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Sampler Garden

Most of my flower designs have been rows of flowers.  I have many individual flowers I've charted over time but I hadn't figured out how to put them into a sampler design.

At the same time my new patio had was finished.  The soil here is not ideal for gardening so I was out shopping for pots so I could set them on the patio and do some container gardening.  It is amazing how many pots there are available - they come in all colors, sizes and shapes.

Finally, I managed to connect the two.  I could put my cross-stitch flowers into pots.  Taking a queue from antique samplers, I don't need to get the scale right or even have the flowers look realistic.

Actually, the middle flower is quite realistic.  It is a called a Kashmir Sage (phlomis cashmeriana) and does rather well in my small real garden.  It grows several feet tall.  The design is the top few inches of the plant and I put it in the equivalent of a shot glass.  It almost looks like an alien plant and is right at home on a sampler. 

The other two flowers are highly stylized versions of a wallflower and a skyrocket gilia.  They are so stylized they no longer resemble the individual flower, but they look good with the Kashmir Sage.  They look so different, I didn't even feel obligated to retain their normal coloring. 

All I had to do was make some funky containers for the flowers, add words and I was ready to start stitching.  As I stitched I was able to imagine many other "gardens".


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The ABC's of Cross Stitch Alphabets

Alphabets are quite popular on cross stitch samplers and there are many decisions to be made when choosing an alphabet.  Upper case or lower case is one decision.  It seems that upper case is most popular.  Using lower case causes all sorts of compications.  Extra space is needed for j, k, l, p and the other letters that extend above or below the main line. 

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:

Each letter takes up more space and gi…


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.
Next I need to pull a folding table out of the garage and re-arrange my quilting space.  This quilt will have a lot more drag than the baby quilt.
I've also been looking at pictures of similar quilts looking for quilting pattern inspiration.  I'm thinking of taking the easy way out and use wavy lines like this quilt.
I should start quilting next weekend!

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…