Saturday, 25 October 2014

Silky Glow Sampler

It seems to have been the year of the sampler!

Following the great success of The Big Stitch in 2012, the Ashmolean Museum and the Embroiderer’s Guild decided to host a second day in conjunction with the Eye of the Needle exhibition. As part of that event, SEW Region held a members’ competition to create a “Modern Sampler”. More about that later.

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

By pure coincidence, the Royal School of Needlework staged an in-house exhibition of Samplers and a 21st century sampler competition. The brief was to submit a design, not the stitched sampler, for judging. The two winners would then be invited to work with the RSN to stitch the sampler. Unfortunately, I did not manage to see the exhibition and nor did my entry win but I quite like my design and, if I get around to stitching it, I will share that later.

And equally by coincidence, and before either of these competitions were announced, Jo, one of our committee members, proposed that we (members of Oxford Branch) do a stitch-along of a sampler published in edition 59 (June/July 2009) of Stitch magazine.

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

A small group of us meet up approximately once a month to stitch together and then aimed to complete that section as ‘home work’ before the next meeting. One or two of the group chose their own colour scheme and it was interesting to see how different colour ways affected the overall look of the completed samplers. Ever the safe player when it comes to colour, I chose to use the original colour scheme.

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

The sampler, designed by Judy Dixon, is a combination of traditional hardanger stitches, some familiar stitches such as eyelet or cushion stitch, and some less well known variations on stitches. Part of what appealed to me about this project was the cut work – something I have not tried before. I did one small piece of hardanger many years ago but never completed it. Hardanger is one of those techniques that I find relatively simple to do and, therefore, quite relaxing. There were quite a few large cloister blocks in the border, which was the most time consuming part of the project. The sampled stitches were fun and, as they were mostly small sections, each one completed relatively quickly.

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

I love the soft colours combined with the smoky dove greys and the different textures of the threads were fun to try out but I thought that one or two thread choices where not the best for the stitches (unless I was using the wrong number of strands).

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

Overall, I really enjoyed stitching this piece and working it as a stitch along. I had been tempted to do mine in shades of grey on black canvas and wish that I had been brave enough to give that a go.

© Judy Dixon/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching


elmsley rose said...

Tres elegant!

Rachel said...

It's delightful - well done indeed!

Lauren Hughes said...

Hi there!

Beautiful work :)

I love this sampler - I've been wanting to do this one for years, but I only got the first of the three issues the sampler was featured in - and now it's out of print! Is there any chance you could post the pattern, or link me to somewhere on the internet?

Even if not, I'm enjoying the blog :)