Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I Am So Embarrassed!

Please forgive me, all of you.  I have been so negligent on these blogs, and on my Scarlet Letter stitching.  I signed up for too many classes this year.  I had my brother living with me for five weeks as he recuperated from quadruple bypass surgery.  I have lazy stitching habits, and blah, blah, blah.  So sorry.  I hope to be back on the blogs with regular comments, and maybe even get some Scarlet Letter stitching done to show you soon.

I just paged down this blog quickly, and saw some beautiful sights.  I plan to go back a couple months and comment on some of the things I missed.

I owe a huge thank you to Nicola et al for the beautiful piece of linen - Buttercream - that I won in a drawing some months back.  I have never bought this color before, but really, really like it and plan to use it for at least one start in the future, maybe two.  Again, thank you.

I have also heard that I have some birthday greetings that, sorry to say, went unread.  Thank you for those...I will be reading and responding to those, although six weeks late.

I'm sure I have missed out on so much fun here.  Looking forward to getting back in the groove.



Hi All,

Congratulations on all the recent finishes.  There have been quite a few in the past couple of weeks.  So inspiring!

Here are a couple of progress pictures of Janet Carsels.  I am about half way finished now so still quite  a bit to go.

A little bit more detail on the last two rows.

Keep stitching.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

R Robinson is Finished!!!

I can't believe it, I really finished Rebecca Robinson!  It is one month past my hoped for completion, but she really is done!

We just got back from a big family vacation in North Carolina.  While we were there, I got the opportunity to visit a wonderful cross stitch store, Dyeing to Stitch, in Virginia Beach, VA.  It was absolutely amazing!  Two of the friendliest and most helpful ladies, Ann and Wendy, helped my sisters choose some projects and kitted them up.  I could have stayed there studying completed samplers and patterns for a week!  Ann and Wendy also helped me select some lovely linens for Frances B Jones and Mary Ann Michell.  Ann is one of the owners of the shop and dyes the linens!  I wish I could have bought a piece of every one of her beautiful linens! It really was a wonderful treat and a highlight of my vacation!

Here are a few of the details I added to R Robinson:

and our two new Devon Rex cats we recently adopted:

I am going to mail my sampler to Ann at Dyeing to Stitch.  I asked her about framing suggestions and didn't know if I could find a place nearby.  Ann is going to have her framer take care of it for me!  I just can't believe how fortunate to have stumbled upon her shop just minutes from the airport where we picked up one of my sisters!

Thank you all for your suggestions and kind words of encouragement as I worked on this project!  It was a wonderful experience.  Special thanks to Faye for the wonderful linen and her amazing work on her Rebecca Robinson!  Thank you to Nicola and Jo for such a fantastic blog and group of stitchers!

I am so looking forward to my next project Sarah Siddall, who has been waiting patiently for months.  Temptation to start on Frances B Jones or Mary Ann Michell is pulling at me, too, especially now that I have R&R Reproduction linens!  

P.S.  I forgot to mention: fabric is Edinburgh Cream 36ct (i think i remember correctly, as it was a most generous gift!) and I used the called for AVAS silks.  For the cats and dogs I used some other threads.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments! I can't wait to see her framed!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Hints and Tips for Stitching Over One

Kerri asked a good question on our Hints and Tips page:

She said "It is so great to have such a wealth of experienced stitchers in one place. I am working on Dorothy Walpole and the over one verse is taking forever! Are there any tips when stitching over one words? I am concerned the black silk on the light linen will show through. I am trying to only carry threads only if there are less than 2 threads between the letters. Any tips on working this common area to many samplers? "

Here are some of your answers:

My tips are to always carry the threads in the same area. i.e. along the bottom as if you were writing the letters.  Another thing I sometimes do is back the piece, when framing, with a slightly darker color.  If you have the chance you can always use a smaller count linen or a darker shade.  This often hides threads. 
Barbara G.

Ah, the ever pleasant stitching of letters over one thread.  No real advise per se...I definitely would not carry thread on the back more than two threads.  It's sometimes annoying to start and stop and start again and then stop again, but the results are so much better than carrying on the back.  Just a personal opinion.

I think Kerri has the right idea.   Try not to carry threads where it can be seen on the front.   I usually stitch one letter at a time and end the thread - when working over on, my eyes tire and I don't stitch longer than an hour.
When making doll faces, I try to put muslin under the linen to hide the 'carrying' threads.   Not sure that would work on a sampler.  

(Jo - I saw this on a blog somewhere, one by a professional designer I think.  Anyone recall it?)

When I stitch over one I first only use a half cross. Second I only stitch the words that are close with in a sentence. I end before going on to a sentence that my be many thread between to avoid carrying over the lettering thread in the back. This help to prevent show through.
However I have seen many antique samplers that have show through carry over from the back. I think that you have to remember that many samplers were stitched by young to very young children and perfection on most samplers was not as important as it is to modern stitcher’s today.
The other thing to remember is that stitching is an individual art form in many ways. It only really matters to the person stitching as to how the piece turns out so do what you want and don’t worry about what others think.  If those that criticize don’t like it there are many others out there that will love the piece and praise you for your efforts.

The only advice I have is to just have patience and take your time.  Always try to do one word with one piece of thread.  That way, there will be no threads to show between words.  I actually like over one words!  
Kay Lynn

And here is some advice for stitching over one in general, not just words:

You are smart not to carry more than 2 threads, especially when stitching with a dark color.My method of stitching over one thread came about because I use the sewing method, not stabbing.  It is also faster than stabbing.  I work from right to left, using a tent stitch.  (stitch from bottom left to top right, but because I am stitching the row from right to left, the next stitch comes up 1 thread to the left of the orginial stitch and there is an elongated diagonal stitch on the back)  When I get to the end of the row, I turn the piece upside down and cross the stitches in the same manner.  Then turn the piece right side up again and repeat the process for the next row, (working down the chart).  I call it a double tent stitch.
If you are familiar with needlepoint, it is like the continental stitch, but used in both directions in order to create cross stitches. I call it a double tent stitch.Hope this helps. 

I LOVE one over one and that is the only way I stitch!  I change many patterns to fit my one over one addiction! Just embrace the look and enjoy the slower pace.  I always use a mighty bright lighted magnifier and work mostly in the daylight hours :)

The best tip that I have ever had for over one stitching, is to make sure that the bottom under thread is going the same direction as the top thread of the threads you are crossing....

The only hint I can offer is to cross each stitch as you go and be very careful to keep an even tension, and use a light hand.  Pull evenly but not tightly.  If your linen is dense, you can carry threads a bit further than if the linen is thin.  Sorry I don’t have any more innovative hints.  (Note:  I am NOT a fan of over-one stitching and avoid it whenever possible!)

Renee also sent this link which has some lovely clear diagrams:

Susan added this tip in the comments
When you do have to carry your thread, plan it so that you don't carry it exactly horizontally, vertically or on a straight diagonal, because then it's directly behind the holes in your linen and it shows more. If you can carry it over 3 threads and up 1 or 2 threads, for example, the thread on the back is better hidden under the linen threads. I've successfully carried over three or occasionally even four threads this way without it showing through.

A Big Thank You to everyone who helped answer this question.  If you have anything to add which we haven’t covered then please email me and I’ll edit this post to included it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 23

Got a chance to work on the sampler again for about thirty minutes this evening.  I decided to establish the start of the remaining bands for the rest of the sampler just to figure out the color distribution.  The other thing is to also figure out if I want the lettering to be upside down as charted.  When I started the sampler my plan was to stitch it just the way it was charted but now I am not so sure... at the moment I am leaning towards just stitching the letters so that they do not appear upside down. I also think I am going to add a band to stitch my name and date etc. so I have added the white and light green lines before the last band in Holbein stitch.  These are just ideas at the moment - probably still in the 'design mode' after finishing the silk project.
Anyway, here is a picture as of tonight
Elizabeth Harborne - Day 23
The Song of my Needle
A bit more on my blog :
Have a good Sunday and thanks for all your kind comments!

More as always 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Dorothy Walpole WIP

It has been some time since I have posted about poor Dorothy.  I have been traveling between TX and sunny Southern California for all of May and June for a major work project.  Dorothy is a terrible traveler.  Such a big girl to fit in those cramped airline seats that she had to stay home.   Even is she came along she never made it out of my bag because after working 14 hour days I had little desire to stitch.  But, I have been making steady progress this month.  Here is a photo of where I was at last week.  Since then I have stitched the floral band below the Bargello to move on to something less tedious in my opinion.

Here is a photo of the section where I am at now.  I find these three sections to be very intense stitching with little progress each day.  I committed to trying to get a few words done during the day each weekend in the bright sunlight and only have a few more to do.  It will be lovely when done.

Any suggestions for working the Bargello section?  I have never done this type of work before and wonder if I am doing it right?  Would it be better to stitch each color completely across the row before starting the next?

Have a great week everyone!  I will be in the air conditioning stitching!

Mary Ann Hutton


I have finally received all my silks so I could continue on with Mary Ann Hutton:

Although I am past the half way point of the pattern, the lower portion has more stitching to do.  The border flower stems are different counts and I have had that "frog" visitor.  The fabric is Lakeside Linens Vintage Lentil 36ct and I really like the greenish hue that might not show in my photo.

It is hard to believe that summer is half over. We are enjoying the cooler temps in the Midwest and I hope to get some stitching time in the next few weeks.

Happy stitching!
Cindy L

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dorothy is dressed

in her frame and waiting to come home.  Doesn't she look gorgeous in all of her finery?

Dorothy Walpole
40 count linen, origin unknown (ie, from the stash)
Gloriana, Belle Soie, Dinky Dyes silk threads used
And a close-up of the bottom corner
Dorothy Walpole
I can't wait to see her - these are the photos that Joy, my framer and good friend, sent me before she put the glass in.  I will pick Dorothy up tomorrow when I go to Joy's shop (which is also my LYS, convenient, right?) to knit with the girls.
Now to find a free space on a wall. . . .
Keep stitching,
Sharon H

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Filigree Alphabet

Good Morning All,

I finally made it to the large filigree alphabet.  Isn't it awesome?  Love it!  I am very happy with how this sampler is coming along.

Large Filigree Alphabet
  Here is the entire piece so far.

Keep on stitching.
Dawn M

Look what I won

Look what came in the mail this weekend!  I won the thimble keep from Carmen.  It is beautiful and so well made.  She also sent a leaflet about Tennessee samplers and some wonderful needles which will come in handy for all the samplers I have on my list now.

Thank you so much Carmen and Nicola!  Just being a part of the Scarlet Letter Year has been wonderful and to win a price makes it all the more special.

Entire Package

Beautiful Thimble Keep
Thank you all
Dawn M

Monday, 22 July 2013

Emma Miles is coming down the home stretch!!

I finished the motif area and now have to finish the border, yea!!  I hope to get a lot of stitching in this week because after that I probably won't have much stitching time for several weeks.  I wish I thought I could finish it up this week, but I really think it will take longer.  Still, it's nice to see the whole piece coming together and I haven't minded working on the border areas.  Sorry for the bumpy picture, I didn't want to take it off the scroll rods.
Lynn in Lancaster PA

Start with Dorothy Walpole.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 22

It seems like ages ago that I worked on this sampler.  Life has been busy on all fronts - in a good way.  I decided to take a break and work on Elizabeth Harborne for a few hours.  So this is where I am now :
Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle
More pictures on:

Friday, 19 July 2013

A Finish Elizabeth.

                                      Title: Elizabeth Sheffield.
                                      Stitched by: Laura Rodríguez.
                                      Fabric: 32 count Belfast Linen Vintage Country Mocha.
                                      Threads: DMC.
                                      Finish posted: 18th July 2013.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Finish N Hinde

This afternoon I finished N. Hinde 1778
A Miniature Sampler
1.5" x 2.5" stitched over one
35 Count Dyed Linen
Red Silk Thread
Pulled Thread Hem Stitch
English "plain sewing" original probably from Lancashire/Lancaster.
Scarlet Letter Details HERE.

Racin Frame - Custom Maple
Thank you so much for allowing me to stitch along with you!  I've had this kit since 1991 - and thanks to your motivational posts I can now call it done, complete and finished.
This is my fourth SL Miniature finish, but the only mini finish for this year.  I love them.

Now I am thinking of rewarding myself with the Vierlande kit.  Can you tell I love red?

Thank you again, keep stitching!
Dawn in Colorado

Monday, 15 July 2013

A Finish!

My Dorothy Walpole is finally finished!  Actually she's been finished for over two weeks now, but Life has prevented me from posting.  She is currently at the Framer - hopefully she'll be ready to come home soon. . .

So, here she is:

I thoroughly enjoyed stitching her and participating in Nicola's Special Year. 

Now, on to PLL. . . .

Keep stitching,


My Giveaway.

I teach my gift, there was a sewing caddy change for millenium frame.
Nicola appreciate your generosity.
I wanted to buy the frame but not sent to Mexico and Nicola accept gift make the change.

Thank you very much, I'm very happy.

Cindy (Helping on Rising Doves)

I asked Cindy if she was trying to help me complete Rising Doves.  This was her answer........  I am studying mom......  You just got to love them and they pick some of the most interesting places to hang their heads......

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Goal Met - well kind of

Hi All,

It was my goal to work on the large alphabet with filigrees this weekend before I took the picture for the update and I kind of made it.  I think there are 3 complete stitches and a few partial stitches on the A.  See it there at the bottom.  Nothing of much interest I'm afraid.  I plan to work on her more this evening so hopefully on the next update I can actually show the large alphabet with filigrees.

So, here is an update pic.  I did a close up so you could see the little bit on the A, haha.  She is coming along and I am really enjoying working on her.


Close up
Keep on stitching.
Dawn M

Lora Turner Progress

I am enjoying using my Millenium frame and stand to stitch Lora. Love the simplicity of this sampler.

Susan Singleton Progress

I have made a little progress on Susan. I put her aside while I was waiting for my Millenium frame and stand to arrive. In the mean time, I started Lora Turner and hope to finish her soon and get back to Susan.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Huntsman

My Huntsman is finally framed and up!!!! I ordered the Millineum frames and the floor stand and artisto lap stand so Hannah Carter will be coming to life soon :) I have so enjoyed seeing all the beautiful work on both blogs! 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ohh La La..... Rising Doves

As you can she, my little lady is coming along quite nicely.

I am really enjoying all the new posts.  I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and maybe some stitching.

Quick Update

hello stitching friends!

I have one border left on E. Raysor... (and a small portion of a tree to finish)... so I decided to celebrate with a new start!  So I started Sarah Limah.  I'm enjoying these samplers so much.

It's not the greatest picture but hopefully the next one I take will be better!

How is everyone's summer going?  we had a perfect summer day yesterday but looks like hot weather is on the way... more reason to sit in front of the air conditioner and stitch!

Happy stitching,

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Flamestitch Progress

I have been working on A Flamestitch and have made a little bit more progress since my last post all the way back on 16 April.  I have been working on some other things in between so that is the reason for so little progress.  All of that fill in of black around the flowers on the bottom of the sampler is a little boring so I move around a lot to help keep things a little bit more interesting. As mentioned in my previous post in April I am stitching the scallop band with the rice stitch instead of the charted eyelet stitch.  It gives it a little bit more coverage and texture.

A Flamestitch worked on 40-ct Lakeside Linen using DMC

As always this blog is one of the best out there and it is great to see everyone's work,  Thanks again to Nicola for this great adventure.

Janet Update

Good Morning All,

I have another quick update on Janet Carsel.  I took this picture on Sunday and just now found time to get it posted.  She is coming along nicely.  I love the alphabet row with all the filigrees.  There is a larger alphabet with filigrees coming.  It is my goal to get to that row by the end of the week.  The picture is a little wonky, sorry about that.    


I am still enjoying everyone's projects and continue to add more to my list.

Dawn M

Final stage of Elizabeth.

Now if it is near the end.
I love the design.

 Thanks for your comments.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

So Close! And, Question . . .

Sadly, I missed my hoped for completed by date of June 30.  Life has been extraordinarily crazy!  Most of it has not been fun, nor inexpensive.  For example flooded house from a toilet, chimney detaching from house with children's closet wall going with it.  That is just a glimpse of the visible/physical traumas, the drama of extended family is entirely impossible to explain.  So I added a much wished for sentiment to RR.  I believe Marsha stated the angel could represent this:

Time to stitch has been very limited the last couple of weeks.  Prior to that, I felt progress was evident.  Now I am hoping to finish RR before we leave for vacation with aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Here is where I am at currently:

My question is regarding flattened stitches.  I used a scroll frame for the first time.  The top was rolled up for several weeks. When I went back to work on the top section, I noticed the stitches were flattened.  I didn't pay it any attention until the stitching next to the flattened ones looked quite different.  Is there anything I should do? Will they just replump with time and humidity?  This is probably just another obsessing-on-a-tiny-detail question, but I thought I would throw it out there to you experienced stitchers.  The picture doesn't show the difference very well, but I will add it anyway.

They honeysuckle to the left has flattened stitches and the one on the right was newly stitched.  Well, thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.

Hope you are all getting lots of time to be with the ones you love and can sneak in a few moments of peaceful stitching!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

New Start: S Wood

I gave in to temptation this weekend and started S. Wood. She is a miniature reproduction, that is only
4 x 3-1/4 inches when stitched over one on the 30ct linen in the kit.

 S. Wood

I have 2 of the 3 rows of the border done and the first line of the verse.

Monday, 8 July 2013

My New Start is ....

..... Marion Robertson 1834. Here is her image that I borrowed from The Scarlet Letter website.

There are several (well actually many more than "several"!) SL samplers that I am just itching to stitch. But Miss Marion won this time simply because of her size. I have been looking for a sampler of a certain size ... not too large; not too small ... for the wall area above a large wing chair in our family room. 

I hope to one day expand this area into a sampler wall ... but I'm getting way ahead of myself! 

Anyway, because the wing chair is rather tall, I can't use a sampler with too much overall height, and because the chair is rather large, a sampler too small would look just that ... too small when hung over the chair. Are you following my dilemma?!

So, when Miss Marion caught my eye on the SL website and I marked out her measurements above my chair, she seemed just right. There is nothing too complicated about her and I'm hoping she will move along at a good pace ... we'll see!

Here she is ready to go ....

And here is my little bit of progress from yesterday and today ...

So that's it ... Miss Marion Robertson 1834 is my new BFF ... I'm sure we will get along just fine!

Hope you are enjoying time with your BFFs too!


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Lucy update

Two weeks of rain in the Midwest = more time with Lucy.  Just a bit left to do on the alphabet section and then I can start the pretty pink house band.  I love the way linen feels when it has the weight of embroidery on it.  :)

While watching Joy Jarrett's informative video on historic samplers (shared by Barbara and Nicola), in particular the bit about the 1702 'strawberry pickers' band sampler, I was reminded of something I read in Anne Sebba's book Samplers: Five Centuries of a Gentle Craft (1979) where the author has this to say:
 "Many band samplers had one line reserved for two or three small male figures walking sideways, sometimes glancing over their shoulders, and carrying in one hand a small, unrecognizable object which could look like an acorn, a flower spray, or be heart-shape...occasionally clothed with the costume of the day which might include a tail coat and a long wig.  These little figures have been the subject of much recent scholarship and have been given the name 'boxers' because of their pose with one leg forward and one arm up.  It is clear, however, that the boxers derive from a motif that was frequently seen in continental Europe throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - that of two lovers exchanging gifts.  In English samplers the female lover has clearly been transformed into a bush, or a tree, or just an unrecognizable shape with splay feet and possibly sprouting acorns.  But usually a head, body, arms and legs are dimly recognizable and the lover offers his sprig of foliage - the love trophy- to his being."
Like some of you, I found the strawberry figures and interspersed trees in Joy's sampler to be very charming.  I have no idea if the band in her sampler is actually in the 'boxer' tradition, but found the design similarities (to those described above) to be curious and thought you might too.  Below is the illustration from Anne Sebba's book depicting a 1706 'boxer' band.  

 I look forward to your next posts!