Sunday, September 2, 2018

a sampler...


sam-pler
/samp(e)ler/

noun

1. a piece of embroidery worked in various stitches as a specimen of skill

2. a representative collection or example of something

I've loved stitched samplers since I first heard of them, and have loved "sampling" techniques and ideas for even longer

this post then, is a sampler of what life has been like for me for the past little while...



I've tried getting back into my daily stitching practice, now that summer's waning - I love it but it is a struggle to do it everyday

this week I tried to entice myself by using my favourite plaids
it's helped but still an effort...


every day for seven days I work on one textile piece, adding something each day

I lost my way with this one on day four, tried to correct the problem on day 5 and am now just stewing on it - the piece you see above is what I had after two days and this is when I liked it best - sigh...


  I'm working on a sampler "roll" - the plan for this is actually quite broad...
I'll use chunks of vintage cloth for the base, attaching small textile experiments done over the years that up til now have been languishing in a box

some will get further embellishment, others are good enough as they are, embroidery stitches will be added randomly, as the urge to experiment with a stitch strikes and/or to fill in areas that feel too blank

because I'll roll it on a large wooden bobbin when it's finished, I know the width needs to be approx. 9 1/2" but the length will be what it will be...



working on this is such a treat and I'll not only have the joy of doing it, I'll also the joy of having it when all is said and done


I'll be teaching again this fall so class samples have been high on my to do list all summer long...

below is one end of a table runner I designed many years ago but just gave an overhaul

the main part of the house is pieced into the runner itself and the doors, roofs, windows etc. are appliquéd after

there are a few patterns out there now that use this assembly method but when I designed mine I'd never heard of any so I thought I was pretty darn clever for coming up with it myself


I almost always design some kind of snowman each year and the little fellow you see below is this year's offering - again, my own design
{there are snowman bodies buried all over my sewing room - a testament to how many tries it took to get the shape I was after}

he's patched and mended through and through
body, scarf and hat
{you can't see much of the mending on his body at this angle but I'll try and get some better pictures of that soon}

seems there are still as many, if not more, scraps in the scrap box so I'll definitely be making more of him in the coming weeks

a little of this, a little of that - a sampler of what I've been working on for the past six weeks...


and in between all this creativity I took some time for a trip to my happy place

ten days in the Yukon was just what I needed to feed my soul for another year...


the blue, blue water and even bluer sky, punctuated with miles of evergreens and pops of fireweed pink

a landscape that is painted on my heart


several days spent at marsh lake, place of childhood dreams... this one isn't just on my heart, it's in my dna

I brought from there a bag of driftwood and a bucket of water, and now that the busiest days of summer are behind me, I have creative plans for both... stay tuned...

it was wonderful to traipse down memory lane, re-visiting favourite places, but the piéce de résistance of the trip happened just to the right of the rocky outcrop you see below


our daughter got married...

the most beautiful ceremony in a most beautiful setting
her dress was the colour of the water
his suit, the colour of the sky

it was splendid, the loveliest of days
and a joy that sits with me still, weeks later


an omen for the visit, on a walk right after I arrived in the Yukon I came across this...


a heart-shaped stump

so fitting...


the day I left I went for a morning walk along the river's edge, sparkling silver light on the water, gentle golden light in the sky

and love, laughter, joy, beauty all around me

a sampler of life