DesignerLimelight: Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum

Author: Anne Chua

Name: Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum
Origin: American, born in 1946
Since (year): She started publishing her embroidery designs in 1986, when she showed her original design “The Quilting”, showing an Amish quilting bee, to the owner of a local needlework shop who told her that if she graphed the design the shop would sell it. The first 25 copies sold almost immediately.

Within a decade, her Victorian angel designs were considered among the most popular cross-stitch designs available.
Distinctive Style: She is well known of her Victorian angel designs. Her designs were published under the business name Told in a Garden, with product divisions of:
a) Told in a Garden – Amish and village style designs
b) Lavender and Lace – angel designs
c) Butternut Road – samplers and secular ladies designs

Marilyn also helped everyone stitching faces with her recommended DMC colors for various ethnic groups so that stitchers could change the look of the people they were stitching.

She passed away on August 14, 2012 at age of 66.

More of her designs, you may refer to the link (for info only):

If you wish to buy her charts, you may go to:,,




DesignerLimelight: Cottage Garden Samplings (Vinniey Tan)

Author: Ang LaeHoon

Vinniey Tan, is the designer behind Cottage Garden Samplings (based in Malaysia!) since 28 June 2012. She is happily married to her husband Kelvin and are proud and blessed parents of 3 beautiful daughters.

In 2009, Vinniey discovered the joys of creating her own fresh and unique cross stitch designs. She is obsessed with CS (like we all do, don’t we?) and loves to create her own designs, despite her busy schedule as a stay-at-home mom with a home-based creative consultant job.

After coming up with her first design ~ Cupcake Cottage, she has not looked back since. The original stitching of Cupcake Cottage is still proudly displayed in Maycraft Subang. Within 2 years, she created a total of 11 beautiful patterns and in early 2012, Vinniey Tan launched her CS designing career and set up her very own CS company, Cottage Garden Samplings, named as such for her love of doodling garden, colorful flowers, herbs, and fruit trees.

Vinniey’s style of design depends on things that inspire her on that day and are more towards the combination of a little primitive and modern folk art. Her designs reflect her love of flowers, colours, garden and Mother Nature.

Cottage Garden’s Sampling bestsellers include Halloween Sampler and the “My Garden Journal” 12 part series and Peace On Earth Sampler (Vinniey’s personal favourite!).

Find out more about Vinnie’s beautiful designs at :

Her CS charts are also sold at many popular CS websites around the world such as,, and

p/s: she is currently working on another 12 part series to be launched in year 2018, and the insider news is… they are gonna be more beautiful and exciting than her bestseller “My Garden Journal”!!!

DesignerLimelight: Jan Houtman

Author: Anne Chua

Here is the first post of designer featuring. We intend to make our members to get to know more cross stitch designers out there, and to appreciate their efforts they put into designing. Not a long winded one, just a simple intro. Hope everyone will like this featuring post.

Today, the first designer that I would like to intro is JAN HOUTMAN, a Dutch who was born in 1929 and grew up in Medan, Sumatra. He started his own brand of design since 1968. His design is sophisticated and compact, leaving not much blank spaces in between. He was a true talent that he had no planning or idea in the design before he started to embroider. He simply just stitched and the design came out gradually. However, sadly he passed away in 2007 due to long term illness.

Here are some of his marvellous design and you can find out more at this link:


New Section: #DesignerLimelight


Watch out for #DesignerLimelight 😉
I have a few awesome stitchers who volunteered to bring Cross-Stitch designers into our view.

We may have known a few BUT there are many more out there who deserves to be known! This could be our route to immortality. hihihihi With this initiative, I hope more will know of the existence of superb designers, where they are from, year of being active and their “style”.

This will be led by CSM very own challenger Anne Chua 😉

Hint: 30th October 2017

p/s: We do not guarantee immortality BUT you’ll highly likely fall in love.


Thank you volunteers. This has always been part of my to-do list so yea! Thank you for realizing this! You know who you are. 😉

Floss Organization: Ziplock Bags

After a series of floss organizations, this post is finally ready to be shared!

Just like everything crafty, floss organization is subjective. There is no right or wrong way to store and organize your flosses as long as it keeps them clean and keeps them where you can find them for all the neverending charts we accumulate. (Stitchers are immortal!)

Some prefer bobbins. Even with bobbins, there are many types and ways to store them.

In this post, we’ll share how ziplock bags are used.

Firstly, the following are what is used in the method shared here. Not all are required but the ones marked with asterisk(*) are required to make this system work. The most important item is G but it is not in the picture below.

A– Round 25mm stickers
B– Pen (Any kind would do)*
C– Marker pens
D– A4 papers -160gsm*
E- Cutter*
F– Magnetic acrylic dividers
G– Ziplock bags (16.8cm by 8.3cm) or any size which would fit in your drawer nicely 


Step One: Arrange your floss.

Step Two: Measure and cut the A4 papers to fit into the ziplock bags.

Step Three: Write floss codes on stickers and A4 papers.

Note: In this post, floss codes are written on both the round stickers and top-right corner of the A4 papers. Stickers allow ease of searching. Codes written on the cards are just to ensure there will be no mixed up later on if a sticker happens to fall off. 😉  You may opt to write the codes on the papers with broader tip to skip the stickers.


Step Four: Insert the A4 paper and floss into a ziplock bag. One code each bag. Paste the round sticker on the top-right corner of the bag.3

Step Five: Arrange in ascending order. This will be how it will be organized in the drawer.4

All lined-up ready to be arranged in the drawer.4a

Step Size:  Arrange in the drawer accordingly.7

This is the point where the magnetic acrylic dividers will be used to create partition between the floss series; 1XX, 2XX, 3XX, 4XX and so on. This forms a little indexing for the storage system.5

Step Seven: Place a divider once a series organization has complete. The dividers work well as the drawer is metal. 6

Top view of the drawer. Flosses outside the bags are yet to be sorted. Complete DMC 6-stranded cotton floss would possibly take up 6 drawers.8

Step Eight: Say hello to the “master” drawer! 🙂9

Now, let’s go back to the essentials and where to get them.

A– Round 25mm stickers
B– Pen (Any kind would do)
C– Marker pens
D– A4 papers -160gsm
Local bookstores or stationary shops near you would have them. This is bought from MPH bookstore.

E- Cutter
Any cutter or scissors would do but this type makes it easier and faster. 😉 If you must have this, try Popular bookstore. Not sure if they still carry this as this was bought years ago.

F– Magnetic acrylic dividers
G– Ziplock bags (16.8cm by 8.3cm) or any size which would fit in your drawer nicely 
These 2 items can be found in Daiso. However, Glad snack bags used in this post is from local supermarkets. Daiso may be a cheaper option. 😉

Lastly, the red drawer.

This is from IKEA. Unfortunately, red is no longer available. There are green, black and white though. 🙂



You’ve reached the end of this post. See you in next post. 🙂

2017 – Swap#1 Love Note

The very first CSM Swap Activity; Love Note. This theme is based on the month this is held (February). The activity requires participants to stitch and create a small gift for another group member.

Since it was the very first activity, the CSM Swap Squad did not know what to anticipate but the group members were amazing and no doubt very creative! What was supposed to be a very small gift grew into crafts carrier, lovely pouches, wall deco and even ORT jar!

On top of the stitched gifts were needleminders, cross-stitch charts (yes, we can never have enough charts).

Since it is the very first swap, CSM Swap Squad Linda Chua gave away more charts as bonus! (Sure are lucky, aren’t we?)

CSM members can also view the pictures in the group.

Lavender Garden Contest



How to participate:
1) Download the chart from the listed CSM document; lavender-color-chart OR lavender-bw-chart.
2) Complete stitching the chart and submit a picture of the piece to CSM Admin by 31st May 2017 11:59PM.
3) You are free to stitch on any fabric with any kinds of floss.

Terms & Conditions:
1) Chart is designed exclusively for CSM. Please DO NOT redistribute. NOTE: Respect the designer’s work.

2) Competition runs from 1st March 2017 to 31st May 2017 11:59PM. Pictures of stitched piece MUST be uploaded to the Lavender Garden album. Caption and comment on your uploaded picture the reason behind the quotes/wordings you have stitched. Upload ONLY your finished pieces to this album. 1 picture per participant.

3) By entering this competition, you agree for your work to be published in CSM group and CSM website.

4) Winners will be picked based on the quotes/wordings used to complete the design as well as their creativity in stitching up the design.

5) Have fun!


1st Prize:
1st hand on the designer’s new chart
Pre-cut Fabric
10 DMC flosses

2nd Prize:
1st hand on the designer’s new chart
5 DMC flosses

3rd Prize:
1st hand on the designer’s new chart
3 DMC flosses

Consolation Prizes:
1st hand on the designer’s new chart

Most Liked Piece:
Mystery Prize

Teh ChinYin, Anne Chua, Ruzanna A. Kadir, Little Pink Factory


Oh!Hashtag? #csmlavsal
We all love hashtags don’t we?