This will serve as both a 31 Days post and WIPocalypse update post for me. 🙂 I’m wrapping up a year-long project, which I had a blast doing. Oddly, it’s one of the things that has really helped me get through this year. Thankfully I took a lot of pictures along the way to remember the year by, because all but one of these projects will never cross my way again.
Since February, I’ve been involved with a round robin with six other wonderful women across three countries in a band sampler robin. Each project I stitched on was completely different – in color and in style. I’d never done a true band sampler before in my life, and this robin gave me the opportunity not only to explore the band sampler medium, but also to explore new stitches.
My final stitches went into Jo’s sampler last weekend. Due to finances, I had to wait to send it off… and then this weekend’s events got in the way… so it’ll be heading out in Tuesday’s post-holiday mail. Jo’s sampler was a little different – we were all asked to add bands to the top half, building up from the middle, and then “spot” motifs on the bottom half – one bunny and one floral motif.
Here are my bands:
The top band are blue tulips; since I’m the last person to add to the piece before it returns home, I thought it would work well as an upper band to “cap” everything. Then I did a small band of pink floral vines, and finally a larger floral vine band that I brought over from my current big WIP, Blue Jeans & Daisies from Blue Ribbon Designs (the band as designed was only two stitches too wide for Jo’s sampler… perfect!), plus a dotted line to frame it lightly since I, um, started it up too high from Rachel’s band below. 🙂 (shhhh…. I made a boo boo!)
On the bottom, I added the red round arrangement on the left – I’d like to think they’re either roses or peonies. 🙂 The bunny between the two urns is mine, as well, outlined because otherwise he disappears into the fabric… probably why he’s the only white bunny on the entire piece!
I also added a small blue flower on the top right of the motif section because it just needed “something.” Plus I’d originally started my bunny there (and ran out of room), so I had some warped holes that needed to be corrected in the fabric from frogging stitches. I recolored the flowers to match the set already present on the left:
Jo’s sampler was much discussed as everyone received it – there were temptations to add fangs to bunnies (in honor of Monty Python), killer squirrels (which did happen… there’s one tiny one), and other things. My husband wanted to add bow ties and fezzes to them. I figured if that were going to happen, then we might as well go full Doctor Who and add a TARDIS somewhere as a spot.
Perhaps you had to be there – but the threat of being very silly made this one a lot of fun!
And just as I was getting ready to get my photos done and send Jo’s home, my own sampler arrived home from its travels with everyone! I’ve done many round robin stitches in the past, but they were either UFO ones, where everyone sends around an Unfinished Object and the other stitchers helps to push the piece forward, or a designer specific one (such as the Mirabilia one I did a couple years ago). I have a lot of fun stitching on robins – it gives me the chance for exposure to pieces I’d likely otherwise not stitch, and also to experience the equivalent of a quilting bee, where everyone contributes to one piece. With cross-stitching, it’s a little different of course – you can’t have multiple people stitching on the same piece as they can when working on quilting. But still – it’s a fun sense of community, and the results are gorgeous.
This was my first (but definitely NOT my last) band sampler robin. When this was sent out back in February, only the top four bands (through where my MK initials are) were on the piece. I sent it out with a variety of Dinky Dyes and Waterlilies silk flosses. I didn’t have a theme, or any guidelines; I just wanted to see how it would develop organically. And it did, and I adore it. 🙂
A couple stitchers tried out new-to-them stitches. They added beads and other flosses where it seemed appropriate, and everything just works. It’s bright, it’s cheerful, and I cannot wait to finish it up and put it on my wall. My completion plans are to cap it off with a repeat of the block band (that has my initials at the top) with the year – but in a slightly different color scheme than at the top, and then the Celtic blackwork band that I started with to wrap everything off at the bottom again. If all goes well, I’ll have it completed in the next few weeks, and it’ll be done before the holidays!
Honestly, it came out better than I thought it would – and that’s purely thanks to the amazing stitchers who contributed to the piece… so thank you Jo, Karen, Kathy, Rachel, Linda, and Rahenna!
I already have my idea for the next one. But first, I need a few months off to be able to catch up on some of my other stitching that’s been lingering untouched. 🙂