Needlepoint Sampler

needlepoint sampler

My friend Isabel in Kilbarchan was having a clear out of her embroidery and craft stash and she passed a couple of long but narrowish pieces of double thread canvas which she said she was never going to get around to using. As the canvas wasn’t quite wide enough for a medium sized cushion cover I decided to use one of the pieces to make a sampler.

As you can see, the design is more or less what you would find on a cross-stitch sampler but as the whole of the canvas has to be covered, unlike the linen fabric used in cross stitch, it was quite a stitch intensive project.

To vary the textures a bit I used French knots on the left hand tree, I like the effect but it does mean that I can’t frame it under glass as it isn’t flat enough. The design is loosly based on a traditional embroidery sampler using common motifs but I sort of made it up as I went along, just filling the spaces in with whatever I fancied.

The house is like something that a kid would draw, as they tend to be in samplers but I chose to do the background of that part in a pinkish colour. This is because I am quite a cynical person at heart so as far as I am concerned that house is being viewed through rose tinted specs! Otherwise the rest of it is just things which I love. Trees, topiary, flowers, bees, bee hives/skeps, a rabbit (of course) fruit, bird table. The patches of green on either side of the yellow path are supposed to be a formal knot garden and the ‘patchwork green garden’ which the path surrounds has the letter ‘S’ in the middle of it, with the squares picked out in what I think is called Rhodes stitch. My married name and maiden name both begin with ‘S’ – which is just typical as I have a bit of a lisp! I’ve also made an ‘S’ design in what is supposed to be wrought iron railings on top of a garden wall.

On the right hand side there are some motifs of old garden tools which I don’t think have come out very well. The colours are too muted and similar to the beige background, but I wanted it to look old fashioned and not too bright.

I tried to improve the look by using some silver thread to brighten the tool motifs up. I should’ve put more plants and flowers in that space I think. That’s life though, I find that I’m never completely happy with any project I do and always think it could be better, which is probably just like anyone who does any sort of craft work, it’s what keeps us going I suppose, the thought

Good Housekeeping Needlepoint

that the next thing we do will be better.

Despite the fact that I did this on a frame it has still got a wee bit distorted so I’ll have to stretch it a bit before mounting it on some board.

I have quite a collection of embroidery/needlepoint books and these are a few of the ones which I like to leaf through for inspiration.

10 thoughts on “Needlepoint Sampler

  1. However do you find time to do all that stitching as well as all the reading and all the other things you do, Katrina! You’re a very talented woman! How wonderful is that sampler and so unique. I hope the boys appreciate it and will eventually pass it down through the family! It’s gorgeous!

    • Evee,
      Projects take a long time to get finished, esp. as I have so many on the go at the same time. The ‘boys’ won’t appreciate it, typical males, but some family female in the future might. I have a sampler from 1832 which was done by a Jean Barclay, a relative by marriage.

  2. I am flabberghasted! Your sampler is gorgeous and I’m so impressed that you made it up as you went along! You are a true needlewoman! (How about those exclamation marks?!)

    • Joan,
      Exclamation marks?! Super-duper!! Honestly, it’s easier for me to make the pattern up as I go along, rather than to do all the counting if I was following a pattern. It helps that sampler motifs are expected to be all different sizes, no worries about having a rabbit half the size of a tree for instance!

    • Debbie,
      I love bees and I can’t understand why people are frightened of them. They’re always too busy to bother with us and they do so much good in the garden and farmland. They’re not doing well in the terrible cold weather we’re having at the moment.

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