Gay Ann Rogers  Needlework

Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler

My Personal Favorites


Here is a small collection of my favorite work:

I am changing my list from five.


I will tell the story of each as I post it. For several, I have told the stories many times, others this is the first time.


This is Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler, one of two.


Echoes of Elizabeth

Echoes Story, Part 1 Inspiration

For a long time I believed I stitched Echoes of Elizabeth after I stitched my portrait of Elizabeth 1 and in response to the Elizabethan patterns I had collected for Elizabeth.

Not so: I stitched Echoes at least a year before I thought of stitching Elizabeth 1.

The idea for Echoes came from thumbing through the book 'Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked'. The sampler grew out of the idea of combining a Tudor Rose with blackwork, cutwork, jewels and a myriad of pattern with no whitespace.

I intended Echoes as a teaching piece of EGA and indeed I taught it at my last EGA seminar in San Franciso.



Echoes of Elizabeth

Echoes Story, Part 2  The Design

I have often written that I never know where a design will lead me and what it will look like when I finish.

Often the design looks so different in the end and never was this truer than with Echoes. I finished it and was disappointed.. It is so dense with pattern upon pattern and looking at it exhausted me from all that was going on. Why I hadn't seen this as I was stitching remains a mystery, but I did't.

It was DH who changed my mind. He pointed out that I had intended to make an Eliabethan style design and by its nature Elizabethan designs are dense with pattern upon pattern.

It took me a while, for Echoes is much different from most of my previous designs. Usually my work is simpler and cleaner.

I've adjusted to Echoes over the years. Echoes was the first time I had dabbled in such designs and now I am used to them.

Echoes of Elizabeth

Echoes Story, Part 3  Time and Growth

It is funny how we change in time, and as I now look at Echoes now, I see that some of my favorite elements in the design were among my least favorite all those years ago. Look at the little cutwork detail above and see how the cutwork square has so much pattern and then there are all those patterns around it. This is such a good example of my changing attitudes. As I cropped the design this morning to gather a few details, I thought to myself, isn't that a pretty combination, I should make something small to expand the patterns. Years ago, when Echoes was new, I never would have thought that.

It's good that we all expand our horizons, learn and grow.

Echoes of Elizabeth

Echoes Story, Part 4  The Results

In time as I grew accustomed to Echoes, I borrowed extensively from it and did a series of designs based on it.

The first was Echoes of Elizabeth Sewing Case. Then came Echoes Heart, and I have two Echoes Geometrics which I've not yet written and sold. One of these days....

But the biggest design based on Echoes came about 8 years after Echoes: I made a pair for Echoes, another large sampler which I will post next week.

That is a lot of designing based on a design I didn't like when I first finished it.

As I said, it is good to expand one horizons, learn and grow.

Echoes of Elizabeth

Echoes Story, Part 5  Looking Ahead

Am I finished with Tudor design? I thought so till a new design idea came to me. It has to do with Henry VIII. NO, there will be no portrait of Henry VIII (the design most often requested of me), but there will be an Echoes-like design involving patterns from Henry.

So isn't it funny that a design I didn't like when I first finished it hatched so many other designs.

That's life in my needlepoint world. You never know.