Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I have always loved using different kinds of threads and stitches on my pieces. This design I stitched in 1984 at my American Needlepoint Guild chapter. We used different stitches and unusual threads to create the design. Note on the last photo (which is upside down) that I printed my initials and the year on the canvas before framing. It is always a great idea to mark your finished piece with your name and date—especially if your memory is as short as mine is!

I like samplers that use different stitches also. The Ellen Van Winkle sampler from 1836 is a busy sampler with cross, rice, back stitch and free-form embroidery on it. As you can see, the sampler had been tacked to a frame and is now fraying badly along the edges. The colors are still brilliant. I took the photos at different times so they seem to be of different colors, but it is the lighting.

The "Jesus permit thy gracious name" is one of the most common sampler verses.

Notice the Cottage of Content and The Tomb underneath the flower baskets. 

Below is the reverse of the sampler. She was pretty neat in her stitching.

Note the frayed edges.

This is also the reverse side.

I stitched this on a dark Dublin linen. Of course, after I had finished the piece, the linen color was discontinued. Remember there were very few color choices in those days—early 1990's. I love the  large honeysuckle border.

The free-form embroidery is the large flower basket in the lower part of the sampler. I tried to make it as much like the original as possible but didn't worry if I was off a bit. Who would know or care...? 

In the last piece that I finished, I got bored with the half cross stitch—continental or basketweave—and used some satin stitches to fill in so I could get it done more quickly. This is another Carriage House Samplings design. It is based on a similar piece in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The one in the Met has rabbits rather than a lion. I changed some of the colors and, since I made a counting error in the yellow flowers but did not want to rip, I added another flower to the right of her head. 

I used 35 count cream linen and stitched it over 1 thread with "half cross" stitch. The trees were originally 926 blue family but I wanted them to be green. I change colors whenever I want. There is no rule that says you have to stitch in the color the designer intended. 

  Note that I stitched my initials and the year on the linen. I felt that there was not an appropriate place to stitch these in the design area. Have a wonderful grain-painted frame for her.

Read a book last night on how to do blogs! Learned a lot. Off to my walk before the rain starts. Spring is here!

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