Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ann Scutt, Elizabeth Harborne & Margret Gatis

Hi again!
Took some quick photographs of the 3 SL samplers that I have been actively working on these past months.  Will write in more detail but I know some of you wanted to see them... Ann Scutt and Elizabeth Harborne are 'finished' - Margret Gatis is not.

At the moment I am still contemplating if I should extend some of the bands of Ann Scutt so that they all start and end with more or less the same width.  Normally when I stitch a reproduction sampler, I do not change things... this time on both Ann and Elizabeth I changed things so at this point neither of them are 'true reproductions'.  I had left the decision about the width to the very end to get a feel for the sampler... you'll note in the picture the margins marked from the widest bands ... the narrower bands on the top have bothered me right from the start and I had extended the satin stitched motif on the right at the beginning to make it more symmetric.
I feel that the narrower top part makes the whole thing look a bit off kilter - in some samplers this is quite a charming effect but Ann is quite a balanced sampler.... so I am thinking of extending the narrower bands on top. 
The other area that I feel was 'odd' was the solitary leaf in space on the right side in the band with the two flowers and coiled connectors further down (3rd band above the alphabet area).  I am thinking about stitching another coiled area and anchoring the solitary leaf.  Ann Scutt reminds me a bit of Mary Hollingworth in color and symmetry so that is why I am still considering this...

I would love to get your thoughts on this too...

By the way, you'll notice in the picture of the entire sampler (Ann Scutt) how restrained the use of the color red is - it almost seems like it was put in to be 'auditioned' but then it was decided not to use it at all and work the sampler in 3 colors only : blue, green, light gold.  I decided to use a darker gold (same color family) because I felt that the lighter gold would not show up from a distance and the viewer may see an absence of color/stitching in some areas.  I like the overall effect of working in both of the gold colors - this way the entire sampler is visible to the viewer... samplers are now displayed on walls whereas in the 17th century they were rolled up and kept in a drawer as a pattern record. 

So, here are the pictures of the 3 samplers as they are at present....

All 3 samplers - 2 finished, 1 WIP
The Song of my Needle

All 3 samplers - 2 finished, 1 WIP
The Song of my Needle

Ann Scutt 1675
The Song of my Needle

Elizabeth Harborne 1647
The Song of my Needle

This adventure back into stitching samplers again after a long time has been a lot of fun.
Please do let me know what you think... I will revisit this 'width problem' in the next few days.
At this point because they are not 'true' reproductions because I added stitches etc. I want to 'finish' this sampler in a way that will make me happy to see it on my wall.

Thank you all for your kind comments and emails - I have enjoyed sharing my progress with you all "out there" and am humbled by your comments of my work inspiring  some of you to try your hand at some of these samplers that are considered 'advanced'.  Band samplers are a lot of fun, you can set smaller goals and achieve them one band at a time, learn new stitches etc. etc....they teach us a lot, not just in the needlework arena but also about the history, design and symbolism.  I am glad that this blog has enticed some of you to try ... it is a great adventure - one that we can fully control with just a needle and thread!

Another thing - many of you commented on the 'speed' of my stitching... I don't think that speed is an important thing.... I am a deliberate, disciplined, focused stitcher - I am not necessarily a fast stitcher - technique and quality of my stitching  is more important to me than anything else.  The only other thing that has equal importance for me is to spend my 'free' time doing something I enjoy and needlework fits the bill beautifully at present...
this is the first time I kept track of my days - most days I stitch for about 3-4 hours while 'watching' TV with breaks for meals etc.- on the snow days I averaged about 5hours during the day and the normal evening 2-4 hours...  so, I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't focus on the time it takes to complete a piece, I prefer to focus on each stitch and 'stay in the moment' of this great adventure.  I truly feel privileged to be able to spend some time each week doing some type of needlework...

1 comment:

Cactusneedle said...

I see what you mean about the uneven sides. Since you are not stitching it exactly like the original, I would go for whatever changes make you happy. I am not seeing the single leaf that you mentioned adding a coil to. That wide band about the middle of Ann Scutt, looks empty on the right side. I think that might benefit from some filler. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do. I love doing reproduction samplers and have several on my list. Have the fabric and threads, just need to get started. Too many other projects already started. Sigh. But the journey is what it's all about.