Friday, October 29, 2010

A Sampling of Nostalgia

This post is all about samplers and samplers I have stitched over the years.
I don't tend to spend much time these days cross stitching, however the journey began in the early eighties when my good friend Mechelle Harrison came for dinner one evening and showed me her cross stitch. I couldn't wait to have a go , I remember going to bed that night and I couldn't stop thinking about cross stitching.
Mechelle then introduced me to a delightful shop called Topiary Lane, that was owned by a wonderful needlewoman, her name was Rhonda Townsend.
There was always so much inspiration in her shop and Rhonda was very generous with her help and knowledge, and so the journey began.
I began stitching on Aida cloth and stitched cutesy patterns but I always loved alphabets and script completed on linen and so my love of samplers was born.

Some of the photo's (well most) are behind glass so the quality of the pictures are not brilliant but I hope you get a bit of an idea.

This sampler is unframed and unfinished, I began it some years ago, it is huge and I probably don't want to hang it in my home these days so it may remain a UFO . Quite a part of this verse is crossed using one thread stitched over one thread. Taxing on the eyes :-) these days.
I have gathered a few of these catalogues from Whitney Antiques in England. We visited a couple of years back. I thought I had died and gone to antique sampler heaven. Amazing to think these young girls completed these samplers without patterns and good light.

My love of script and alphabets, not to mention the colour Raspberry.

Oops looks like the next 2 you will have to lie down, lol sorry I am having trouble uploading this morning.

I stitched this in one colour thread (DMC 309) on Natural linen, I had a vision of a room that only contained single colour red (309) samplers, I have only done about 3 to date. This is one of them.

This is a reproduction of a French girl Anna Milet, Anna completed her sampler in 1895.

This is another favourite reproduction, I was fascinated that Mary had added a little cross stitched motif patch to the corner of her sampler and so I authenticated this sampler.
Generally I used the name and date as the original

This sampler is a modern one called pink house by 'Little by Little'. I was stitching the border of this sampler when a member of our family passed away so I added a little memoriam in the border.

This was one of the first samplers I stitched and to date it is still a favourite. Rebecca Waverly.There is quite a large verse stitched one over one

This is also a modern day replication. I think it may be by Goode Huswif not sure.

Grace Gibson, I have stitched this a couple of times as I have given it to friends. I love alphabets along with motifs, very interesting to stitch and see the sampler come to life.

This is also a modern day sampler , also Goode Huswif I think. I know this was a favourite designer.

This is a one colour sampler reproduced by 'The Scarlett Letter' it could be stitched in any favourite colour , green was authentic to the original.

Betsy Wood, also a 'Scarlett Letter' pattern. I used to tea dye a lot of my linen, I was told I was crazy as in time the linen would rot out but I figured it wouldn't be in my lifetime so wasn't too concerned.

I have boxes full of framed samplers that haven't seen the light of day for years, probably a bit sad as many hours have been spent weaving thread through linen.
I have many patterns that will probably never be stitched, silly really but I guess many of you can relate to the 'stash', maybe I will put some on this blog if any of you are interested.
I hope whatever you are stitching it gives you pleasure.
until next time
Happy stitching

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's a Great Day For Sewing

As I begin this post it has begun to pour , no excuses needed now, what else can a girl do but pull out any amount of projects and while the day away.
I call it mandatory de stress and this is needed at least one day a week but when the sun is shining usually the garden calls so today no need to feel guilty at all.

What have I been up to, aside from attending work 5 days, I have managed to assemble some more stars and hexagons for my version of the basket quilt. I am considering using greys and charcoals , checks , stripes and spots for the baskets, keeping the baskets fairly neutral I will use a myriad of colours in the flowers and leaves, I am thinking this may help from not overwhelming the overall effect and giving a sense of being over busy. ( I hope anyway).
I will be travelling to Germany in late November. I am attending an IT conference. Our parent company is going to prepare us for ANOTHER project for next year, oh no I am so over projects, after the huge system change we had this year. Anyway my point is What am I going to take to stitch on the plane and in my down time ?.
As much as I love hexagons and stars I am considering taking my hst and qst, a project I began after I fell in love with Lizzie's.
Now I know these are very quick to whip up by machine (go check out Robyn's Tut)but I like hand piecing, and as I cut out my clamshells and hexies and stars, I have been cutting out triangles and putting into little piles.

I can sit quietly and just piece away, easy to do in airport lounges, aircraft and hotel rooms.

I am going to construct mine in blocks of 9 x 9 then join them into a coverlet. Easier to handle for travelling purposes.
Not bad from the 'Queen of Starts' what do you think

This block is one side of a bag, ( I found it on the web, sorry can't remeber which blog) I started some time back and have hand quilted back and front panels , just need to hand quilt the gusset

The lining is this gorgeous Bee fabric. Maybe I could take the gusset and complete the hand quilting. One thing for sure I certainly won't be short of something to take.
My problem is room, I hate travelling with big bags and it is going to be really cold. )0 to 5 degress I am told so will need to fill the bag with boots and coat.

I also love it when the postman drops a package at the door. I know then it is going to be a good day !!
This week I was really spoilt from my gorgeous friend Lizzie

Some lovely pieces of fabric

and a diary. I so love the fabrics used in the clamshell quilt of the cover of the 2011 V & A diary.

The diary is a perfect size for my handbag but also has lovely pictures of quilts in the V&A museum. I want to make the all LOL.

It's still pouring so off to sew.
I hope where ever you are you can have some mandatory de stress time.
Happy Sewing

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten Ten Ten

Today is the 10th of the 10th in the 10th year of 2000,and it is my birthday. It seems to have some significance as many people are choosing to get married but I was born on this day more years now than I care to remember. One of the presents I have received is this amazing book that my Brother and Sister in Law organised for me. It is a record of my blog.

All of the headings of each blog post

each post along with the photos is captured

as are all the comments. It is so wonderful to have a hard copy and look back over each post, something for the coffee table.
Thanks G and V it is such a fab idea and I am thrilled with it.

Well what have I been up to, it has been such a long time since I posted. I know I have had many emails enquiring as to my well being, thank you.
There has been so much going on , not too much on the stitching front unfortunately.
As I have previously mentioned, I love to start new things and I haven't let myself down , I decided whilst I am finishing off my Clamshell quilt, I should begin my version of the wonderful basket quilt that Corliss from Threadbare has made into a pattern.

My version is going to be a 2010 style using much brighter and clearer colours, mixing reproduction fabric with some shabby chic, 30's and retro.

Making the stars and hexagons is great for dragging out some fav fabrics from the stash

some quirky combinations are very necessary

mixing old and new

I just cut shapes from my favourite pieces and when I get an abundance I lay them out on the table and have a play at combinations.

Its such fun to pull out and combine fabrics that you wouldn't normally think would go together.

just like hexagons these stars also become obsessive.

There are no set rules at combinations, you can have 3 and 3 or in this case I had such a small piece left of this linen and I want it to feature in this quilt I decided to use every last drop and share it over two stars.

mixing old and new, there are no rules.

Can't wait to make a start on the baskets.
Its great to be back , hopefully it won't be so long till next time.
Happy Stitching