Some little bits of stitching

The stitching year is really gathering momentum – and its  only 5 days old!  The Block of the Week over at Barbara Brackman’s Civil War blog  has been eagerly taken up by more bloggers than you could count – it will be fascinating to follow their progress over the coming weeks and months.  The beauty of these stitchalongs, blocks of the week, month etc is that they are easy to fit in around other commitments and catchup is achievable if you do happen to fall behind.  And you can often choose the stitching method – hand or machine – to suit yourself.  I must admit to being sorely tempted to join in, as I was with Klosjes and Clamshells, but for now I shall limit myself to being an onlooker.  You’ll probably also want to keep a close watch on what Lori is doing over at Humble Quilts – a source of some really great quiltalongs and lots more besides. 

Frances at Quilting Owl  and Sally Bramald – Feather on a Wire  – both made interesting points recently about focus and quality.  With these things in mind I decided I had better take out the centre circle of a recently-finished block and give it another try – you can see that it’s just more than a tad out of kilter!   And it all started so well …

Not out of kilter, but certainly unfinished was the framed needlework sampler I carried home from a local antiques fair last weekend.  It didn’t look particularly remarkable, except for one small detail – it was just an everyday sampler that was faded,dusty and dark with the passage of time.  The date is frustratingly unclear – maybe 1830something, maybe 1880something.  My money is on 1880something.  I have prised it (carefully) out of its frame and cleaned it (carefully) as best I can.  The colours are faded but more visible after cleaning.

But there is that small detail – and I can’t show you what it is.  Let’s just say that somewhere between the original stitcher, Ann Simpson and whoever framed her sampler, some mischievous person added a little bit of cross-stitch graffiti in black thread in the lower border.  It’s certainly not an image that one associates with cross-stitch samplers!

And now, back to quilting and getting everything together for the course at Denman College at the end of next week.  A couple of new samples to make, worksheets to print and all the usual things – wonder if I’ll cope without that favourite thimble?

13 thoughts on “Some little bits of stitching”

  1. All these quiltalongs are so tempting. I love the block, looks tricky to me but worth the effort. Your sampler is a real find and am wondering if you can do some genealogy research on Ann Simpson – you may be able to date it correctly then.

  2. Now my mind is working overtime wondering what the bit of naughtiness is. I love samplers. The block you are making promises to be very nice too. Sorry to hear that the thimble hasn’t turned up yet. Have you checked the washing machine? My focus is to just do it and get myself back into normality. Have a great time at Denman College.
    Love Our Kid.

  3. Is it WWII graffiti? That is just an open ended question. The quiltalongs are interesting. I doubt I am doing any of them. Except I did get the patterns from the applique quilt you mentioned in your last post. I tried 2010 without focus and not as much got done. Thanks for the links and sharing the beauty.

  4. I’m nto sure what is looking out of kilter on the block. It looks pretty good to me!!
    The “graffiti” seems so strange especially since it has been framed and probably not out of that frame for some time. What a funny story! Did it look old too?

  5. Well I must have my eyes checked if that block looks wobbly! I’ve decided to stay away from block groups this year (except perhaps one should it start again ;-)), finish the ones I have joined and perhaps try and do my own work rather than follow in other’s footsteps. (Don’t hold your breath though).

    Why oh why is it always the date that is usually ruined/spoilt/half completed?? Can’t wait to see the graffiti! It’s not Banksi is it?

  6. Thanks for the mention Barbara and your lovely comments. I have decided to allow myself one Quilt-a-long a year and who knows I may eventually finish one of them – last year the Pies and Tarts and this year the Civil War quilt.
    It was fascinating reading about the sampler and you were brave to clean it – what a shame the date wasn’t clear. I must admit to being intrigued about the “naughtiness”!
    Hope the classes go well and that you have a good group. Take care!

  7. I have to admit that I had to look at the enlarge photo before I could see where your block is off, I do like the design though. The sampler is lovely, a lucky find and you were brave to clean it. Seems like you have everyone intrigued with the graffiti.

  8. beautiful block! wow looks perfect to me!
    love your fabric choices. I like the design of the sampler, something I have always wanted to try…maybe I just need to start collecting antique ones!
    hmm graffiti sounds interesting!

  9. Hi Barbara, I can’t see the ‘off-kilterness’ even in the bigger picture and let’s not forget that you told us to go for ‘good enough’! As a newly recovering perfectionist I hope you’re not going to be setting us a bad example…

    Thoroughly enjoyed the course at Denman, already been spending loads of money online at quilting suppliers! Looking forward to getting going on my next project.

  10. The sampler is fascinating – I wonder what the graffiti is? You might like to add it to your ‘show and tell’ when you come to us in the Spring! 🙂

  11. Your block looks wonderful good job on the middle. The sampler is fascinating, how funny to find something naughty on it, it would be the last place you’d expect to see something like that.

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