Story Roll Band Sampler Progress

Story Roll Band Sampler Progress

Story roll band sampler February 2021

Story roll band sampler February 2021It has been a while since I last shared an update on my band sampler story roll that I am stitching this year. The last time I wrote about it I left off where I marked the Year of the Ox. The only ‘journalling’ bit that has been added is that vaccinations have started in Australia. So I added that. If you click on the thumbnail left you will see a larger version of the sampler to date.

As you can see I have been exploring more filling stitches and in the process reached the end of this strip of fabric. I was going to add more beads to the strip as I started the year with the date where I included beads. I think I will hold off that idea as I have to join another strip of fabric to this piece. You will see why I am containing my urge to bead everything as the next section unfolds. I feel there is going to be a jump between the two sections and if I add beads the jump will be even more pronounced.

As I have been stitching I have of course been thinking about what I hope to achieve with my band sampler this year. My aim this year is to dig out my old studio journals, go through them and experiment with some of the ideas that currently sit between their pages. When I stitch I note down things as think of them. I have done this for years so my studio journals are full of material that will keep me busy for long time! They contain ideas for designs, stitch combinations, colour schemes, worksop notes, notes for teaching, ideas to work up into something. Often at the time I did not have the time to work up. I noted them down for a period in my life where I had the time to test, try and experiment. Some ideas of course I am no longer interested in. Many ideas deserve looking at again or are still to be explored. For instance I have so many notes about filling stitches it is ridiculous! So I am enjoying delving back into my studio journals and trying out ideas or exploring stitches than I have not had time to try in the past.

foundation cloth march 2021 With the end of this strip of fabric it was also the end of February 2021. March the 1st in Australia is the first day of Autumn or as those readers in the US would say Fall. So needed a strip of fabric that could feature autumnal tones in a good light. So the stash hunt started which led to a bit of a faff.

Story roll pieced clothI found some an interesting 28 cnt cotton that is a sort of oatmeal colour and contains a fleck in it that makes it look rustic and autumnal. I am pretty sure it is discontinued as I went looking for it online to be able to share the name, but could not find any. Anyway in my stash I found a small piece and few pieces that were even smaller. I am sure you see my problem. I need a strip. While digging about I found a a few small pieces most in the 28 to 32 cnt range. One piece led to another and I decided to piece them together as a strip. So this section has become a no waste, use it up challenge. I have done this before but not recently.

Story roll band sampler foundationSince it is not all one piece of fabric it will be a challenge to stitch but it will also be fun. I pieced together fabrics that were cream, ivory, white, oatmeal, and sandy colours through to tones of cappuccino and milk chocolate. I got a bit carried away and I think it is likely to do me for the rest of the year!

Mary Corbet Over on Needle’n’Thread has casual stitch along going on. Since the idea sits with what I do, I am joining in. There are no hard and fast rules in the stitch along, except to use what you have to hand which means a no new threads rule. So I am using scraps and left overs from the Twisties I make up to sell in my shop. Other bits are things like half balls of threads, half skeins, zip lock plastic bags of unlabelled stuff collected from charity shops, threads that are hand dyed experiments and so on. I am sure you get the picture. So I gathered those threads together and anything that looked as if it would get itself in a tangle I wound them on to the plastic bobbins you can buy. I did this mainly because I like threads to look attractive and enticing. If they are neat and tidy I feel like using them. I call this my ‘to be used’ pile.

Story roll Autumn thread coloursFrom this pile of threads I pulled out a colour scheme that can be described as Autumnal. I found a tin to keep them together and as I work the next section of the sampler I will use them. I might add more green threads from the pile but this is more or less what I will be using. Anyway this is my progress so far!

Story roll AutumnI hope you enjoy this peek into what is on my hoop and my stitching process.

Posts in this series can be found under the Long Band Sampler category

For many years, I have been adding a strip of stitching to a long Stitch-roll or what is traditionally called a band sampler. If you are interested in the previous parts of this band sampler and the back story you will find it an article here.

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 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. 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.


  1. Love your text. Your stitches are so small the font looks beautiful. Of course the filling stitches are gorgeous. The joys and benefits of lovely counted thread fabric. Also a timely reminder for me to choose my colours beforehand; I get excited and just start and by half way I’m disappointed in my lack of contrast and overall theme.
    As always, thank you for your inspiration. Rhonda

    Rhonda Porter

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