February 20, 2017 by

Another Project


Categories: cross stitch

I really don’t need another project. But I was led astray by the temptress over at The Copper Fox which is where I first saw this sampler.  (If you visit her blog you will see just what a bad influence she really is.)

This sampler is called the Never Ending Band Sampler. You can get more information about it here.   I love the idea of continuing bands of practice stitches.  I mostly use cross stitches in my designs and there are many specialty stitches I have never tried so I thought this would be the perfect learning experience for me.  The designer has already finished the first panel, which is 20 bands.  I have only finished the first three bands but they stitch up quickly and I’m sure I will get caught up very soon.

I really wanted to use materials I already had on hand – sometimes I’m frugal that way (but not always). Last year, Robin had gifted me with some very beautiful HDF silk threads.  I know I will never be able to use them in my designs as they are no longer being produced but I was able to pull enough of them together for my band sampler.  Since autumn is my favorite season, I decided to use hues that imparted that fall flavor.  Once I decided to use silk threads, it was a no-brainer for me to use 40-ct. linen as well.  I went shopping in my fabric stash and found a perfectly sized piece, “Straw” from Weeks Dye Works.  This is how the silk threads look against my fabric choice.

silks and linen

Here is my progress so far.  As an aside, I thought it might be of interest to stray a little bit and talk about lighting and photography, to show you how lighting can make a huge difference in taking photographs. For instance, both pictures below were taken maybe just an hour or so apart, but in different locations.

band sampler

band sampler

Can you see the difference? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is very difficult to get a picture which shows the true colors of the floss and fabric.  Knowing this and also knowing I can’t control when the sunshine decides to make an appearance, I invested in what’s called a “still life studio”.  It’s a large square box with controlled lighting which enables one to take pictures as true-to-life as possible.

Now, going back to the above pictures. I *thought* the second picture was better and it was.  But … how is this one in comparison?  This one was taken in the ‘studio’.

band sampler

This is a superior photograph (color-wise) as compared to all the other pictures, which you would be able to see if you were here in person to see the actual stitched piece.  But even if you do not have the actual stitched piece to compare, you can definitely see the difference in photographs.  (I obviously do not have the piece properly stretched or focused but was just trying to show you a quick example.)

Some more examples – DMC flosses …

DMC flosses DMC flossesWhite opalescent fabric …

opalescent linen

opalescent linenA spool of HDF silk …

silk spool

silk spool

A freebie of mine, “Blue Moon”

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

In each case, the first pictures were taken in my dining room, in a very bright sunshine-lit room with all the lights on.  The second pictures were taken in the still life studio.  The difference is truly remarkable.

If you’re interested, more information about the still life studio can be found here.  If you are a needlework blogger, this studio may be a good purchase for you to truly showcase your work in the best way possible.  I purchased mine at the local photography store, which is where I also purchased the camera that enables me to take such beautiful photographs.

A big thank you to Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs for her generosity in providing this beautiful band sampler!

Anyone else out there stitching this never ending sampler?

*Bonus points to the first sharp-eyed stitcher who can see a mistake in my sampler.

6 Responses to Another Project

  1. Robin in Virginia

    I like your selected floss colors for the Never Ending SAL, Holly. I am glad you are able to find a use for them. I like your assorted photography pictures and the differences in lighting. I love the look of your Blue Moon piece that was taken in your still life studio.

    Have an enjoyable day! Thinking of you!

  2. Honeybee

    Yep, yep, yep! We share a brain! I have a post like this in the draft stage with exactly the same idea: pictures of the same piece of needlework in different light. Your is excellent. I get irritated with stitchers who fuss at designers because model photos don’t look *exactly* like real life. I’m pretty sure those stitchers have never tried to photograph needlework! Your Never Ending Sampler is beautiful. I need to catch up on mine! (I’m blind to mistakes, btw–it’s called customizing! ;O)

    • Holly Post author

      The other part of this photographic process is the printing and what kind of printer is used. You can take a beautifully precise picture and it will come out looking much different after it’s printed. I agree, it’s difficult for people to understand this. I once visited a cross stitch shop where the owner shared how greatly upset some customers are when the fabric/flosses don’t match what’s on the chart. She said they would even argue with her, saying she didn’t get the right fabric/floss. I realize we have to try our best but getting the perfect matching picture for a chart is a very difficult thing to do.

  3. Pam Kellogg

    Holly, your sampler is beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I’ll be starting on Panel 2 sometime this week. Have fun with this! I’m going to introduce some new stitches along the way!


    • Holly Post author

      Thank you for visiting, Pam. I am truly looking forward to what you are going to do with Panel 2. You are so kind to provide such a thing, especially considering all you are going through personally right now.

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