Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Sampler

At some point, all crafters have a moment when they choose action over thought.  For me, the thought was about crazy quilting.  I was reading about it, searching the web for it, seeking out others who crazy quilted. I was drooling over photos, building a stash and dreaming about the wonderful crazy quilt I would create. I was coming from a background of crochet and some surface embroidery usually on preprinted linen such as pillowcases. Crazy Quilting was on my mind and I finally decided to act.

With my new action-oriented resolve, I realized that I needed to improve my embroidery skills.  It was at this time that I was introduced to sharon b's Pin Tangle.  More specifically, I stumbled upon her posts about the famous For the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.  I decided that I was going to make one of my own.

Sampler 1

You can't quite make it out in this photo but I started the Sampler on July 04, 2008.  It wasn't fancy.  I had taken some 12x18 aida and cut it in half.  Having already read about the For the Love of Stitching Band Sampler I was prepared and used my sewing machine to add some inexpensive cotton down the sides so that I would be able to use a hoop across the width.

I started at the beginning with Running Stitch and then practiced some Threaded Running Stitch. Next up was some darning stitch patterns I had been reading about in a magazine.  It occurred to me that the Sampler could be more than just a practice piece.  It could also record patterns for later reference.  After darning stitch interruption, I continued with Arrow stitch and Algerian Eye stitch.
Sampler 2

I wasn't going to be able to continue on in alphabetical order.  It was not that organized of a project.  As I was looking through stitch dictionaries, I was struck by all the examples of stitches done in leaf form.  I copied a simple leaf pattern and then made my own examples of Open Fishbone, Closed Herringbone, Raised Fishbone, Leaf, Roumanian, Flat, Closed Cretan, Van Dyke and Closed Fly.  It was apparent to me that I was going to need to label my work so that later I would know what I was looking at.

Sampler 3

Next I have some samples of Coral, Chain and Crested Chain. The rest of this photo shows my experiment with Back Stitch, Outline Stitch and Stem Stitch.  I was able to see the difference in how the stitches took curves.

I also agreed that the Sampler would have more meaning it it included tidbits from my life.  In Back Stitch, I stitched a violin to represent my daughter taking music in the 5 and 6th grades.  The cat I chose for the Outline Stitch and the Stem Stitch represented my first cat. He was black.  His name was Monster.  When I first got the cat, I found myself saying, "Get out of that, you little monster".  The name stuck but it was used affectionately for the 10 years that he was with me.

Sampler 4

First I needed a simple alphabet so I could label my work and then I decided to tackle Bullion Stitch.  I recorded not only a bullion rose but also a frog, spider, bumblebee, and strawberry.   This is followed by Sheaf Stitch and an example of a butterfly in Sheaf Stitch.  There is a Buttonhole Wheel, Open Cretan and some practice on the Cast On stitch.

Sampler 5

Sampler 6
These photos show some excercises from a Color Theory class that was taken through Stitchmap. It was very helpful to think about color using a non-blendable color source.

Sampler 7 is my results to the Long and Short Sampler by Mary Corbet on Needle N Thread.

Sampler 7

Sampler Backing

It has been left unbacked so that more length can be added. Which brings me to the reason for this rather lengthy post. I have recently put a backing on the sections introduced above.  I used sheeting that had been picked up at a thrift store.  I started by cutting the sheet but soon realized that the material can be torn.  That made quick work of it. I also have a crocheted rag rug floating around in my thoughts!

New Aida Length

New Striped Cotton Length
I have also put together two new lengths to be added on in the future.  I have one in aida and I one in a striped cotton.

I am looking forward to filling these up and adding them to the rest.  Since starting this Sampler, I have actually created a few pieces that have been done in crazy quilting.  Focusing on embroidery was a very good start for me .

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