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.
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.
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’.
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 …
White opalescent fabric …
A spool of HDF silk …
A freebie of mine, “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.