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.
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)