Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oh Where, Oh Where Does the Time Go?

My goodness, time is going by so quickly!  We are already halfway through January, and I've yet to make a blog post.  My apologies.  Between the Christmas holidays, house guests for a few days around the beginning of the New Year, packaging class kits to ship to New Zealand, and getting the charts ready for my two new designs, time has certainly gotten away from me.

The good news is that yesterday I mailed the first box of  kits  to New Zealand for the March class, and I also sent the charts for my two new designs to my two wonderful reviewers. Then today I emailed the shops on my automatic shipment program to tell them about the new designs. I even sent them photos and descriptions so they can order supplies in advance, if desired.  If all  goes as planned, the shops will have the new charts within two weeks.  I'll let you know for sure once I ship them.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share photos and information about the two new samplers.  I hope you'll like them

First is Elizabeth Woods, 1822.  My chart is an accurate reproduction of Elizabeth’s sampler.  I was attracted by its balance, even though it’s not perfectly symmetrical.  There are some irregularities, so make sure you follow the chart closely.

The antique sampler measures 13-3/4-inches wide by 17-1/4-inches high.  Elizabeth stitched hers with silk threads on uneven-weave linen of 32 threads per inch horizontally and 30 threads per inch vertically.  I chose to stitch my reproduction on 35-count linen (Cornsilk from Weeks Dye Works, Inc.), which makes my model slightly smaller than Elizabeth’s original.  If you want your sampler to be closer in size to Elizabeth’s original sampler, I suggest you stitch yours on either 30- or 32-count linen. The stitch count for the sampler is 219 wide x 258 high.

I stitched my model using Needlepoint Inc. silk threads.  I've listed DMC thread colors on the chart, but in quite a few cases there were not any DMC colors that were close to the silk colors I used.  When choosing the thread colors, I compared the colors on the front of Elizabeth’s sampler with those on the back.  It was amazing to see how much some of the colors had changed over the years. Several thread colors were quite faded on the front.   For example, the very large vases appear off-white on the front but are actually a beautiful light blue on the back.  When stitching my model, I chose to use the more vibrant colors to more closely match Elizabeth’s own choices.

This project uses mainly cross stitch over two linen threads.  There is one horizontally elongated cross stitch on the border.  In addition, backstitches over two linen threads are used around the eyes of some of the birds and the animals.  Satin stitches are also used in a few places.  

A  color photo of Elizabeth's original sampler in in the chart package.  You will see her sampler in a wonderful octagon-shaped frame.  I decided to frame my piece in a similar fashion thanks to Sarah of Crosse Stitchery and Main Street Framing in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

I think this special frame enhances the unusual shape of  Elizabeth's sampler border.  You might decide to frame your sampler in the same fashion.  Or you might chose to use a rectangular frame and hem the edges of the sampler and mount it on another piece of linen.  Or perhaps you might decide to use an octagon-shaped mat.  There are lots of possibilities.

My second new design is entitled Of Female Arts.  The sampler gets its name from an old sampler verse--Of female arts in usefulness, the needle far exceeds the rest.

I stitched my model on 36-count Light Sand linen from Zweigart, Inc. using Needlepoint Inc. silk threads. The sampler is stitched mainly using cross stitches over two linen threads.  This sampler can also be stitched, with minor changes, on aida.  The chart directions explain what changes need to be made to stitch the design on aida. The stitch count is 211 x 211.   I've listed DMC thread colors on the chart, but in quite a few cases there were not any DMC colors that were close to the silk colors I used.

I hope you like both new designs.

Shops that are part of my automatic shipment plan will be receiving the new designs in about two weeks.   A few weeks later,  the new designs will be available to other shops.

I'm in the process of updating the shop page at my website and could use your help.  If you get the chance, please check and see if there are any shops that you know for sure are closed, and let me know.  Also if you are a shop owner who carries my designs, and your shop is not listed, please email me your shop name, address, and phone number so that I can add your shop.  My shop list is not a comprehensive list of all shops (you can find such at either Norden Crafts or Hoffman Distributing).  My list is merely a list of shops that carry my designs.


Laurie in Iowa said...

I love your Elizabeth in her octagon shaped frame. The shop that framed your sampler is my closet needlework shop and I always make a point of stopping in the shop when I'm in LaCrosse.

Both your new designs are wonderful!

geeky Heather said...

They are both just lovely, Ellen! How exciting to be going to New Zealand!!!

Barb said...

Both of your new samplers are just beautiful. I love red houses so that is one I'll be looking for.

Marilyn said...

Both Samplers are beautiful.

Małgorzata Zoltek said...

Great designs! Particularly impressed me Elizabeth sampler. Yours.

Margaret said...

Oh my! It was worth the wait to see these. I love them both! But I have to say I'm totally enamored with Elizabeth Woods. I knew I would be when I saw a peek of it when you were working on it. Gorgeous!

Woolwoman said...

Both so beautiful Ellen, you've been a busy girl! What a trip going to the land of OZ. Bet you can't wait. Yes time is flying by, Mel

Annette-California said...

WOW Elizabeth Woods is stunning and the octagon shaped frame for her is perfect and Beautiful! "Of Female Arts" sampler is gorgeous Ellen.
Congrats on 2 new amazing samplers. I love them both. I am soooo excited for you to go to New Zealand and meet our friend Lee in person.
love Annette

diamondc said...

They are both beautiful.


Karoline said...

They are both gorgeous

Suzanne said...

Two beautiful new designs. I especially love the one in the octagonal frame.

Donna said...

I have my fabric just waiting for the charts to be aailable :)