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.


Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

Absolutely inspiring! I love that Linda vowed to stitch an ornament every week and ended up with 75! I've tried to do one a month and can't manage it.

Thank you for these beautiful pictures.


Chris said...

Thank you for sharing this. What beautiful stitching.

Siobhán said...

What an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing these pictures. I seriously need to amp up my ornament stitching! And sampler stitching. Stitching in general. ;)

Cathy C said...

What an amazing piece of work! I'd love to make up enough ornaments over the next 3 years -- don't think I could do them an sooner than that and have my own special ornament tree made of all hand stitched designs. They are so lovely and especially the over one pieces!

Anonymous said...

Be still my heart..beautiful
How inspired and inspiring
are Linda's exquisite work
decor. What vitamins does
she take?

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! It's absolutely beautiful. I wish I had so much energy to fill a tree like this : )

Unknown said...

Wow I want to be her!!her house must be amazing at all times of the yeat