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Antique Flowers

My "Les Fleurs des Bois" was full of bright, contemporary flowers.  I had made some flowers that didn't fit in with that sampler that I still wanted to use.  At the same time I had visions of an eyelet alphabet.  Eyelet stitches are different from cross stitches.  You can purposefully pull the thread tightly while stitching to distort the fabric and leave a hole.  Some antique samplers are done entirely with the eyelet stitch.  So, the basis for my next sampler was an eyelet ABC.

Going with the antique theme, I pulled out a brown piece of linen.  This limited me to light and dark threads only.  Anything else was not visible on the background.  So, I was able to design some white flowers.  I also borrowed another theme from antique samplers - vines!  Vines never seem to line up on top of each other and I enjoy the patterns that they make.   I repeated the eyelet stitch in white flower.  These flowers are so stylized that the don't resemble real flowers so I don't call them by name.

This sampler fought me all the way.  The bottom half was ripped out and redone several times and I still wasn't too happy with the configuration.  When I decided to sell patterns, this is one of the first ones I tried charting on the computer.  The eyelet flowers defied charting.  The stitches where uneven and have unusual spacing.  I gave it my best effort and showed it to a friend who became hopelessly confunsed.  Now I had a chance to redo the sampler.

And so, Antique Flowers #2 is designed.  I went to a more readily available linen that was much lighter and so the white flowers wouldn't work anymore.  The vine flowers became pink and the eyelet flowers became mustard. The bottom half was rearranged again and the eyelet flowers where simplified to make them easier to chart and stitch.  Now the vines are closer together and make an interesting wave through the middle of the samper.

I like the second version better, but miss some of the features of the first.  Perhaps I'll make a third version one day.


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The ABC's of Cross Stitch Alphabets

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Another important decision is even or odd.  The alphabet above is odd.  That is, it is and odd number of stitches high, in this case 7.  Notice the B and D.  Both are symmetryical.

This is an even alphabet that is 6 stitches high.  Notice that the B and D are no longer symmetrical.  I prefer odd alphabets.  I've been known to change the size of a sampler to mak an even alphabet into an odd alphabet.

Both of these samplers are in a traditional font.  But it is easy to re-arrange the stitches to create different looks for you alphabet.  Here is an elegant alphabet that is only 7 stitches high:

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A few weeks ago I was at the Local Quilt store basting my bright sampler.

It's been ready to go for a while.  I've been working on a baby quilt and it's now done.  It's been a while since I've quilted so I'm glad I had a quilt to warm up on.
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Lone Star Medallion

I finally finished the last Lone Star - this is the medallion for the center of the quilt.  I'm hoping that this is the last Lone Star I'll ever have to make.
The block needs to finish at 33 1/2 inches so each quadrant has to be 17 inches square.

I have a 16 inch square ruler so by using 3 rulers I can tell it's really close to the right size!  Big sigh of relief.

I'm even happy with the way that the back looks.

What's next?  I have the blocks to add the side strip on the right but I need one more block for the left side.  That will be the last block for this quilt but the fact that I've put it off for this long tells you how much I'm looking forward to it.  The good news is that I've discovered a book that should help me with it and it's on order.   The bad news is that the block is probably the wrong size so I won't be able to use the templates.
For the more modern version of this quilt I still need to make a block to replace the applique dia…