Spring in Italy Sampler

5 Inspirational Sites

5 Inspirational Sites

The design process from start to finish is something that I’ve been exploring for about 8 months. Long time readers know that I’ve drawn inspiration from items in my home: wooden printing blocks (Colors of India and Blackwork Hearts and Flowers) and pottery (Spring in Italy Sampler) being two examples. Like all artists, I don’t […]


Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! A close call! A disaster diverted! I had a plan (maybe not a great plan, but a plan) of how I would embroider a border around the edges of the Spring in Italy Sampler. I drew lots of designs but wasn’t really happy with any of then. Finally, I […]


Spring in Italy Sampler Links

Spring in Italy Sampler Links

Quite a few new readers (Hello! I’m glad you’re here!) have written to ask me where they can find ‘more’ of the Spring in Italy Sampler. It’s a bit complicated since four of the articles were posted on Needlen’thread when I was a guest blogger for Mary Corbet. So, to make it easy to find […]


Hand embroidery designs from Italian Pottery

Hand embroidery designs from Italian Pottery

On June 6, 2010, I posted about a moment of inspiration that led to planning a sampler project based on pottery from San Gimignano, Italy. There are three different designs; one to be worked in different wool threads, one to be worked in different cotton threads and one to be worked in different silk threads. Using a […]


Spring in Italy Sampler: Wool thread

Spring in Italy Sampler: Wool thread

Here’s the first stitched design of the “Spring in Italy Sampler.” Why Spring in Italy? I have been to Italy many, many times, at all times of the year. Spring is the best. There aren’t nearly as many tourists as later in the summer, the air is fresher and the colors are clearer. Whenever I […]


Spring in Italy Sampler: Cotton Floche

Spring in Italy Sampler: Cotton Floche

The second motif of the Spring in Italy Sampler is a design of leaves and three plums. The stems are worked in blue rather than a realistic green to balance the colors. This is how it is painted on the pottery and I really like the color choices in this design, including the purple plum […]


Spring in Italy Sampler: Silk thread

Spring in Italy Sampler: Silk thread

The first thing I did before stitching the third design was to scrub my hands with olive oil and sugar. Sounds gooey and sticky, right? Not something you’d want on your embroidery. When working with silk it’s important that your hands are smooth or the silk will snag and tangle and generally be a mess. […]


All done!

All done!

I finished the sampler before I left Germany to come to the USA but I decided to wait to write about it until I had some time to think through how I feel about the finished piece. Samplers were originally not decorative but instructional. Samplers were a way to keep a record of what a […]


Stitching with silk

Stitching with silk

Every single stitch shows clearly. One must take greater care with silk than with wool. There is no ‘fuzziness’ to mask a slightly inaccurate stitch. In fact, the reflection of the light off the silk shows up any misplaced stitches more than with the other fibers I used. And silk takes a LOT LONGER to […]


Stitching with wool

Stitching with wool

Wool stitched on linen: it’s an old combination for embroidery. The Bayeux Tapestry is stitched with wool on linen. The tactile feeling of working wool on linen is especially pleasant. The feel of the natural fiber on the natural fabric is somehow comforting. It feels healthy. Neither fiber is difficult to work with. For the […]


San Gimignano memory

San Gimignano memory

The first time my husband and I went to Italy we stayed in Pisa. We love Pisa. It’s a university town, full of students and professors and interesting people. There is so much more to Pisa than the Leaning Tower of… But we longed to go to a smaller place, a more peaceful place, somewhere […]


Stitching with Cotton

Stitching with Cotton

Cotton thread is what many of us use when we begin embroidering. It’s inexpensive, readily available and comes in zillions of colors. For this sampler I chose 4 different cotton threads that are available to me here in Europe. Two of them I was familiar with:  Coats Pearl Cotton #8 and Anchor stranded cotton. Both […]


Thread for Spring in Italy Sampler

Thread for Spring in Italy Sampler

Today I’m going to talk about the threads I’m using for my Spring in Italy Sampler, why I’ve chosen these particular threads for my sampler and where I buy threads. I live and work in Berlin, Germany. I order all of my threads from European Union member countries. That way I don’t have to pay […]


Designs for Spring in Italy Sampler

Designs for Spring in Italy Sampler

As promised on Mary Corbet’s Needlen’thread I am posting the designs for the Spring in Italy Sampler. The process to get from my sketches to designs you can use confidently has been interesting and wonderful!


Excited!

Excited!

Over the next few weeks I have the pleasure of being a guest blogger for Mary Corbet at Needlen’thread.com. I’ll be blogging on both her site and mine about my new sampler project based on Italian pottery designs. I am thrilled to have the chance to work with Mary and hope you visit both sites to see […]


Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration strikes at the oddest moments. I don’t know about other artists, but I find that the best ideas come in to my head in the morning…usually after the first cup of cappuccino. One project I’ve been mulling over for a while is a sampler that compares how various stitches look when worked in different kinds of […]