Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Back to Selfish Stitching

Some time ago Granny Maud's Girl wanted to hold herself accountable for a project that would be for her own use and pleasure, not for someone else. She started Bee, Myself and I for that purpose. It's an on-again, off-again sort of quilt or stitch along, at least for me. I finished up a quilt top for myself in September and am waiting for it to be quilted. Nothing really grabbed my attention to replace my selfish sewing until I stumbled across the Year in Stitches group on Facebook. It seems to me there's been a general "take a stitch a day" effort among the embroidery crowd this year. Of course I'm late to the party. That seems to be my modus operandi. Nevertheless, this has created a new focus for my sampler stitching. It's also a satisfying substitute for pulling a print a day like I did for my year-long Diary Quilt project that came to an end almost exactly a year ago. 😊

You may (or may not!) remember that I set up a couple of strips of muslin with the intention of using them to hone my embroidery skills. They would also provide an excuse to use some of the hand dyed flosses I've been collecting from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. After the initial enthusiasm other projects took precedence, as happens, and the samplers languished. Then I found the Year in Stitches group. That has prompted me to change the format of my sampler stitching a bit.

There are two of these 8.5" x 22" samplers in my project box. The other one has the Virgin of Guadeloupe at the top. I haven't touched her in months but her time will come. In the meantime, I've lightly drawn a grid of 2" squares within a six inch box on this piece. Originally I thought I would try to fill in a 2" square a day. It quickly became obvious that that plan was not realistic! It's taking an average of two days to completely fill a square. I'm also adding to this about every other day, not every day. Still, I'm pleased with the way it's progressing.

This is the first square I completely filled in.

I'm stitching intuitively, making it up as I go along. The second square I filled in was not necessarily the next one I worked on. This really is a hit and miss process. For example, I outlined the square below with blanket stitches one night, tried the same stitch to make flowers the next time I worked on it (some of which I filled in with straight stitches in another color), and then filled in the remaining areas with leaves made of lazy daisy and fly stitches and the occasional elongated cross stitch another day.

Since this is meant to be a year-long project I knew there would be more than this one piece before my year was over. To that end I decided to label this sampler with a numeral one in the center square.

It stayed this way for several days. Then one night I used a single strand of floss and "drew" horizontal lines across the interior. That created a striped effect but it still didn't seem finished to me. I'm learning to utilize Pinterest to troll for ideas and inspiration. I found a stitch on someone's board that looked intriguing. I don't know what it's called but I was able to work it over the horizontal lines and it worked well to give more color and texture to my number one.

I love the way the subtle color variation shows up in this little element. Apparently the white background grates on my nerves because I felt compelled to fill this one in as much as I could too!

So that's three squares completed, three in process, and three blank at this point. I'm jumping the gun just a bit and posting this before the actual end of the month because I don't want my faithful readers to think I've completely dropped out of cyber space.  In fact, I may make it a point to post my Bee, Myself and I activities between the 28th and the end of the month from here on out, just because I think it might work better for me. 😉


  1. Will you add a number to the others? Or just have 1 to 12? Love that deep burgundy colour.

  2. It's amazing how projects like this can capture the imagination. I hope you'll find lots of inspiration!
    Gun has been working on something similar that has just grown, stitching just a little bit every day. You can see where she's got to here:

  3. That's fun! Maureen in Oz also does the Year in Stitches, and I've enjoyed watching her stitching all year. This looks like you are going to have a grea project for those days you are feeling slow stitching mode.


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