Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

The CARON Collection is pleased to feature one of the outstanding shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance, technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local shops and browse through our extensive SHOP LISTINGS to find a shop near you.

The Sampler
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tatiana Kowryga, owner of The Sampler in Toronto, Canada first learned to cross-stitch when she was seven at her grandmother's knee. Her abiding passion for needle and thread is what would eventually steer her to The Sampler, which, in 1986, was owned by Charland Garvin of Charland Designs - one of Toronto's well-loved cross-stitch designers. When Charland determined to go into designing full time, she decided, with some regret, to sell her wonderful business. After much deliberation and long discussions with her husband, Tatiana resolved, "I came to the decision to extend this wonderful art form into a full time business." Charland and her husband, Bob, were both extremely supportive during the initial years, and it remains a special treat for Tatiana when Charland teaches at the shop or attends its special events. Tatiana adds playfully, "Now, I hope all you collectors and admirers of Charland Designs aren't getting too jealous. Just come on down, and join us!"

What follows is an Insider's Tour of The Sampler
Presented by Proprietor
Tatiana Kowryga

"Sing Hallelujah, c'mon get happy! You're in Charlotte, where you're cares can fade away" - That's what the Official Visitor's Guide, in my hotel room, read. Little did they know that I was there for reasons far from what the travel guide was promoting. For the next 4 days I would be spending every waking hour hunting down the latest fibres and threads, the most luxurious fabrics, and the newest designs for all my discriminating customers back in Toronto!

Customers - who had perhaps one day, decided to stitch a birth sampler for a new baby, or show appreciation to a dedicated teacher with an embroidered gift from the heart. Customers - who, while stitching, discovered a love for needlework that was to last throughout their lifetime. Customers - who are 21st century fibre artists, sharing a common desire to create legacies of beauty. Customers - who, in this whirlwind of a society, are able to connect century-to-century and country-to-country with a simple tool ­ a threaded needle.

As I settled in for the night, one article caught my attention. It boasted of wonderful, original Frescoes (a Renaissance painting technique created by adding pigment to wet plaster) scattered throughout Charlotte. Renowned artist Ben Long painted these Frescoes. Mr. Long explained how he could not have painted without his "paint-mixers', who provided particular colours and plaster for him and enabled him to create these world-renowned works of art. The city of Charlotte was now boasting about having the largest collection of original Frescoes of any other North American city.

And so it is with our customers at The Sampler. Scattered among the many people who walk through The Sampler's front doors are many talented artists. Relying on the treasures they discover in our store to equip them, they quietly weave works of art to be given as cherished gifts, adornments for their living spaces, etc.

Gone are the days where cotton floss and a piece of 14 count white Aida is sufficient. Among the abundance of supplies available are: intoxicating fibres and exotic fabrics; silks and metallics; glass, resin, porcelain, semi precious stone and, gold and silver embellishments; triple-forged steal tools; superb designs ­ just to name a few. Even 19th century European royalty would envy what is available to these 21st century artists.

These customers are people who know you can't make a silk purse of a sow's ear. They refuse to cheapen their time or their pieces by using inferior fabrics. They are challenged by new techniques and inspired by colour and texture. They thrive on any information they can glean from classes, magazine articles, the Internet, etc just to give that final touch to their heirloom!

Ben Long is a modern-day painter using techniques from centuries past. And so it is with our customers. These are modern-day artists, using century-old techniques that have quietly survived the transitions, wars and conquests of human history ­ and combining them with the superb materials available today, create their masterpieces! Ours' is a big responsibility at The Sampler.

And so, our dear customers, read on and discover what great wonders and inspirations this "paint-mixer" has available especially for you!

Our store carries a wide variety of:

Fibres: Caron Collection; Rainbow Gallery; Gentle Art Sampler Threads; Weeks Dye Works; DMC; Anchor; Madiera; Thread Gatherer; Needle Necessities; Petals; Trebizond Silks; Flower Thread; Ginnie Thompson Linen Thread; Londonderry Linen Thread; Broider Wul; Soie Dalger; Kreinik; Bijoux; Marlit; Velour.

Fabrics: Zweigart; Wichelt; Charlescraft; R & R reproductions; Martin Winkler; Glenshee; Canteburry Cross.

Embellishments: Gay Bowles; Just Another Button Company; Honey Bee Creations; Susan Clarke Originals.

Frames: K's Creations; F. A. Edmunds; Formor; Crafter's Choice; Q Snaps; Artisan; Wood Sorcery.

Just to name a few! If there is anything you are looking for specifically - give us a call!

We also mail order all over the world. Don't forget to ask about our famous newsletter! We extend to all our fellow stitchers a personal invitation to come and visit with them. Here you'll find fantastic fibers and fabrics that will set your creative spirits on fire! The latest designs, from all around the world, spill over dozens of shelves, enticing you just to pick up a needle and stitch! Before you leave our store, a dilemma will over come you as never before...."Which project to begin first?"

We publish a great newsletter that's always high in demand and goes out for free! We have classes galore! I love to pass on all the techniques I have had the privilege to learn from experienced stitchers, designers and teachers.

Legends of the Dragons
Designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith, Karen Weaver and Teresa Wentzler

The Sampler is truly Toronto's Premiere Cross-stitch Store and we enjoy living up to our reputation. You'll also see us at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival, which we have been a part of since the beginning. This year is quite spectacular as we have the honour of hosting a LEGENDARY TRIO - together for the first time in North America!

Jennifer Aikman-Smith - of "Dragon Dreams",
Karen Weaver - of "Black Swan" and
Teresa Wentzler of "Teresa Wentzler Design Works"
will be at our booth (# 801) and you'll be able to meet them in person! (When they're not teaching or hosting the Fantasy Tea).

We extend a hearty invitation to all our fellow stitchers to come and visit us. Here, you'll find fantastic fibers and fabrics that will set your creative spirits on fire! The latest designs, from all around the world, spill over dozens of shelves, enticing you just to pick up a needle and stitch! Before you leave our store, a dilemma will over come you as never before...."Which project to begin first?"

This and much, much more is waiting for you at The Sampler - Toronto's Premiere Cross-stitch Store. We'll be waiting - because you count!

The Sampler
598 Brown's Line
Toronto, ON,
M8W 3V5, Canada
Phone: toll free number 1 (888) NDL-WORK
Email: sampler@netrover.com

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