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.