Header Photo

Header Photo
American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

SDW Sampler Progress

After posting my last photo of my SDW Sampler progress I felt compelled to backtrack to the church band and get that completed before going forward.

I have veered off from the pattern and made some of my own architectural details..... I made the doors brown and I used a 3 x 2 cross stitch on the roof which I think gives it features that are reminiscent of old European churches... dark, wooden doors and a tiled roof.  I also picked up the pattern in the berry trees to the right and left of the church and used it to give the windows a stained-glass effect....

SDW Sampler

So now I can keep marching forward....I feel a finish is not so far away now!

I also just finished reading a wonderful book.... The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.  It came recommended by Marsha on the Scarlet Letter Year Blog, so when I saw it on the shelf at my library it was my new pick!  A wonderful story about an English Quaker girl who travels to America to live in Ohio in 1850.  It is a perfect book for needleworkers, especially quilters, as there is so much detail about the craft.  I found it so interesting to learn more about Quaker life and religion.  Definitely two thumbs up!  Thanks for the recommendation, Marsha!  

Happy Stitching to all!  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Appil finish

Over the weekend I was able to finish this piece.  Feels quite nice to get her done.

Appil was stitched on an unknown 40ct. fabric with the DMC listed.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Update on Mayt Eaton

I have been working diligently on Mary, but the satin stitch leaves really take a long time. It can be very frustrating trying to get them uniform. Several of them, I have done as many as 3 times. Eventually I just give up and leave them as they are.

Here is a closeup of the stitches.

This was a kit, so I used the materials included, but I really wish I had swapped out the gold color for something a tad darker. The letters in particular, don't show up very well.

It always takes me a while to get used to the "sparse" look that a single strand of silk has on 30 count linen.

The large flowers, vine, border and alphabet are done in cross stitch. The leaves are all in satin stitch, and the saw-toothed white border in done in counted satin stitch.

Here is the whole thing so far.

 (You wouldn't know it was my stitching if it didn't have some part of Furry in it)!
As soon as I get ready to take the picture, he jumps up!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Another Ann Scutt band

Whew! Finally I finished the filling stitches on this band!

They weren't that complicated, but they were densely stitched. And I don't remember seeing this kind of cross-hatch pattern on any other sampler I've seen, which means, of course, that I'm going to spend some time with my sampler books tonight.

Monday, 22 July 2013

A little bit more progress - The Faerie Queene

Yay!  I have finally finished the petit point section I was working on for The Faerie Queene.  Now I might be able to pick up my pace a little bit more.

hugs, Kaye

A little bit more Appil

Slowly stitching away at Appil.

The entire left side is now done.  Now to move onto the right and a finish.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Mystery Sampler Giveaway

It's Friday and it's hot, hot, hot. Oh for air conditioning !!. 

Let's have some fun and see if we can guess which sampler these motifs are from.

If you would like to have a bet on the name of this sampler on Mia's Mum's special day email your answers to nicola.parkman@gmail.com. The first name drawn will receive a copy of the chart which has been donated by Marsha.

Thank you Marsha.

Many Happy Returns Margaret (our mystery birthday girl)


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us and a BIG thank you for donating the chart of Margaret Gibson.

Yes the mystery birthday girl is Margaret and the winner is Louise Alessi.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Many Happy Returns to Evalina


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us.

M. Quertier 1799 - And the winner is...

Today is the day! It's my birthday and time to announce the winner of my brilliant idea.

I tracked my stitchy time very carefully using TraxTime (a little software where I can actually punch in and out). To finish M. Quertier 1799 took me 45 hours and 19 minutes. That includes about 50 minutes of frogging and a couple of hours restitching.

 Many of you were so close but the most accurate was Nikki: 45 hours and 21 minutes. That's only 3 minutes off!

Congratulations Nikki, the gift certificate is all yours! 
I need your email address.

So long my friends,

Introducing Miss Eleanor Parr

I wanted to share with you the antique sampler I was lucky enough to buy today.

I am very grateful to Marsha who gave me useful advice and guided me with the value.

I have always preferred to stitch a sampler rather than to buy an original but I could not resist these two ladies. I must think up some names for them - any suggestions.

The verse appealed too.

The  border is a feast for the eyes with the brightly feathered birds.

I have tried to find Miss Parr on ancestry and could only find one Eleanor born in 1856 but alas not in October. This could be her married name. I would love to find out more about her. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Question

Dear Fellow Stitchers
I hope no-one minds me posting this but I have a question:-

On following these blogs, I am blown away by how much stitching many of you achieve and would love to know how you organise your stitching time, any time-saving tips etc.  I work full-time plus so my leisure hours are very limited but I'm sure many of you are in the same position.  It would be so interesting to find out more about how you speedy stitchers operate.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
Kind regards
New Zealand

Margaret Randolph Update

Margaret has been my travel piece of stitching and since I was away 4th of July week she got some attention.

Here she is. I am loving the colors. Maybe I need to work on her at home :) This is not a very good picture.

Stay cool and stitch on!


And the winner is .........

It's the 15th AGAIN !!! 2013 is whizzing by so quickly. We now have 85 beautiful finishes in the gallery. If you haven't paid the gallery a visit lately it is well worth a look.

We have two prizes this month. My niece Bethany and her friend Genevieve assisted by Blue and Poppy have made the draw. 

The first name drawn (by Bethany) and the winner of the chart and linen of their choice from the Scarlet letter is Kay Lynn

The second name drawn (by Genevieve) and the winner of one of Carmen's beautiful thimble keep is DawnM.

Well done ladies and a big thank  you to Carmen and Ray for their generosity.

Keep posting as next month we have three prizes for the draw sponsored by Heather from History of Mount Needle PieBrenda from time2xstitch and Ray.

More leaves & a flower

More done after frogging a bit.

Emma Miles update

I haven't worked on her for a while, but did get an hour or 2 in last week.  I'm working on the over 1 part and it is S L O W going.

I hope to get back to her again soon!

My small start

I haven't been doing much stitching recently, but I did get a small start on Dorothy Walpole.

40ct Heritage by PTP (colorscapes)
AVAS plus 2 Belle Soie

She's such a pretty girl.  I just wish I were at the pretty flowers part.  lol!

I'm very bad about commenting on people's posts, but I am so enjoying seeing what everyone is stitching!  And I love to see Marsha's updates.  :D

An Update on Mary Gail

Like so many others it seems, the summer hasn't been the best time for stitching.  So many other things going on!!  But here's a progress picture on Mary Gail.  I hope that within the next month she will be finished and I can start a new piece.

I fear that it will take longer though as the grass underneath fair lady and man is completely filled in!!

She is a very fun stitch though.

Hannah Update

Since June was hectic and I was away for the beginning of July, there is little progress on Hannah.  I filled in more grass and stitched a bloom or two.  I'm hoping to get back to motif stitching for a break from the border. 

Everyone is making amazing progress on their gorgeous samplers.  I am so slow with mine! I hope to finish Hannah this summer so I can start my JCS 1707 sampler next!


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hannah Bennet update

Summer is here, and so are guests. This means a little less time for stitching. I have managed to get a little more done on Hannah Bennet, though I am far from finishing her as I had hoped before the end of June. Maybe July?

Please excuse the lousy iPhone picture of un-ironed Hannah. I can't find my camera :)

Ann Grimshaw WIP

I've been having a bit of trouble with my eyesight lately, so I had to set my 40 ct projects aside. The bright side of that is that I picked Ann Grimshaw again. On 36ct, she's going to e enormous, but it is very relaxing stitching.  Since I started her on plain white, I am considering giving her a light antiquing with walnut shell dye when she's finished. I'm not sure I will have the nerve to overdye a piece I have worked on for 7+ years, though.

Jane Atkinson WIP

I haven,t shared progress in a couple of months. I got a little sidetracked into non Scarlet Letter pieces. I have been working on Jane Atkinson and just yesterday was inspired to work on Ann Grimshaw again. (Finishing Ann was supposed ti be my challenge project.)

Hoped to have more done

by this time, but sadly life has been keeping me busy.

Poor Adam is naked.  Well, even more naked than he usually is!  Hopefully I will finish him up today/tomorrow.  Then I move on to the last quarter of this piece.  Somewhere there is a glimmer of a finish.

A little progress on Mary Eaton

Now that I have finished my wip quilt, I can go back to stitching Mary Eaton.

So far just a little bit to show.

The Mary Eaton Sampler - Au ver a soie on 30 ct linen

I have had this in my stash for years. Although I love the pattern, I was a little hesitant to tackle it because of all the freehand stitching, There is quite a lot of it in this pattern. Actually, there are two graphs that come with it, one with the freehand stitching, like the original, and one that is all cross stitch. Of course, I have to do the freehand!

I have found that the trick to doing freehand stitching is to be very disciplined about keeping it contained to the allotted area. It seems to grow quite easily. LOL!

A Post on Behalf of Joann McC

Just in case you were wondering where Joann McC has been, she's been side-tracked  by some lovely hardanger.  Here's her excuse!!

This summer had a busy start. It was a big year for birthdays in my family:   cousin's son turned 30, I turned 60, my aunt turned 85 and my mom turned 95.   I asked my aunt what she wanted and she said something in hardanger. So I put down my SL SAL to work on it.

I've just returned from PA where I spent the week of the 4th with my family for birthday celebrations. We celebrated mom's birthday at the local steak house. Got her a large flat screen and a few other gifts.

Not much stitching was done due to poor lighting at my mom's. I am home now and hope to get back to Sarah Selfe and finish her this year. I've still got a couple more UFOs that will need finishing so will probably continue those into next year.

Here is the hardanger I did for my aunt:

Treasure in the mail!

It is so exciting when a package arrives in the mail from across The Pond, and even more so when it is this beautiful project folder and a SL voucher!:
Thank you so much Lanie!  It already has my "Country Life" project tucked inside, with the silks, scissors and pattern all safe in one place.  For once I shall be organised! Such a brilliant idea.  I absolutely love it!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend - we here in the UK are continuing to enjoy some amazing weather - long may it last!  This is summer bliss.

Gardner Pocketbook

Sadly, I haven't achieved anything on Parrot, Leopard, Lion worth posting this month.  As it's over one on 35 count, I can only work on it in daylight hours which means I only get to it on weekends.  As things have been very busy here with family, there is nothing to show this month.

But I have started the Gardner Pocketbook (after much dithering and changing of mind!) as an easy stitch at night.  This is a wonderfully relaxing stitch and the colours look like they are going to be so pretty.  Hopefully I will have lots of progress to show on both projects next month.

Please excuse the crumpled look but if I have to stop and iron now, this post just isn't going to happen.

I am so enjoying seeing everyone's fabulous stitching and I'm in awe of Marsha's talent and skills to have brought us so many lovely reproduction projects to stitch.

Happy stitching
New Zealand

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Elizabeth Mitchell WIP and Seventeen Sailors WIP

I had hoped to have EM finished by now but nearly there. I have been away for a few days with my husband on an orca watching trip. We didn't see any orca but saw some lovely pods of dolphins. I took my other WIP with me - Seventeen Sailors - it seemed really appropriate to stitch that whilst at sea!

Friday, 12 July 2013

The hornbook bestiary

This my big  progress on the hornbook bestiary. As you see I stich very very slowly.

Bye bye


A Picture of Ann Smith Framed

It's been a very busy summer around here and I've really neglected commenting on everyone's wonderful progress!!  But I wanted to share my Ann Smith framed.  I think that the framer helped me pick out the perfect frame and I couldn't be more pleased.  She is displayed in my living room.  I thought that she was too special to put in the back staircase where the rest of my A&E samplers hang. This is one of those samplers that you want to stitch, but seeing the picture on the chart cover doesn't do it near the justice as to how beautiful and vibrant this samplers looks when actually stitched.

Ann Smith
AVAS Threads and 36 ct. Magnolia Linen

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful summer/winter depending on what part of the world you're living in!  Our summer has been busy, but I hope to catch up on everything that I've been missing soon.

A little (really little) progress on Manifesto

I have not made as much progress as I would like during the last few weeks on Manifesto.  I am at the bottom of the far right hand column.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

A New Giveaway and a Winner

We have a birthday coming up this month of a much loved stitcher. Let's see if you can guess who it is!

She is a fan of the 

Often vacations here

but lives here


Loves to stitch samplers with this theme

And is a self confessed

Our mystery stitcher has donated a superb prize to celebrate her birthday.

If you would like to be entered into the draw for the chart of Margaret Gibson  EMAIL the name of the stitcher to nicola.parkman@gmail.com and a lucky contibutor's name will be drawn on July 19th.

And now for the winner of 

......... it is Joanne O'H. Congratulations this is such an interesting book I am sure you will have much enjoyment from it.

Please could you email me your postal address.

A Stitcher's Life - Beyond the Little "X" - An Interview with Carol Sims of Sampler Farm

While Carol does not have a blog, I think that most of us are very familiar with the vast number of samplers that Carol has finished and displayed at her home, Sampler Farm.  Her stitching leaves many of us in awe and her samplers are truly an inspiration to see.  Wait until you see her sampler walls!!  Carol also has a Photobucket album which she notes at the end of this interview!  

Besides the normal questions that we pose to our interviewees, I think that a lot of people wonder how the name Sampler Farm came about.  Carol says, 

"It all started with the idea that I wanted to live on a farm, but didn’t want animals or crops. The only crops I wanted to grow were samplers. Then I saw this verse which was on a sampler “ Cloth is my land so that I boldly stand, Needle is my plow so I can skills endow, Silk is my seed so I can name my deed”. Doesn’t that sound like a Sampler Farm?"  

And it does Carol!!  That is such a wonderful verse!!  

Now on with our interview with Carol!!  Wait until you see her samplers!

1. How old were you when you first picked up a needle and who    taught you to stitch?

When I was 7 or 8, my grandmother gave me a dime store printed design and JP Coates floss in a tin box. After my mother’s death, I found the tin box in her closet and was excited to find that the tin box was an original Whitman’s tin from the 1940’s.

In my late 20’s my aunt introduced me to crewel embroidery and needlepoint. This was my hobby until I discovered cross stitch in 1978 and never looked back.

2. What was the first sampler that you stitched?

My first reproduction sampler was Hannah Breed by The
Scarlet Letter. I had attended a folk art show where
Marsha was a vendor and was instantly hooked.

So hooked, in fact, that I now own 154 Scarlet Letter charts, but I've only stitched 50 of them.

3. What time of day do you stitch? Do you sit in a set place and what tools do you like to have to hand?  Does everything have to be in a certain place in order for you to relax and concentrate on your work?

I stitch during most waking hours and a few in my sleep. I do have a stitching nest and everything does have to be organized and in its rightful place.

My Stitching Nest

 The View from my Stitching Chair

4. Do you use the stick and stab technique, or a sewing stitch?

I use both stick/stab and sewing methods.

5. Which designs appeal to you the most (e.g. Scottish needlework, certain stitches, colour schemes, animal motifs, houses, figures, Quaker style, etc.)?

I love samplers with houses on them. If the house has a yard full of animals, then it’s even better.

6. Why do you find antique samplers appealing?

To me, it’s more about the stitching than the fact that they’re antique samplers. I do like viewing antique samplers, but have never had the desire to own one.

7. Do you collect antique samplers? Apart from samplers do you collect anything else?

I collect wooden gameboards and antique crocks & jugs. A friend once told me that if you own more than two of something then it’s a collection. If that’s true, I guess I also collect spinning wheels, Noah’s arks and cage dolls.

8. Any guilty secrets to confess (e.g. leave tails on the back, drink tea or coffee while stitching, let your cat sleep on your work, etc.)?

I drink coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper while stitching. My cat does keep me company and occasionally contributes a hair to my sampler. In fact, on the deaths of two of my cats, I included their whisker on the sampler I was working on at that time.

9. What has been your worst needlework disaster (loss, stains, holes)?

I tried to make a burn spot on a sampler to make it look older, but I ended up burning a large hole in it. Off it went to my finisher to be darned.

10. If your house was on fire and you could only save one sampler which would you choose and why?

Knock wood! I think I would save charts and fabric rather than a stitched piece.

Here’s a sample of my stitching:

And here is the link to my Photobucket albums:

Thank you so much for letting us interview you Carol.  I know that many of us have always wanted to know more about you!!  And now we do and can all see your wonderful stitching through your Photobucket Album!!  You are truly an inspiration!!!