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 the first of the seasonal samplers I intended to make, but so far, only this one, The Flowers of Spring
The Flowers of Spring
The Flowers of Spring's Story, Part 1 An Obvious Choice
Sometimes I have to think back to remember why I decided to stitch a sampler, but not this one. I've always loved everything associated with the seasons and my favorite season is Spring.
I don't remember when I stitched this sampler but it had to be after 2004-2005 because I borrowed the tiny scene from my Time Sampler, modified it a bit, changed the colors and added a frame of flowers around it for the focal point.
It is also easy to see the relation of this sampler to Hundred Flowers -- I borrowed the notion of the flower spots, but this is a much more romanitcized sampler than Hundred Flowers.
I made this as a teaching piece for seminars but I don't remember where or how often I taught it. I had kept track of all the seminars where I taught and I remember they added up to more in number than my age which was admittedly younger then but still surprised me.
I can figure out approximately when I stitched it: it had to be after 2005, but before 2008. How do I know that? As I said, I kept track of the seminars where I taught, place and year and the project(s), but then my computer crashed and I hadn't hadn't known to back up everything. In 2008 I began computer lessons and one of the first things I learned was about backing up.
The Flowers of Spring's Story, Part 2 Threads and Techniques
One of the dominant threads of this sampler is Pearl Cotton, a much maligned thread in today's world where silk reigns. Poor pearl cotton, now considered only a beginner's thread, yet it is the only appropriate thread for the most difficult parts of embroidery I know how to do.
Here's a good example: notice the yellow center of the square on the right, a ring of 8 bullion knots done in air and much more difficult than an ordinary bullion knot. To make it worse, you have to do the 8 well. No good to do 7, then muff up on the 8th -- you have to rip out all 8 and start over again. And here's the worst part: you don't have infinite tries because the surrounding area wears out.
I like bullion knots, all sorts of them. As should be evidence on these samplers, I like to garden with a needle and it is nigh on impossible to garden with a needle if you don't know how to do bullion knots.
The Flowers of Spring's Story, Part 3 The Design Elements
It was about this time that my interest in landscapes (tiny ones) took hold and I started a new collection which is wonderful: I collected all sorts of postcards from 1900-1910 with tiny tiny scenes. For once I was lucky: instead of being the most expensive of vintage postcards, they were the cheapest. Collectors didn't want them and I could often buy them for 5¢ or 10¢ each. Once in a while I had to pay 50¢ for an Arts and Crafts style one. It was a lovely collection that I bought for inspiration.
Maybe some of you will recognize their effect on my stitching if you look at the small scene that I used first on The Passage of Time and altered here for The Flowers of Spring.
The Flowers of Spring's Story, Part 4 More to Come
When I stitched Flowers of Spring, I had it in mind to stitch a sampler for each of the four seasons. I love seasonal things, in part I guess because I live in an area which is more or less season-free. I would rather live here in SoCal but visually I love the seasons.
I can't remember why I didn't stitch the others, but they are on my bucket list to stitch. The drawings have been finished for years, but I will likely revise them a bit.
Notice I put the scene in a frame of flowers and leaves on The Flowers of Spring. In the autumn sampler, the scenes (two of them) grow out of an acorn and a maple leaf and in snowflakes for winter. See, I will have very good use for those postcards as soon as I have some time.
The Flowers of Spring's Story Part 5 The Rhyme
With needle and thread to my canvas I bring, the violets, the roses, the flowers of spring.