… creating is a skill that can be learned and developed. Like any skill, you learn by practice and hands-on experience. You can learn to create by creating. —Robert Fritz, The Path of Least Resistance
On January 21 Sharon gave us a link to an interesting site on antique samplers on her In a Minute Ago blog. For some reason I haven’t yet been able to get registered onto that site, but in the meantime I asked Sharon if she had any other good sites to recommend. Wow! She filled her entire blog yesterday with a whole bunch of wonderful sites. I’m still working my way through them.
I thought it might be fun to post a picture of my one and only sampler. I made this sampler while taking a six-week sampler designing class at Shepherd’s Bush in Ogden, UT in 1987. I got so excited that I did almost nothing else and completed my sampler between January and April.
Later that year Jo Packham from The Vanessa-Ann Collection was talking to me about some of my quilt designs when she saw my sampler and asked if they could publish it. Much to my surprise, they purchased the design, had it professionally photographed, graphed and published in Vanessa-Ann’s Holidays In Cross-Stitch 1991.
It was stitched on raw Dublin linen and is 13 1/4″ x 23″. It truly was a learning piece for me, as samplers at one time were, because many of the stitches were new to me, and I learned, and created, as I stitched. I followed another tradition in sampler-making and wrote a poem that is included on the sampler:
I stitch with thread the Winter long
To form the flowers of Summer’s Song.
My hands with chosen stitches bring
I loved doing this sampler, but haven’t made time to do another one. I’m actually thinking about taking Sharon’s monthly themes for her Take It Further Challenge this year and making a sampler with them, beyond my monthly pieces. It could be interesting since there’s no way of knowing what she’ll throw at us next. Hmmm…What size fabric to start with?….Where to begin–in the middle, at the top?….Band sampler or spot or free-form?…. How to compose a poem, when you don’t know what’s coming?
This sounds like fun, sort of like an exercise I sometimes use with youth in my Confirmation classes to compose a class psalm. I start with a line, give it to one person, that person writes a line, folds over my line, the next person adds a line, folds down the previous one, and so on and so on…. Could this work for a sampler?
Lots of ideas here standing on the shoulders of the millions of women (and men) who have composed stitch samplers across the centuries and continents. Thanks, Sharon, for reminding me of how much I love samplers.
Oh, you know what? I just remembered that I have done another sampler. It’s in my long unfinished objects stash. It’s a kit I purchased on a trip to Scotland in 1990 and have never finished because I don’t like doing the holbein stitch near the top.
That must have been my pink and green decade. Time to finish this piece!
I’m also now remembering some needlepoint samplers done in the ’70′s that I don’t even know what happened to…. See what happens when you do so much of this stuff?