Have Your Say

30th April 2021

SALs, Samplers and Stitching Spots

We’ve covered so many topics in All Stitched Up! over the past few weeks, it is not surprising that we’ve received a delightfully mixed bag of responses from our community. We love how different articles will inspire different people and, sorry to be repetitive but we have to say it again, we never get tired of hearing from you!

The article about stitch-alongs in All Stitched Up! issue #270 is still garnering responses, and as we believe you can never discover too many stitch-alongs or online stitching communities, please keep them coming!

This week, we heard from Shalaya who brought our attention to the SAL from A Steady Thread. It is a floral blackwork SAL which, Shalaya reports, offers so many creative opportunities for colour variations and different sizes.

The start of the Embroidery Motifs from Old Dutch Samplers SAL

Victoria Wakefield sent us a fantastic story about her own SAL experience. She had never heard of SALs until she discovered a Facebook page called ‘Embroidery Motifs from Old Dutch Samplers’. They were just about to start a SAL, designed by Robyne Melia that was called ‘Song of Solomon Ship Sampler’. Most of the motifs came from the book that gave the Facebook page its name, but the designer selected a range of historical patterns, themes and ideas to create a stunning project.

Embroidery Motifs from Old Dutch Samplers SAL

Participants were encouraged to use linen and threads from their stash to complete the piece, so Victoria stitched on a piece of linen shoe lining fabric she had purchased years before and used DMC threads from her own collection.

The completed sampler, stitched by Victoria

The aspect of the project she enjoyed most of all, however, was being able to speak with stitchers from all over the world and to share progress.

She even learnt some new terms, such as ‘frogging’ or unpicking one’s work – a term which is said to come from having to ‘rip-it, rip-it’!

But it is clear from the pictures, Victoria gained so much out of the experience. If you want to try this stunning design, Robyne Melia has it available for purchase on Etsy.

Lesley’s inspiring view at the Sydney Botanical Gardens

We are still hearing from readers telling us about their favourite stitching spots, including an email we received from Lesley Church. Lesley told us that her favourite place to stitch is the Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia. She loves it because she meets so many people there who are curious about what she is doing. She was even approached by a photographer who wanted to take her picture! She loves the fact that she can always find a quiet spot in the rotunda. She says:

‘I ask you, who would not be both inspired and calmed by this view?’

In All Stitched Up issue #275, a reader mentioned the subscription service called CraftPod, and Anne Johnson wrote in to tell us about her experience with it. Anne lives in rural Washington in the USA, so she doesn’t have a lot of craft stores nearby. She subscribed to CraftPod and has been so impressed by the materials and projects. 

In fact, she so enjoyed receiving a parcel from overseas regularly that she also signed up to another service, Cotton and Twine. Both of these subscriptions mean that Anne enjoys plenty of new projects, beautifully packaged and delivered to her door; designs that she would struggle to source the materials for on her own.

Some of your emails have also generated a couple of questions that we wanted to put to the needlework community out there.

Firstly, Noela has observed that the tension achieved when needleweaving in Hardanger is much more even, when using a hoop. She doesn’t normally use one but wondered what the experiences of others had been when working this technique. Hoop or no hoop? Do any of our Hardanger lovers have a preference?

Mind Games’ by Kim Beamish from Inspirations issue #109

And finally, Lyn van Dyk shared with us a story about a sampler that her aunt found rolled up in a drawer. The sampler was dated 1838 and was stitched by Mary Ann Edwards. Although Lyn now has it framed on her wall, neither she nor anyone in her family knows where it came from. 

Through research, she discovered that Mary Ann was born in 1828 in Ipswich, Queensland. She married Robert Bamford and moved to NSW in 1854. Then, nothing is known of her until she died in 1904 in Stuart Mill, Victoria.

Lyn wanted to ask if anyone knew anything more of Mary Ann Edwards. In the meantime, she wanted to share the fine, delicate stitching that characterises this gorgeous, historic sampler. 

Lyn’s historic sampler, stitched by Mary Ann Edwards in 1838

As always, your emails and messages make our collective day. We love to hear from you, whether you want to ask a question, respond to one of our previous articles, or just say hello. We couldn’t do all of this without you.

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top