On the Hoop — a 2021 Sampler update

On the Hoop — a 2021 Sampler update

I have not shared an update on my 2021 sampler for quite a while, so it’s time for another update on my 2021 band sampler. There is a lot to chat about and quite a bit to share, so I will get straight into it. Make a Cuppa, settle down and I will start.

This is a reminder of where I was up to in my 2021 sampler. You can read about it in my last post which you can find here As you can see, this section marked the change of season. A reminder to Northern hemisphere readers: I live in Australia, and March 1st is the start of our Autumn/Fall.
2021 band sampler part 4 Autumn

The pieced foundation fabric

In that post, I explained how I had come to the end of my strip of fabric, and when I went to look for another, I decided to use scraps of linen from my stash. I patchworked together needlework fabrics in cream, ivory, white, oatmeal, and sandy colours, through to tones of cappuccino and milk chocolate. Most are linen and are in the 28 to 32 count range. I thought at the time I had made too long a strip but I have used it all! This is what it looked like before I started working on it.

Story roll band sampler foundation

This is what it looks like now! I will, of course, join these sampler strips together and back them and bind them. The line of running stitches down the side that you can see, forms the edge of the sampler. The stitches will be removed as they are just there to mark the edge so I don’t get carried away and stitch past that point!

2021 Sampler folded

At first, I was a little worried about the patchworked linen foundation but the treatment of the lizard gave me an idea that led to a solution for this section of my 2021 sampler. We received record rainfall on the East Coast of Australia, which led to widespread flooding. That gave me an idea to echo the circle around the lizard and hint at the rain with running stitches. I continued with the circles idea and repeated down the strip, breaking the borders of the patches.

2021 Sampler part 1

In this section, after a quiet Easter, I returned to my usual row upon row of lines of stitches but I became bored with it, so just below my record of receiving a vaccine, I started again with some curved lines and diagonals.

2021 Sampler vaccinationI continued with exploring really basic simple stitches such as Arrow Stitch, Chain stitch, Back stitch, Satin stitch, Running stitch, Rice stitch, and even Cross stitch. Using simple stitches, combining them, and finding different ways to apply them never ceases to fascinate me.

2021 Sampler PlatypusThe design then morphed some more, and the circles returned when we saw a platypus on our morning walk. I have only ever seen a platypus in the wild three times in my life so I was very excited about it!

Also, of course, we had a blood moon eclipse on May 26. Being an unusual event, I recorded that too. I also added buttons to echo the circle design. June 1st is the start of the Australian winter so that will be another change of mood and back to normal fabrics.

2021 sampler moon eclipse


The back story to my 2021 Band sampler

For many years I have worked a 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 a freeform manner and often record events turning parts of the band into a thread journal. You can read about it here.

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

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

Over on Needle’n’Thread, Mary Corbet proposed a stitch along. There are no hard and fast rules except to use what you have to hand. The idea is to use up scraps and languishing stash. Since the idea fits neatly with my band sampler I have been joining in.


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. It’s been a while since I had a cuppa with you, Sharon. Beautiful work. I love the simplicity of your layout and stitched record of 2021-so far- and look forward to more. We were fortunate to have missed both the fires and now the horrendous flooding and all that went with that.

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