Friday, December 10, 2021

My Picnic Dropcloth: a stitch and thread sampler

The pandemic moved many of us to the mindfulness and calming effects of handwork—stitching, embroidery, English paper piecing, sashiko, mending, and the like. Something that caught my eye on my Instagram [IG] feed this summer was the Picnic Embroidery Sampler hand embroidery stitch-along hosted by embroidery artist, Rebecca Ringquist of Dropcloth Samplers

Picnic Stitch Sampler from Dropcloth Samplers. 5.5" x 4.25"

Although I couldn't make the stitch-along calendar coincide with my schedule, I did purchase one of the pre-printed sampler canvases to work on at my own pace.

Progress on September 17, 2021.

An ideal portable project for travel

This—and small samplers like this—is a great portable project for traveling stitchers. Minimal supplies are needed and all the bits fit nicely in a small zipper pouch that can be tucked into one's travel bag.

Travel tools for hand embroidery projects.

A sampler is a sampler is a sampler

While this is designed to be a embroidery "stitch" sampler, I think mine is more of a thread sampler. I tested and used a variety of threads from my thread collection—6-strand embroidery floss, perle cotton, and a "new find" was a cotton hidamari sashiko thread [from Lecien] that was the perfect weight and thickness.

Hidamari 100% cotton sashiko thread, size #22/6 [from Lecien]. 

With the multitude of hues and shades available in 6-strand embroidery floss, I used floss for stitching the flowers. The colors and stitches were easily blended and I could "create" intermediate colors by combining strands from two different colors in the needle if needed. For the French knot flower centers I used a combination of 3- and 6-strands of floss.

Progress on October 26, 2021

The surrounding "grassy" area was comprised of a sampling of different threads. I used 8 wt. perle cotton, 3- and 6-strand floss and a hidamari sashiko thread size #22/6. The sashiko thread was smooth and lovely to work with.

Progress on December 5, 2021.

Once the marked areas were stitched, I decided to add a few more rows around the perimeter so all the diamonds were surrounded by green. The finished piece is 5-5/8" x 5".

December 7, 2021. Picnic Dropcloth Sampler. 5-5/8" x 5"

I plan to block the piece and at some point, work it into a larger project—a zipper pouch, small project bag, or possibly a needle book. For now, I'm calling it "finished." It's colored red on December 7 and documented on my Stitch Success Tracker.

December 7, 2021 Stitch Success Tracker.

And I' don’t  apologize for a "messy back." It’s part of my process… part of the structure… part of the form… part of the story.

The back view of my Picnic embroidery sampler.

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