And speaking of stitching, here's where I am so far with my Sumptuous Surfaces piece:
Can you see the bits of turkey work I added? That's the fuzzy Whisper thread I bought on my last shopping excursion. I also did a bit of feather stitching with it to sort of fill in the shrubbery on the top right side.
It needs more but I'm afraid to go any further. It's simply a fear of the unknown. I am not fluent in the language of embroidery stitches so I don't know what can be achieved. Seeing pictures of what others have done is one thing. To make those stitches yourself is another. Only after you have stitched them can you begin to fully comprehend the possibilities they hold. To that end I have made up my mind to begin a band sampler a la Sharon's and Annie's:
Sharon's is the wider, longer version on the right, Annie's narrower sampler is on the left. Sharon has been teaching for some time so she had lots of little bits of stitching that she had been hauling around in folders and things. The folders got to be heavy and at least one piece of stitching got lost along the way so she decided to piece them all together into one long strip. Now she just rolls up her sampler and takes it with her. Students can still see and touch but it's much easier to transport and much harder to lose!
Annie's sampler is unique because she has included references to historic or meaningful events inbetween her stitch samples. You can see in the photo I lifted below that she has documented the Australian government's apology to the Aborigines. (There are more detail shots on Sharon's blog post. Just click on the link above.)
Annie blogs at Annies Crazy World. You can see all of her stitching there, usually in great detail.
The idea for a stitch sampler that incorporates personal history has been tickling my brain ever since I first read about this pair of samplers. When I was introduced to embroidery it was through kits and charted projects. Samplers were a static thing that someone else had designed and really didn't perform the function of giving experience with a lot of different stitches. (Can you say 'boooring'?) I played around with a greater variety of stitches when I was doing needlepoint, and that kept me interested for several years. Now that I have a desire for a working knowledge of embroidery stitches I have the perfect excuse to start a band sampler of my own! :- )