Friday, 20 October 2017

Blog #50 - Our 2016 Mystery Sampler Project finished

Sunday,  5  February 2017

Waitangi Day tomorrow  -  Hurray!  Another holiday, which means Keith will be home for the day.

Over the past year since we purchased another business Keith now has to go away from home all day, every day, to work.  For the previous seven years he has only had to be away from home for a few hours each day to attend to business but this additional business entails additional hours.  I have missed him and his companionship so much.

Tomorrow I will help him stack the logs which he has sawn from the limbs of some of our older apricot trees and then whilst I am either stitching or writing up the instructions for a new design I am working on, he is planning on working on the new needlework gallery - lining the underside of the verandah.  The next task after that is the installation of a front door.  We are having difficulty in finding a door that is the same style as the other main doors that are in the original part of the house.

The door on the left
is the
Needlework Gallery door
which hasn't been restored yet

and the door
is the main front door that has been
partly restored.


I mentioned above about a new design.
This is another reproduction
of a sampler from Jeanie’s collection.

A little but very colourful sampler created by Hannah
when she was nine years of age and living at
Lanehead which is in Ballmoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
She has worked her sampler in Cross Stitch on canvas with wool.
Hannah’s sampler is undated.
As the fashion for Berlin wool-work decreased dramatically after 1880,
this little sampler was probably worked before then.
My plan is to stitch the design twice but with threads on linen - not wool on canvas -
one as per the colours used by Hannah
and the other one with an overdyed silk thread with a few solid dyed thread colours.
Both versions will be available in the one chart pack.
Here is a photo of the original sampler

and a sneak peek at the two reproduction versions.
Version One  -  DMC Stranded Cottons
Version Two  -  Silk Over-dyed thread  -  SNC 083  :  Finnegan's Fog
I have to confess to having difficulty with matching cotton thread colours
to Hannah's wool colours.
In addition to my trying to sort out thread colours and beginning Hannah’s sampler,
I released part six - the final part -
of our Mystery Sampler project (Family Quaker Sampler)
on the 1st of February.
Before that date I had to finish my original designed sampler
and I had to work feverishly on my second version of the sampler
 - the one over one piece -
so that it too was finished by that date. 
You may recall the images of both samplers in my last blog -
 just the border & initials on the samplers and not all the motifs
around the initials, nor the personalisation at the bottom. 
When completed, this little sampler had a few marks on the back of it
where my hands had held it when it was in the embroidery hoop.
Obviously I wasn’t careful enough about washing my hands before picking it to work on it! 
Now - most of you will already know that washing a piece of needlework
worked with an overdyed thread is NOT recommended.

I knew it - but thought I’ll only do a light, quick wash.
Well - all was well until the piece began to dry.
That’s when the “bleeding” began.
From the stitches the fabric began turning pink.
I immediately rinsed it in cold water, left it flat to dry again
- but once again - it began to bleed as it began to dry.
I then rinsed and rinsed several times and finally left it soaking in cold water
and each time the water turned pink, I replenished the basin with fresh water.
Kept repeating this process until the water remained clear.
At this time I then removed the piece to dry and yay!  All was well.  So pleased.

A reminder of the materials used to create this second little sampler -
Permin Linen  -  35 count  -  Lambswool
Thread:   Simply Shaker Sampler Thread  by  The Gentle Art  -  Grape Arbor
Below is my original sampler worked over two threads of fabric
with one strand of thread all finished and framed.
A reminder of the fabric and threads used to create this piece -
Fabric:  Belfast Linen  -  32 count  -  Platinum
Threads:   Sampler Thread  by  The Gentle Art  -  Soot
                  DMC Stranded Cotton  -  902  &  814
                  DMC Stranded Cotton  -  936  &  3051

This design will be available for purchase as a complete design
after I return from my trip to ‘Celebration of Needlework’ retreat
that is to held at the beginning of May at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel
in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA.
If you would like to read about how other mystery sampler participants
are progressing with their samplers - go to:

Scroll down the page and click on each of the sampler progress reports.
A few pics of the many samplers that are pictured in the progress reports mentioned above :
Fiona  -  Hamilton
Thread:  Sampler Thread  -  Green With Envy
Mary  -  Hastings
Thread:  Sampler Thread  -  Purple Iris
Joy  -  Havelock North
Thread:  Sampler Thread  -  Blue Jay
That's all for this time.
Sincerely hoping you have been able to spend some time
renewing and refreshing your soul
with fabric, needle and thread in your hands.