Hens and Chickens

Hens and Chickens

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Olwyn Horwood's Blue Ribbon Sampler

Olwyn Horwood's Blue Ribbon Sampler
This is a photograph of Olwyn Horwood's famous Blue Ribbon Sampler.  This is a huge piece, worked from several charts, mostly in cross stitch but with some nice filet work in a couple of the panels.  It is not for the faint hearted!

I bought Olwyn's book many years ago, with the intention of one day stitching this beautiful sampler for myself.  Time and tide wait for no man though, and in the blinking of an eye, twenty years had passed, and I still hadn't started it.

Last winter, whilst enjoying a respite from garden work, I finally resolved to wait no longer, and I started the piece on 36 count raw linen.  Ten years ago, this would not have been a problem for me, but now, in my diminishing years, my fading eyesight meant that I needed a very strong magnifying lamp to stitch on such fine linen.  Inevitably this led to very slow progress on my sampler. 

Summer came and my sampler was packed away, thanks to my all consuming garden which takes all of my attention in the warmer months.  But along with November, dark nights and dismal weather came the opportunity to unpack and restart my project - inspired by this lady who is also stitiching the Blue Ribbon Sampler. 

I realised immediately that a hand held circular frame would not do, in fact it complicated my stitching so much that I resolved to treat myself to a Millenium frame and Necessaire floor stand, which would enable me to stretch the whole expanse of fabric evenly whilst I stitched. 

Millenium Frame

I can't wait for it to come so that I can set up my sampler properly and share a photograph with you all.

Ms Divers x

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