5.04.2011

Labor of Love...

A picture share today with you of a 19th century sampler that is in the process of being reproduced. I'm in it's very early stages of the charting.
Deciding on floss colors...

I love how time has changed this piece from what it must have looked like when it was just off the frame. I've taken this piece out of it's frame and took a peek to the backside of the sampler for an accurate vision of what the piece looked like before fading.


This is what I found...
Lots and lots of long threads, which makes me believe this sampler was stitched by young hands, not an experienced sampler maker. The sampler is not dated, but is clearly a 19th century piece. You can see from the photo above that the blue floss has changed the most over time. The other colors have remained pretty true to the original floss used in the piece.
I love how the sampler looks today in it's soft & subtle shades of floss. I'm struggling as to whether to use subtle shades of floss as the front looks, or the brighter blues in which the piece was actually stitched. So it is at this time, I'm asking you sampler makers for your opinion. When you stitch a reproduction sampler, do you want your finished piece to look old & time-worn with slightly faded shades of floss, or bright, shiny & new looking? I've put a poll with this very question over to the right side bar of the blog, your input would be greatly appreciated.
The sampler has been named "The Mansion House Sampler", mainly in part that the main focal point of the sampler is a very over-sized house....much like the Ann Sandles sampler! I like big houses I guess!

But in all honesty it was this little guy down in the lower corner of the sampler I could not resist...
Isn't he the cutest little fox ever? Yep, I think so too.
The sampler measures approximately 16" x 15" with simple floral designs, fruit basket, birds and animals. The 14-windowed brick house on this piece measures 9" x 10"...yes it is big and takes up a very large chunk of the sampler. But there are lots of areas of the house that are not stitched, the mortar between it's brick is un-stitched...so not too overwhelming with stitch fill-in.
The stitch count is a large 12 count. I plan on working the piece on a slightly smaller count, but probably not any smaller then on 28 or 30 count over 2 threads. I think the large stitches in this piece adds to the primitive charm of the sampler and I want to stay true to the over-all look and feel of the original.
Watch for "The Mansion House - a 19th century sampler" later in the year. It will be a nice winter-time project to look forward to!
With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

20 comments:

Charlsey said...

I prefer the old time worn look in my samplers. Looking forward to seeing the finished sampler.

Entre puntadas e hilos said...

It seems that it is going to look beautiful either way. And I love the tiny fox too, so cute...

Dora said...

It's going to be a beautiful sampler. Have you considered offering stitchers 2 sets of color choices?

Addie said...

I would chart the sampler in both the faded colors and also in the original brighter colors. This way, stitchers can decide which version they like. With today's dyed silks and bright colors, it would be interesting to see the two versions side-by-side. Also, could the "fox" be a "squirrel" motif?
Addie

LiahonaGirl said...

I prefer to stitch reproduction samplers with threads that mimic the antique itself. There are plenty of contemporary designs with more vivid colors to stitch. But having the option is a great suggestion (albeit more work for you).

Amy said...

I love the faded worn colors. Love, love the fox!

April Mechelle said...

I vote for the shaded colors. I love the little fox too! Can't wait to see it !!!

deb-bee said...

Two color charts would be nice. I would like my sampler to fade over time in my home. The back side of this sampler isn't to bright. So I would like close to the orignal colors.

Lee Morrison said...

I'd prefer the faded, time worn look. Can't wait to see this one, Brenda! The little fox is so sweet!

Lee

marly said...

Wow. Looks like your poll is overwhelmingly for faded. I guess I'm somehwere in the middle - don't like the bright colors, but also not so faded they get lost. Whatever it is, we'll adjust and love it!

SharoninStLouis said...

Hi -- I voted for the faded colors -- as that is what attracts me to this. But I guess you could include a second photo and alternative colors for the brighter, original look of the sampler. More work for you but it gives everyone a choice. But if you only do one color-way, pleae make it the faded, aged colors.
Can't wait to see this beauty completed.

Nancy said...

Would it be possible to give two choices of colors on the chart so each person working the sampler could stitch to their own taste?

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

I like the repro to match the original colors in a sampler. They sometimes used such bright, funky colors that I really think they are fun.

mdgtjulie said...

Good luck charting this sampler. The little fox is really cute!!

TheCrankyCrow said...

I will scurry over and at my 2 cents to your poll...but, ya know me - always got to make it 2+ cents...It's been a while since I've actually stitched a sampler - cuz I love linen, but my eyes don't anymore. However, I do have a modest collection of antique samplers and to me their charm lies not only in the hands that originally worked them, but what time has added to them. I am wholeheartedly for the faded....Ok, I'll shut up know. Love the fox too - I will think of it as Fox Run Manor.....Smiles & Hugs, Robin

*Kountry*Porch*Primitives* said...

I prefer to use the muted "smoky" shades that look like they've faded over time. This is going to be beautiful! ~Kriss~

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Time worn and faded for me.
Looking forward to seeing it completed.
Prim Blessings
Robin

Debbie said...

Ok, I don't know about you other stitchers, but I loved seeing the back of this piece. WHY, because I am neurotic about the backs of my stitching. How far should I carry my fibers, am I beginning or ending them right. Should I have used a hook, Q strips, bars? This piece is BEAUTIFUL, and it does not matter what the back looks like because the front is heaven. Thank you Brenda for liberating a frustrated stitcher!!!!!! I love the brighter colors, a little happier for this dreary spring! Debbie

Nancy said...

I find that little fox hard to resist too! I really can't wait to see this sampler chart. I did vote on your survey, but honestly I think time worn or bright would depend on the design and all the colors that are in the sampler. By what you have shown for Mansion House I think time worn would be very beautiful!

Linda said...

Hello there! My vote is for the faded colors. The softer colors are just lovely. It will be wonderful to have the chart available. Thank you so much for all the work you do to make it available for us.