Thursday, 30 June 2016

Birthday sale (use code BIRTHDAY03 in my Etsy store)

To celebrate my daughter turning 3 years old, I thought I would have my first Etsy sale.  So between now and her birthday on 15 July, if you use the code BIRTHDAY03 you will receive a 20% discount on my Margaret Jagger 1824 reproduction chart.  (The discount does not apply to shipping costs of hard copies).

You can find my Etsy store here

Thanks for looking!

Birthday sale (use code BIRTHDAY03 in my Etsy store)

You can find my Etsy store here

The code for the discount is BIRTHDAY03 and is valid until my daughter's birthday on 15 July.  (The discount does not apply to shipping charges for hard copies).

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Thank you

Thank you to those who purchased the Margaret Jagger chart in the month of May. 
With your help, I have been able to donate US$50 to Animal Defenders International to support the ongoing costs of the 33 rescued lions who went home to Africa!
If you want to donate or find out more about ADIs work and/or the 33 lions you can click these links -

Monday, 2 May 2016

Spirit of Freedom

Hi everyone

For the month of May I will be donating 50% of all profits from the sale of my Margaret Jagger 1824 reproduction sampler chart to Animal Defenders International.

You may have seen news reports in the last few days about 33 lions who have been relocated back to their ancestral homeland of Africa.  The 33 have been saved from lives of abuse and hardship in South America, and transferred to live out their lives in Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. You can read more about it here ADI on Facebook or here on the ADI website.  

Image sourced from the Daily Mail website

So if you would like to stitch Margaret Jagger 1824 and help fund the future care of these 33 beautiful creatures (who are finally getting the lives they always deserved), please head to my Etsy store to buy your copy.  Margaret Jagger 1824 is available in hard copy or PDF format.

At the beginning of June I will post the total amount I have been able to donate on behalf of yourselves and Bluebelle Samplings.

Thank you!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Stitching Shop

I was thrilled to get a message from Christine of Stitching Shop this morning to let me know that my first reproduction sampler is currently on the front page of her website.  Be sure to pay them a visit by clicking on the link.

Design no. 2 (My Mother Margaret 1828) is now actively underway.

Unfortunately, nothing happens at great speed here due to having a small child and paid employment as my first priorities - but I will be sure to update as design no. 2 gets closer to being released.

Monday, 4 April 2016

My Mother Margaret 1828

This is the next sampler in line to be charted.  As I mentioned in my last post, she's not a very pretty sampler -  but when I saw it I could not go past the sweet verse.

'Who fed me from her gentle breast and hush'd me in her arms to rest and on my cheek sweet kisses prest, my mother Margaret 1828'

I believe this is the first verse of a classical poem by Ann(e) Taylor.

It is hard to know if the sampler was stitched in 1828, or whether the year was significant to the stitcher or her mother.

I hope to 'joosh' this sampler up a bit, while still staying true to the original.

I will announce in the usual places - Facebook, Instagram and here on the blog - when it is ready to order.

If you are in the USA, there will soon be a few copies of my first chart 'Margaret Jagger 1824' available at A Stitching Shop in Denver, Colorado.

You can, of course, still email me directly to order.  Ordering info can be found here.

Monday, 28 March 2016


GIVEAWAY WINNER. And the winner is Laura Tomassi (@jcrewlvr). Congratulations Laura. Please send me an email ( with your address so that I can send the chart out to you asap. I hope you will enjoy stitching Margaret Jagger 1824!

(How the winner was chosen - for each time a person liked and/or shared on Facebook, Instagram or the blog their name was put into a spreadsheet. I then used to pick a number).

Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared, bought a chart or shown an interest. It is much appreciated.

I am currently working on design no. 2, so keep a look out in the months ahead for 'My Mother Margaret 1828'. It isn't an overly pretty sampler, but the sentiment is very sweet indeed.

The Followers gadget has now been added to the top right side of my blog to make it easier for you to add me to your blog roll.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter break!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

New Zealand stitchers - Margaret Jagger 1824 is now available on TradeMe

Hi everyone

Just to let you know that the hard copy chart for 'Margaret Jagger 1824' is now available on Trade Me

Don't forget the competition to win a hard copy of the chart, which ends on Monday 28 March. All you need to do is like and share (on Facebook, Instagram or the blog) to be in to win.

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Local sampler history

Most samplers I have seen in New Zealand have their origins overseas (usually the UK).

So it's a pleasure to read 'New Zealand's Historic Samplers' by Vivien Caughley and see that there are actually a decent number of homegrown samplers.

One in particular caught my eye because it was very local to me.  It is by a young girl called Jane Tonks (age 8).  Unfortunately, she died aged 22 in 1867 and is buried in Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington.

I decided to head out on a little mission to see if I could find the grave of Jane Tonks.  I was able to find some information online that I thought might help me pinpoint it, but it didn't lead me directly to it.

My small daughter (age 2 years 8 months) was getting restless (and noisy) as we wandered uphill and downhill around all the little paths trying to find the headstone.  I had almost conceded defeat when several rows back from the main path I noticed just one word... 'Tonks' on the back of a headstone. I went to investigate and there it was.

Unfortunately, the headstone does not mark the grave of Jane Tonks.  Her remains were disinterred from her original resting place in the 1960s to make way for the construction of the motorway.  Jane's remains now lie on the other side of the motorway in another part of the cemetery, along with the graves of many others.

If you are ever in Wellington and strolling through the historic Bolton Street Cemetery, stop at the monument for Christian Toxward from Denmark (located on the main path).  Step onto the grass and a couple of headstones back you will find the headstone of Jane Tonks, sampler stitcher! :-)

Competition time!

If you would like to win a hard copy of the chart for Margaret Jagger 1824 please leave a comment on this post and share with others who might be interested to help me spread the word about Bluebelle Samplings. 

I will draw a winner on Monday 28 March. 

I am also sharing this post on Instagram ( and Facebook (, so feel free to follow those as well for more chances to win. 

Good luck!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Bluebelle Samplings is now on Etsy

Hi everyone

Bluebelle Samplings is now on Etsy.  Please click here to be taken to the website.

What does this mean for sampler lovers?  This means you can purchase hard copies or PDF (electronic copies) of Margaret Jagger 1824 online.

If you order the PDF file through Etsy it will be automatically emailed to you upon receipt of payment.  Perfect if you want it quickly!

If you prefer, you can still email me directly at to order your copy and I will send you a Paypal invoice.

You can find ordering information (costs, postage etc) here.

Be sure to check back tomorrow, as I am running a competition.  There will be a hard copy up for grabs!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The original Margaret Jagger 1824

Thank you to my first customers!  I hope you will enjoy stitching Margaret Jagger 1824.  

I thought you might like to see the original 192 year old sampler.  Unfortunately, nothing is yet known about Margaret Jagger (such as her age or location) but it is still a pretty sampler.  The colours were what attracted me to this piece (even though they are very faded and differ markedly from the unfaded colours on the back).

Due to the age of the sampler there are some areas where stitches are missing.  The fabric is also very thin in places.  The likely causes for this sort of damage are sunlight, damp and heat.  I don't think it distracts from the piece though, you have to study it reasonably closely to notice.

One thing I did learn about Margaret Jagger herself when charting the sampler out was that Margaret wasn't the perfect stitcher.  She made mistakes and worked around the problem, rather than reverse stitching.  I also suspect she stitched in poor light, sometimes only stitching a full cross over one thread of linen rather than two.

I hope whoever Margaret Jagger was that she'd be pleased her sampler still survives, is much admired and that almost two centuries later her sampler is being brought to life again.

Please feel free to email me photos of your WIPs or finishes, and I will share them on the blog.  My email is

Monday, 14 March 2016

Bluebelle Samplings Chart No. 1 - Margaret Jagger 1824 - NOW AVAILABLE

Chart information -
'Margaret Jagger 1824' is a beautiful reproduction of a 192 year old sampler.  I purchased the original sampler in 2015, and have reproduced and stitched it to look as close as possible to the original.

The reproduction has been stitched using DMC threads on Weeks Dye Works 30 count Cocoa fabric.

The stitch count is 174 wide by 170 high.

Charts are now available in hard copy or in PDF format.  Hard copy charts are printed on high quality paper and will be sent in a protective sleeve.

Costs -
PDF file - NZ$15 (approx AU$13, GBP 7.00, US$10*) sent via email
Hardcopy - NZ$25 (approx AU$22, GBP 11.50, US$16*) plus postage (NZ$3.60)

*Currency conversions are approximate only and subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations

Payment information -
To order your copy, please send me an email at stating whether you would like a PDF or hard copy.   If you require a hard copy please include your mailing address so I can mail your chart promptly.

For overseas customers I will send you a Paypal invoice.

For those ordering from New Zealand I am happy to accept payment via direct credit or Paypal.

Please feel free to email if you have any queries.