Monday, December 31, 2012

A Twist on Christmas

Pat Young, owner of Stitches Unlimited in Lancaster, PA, 
combined the Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow blocks 
that have song lyrics. 
Here it is, stitched on 28 count linen. It's colorful and gorgeous!

Thanks for sharing this!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Preparing for Spring!

I've had a number of requests for the Spring at Hawk Run Hollow supply list. Here you go:

Stitch count: 185 x 614
40 count Straw Weeks Dye Works linen

DMC / Needlepoint Silk:
310 / 993 Black
317 / 965 Dapple Gray Dark
318 / 963 Dapple Gray
319 / 406 Forest Green Very Dark
355 / 866 Pumpkin Very Dark
367 / 403 Forest Green
368 / 401 Forest Green Very Light
433 / 766 Sable Brown Dark (2 skeins)
434 / 775 Sunflower Gold Very Dark
453 / 886 Orchid Light
472 / 331 Avocado Green Very Light
598 / 524 Jade Light
720 / 864 Pumpkin Dark
733 / 843 Hellenic Gold Dark
921 / 863 Pumpkin
964 / 491 Ice Blue Very Light
973 / 553 Canary Yellow
3024 / 962 Dapple Gray Light
3031 / 187 Bunny Brown Very Light
3042 / 885 Orchid Dark
3047 / 692 Palomino Gold Very Light
3341 / 857 Salmon
3770 / 877 Pale Peach
3790 / 184A Bunny Brown
3822 / 471 Marigold Yellow Very Light
3847 / 527 Jade Dark
3849 / 524A Jade
3865 / 871 Winter White (2 skeins)

And thank you for all the kind words! Happy Holidays! Marty

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Coming Soon to a Shop Near You!

"Spring at Hawk Run Hollow" 

Starring birds, bees, bunnies and a host of other characters from The Hollow. 
This will be the seventh of the Hawk Run series!
A special thank you to Carol Sims who's currently stitching our model.
And, thanks to Week Dye Works for providing the beautiful 40-count Straw linen
and to Needlepoint Silk for the gorgeous threads! 
Looks for Spring's arrival in early 2013.
 Order by February 14 for a 10% discount.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trunk Show in Progress!

Patti Chambers is hosting a Carriage House Trunk Show in her charming shop, Threads Needlework, in East Petersburg, PA. It's an easy commute from Reading, Lancaster, Hershey, York, Harrisburg and Lebanon. She's featuring all our 2012 designs plus many old favorites, including Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow and The Girls series.

Threads Needlework
Village Commons Business Center
2019C Miller Road
East Petersburg, PA 17520

Phone: 717.435.8245

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hoofing it in DC

I had to do an errand in DC today and I decided to see some of the sights:

 Well-groomed trees at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

 Very quiet men playing chess.

 Bus-loads of kids entering the National Gallery of Art.
Notice the Roy Lichtenstein poster.

 "Shock of the News" exhibit shows creative ways that newspapers have been used in art. Picasso was the first to use newspapers as collage... 1912, I think.

This is the entrance to an amazing exhibit!

 A walk through Chinatown.

 Colorful foliage on French Street.

A giant hand in front of the Historical Society of Washington, DC

And this is the African American Civil War Memorial.

Thanks for taking a look! Marty

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good news from Kathy!

I'm happy to report that my sister Kathy did some fall cleaning and came across one of her designs that she started stitching but never finished. I'm entering it into the computer now since there's no trace of the electronic version. It should be ready later this fall .... Stay tuned! The verse on it is also a refrain from a camp song that my girls sing. It's been stuck in my head since I started this project!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bye to summer 2012

The wild cats that inspired "Cats' Eyes" live in this small barn on my brother and sister-in-law's property: They're not so timid around dinnertime!
Here's the memorial in Gettysburg where Lincoln gave his address. Notice the pennies left by visitors.

Inspiration for future designs?
Gladiolus in Maine
I've never seen hydrangeas quite like these growing in Massachusetts!
I think these are Rose Hips.... lemme know if I'm wrong!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back to Woodlawn Manor

Woodlawn Manor, depicted in one of my first designs, was a part of the Underground Railroad. A trail near the barn brings you to a historic spring, a HUGE white ash tree and finally to the Friends Meeting House. This is from the Montgomery County Parks website: "The time is the 1850s. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have helped make Sandy Spring a prosperous farming and commercial center. The Friends Meeting House, built in 1817, is the center of religious and community life. Even though slavery will not be abolished in Maryland until 1864, Maryland Quakers outlawed the owning of slaves by its members in 1777. In Sandy Spring, free blacks own their own homes and have organized churches, schools, and an array of social clubs although such public gatherings are extremely dangerous in this anti-abolitionist county. Local patrols and slave catchers stalk the fields and woods. Quakers and free blacks assist escaping slaves via the secret “Underground Railroad”— a system of people and places organized to help slaves escape to freedom."

I was lucky enough to hike the trail with a friend on Friday! The photo below shows the Woodlawn Manor stone barn in the background. It will eventually become a visitor center focusing on the Underground Railroad experience.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New CHS Releases (and scenes from the show)

Carriage House released these four designs at the market in Baltimore:


 Tim constructed a new wall for all our models!

My niece Liz launched her new creations: 
stunning collages that are enhanced with embroidery and vintage-inspired sequence and embellishments.
And thanks to the fun women at DMC who handed out free mustaches! 
Grace is already dreaming up her Halloween costume!

Many thanks to all the shop owners and other friends who stopped by
to support Carriage House!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The winners are . . .

Our first winner who correctly identified Kingsford as Kathy's first design is Jeannine Foss from Northern California. She's been stitching for almost five years and the third third design she ever stitched was a CHS tombstone. She chose Lincoln as her prize! 

The second winner is Joy Downing from Tempe, Arizona. Joy created gorgeous frames for Valley House Primitives for many years. Other than cross stitch, her favorite way to spend time these days is in her garden and with her sweet little flock of chickens who inhabit a little saltbox hen house called the Coop de Grace. I checked out Joy's blog ( and it's obvious that Joy is a gifted photographer also! She chose Ode to the Newspaper as her prize.

The third person to correctly respond to the contest reigns from Brookfield, Massachusetts: Bonnie Olsen. She's been stitching long before Carriage House Samplings came into being! Bonnie has been very patient, waiting for either Tim or me to finish charting an 1849 sampler by Agness Rowlandson. Hopefully it will be ready for you in 2013, Bonnie! In the meantime, Bonnie will stitch Cats' Eyes.

And the fourth winner is Margaret Chess from New York. She's been stitching CHS since about 2006, when she picked up stitching again after a long hiatus. She fell in love with Kathy's designs right away. She has stitched three of the Hawk Run Hollow series (Houses, Village and Shores), and the Alphabets and Sarah Esh as well. It looks like Cats' Eyes will be her next project!

Congratulations to all our winners!

Friday, September 7, 2012

And Kathy's first design was . . .

The Kingsford Sampler! I intended to tell you that this morning! Kathy said that the inspiration came from an old painting but has no idea who the artist was.

We have four winners!

Congratulations! I'll post the winners' names (if they're willing) and the new designs next week!

 Thanks so much for participating!!

A CHS Contest Clue

Clue #1: Kathy's first design includes a deer!

What was Kathy's first cross stitch design? Please e-mail your answer:  (Do not Post a Comment.) One answer per person, please. The first four people with correct responses will get their choice of one of our new designs: Cats' Eyes, Lincoln, Ode to the Newspaper or Pantaloons.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A CHS Contest!

Kathy produced over 260 Carriage House Samplings designs! Does anyone remember Kathy's first design? I don't think you'll find the answer on the Carriage House website. I really will improve our site after the Baltimore show.

Please e-mail me your  (Do not post your answer under Comment.) One answer per person, please.

The first four people with correct responses will get their choice of one of our new designs: Cats' Eyes, Lincoln, Ode to the Newspaper or Pantaloons. We'll show you the entire design next week (sneak peeks are on my last blog.)

Good luck!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New designs a week away!

We're gearing up for the Needle Arts Market in Baltimore where we'll be releasing four new designs and catching up with busy shop owners!
Doesn't everyone need a design featuring lingerie? Here's a sneak peek at Pantaloons:

And for those of us who still appreciate the printed newspaper and all its uses, here's a peek at Ode to the Newspaper:

Lincoln was inspired by a recent trip to Gettysburg. We stood where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863. Here's a detail:

And it wouldn't be Fall without a new Halloween design. Here's a detail from Cats' Eyes:

I'm excited to report that Carriage House will distribute my niece Liz's fabric collages that are designed for embroidery. These vintage-inspired pieces are so fresh and creative! A small sample:

Kathy will also be joining us with her one-of-a-kind jewelry masterpieces!!
Finally, look for a quick Carriage House Samplings contest next week!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

It looks like a low-tech summer ...

We're still picking up after the powerful storm that hit the DC area on June 30th (six days without power during the 100+ temps that hit most of the country) to find out that our website server will be down for a few days. Here's our contact info in the meantime:

phone: 301 437-1028
fax (toll free): 866 593-5829
Thanks again to my brother and his wife for putting our family of four up for many of those powerless days and nights! And then, the girls and I headed to Kathy's in PA for more fun. We photographed one of my new designs, called Pantaloons, that I plan to release in Baltimore. Here's a sneak peek:

Hope you're enjoying your summer! Marty

Nice meeting you

Thanks again to Pat Young, the owner of Stitches Unlimited in Lancaster, PA, who hosted Kathy and me in her bustling shop on Saturday. Marsha did an amazing job of promoting the event, which meant that we got to meet many fun, local stitchers who braved the 100+ degree day to come out. I was even given an idea for a future design (thanks, Nipper's Mom!) The shop carries cross stitch and needlepoint supplies as well as specialty threads plus does framing. CHS models will be on display through July 31st.

 Marsha is displaying The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow while Pat holds The Kernel.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New needle arts and frame shop to open in Brea, CA!

Carriage House Samplings just heard from Kerry and Yvonne of We, of the Needle needle arts and frame shop in Orange county. They're still painting the interior but the signs on the soon-to-open shop are up. You can see more images on their blog:
Here's Kerry's version of our Scarlet Berries pattern. She adapted it to a genealogy sampler featuring six generations of her fore-mothers. This was the third place winner in a juried exhibit, The Shoreline Stitcher's Showcase, put on by The Needle Artists By the Sea Chapter of The American Needlepoint Guild! I love the way she elevated the design by including her family history.

We're excited to report that We, of the Needle will be carrying a collection of Carriage House's designs.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CHS in Lancaster, PA July 7th!

Pat from Stitches Unlimited, 721 Olde Hickory Road, Lancaster, PA 17601, agreed to have a meet-the-designer(s) event on July 7th. I'm hoping that Kathy will come along! I'm bringing lots of classic Carriage House models and charts! It's 10:00 am to noon. Stitches Unlimited: 717/560-9416 (The models will be on display in Pat's shop for a few weeks starting on the 7th.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Work Less, Play More, Enjoy Life

I'm happy to report that I ended my 27-year career as an art director at The Washington Post last week. I decided that it was time to spend more time with my family, to create more CHS designs and to get back to oil painting. Plus, it's time to over-haul the Carriage House Samplings website and explore social media. Would you follow CHS on Facebook or Twitter? How about Pinterest?
I feel really lucky to have been able to attend so many school events this past week without rushing downtown to my office afterwards. Anna's 8th grade class booked a theater so that parents could see their power-point presentations, skits and their websites on immigration. And today, I attended her promotion to high school. (Anna is on the right)

And last week Grace was promoted from 5th grade to middle school. That afternoon, we learned that there was an opening in one of our county's public middle schools that specializes in music, dance, theater and art. This will be a great fit for her! (Grace is on the right)

On Saturday, I cracked open some tubes of paint again during a barn painting event with a friend who was also a Post art director for over 20 years. She handed me a journal with a cover that reads "Work Less, Play More, Enjoy Life." Sounds like good advice!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Alphabet Blocks, The Whole Kit and Caboodle

Kathy, who designed this really creative chart, suggested that stitchers choose their own colors for the border. The cover photo shows green for the vine and leaves, and red flowers. Pam Tanner, originally from Grand Rapids, but now from Manassas, Virginia agreed to share her color choices:
Mulberry/Pomegrante for flower 1
Deep Sea/Peacock for flower 2
Fragrant Clove/Bittersweet for flower 3
Cherry Bark/Old Red Paint for flower 4
Hyacinth/DMC 327 for flower 5
It's so colorful and fun, Pam. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A twist on The Farms

It's exciting to see how Joan Bynum, one of the co-owners of a needlework shop in Boaz, Alabama called Out of the Box, tailored The Farms of Hawk Run Hollow to fit her life. She and her husband own a small farm (see block one) and her grandchildren call her "Honey" (block nine). Each one of them has had the experience of making homemade biscuits with her. This configuration, 4 x 3 blocks, works really well! (The original shape is 6 x 2 blocks) Thanks for sharing this, Joan!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Award-Winning Work!

Congratulations to Mark Novotnak who stitched the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow for the NC State Fair and won both First Place and Best in Show! Thanks to Mark for providing this image!

Please feel free to send Carriage House Samplings images of your work, whether they've won ribbons or not!

In other news, I'm choosing colors for a new design that will be stitched in a combination of DMC and Gentle Arts threads. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three New Designs by Carriage House Samplings

Shaw, A Quaker Reproduction Sampler: Thanks to Kathy for finding the original sampler in an antique shop in New Oxford, PA. The pastel letter forms are beautiful! Thanks for Carol Sims for stitching it amazingly fast, and to Valley House Primitives for creating the wonderful frame (during the holidays!!) and to Weeks Dye Works for providing the fabulous linen in the color Straw.

Counting Sheep was stitched by Kathy Bonham on Havana Weeks Dye Works linen.

And finally, Chincoteague! Designing this has made me want to return to the barrier island on Virginia's eastern shore so many times. Chincoteague, with it's colorful history, has seafood and ice cream parlors, artsy shops and a fabulous new library while Assateague Island, just over the bridge has the ocean and wetlands, incredible birds and other wildlife, biking trails and of course the wild ponies. This year, the pony swim and opening of the carnival will be Wednesday, July 25. Thanks to Julie Murawski for stitching this! It's on Putty Weeks Dye Works linen surrounded by a gorgeous Valley House Primitives frame.

Thanks for taking a look! Marty