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,