What Are You Stitching?

18th February 2022

When samplers were first stitched, they were designed as instructional tools. The making of the sampler would teach the embroiderer how to do the stitch, and then the finished piece would be used as an ongoing reference. Today, we stitch samplers because we love them. They come in all shapes and sizes, using all types of techniques and stitches. Here are a few from our readers that give you an idea of the myriad samplers out there.

Nancy Duncan

‘Several years ago, back in 2019, my embroidery piece was included in  All Stitched Up! issue #195.

Nancy’s WIP from ASU #195

‘It was a large piece I was stitching, based on a novella I had written, Imagination Prymm of Ipswich, a Year and a Day.’

‘I have finally published the book and finished and framed the stitched story!’

Congratulations, Nancy, on finishing this incredible project and on your book. Both take talent and dedication, which you clearly have in spades!

Holly Jackson

‘I had to design a raised line sampler for my School of Stitch class. To purchase the threads, I took a chance on our tiny local needlework shop, grabbing all of the unfamiliar fibres in fall colours I could find. After plenty of raised stem stitch, raised chain stitch and couching, I finished my favourite ever project. It was even ready for the first day of fall here in the US.’

You’ve combined a fascinating range of stitches and fibres, all brought together in beautiful autumnal shades, Holly. We’re not surprised this is your favourite ever piece.

Judith Pinny

‘In 1993, soon after my daughter was born, my Mum, Marjorie, and I did an embroidery class together called ‘Antique Hearts’. I finished my sampler in 1994 with a vine border as was the class pattern, but Mum only completed 2½ of the 4 hearts. Sadly, she passed away in December 2018 on her 95th birthday.’

‘In January 2021 my daughter got engaged and asked me if I could make a wedding ring cushion for her. I decided to finish off Mum’s sampler then added the details of the wedding around the outside. I also stitched ‘Wrought by Marjorie 1993 and Judith 2021’ along the bottom.’

‘Finishing the sampler into a cushion was tight, completed 20 minutes before the rehearsal on the evening before the wedding. So, the cushion and my dear Mum had a central role in my daughter’s wedding the following day. The bride and groom were delighted with the special cushion and will treasure it for years to come.’

What a lovely story, Judith. Thank you for sharing how stitching allows people to remain with us forever, even after they have passed. The quality of your stitching is superb, and we can only imagine how emotional it would have been to have the ring cushion play a role on your daughters’ special day.

Do you love stitching samplers? Do you swoon every time you see a sampler pattern, knowing you have to buy it even though you’ve already got 500 others at home? Do you like to make up your own samplers, playing with stitches, motifs and words to create something personal? 

Whatever it is you like to stitch, we’d like to see it. Send us a picture of your work with a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top