Monday, May 15, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler

My final dirty little secret.  Yes, that's correct, a sampler I started back and 2013 and has been languishing in my stash.  Why you might wonder?  Because the freehand border just totally intimidated me!  I can read a chart like no one's business, but ask me to just freehand stitch a design on linen, and I become the village idiot! 

Especially when the chart graph lines are huge in relation to the 36 ct. dirty linen, I'm supposed to be stitching on.  I thought and I thought and I thought, just how I might make this happen.  Obviously it took me 4 years of thinking.  That,  and it's one of the two samplers charts I have left from the 90's that I just want to get finished, and move on to a new decade of sampler charts.

After much thought, I admit it, there was no way I could do the freehand.  There was no way I was going to try free hand drawing on my fabric.  I can barely draw stick figures.  Plus I have seen way to many stitch projects posted on FB, where the stitcher used one of those pens that is supposed to wash out or fade away, and didn't! solution involved the use of my personal copy machine. Best Christmas present ever!  Well except for the year when my oldest was working at Home Depot and he bought me a new dishwasher. 

After much, fooling around with the settings, I finally came up with - if I could reduce the original chart by 63% than it ended up being almost the exact count per square inch as 36 Ct. dirty linen.
I then placed the copy over my linen, by lining it up with the inside and outside border, plus I had run a graph line horizontally between the borders, that would line up with the graph line on my copy.

I then used a very sharp needle, one strand of regular sewing thread, and ran a running stitch along all the lines for the flowers, vines and leaves.  Stitching through the paper and linen.  After that, I used a cuticle scissors and cut out all the paper, so that all that was left was the stitching lines.  Be especially careful, a cuticle scissors have points and could easily put a hole in your linen.

Once those steps were taken, I could fill in the out lines of the flowers and petals with the satin stitch and use the outline stitch for the vines.  I would then snip out and pull out any random threads of my outline.  Tweezers come in handy for this step!

Okay, it's slow going, and a lot of extra steps!  But....I am happy with the result and although it is taking me longer to do all the additional steps, at the end I will have a finished sampler! Maybe it's cheating a bit, but sometimes you have to do whatever works for you!

And with that, I'll end my post for the day!  Happy Stitching!


  1. It is looking fabulous, Pam. I probably would have left of the free hand border and not persevered.

  2. What a great idea! And it looks so lovely!

  3. Oh, girl, you are my needle hero. It's ingenious and beautiful.

  4. What beautiful work and such a magnificent idea you had! Free hand scares me also.