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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Freeform Hand Embroidery Sampler detail 701 and 702

Needlework sampler section 51 aBelow are 2 details from section 51 on my Love of Stitching Band Sampler. If you are curious and want to know more about this part of the sampler click on the thumbnail.

Size, Date and Fabric 

This strip of the sampler was worked between June and December of 2010 on 25cnt evenweave linen

The whole sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and 96 feet 5 inches or 29.3878 meters long. The backstory is on Sampler FAQ page.

Stitches and thread used

This detail is a variety of Cretan stitch. I first lay down a foundation row of stitches that had a pattern of 2 large wide stitches and then 2 small stitches. I worked them in hand dyed wool.  Next I laced them with a thread called bunka. It is called bunka thread but it actually a fine cord. You often find commercial tassels and fringing made out of it. It is very soft and has a lovely drape which means you can easily stitch with it.

Needlework Sampler detail

The next band on the sampler is another experiment. Once again I worked a row of Cretan stitch then I buttonholed the bars of every second unit. It was fun to do and I think would look good with a bead in the middle of each U shape.

Needlework Sampler detail


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Sampler FAQ
The Sampler FAQ page will give you more information about this project or you can browse back through the series by reading the articles in the the Love of Stitching Band Sampler category.