Hello and happy Wednesday! For those of you who are stitching along with me, I wanted to give you on an update on my Spring Sampler. (And for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read up on this informal stitch-along here.)
After Angel made a beautiful version of that sampler, I decided to try my hand at it too. The Spring Sampler design is by Aimee Ray for Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, and you can find a free download of it on the Lark Crafts website.
So here's my progress so far. I know it looks a little strange, but let me explain a little about it. I picked natural linen and a range of blue, aqua and green for my embroidery. When trying to transfer the design onto my linen, nothing worked. Transfer paper wasn't dark enough. Fabric markers and pencils did not show up on the textured fabric. I ended up selecting the last option that Aimee Ray mentions in the book (sent to me by Lark Crafts, thank you!): using tissue paper.
It was see-through enough to easily trace the design with a ballpoint pen. I then taped it onto my flattened fabric with masking tape and carefully put those 2 layers into the hoop.
It's been fairly straightforward to stitch onto the tissue paper. My only issue has been when I pull on my needle and floss a little too hard and then the paper rips. I had to get into a groove, in terms of balancing my thread-pulling force, and I think I've gotten the hang of it now.
Here are a few details of what I've stitched so far:
I'm not thrilled with that bird, I think I'm going to re-do it in split stitch. I've been working with 3 strands of floss (basically splitting the floss that I buy in half). I really like that thickness, it works well for both bold and more delicate areas of the design.
I love the look of split stitch, especially to create all the doodles and embellishments. I've been using that stitch as well as french knot, lazy daisy, satin stitch and scallop stitch where applicable. It helps to look at Aimee Ray's design when trying to decide what stitch to use. The book offers simple instructions for each stitch, and you can also find them online.
Oh and before I forget. Check this out. My 7-year-old niece visited us in July. And on a very rainy day, I set her up with an embroidery project -- her first ever! She embroidered her name on burlap with a tapestry needle. She did such a great job that the next day we headed to the fabric store and got her a little embroidery set-up (hoops, fabric, floss, needles...). Seeing her so focused on this new skill brought back all those childhood memories for me, of learning how to stitch, knit, crochet, sew with my mother and grandmothers... I hope she sticks with it, she's got quite the talent for it!
Back to my sampler: so this is where I am right now. I've had to take a little bit of a break due to our Christmas in July ornament-making fest! As soon as those are done, I'm going back to my sampler.
Are you working on the Spring Sampler? What do you think so far? I'd love to see your progress if you'd like to share photos in our Flickr pool. Happy stitching!