Christmas Rules is coming along. I've worked on it for the week that I planned to and will hold off doing any more until end of February. I have made multiple mistakes. I'm not really big on "frogging" unless the mistakes will really ruin the outcome of the rest of the project; then I'll go back and take stitches out. Sometimes I will just stitch over incorrect stitches with the correct color. The mistakes I've made here I was able to overcome easily as they are each individual designs, one right after the other. How do you handle frogging or making mistakes?
I will be working on various things over the next few days left in January. But, in the early morning and evening I like to do me some stitchin'. So, I've picked my next project. I have a feeling that this one will last me for years.
Before I tell you what it is, I have to tell you how I came by it . . . I was hanging out at an antique mall with my stitchy friends. We go in together, but then disburse; each wanting to score the big one before the others. We do play nice and keep an eye out for things that the others have been looking for, but we are pretty competitive too. It's fun and never any hard feelings. So I found this box and it had old stitchery kits in it. Flip, flip, flip, BINGO! flip, flip, OOOOH, OOOH, flip OOOH. The ooohs were for needlepoint things which one of my stitchy friends is really into. I went and found her and asked if she was interested in any of them. Yes, she was. Where did I find these she asked, so I lead her back to the box. She found two or three more things in there that she liked. Then she turns to me and says, did YOU find anything in the box? Me? Who, Me? Says I, like the cat who ate the canary. I finally fessed up and there were OOOOOHs and AAAAAAHHHs over my find, but no hard feelings. This was all last summer. I've hung onto it this long, because I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.
I have finally decided I'm going to go ahead and do it. When I explain, you'll understand my hesitancy. It's called "The Chase", a reproduction sampler, done in kit form by Elsa Williams for Williamsburg. You can CLICK HERE to go to a website that sells this kit. Please notice the price it is selling for - please! It is also selling on Ebay. Today, when I checked, it was up to 80 or 85. Dollars! I paid 75 CENTS for the kit I have. Now, I didn't buy it because I knew it was being sold much higher (I'm guessing that they are no longer made new). I bought it because as I was flipping through the stuff in that box, the sampler picture caught my eye and I thought it was pretty. I put it in my 'to buy' pile and went on to search for more good stuff. It wasn't until I got home and sat down to look at it in detail that I realized it was on pre-printed linen. In this picture you can see the entire kit.
I'm not a big fan of pre-printed linen mostly because even if you are a careful stitcher, you inevitably end up with some of the printing showing. So, I'm wondering if any of you have any knowledge about when you finish stitching, there's something you're supposed to do to make the printing disappear? Any secrets you can impart? I've spent several months cogitating over this piece, trying to decide if I wanted to stitch the kit as supplied or somehow convert it over to a nice piece of our lovely linen. I've finally decided that there is no way I would EVER finish it if I did that.
Here' a closer picture of the photograph. Basically the upper portion is all done in cross stitch. The colors are gorgeous. Here's what it says on the cover about the original sampler:
"sampler worked in 1760 by 11-year old Mary Starker, this reproduction kit duplicates the gay colors and charming design of the original in the Williamsburg collection. The antique sampler is a rare example of American needlework design because it combines an embroidered picture with alphabet lists and includes the embroiderer's place of birth, "Newbury, New England" (probably Newburyport, Massachusetts). Mary's name, place of birth, date, and a pious ejaculation, "Goodness and Mercy Ever follow [t]hose who shape there [sic] Conduct by Gods Holy Laws", have been deleted from the reproduction so that the 20th century worker may personalize the work."
In the first run of letters, you can see it goes "Z &" and then nothing. I'm willing to bet that the alphabet was to be followed by numbers 0 through 9. I may just have to fill that in - you know nature abhores a vacuum (and by the looks of my house sometimes - so do I).
This is a closer view of the bottom portion of the sampler that is worked in mostly satin stitch, but some other specialty stitches as well. This is the part that really caught my eye. I've seen some blog entries out there that are dated a few years ago. One in particular said that the cross-stitch part was a breeze and she thought she'd be done in a trice. Then she moved on to the satin stitch part and it has been taking her forever. She never posted about it again, so I don't know if she gave up or finished or what.
This is what the cross stitch directions look like. Oh, boy, this looks like it will be SO MUCH fun! Think I'm going to keep my color copy handy. Hope you enjoyed.