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Tell me again, why do I need one of these things?

I really don't like Wedding Samplers. So I designed and stitched…

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cross stitch: birdy
I really don't like Wedding Samplers. So I designed and stitched one.

Generally, I don't like commercial wedding samplers and that is because of the place I see most of them: charity shops. Maybe they are victim of a failed marriage - who wants something with the name of their ex-partner on. More likely they never see daylight after the Big Day - stuffed in the back of a wardrobe or in a suitcase under the bed, waiting for the day Great Aunt Alice comes for tea and you can shove it on the wall and say how much you love it. The designs are awful: you can already imagine one and once you have seen one, you have seen all of them. There's the Bride with the appropriate hair colour, Groom like a cut-out model, names stitched in the [Add Name Here Using The Provided Alphabet] and the date. If you are really unlucky, you get the toe-curling cute animal version because everyone wants a pair of greeting-card-characters holding hands on their wall.

Samplers with little graph paper people and carefully counted bridesmaids in matching dresses have an eternal happy little space in my heart. It's the difference between personal and "personalisable". In the end, it's love. [And careful questioning of the mother of the bride and checking names carefully and wondering how to fit Christiana-Marie in a space ten letters long]. They don't get the bin-bag treatment and if they end up in a drawer somewhere, they're probably sharing the space with embarrassing baby-photos and Great Aunt Alice's second favourite necklace. They might end up in protective custody with the mother-in-law or somebody emotionally gooey.

I went for little graph paper cultural research and staring at tiny little online photographs trying to find ethnic folk motifs and finding out that the Greeks do. not. do. samplers. They embroider household items, clothing and other things that are not likely to survive intact. To say it was fiddly, difficult and it is hard to find a bird motif that is 6 x 9 stitches. Also, my very carefully planned design went...

That's another story, post, whatever.

This post is me dancing around the room shouting loudly that the only thing I need to do now is iron it and figure out how and where to post it.

Hopefully, pictures will follow.
  • It's cool that you're doing your own designing. I've done small graphs, but nothing so fancy as a wedding sampler.

    And, yes, it's sad to see hand stitched items like that in charity shops.
    • It was ust so much stress and I'm a "run before you walk" person and a perfectionist and spectacular at misjudging my work times.

      I said "samplers are easy to stitch because they are so much blank space" and assured my mother that it would be the quick and easy option.

      It would have worked if I carried out the original sensible looking design exactly as it was. And stuck to my initial research... and ignored the "that doesn't work" or went with "argh, the flower almost hit the tree, oh well just chop a little bit off the tree". That said, my "gridding has gone wrong and nothing fits" problem would have happened anyway and the unpicking would result.

      My problem is concepts like "authentic design style" and spending ages looking at cross-stitch alphabets on google and pintrest... and looking at zillions of very small reference pictures from museums and random collections and looking in zillions of antique embroidery books [reasons to hate the internet]...

      I am a very crazy person.
      • I never got notified of this response!! LJ has been slack lately.

        I don't think it's crazy to be a bit obsessive about projects. But you sound like my sister when estimating how much time something will take. She's a computer programmer and she's always saying how something should be done in half an hour and a day later she's still working.

        Hang in there. It's about the process as much as the product.
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