Needlepoint: Not Just For Grannies?

One of the most old fashioned things I can possibly think of doing with your evening (except for maybe the darning of socks) is a needlepoint sampler. Oh needlepoint! Who even does needlepoint anymore I wonder?

Well, I’ll tell you who. Alicia Paulson, that’s who. And thanks to Alicia, now I do it too.

So, ME, that’s who!

(More after the jump.)

So, I was perusing craft blogs one night, which is something I like to do when life seems a little dire and shady. One of my very most favorite craft blogs is Alicia Paulson’s blog, Posy Gets Cozy. I don’t actually know Alicia? But I am fairly sure I love her deeply? If you know what I mean? Alicia is the queen of old fashioned, seriously delightful crafts. She knits and bakes and sews and makes preserves and she quilts up the kinds of quilts that would make your grandmother weep in envy. She also happens to do be a champion needlepointer.

I read with interest as she announced plans to create and sell a limited-edition needlepoint sampler kit in her shop. The minute they were available for preorder I jumped all over it. Of course, once it arrived it sat untouched for weeks, because that is just how things work around here. I suppose I knew that once I’d started  it I’d be hooked, then finish too quickly, and then become desperate and shaky for another needlepoint hit, like some sort of low-class needlepoint addict.

And yes, yes, I was right.

There are many different kinds of needlework and embroidery. Here are just a few:

This is crewelwork, a decorative form of surface embroidery using wool, commonly used in most tapestries (and currently my favorite.)

This is cross stitch, what most people are familiar with, which is made by stitching tiny, uniform x’s on a pattern, making up a design or image.

This is French laid embroidery, which is commonly used for monogramming and which requires very meticulous, very even stitching in order to produce that raised effect.

And this is ribbon embroidery, which is just that: embroidery done with ribbon. It’s real purty.

So I’m on the hunt for more samplers now. MORE SAMPLERS, NOW! Samplers are great because they come in a kit with everything you need and explicit directions so it’s hard(er) to screw up. Now, there’s not a whole lot out there to choose from (from what I can tell?), but here is what I’ve found so far. My requirements: they have to be challenging, they have to be fun, and they have to be pretty and/or interesting enough that I won’t mind displaying them in my home once finished. Here they are, in case you are in the same jumpy, jittery, withdrawal-filled boat as I.

  • Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Sampler 1 of 9
    Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Sampler
    Credit: Alicia Paulson
  • The Lady And The Unicorn 2 of 9
    The Lady And The Unicorn
    For the medieval in you.
  • Flowers ABC Sampler 3 of 9
    Flowers ABC Sampler
    So traditional and sweet, it traditions sweetly all over you.
  • Folk Art Sampler 4 of 9
    Folk Art Sampler
    Pick a really rad color for this one, like chartreuse or the right shade of gray, and this traditional folk art suddenly has some bite.
  • A Wise Old Owl 5 of 9
    A Wise Old Owl
    Owls are so hot these days.
  • Subversive Cross Stitch 6 of 9
    Subversive Cross Stitch
    The cleanest, least offensive one of the bunch I could find.
  • It’s On Like Donkey Kong 7 of 9
    It's On Like Donkey Kong
    From, where else?, Etsy.
  • Union Jack Cross Stitch Tapestry Kit 8 of 9
    Union Jack Cross Stitch Tapestry Kit
    I'm not kidding at all when I say that I need this kit in my life badly before I EXPLODE.
  • My Humble Offering 9 of 9
    My Humble Offering
    Seriously, SO PROUD.

So tell me, know of any good sources for a really rad needlepoint sampler? Next time we’ll talk about embroidered pillowcases and napkins! Yesss!

More handmade inspiration — with inspiring success stories to boot! Top 50 Etsy moms of 2011


Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Pattern

The Lady And The Unicorn

Flowers ABC Sampler

Folk Art Sampler

A Wise Old Owl

Subversive Cross Stitch

It’s On Like Donkey Kong

Union Jack Cross Stitch Tapestry Kit

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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