This is more than a hand embroidery sampler

As I sat to write this, I thought this is more than a embroidery sampler. It is not just the size which is 96 feet long it is that I have lived with parts of this cloth sitting in my sewing box for years and years as I started doing it in 1996. If you are not aware of the whole back story you will find it here. The reason I say it is more than a regular hand embroidery sampler is that I always enjoy experimenting with hand embroidery stitches even  the very basic ones, but as time went on I added more and more snippets of text that marked events in my life.

hand embroidery sampler detail  714

In this area I was playing around with basic stitches. In this case I was working back stitch using a hand dyed thread. This is a blackwork filling pattern but the hand dyed thread gives it a modern twist.

hand embroidery sampler detail 715This is also back stitch worked as a chevron pattern. Hopefully beginners will see what is possible with some of the basic stitches.

hand embroidery sampler detail 716

The next band of my embroidery sampler is running stitch worked row upon row.

hand embroidery sampler detail  717

The band after that echos the chevron pattern. It is running stitch worked in a zig zag formation.

hand embroidery sampler detail 718

This is mainly stem stitch worked in various weights of thread. Some are cotton perle #5, others are 3 threads of stranded cotton floss, other threads are wool. There are also French knots and the beads are secured with straight stitch.

hand embroidery sampler detail 719

The next area is mainly worked in chain stitch in different threads. There is some hand dyed cotton perle #5, some  wool and some linen thread. I also used  French knots and once again the beads are secured with straight stitches.

hand embroidery sampler detail 720

I often stitch while watching the evening news. Often snippets are incorporated in my stitching. I was pleased to hear that we were declared to be finally out of drought when the next news story was that there were floods in Pakistan. I added this using a dark green perle #8 cotton to work the letters in back stitch.

hand embroidery sampler detail 721

This is another area of back stitch that is worked in cotton thread. I added  big chunky beads and woven cross stitch worked in wool.

Needlework embroidery sampler section 51 cI hope you enjoy seeing these are details of my hand embroidery sampler. They are bands 714 to 721 of a section of the sampler which was worked between June and December of 2010. The sampler itself is only 6 inches wide but it is 96 feet 5 inches or 29.3878 meters long you can read about why it exists on the Sampler FAQ page

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Looking closely at my Freeform Hand Embroidery Sampler

hand embroidered sampler bandAs I have said before I had fun experimenting on this particular area of my sampler I think I really just relaxed into it because it was a very long piece of linen. I explained on this page that my local branch of the Embroiderers guild has a recycle table and one week I found  scored a piece  good even weave 25 cnt linen that was cut 8 inches wide and 10 feet long!

Band 707 is Cretan stitch worked closely together in hand dyed silk thread that is about the same thickness as perle #8.

hand embroidered sampler band

The next band on the sampler was stitched as I watched the evening news I was at the time stunned but happy to see a female in the role.

hand embroidered sampler band

Band 709 is arrow stitch (or arrowhead)  worked row upon row. I worked a length of thread in one colour then when it ran out even if it was mid row I continued in another colour. Threads used are cotton and silk. Worked like this it can look a bit like knitting.

710On Band 710 I returned to working Cretan stitch row upon row.

hand embroidered sampler band The next band, 711 is an example of chevron cretan. It is a half and half stitch, one side being chevron and the other side being cretan. I will share the instructions on how to do this soon.

hand embroidered sampler bandI then experimented with pulling the stitches. The thread is wool so I did not pull too hard on arrow stitch (or arrowhead)  and back stitch. Next I worked a line of Satin stitch in a hand dyed wool thread.

hand embroidered sampler band 713Band 713 is really a reflection on the story of this whole piece of fabric. ( If you do not know it the whole back story you will find it here). I think my comment speaks for itself…

Needlework sampler section 51 bThese are close up details 707 to 713. I hope you have enjoyed them and I hope  this is not too many details in one post. I have my fingers crossed that people will like the overload!

This section of the sampler was worked between June and December of 2010. The sampler itself is only 6 inches wide but it is 96 feet 5 inches or 29.3878 meters long you can read about why it exists on the Sampler FAQ page

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This made me smile

17th Century fabric hand embroidery sample bookI have been looking at the history of fabric books and in particular sample books. I want to share with readers but also point out there is nothing new under the sun. I found this in the Metropolitan Museum of Art website as it is part of their collection.
sample book In the 17th century a woman, wanted to collect together ideas for her embroidery, much like we use pinterest today. She gathered together her carefully worked sample swatches and I think she then patchworked them together to store them in a fabric book.(Visit the Met site as you will see what I mean)  I sat there smiling thinking to myself how much I relate to the woman who made it.

section of hand embroidered sampler with traditional patternsThen I noticed some of the designs she had stitched. Look at the top of this page and see the green band, fourth along Then take a look at the top band on the mourning sampler I worked for my mother. If you want to know more about my mourning sample click here. It is separate section worked a part of my very long sampler. It is joined and part of my story but also but has a totally self contained story to it.

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