The never-ending story

My progress on the Mary Wigham sampler has been very slow, I just haven’t had much time to stitch, or when I did my hands would not cooperate. Ah, the joys of getting older! I knew that this would be a lengthy on-going project when I started it, but I had no idea that I would still be working it after all these months. Long ago I had to abandon my original (and what I thought quite achievable) goal of stitching just one motif of the chart each weekend, and merely fit in stitching on it when I can. But I decided to no longer obsess over getting this sampler finished by any self-imposed arbitrary deadline. I am still quite appreciative that Needleprint.com offered this chart online for free, I only wish that the time I spend working it could equal their generosity.

New beaded scissors fob

Made a little present for my big sis for Christmas. While she was here I asked her to select the beads and colors she liked so I could make her an item and she suggested that I make a scissors fob once she saw the one I’d made for myself. I was happy to oblige. There will also be a little something else in her package, but I haven’t finished that yet. 😉 I hope to get things done and mailed in time for the holiday! At this rate it may be a race to the finish.

Still working on my Mary Wigham reproduction sampler, as my hands permit me. Even though I love working on it because of all the different motifs my progress has been very slow. Too few hours in the day for these things! I’ve been sticking mostly to the color palette provided, but have occasionally made changes here and there. I’ve also collected many of the images that other stitchers have provided to Needleprint so that I can compare their revisions and see what I should like to incorporate into my own version. For example, I have already decided to use my own family’s initials on the piece, but as I intend to stitch those last it may be many months before I get to that point. 🙂

Side note: I STILL haven’t found that favorite pair of embroidery scissors that I lost a month ago! I may yet break down and get myself a pair of 4-inch Gingher scissors if they never reappear.

Back to work

I’ve gone back to stitching on the Mary Wigham sampler when I can. My hands have been bothering me a bit again this week – too much time using the mouse and trackpad aggravate my CTS just as much as needlework does – so I have to juggle the time I spend with each. But it is fun to see the different Quaker motifs emerging.

Mary Wigham progress

Not a lot of progress this weekend, but I offer an amusing aside. We are supposed to be recreating this heirloom sampler exactly as it was stitched 220 years ago, flaws and all, yet I find myself fighting an uncontrollable desire to correct the pattern, and losing.

Forgive me, Mary Wigham, but I want your medallions to be as perfect as possible and I can’t control my inner neat freak. Besides, it’s fun seeing if I can get all the various arrangements to fit correctly in the end. I can imagine that adjustments were made by the original stitchers as they went along, so in a sense I feel I am doing the same thing, thus making this sampler a little bit my own as well.

Mary Wigham begins

It’s true I’ve just started stitching on the Mary Wigham sampler – you can see I’ve only completed about an inch square! But I think it will be a fun project for me, I know I will enjoy working the individual medallions in solitary colors. I’ve chosen 40-count Lambswool Linen to stitch on and am using the DMC colors as charted.

Starting Mary Wigham

I am very pleased to have started stitching on the Ackworth School “Mary Wigham” sampler today. Situated near Pontefract in Yorkshire in the North of England, Ackworth School was built to be a foundling hospital, but in 1779 a school was founded there by Sir John Fothergill. Mary Wigham was a girl from the region who attended Ackworth between 1788-1791. Her piece is important for the history of the samplers as it is the first known with medallions.

Mary Wigham worked her sampler in 1790 – almost 220 years ago! Her sampler is under the care and conservation of the School, and Needleprint is releasing a section of the chart every week via download so that needleworkers everywhere will be able to complete Mary’s breath-taking sampler for themselves. Six of the nine sections have been released thus far, but I am only just starting it today, so I look forward to happy stitching for many weeks to come!