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Prospector's 2009 - Les Fleurs des Bois

A whole 10 years had passed since my original Prospector's and I wanted to do another flower sampler to mark the anniversary.  The theme of Prosepector's this year was "Trees" and the seminar was in Boise and called "Les Bois Adventure".  I wanted to stitch flowers and I wanted to follow the theme.  So, to make the design work, I came up with the title "Les Fleurs des Bois" - the flowers of the woods.  That settled, I needed to pick the flowers to include so I pulled out all my flower identification books and started doodling and sketching.  I had more flowers than I could use.  The flowers I ended up using are all bright and colorful:

  • Shooting Star - This is a flower I saw first in flower books as a child.  It wasn't until I traveled to the right part of Colorado that I saw them.  Shooting Star has always been one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, it doesn't grow on the plains and foothills where I live.  It is in the higher elevations near mounain streams so I haven't seen one in the wild in years.
  • Glacier Lily - I saw this one in the book and it resembles the Trout Lily I remember from the woods of Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Apparently it grows in the Rocky Mountains, too.  But I've never seen it in this area of the country.
  • Lupine - this is the same design as the fireweed I did 10 years ago.  The color and leaves have changed and it's now a lupine.  This was added to commemorate a lupine that was in the center of a rotary in a neighborhood I drive through often.  Every spring I would look to the center and watch it bloom.  A few years ago they redid the landscaping and it's now filled with petunias.  I miss that lupine.
  • Rocky Mountain Goldenpea - this is a flower I hadn't seen until I moved here.  It grows on the hillside beside the house and is one of the first flowers to bloom every spring.  It's bright and cheery.
  • Fringed Gentian - this is another flower I don't see very often but I remember it from my youth.  It was hard to translate to cross stitch.  It is not as realistic as the other flowers but it goes well with the others.
In order to keep the stitching simple my goal was to only use basic DMC floss.  I bent my rules once for the Glacier Lily.  It has beautiful mottled leaves and I thought that the best was to simulate this was to use an overdyed thread.  For the Fringed Gentian, I alternated 3 shades of DMC purple to simulate and overdyed floss.

It turns out my fabric was 32 count, not 28 count as I thought.  That means that there are 32 threads per inch, or 18 stitches.  It didn't fit into my 5 x 7 frame so I improvised a border and sent the design off to the exhibit.

While it was gone I started on designs for Patternsonline.  So, I stitched another version on a different background.  This time I made sure the fabric was 28 count so no border was needed.  This pattern is for sale on

A strange thing has happened.  This time after I finished designing I didn't want to stop.  Work has been getting more stressful and less creative.  Stitching other peoples designs was less rewarding than it had been done before.  So, I kept designing flowers and putting them into samplers.  More on that next time.


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