Got Luck? from Plum Street Samplers | Cross Stitch (free pattern download)

Pattern: Got Luck?
Designer: Paulette Stewart
Company: Plum Street Samplers
Fabric: 14 ct hand dyed mystery fabric
Floss: DMC 580, 581, 3348

I am addicted to Floss Tube and all of the brilliant ideas on there. One of the things that they have made me realize is that I just don't have much seasonal stitching to display. So I decided to rectify that this year. 

One of the other things that I've realized about myself is that I tend to collect all the cute freebie designs from my LNS and the designers' websites but they just go in a file to be forgotten. Well I'm tired of that so I'm going to stitch them up this year! 

Paulette Stewart from Plum Street Samplers puts out some of the most adorable designs. This little piece is a free download on her blog. It's been in my stash for awhile so I decided to stitch it up.

Details, Details, Details

The pattern stitch count is small (44w X 43h) so I decided to turn it into a little pillow for my coffee table tray. I dug through my scrap fabric and found a piece of hand dyed Aida that I'm not really sure about. I know it is 14 count and it's really soft so I am leaning towards it being from Picture This Plus but again I'm not sure. It's got a really pretty variation of pastel greens and yellows so I decided it would be perfect.

The directions tell you to use any fabric you like and three thread colors; two different greens and ecru, or three different greens and no ecru. I chose three different DMC greens. The dark green is 580, medium green is 581, and the light green in place of the ecru is 3348. 

The only thing that I changed on the pattern were the words. The original calls for the words Got Luck? but I charted out our last name instead. My husband's family is Irish so it works for us.

To finish it I chose a coordinating fabric and made a small pillow. I filled it with crushed English Walnut shells. I like that better than poly-fill for my small pillows. It's just a personal preference. I like the weight of it better and they can also be used as a pin cushion.

I'd like to add a little trim around the edges like chenille or something, but I didn't have any that would match in my stash so that may happen later. 

Did You Know?

Okay I may be the last person to realize this, but just in case I'm not, here goes. I've been buying these crushed walnut shells in a small batch at my local quilt store. It's not the cheapest thing to buy it that way but I had no idea. The other day I looked it up online to see if I could order it and have it shipped with Prime. 

Guess what . . . crushed English Walnut shells are also used in the bottom of reptile cages. So I went to our local pet store (Pet Co.) and low and behold they sell this stuff in huge bags for a fraction of the price. Good grief! 

Hope this inspires you to stitch one up for yourself. If you do tag us so we can see your finished project and cheer you on. We're RambleSAHM on all of our social media platforms.

Happy Stitching!

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith | Historical Fiction Review

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith

Book review disclosure.

A Passionate Hope
Hannah's Story
Jill Eileen Smith 
Historical Fiction

Can one woman's prayers change the world?

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Will God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Phoebe's Light (Nantucket Legacy #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher | Historical Romance Review

Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book review disclosure.

Nantucket Legacy #1
Historical Romance

"Not today. I will not worry today."

Phoebe Starbuck has always taken care of her father--worrying enough for both of them, as he chases one whim after another. Now, for the first time, she's doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, she takes two gifts from her father, but desires only one: her great-grandmother's journal. The second gift? A "minder" in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man she loathes.

Phoebe soon discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary's journal and finds a secret that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially the captain and the cooper.

Sail away with expert navigator Suzanne Woods Fisher, who confidently explores the sometimes treacherous shores of Quaker life on the storied Nantucket Island.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

I think it is safe to say that Suzanne Woods Fisher is best known for her Amish fiction. With this new series, Nantucket Legacy, she is branching out to bring us insights into the beginnings of the Quakers in America. 

My family is descended from those original Quakers so I found this to be especially fascinating. The Quakers came to America because of oppression only to find persecution again on the mainland of America. This part of the story shows how they settled on Nantucket Island to get away from that persecution. It also tells the story of how the settlers went from raising sheep to becoming whalers. 

If you are worried about this being a mostly historical story, don't be. Suzanne brings her usual elements of romance, mystery, and suspense to the story. The romance between Phoebe and Matthew was wonderful but my favorite part was the love story between Phoebe and her father. 

The underlying story line is an old journal from Great Mary. I thought that Suzanne did a wonderful job of flashing back and forth between the current time of 1767 to the past of 1658. Great Mary was known to have deep insight into situations and through her journal Phoebe gains wisdom. The journal contains secrets that will help the current generation and generations to come. Knowing that there is a secret hidden within the journal it becomes the object of desire to those who would use it for self gain rather than the good of all. 

I just didn't want the story to end. I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment. Reading the sneak peek at the second book was torture! But I did enjoy all the extras that were included at the beginning and ending of the book. It was a win-win for me. I got to enjoy a delightful story and then learn some very interesting facts about our forefathers. 

Treat yourself and pick up a copy today!

Other Reviews For This Author

Lantern Lane from Little House Needleworks | Cross Stitch

Lantern Lane by Little House Needleworks

Lantern Lane
Chart No. 134

Designed By: Diane Williams
Fabric: 28 ct Jobelan from Wichelt in Babbling Brook
Floss: Belle Soie silks are the suggested threads with hand dyed cotton alternatives from Weeks Dye Works and Classic Colorworks
Finishing: Thrift Store tray

This piece was such a wonderful journey for me. For the past several years I have really struggled doing anything on linen. In fact I pretty much had given up. I was thinking that I would just be content with using 14, 16, and 18 count fabric. My eyes just wouldn't focus on anything else.

Several years ago I switched to multi-focal contacts that I love. But my eyes really struggle seeing the individual threads. I'd tried a magnifying light and even used reading glasses (+1.50) over my contacts. Nothing seemed to work. Then by a total fluke I stumbled upon a solution.

I accidentally picked up a higher power of reading glasses (+3.50) and I could see the threads. I still can't do linen, something about the slubs in the threads makes it hard to see and I get off too easily. But for now I'm able to use the evenweaves like Lugana and Jobelan. So excited to be able to stitch over two threads again. It makes specialty stitches so much easier!

So Lantern Lane is my first foray back into the world of two over two. It is such a pleasure to work on different fabrics again. If you're struggling too . . . keep looking for what works. You'll find it if you keep trying different things. Just don't give up!

If I Were To Stitch This Again

This pattern lets you choose between Belle Soie silks or hand dyed cotton. I chose the cotton, but it is such a pretty piece that I wouldn't hesitate to do it in silks if I were to do it again.

My only complaint about the over dyed cotton was that the Fawn (WDW) and the Eggshell (CCW) were too close in color. It makes the window sashing and shutters just blend together. I would change the Fawn (WDW) to a slightly darker shade.

I also would sub the Black Coffee (CCW) for DMC 310. I couldn't see enough variation to warrant the use of the more expensive thread. But that Pea Pod (CCW) and the Lancaster Red (WDW) are worth the extra.

I needed two skeins of the Cocoa (WDW), Lancaster Red (WDW), and the Pea Pod (CCW). I don't stitch each individual x as I'm going along. I stitch from bottom left and work over and up. I do a row of half crosses and then come back and cross them. I like the more subtle variation you get that way. So if you are an individual x crosser you may need more thread.


To finish this piece off I just dug around in my stash and came up with this tray that I had picked up from a thrift store. I cut a piece of foam board to fit in the bottom. Then I used spray glue and attached a piece of batting to the foam board. Finally I used the lacing method that Brenda Gervais from With Thy Needle and Thread uses. She has a good tutorial here.

By The Way

This was a stitch along (SAL) that used the hashtag #LanternLaneSAL . If you do this piece use that hashtag so we can all see it.

I picked this pattern up at my local needlework shop (LNS). If you don't have an LNS that you use I'm sure mine would love to help you. They are Cecilia's Samplers and they ship all over the states. You can order online or by phone they are the best!

In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee | Christian Living Review

In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee

Book review disclosure.

Christian Living / Women's Issues

Every woman is intimately acquainted with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Whether fueled by a culture of makeover shows, by the lingering memories of mean girls, or by events much more wounding to the soul, we can become so conditioned by self-doubt that it becomes our inner monologue.

What we want is to be free of shame and comparison, to turn our uncertainty into a bold confidence. But to flourish in our own skin, we first have to rewrite the narrative.

In this fearless, funny, and refreshingly relatable chronicle of her own metamorphosis from the insecurity that once held her captive, author Kayla Aimee unfolds the blueprint for women to:

• Identify the deep-seated sources of our assumed inadequacy and replace them with steadfast truths of scriptural affirmation
• Replace our need for approval with the enduring promise of acceptance
• Uncover our purpose, unlock our potential, and celebrate the God-given gifts in our unique personality

To every woman who longs for belonging, this journey through Kayla’s inviting prose, biblical promises, and journaling prompts will help guide her from restless insecurity to a beautiful becoming.

Validation quote from In Bloom.

My Thoughts

If you are a woman insecurity comes just as naturally as breathing. Even the most seemingly put together woman deals with insecurity. Just when you think you have become a grown up and left junior high and mean girls behind, there they are right next to you.

But did you know that you don't have to live like that? Kayla Aimee helps us take an honest look at the insecurities that plague us. She shares her own humbling but hilarious experiences and allows us to take a peek inside her journey to confidence. She shows you how to flip insecurity on its head and walk in confidence through a trust in the abiding grace of Christ.

I really enjoyed Kayla's first book, Anchored, and I enjoyed this one just as much. Kayla is willing to be vulnerable in order to help others reach a deeper relationship with Christ. I really think young women and mothers will benefit the most from this book but I'm a 50+ woman and I also found the book to be thought provoking. I appreciated the way that she encouraged us to look back at all the awkward and sometimes painful events that fed our insecurities. But instead of wallowing in it she reminds you to acknowledge the ways in which Christ brought you through it and encourages you to see what you learned from it.

This is a quick read that also allows you to interact with it through questions. I think it is a lovely book to read yourself but it would also make a perfect selection for a small group of women to read together.

Other Reviews For This Author

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Kayla Aimee

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Disclosure of materials.

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