You may recall this sample made as an example of what might happen with the 2024 stitch journal map

stitch journal 2024 (artist’s impression)

and this failed sample of the patchwork version:

patchwork sample

Two orphan samples, both alike in dignity, but – unlike Shakespeare’s ill-fated star-crossed lovers – destined for a happy ending after all. I’d prepared my stitch journal for next year, tracing the templates:

stitch journal 2024 (yes, that’s blue biro)

It’s the same fabric as the last two years – vintage cotton/linen, from an old French bed sheet. Next year will be a large square rather than a long strip, just to see how that works. It’s ended up about 36″ inches (ish) square (allowing for a little border around the stitched area), and folds up quite nicely. Then I thought it’s going to need a cover of some sort, just as a little protection from dust and light.

Aha, I thought. You probably know what’s coming next:

joining two samples

A little extra work, and it looks as if that might be a nice way to combine both samples into a Useful Thing. Not that everything needs to have a purpose, but they turned out to be exactly the right size, and I always think that’s a Sign. I’ve made the cover slightly roomy to allow for some expansion because the cloth will become slightly thicker as it’s stitched. I’ve found it surprising to see how much bulk is added by thread as the months pass.

in progress
a little more progress

A few hedges (textured yarn, couched with one strand of DMC) and a little extra stitch here and there:

fields sample

And there it is – it’s almost making itself. I’ve folded the lower half up, stitched the edges together, found a piece of fabric exactly the right size to make a lining, and then the other (embroidered) end will fold over, like a very simple clutch purse:

under construction

Still not finished, but you can see how this will work:

cosy home for a stitch journal
simple clutch purse construction

Ready for a new adventure next year.

A little needlepoint (3)

The third sample of miniature needlepoint for my sampler book comes from a chart in the Antique Pattern Library and, like the previous samples, is worked on 40-count silk gauze. I used spun silk thread and tent stitch.

Needlepoint sample on silk gauze, through the magnifying glass

This is the original nineteenth-century charted design, which I printed:

Cross stitch/canvas work chart from the Antique Pattern Library

I wasn’t keen on the colours so I changed them.

Needlepoint sampler before border

It’s amazing how different it looks for being worked in an alternative colour scheme. I adapted the original design by leaving off the outer border and adding a more simple satin stitch edging.

You can see the pin marks from where I blocked it back into a square (ish) shape when it got distorted through stitching

I don’t know why I have decided to make these samples so small, but I do enjoy miniature needlework. Since this little venture is purely for my enjoyment, I figure I can make my own rules, right?

A little embroidery

I made a small sample of embroidery for my 19th-century-style sampler book, based on patterns drawn by 19th-century designer Sarah Bland. You can see more of her designs at the V and A Collections here.

Small sample, about 3″ x 4″, silk and cotton thread on silk fabric

I am no expert embroiderer but I should do more of it because it’s enjoyable and very satisfying. I found that using two colours in one needle gave a nice variegated effect on the daisies (grey with white) and the French knots (red and apricot).

next time I will use a less permanent pen to draw the pattern 🙂

I had a bit of left over hardanger fabric so I did a few random freestyle stitches.