Sunday, June 5, 2016

Meet Jane...

Jane Turner’s band sampler from 1668, that is.

(the picture above is from the Essamplaire’s website)

I love samplers. My husband understands this and gifted me with a kit for Jane for my birthday. I freely admit that I was scared by the “for very advanced stitchers” designation - I usually think of myself as a meticulous intermediate stitcher.  Also worrisome (frightening!) was the fact that a number of the specialty stitches used were completely new to me (eep!).

The establishing stitch for virtually every band is Holbein stitch, also known as double running stitch or blackwork. If you’re unfamiliar with it, double running stitch is a reversible stitch that isn’t difficult, but can be quite tricky to get right. Basically you stitch half of the design (or to be more exact, half of part of the design) with a running stitch – not bad so far, right? – and then you come back along that same path, still with that running stitch, to complete the line on both sides of your fabric.

Prior to beginning Jane, I’d done double running stitch exactly once, on a Catherine Theron sampler where she had diagrammed the entire path. Many thanks to Kim Brody Salazar for the fantastic tutorials on her String or Nothing site!

Double running stitch is cool! Each new motif is a puzzle to determine a path that will allow for reversible stitching, so even though the stitch itself is simple, it’s always new.

Haven’t found too many people who’ve posted about stitching this sampler. Stitching with Kittens has a number of posts showing progress on her Jane. Her stitching is gorgeous, by the way, and I am deeply indebted to her for the help her photos have provided as it’s very difficult to see fine detail on the picture supplied with the kit.

Stitching with Kittens mentions being curious about why Jane's sampler has so much stitching on top of the double running stitch design - something I'm curious about as well. Was she just an incredibly fast stitcher? An overachiever?

The Sampler Stitcher is another very talented stitcher whose pictures have helped me immensely and her blog includes a number of posts about Jane and several of her sampler “sisters.”

Here’s my Jane Turner so far. I've changed a couple of the colors - the peach motifs in the first band nearly disappear into the fabric so have swapped the two "peach" shades for darker flosses. I’m currently working on Band 5, and have been working on a doodle cloth to learn how to do trellis stitch and spiral trellis (!) before I can complete this band.

A few shots of my Jane Turner:

This may be the only time I’m willing to post a picture of the back.


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