This 4 meter long band sampler (that 13 feet for those who are not metric) delighted me so much I decided to share it. I love the way the women pore over it and are so animated as they discuss this or that aspect of the sampler.
I was fortunate enough to see these long band samplers when I visited Holland a couple of years ago. Back home in Australia I have also seen a Dutch/Australian band sampler created by a lady who migrated to Australia after the second world war. Apparently she was a needlework teacher and used the sampler as a teaching aid.
This 4 meter long band sampler on display in this video is like the long samplers I have seen. Often, these samplers are a similar length and have a mix of practical stitchery and embroidery. I think one of the reasons I am so attracted to band samplers is that before the age of print, they were used as samplers – a record of stitches and patterns that was rolled and kept in a needlework box as a reference. No need to haul out a big file of stuff – just unroll and look for what you want! Of course these samplers and the for runners of what some people are calling story rolls.
Needless to say, this tradition of creating a long thin band sampler, in part informed my own story roll or band sampler. I call it “For the love of Stitching” as that is what it is. I make to explore stitches and have fun with my needle. My sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide. It consists of different strips of fabric that are stitched together to form one long strip of needlework. Currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimeters), or 32.138 yards which is almost 30 meters. It is still growing in slow haphazard way. You can get the back story to the For love of Stitching band sampler and get some eye candy of it here.
If you feel like making yourself a cuppa and indulging in a little textile history, I wrote this article that covers A Brief History of Samplers. Also, the Victoria and Albert museum site has a very good article on the History of Samplers.
Experimenting with different threads can be expensive, as you would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. So I have made up my thread twisties which are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.
These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape so that twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle. Many are hand dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.
You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.