Thursday, March 4, 2010

SAMPLERS—The Beginning of my Journey

I have been stitching since I was a child. Knit my first sweater—a ski sweater—in the eighth grade. Always loved working with my hands and sewed many doll clothes in my day. I joined the new American Needlepoint Guild chapter Illini Needlers in the 1980's and learned many new needlework techniques, but when I looked back on those projects, I saw that they were lovely but very dated. My beautiful silk and metal thread angel with the avocado green background was never going to leave the back of my closet. I decided that I loved antique samplers and reproductions of them because they would never go out of date. They are classic. I guess that is why I also love most classical music. So I started reproducing and stitching antique samplers. It has been an interesting journey. The samplers like Eliza Ann Marlett that I stitched in 1987 still look great!

Some of the first samplers that I attempted were either stamped on linen fabric like the one above or were needlepoint. The two designs below were hand painted needlepoint canvas by Susan Treglown. I thought they were fantastic at the time! The entire sampler is stitched using continental and basketweave stitches. I thought I was really fancy when I use perle cotton for the colors and wool for the background.

This Christmas sampler I stitched through Illini Needlers ANG. Still love it. 

This sampler was a class taught in 1984 by the late Chottie Alderson of California. It was done on 24 count needlepoint canvas called congress cloth. Each of the strawberries surrounding Adam and Eve was made using a different stitch.

This is another 1984 Chottie Alderson sampler on congress cloth. Each block on the border is a different stitch and each motif area in the center is a different technique. I used to get a lot of stitching done in those days and I learned a lot.

I thought these were terrific samplers until I got involved with reproductions. Now they too reside in my closet with the avocado angel!

As to reading— I just finished the latest Danielle Steele book, Big Girl. It was not the greatest but an afternoon's diversion. It focused on a girl with bad self-esteem and her journey to find love and happiness with someone who loved her whether or not she was fat or thin. I've read better. Just started the John Grisham short stories.

Be back tomorrow with more samplers, etc.

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