Archive for the ‘Sampler club’ Category

 Time has just flown by the past few months!  I have been a busy girl lately, families have a way of keeping you that way.  I have been trying to keep up with my blog reading however I have not had the spare time to post anything on my blog.  Not to mention I really haven’t had anything to blog about.  The only stitching I have worked on since March has been the Bargello section of my “It Is Well” sampler, and there is only so much I can say about that.  I can tell you by the time I finished the Bargello section I was tired of it, but it was well worth it! 

Completed Sampler with Bargello at the bottom.

I am so happy to tell you that my Sampler Club, “It Is Well” sampler is finished!!!!!!  I finished it last night and dropped it off to be framed this morning.  It was kind of bitter sweet as it has been my constant companion the past year and 3 months.

The two bands between the fish and the verse were redone. 

I would have been done sooner but I decided to pull out two bands I had done in the beginning that I wasn’t happy with.  I think it turned out quite well and I can’t wait to see it framed and hanging on my wall.  Now to figure out what to do for my next Sampler Club Sampler!  I have a few ideas floating around and I can tell you it will not be near as big as this one was.  I hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far!

This wonderful gift was on my doorstep the other day from Mrs.Meyers Clean Day.  I won a bucket in their Bucket Brigade giveaway.  Their products are fabulous!  Thank you so much Mrs.Meyers, your cleaning products are the best!

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WOW!!!  Can I just tell you that I am still reeling from my crazy weekend?  It was a roller coaster.  It all started when I found pinterest as I mentioned in a previous post, then I decided I wanted my bedroom painted for my birthday that is coming up.  So hubby and I spent the whole day working on the bedroom and I spent the night cleaning the house, this whole process went from 8:30 A.M. to 1:30 A.M., and I had to be up early Saturday for Sampler Club.

Maple painting the floor

When we got up Sat. morning we realized we had no water, apparently there had been several main breaks and a leaking valve.  Some parts of our area were under boil water advisories but we were the lucky ones with no water to boil. We have these problems quite frequently in our area, our water works need a serious overhaul.  I was not going to miss Sampler Club because I had no water, lets just say rain barrels come in real handy when you need to clean up and go somewhere. 

What a difference, from taupe to blue in a day!

At sampler club we worked on a stitch that is very difficult with 4 hours of sleep and a rain bath.  We learned three different variations of the Hungarian stitch.  It really is gorgeous!!  But I wanted to know what drunk Hungarian came up with this confusing stitch.  But as it turns out it’s not so hard when you have had a full night of sleep.

Three variations of Hungarian Stitch.

When sampler club was over there was still no water and no answer as to when it would come back, so like the troopers we are my daughter and I checked into the Embassy Suites, hubby stayed with Daphne and Maple.  I have never been so thankful for a real shower in my life!!  We had a nice mother daughter night of rest and relaxation and plenty of water.  After two tiring dramatic days I needed a break.  And there is nothing better than waking up to a breakfast buffet waiting for you, I could get used to that.

The other half of my closet and my grandmothers sampler.

So needless to say I missed the IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) , so because I am the birthday girl this coming weekend, and I can do whatever I want on my birthday weekend, I am just going to make my own IHSW weekend and plan to sit on my bum with my favorite movies and stitch away while I eat sinful amounts of birthday cake and Dr.Pepper.  So if any of you would like to join me on my special birthday IHSW weekend get yourself a cupcake or 12 and join me!

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I have decided to call my Sampler Club Sampler the “It Is Well” sampler, because it just needs a name besides my Sampler Club sampler.  So how did I arrive at that name?  From the Hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford.  I was going to add another bible verse to my sampler but after adding the ship and the waves I decided instead to add the first portion of one of my favorite hymns.  I felt like the hymn would fit right along with the stormy theme of my sampler, and the storms of life were something Horatio knew well.  While my life has never known tragedy and trial such as Horatio knew, the past year of my life has been stormy and rough for my family.  When I started this sampler it was just a sampler but through the year it has become much more.  It represents to me a reminder of life’s trials and storms while trusting God to see me through them, a reminder of the great times had at Village Sampler with new friends and also a reminder of wonderful times spent at the seashore with my family.   The verse Psalm 107:29, the saying “Through the storm you do not walk alone and the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” have been a great comfort and inspiration to me through this past year.

Here is Horatio Spaffords story:
In the late 1860s life was good for Horatio G. Spafford and his wife Anna. They were living in a north side suburb of Chicago with their five children, Annie, Maggie, Bessie, Tanetta and Horatio, Jr. He had a successful law practice in Chicago. The doors of the Spaffords’ home were always open as a place for activists to meet during the reform movements of the time. Horatio G. Spafford was quite active in the abolitionist movement. Frances E. Willard, president of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union as well as evangelical leaders like Dwight L. Moody were often guests in their home. Spafford was a Presbyterian church elder and a dedicated Christian.
Until now Horatio and Anna Spafford had led a charmed life. They had everything going their way. However, in 1870 their faith was tested by tragedy. Their four year old son, Horatio, Jr., died of scarlet fever. The Spaffords were devastated. In October of 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire broke out Horatio faced another test of his faith. A few months before the Great Chicago Fire, Spafford being a wealthy man, had invested much of his wealth in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only did the Great Chicago Fire destroy most of Chicago but most of Spafford’s holdings were destroyed. 250 people died in the Great Chicago Fire and 90,000 were left homeless.

The Spaffords did not despair. Their home had been spared and they had their family. God had been good. Even though their finances were mostly depleted, Anna and Horatio used what resources they had left to feed the hungry, help the homeless, care for the sick and injured and comfort their grief stricken neighbors. The Great Chicago Fire was a great American tragedy; the Spaffords used it to show the love of the Christ to those in need.

In 1873 Anna Spafford’s health was failing and hoping to put behind the tragic loss of their son and the fire and to benefit Anna’s health, the Spaffords planned a trip to Europe. They would sail on the French steamer Ville du Havre to Europe with their four daughters. Spafford not only wanted to visit Europe but he wanted to assist Evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey in a revival they were conducting in England.

Moody and Sankey had met at a convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Indianapolis in 1870. After hearing Sankey sing, Moody at once invited him to come to Chicago and assist him in his evangelist work there. Ira D. Sankey considered Moody’s invitation and after much thought and prayer, decided to accept. Six months later he joined Moody in Chicago.

Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire broke out in 1871. Moody and Sankey barely escaped Chicago with their lives. It is said that Sankey was on a row boat a long distance out in Lake Michigan where he watched as Chicago burned. With most of Chicago having been destroyed, Moody and Sankey decided to accept an invitation to visit England. In 1873 Moody and Sankey started a work in England. Moody and Sankey made such a profound impression in England their names became household words all over Europe.

The Spaffords planed to leave in November on their voyage to Europe. As sometimes happens, God had other plans for Horatio G. Spafford. The day they were to sail for Europe Spafford had a business emergency and could not leave. Not wanting to disappoint his wife Anna and their daughters he sent them on ahead and planned to follow on another ship in a few days. Accompanying Anna Spafford were her French governess, Emma Lorriaux, several friends and several ministers.

On November 22, 1873 the steamer Ville du Havre was struck by a British iron sailing ship, the Lockhearn. The steamer Ville du Havre, with Anna Spafford and her daughters aboard, sank within twelve minutes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 81 of the 307 passengers and crew members survived this tragic shipwreck.

Even though the Lockhearn was in danger of sinking the unconscious Anna Spafford was picked up from floating debris by the crew of the Lockhearn. An American cargo sailing vessel, the Trimountain, arrived in time to save the survivors of the Ville du Havre and the Lockhearn. Anna Spafford was taken to Cardiff, Wales where she telegraphed her husband Horatio. Anna’s cable was brief and heartbreaking, “Saved alone. What shall I do…” Horatio and Anna’s four daughters had drowned. As soon as he received Anna’s telegram, Horatio left Chicago without delay to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that “A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” That night, alone in his cabin Horatio G. Spafford penned the words to his famous hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Horatio’s faith in God never faltered. He later wrote Anna’s half-sister, “On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs.”

The following account is taken from the Christian History Institute.

“Anna Spafford later spoke of being sucked violently downward. Baby Tanetta was torn from her arms by a collision with some heavy debris, with a blow so violent that Anna’s arm was severely bruised. She flailed at the water trying to catch her baby. Anna caught Tanetta’s gown for just a moment before another smashing blow tore the little girl out of her arms forever. Reaching out again, all she could find was a man’s leg in corduroy trousers. Anna, barely conscious, was then swirled about in a whirlpool before surfacing near the Loch Earn. She instinctively clung on to a small plank and the next thing she recalled was the splash of an oar as she lay at the bottom of a small boat. Bruised and sick, her long hair was matted with salt and her dressing gown shredded. But the pain in her body was nothing compared to the pain in her heart as she realized that her four daughters had been lost in the disaster. A young male passenger, afloat on a piece of wood, came upon Maggie and Annie, the two oldest Spafford children. At his direction, each girl grasped one of his side pockets as he tried to find a board large enough to support all three of them. After about 30 or 40 minutes in the water, he found a piece of wreckage and struggled to help the two young girls climb atop the board. But as he watched, their weary arms weakened, and he saw their eyes close. Their lifeless forms floated away from his own fatigue-paralyzed arms. No clues ever surfaced about the fate of little Bessie.”

After Anna was rescued, Pastor Nathaniel Weiss, one of the ministers traveling with Anna and Horatio’s group remembered hearing Anna say, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.” Anna was utterly devastated. Many of the survivors watched Anna closely, fearing she may try to take her life. In her grief and despair, Anna heard a soft voice speaking to her, “You were saved for a purpose!” It was then Anna remembered something a friend had once said, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Following their reunion in Europe, Horatio and Anna returned to Chicago to begin their lives again. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three children. They had a son in 1876, again called “Horatio.” Not so much for his father but for their lost son. In 1878 their daughter Bertha was born. Tragically, when little Horatio reached the age of 4 just as his brother before him, he died from scarlet fever. In 1880 Anna and Horatio had another daughter they called Grace. After the loss of little Horatio, the Spaffords decided to leave their home in America and settle in Jerusalem. In September of 1881 the Spaffords and a few of their friends left America for Israel.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend –
“Even so, it is well with my soul”

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live;
If dark hours about me shall roll
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Read more here

The ship, waves and compass all from “Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly” by Tricia Wilson Nguyen for Refined Inc.  The star motifs are from “A Stitchers Journey” p.33 by Blackbird Designs.

 All materials for this sampler have been purchased by me for my own personal use, this sampler is being done for my own personal use and at no time in the future will be duplicated.

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This and That

I have been in a stitching frenzy the past few days!!  I hadn’t worked on my Sampler Club Sampler since before I left for my trip and as I told you in a previous post I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next.  Going to our Sampler Club meeting always inspires me to work on my sampler.  So yesterday I organized my stash and got to work on the next portion of my Sampler.

I am so exited because I can finally see it all coming together and an end is near.  It will be a bitter sweet moment when I finish this sampler. I have been working on it diligently for a year and it is to date the largest needlework project I have ever done not to mention the most challenging as there is no pattern and much of what I have done I have just learned in the past year. 

I also wanted to share with you that I think I have finally figured out what my green silk mystery thread is!  I love this thread and have used it throughout my sampler but have been referring to it as mystery thread, well I am pretty sure it is The Thread Gatherer Silk N’ Colors Marsh Grasses.  How appropriate is that name, considering how I used it to look like sea grass in one of my bands?

I didn’t take any pictures of my progress yet, hopefully tomorrow I can get some taken and loaded on my blog.  So I will leave you with a video of my favorite Downton Abbey character, since I am in Downton withdrawal waiting for season 3.

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My Sampler Update

I was able to finish my drawn thread bands on my sampler before leaving last week for Oregon but just haven’t had the time to take photo’s and put them on my blog.  I am so glad to have these bands finished, they have been the most challenging thing I have done on my sampler thus far.  Maybe because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and messed them up.  Well regardless of all my repairs I made to fix my stupid mistakes I think they turned out quite well.  Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do next, I have a few ideas but nothing definite.
The drawn thread bands are all done with Petite Silk Lame` Braid SP33 by Rainbow Gallery (I love this thread!) and the other two bands done in green are a varigated silk that I have no idea what it is, I bought it discounted because it was missing it’s tag.
The first drawn thread band is the Diamond Hemstitch.
The first green band is the Montenegrin Stitch.
The second drawn thread band is done with half Diamond Eyelets and Coral Knots.
The second green band is done with Scotch Stitch and alternating Scotch Stitch.
The third and final drawn band (the one I messed up) is done with Hemstitch and Herringbone Stitch.

Please excuse my terrible photography and my un-pressed linen, I am a work in progress when it comes to photos and I hate to press linen.

 Our Sampler Club meets this coming Saturday so maybe I will get some feedback from the other ladies on where to go from here.  Can’t wait to see what we will be learning!  Hopefully I will get to write a post about it this weekend.  My daughter is having 4 of her friends over for a birthday sleep over, eek!  Should be an interesting weekend!  Hope you all have a good one!

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Beautiful Bargello

This past Saturday was our monthly Sampler Club meeting, we were unable to meet in November and December we had a little stitching party that I didn’t get to attend.  So needless to say I was needing a Sampler Club fix! Oh how I wish it could be every Saturday, I could go over and stitch any Saturday but in Sampler Club we learn things and I love to learn new things. 

This time we learned something I had never done before that I had planned almost from the beginning to incorporate into my sampler.  We learned the Bargello stitch and I can’t wait to do this on my sampler, In the mean time I will share my practice Bargello from my doodle cloth.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello palace in Florence, which have a “flame stitch” pattern.
Traditionally, Bargello was stitched in wool on canvas. Embroidery done this way is remarkably durable. It is well suited for use on pillows, upholstery and even carpets, but not for clothing. In most traditional pieces, all stitches are vertical with stitches going over two or more threads.
Traditional designs are very colourful, and use many hues of one colour, which produces intricate shading effects. The patterns are naturally geometric, but can also resemble very stylised flowers or fruits. Bargello is considered particularly challenging, as it requires very precise counting of squares for the mathematical pattern connected with the various motifs to accurately execute designs.”

All of us worked different variations of this stitch and they were all so beautiful with  all the different colors.  I can’t wait to see all of the beautiful samplers once they are completed.  This year our group will be a continuation of last year’s club since we all need more time to complete our Sampler’s.  I was very relieved that we are continuing as I was not prepared to start a new sampler in March.  Now I have plenty of time to think about what I want to do for my next sampler.  I do know it won’t be as large as this one, I wouldn’t want to have to start renting out wall space in the homes of my family and friends to display my work.

I will leave you with a few picture’s of my two little darlings, Daphne the cat and Maple the English Springer.

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Last year I joined a Sampler Club at my local needle work shop The Village Sampler.  We meet once a month to learn new stitches and techniques and share what we are working on for our Sampler not to mention we have an enormous amount of fun!  Throughout the course of the year we use what we have learned in class and make our own sampler.  I have learned a great deal of new stitches this year such as Montenegrin stitch, Algerian Eyelet, Hardanger, pulled thread embroidery, Herringbone stitch, tent stitch and many more.  I have incorporated some of these into my band sampler already and plan to incorporate more as I go, not sure if I will put all of them on my sampler but they are all on my doodle cloth that just looks a mess.  I will post some photos below of my progress so far.  Needless to say this sampler won’t be done before sampler club starts again but hopefully it will be finished and framed in time for the state fair.  I chose a nautical, lighthouse, stormy theme for my sampler, I love the colors of the threads, blues and greens.  

My sampler is being stitched on 28 count Cashel Light Mocha (Nordon Crafts).  The top two band’s are two rows of alternating Algerian eyelet’s stitched with Gentle Art aged pewter.
 My daughter picked the alphabet rows 3-6 from Blackbird Designs “A Stitcher’s Journey p.27 stitched with Valdani Primitive blue.  This was a bear to get centered up and I had to do quite a bit of frogging until I got it the way I wanted it.
Row’s 7&8 are two more rows of Algerian eyelet’s the same as the top two rows.
Row 9 are whales from Blackbird Designs “A Stitcher’s Journey” page 16, stitched with Finnegan’s fog Thread Gatherer Silk’N Colors.  The whales have an irredescent white spray coming out of the top of their heads.
Row 10 is two rows of single cross stitch with a diamond design between them that will eventually have beads in between the diamonds.  Stitched with Valdani faded olive and DMC perle cotton 8 color 644.
Row 11 was one of the most aggravating rows to stitch, not sure what this stitch is, I used a gorgeous green varigated silk that had no tag so I don’t know what it is.  They look like sea grass.  But this silk didn’t want to co-operate with me, I either pulled too tight or not enough, I used a Q-snap and I tried in the hand stitching it and nothing seemed to work out.  It was also really hard to anchor this thread on the back.  I haven’t decided if this is going to have to be re-done or not, we will see. 
Row 12 is one of my favorite verses “He maketh the storm a calm so that the waves thereof are still PS.107:29” not sure what thread I used here.  Originally used Valdani faded olive but it didn’t show up so I ripped it out and used the thread that was used for the words on the light house.
Row 13 is Hardanger, Kloster blocks with algerian eyelets inside them with doves eyes in the middle of each motif and the ends are ships motif’s which I thought went well with my nautical stormy sampler.
Row 14 is a design by D.Morgan called “Through The Storm” that I found in a 1998 edition of For The Love Of Cross Stitch.
This sampler is a little over half-way done, the half way point is in the middle of the light house design.  I have some ideas for what I want to do but I’m not completely certain yet.  I know I am going to do some drawn thread embroidery next.  I will post a picture of my doodle cloth so you can see where I have been practicing the drawn thread embroidery, not sure I am comfortable enough yet though to actually do it on my sampler, EEEEK!

A you can see my doodle cloth is kind of a hodge podge of stitches but it is just a doodle cloth.  Wonder what people will think of that mess when someone finds it in a trunk 100 years from now?  Well that’s all I can really say about my sampler for now as if I didn’t write you a book about it.  LOL! 

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