2021 Band sampler rolling along

2021 Band sampler rolling along

2021 Band SamplerIt’s time for another update about my annual sampler which I introduced last month here. It has been fun stitching it and is I admit, addictive.
For those who have just swung by and don’t know the backstory, my sampler is what some stitchers would call a stitch roll. The modern day stitch roll is a re-interpretation of what needleworks down the centuries have called a band sampler. If you are interested in the history of samplers and where band samplers fit in the story pop over to read my article A Brief History of Embroidery Samplers. It sets our modern day stitch rolls and thread journals in context.

For many years I have worked samples in the form of band sampler and added to the roll each year. I use it to experiment on , work samples for teaching purposes or simply to see what a stitch can do. I improvise and add bands in freeform manner and often record events turning parts of the band into a thread journal. You can read about it here.

Over on Needle’n’Thread, Mary Corbet proposed a stitch along with her casual freeform band sampler. There are no hard and fast rules except to use what you have to hand which means a no new threads rule. The idea is to use up scraps left overs from kits. At the time I thought the no new thread rule might be tough but, after thinking about it I saw I could easily join in.

As I make up the thread twisties I sell in the shop I often have a yard or so left over. These scraps I can not bear to throw away. I am sure every stitcher on the planet can understand that! I also have half balls of threads, half skeins, zip lock plastic bags of unlabelled stuff collected from charity shops, threads that are hand dyed experiments. In other words when I looked about I have many threads that could be classified as bits. That is what they are scraps and bits.

So I decided this year I would use them up on my sampler. At this point I clear my throat in a slightly embarrassed manner and admit using these bits and pieces may keep me busy sampling for a few years! Since Mary’s idea sits with what I already stitch each year and I like the frugal “use it up” philosophy and I am joining in and using Mary Corbet’s hashtag #stitchfun2021.

2021 Band Sampler filling stitchesAlso this year I thought I would dig out my old studio journals and go through them. I am forever noting down things as think of them. Ideas for designs, stitch combinations, colour schemes, ideas to test, try and experiment with. Many ideas I use on crazy quilting blocks or in the books I have written but many ideas are still to be explored. So I am being frugal in another way as I am delving back into my studio journals and trying out ideas or stitches than I have not had time to try in the past.

With these two ideas in mind ie using up threads and mining my past studio journals I decided to start with a focus on filling patterns and doing what I love – finding new ways to use a stitch. That is what I have been doing so far.

2021 Band Sampler horseshoeThe other bit of sampling on the band is a bit of journalling. The first is a record of the walk I took in the Lower Molonglo River reserve on Australia day. I took photos of course and used them as jumping off spots for a mini design. I saw some small purple flowers I has not seen in the reserve before and I found a horseshoe! The next is to record the Chinese New Year of the Ox.

2021 Band Sampler year of the OxI pick my sampler up for about half an hour a day – its fun stitching done for me as I follow my own curious trail. This sampler is not a thing to be made up or a project to be finished.  My Sampler is simply worked for love and joy of stitching. I hope you have enjoyed reading about it. Let me know and leave comment I would love to know if you are stitching your own story roll or band sampler this year.

Other articles that relate to this are:

If you are interested this article about  in the previous parts of this band sampler and the back story as to why I started stitching it.

For information on how I designed the header to my 2021 sampler see this article .

A Brief History of Embroidery Samplers sets band samplers in a greater context


Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. My thread twisties 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 a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and 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. 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.

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  1. I can’t get out
    out of the
    sewing room
    the fabric has
    accepted me as
    one of their own
    and if I leave now I
    might lose their trust this could be used as a journal entry….was a LOL on

    Pat Quier
  2. Your work is awesome and that you share it with the rest of us is even better. Thank you so much. I notice how absolutely beautiful your lettering is. Can you give any pointers on what stitch you use and how you keep the letters so even?

    1. HI Beth – thanks – I keep the letters even by following the weave of the fabric in other words I use a thread as a line to follow and the stitch is back stitch

  3. to wind thread onto bobbins ….I spread the hank of thread around 3 spools attached to a wooden base…then use an electric drill with the bobbin attached to wind the thread..slow speed but faster than by hand and less tangles.

    Pat Quier
  4. Thank you very much i enjoy toread you iahve many boxes with lots of remnants and many fromage friends and Sunstore
    With Covid and confinement iwant to try to embroid a memory roll
    Best regards. Michèle (French)

    ICE Michèle Picard
  5. There are some very interesting looking stitches in your Hope 2021 sampler and I love the colours too. It’s a wonderful idea to use only threads that you already have. I have lots of bits and bobs that I just can’t throw away.

    1. Thanks Lyn – yes I am accumulating too much – particularly since I started making the twisties. The length in those is two meters so I have lots of thread balls run out and there is 1 and half meters or something. I can’t throw that out! So I wind them on those card bobbins. I can use some on crazy quilting seams as often I only need a little thread to embroider a seam but to be honest they are piling up quicker than I am crazy quilting!

      1. I love the idea. I follow Mary too and I’m ready to start. Because I’m not as creative as you two I need lots of inspiration. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be using your new book to get me started.

        Michele A Hutchison
  6. The Graphics Fairy

    this is a journaling website…..they have tutorials for making books. To stiffen needlework to be washable
    I use plastic cross stich material. Pat Q

    Pat Quier
  7. Is there someplace where I can get the sequential list of weekly stitches for each year you’ve done TAST. I don’t know why, but it’s very difficult for me to join things when I feel like I’m not at the beginning. My own form of OCD characteristics. Yes, I know the disease well. My father was truly diagnosed. I have some characteristics of his but not all, thank goodness. Anyway, I’ve spent hours bouncing around trying to get the lists from 2007 forward and it dawned on me this morning to just ask if such a thing exist. I saw your stitch dictionary and it’s amazing but I didn’t see when the particular stitch was introduced. I figured I could hunt for days with all the eye cand and never reach the grail because it might not exist.

    Thanks for making through this disjointed message

    1. Hi Donna – you are right the lists no longer exist mainly because people like to be surprised so each year I delete the previous year and start again – the stitches that have appeared so far this year are at the bottom of the FAQ page and you are not too late to start! Anyway here is the page https://pintangle.com/tast-faq/
      The other thing you could do if you wanted to do all the stitches is to work through the dictionary – but the glitch with that is that I have planned to add stitches this year (about 1 per fortnight) and this might throw out your plans.The reason I am putting more online is that I have collected stitches all my life and there are many I have documented that are not used often. I want to put them out there for people. Of course there are many in the dictionary that are not in TAST. Anyway here is the the link to the stitch dictionary – at least you could work in alphabetical order hope this helps https://pintangle.com/stitch-dictionary/

      1. So kind of you to respond so quickly especially with time differences. I appreciate the info. One last question. Somewhere, I think on your site I saw a link to beginner stitches. I think either 12 or 20. Great memory I have. Anyway, I now cannot find that link. If it is on your site could you direct me? I love your site and all the stuff you’ve put up over the years. Years ago after a really bad medical issue that was not expected to have a happy ending, my husband took me to France for two weeks to celebrate being a tough old bird. The main point of the trip was Normandy but on our to Or from Normandy we took in the BayreuxTapestry . Dream of a lifetime. Then I see on your site a Quaker Tapestry. Never heard of it. I went through every month of posts listed at the bottom of the page. OMG, WHAT A TREASURE TROVE YOUR SITE IS. absolutely awesome! Thanks for hours of eye candy and fascinating info.

        Donna, warming up in Texas

        1. Hi Donna the first 15-20 stitches in TAST every year are beginner stitches. Not the Beyond TAST just the TAST. So if you do those you have the basics. Hope that helps and thanks for the compliments about the site.


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