Historically, samplers were a demonstration or a test of skill in needlework. Girls raised in a genteel fashion were expected to develop skills in the needle arts. A sampler would be composed of alphabets, motifs, verses and decorative borders done in a variety of stitches. The name of the person who worked it as well as the date were often included.
Modern samplers come in a variety of designs and is a style preferred by many stitchers. I am very interested in samplers. However, I have only worked one during my long term cross stitch addiction.
Today I am displaying the one sampler that I completed. It is a piece that is one of my all time favorites done for myself, but it is no longer displayed in my home.
On Fridays I join Aimee of Aimee Writes for Casual Friday, a post with “no structure, no prompts, no rules, anything goes.” Check out her blog and join us in Casual Friday if you would like.
Another Friday has rolled around. I have had five productive days at work, but it was one of those weeks where when one problem was solved two more cropped up to replace it. I woke up during the night twice this week with a work issue on my mind. That has not happened to me for quite some time.
Hummingbirds fascinate me. One of my great delights these days is watching one of nature’s engineering masterpieces come and go to and from the feeder mounted on our living room window. We were thrilled when the first tiny black-chinned hummingbird of the season showed up at the feeder Monday evening. We abandoned all activities while we watched him feed and fly away. We waited for his return.
He did not disappoint us. He came back several times during the course of the evening.
Since the first appearance we have seen him on a regular basis. Frequently over the next several months we will turn our attention to the window to watch the vision of the dainty birds’ mid-air dances. We think they have a nest in one of the trees near our back deck. As the season moves on, we expect to see the female counterparts. They will be joined by other species. We typically see interesting territorial battles between the various hummingbirds.
This brings to mind one of my all time favorite cross-stitch pieces. It is an appropriate selection for this week’s Stitching Post to mark the seasonal return of the hummingbirds.
Project Details: “Bird Watching” from Leisure Arts The Magazine, Cross Stitch, June 1998, Designed by Barbara Baatz. Stitched over 2 fabric threads of 25 count white Laguna with 3 strands of DMC embroidery floss. Custom framed.
This morning we woke up to a bright white winter landscape. The trees that had been leafing out for weeks were covered with white fluffy snow. It is an annual phenomenon here that after fruit trees have blossomed and spring flowers have made their appearances that we get a cold spell and a killing frost. We don’t always get a late spring snowfall.
We have had weeks of beautiful spring weather so I know this is just a temporary setback. I am able to enjoy the beauty that I see out my window. It began snowing before we went to bed last night so we covered the most tender of the plants, like the blackberry shoots. The snow will be gone by noon.
Today in my Saturday stitching post I will display some slow and steady progress on the previous UnFinished Object (UFO) which has now become a Work in Progress (WIP).
After having finished a very large, long-term project prior to Christmas, I needed my next cross stitch project to be fairly easy and a quick stitch. I had visited my daughter in her current home in Nashville over Christmas, and I decided to stitch something for her that would match her color scheme. For a long time I have thought about stitching a saying that has been part of our conversations innumerable times over the years. I often followed her “I love you” with “I love you more.”
I started the project in January by charting the design. That simply means that I got out graph paper and drew the design that I wanted to use. Then it was a matter of picking out the floss colors and fabric. For me it is absolutely thrilling to make those first stitches in a project and gradually see the design unfold.
The unicorn”, she said, “was a marvelous beast, shining with honor, wisdom and strength. Just to see him strengthened the soul.”
–Megan Lindholm; The Unicorn in the Maze
There is something universally appealing about the mystical, magical, legendary unicorn. I personally have been fascinated by the lore of the unicorns for a very long time. In this week when we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, I was reminded of a song from my teenage years by the Irish Rovers, a Canadian Irish folk group, called The Unicorn.
The Irish Rovers is a group that was thought to be largely responsible for the interest in Irish music in North America and has been performing for more than 50 years. The song was from 1968 and was the song that the Irish Rovers were best known for in the U.S. It reached number 2 in the U.S. Adult Contemporary Charts and number 7 in Billboard’s Hot 100. The song was written by Shel Silverstein.
Recalling this song reminded me of a a cross stitch piece I had done in the mid 80’s. It is another piece that I stitched but never framed. It was worked at a time when I did not think of my craft as being something long lasting so I did not record the actual date. I am relying on my rather foggy memory as to when I probably stitched it. I am sure that it is a relatively early example of my craft as it is a relatively easy design. My stitched piece The Unicorn is the feature of this week’s Saturday Stitching Post.
[Project Details: The source was The Unicorn Book by Betty Ashley (1980). 14 count white Aida was used with 2 strands of DMC floss; primarily cross stitch with french knots and lazy daisy embroidery stitch. Finished size 5 1/2″ x 4″}
Today’s Saturday Stitching Post features the lowly, humble outhouse. In the past I have shared projects as varied as angels, a tree at dawn, a girl reaching for a cookie jar, and a slogan “Bless This Mess”. As I decided on which project I would post this week, I had to chuckle. There is a certain bit of humor in taking the time and making an effort to stitch an outhouse.
The reasons for my project choices have been diverse.
Reaching for the Cookie Jar
Today my Saturday stitching post features a cross stitch piece that is a very early item that I stitched. I believe I did it around 1984 although at the time I did not know enough to add my name and date to the work I did. I was just getting into cross stitch and had no idea that it would become a passion for me for the rest of my life. Much of my early work was completed as gifts but this is a piece I kept for myself. It did not get framed until years later but it has now been displayed in two homes that I have lived in.
Today on my Saturday Stitching Post (which I am considering naming this feature) I step away from the bigger pieces I have done and present a small project that I designed and stitched for my office. My typical day at work consists of slogging through tons of paperwork.It has been a good day when I have less paperwork on my desk at the end of the day than I had at the start. My desk looks very unorganized but amazingly enough I can almost always put my finger on anything I need. I did this small design because the saying is very appropriate for my office.
This is the week that was.
My laptop came home from the shop on Friday night. I feel I have gained back some freedom. I don’t have to be sitting at my computer desk while blogging after spending most of the day sitting at a computer at work. Instead I can sit back in a lounge chair and relax or work on my blog anywhere. How tied I am to technology!
The biggest family event of the week was that my precious baby girl turned 26. The Affordable Care Act has made age 26 a new rite of passage. The Act requires that if a plan provides coverage for children, the coverage must continue until the children are age 26. With this birthday, she can no longer be on my insurance as of the end of the month. She spent hours over the last couple months researching the different plans available and made her choice a few weeks ago. Once she enrolled in her new plan she instant messaged me and said, “Holy smokes. I’m growing up!” I have been painfully aware of that practically since she started kindergarten when she told me, her tearful mother, “You have to learn to let go.”