I have finally finished my little marking sampler. It was an absolute joy to stitch. Though I doubt I could do it often, it was wonderful to sit down and just stitch without worrying about counting stitches or constantly having to look back to a chart. I must confess that I did cheat, or at least try to. When I began stitching the cursive alphabet up top of the sampler it became obvious I was going to have trouble fitting a full alphabet. I did pull up my pattern maker software and try to configure it in such a way that I could include the entire alphabet. I couldn't figure out how to do it without frogging stitches so I left it as is. I have seen many antique samplers with incomplete alphabets so I imagine I am in good company in just simply running out of room.
In this sampler I also experimented with intentionally pulling stitches so that the piece would look as if it were worn through time. I left out a couple of letters and a few of the borders are incomplete and I purposefully left blank most of the lower part of the sampler. In a few places I pulled the thread under in the back to secure it and then pulled it back out through the front in the last place I had stitched leaving a little of the thread hanging to make it look as though the stitching had come undone. Again, I doubt I could do this regularly but it does give the sampler a very old feel to it.
The threads are lovely. I used Gentle Arts Picnic Basket, Gentle Arts Toasted Barley and Gentle Arts Wood Trail as well as Crescent Colours Green Onion and Crescent Colours Onion Skin. They are beautifully faded colors of brown and green with Crescent Colours Green Onion being the most subtle. It mostly appears as white but there are slight hints of a very pale green. I adored working with the thread. I didn't intend to stitch the entire cursive alphabet in that particular color but once I started stitching with it I didn't want to stop. The linen is a scrap of 30ct R & R Reproductions Flax. It's a smaller pattern and not much linen is needed.
When the sampler was finished I signed the bottom Cora Lipton. For a week's worth of evening stitching my husband and I were watching Band of Brothers on DVD. I have an affinity for war films and it is a wonderful mini-series. Lipton is the last name of one of mine and my husband's favorite characters. I can't explain it but the name got stuck in my head and it just seemed . . . right. Cora was simply a first name that I liked. It is odd how we come up with these things isn't it? Wrapped up in this little sampler is a memory of my life that will now always come to mind when I look at in years to come. I imagine each and every one of you can say the same thing about things you have stitched. It doesn't always occur to me as I'm stitching but it is true that every stitch carries with it a little piece of the women (or man) stitching it of that moment in her life.
I finished the piece by folding over the edges and binding it with a blanket stitch. I've considered stitching a ribbon to the back and hanging it on the dresser in my bedroom. For the time being it looks lovely sitting on the table in the living room. I just have to remember to move it every time Mina climbs onto the sofa :)
If you would like to stitch this little sampler it is available as an e-pattern only and the cost is $7.50. The pattern is complete, showing all the "missing" stitches and a second chart included contains the rest of the cursive alphabet. Perhaps you could find a way to incorporate the remaining letters into the pattern? The sections where I chose to have "missing" stitches are marked. As always the pattern will include a color photo of the finished piece, both black and white and color charts to print and finishing instructions.
If you would like to purchase the pattern for Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler you can e-mail me or use the Paypal button on My Design page.
Now onto finishing the sampler I put aside when I started working on this one. There seems to be a never ending stash of designs to stitch but unlike with say, laundry, I love always having something waiting to be worked on :)
1805 Valentine 1852 peacock aged aged linen All Hallows Eve alphabet alphabet sampler anniversay antique antique linen antique samplers antique sheet music apple tree applique Autumn basket beach Bette 1709 bird black walnut dye blanket stitch Blest Art Sampler bloom box brown hen budding wreath butterfly Christmas Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler crescent colours cross stitch crown decorative dixie sampler designs doll making euphemia myles sampler eyelet sampler Fabric and Framing fabrics feather stitch flowers framing free pattern french knot french letters bluebird frogging garden Gentle Arts giveaway hand dyed heart heart garland Holidays hollow wreath Josephyn Sayer journey's end June Blooms keeping joy king lazy daisy linen love make do Marked Anne Mercy Doll Mercy Sampler motifs needle book needle punch needlework Notforgotten Farm osnaburg over-dyed threads partridge pattern peace and quiet peacock peahen Peahen's Valentine pear photo album pincushion pine tree pink pinkeep prim primitive punch needle queen quilts R and R reproductions rag quilt reproduction fabric rug hooking Samplermakers samplers Seek Thy Love sewing sewing book sewing pins silver snow spot motif spring Spring peacock St. Valentine's Day stash stem stitch stitcher's challenge stitching Summer Tattered Suitor thank you threads toile tulip tutorial verse vine weeks dye works winter Winterberries wool wool applique