Skip to main content

Evolution of a Sampler

My "band" sampler is getting closer to done.  It's been a long and winding road.

The bands are supposed to be 2 by 6 inches.  MIne are 2 inch squares.  Part of the decision was to use up scrap linen.  Another part was to make the stitching go faster.  Finally, it was a challenge to shrink the designs.

Initially, I was going to sew the 6 squares together to make cubes.  I thought a pair of stitched dice would be a good idea.  I changed my mind.  The ground fabrics turned out to be of different counts and it seemed like too much work.

Instead, I pondered the idea of sewing the squares into a quilt.  I almost scrapped that because it also seemed like too much work but I didn't have any other ideas.

I was planning on more than 12 squares, but when I started arranging the squares some didn't fit in with the others (they'll go into something else).  I replaced them with other squares that fit in better.

Next challenge was to pick fabric to go around each square and add the borders.  Usually, I would head to the sewing machine, but I wanted the borders right next to the stitching so I hand sewed them all.  It was a pain (I haven't hand sewed in ages) but it is so much more precise.

The finished squares were over sized and I needed to trim them down to size (4 1/2 inches) which was another challenge.  I started with the 6 inch ruler trying to decide how to get the stitched area in the center.  Afraid to cut, I decided that wasn't going well.  Then I remembered a 5 inch ruler I have (Dear Jane).  I found it and it was perfect. 

I trimmed then down to 5 inches and then trimmed 1/4 inch from each side and ended up with the 4 1/2 squares and a pile of 1/4 inch slivers of fabric.

Next, I have to decide on borders, quilting and binding.  I think I like it as is as won't be adding any additional borders.

So now I need to figure out how to quilt it.  I don't think I can get away with machine quilting.  After all, this is an EGA sampler.  So far I'm thinking of using perle cotton and doing something like the feather stitch in the ditch. 

Those plans will probably change a few times before I'm done.  Or not.


  1. Your quilted sampler is looking lovely! The pearl cotton would look nice, as it has a wonderful sheen, and would probably compliment the beautiful soft colours you've chosen for the fabrics of the squares.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Do Overs

Starting over means re-doing some of my projects.  A lot of the projects that I've done I don't want to do over.  Some turned out not to be the worth effort and others were not fun at all.  There's also a feeling of "been there, done that".    I've also discovered that I enjoy the act of creating more than the results sometimes.
My first do over was this penstemon I designed a while ago.  It's small and simple and only 2 colors.  I'll eventually be restitching many of my own designs.  Luckily, I still have the charts even if I no longer have the item or pictures of the item.
My second do over is actually actually stitching something for the third time!

After the second stitching, I'd had enough.  But, I was given the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue with the pattern and that was a sign that the reindeer needed to be stitched again.  Hopefully, that's it.
My last do over represents all the EGA seminars that I attended over the years.


Blocks 2 and 3 - Hourglass and Square in a Square

The next two easy blocks in my quilt are Hourglass and Square in a Square.  Both finish out to be 9 inches.  They are good starter blocks for working with triangles.  As the quilt progresses and the blocks get more complicated there will be many more triangles.
The Hourglass is also known as a Quarter Square Triangle Block or QST.  It is easier to make 2 blocks than it is to make 1 so that's what I did.  The picture is of 4 blocks, not one block made up of 4 units but it is fun to combine multiple hourglasses in one block.
For both colorways I used a directional print and it's easy to see where the quarter squares are in the block.  Since you want the edges on the straight of grain making one would waste fabric and by making 2 blocks at once, you can deal with piecing squares together instead of triangles.
There are plenty of QST tutorials to be found.  I started with 10 1/2 inch squares to yield the 9 inch blocks.

The square in a square can also be pieced using squares but I…