Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Beautiful Elizabeth Sheffield

I'm back, and I'm bringing my new friend with me:  Elizabeth Sheffield by The Scarlett Letter.

Isn't she beautiful?  I've been spending hours stitching away at her.  The rich, vibrant colors were what attracted me to this sampler, but it's the joy that I sense the maker had while stitching it originally in 1784.

But not everything is so rosy:

A lot of this sampler is stitched OVER ONE THREAD, and for me, it's very time-consuming.  Yes, beautiful, but it's taking forever to fill in all the little plants and creatures.

For example, this little blue bird took me two weeks to stitch.  

But I loved stitching the little over-one-thread people -- such colorful clothes!

Take time to stitch a little today.  Whatever project you are working on will be that much closer to being finished.  And I always get a happy feeling after stitching!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Shaker Design

I get a lot of great ideas for samplers while browsing on Pinterest.  There are many, many stitchers who have pages of pictures of all types of samplers.

It's very addicting to scroll and scroll -- and drool and drool!

Recently I've become enamored of Shaker samplers, and I started a Pinterest page just for the ones I've found while browsing.  

Shaker samplers are usually a very simple design, yet elegant because of the simplicity.  They are also rare since the Shakers didn't bother to frame them.  They were truly used as "marking templates" and kept in a drawer. Since the Shakers did most things communally, including washing, all articles of clothing had to be marked with names or initials prior to washing.

I tried my hand at designing one of my own, and here is "Amanda Sheridan 1836", just back from my framer:

Amanda Sheridan 1836

I used alphabets from three different Shaker samplers.

Amanda and my cast iron bunny bank

At the bottom, I stitched Shaker / Quaker motifs and a cute basket cartouche -- this section is stitched over one thread.

I just love the letter "Q", above

My sampler is stitched on 40 count Lakeside Linen Autumn Gold with just three shades of Belle Soie (silk) threads.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Ahead Means I Lose an Hour of Stitching Today

Elizabeth Sheffield 1784 - The Scarlet Letter

I've never been a fan of Daylight Savings Time.  Losing an hour of sleep in the spring can't be good for my sleep rhythm.  And this morning I realized that I'd lose an hour of stitching today!

The photo above shows my progress on Elizabeth Sheffield, a sampler from The Scarlet Letter.  I also participate to a worldwide blog of women who are stitching SL samplers, and I posted my progress there this morning.  

I just love working on Elizabeth.  Her brilliant colors and charming figures make me HAPPY to look at her.  Her original must have been stitched by a girl who really enjoyed making it.

My progress is slow, however.  There are vast amounts of over-one stitching, and that takes me a long time to do.  But I think she is coming along beautifully, don't you?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Two More Finishes

I'm always so happy when I've finished a project, and I recently completed two -- double the happiness!  Before I take them to my framer, The Crafty Ewe, here's a peak:

          A photographer I'm not!

This is Little House Needleworks' "Needleworker" which was a dream to stitch. I used threads from Crescent Colors (the company is now called Classic Colorworks) on 40 count Light Vintage Examplar linen.

Detail of the cute blackbird on "Needleworker"

My second finish:

This cutie finish is "A Red Cottage" from Plum Street Samplers. I've always had a soft spot for samplers with red houses--and this one had two--but then I fell in love with the giant circular flowers.

A close-up on the over-one tiny cottage

I am currently working on two Stitch-Along projects:  "Two Snooty Parrots" by Barbara Ana Designs and "Por Luciana Delgado" by NeedleWork Press.  Both projects have been divided into small, easy-to-complete sections by month, so I have plenty of time to stitch my other projects such as "Elizabeth Sheffield" by the Scarlet Letter.

FYI:  The group for Two Snooty Parrots SAL can be found on the Facebook page entitled "Sampler World Snooty Parrots SAL 2014".  For more information on the "Por Luciana Delgado" SAL, visit The Attic Needlework website at
I hope you all have a little time today to spend doing what you love.  For me, it's putting in a few stitches and seeing a little progress on my work.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A New SAL - and - I Won a Contest!

The Postman couldn't have made someone more happy than me this week.

On Thursday I received a package from Attic Needlework in Mesa, AZ, with the complete kit for stitching their 2014 Stitch-A-Long project, "Por Luciana Delgado" by NeedleWork Press.

The kit contains a beautiful chart with full color pictures and graphs, 40ct Vintage Light Examplar linen from Lakeside Linens, and 14 of the most gorgeous colors of Gloriana 12-stand silk.

The sampler is based on one purchased from a New Hampshire antiques dealer.  An interesting factoid is that it had no name or date, but when NeedleWork Press was charting it, infrared light showed part of the phrase "Por Luciana Delgado".  Spanish, perhaps?

The finished piece will measure 23" x 10" on 40ct, although I'm sure there will be some stitchers who use 45 or even 50ct linen to stitch their pieces.

I'm not sure when the SAL will start, but I'll be ready to begin.  This morning I basted the fabric onto a set of 30-inch scroll rods which Dear Husband made for me a few years ago for another large project.

A second treat from our Postman this week was the book "Common Thread / Common Ground" by Marsha Van Valin of The Scarlet Letter.  

As some of you may know, there is an international Stitch-A-Long of Scarlet Letter samplers which is on a blog entitled Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year found at

During Advent last month, Nicola sponsored a daily contest to win various charts and books from The Scarlet Letter.  Lucky me - I won this fabulous book:

The book, autographed by Marsha herself, is a series of chapters and essays on early sampler and historic needlework.  There is one particular chapter on "Early Samplers of the Netherlands" which really interests me.  I love seeing the illuminated letters, tiered-roof houses and windmills that are typical of Dutch samplers.

I hope your Postman is as nice to you all this coming week!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to All

I almost have enough hand-stitched ornaments to fill a BIGGER tree.

And wishing you all a wonderful 2014 with lots of time to stitch!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Every year I make a few ornaments for our tree.  I think in about 10 years or so, I'll have enough for the entire tree!

The best part that I found all of the above patterns for free on Pinterest.  There is a large network of sampler stitching lovers who post pictures there.

I used leftover pieces of linen and DMC.

I hope you're inspired to make a few ornaments of your own this year.