Friday, January 27, 2012


Greetings to all on this late January Friday when the sun actually came out for a hour or two!!

Here in southwest Ohio, we have always been in plant hardiness zone 5.  This winter has been so warm and unusual, or so I thought, until reading in yesterday's newspaper that we have been changed to Zone 6!
I don't know whether this is good news or not.  Although it means that I can now have many flowers in the garden that were previously unreliable, and the climbing roses should be magnificent without all the winter dieback, it also means that the lack of white Christmasses and beautiful snowy winter scenes will be more permanent.  I loved the snowy winters that I remember from my childhood.  One of my very favorite memories is of playing and shovelling the driveway with my Mother at 3:00 am!  We loved the cold and the snow!

This week I finished James Wilson 1828.  I changed most all of the colors, as the chart called for bright pinks (ugh) and oranges (double ugh).  I am new at changing colors, but am pleased at how it turned out.  Samplers stitched by boys fascinate me...I wonder at the story behind them., wondering why they were stitching and not doing "boy" stuff.  Young James was an accomplished stitcher, this certainly was not his first sampler.  Perhaps he was an invalid?

Another boy's sampler that I stitched several years ago is John Foster 1885.   If anyone knows of other boy's samplers available, I would love to know.

I also made up a reproduction sewing pocket using a left over Log Cabin block from the scrap quilt I made for the bedroom.  This is based on a Edyth O'Neil pattern from her book, Pockets and Rollups for My Red Cape. I used a piece of heavy brown coat wool for the back.  I've cut out another couple of these, using antique quilt blocks sewn together.

Last, but definitely not least, in fact the  most important, my stitching friend Brenda from Wisconsin and I have started Margaret Jane Leadbitter 1846, published in the winter 2011 issue of my absolute favorite magazine, Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly.  I have taken this magazine all the way back to issue 1, and was so upset when for several years it went out of business, before being picked up by a new company.   Brenda and I will correspond  and exchange photos of our progress.  We'll have lots of fun!!

Until next time, when I hope to share some more pictures of my sampler walls...

I would love to hear from you...please leave a comment!


  1. I love your James Wilson! I so need to stitch him up! Congrats on the finish -- the colors you picked are beautiful! Love John Foster too! I know I've seen other boy's samplers, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

    That's interesting that your area has been changed to a different planting zone. Who knew? Looking forward to seeing your progress onMargaret Jane Leadbitter. Another one I want to stitch. Sigh.....

  2. James Wilson looks fabulous... love the changes you made to the color palette. I'm looking forward to following your progress Margaret Jane Leadbitter.

  3. It's beautiful! You must stitch fast! It would take me forever to finish one like that.

  4. Congratulations on a beautiful finish!! I need to stitch both of your boy samplers. I didn't think my 17 yr old son would appreciate if I put samplers in his room but he said he'd love it. So--gotta get stitching! I know there are a few other boy samplers, I think one is by a boy named Christian, but of course I can't remember anything else.

    I'm looking forward to watching your progress on Margaret Leadbetter! I have had a hard time resisting starting her but need to finish some WIPs first.

  5. Melinda~ Gorgeous~ so envy your talent~ show us more~ please~
    enjoy your day

  6. WoW!!! Your work is simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing your talent. I would be happy for the permanent lack of snow. -Steph-

  7. Melinda ~
    It's snowing "up north" this morning, but I don't think it is going to stick around for long ~ and that's fine by me :)
    What lovely samplers. In all my years of stitching, I don't remember coming across any "boy samplers". Thanks for sharing.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Hugs :)

  8. You do lovely work Melinda! I love your samplers. It is a very strange winter for sure and it makes me wonder what the Summer will be like. Of course, Feb. could be a snowy month..time will tell~

  9. Love your James Wilson!!!! Fabulous color changes and that pocket is just too sweet!!!! Can't wait to see your progress on your new start.

  10. I loe how your sampler came out and the color changes that you made. I'm not a fan of the original colors either, but I really like yours.

  11. I've always admired John Foster's sampler. The colors are so cheerful.

  12. John Foster is my all time favorite sampler. We had a torrid love affair when we were together...he was a fickle love and played hard to get when I stitched him. But love prevailed and he proudly hangs in my family room where I look at him daily. :)
    I would love to stitch James too. I think he's another handsome boy.
    And I love your blog too!

  13. I have got to stop coming here. I keep finding more "Gotta Have" sampler designs I want.

    It appears we take a liking to the same sampler designs. I did the Isabel Redie in 1999 and still love looking at it. That piece won several best of show awards and also a special "Best of the Best" award.

    Since seeing your beautiful work, I have added Sarah Willson, the Wyndham Sampler, Dutch Beauty, and a couple of others.

    I just gotta know the names of the designs shown in your 2 walls of samplers photos and where you got them

    Have you done the Martha Edlin sampler? I am preparing to do that now. Also curious if you did the Joane Wallwin sampler that was featured in Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine. I believe it was in 4 or 5 parts. It is a real beauty. Check out mine in Pinterest. You might like it.
    Thanks for sharing your photos.