Section 51 of my Freeform Hand Embroidery Band sampler

Section 51 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.

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!

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    1. Hi Barbara – I am not sure but I think it is one of my favourites too – perhaps because it is such a long piece of fabric I designed it a little as I went and felt at easy adding the text bits.

  1. HI Sharon,
    what an great achievement. you completed this in 6 months! I am speechless. so many variety of stitches! I would really enjoy your details of these stitches in the coming weeks. fantastic eye candy. I like your idea of recording the events on this sampler.
    Thank you for sharing, your generosity does not have any limits. Hats of to you!

  2. This really is a treasure Sharon. Your love of stitching is a joy to see. I look forward to seeing parts of this up close, in future postings. Have a wonderful break over the holiday season.

    Claire Turner
  3. Wonderful commentary in stitch, Sharon. I remember how many of the events made me feel – the Christchurch earthquake, Mr Squiggle passing away and listening to the drum of rain on our tin roof after the drought. I’m so glad you found your length of linen. How appropriate and timely.

    Catherine Kyngdon
  4. Magnificent use of that gorgeous linen, enhanced so very well with such wonderful textures. And beautifully executed stitching on the letters and fun text (re: Mr. Squiggle)!

    Lisa M

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