First Stitches, Current Stitches…

My First Sampler

The image to the left is a stamped sampler that my Grandmother put on muslin for me and used to teach me how to stitch. Cross stitches and stem stitches. It took me 3 years to complete (I’ve never had a long attention span). If I recall, the only reason I DID complete it was that my mother wouldn’t let me start a crewel project to go with the one she was doing until I’d finished “the last thing you started and didn’t finish.”

It’s stitched in JP Coats variegated floss. Pink, blue and green. I started it at age 6 and finished in 1975, age 9. (And in true Romilly fashion, I didn’t put the starting date on it… who wants people to know how long you took to finish something?! In this I haven’t changed.)


Last week I took the time to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. When I found it again in our storage room, I pulled it out, charted it, and stitched it on 28 count Cashel. I considered stitching it over one just to be annoying, but decided that was a bit of overkill. The new version? Charting + stitching = done in one business day.

The original is about 8 X 10 inches, and the restitch is about 4 X 5.

If you know where the original stamped design came from, I’d love to know. And if I can find that out, I might be tempted to ask permission to release the chart as a freebie for anyone else who wants to stitch it. (It’s possible that the original is actually out of copyright at this point: it WAS from my Grandmother’s box, but it could just as easily be out of a McCall’s magazine from 1969! It would make a lovely first project for an older child on 8 or 11 count aïda cloth with 4 strands of threads – in their choice of colors. I know I picked out the three colors on the original sampler. In the new one I used the new DMC Color Variations instead of the standard variegated, and I do like the result.

I think I’ll have them framed side by side in a double-opening mat. 🙂


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