Samples and samplers

A few months ago, I followed a short on-line course with Sue Stone, which outlined her way of experimenting with embroidery stitches. Since then I’ve made lots small samples, variations on some basic stitches (straight, running, couching and French knots). I’ve been mounting them on larger pieces of fabric, and fastening the larger pieces together to make books. I’ve enjoyed the process – I’ve always liked playing with ideas and techniques, much more than setting out to actually make a thing.

It dawned on me yesterday that what I was doing was making samplers – and that perhaps it was time to try a different approach. Looking in more detail at Sharon Boggon’s Love of Stitching sampler, I noticed that amongst the stitch samples, she includes notes on things that have happened in her life, or in the world generally, which I found quite an appealing idea. So is it time to move on from books of samples to a band sampler?

I’ve made a start. For someone who doesn’t do cross stitch, I have an awful lot of Aida fabric. And why have I got so much green thread, and so little red? You may detect a seasonal influence here.

I’ve also decided to work my way through at least one of Anne Brandon Jones’ books, starting with Simple Stitch for Embroidery, but not sticking rigidly to her examples.

This is despite being half way through embroidering a fabric book about amulets, and knitting a pair of socks and a hat I haven’t touched for a week because I kept making mistakes. So I really need something else to do. (Procrastinate? Me?)


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