A huge hole in my life

On Monday evening, at 9:30, surrounded by my father and her children, my mother died peacefully, in a room overflowing with love. I am so thankful I was here.

Mom’s life was filled with the joy of being a mother and wife. She supported my father in their life together, and was secure in the knowledge that her children and her grandchildren all followed their dreams. Dreams and careers which saw them travel to all parts of the globe with her and my father’s blessings.

She loved the embroidery I did, often asking my father to print a photo of something I was working on so she could show all her friends. She taught me to sew, to draw, to understand colour, to have confidence in my own creative ability. She was the perfect mother.

I will miss her so much.

Where I’ve been

I’m sorry I haven’t written a post for such a long time. On April 24, I flew from my home in Germany to Iowa, where I grew up and where my parents still live. Since then I’ve helped care for my mother, who is very ill, and helped my father with a move to a new home. My three brothers have supported my parents as well and it’s been a time where the spectacular way my parents raised us has become apparent. They are reaping what they sowed and it’s incredible.

It’s been wonderful to be with both my parents, although I would choose different circumstances. Until things are on a more even keel, I won’t be writing posts, as family comes first. Be assured I will return to my embroidery and to sharing it with all of you, my dear online embroidery friends and students.

As we moved things from their old home to their new home and the house emptied, things that guided me towards my interest in, and love of, textiles stood out in the empty spaces

The first was my mother’s Singer sewing machine on which she first taught me to sew. It still works and works well – I had to take in a pair of blue jeans a few days ago and I remembered how to thread it as if I last used it yesterday, not 45 years ago!

The second thing is something I’ve never used, but always knew I would own one day. It’s a spinning wheel that’s been passed down from mother to oldest daughter since it was purchased new in the late seventeen/early eighteen hundreds. There is some research to do to determine the original owner and the spinning wheel needs repair before it’s usable again. I find it inspiring that it’s been passed on from mother to daughter as directed by the original owner, who undoubtedly believed that it would be a necessary part of any female ancestor’s household, so long ago.

The last thing was a surprise. For years this sampler has hung in one of the bedrooms in my parents home. I saw it, but never thought much about it, assuming it was something my mother found in an antique shop or even at the huge church rummage sale she has helped to organize for years. However, when I took it off the wall, written on the back was a note that it had been worked by my paternal great grandmother. Her family was German and she spoke German. I met her when I was very little but don’t have any recollection of it. What a joyful surprise in the midst of a difficult time!

Liebe Grüße,


Embroidery Courses on “With Threaded Needle”

1. The King’s Pineapple – New Course!


In the Royal Collection is a seventeenth-century painting of King Charles II receiving the first pineapple ever to be grown in Britain from his gardener. The depiction of the scene is a reflection of just how important an event it was and why our crewel work pineapple piece is called “The King’s Pineapple”.



2. Bateau Bayeux Kit and Course


951 years ago  William the Conquerer sailed from Normandy to England to stake his claim to the throne. Not long after, the Bayeux Tapestry was created. This image comes from the ancient embroidery showing soldiers and their horses coming across the English Channel. It is embroidered almost entirely in what has now become known as Bayeux stitch, named after the famous embroidery. This course will teach you how to create a small part of this famous embroidery using the Bayeux stitch.



3. Trevelyon’s Cap Course *


Trevelyon’s Cap is a beautiful 5 inch high cap covered with stunning silk flowers and gold embellishments, created using a pattern found in the Commonplace Book of Thomas Trevelyon.  

*This is the last time this course will be offered in the foreseeable future.