Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler

Through a presentation at one of my first Sampler Guild meetings, I became intrigued with the Quaker samplers stitched by students at the Ackworth School in Yorkshire and other similar schools.  The motifs are simple but infinitely varied, and the designs allow for a wide range of colour choices.  When Jacqueline Holdsworth of Needleprint published the chart for the Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler, a sampler likely stitched by a Quaker schoolgirl, that had hung on the wall of Beatrix Potter's Lake District farmhouse, I knew it was one that I'd have to stitch, and all the more so after I'd seen it finished by several of our Guild members.

Before I could purchase the sampler pattern, it went out of print, but Jacqueline eventually made it available for purchase as a digital download and I was able to add it to my folder of "projects yet to come".   (You can still purchase it here.)

So finally in 2009 I started to stitch it in honour of our 40th wedding anniversary, and just yesterday I picked it up from my exceptionally talented local framer.  I'm so very pleased with the finishing she did and the frame we chose.    The fabric is an Edinburgh antique white linen and it's stitched with Amy Mitten's Fibers to Dye For silks in Madam Rose and Point Blank.  I've personalized several of the motifs to mark our anniversary,and I'll include additional information on the back of the frame about the design.

Definitely a keeper, don't you think?  

Monday, May 23, 2011


New designer Kathy Bungard, of Gracewood Stitches, was very moved by the devastation in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami.  In response, she`s donated her new pattern, Sanctuary, to anyone who requests it, and asks for donations to be sent to an appropriate agency, for this or similar disasters.  Her design, inspired by vintage woodcuts and by the natural world, evokes warmth and home as a refuge in the midst of wildness and uncertainty.  I thought it appropriate here for me to use fabric and threads I had on hand, so found a piece of linen that a friend had given to me, and paired it with several DMC colours, predominantly a terra cotta and some blue-greens (although the original pattern called for grays instead of the blue-greens).   Each time I see this piece, I`m moved to remember and pray for all those going through difficult times - not just in Japan (and the crisis there is not over yet), but elsewhere - just this weekend, we heard of the Missouri tornado. 

The pattern's available at Gracewood Stitches, and you can find out more about Kathy's creative process in her blog which outlines her sources and how she develops and stitches her designs.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On an evening in May

It's finally the time, I thought, to have a little corner to post some photos and share updates on what kind of stitching I've been doing.  Why Russwood? - that's the name of the remote log cabin in Muskoka that belonged to my family for many years, and on the floor in front of our fireplace, in our home we now call Russwood Cottage, we still have a rag rug with that name woven in wool strips, crafted by one of the original owners of Russwood in Muskoka, William Woodbridge.   I'll be posting  photos of projects completed, projects underway, and  projects that are just waiting for the right time to be started.  And who knows?  maybe even adding a few other topics as time goes on .......

This Victoria Sampler design, "Home for Christmas", by Cathy Jean,  is one that I stitched in 2010 - the cabin reminds me of Russwood ....