Saturday, February 4, 2012

A free pattern and extreme aging technique

I've had an idea for awhile now . . . I wanted to stitch a sampler that looked old . . . really old. I began fussing with some scrap linen and a block of sandpaper. Yes, sandpaper, 180 grit. I use the same block when sanding my make-dos and dolls and what have you. I figured it would work on cross stitch linen just as well. After some trial and error I finally happened upon a technique that gave me the look I wanted. I lightly sanded the entire piece of linen in a single direction. I didn't want to put any holes in it (yet) I just wanted to thin the linen so it looked more worn. I then focused my attention on a few spots. I sanded in a single direction (either up or down or side to side, but not both) until I began to wear through the linen. Fair warning, my table looked as though a large dog had shedded its' entire coat onto it :)

Here is a closeup of the tears in the linen.

I continued sanding until I was happy with the amount of wear on the linen. I found that the side I sanded looked "fuzzy" no matter how many times I took my lint roller to it so I chose to use the backside. I sat down and began stitching, keeping the design simple. I intentionally avoided stitching too near to the holes in the linen but couldn't avoid it when I began stitching the border. I simply kept stitching until I reached the hole and then left the thread hanging. Of course I could have stitched a design first and then sanded but I like to look of "missing" stitches. When the sampler was finished I gave it a light wash in my black walnut dye and then brushed on more dye focusing around the worn areas. I thought ahead and stitched using DMC thread, fearing that the hand dyed threads might bleed. Now that I think on it, that might have given it an even more aged appearance. Hmmmm, perhaps next time.

Now, I wouldn't do this to a sampler that I had spent a great deal of time working on, but personally I adore the look of this piece. It looks lovely displayed. Throughout the day it's followed me from my bedroom, into the living room, and is now resting in the family room. It looks so sweet no matter where I toss it. I wouldn't drape a genuine antique sampler over a box on my mantel or lay it across a few books on an end table but this piece just belongs nestled amongst other prims.

I charted the little sampler and am offering it as a free pattern. Of course you are welcome to stitch it however you like, but I would suggest trying this technique if you enjoy the look, and be sure to let me know how it turns out.

If you would like to download the free pattern you can find it on my Free Pattern page, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link below the photo of the finished piece. As always, if you have any trouble downloading the PDF file simply e-mail me and I can send it to you.

Our youngest is turning two next weekend so it will most certainly be a busy week, but hopefully I'll have a finish to show you soon. Until then, happy stitching.


Jennie Lynn


Charlene ♥ SC said...

Thanks for sharing the 'sanding' technique, and the the patterns!

cucki said...

Such a sweet pattern,,,thank you for sharing ..
Big hugs cucki xxx

Joy said...

Nice little pattern. You might to the sanding on a larger sampler some's fun!

Mouse said...

ohhh wow that looks lovely and I think I shall have to have a go and see if it works for me ... thanks for the pattern too :) love mouse xxxx

Penny said...

Thanks for sharing your technique and the free pattern!! I will definitely be trying this out -- I love the look of an old, worn sampler!!!

marly said...

Thank you for the pattern and technique!

Holly said...

Hi Jennie Lynn,

Thanks a bunch for this charming sampler. I adore it! And thank you for generously sharing your aging technique with everyone.


Patty C. said...

Thank you!

Angie Berry said...

That is really cool Jennie, I absolutely love the worn look! I never thought about taking sandpaper to fabric. If I muster up the nerve, I will try it, hehe!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day~