Friday, May 15, 2009

5 versions of An Emblem of Love from all over the world

I designed An Emblem of Love in 2005. The motifs I used are original ones many of which were inspired by old Quaker motifs. I first stitched a polychrome version, and then decided to stitch another version using one overdyed thread color. This required two charts that were very similar, but the one-color version needed some areas omitted--for example, the birds' eyes.

In 2005, Tom and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary so I dedicated the samplers to him. While not designed specifically as an anniversary sampler, several needleworkers have also stitched these samplers to commemorate an anniversary or other special occasion. The samplers could also be stitched as a birth or wedding sampler by adding the necessary information; some of the motifs may have to be moved in order to have enough room for the inscription.

Below are several versions of An Emblem of Love. (There'll be another one next week that has a special story.)

The first sampler was stitched by Dany. Unfortunately, I no longer have her email so I don't have any details about the piece.

The next sampler was stitched by Carol Sutcliffe.

As you can see, both stitchers chose the polychrome version. Aren’t their samplers beautiful?

Next are two one-color samplers.

The first was stitched by Catherine ("Catherine abc" as she is known by many on the internet) of France. Catherine wrote, "I've changed the wording for a French one "A nos amours". It is a wording we use in France to celebrate love in a generic way (love = "les amours" when you talk of the special feeling of a person or a couple, you use the plural, it's more romantic and more poetic than simply "l'amour". Les amours du poète... the love of the poet... ). "A nos amours" can be said when we drink to a special moment... And I've planned to frame it and offer it to Didier for Valentine... when we clink our glasses of champagne ! I've hidden a little "n" for my Noémie because she is one of my loves !! (another reason for the plural!). " Can you find where Catherine "hid" the letter "n" on her sampler?

The second sampler was stitched by Robbin Douglas of Massachusetts. Robbin wrote, "I stitched it with Vikki Clayton's premium silk in a Jewelweed mix that she did for me. I worked it as a 5th anniversary sampler for my husband so I had to work on it when he wasn't arround. We went to Disney World for our 5th anniversary and I still wasn't finished, so it came along and I
worked on it at night or in the morning. I finally finished the last stitches the morning of our anniversary. My husband was up and walking around but not awake yet and had no idea what I was working on!

I wanted to use all 3 initials (since otherwise it was a lot of D's and the J's at least broke things up) so I moved a few things around to accomodate that and added both dates as well. DH wasn't sure about it at first since it's different from most things that I've stitched (and that we have hanging) but it hangs proudly in the room where I intended to hang it."

Aren't these two samplers striking in just one color? I don't know which I like best--the polychrome or the one-color version. I guess that is why I stitched it both ways.

The last photo in this blog post was submitted by Giovanna of Bologna, Italy. Giovanna wrote, “The chart, An Emblem of Love, was kidnapped for some time by my mother, Sybil, who selected it as the perfect design to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of her sister and brother-in-law last summer. So I'm sending you the picture I took of the sampler after Mum had it framed. It really doesn't do much justice to the real thing (argh, a reflection sneaked in...): it is absolutely charming, and is now hanging in my aunt and uncle's home in England (Mum is English).

It's the multicolour version of An Emblem of Love, with slight changes for the personalization. It's stitched on platinum Belfast linen (32-ct), with the suggested threads, except for the swan: a slightly darker thread was used for it, to increase contrast with the background.

Mum and Dad took it up to England and presented it to Aunt and Uncle on the day itself, and it was received with great enthusiasm. They drove up for the party with the sampler carefully stored in the car - so the poor thing withstood being transported across a good part of Europe and ferried across the Channel :-)

I hope you like how Mum used your design, and please know that it has given us all great pleasure to see the stitching develop and to brainstorm on how to personalize it. "

Yes, Giovanna, I really like what your mother did with this design, and I am honored that she chose it to give to her sister and brother-in-law on such a special occasion. Thank you for sharing both the photo and the story of how this sampler came to be.


Jennifer said...

These are beautiful!

lena-lou said...

Hello Ellen, Welcome to the world of blogging, I am pleased to know you have started a blog !

I look forward to your trip to GB next year , I have heard rumours of the location and hope to be there :-)) I would love to meet you IRL and do a class.

Seeing the Emblem of Love's on here makes me think I should really get mine out and finish it as I love it and have no valid reason as to why it is not finished !

Have a lovely weekend

erica said...

Dear Ellen,
What a lovely blog. I just discovered it by a link on Bertie's blog. So nice that I can follow you in this way.
Erica U.

Anonymous said...

Tous sont splendides!!!!
J'ai trouvé le N Catherine!!!

Ellen said...

Thank you for all the lovely comments.

I'll keep you posted as the plans for England develop. I want the organizer to announce the details herself.

With My Needle said...


I will be teaching for The Sampler Guild. For more information, contact Linda at