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Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Sampler Story

On April 21st of this year the Piedmont Heritage Sampler Guild held their 2nd meeting and the program was entitled "Carolina Girls".  Chris gave a presentation about samplers that were stitched in North and South Carolina and challenged us to find out more information about our town and investigate if there were academies for girls there long ago. 

I have never been a history buff.  It was my least favorite class in school.  Perhaps it was due to the fact that the football coaches at my high school always taught history and most of the attention in class went to the pretty cheerleaders.  But, this had me intrigued.  Was there anything like that in my tiny little town or anywhere nearby?

After several hours of research I did find pictures online of a very few samplers from North Carolina.  I then decided that I needed to make sure that 100 years from now someone could find a sampler about North Carolina that was stitched by someone in North Carolina.  It became my mission.  So I went online to my usual haunts in search of a pattern.  I found a few, but none that were of a style that appealed to me and none that were really a traditional sampler.

Now, some of you know how I sometimes get a "bee in my bonnet" and nothing will suit me except to attempt to achieve whatever it is that I am passionate about at the time.  I am not an artist.  Most of my drawing is limited to stick figures or finding a coloring book page and working from there.  I am not a designer.  Although I have a pretty good sense of color and design, I don't consider design one of my strong points.  But, these things weren't going to deter me as that bee kept buzzing around my head and I just couldn't get rid of it.

I remembered a disc that I picked up from the clearance table at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago for $1.54 that had cross stitch motifs on it.  It was by Kooler Design Studio and had lots of cutesy summer motifs on it.

What really got my attention about this disc is that upper left corner.  See where it says "Includes Pattern Maker Starter Level"?  Well I remembered that I had this in a drawer somewhere and went off in search of it.  It was promptly loaded on my computer and off I went.

I knew that I wanted to include all of the usual North Carolina symbols such as our state flower, bird, tree, and motto but I also needed to include some of the traditional sampler motifs.  In addition, I wanted to include some things that were meaningful to me.  I also wanted to make sure it was a manageable size as I just can't stick with those big projects that take years to complete.  Neither did I want to spend a lot of money on supplies or on having it framed. 

So after several hours on the computer learning how to use the design software and several months of stitching, here is my sampler.


"Miss Carolina"
designed by me!
36 ct Tree of Life Linen/DMC floss

She was designed to fit in a standard 8x10 frame and uses DMC floss.  I think she could have benefited from using overdyed floss in places such as the house and grass but again, I didn't want to add to the cost.  As you can see, I included my beloved cardinals, a dogwood border, pine trees, the NC flag, our NC motto, as well as some things that just have to be on a sampler in my opinion such as an alphabet, numbers, and a house.  For me, just because I like them, there is a dog and a cat, birdhouse, a key, and a crown.  I must say I am quite proud of my sampler and just thrilled that she is already hanging in a prominent place in my home.

So...100 years from now when someone like me decides to do some research (heaven help us if there is another like me), it is my hope they will find this sampler or a picture of it and know that needlework was alive and well in North Carolina in 2012.

P.S.  A thank you has to go out to Chris for putting this "bee in my bonnet".  :o)

26 comments:

CalamityJr said...

Kudos to you! What a great idea and beautiful job making the thought a reality. Hopefully there will be family members being reminded of you in 100 years rather than strangers, but either way this is quite an accomplishment.

Keeper of the Crowes said...

How wonderful, Myra! I love your sampler. Thank you for sharing it with us. Now you've put a "bee in my bonnet".
Linda

Catherine said...

Oh Myra! What a wonderful sampler you designed!! Congratulations! I think you should print this post and make sure it is attached to the back of your sampler!

Teresa S. said...

Beautiful work Myra!
You are a go-getter.
Now keep it up and let's see some more designs from
"Red Bird Designs" :)

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

An awesome story, an awesome sampler and one awesome lady that created both! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you on creating and stitching your North Carolina sampler! I love your cardinals, the little motifs, the house and the colors!

Robin in Virginia

Vickie said...

Hooray for you Myra. You did it! I have had ideas rolling in my head for years to make a sampler of my own. I just need to clear a time and DO IT!!

Cath said...

What a fantastic sampler Myra , well done .XXX

Vera said...

Myra!!! Your sampler is wonderful. I love it. Congratulations to you on following thru on your "bee in your bonnet." Such beautiful stitching!!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

What a beautiful testament to your state and your love of stitching and creating! Great job, Myra!

Ellen said...

Gorgeous, you are a great designer and stitcher!

It's beautifully framed too!

Hugs,

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Good for you conquering a new computer program!! That really takes courage and perseverance!! Your sampler is beautiful and meaningful. Well done!!!!

Tricia

Mouse said...

ohhh well done :) it is lovely and just perfect for you too ... soooo are you going to do some more designs then ???
love mouse xxxxx

Becky said...

Myra, this is truly marvelous! Thank you for sharing the results of your labors with us.

Deborah said...

Myra, what a beautiful sampler! The frame is quite nice as well.

cucki said...

very sweet sampler xxx

Chris said...

Wow Myra!
What a wonderful story. Your sampler is so gorgeous. You do need to print off this post and put it in the back of your sampler.
Hugs!!!

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

Oh very beautiful !!! I love your sampler !
bisous from France

Carol said...

You've created a real heirloom there, Myra!! It is so, so pretty and I love the story of how it came to be... You may have to stitch it again so each of your sons will have his very own!!

Shirlee said...

Congratulations Myra! You did a great job on the sampler & I agree with Chris ... you need to print your post & place it on the back of the sampler frame. It would be fun if we all tried to design a sampler for our own states. I already have many ideas floating around my head for a sampler referencing the devil's playground! Lots of hot colors of floss would be used ... lol!

robindefender said...

I LOVE it! You really did a fabulous job with this. Beautiful, beautiful.

Simple Pleasure said...

Myra
Your efforts with this sampler are to be applauded...great job paying homage to your state. Have you considered printing up the pattern and seeing if your LNS will offer it for sale? I am sure others would enjoy stitching the sampler.
Busy Hands...Happy Heart
Patricia

Siobhán said...

That is so neat, Myra!! Good for you. The design is wonderful and the frame looks great. I love the idea behind it!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Congrats on designing your very own sampler! That's very cool and a brave thing to do!

Maggee said...

What a wonderful sampler you created! stitched! and framed! Congratulations on such a wonderful project! Hugs!

Faye said...

Oh Myra....How perfect to honor our wonderful state of North Carolina~ And, double thumbs up to you for jumping out there and learning the software side of things...I really really want to learn that myself~ You truly created and wonderful testiment to the fine symbols of NC~~!