing is: it's just a few miles from my house!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back from the market in Nashville!

I was thrilled to meet so many shop owners and designers at the show. It was exciting to talk with so many of you in person and I'm even more inspired to get back to designing! And my husband Tim is getting back to work too: We promised everyone that Tim's reproduction of the Agness Rowlandson 1849 sampler will be ready in 2011... nothing like a little deadline pressure to get the job done! It was great spending time with my sister Kathy too -- her stunning jewelry really shone! Thanks again for stopping by and for all your words of encouragement. Oh, and check out designer Carmen Sutton's take on "The Kernel"... she made two saw-dust filled pillows using Tin Roof stained with her own special hand-crushed walnut stain! She is amazing! Marty

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kathy's Last Design (for now) and Marty's First Two...

Carriage House will be officially releasing the last design that Kathy completed before turning over the shop to me. It's called "Wash Day" and I love it! It feels like Spring!! We'll release it in Nashville so it should be in your local shop the following week. If it's not, please contact Tim at Carriage House Samplings ( He will quickly send it your way! Thanks to Joanne Ambrose for stitching it so quickly!

And my first design: "Island Sisters" inspired by the fun creek and island behind the small farm where Kathy and I grew up ("Field Aray"). Carol Sims expertly stitched it and Valley House Primitives created the beautiful frame with a wave design! It will also be released in Nashville as well as ...

"The Kernel," a celebration of roosters and farm life! I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more chickens and roosters in my upcoming designs. Again, Valley House Primitives created this gorgeous frame and Carol Sims did the stitching.

And upcoming from Carriage House Samplings: Tim is charting a huge sampler from 1849 that Kathy found in Adamstown, PA ... 11 year old Agness Rowlandson was amazing! (And Tim is doing an amazing job too!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Inspirational Sampler!

I received this Quaker sampler as a Christmas gift and love the letter forms and pastel colors! As a designer at The Washington Post, I'm restricted to a couple of fonts and black, gray and red. Soooo boring!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011!

Here's a sneak preview of my first design, "Island Sisters" which is in production and will be available in a few weeks... Thanks to Carol Sims for beautifully stitching it! It's based on a tiny island in the creek that ran behind our childhood home outside of Frederick, Maryland. I don't know if Kathy remembers it so fondly, but I loved catching crayfish, chasing minnows and generally cooling off in the summer in this creek!