You might have gathered that I have been a bit preoccupied lately - and that is because I have been working on the new Vierlander Motifs Library. In addition to the library I wanted to make a number of mini samplers for you, ready composed, and here you can see what they will look like - this is their uncoloured state. If you look at the top right hand corner you will see I had a little fun composing a Vierlande Goes To Ackworth mini sampler. The Vierlande medallions are the nearest in approach to those at Ackworth, and it is interesting to see how they compare in this context. So, that is what I am working on at the moment. That sampler has about 3,500 stitches - and I manage about 1,000 stitches a day. Which prompts me to ask you out of curiosity how fast you stitch. Do you know how many stitches you can make in half an hour? It is not a contest, but it would be interesting to share this information.I thought you might like to see the back of my work - it will make you feel better because I am sure it is more messy than yours - but perhaps you can read how I am working these half medallions. I am stitching them, as opposed to stabbing them, one row at a time - like a knitting pattern. I find I can stitch quicker that way because I just read along a line, count it out, memorise the counts and then get stitching and I don't have to stop to refer to the pattern for 30 or more stitches. It is not perhaps as economical with thread, but I think my time is more precious.
You might like to see how Sarah Moon and the stitcher of the Beatrix Potter Companion stitched their half medallions - a very different technique with a very clear strategy of execution. It is not just the stitching that is unique on the back of samplers - but also that strategy of comprehending a pattern and then subdividing it to create coherent routes for stitching. These are just some of the markers that can be read forensically to understand if more than one stitcher was involved in the production of a sampler.
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