Karen at First Fruit Flowers blogged about the custom sampler project I recently completed for her. You may remember this as the pattern I copied from Susan's (The T-Cozy) original sampler and that she has for sale on her blog. A word of warning though—this is kind of an advanced pattern—if you're just beginning embroidery you may want to get some practice in on simpler projects first. It took me far longer than it should have but I realized something about the way I work that partially explains that. I'm easily bored and do better when I can work on several projects at once and can jump from one to the other.
A close up of the bird and birdbath.
Finding a fabric for this project was a real problem—we both wanted it to look like it could be vintage. I investigated options and even ordered several different kinds of linen and linen/cotton blends to work with. Nothing was quite right. Too stiff, too much like Aida cloth. So I ended up embroidering on a vintage towel that I had purchased several years ago. It had a nice weave, although a bit "soft" so it was a challenge to keep it from distorting the embroidery. I also discovered, after doing a bit of the border, that the weave wasn't "square". What I mean by that is that I counted four threads in each direction for each cross but the crosses weren't square. I backtracked, counted four over and down five, and that did it.
I mostly stuck to the colors of Susan's original except for the flowers—they needed to be brightened up—and I chose whatever colors I thought looked good together. I'm happy with the result but, honestly, I don't want to do anything this ambitious again for a while. I'm sticking to the easy stuff (and ones where I don't have to count threads) for my next few projects!