A Little Needlepoint (1)

A few weeks ago I made a small sample of needlepoint for my sampler book inspired by the 1850s one made by Ellen Mahon (here). She has a couple of examples of needlepoint, but I’m making a few more. I’m not setting out to make a copy of her book; I’m just seeing this exercise as an opportunity to try some of the techniques learned by my nineteenth-century predecessors.

I have a copy of the excellent Samplers, by Rebecca Scott, which I’ve used for reference. The design below appears at least twice in the book – as a motif on a cross-stitched sampler and also as a knitted motif on a pincushion. This suggests that this design was probably commercially available during the nineteenth century. By enlarging the photos I’ve been able to make an approximation of the charted design:

I do like a challenge, so I stitched the design on 40-count silk gauze, with a single strand of DMC embroidery thread.

It looks huge here but in real life it is very small. A sense of scale is often hard to convey in the virtual world. I find that very interesting.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

4 thoughts on “A Little Needlepoint (1)”

  1. ah, you are a stitcher after my own heart … I find quarters, which are 1″ in diameter, to be helpful scales (and here I add another link to illustrate … please let me know if I should cease and desist) https://imgoingtotexas.blogspot.com/2014/07/history-continued.html

    thank you for the link to the Ellen Mahon sample book … so tempting to consider replicating some of it … I was intrigued to find she made two marking samplers, the second being a revision perhaps?

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    1. Thank you for the link, Liz – I really enjoyed seeing your stitching and weaving. I’m glad you included the measurements of a quarter (I guess similar to a 10 pence piece here in the UK). I quite like the ambiguity of not always giving scale. To me the mark of a scale model is not being able to tell it’s a miniature. I’ve also really enjoyed working small.

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