Over on Sew We Sew, Madam Samm is hosting a Meet and Greet for us to show our three favourite items we have made, for me it has to be three celebration samplers;
I like making things to celebrate an event, particularly births and weddings. The first birth sampler I made was for my niece, it was a cross-stitch of the Beatrix Potter frontispiece with the details in the middle, very pretty and sweet. By the time I came to stitching one for my friends children, I decided I would prefer to make a sampler that would still appeal when they grew up, I started looking at designs where I could take a band or two out to insert the birth details. The other advantage of this was that I could include whatever details I wanted, such as the christening date. You can see the two samplers here.
When James was born in 1995 it took me some time to find a design that I thought would appeal to a male, there’s so many flowery ones out there! I finally found a design which I think was printed by DMC, it was illuminated calligraphy from a book at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It was perfect, the original design had a second alphabet underneath, I simply substituted in his details instead. It’s a beautiful sampler, the leaves are in gold thread, there are tiny red beads in the border, I love it and more importantly my 20 year old son still likes it! It took quite a while to stitch, the gold thread was not easy to use, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed he was 7 years old before it was completed!
Helen was born 2 years later, I knew exactly which design I wanted to use! A few years before I was given a book called Home Sweet Home by The Vanessa Ann Collection, inside was a really pretty sampler. I had stitched it before for a friends wedding. It’s in lovely shades of blue and purple, with lots of Mill Hill glass beads to add extra detail. I decided to include the whole design this time, just make it longer by adding Helen’s birth and christening information. If I was stitching it again, I would probably leave out the lower alphabet as I think the proportions would be better, but I still think it’s beautiful.
Eight years ago this week Ken and I got married, it was very much a handmade wedding. We had a wonderful day and afterwards I wanted to make a sampler to celebrate the joining of our two families. I had often admired the family word art pictures you get on sites such as Not on the High Street, so I decided to work out a cross-stitch one! I included things we like to do, where everyone was born, birthdays, wedding details. I interspersed it with phrases and words that are important within our family. I wrote out each phrase on graph-paper, cut them up and sat and played with the shapes until I had a design that worked.
Having chosen three shades of grey floss to embroider the words, I decided to use red for the word ‘love’ every time it was used, it just lifted the design. It hangs above our fireplace in the lounge where we have a red feature wall, it looks great!
What do you make to celebrate a special event?