Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny


Monday, 11 March 2013

In the beginning...

I learned to sew very early. (Mom had been a Home-Ec teacher and it came in very handy when I shot up over 5'10".)  I loved needlework, but my tastes ran to crochet and knitting, costume history, and dollhouse miniatures.  And quilts, old and new.  I'm an amateur historian of quilts and textiles, belong to the American Quilt Study Group, worked in a museum for awhile, and have traveled extensively to visit museum textile collections.

I had a brief fling at cross-stitch during college, but it didn't take.  I suspect the UFO got left behind when moving out of one of my student apartments, probably under the couch since that was where it spent most of its time.

And then, a few years ago, one of my historian friends brought a bunch of us to a museum in Glasgow to look at turkey red textile printing blocks and swatch books.  Downstairs, there was the most magnificent exhibit of things like THIS:

Fascination at first sight.  I had no idea there were samplers like this.  About a year after that, I learned that there were companies like The Scarlet Letter where one could purchase directions - and kits - for this stuff.  Woohoo!!

My first sampler is The Scottish Band from Scarlet Letter, finished this last January and in the blog.  I'm learning a lot, which makes me happy (Darleen O'Steen's book, The Proper Stitch, has been invaluable).  Clearly, I'm hooked on band samplers, but this group is showing off so much more.  It's so much fun to see all the stitching, and all the enjoyment everyone finds in it.  And everybody is so supportive, and so NICE!

Group hug!



JoAnn said...

Kate, your Scottish Sampler looks like an heirloom. What beautiful work you do.

Bertie said...

Gorgeous pieces! Your Scottish sampler is a true heirloom;)

Nicola said...

Darlene's book is invaluable and every stitch is so well explained.

I have enjoyed reading your post. It must be wonderful to travel to see textile collections and to have worked in a museum.

janitam said...

one word .. amazing

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I had no idea Mom was a Home Ec teacher. That explains a lot! Too bad I couldn't have been on that trip with you to see those samplers. Oh well, we had fun together in France, didn't we?! Great post, Kate!

KathieB said...

We all surely are members of the same tribe, aren't we? Your pictures are gorgeous.

queenstownsamplerdesigns said...

Hi Kate,

I enjoyed your post.
Thanks for the great photos of the band samplers.

I consider Darlene's Proper Stitch, my bible.

Fiona said...

I'm loving reading how everyone got started. Can you tell me which museum you visited. I am going to be in Glasgow in 2 weeks time and looking for somewhere to visit for a day out.