I was rummaging through some photo archives on my computer last night and came across some pictures I took of the model-packed Dyeing to Stitch shop in Virginia Beach, kept by Ann Robbins and Pat Ryan of R&R Reproductions. They've been in business for 21 years now! If you are ever taking a beach vacation in that area, be sure and stop by.. they would be thrilled to see you! And you'll be thrilled with the inspiration you leave with.
You've probably seen many of the designs in the pictures below, and keep in mind that they'll be heavy on the autumn side, as they were taken in October of last year. But who doesn't love a little heavy on the autumn side? :)
Pat's favorite thing to stitch is silk gauze, and the front window is full of these tiny models!
Ann and Pat have the most amazing collection of antiques and their reproductions. I just love that Ann collects "Ann samplers!"
Mary Smithies is one of my favorites.. the stories behind the samplers are wonderful, and it's a joy to listen to Pat and Anne explain what they know of the histories of them. Mary, which is from the Utah Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake, is one that Ann painstakingly stitched the blue lines through, just like the original.
Those of you who know me know that I have a slightly intense love for coffee: Starbucks in particular. So of course I'm positively in love with this sampler! Here's a little information on it, as provided by history-buff Pat...
Sally Starbuck (her family helped establish Nantucket) is the daughter of the second Starbuck brother, Edward. Edward was the real coffee-loving first mate of the whaling ship Essex. Herman Melville visited the Essex and used Edward's name in his novel Moby Dick, and provided a real-life description of him in the book...
Fast-forward to 1971, and the Starbucks company used this name, borrowed from Melville's novel. Ever notice the coffee company's logo?
Fast-forward to 2014, and I really need this sampler:
Of course, the shop is most famous for its delicious hand-dyed linens. They were the first hand-dyed company, dipping their linens in colors that are suited to reproductions and primitives and all sorts of designs, and with inviting names like Espresso and Cappuccino and Olde Towne Blend... so many gorgeous brews to choose from!
(I'm not entirely sure why this photo is at this odd angle, but I couldn't leave it out! I love the beach themes so many of the models reflect in this area of the shop.)
The Reverend Gourdon Squashbottom by Notforgotten Farms is one chart that I left with that day (all kitted up for me, of course!).. I just couldn't resist him!
And here's his wee companion, from a Just Cross Stitch magazine...
Have you seen all the Beggars from Threadwork Primitives? Nan has such a charming way with these beloved black birds!
I really look forward to another trip soon! I keep threatening to crash in on them one day and just be an honorary employee. I think it would be great fun, although if I really were on the payroll, I'd never make a dime; I would, however, have a massive collection of new projects to be started. ;)