Over the weekend the weather was so nice, and I said really strange things like, "I'm hot!" and "It's hot out here!" [pointing to the yard] and "It's hot in there!" [pointing toward the house]. WEIRD. Ah, but it did not last. Today dawns chill and pale, but since it's the longest day of the year we have a lot of time to turn that around, and they say it will happen. Sun, it seems, will be ours today, and I intend to celebrate.
I finished the pattern for my new sampler and it pleased me very much! A downloadable PDF pattern and chart for the Midsummer Sprigs ABCs cross stitch sampler is now available here in my web shop. This sampler was inspired by the book The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock and the cut-paper flower mosaics made by 18th-century English artist Mary Granville Delany. Mary Delany began making her gorgeous collages at the age of seventy-two, and over the next sixteen years (until her eyesight failed at age eighty-eight) created over one thousand botanically accurate paper flowers. This sampler is my tribute to her work.
I would love to have done a kit for this one but I have a lot of different things going on right now and something had to give. If you don't have a counted cross stitch shop in your area and need supplies, I highly recommend calling Jeannine at Acorns and Threads (503-292-4457), my amazing local shop here in Portland. Jeannine and her staff can get you set up with fabric and floss. This pattern calls for a LOT of different colors of hand over-dyed floss from one of my favorite suppliers ever, Weeks Dye Works. (The WDW Retailers page can help you find their flosses in your area, too — but I would call any shop they list and ask them if they have these flosses before heading out.) Since I truly intended to kit this sampler, I was not very conservative in my design and used quite a large palette. If you like counted cross stitch, I don't think it is ever a bad idea to invest in as many hand over-dyed flosses as you can manage. But they are more expensive than DMC flosses, so if your budget only allows for buying a few at a time, I've included my DMC conversions for every color in the pattern, and indicated which WDW colors I would substitute first with DMC floss and get more or less the same look.
The fabric I used is 28-count Cashel linen in black from Zweigart. Their web site is under construction but the linen can be found at Acorns and Threads and also from many on-line retailers who sell it in fat-quarter cuts. (You need an 18" x 18" piece for this sampler, so a fat quarter at 18" x 27" will work great.) If you have trouble finding anything, just let me know and I will help you!
Black can be a little tricky to stitch on, but Jeannine (without whom I probably never would have started cross stitching, way back many years ago when I first moved here) gave me a tip when I started this last spring: Put a white dish towel on your lap and then you will be able to easily see the holes in the fabric. It really works. And that reminds me, if you are new to counted cross stitch, you may want to read my tutorial on it to get you started.
Anyway, it feels good to get this finished and I really hope you like it! The sun has just come out here in the past few minutes, the birds are singing out my window now, and it looks to be a glorious morning. What a lovely world we have. xoxo