Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Decorating with Samplers for Christmas
Linda completed her Middle Tennessee sampler in October 2009. I finally made it over to her house to see it framed and hanging on her wall. Linda chose to stitch the horizontal version of the piece, but kept the original red palette. She used wool fibers on linen.
Christmas is a good time to visit Linda, since she decorates her entire home for the season. She has ten (I think!) Christmas trees, including a cat tree, a red and white tree, a gardening tree, a rag ball tree, and, of the most interest to stitchers, a needlework tools tree and a sampler tree.
The needlework tools are displayed in front of an antique sampler, one of Linda's favorite pieces. In addition to collecting antiques, she also stitches reproductions. Her favorite designers are the Scarlet Letter and Mary Beale.
The entrance to Linda's home features both reproductions and antiques. Some of us have sampler walls; almost every wall in Linda's house is hung with needlework.
My mom was quite taken with this reproduction of the 1826 Sarah Hatton McPhail sampler from The Essamplaire. She seems to think I should stitch it for her Christmas present this year.
One year, Linda challenged herself to make a Christmas ornament every week. She ended the year with 75 ornaments (to add to the ornaments she had already stitched throughout her life). She also does all her own finishing. She took many patterns from Mary Beale, Nancy Sturgeon, Annelle Ferguson, Sharon Cohen, Eileen Bennett, Ewe & Eye & Friends, Carriage House Samplings and the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. The result is her magnificent sampler tree.
A close up shot of the sampler tree:
Linda continues to stitch ornaments to commemorate trips and family events. At this rate, she will soon have two sampler trees.
You can read Mary Beale's account of her visit to Linda's home here and Linda's responses to Mary's questionnaire here.