Header Photo

Header Photo
American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista


Friday, 30 November 2012

Hello everyone. Like all of you, I'm absolutely delighted to be a part of this growing group. Thank you so very much to Nicola and Jo for all your hard work in bringing us all together.

I too will be turning 50 next year and as a long time lover of samplers, I couldn't think of a better way to spend 2013 than doing what I love most and sharing with like minded friends.

I have ordered two kits from The Scarlet Letter. The first is Grazing Sheep (images from The Scarlet Letter website)

Grazing Sheep

The second kit I chose was Rachel Ayres .

Rachel Ayres Reproduction Sampler

I'm still not sure which I will work on first and to be honest, I can see myself ordering several more kits or charts before very long. I found it so very difficult to make a decision on my first SL purchases. I've admired these charts for many years and although I have a substantial stash of charts, I didn't have any SL's which surprised me. Never mind. My problem is now solved.

Looking forward to the new year ahead.
Cheers, Dot (Victoria, Australia)

I've Got Mail!

Woohoo!  My package from the Scarlet Letter arrived today.  It is great to see the details and the historical information on each one.   The Dona Dorothea looks so gorgeous.  As you can see I also picked up Freelove Hazard, just 'had to have it' after seeing it on the blog :)

Looking forward to starting Ann Grimshaw.  I have a piece of 32 ct cream Sienna linen I think will be perfect, just need to decide on a color! (not that easy a task for me!)

I also LOVE the quaker pincushion, Love is the Road of Peace!!  A perfect sentiment back in 1811, as well as in the here and now.  I will be stitching that one sooner than later.

Sarah Siddall

This is such a wonderful idea thank you Nicola and Jo. My name is Donna I am from Massachusetts. I have stitched a few SL samplers, Jane Rees, Jane Atkinson, Ann Grimshaw. I have an old project that needs finishing Sarah Siddall and a new start Ann Medd. I don't have a blog but follow most of those from everyone here. Such talent this should be fun

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

I received an email this evening from Jean in Nova Scotia.

Jean advised that she did not have a blog as she is

 "trapped in the last century technologically" 


"This would be my first sampler, my first SAL and my first Scarlet Letter chart. Recently, I’ve thought about stitching a sampler and just needed the little push your idea has provided.

I spent some time on the SL site and chose Emma Miles. There will be a 2-week delay before she is sent but she is ordered and I am excited."

In an exchange of emails I told Jean that I followed blogs from the side lines for quite sometime  before having the courage to even comment and then go on to have my own blog.

I was delighted when Jean emailed back to say

I find myself in a comparable place. I am inspired and if you can do it, then so can I"

Well done Jean, you are very welcome and are an inspiration to us all and we will be here for you.

much indecision

Heya.  My name is Leigh and I live in the Pacific Northwest (USA).
Thank you so much for letting me join this group.  Looking at all the posts, and seeing all the beautiful charts just makes me grin.  I had to be a part of it and not just sitting back as a spectator.
All that said.... I still have no clue what I am going to be stitching.  I have even Scarlet Letter charts and none of them are started.  Two of them are kitted, but I don't think I am going to begin with one of them, which means kitting another!  I most likely won't be starting the stitching until January.  I think this journey will be a great one to join all of you on.

I'm So Excited!

First off I would like to wish Nicola the best birthday year ever! 
 I think it will be one that won't be forgotten by many, for me it will hopefully be known as the year I finished lots of Scarlet Letter Samplers!
I must let you know that I have lots of SL charts, kits and WIP's.
I can only say that I have two completed samplers that I dearly love, and therefor must show.

And All Was For An Appil

A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion
I do have one sampler that is completely stitched and has been for a number of years that has yet to be framed, so this is the year....for Emma Lerch

Now on to the WIP's, I do have a few

Rebekah Watson Sampler of 1733

Solitude, Religion, Virtue
Ann Bowden

The Boscobel Oak

I have been so enthused with the prospect of getting all of these projects done that I thought what the heck I need to start some thing else because truth be told the most fun in stitching is the starting!  So yesterday I put a few stitches into...
The Huntsman

So I'm going to quit there and try to make great strides in my projects, I wish everyone good speed and can not wait to see everyone progress. 
This was just the thing to get me motivated
Thanks Nicola and Jo

I did fail to let you know who I am
Carmen Sutton
Cardan Antiques and Needlework
I live in Franklin Tennessee

My first Scarlet Letter

Thank you so much to Nicola and Jo for inviting me to join this group.  I've not stitched a Scarlet Letter sampler yet.  Although, I have had several on my wish list for quite a while.  This is just the push I needed to get one off the list and in my hand!

Photo credit:  The Scarlet Letter

I've chosen the Hornbook Bestiary Sampler for my start as I have a fondness for hornbooks in general.  I plan to ask for it for Christmas.  If I don't get it for Christmas then I'll order it for my birthday a few days later.  Yep, I have a holiday season birthday that's both a curse and in this case, maybe a blessing.

I will start sometime after the first of the year.  I'm looking forward to watching everyone's samplers grow!  Thanks again, Nicola and Jo!

Lisa aka The Inspired Stitcher


A BIG THANK YOU to Krista of Just Stitching Along and Carmen of Cardan Antiques who have sponsored some extra prizes.

There will now be two names drawn in October Krista's birth month. Krista's prize for the second name drawn will be a Scarlet Letter chart of your choice. 

July is Carmen's birth month and the second name drawn will receive a Thimble Keep which will be the perfect place to keep thimble, needles and pins, safe and close at hand while working on your favorite Scarlet Letter Sampler.  

Carmen makes these herself with reproduction quilt fabric and cotton velveteen filled with emery to keep both pins and needles sharp, an antique button provides the closure that will keep your thimble safe, and allow you to always have your sewing necessaries at your side.Thank you again Krista and Carmen for your kindness and generosity.

Decisions, decisions...

My name is Louise. I'm originally from New York State and have been living in France for 25 years, here in the south for the last 15.

This challenge is a great opportunity to finish up some WIPs. I haven't been stitching much in the last few months and this is just the motivation I need to get busy. I would say I am first and foremost a knitter and spinner (louknits on ravelry), and though I love to stitch, it often gets pushed to the background.

That said, I spent a few hours yesterday tracking down all the SL patterns I have acquired over the last 25 years or so, and have discovered 25 patterns and 14 kits! My priority will be to work on the kits, starting with the smallest ones. That means the 1840 Miniature Sampler, followed by the Huswif circa 1780. Next up will be Elizabeth Raysor's Sampler of 1834. I have had Ruth Bacheler 1717 in my stash for a while, and can't wait to start her! But she will have to wait for a few finishes.

Thanks to both Nicola and Jo for their time and effort in organizing this SAL. I look forward to seeing everyone's progress.

Just the Push I Needed!

I’ve been a huge Scarlet Letter fan since the 1980’s, and over the years I’ve amassed a tidy collection of charts.  I’ve stitched Ann Scutt, Margret Mason, Phoebe Smith, Abigail Gould & American Quaker Band Sampler.

Right now I have three Scarlet Letter samplers in my WIP/UFO basket--Martha Salter, Betsy Manchester,  and Harriot Boardman.  I’ll begin with Martha Salter which is nearly 3/4 finished, and who knows where I'll go from there--maybe I'll finish another UFO, or I might even start a new SL sampler!

This is going to be such fun.  I see SO many familiar names here!  Thank you Nicola for giving me just the push I need to finish Martha Salter!

Peace & Love,
Fran Russell

Happy to be Joining this Challenge

I've had this Scarlet Letter chart, Scottish Band, in my stash forever.  So long, in fact, that I raided the kit for silks for another project.  This challenge is just the push I need to get started on this.  I'm probably going to wait until late in December to start it, though, as I want to finish up a few ornaments and an exchange gift.  Also, I'm anticipating getting a floor stand for Christmas and think this would be a good project to put on scroll rods. 

Can't wait to see everyone else's projects and progress!

Running to catch up!

Nicola, this is such a wonderful (and generous) idea! Thank you for allowing me to join in your big celebration! (My birthday is in February too, but I beat you to the big 5-0!)

I love Scarlet Letter designs (and huge samplers in general) but I am reeeeealllly sllloooooow so I think I will use the first part of this SAL to try and finish some of my WIPs. First up will be Ann Grimshaw, which I apparently started in approximately 2005. (Did I mention that I am slow? :-D ) I am quite a traditionalist on reproduction samplers, so she's done in NPI silk (black) on white (either 36 or32 ct) linen.

Again, thank you for letting me join you!

The Twigg Gals

Hi - I'm so pleased to be able to take part in this challenge.  What a great idea for a celebration, Nicola :)   I'm Dianne, from the Canadian West (Calgary) - we can see the Rocky Mountains from our garden, and can drive there in less than an hour.

 For my Scarlet Letter project, I've pulled out a little kit that I've had for years - The  Twigg Miniatures, circa 1800.    I think I was put off by the notion of stitching one of these entirely over 1 thread, but I'd decided a month or so ago that I could manage this now.   I love the colours of the silks in these, some of my favorite blue-greens and grey-greens.   Here's the link to the SL site of this kit:
The images are also from the Scarlet Letter website.  

 As I'm also committed to two  Amy Mitten projects at the moment ("Ten", the anniversary sampler for our Sampler Guild, as well as her Winders-Keeper tutorial),  and I'm not a speedy stitcher,  I won't let myself be tempted by another SL sampler at the moment (so I tell myself now, but there are so many possibilities LOL).  That said, I'm very drawn to the Unicorn Bellpull as well as the Hornbook Bestiary - one of our  Guild members has stitched a brilliant series of ornaments using the motifs from the Bellpull, and I think something similar could be done with the Hornbook designs too.  Here's the link to the SL site of this kit:

Hopefully I'll be able to start later in December, as soon as I finish the ornaments I'm working on - hopefully by then my camera glitch will be smoothed out and I'll be able to update my blog .......

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Monthly Draw Prizes

We are just  a week into my Scarlet Letter Year and we already have nearly 70 participants. I want to thank each and every one of you for joining in and making this so much fun. I look forward to getting to know all of you.

If I haven't already signed up as Stitching by a Cornish Seashore to follow your blog please let me know.

I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for all her help in designing and coordinating the blog for me. Without her assistance this would not have been possible.

When my husband suggested a big birthday party for me and asked me what I wanted for a present I never dreamt that my idea of sharing and celebrating my  Scarlett Year with my "pin" pals would have attracted so much support. I think that the level of interest shows how well loved Marsha's designs are.

Just  quick note that in addition to becoming a contributor it is important that you also become a follower so that each new post goes into your reader.

If you haven't received your invitation to contribute then it has either gone astray or you are a no reply blogger. We currently have 5 no reply bloggers that we have been unable to track down an email address for. Please contact Jo who will gladly issue the google invite to you.

As you all know I am having a monthly draw for my favourite things with names of those who have posted in the month going into the hat . Well, here goes:


My favourite silk is Au Ver a Soie and I am giving away 10 skeins  The first name out of the hat on December 15th can choose the colours.


Hopefully this month there will be lots of stitching but just in case you have not purchased your chart the first name out can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

The prize for the second name drawn has been sponsored by Elaine of emilyscupboard and is for one of my favourite charts 

Jane Atkinson

Thank you Elaine for your generosity. Elaine has recently started her blog and it is well worth a visit.


February is my birth month and I wanted this prize to be one that is special to me. Pride of place next to my sewing chair sits my spool caddy.

Hyers wood Spool Caddy

Richard stopped taking orders for his custom made sewing furniture in September but has very kindly agreed to make another one for me with a scarlet cushion (of course!).

MARCH 2013

We may be seeing some finishes in our gallery this month so it is the perfect time to start another sampler.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

Dorothy Walpole

Dorothy has been a very popular sampler to stitch, what will you be choosing?

APRIL 2013

By April we will have had our silks, fabric and chart so it is time for me to share with you my favourite embroidery scissors.
Sajou Mother of Pearl style scissors
I hope that the winner this month will enjoy using them as much as I do.

MAY 2013

Time for another Scarlet Letter Chart of your choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

The weather here in the UK will hopefully be starting to warm up and my husband should be setting off on his round the UK boating trip.

Seventen Sailors

A perfect month for me to stitch Seventen Sailors to commemorate his voyage. What will you choose?

JUNE 2013

I like collecting sewing etuis and boxes, the moment I saw this I wanted it.

DMC Home Forever Sewing Box

If you are the name drawn how will you customise the panels?

JULY 2013

We will now be roughly half way through the challenge and I hope that the gallery will be filling up and another perfect opportunity to start a sampler.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

It will be summer here in the UK and my son's flock of sheep will hopefully be as plump as these.

Grazing Sheep


By now I hope to have completed one or two samplers and will be needing to replenish my silks so I am giving away another 10 skeins.  

English Transitional Sampler

I will probably be starting the English Transitional sampler which has the most vibrant colours. 


Time for some reading, my favourite magazine is Sampler and Antique Needlework quarterly

I am sure that many, if not most, already read or subscribe to SANQ so the name drawn will win a year's subscription to start at a date of your choice no later than September 2014. 


In the UK autumn will be well and truly here and the evenings starting to draw in. I like nothing more than to light the fire and settle down for an evening's stitching.

The name drawn can select a Scarlet Letter Chart of their choice and full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter's wonderful selection subject to availability.

AW 1662
AW would make an ideal winter's project.


I have been hearing for some time about the gorgeous silks available from hand-dyedfibers.com and I would very much like to try them. 

The name drawn will receive a $50 gift voucher so that they too can try Vicki's silk threads.


Our gallery should have lots of finishes in it now.

Will you be fed up of stitching yet? I am sure you won't be so let's have another Scarlet Letter Chart and  full yard of linen from Scarlet Letter of your choice.

Just as well Marsha has so many designs to choose from.

Jane Stott

Maybe Jane Stott, a Pennsylvania Christmas Sampler would be a festive choice. I haven't seen her stitched before.


Our last monthly draw so a special one. 

If you are a follower of my blog Stitching by a Cornish Seashore you will know I LOVE my Millennium Frame so the drawn name will receive a standard frame


As a thank you for participating and completing a sampler(s) with me and making my Scarlet Year special the first two names drawn will receive a $50 voucher.

One has very generously been sponsored by Marsha and the other by my husband Ray.

The next five names will each receive a Scarlet Letter chart of their choice subject to availability.

Please remember to check the challenge rules to ensure you qualify for each draw. 
If anyone would like to sponsor additional prizes you would be very welcome.

I'm here too!

Thank you so much for setting this up.  It's always so nice to be in great company when embarking on such an undertaking!  I wish I had had the forethought to do something like this when I turned 50!

I'm Terri.  I live in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  I'm married to a wonderful man who recently retired from 30 years in the Marine Corps.  We have a grown son who is living in southern California, and 2 Italian Greyhound children. 

I have a couple of very large starts coming up in 2013.  And They Sinned on January 1, and Berlin Woolwork Sampler on January 15.  Because of these two huge starts, and because I have the perfect spot on my wall for it, I have chosen "Gratitude," an 1820 reproduction, as my first Scarlet Letter to stitch along with you.  I also have Dorothy Walpole, Ann Grimshaw, and A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion (and the DMC for this one) standing by.  I'm thinking I will start Gratitude on Christmas day since my son and his girlfriend will be visiting and I'll have lot to be grateful for.

Happy stitching, all!

Excited About This Challenge

I'm so excited to be joining this Challenge.  I'm not going to even try to count the number of Scarlett Letter charts I have, but there are a "few"!  Okay, I did count when I was trying to find the right piece to start stitching ...and I have.... 73!!!  And a couple kits - one dating all the way back to 1990.  This group will give me just the incentive to pull some of them out and get going on them.  And also finish up a couple that I have started like Susanna Lane:

Or And All Was For An Appil:

Or Elizabeth Sheffield:

I have a funny feeling that I'll pick something new just because I suffer from extreme startitis.  I have one non-SL project to finish up - probably in the next couple of weeks - and then I'll figure out what I'm going to start.

My top two contenders are Dorothy Walpole and Abigail Gould, but I change my mind on a daily basis - so many wonderful samplers to do.   I do like the idea of going between large and small samplers though.

A huge Thank You to Nicola for starting up this group - and a big Thank You to Jo for helping.  This is going to be a lot of fun.

SDW Sampler Progress

I have completed page four of the SDW sampler, I completely underestimated how long it would take to stitch this flower pot, but I am enjoying every stitch and the wonderful colours!

Here is the first band which you can just see rolled up above, I still haven't decided if I will change the blackwork band for something else.

A question about silks

Hello everyone!  I'm trying to get together supplies for my sampler.  The pattern lists numbers for silks, but doesn't say whether the numbers are for au ver a soie or NPI.  Anybody know which silks she typically calls for in her patterns?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Ann Scutt & PLL

Isn't this just the most exciting idea!! 

And, on top of that, this is my first ever blog post (so many apologies if I make a mess of it!).

I love SL, especially the 17th century samplers and have many of them in my stash.

I have just started Ann Scutt and have A Parrot, A Leopard, A Lion as a current WIP so they will be my first two projects.  I have only completed the first 2 small bands on Ann Scutt and I am approx half way through the outline stitches on PLL.  I'm stitching it on 35ct linen in tent stitch.  I will post photos soon (if I can work out how to.)

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's progress on these wonderful projects.   And Lisa, it is lovely to meet a fellow Kiwi!!

Thank you so much Nicola & Jo.

New Zealand

Freelove Hazard 1792

Hi all

I have decided to stitch Freelove Hazard 1792 as my first sampler for Nicola's Scarlet Letter year.  I have the kit on order and can't wait for it to arrive and get stitching.

I chose a medium sized sampler to start with, as I really need to finish another sampler I am working on before starting another large project.  Although, I do have my eyes on Dorothy Walpole and Mary Cooper already! :-)

Thanks Nicola and Jo, for organising this fun challenge.


Am I a Hoarder???

While going through my stash to pick a sampler, I discovered that I have 25 unstitched (and mostly unopened) Scarlet Letter charts, and 5 kits!  One of them is even silk!  I guess I really must be a hoarder, but I really have the best of intentions...

I did buy all the floss yesterday for the SL Christmas Sampler (my choice) and am going to use plain old DMC.  I nearly always use DMC because of the cost.  I already have some 32 count lambswool linen and will probably use that.  I would like to get started this week, but I am pretty busy with Christmas stuff, so it might have to wait.

How are everyone else's stitching preparations coming?


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Jo who can't make her mind up

Finally, I get to make a blog post on here myself!

Helloooooooo to all the incredible stitchers who have signed up for Nicola's Challenge and have posted already.  You really are enabling the rest of us!

Here's my short short list, I made a few "rules" to help cut down on choices, must be English (because I am), must feature a variety of stitches, no big old houses (because I'll get bored), no naked Adam and Eves (because I have Small Boys who will snigger!) and I do like an alphabet too.

Ann Johnson Reproduction Sampler

Pattern Record (I'd use more than three colours though)
Pattern Record

Judeth Payne

EH 1669

Side by Side Band

Martha Wilkins


Gardner Pocketbook (I'd stitch this as a picture not a pocketbook though, I love the colours)
Gardner Pocketbook

I also looked at Joanna Warren (for obvious reasons, it's my name (almost!)) but she looks very big and busy, I think I'd get bogged down in her.

Joanna Warren

I also love the small "My Beloved" so I might treat myself to that one for Christmas, I think I could definitely finish that one in less than a year!

My Beloved

So what do you think?  It's a very difficult decision!  There are 327 to choose from and even after you exclude certain things there's still a huge range to choose from.  Happy browsing!

I told Nicola about my choices and she helpfully came up with a few more!!  So I feel a "pin sticking" session may be in order.