I'm a little late in getting my story posted ... heck, I'm a little late with many things right now, but that's a story for another day!
My grandmother, whom I adored, taught me to cross stitch when I was a young teenager. I don't remember my first project, but I do know it was a stamped cross stitch kit ... remember those?! I remember I was never too keen on them. I soon moved on to Aida, liked that better, and then discovered the "Lavender & Lace / Butternut Road" charts that introduced me to linen. Stitching on linen was instant love!
I stitched quite a few of those L & L designs, and then one day while visiting a new local shop I found a few reproduction samplers in her inventory. I love the history of the 17th-18th-19th centuries so I was intrigued by the stories attached to each of the samplers. At the time I was preparing to leave for an extended family vacation, so the shop owner was kind enough to kit up the chart for me so I could take it along. To say I was slightly overwhelmed would be an understatement! This was my first sampler, my first time stitching on 40 ct. linen, my first time using silk fibers, and I think I chose the largest sampler the shop had ... the design size about 17x25 inches ... I know I wasn't prepared for the size of the linen the chart required! I had no idea what I was doing, but I jumped in with both feet, plugged along and finally finished her after about four years of stops and starts.
That first sampler was Charlotte Wallis c.1822 by The Sampler Workes and I still have her hanging in my family room.
I changed a few design elements as I was stitching ... replaced the verse with an alphabet, and instead of stitching Charlotte's name, just stitched the date (not sure what made me decide to do that????). I still have the chart, but sadly, the page that has Charlotte's story is missing. I'm sure I have it somewhere, but unfortunately cannot share any of her history with you today.
So that's the story of "My First". From that first sampler about 14 years ago, I have been hooked. I unfortunately no longer have a local needlework shop and so my knowledge of what is available in the reproduction sampler world comes from the internet. Maybe one day I'll open my own shop devoted entirely to the early needle arts! A girl can dream, right? ...
Anyway, as is common amongst us "reproduction enthusiasts" I have collected my share of charts throughout the years. I discovered The Scarlet Letter a few years ago, and since then have found they are definitely my favorites. I love the knowledge that Marsha so generously shares about her designs.
This SLY has only reinforced my love of Scarlet Letter designs. You all create such beautiful needlework, you are such fun blogging buddies, and you continue to be a delightful source of inspiration! I am thoroughly enjoying our time together!
Hope to be back with you later this week with an update of my Sarah Stuart ... I'm a little behind with that too!