Section 52 of my Freeform Hand Embroidery Band sampler

Yay I am up to telling you about section 52 of my sampler. This section is longest on the sampler. In fact it is very long. So long in fact I  had to photograph it in sections! So this is a heavy eye candy post as here they are.  Needlework sampler section 51 aIt is one long piece of linen 25 cnt fabric that is 3.1 meters long. That is 10 feet long. I think who ever cut the linen in the first place cut a 10 foot length.

Needlework sampler section 51 bHow did I acquire such a strange length of fabric? Well … the quote hints at the story

The quote reads

My best asset is that I have friends who believe I can do anything. My biggest vexation is I have friends that believe I can do anything…

I am a member of the local branch of the Embroiderers Guild  ACT and they run a recycle table. I always check it out and one week on the table was a length of good even weave 25 cnt linen that was cut 8 inches wide and 10 feet long! We have all sorts of things turn up on the recycle table as it is a place where member can de-stash or in some cases when a member dies there stash is donated to the Guild.  As I pulled it off the table and since linen is so expensive I was puzzling as to why such a long length would exist a  friend suggested that it was  meant for my sampler! Of course she was right such a long narrow strip needed to be used. So I purchased it and toddled off home with a huge grin on my face. I had myself a bargain as I paid $12 for it.  In Australia depending upon the width of the bolt, linen costs between $65 to $100  a meter. Now this strip was only 8 inches wide but 3.1 meters long. If for some reason I had taken it into my head that I wanted a really long strip of linen, to get the length would have cost me a lot of money!
Needlework sampler section 51 c

I started this section of my needlework sampler in June 2010 and decided that I would mark the season. For all those readers in the Northern hemisphere remember that June is Winter in Australia. In August we were declared to be out of drought after a decade of watching water consumption. It was a relief as I heard the announcement on the evening news but I was struck with irony when the following news item covered the floods in Pakistan.

Needlework sampler section 51 dAs readers can see the longer length of fabric means I was more inclined to add things like quotes, snippets of local and international news and in this case celebrate the fact that the Sydney harbour bridge became a grand old lady at 80. I added  small charm I had of the bridge. We also had a hung parliament. So I recorded that in stitching too!

Needlework sampler section 51 e

Spring came and water restrictions were even more relaxed and then there was a bad earthquake in Christchurch. Eve, my daughter was in NZ at the time and had studied for 3 years in Christchurch at the Circus school. Eve had friends int he city and we had some worrying times waiting to hear if they were OK. The little kiwi charm is from a cheap set of earrings I purchased while visiting Eve in Christchurch when she graduated. I pulled the earrings apart  and stitched on the charm.

Needlework sampler section 51 fEve returned to Australia and was involved in a steam punk fashion label launch (as a stilt walker) I went down to Melbourne to see it so recorded the trip on my sampler.

Many international readers will not know who Mr Squiggle was but he was a much loved puppet that had a pencil for nose. You can read more about Mr Squiggle here  but it was Australia’s longest running children’s television series and possibly one of the reason that I loved drawing so much as Mr Squiggle always turned odd marks on paper into a drawing.

Also in December that year the floodgates of our local dam were opened as we finally and definitely our of drought.

Needlework sampler section 51 g

This is the last photo and the end of this section that I completed in December 2010. Many of these stitches were worked as samples for my stitchers worksheets or classes I was giving at the time. Also TAST was running so some of those stitches are to be spotted on it too.

I loved working on such a ridiculous length of fabric and I think in way more of story developed naturally as a result of the length. Ever since I have been tempted to buy some linen by the meter again but I have too many pieces still to work from people who have gifted me pieces as they destash and the Guilds recycle table. I really have too much to justify spending a cent on linen but I did enjoy the working on one long total impractical length!

In the coming weeks and probably well into next year I will  share close details of each section but for now this is what it looks like when seen all together.

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What is this sampler?
If you want to know more about my sampler visit the Sampler FAQ page as since it is now over 100 feet long it has quite a back story!

Free Hand Embroidery Patterns Online

I have been browsing the Internet archive and discovered An Embroidery Pattern Book by Mary Waring. This book is free to download and as the title suggests is full patterns.

free hand embroidery pattern of treesLet me share some of the delightful patterns that I discovered in this book. I pounced on these as they would make great motifs for the holiday season. Of course when I saw this pattern I thought of Christmas trees and immediately thought they would be good motifs on a stocking,  on small gift bags or they could be used as hand embroidered inserts on cards. Decorated with beads and sequins they would make fun projects for young stitchers too.

hand embroidery pattern for Christmas decorations

These motifs would lend themselves to being used as Christmas tree decorations or as little decorative elements in crazy quilting or on small needlework projects such as needle books or biscorno pin cushions.

hand embroidery pattern The book opens with a section on borders which you can use on borders but also will give crazy quilters lots of ideas for seam decorations too! A section on pattern darning made me want to try some of them on my sampler as pattern darning is an ideal technique to fill an area.

hand embroidery pattern of flowersI am always looking for ideas to interpret flowers so this set inspired a few fresh doodles.

hand embroidery pattern of insectsHere are the bugs to go alongside them!

hand embroidery pattern of rabbit mouse squirrel and hedgehogAdd a few woodland creatures and then some birdlife and you have a whole scene.

free hand embroidery pattern of birdsAs you can see many of these patterns are meant to be used as single motifs which make them ideal for embroidery on a crazy quilt project.

Readers who like retro stitching will love the patterns found in  An Embroidery Pattern Book by Mary Waring. There are many treasures to be discovered in out of copyright resources. They do not have the modern photography and lush illustrations of modern books but often they hold charming patterns and good solid stitching tips that are not found in todays books.

All of the books on the Internet Archive are offered in various formats such as PDF, EPUB, Kindle, a text file, or as an html file which means you can read them online.

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Free book of Embroidery patterns

Screen shot of embroidery book I would like to share news about a free publication at the Antique Pattern Library

Anand’s Embroidery Book is a 36 page pattern book that is available as a free PDF download.

Screen shot of embroidery book Here are some sample pages so you can see what you are getting.
Screen shot of embroidery book Do you use the Antique Pattern Library regularly? This non-profit organisation announced in their newsletter that is has a shortfall this year of USD $4,000
They need donations to keep the site running. There is a Paypal, donate button at the top of every page. If you can afford to do so please consider supporting them.

A Tip to Note With the Antique Pattern Library if you get a message saying your PDF corrupted or asking for password make sure you have the most recent Adobe reader. Save the PDF to your computer and open the file from there.

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter of stitching goodies!

Stitching chatter about hand embroidery, crazy quilting, freebies (not found on the blog), tips, news, challenges, ideas, and inspiration in my newsletter 
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Follow Pintagle on Facebook