Header Photo

Header Photo
American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Long overdue Mary Eaton Update

This is a very long overdue update! Among other things, I have had a lot of trouble with my camera, but I did manage to get a few shots finally.

I worked on the tree which is stitched in a vertical stem stitch. The little bird at the top was a bit of a challenge!

Next I continued filling in the hills at the bottom.

Here is a close-up of the bull. He was a fun stitch!

I continued to work on the sampler until I ran out of three colors. There definitely wasn't enough silk in the kit, as I was not even close to finishing.

Here is where I left off.

Well,  since I took these photos, I received the silks in the mail, and I have already started stitching Mary again. I finished the tree on the right, and I am working on the second bird. I will post photos just as soon as I can. 



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us and here's a cake from Ronnie, Keith, Charlie & Mick too (LOL !!)

Many Happy Returns Deb


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us

Monday, 28 October 2013

Elizabeth Mitchell aka Bessie Shults

Elizabeth Mitchell (aka Bessie Shults)
Introduced in Scarlet Letter Catalog Supplement No. 30
Lakeside Linen 32 ct (unsure of color)
Krenik Au Ver A Soie silks

The first time I saw this sampler, I knew it was the perfect memorial sampler for my dearly loved Grandmother Bessie.  In the catalog supplement, Marsha of the Scarlet Letter describes the sampler as an American Quaker sampler with an origin in Pennsylvania.  Thanks to family research, I knew Grandfather Valentine Shults had settled in Pennsylvania from Germany.  The cartouche was the perfect place to include vital stats about Grandmother.

The sampler has a simple floral border and simple motifs.  The frame is also quite simple.  Grandmother did not like fuss and muss.  The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch.

Before framing
(WOW!  This photo is not even close to the color of the linen)

Grandmother Rebecca's memorial sampler.  Now, both of my dearly loved Grandmothers have memorial samplers.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A Winner !!!

HURRAY - we have a winner of the 60th birthday $60 gift voucher.

The mystery stitcher was Debbie and her sampler was the beautiful Emma Miles

Debbie's husband has picked a winner out of the hat - it's Krista of Just Stitching Along.

Well done Krista and a BIG THANK YOU to Debbie and her husband.

Enjoy your special day Debbie and thank you for including us all in your celebrations.



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Many Happy Returns to Teresa


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Margret Gatis

Well, I don`t have much to show you, but every little bit counts, right? Anyway, here is my MG to date

and a closer pic of the double running in the single strand. I had started it in 2 strands (DMC) but didn`t like it. Maybe I read the directions wrong? 
Cross over three is fine, but double running over three seems to be hard on my eyes for some reason. At any rate, I plan to stitch more on her tonight. Thanks for looking!


Sunshine reveals so much!  After more than a week of gloom here in Wisconsin the sun peeked out this afternoon and I was able to photograph the German band sampler, dated 1704.  It looked quite weak and world weary in the dim light, but studying it in the sunshine today it revealed some amazing motifs, not to mention a silver metallic halo over the lamb's head.  After Mary Bailey, this will be next up on the drafting board.  It will have to be undressed in order to see the unfaded colors on the back.  The framer's label is still intact: THE OLD PRINT SHOP, est 1898, Harry Shaw Newman, specializing in OLD PRINTS and AMERICANA, "Correct framing", regilding, expert restoration of old prints & paintings, 150 Lexington Ave at 30th Street, New York.  My guess is that it was framed in the 1920's.  Any other guesses?

Ann Thompson

I am wondering how many of us are planning on starting Marsha's new oval sampler, Ann Thompson?
I have ordered mine.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Many Happy Returns Jane


Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Good News, Bad News

The good news is I've got a little more progress on Ann Grimshaw to share.  Here's how she looked last weekend.

These two lovely bouquets were great fun to add in.

But the bad news is, I'm completely out of the lighter skeins of silk for Ann, and it will be a month before the shop I ordered from can get more in.  Seems like a lifetime!  Will have to find something else to stay busy with....

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Oh my!! Poor Margret Gatis!!

I can`t believe I haven`t posted here since March!! I had a long 'dry spell' where I lost my stitch mojo big time, but I seem to be getting back into the swing of things. I dug out Margret Gatis after finishing up a wedding sampler I had been working on for (a-hem) 3 years. I am on row 5, which is a double running band over three on 3 on 36 ct linen. I had started it with 2 strands, but am not liking the look of it...maybe 1 strand would be better? I am not very far along with the band so I may rip and try it with one. Marsha, if you read this, what do you think?

I shall try to get a pic in the morning...I am going to go ponder. Well, after I get caught up here a bit...ttfn!



Wishing you a wonderful birthday from all of us

Thursday, 17 October 2013

New Designs - Mary Bailey and German Sibmacher

Hello friends!
I thought I'd keep you informed of new designs.  I've just started to graph Mary Bailey (top photo), ETA early 2014.    The second and third photos (very poor- sorry- it is a gloomy day here in Wisconsin and the colors would show up much better in sunshine) is an antique sampler dated 1704 that I purchased at auction recently.  Note the classic "Sibmacher" motifs.  I haven't decided whether or not to graph it, or just sell the antique, which is very reasonably priced.  Does the sampler world need another German band sampler with Sibmacher motifs, or are we satisfied with what is available?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A $60 Gift Certificate 60th Birthday Giveaway

We have a 60th birthday coming up on the 27th and to celebrate the birthday stitcher has generously donated a $60 SL gift certificate !!!! 

All you have to do is guess who "X" is and email (nicola.parkman@gmail.com) her name and the name of her sampler.

It's easy if you follow the posts throughout the year? The answers to the clues are in our blog.

Here is the sampler that our mystery girl is stitching. Beautiful isn't she?

"X" spent a wonderful vacation by a lake.

Where her husband went Pickerel fishing

Her daughter keeps Katahdin Sheep

but our stitcher is a keen apiculturist.

Have you guessed?

The draw will take place on the 27th. Good luck.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

And the four winners are ......

The 15th coming around again has taken me by surprise, it will be Christmas before we know it. The shops in the UK are full of Christmas goods and it is impossible to shop for food without having mince pie tasters offered to you.

There were a four draws to be made, Ray's top hat is getting a lot of use.

Let's do the monthly draw first:-

The first name out of the hat is DAWNM. Well done you have won the SL chart of your choice and a full yard of linen from The Scarlet Letter.

The second name drawn is   BHOOMA.    Congratulations,  you will have great fun choosing an SL chart. A BIG THANK YOU to Krista of Just Stitching Along for sponsoring this prize to celebrate her birthday on the 29th of this month.

Now the giveaways:-

Well done to LANIE  who correctly guessed my new start to be Elizabeth Simon. You have won the stunning chart of Elizabeth Short.

Congratulations to WILMA for identifying IAMEK which has generously been donated by Marsha.

Please can you all contact me with your addresses and Dawn and Bhooma their choices also.

Next month there is a $50 voucher to be won and pf course there will be more giveaways too.

Ann Wimp Progress


Just a short up-date on Ann Wimp progress. I haven't been stitching too much on her lately.

Hoping to have more to show next month.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Jane Atkinson

After I finished Mary Gail (which I can't stop looking at for her wonderful colors), I was really at a loss as to what to stitch.  I picked up AAWFAA and tried to put some time into it, and the piece was just not calling my name, so I ended up starting Jane Atkinson.  What a joy she is to stitch.  I wish I was using AVAS threads as I did with Mary Gail, but the colors are just as wonderful with DMC.

I probably would have the whole top portion finished, but now that the cooler weather is here my mind has done some wandering to crocheting and knitting along with the cross stitching.  So I switch off every other night or so.


Ann Thompson

Ann Thompson is finished and back from the framer (Lynn's, in Madison, WI).  Today I will be writing the instructions.

It's done primarily in cross stitch.  The satin stitched areas are first outlined with backstitch so there isn't any frightening freehand.  Christ and the cross are filled in with stem filling stitches.

New Start - Elizabeth Brain

Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes. I had a lovely time down in Cornwall with Nicola. My two girlfriends were with me to celebrate and we had a wonderful week together.

Thank you to Nicola for a beautiful birthday gift which I will treasure. It is lovely and will give me pleasure for years to come.

I have started Elizabeth Brain which was my Christmas present from my DH last year. I have never done any form of embroidery so it was a relief when Nicola said that the little bit I had done was fine and that gave me the encouragement I needed to continue with it. I hope to spend some time this week on her. The day after I came back from Cornwall I went down with shingles. It is so painful but I am feeling a bit better in myself today so hopefully I am on the road to recovery now.

I think my stitching is getting neater  but not sure if I have managed to do outline stitch correctly. I am ok now with stem and chain stitch. Satin stitch needs a lot of working on and I haven't tackled French knots yet.

On Behalf of Wilma - Jane Atkinson an Update

It's been a while since my last post. But I finally found the time to make a picture of my progress on Jane so far. 

She is so much fun to stitch, I love all the beautiful flowers. 

As you can see I made a start on the over one text. I'm not sure if I am going to stitch the verse as well. I'm thinking of putting in some extra flowers instead.

I am enjoying all the fabulous progress everyone is showing all the time. Promise to give you an update on my other SL samplers soon!


Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Post on behalf of Patti Dagg

I'm working my way down with the eyelets and letters so I can establish my border and get to the people part.

Welcome Isabel

We have a new member - Isabel from Vancouver, Canada. Isabel is originally from Spain and does the most beautiful Bobbin Lace work.

I have always wanted to learn this form of needlework.

Isabel will be stitching Antonia Gonzalez and is kitted up with AVAS and will start as soon as her current project is complete.

I think this will be the first Antonia to be stitched in our group. How exciting to see another sampler come to life.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Country Life update

It is quite some time since I have posted - I have a small amount of progress to show you on the wonderful Country Life sampler, but not nearly as much as I would have wished.
 Life just seems to get in the way.  But I have been busy sewing other things too - a small wedding sampler, a Stacey Nash Sampler, a fun birthday picture for youngest daughter Dot ..... plus lots and lots of patchwork, so my fingers have not been idle!
I love Country Life though and now that Autumn is well and truly here and the fire gets lit earlier I shall settle down and try and make more progress - quicker.
As always I am in awe of what everyone is sewing, there have been some amazing finishes and the WIP's are very inspiring.  There are so many beautiful SL samplers, the wish list is endless.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Beyond the Little X - An Interview with Sandra of Sampler Lover's Blog

Our October interview is with Sandra of Sampler Lover’s Blog.   I look forward to these interviews as it is so much fun to hear the stories from stitchers about how their love of stitching started for them and see what beautiful samplers they have stitched.   While we all have the same common denominator in the love of the craft, usually over many years, it is wonderful to hear about the journey of others…..

Sandra, how old were you when you first picked up a needle and who taught you to stitch?

I think that I was very young when I first learnt to sew.  I know I used to spend a lot of time with my Great Grandmother who sometimes came to look after me when Mum was having my sister.  I remember that she taught me to knit and also to sew as I grew older.  Sadly, I never knew either of my Grandmothers who were apparently both wonderful sewers.  Apparently my paternal Grandmother was so talented that she could throw a piece of material over a person and cut a dress out!  She made her wedding dress and it is really beautiful.  My cousin has it.  My maternal Grandmother, besides being a wonderful seamstress, was also a very talented embroiderer.  I have some of her pieces.  I first learnt to cross stitch when I was around 15 when I was in High School.

First Sewing

What was the first sampler that you stitched?

I have always been a sewer and used to do a lot of embroidery etc.  I think that the first sampler that I did was a Permin sampler that I bought in a shop that used to be in Sydney called Stadia. They specialized in Danish needlework.

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 usually stitch in the evenings after dinner.  I also stitch on the weekends if we don't have much to do on that day.  I usually stitch in a chair that is near the window where the light is better.  I do have a floor lamp that I use as well.  Besides my chair I have an antique wooden sewing box that my DH bought for me and it stores a lot of my sewing accessories.  Behind my chair I have a foot stool where there is a large pretty box that holds my WIP's and other sewing accessories that won't fit into the other one.

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

I use the stick and stab technique.

What is your favourite period of sampler-making and why?

My favourite period of samplers are the School Girl ones from the 1700’s into the 1800's.

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 that have sheep on them, as well as interesting houses and figures.  I also like samplers that are a bit of a challenge.  They seem to push my buttons.  I also like Rhode Island samplers, especially Mary Balach ones.

Grazing Sheep

Elizabeth Cox

Has working with reproduction samplers given you any new insight into the lives of the girls and women in the 17-18-19th centuries that you did not realize before?

I have always been interested in history etc. and working on samplers often makes me think about the girl who I'm sharing my sampler with.  What was she like?  How she came to stitch the piece etc.  It always makes me appreciate the difficulties that they would have faced when working on theirs.

What aspect(s) of working with early textiles appeals to you the most?

I have always enjoyed working with textiles. I had an older cousin who used to specialize in making wedding dresses.  I always like getting into her off-cut bag underneath the billiard table that she used as her cutting table.  Sometimes, I would find some pieces of old lace hiding in there.  I used to take them home and make dolls clothes out of them.  The oldest textile that I have is a piece that was done by my Great Grandfather.   It is a piece of Berlin wool work and it is a rug.

Have you had any formal education in textiles?

While I was in high school I studied needlework which included period costumes, textiles, dressmaking and also needle arts.

Why do you find antique samplers appealing?

I think the charm for me with samplers is knowing how old most of these young girls were who created these masterpieces.  Plus also the how they worked them with just candle light etc.

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

No sadly, my budget doesn't run to collecting antique samplers.  I would love a few but that isn't possible. I collect needlework books and also cameo's and I have a small collection of Warwick miniatures.

What other types of hand work do you enjoy?

I enjoy doing Hardanger, needlepoint, embroidery and I used to do a lot of knitting.

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

I'm a tea-holic…what can I say?  lol.

What has been your worst needlework disaster?

The only disaster that I have ever had with my needlework was when my youngest son who was about 5 went to an overnight birthday party.  He ate too much and came home a bit green around the gills.  I put him to bed as I don't think he slept that much and laid beside him until he went to sleep.  I took a Christmas stocking that I was making for him with me and was trying to finish it.  Sadly he woke up and threw up all over it.  Thankfully it was worked in DMC and I was able to give it a good wash and you will never know the near disaster that it had.  

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

That is a really hard question and a question that I often ask myself as I live in a bush fire prone area. There are a few samplers that I would try and take with me such as Dutch Beauty which is worked on 32ct over one;  the Tablet Sampler, which I love;  Betsy Manchester and Betsy Davis but if I could only manage one I think that it might be the one that I'm hoping to finish soon.  It's Rebecca Cullen.

Tablet Sampler
Betsy Manchester
Betsy Davis

Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful samplers with us, Sandra!  For more of Sandra’s stitching and stories visit her blog at Sampler Lover's Blog.  There you will see her GORGEOUS finish of Rebecca Cullen!