Creator of the Posy Collection
I have always loved to make handmade gifts.
Part 1: My sister, Ceil
Ceil is the best sister anyone could hope for! As we grew, up our mother taught us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Our family couldn’t afford store-bought gifts, so we made our own. To this day, she and I choose to make them for our family and friends. We give our mother the credit for our creativity.
Throughout our lives, we have encouraged and supported each other in all our creative ventures. She is amazing. You’ll see what I mean if you visit her website: www.grandmaceilshouse.com.
Part 2: My husband, Tom
The person who is the biggest blessing in my life is my husband, Tom. Throughout our married life he has cheered me on, celebrated my talents, encouraged the many projects I dreamed up, and most of all jumped in and completed the tasks that need his expertise. Because of his support the Posy Collection products made it to the shelves. I have always declared myself president of the Tom Lough Fan Club forever and I welcome anyone who wants to join the fan club … but I am the president for life! When folks meet him, they want to join the fan club. You will see what I mean. Here is a recent project:
Part 3: Our son, Kyser
What blessed news! At the age of 40, we were having our only child. This meant leaving my beloved elementary classroom and coming home to be a mom and raise our son. We needed to supplement our income. That’s how The Posy Collection started. Kyser has seen the business grow from the beginning as a baby until today, as a professor at the University of Georgia. We are so proud of him!
Part 4: The rest of the story
When Kyser was born, Tom was getting his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, wanted someone to develop a line of counted cross-stitch kits for the museum shop. With Ceil’s help, we figured out how to do that and, all these years later, we now have needlework kits all across America, each one made in the USA! We love our country and its history and have worked to give needlework crafters a way to combine their love of country with their love of stitching. HUZZAH!
Here‘s a secret: I do not know how to cross-stitch! But thanks to this current fantastic list of ladies: Ginny, Rosanne, Susan, Brenda, Tommye, and Tracy, my samples get stitched and sewn beautifully. I have two top-notch designers: my sister, Ceil, and “almost-like-a-sister,” Barbara Bangser, who also paints gorgeous custom needlepoint designs (www.BarbaraBangser.com ). Kim Hollifield (), my excellent finisher, has made such a difference in the final beauty of a project. She receives finishing jobs from all over the USA. Finally, my loyal fulfillment group puts all our kits together with such care. In fact, if you need a fulfillment service, you cannot find anyone better than Harold Cox and Diversified Fulfillment (contact Harold at ). And a shoutout to Kelly of Kelly Beth Co. for being my website wizard! Without her expert touch, I’d be lost in the web design wilderness. If you’re like me and need some serious website TLC, I can’t recommend Kelly enough. Tom and I do everything else.
I didn’t learn about EGA, Embroiderers’ Guild of America ( www.egausa.org ), until later in life. Being a charter member of Western KY/TN Stitchers and now a member of The Austin Stitchery Guild has brought so many hours of pure joy. I love being with others who also love the needle arts, and want to continue to learn new skills and teach those skills so others can share the lifelong hobby of stitching.
There are chapters all over our country. Seek out one in your area and support this wonderful educational group.
As you travel across America and visit our historic sites, look for The Posy Collection kits. You can also order directly from the museum shops that have online shops by visiting my vendors’ page here.
OK- so I spilled the beans that I cannot cross-stitch! BUT guess what? About ten years ago, with encouragement from the staff at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, I began to develop needlework kits for quilters. Most of these projects incorporate embroidery with quilt blocks, table runners, wall hangings, quilt labels, and ornaments. I absolutely CAN do embroidery and I LOVE it! My recent life has been filled with hours of brainstorming, researching, and developing, projects for quilters, and then stitching the product samples. When quilters cannot be at their machines, they are finding joy in handwork that can become a larger finished quilted project.
New doors opened when Missouri Star Quilt Company added The Posy Collection kits to their website. There are many to choose from.
I also developed a group of needlework kits for families. Our faith is an important part of who we are. My favorite products are the Nativity kits. You can see them in the family craft shop.
One more thought. I loved teaching during my fourteen years in the elementary classroom. Teaching someone to stitch so they enjoy that as a lifetime hobby is important to me. To help you teach someone to stitch and add a new skill and joy to their life, I have developed a simple stamped-on cross-stitch sampler kit. I hope you will bring that joy to someone by teaching them to stitch using the kit that makes it easy and fun. You can see it in my craft shop here.
I will end by saying how proud we are of our son, Kyser. He grew from a little fella who earned money by folding paper instruction pages and putting them in the kit bags to a wonderful young man who helps produce the beautiful photos on our kits. Tom and I are co-presidents of the Kyser Lough Fan Club (along with his wife, Stephanie, and the two grandcats, Pickles and Archie). Who could have ever imagined he would become such a fantastic teacher himself? You don’t have to believe me, the very biased mom. See for yourself: Kyser Lough.
Even though I am growing older, I am still finding joy in looking for ways to produce interesting new projects and my days are filled to the brim! I hope that some of our kits are bringing you days filled with calm and peace as you stitch away happily.
PS: Since Mother taught me “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” I would like to give you two cross stitch charts to celebrate your love of country. Stitch a red, white, and blue pin for yourself and one for a loved one.