Sunday, June 13, 2010

Special Project

As you can all tell, my blogging time and stitching time have been pretty limited lately.  It's performance review time at work (writing 14 reviews takes a lot of time!) and there was another large project going on at the same time.  My laptop has been burning the midnight oil instead of my needle!  However, when I said I wasn't stitching it wasn't entirely true.  I had a secret project that I was working on which could not be revealed until now.

A couple of years ago my Mom started to stitch the Mary Jones, 1801 sampler from The Scarlet Letter. It's a very pretty sampler stitched on dark green linen.

She started with the border, but when she got all the way around...disaster, it didn't meet!  We've all been in that situation before, and usually there is a way to fix it up with a small adjustment here and there.  I took a look at it, found her small error but also discovered that the chart had a problem with how it was put together and that a row had "disappeared" when the different pieces were overlapped and so even without her error the border wouldn't have met up correctly.  I promised to straighten it out for her, took it home and put it away to be dealt with later.  Recently she mentioned it again so I got it out to see what I could do with it.

 I studied the chart, figured out all the problems and finally decided that the best solution was to rip out the border completely and start over.  The deciding factor was the fact that although it had been started in the correct place according to the instructions, there was a very small margin on two sides and eight inches of fabric left over on the right.  I couldn't live with that so ripping was the answer.  Of course that brought on another dilemma because I wouldn't have enough thread, and I knew the dyelots had changed so ordering more of the same color wasn't the solution.  Off to the LNS I went and found another color that would do.  I thought that I'd get the border restarted for her to get her going again.  Mom's birthday was last weekend, and when I started stitching the border I thought "maybe I'll stitch the whole thing and also put in some other elements to get her started, since the linen is kind of hard to see."  So, one of my birthday gifts to her was Mary Jones, resurrected.  Here is a closeup of the sky, which has stars over one that are a bit challenging.

Mom and I have decided that this piece will be a collaboration so I am going to continue to work on the sky for a while, and maybe some of the other "over one" elements.  We've never jointly stitched a sampler before so this should be a fun experience.  Of course, the pressure is on as she reminds me every day that I should be stitching on her!


  1. So who gets to keep the sampler? lol! It's gorgeous! That's a real problem with a whole row of the chart being missing. It was so nice of you to figure it all out and restart the piece for your mom. You're so lucky to share your craft with your mother. Looking forward to seeing more of this one. I love it!

  2. Hi Susan,
    I met your Mom at the Scarlet Letter Open House yesterday. Ir was a pleasure chatting with her about samplers. I have a photo of her with Pat on my blog.
    Love the idea of a collaboration sampler.

  3. Love this idea! Looking forward to seeing it develop!

  4. I have often thought about doing this sampler, but I know SL patterns so well and they can some times be a bit of a dilemma, when it comes to enough room for stitches or meeting up with the borders. I have always been able to make it work, lucky for me.....

    My mother and I have stitched quite of few samplers together, they are very special to me and I cherish the times we have spent together stitching. When I travel to Ohio, we sit side by side in matching chairs, with matching dazor lamps and matching floor stands. I hope you and your mother enjoy working Mary together.

  5. Thank you for sharing Mary Jones! Now, I am intrigued by her...what a wonderful gift to your mother to "resurrect" Mary! That was no easy task and I look forward to your collaborative progress!

    I also like keeping up with your Richmond Sampler progress. Life has been so busy for me lately that I just recently picked Richmond back up. I hope to have it finished before the next Gathering of Embroiderers! Here's hoping!

    Hope all is well with you and yours! Happy Stitching!