Band Sampler Pt. 1

Band Sampler Pt. 1

Pens splayed out over pages of embroidery pattern notes

Band samplers are relatively easy to design – after all, it’s just a matter of choosing stitches and laying them out in a pleasing stack – but even so, the design process for this sampler took nearly as long as the stitching, and there are still things I would change should I stitch it again. Most of them are minor spacing changes that wouldn’t be apparent until stitching up, which is normal. Often a piece like this has to be stitched either wholly or partially a few different times to get these little details ironed out.

A sampler like this has always been a fantastic way to record patterns and stitches, and in this case I wanted to be sure to use the stitches that we use every day as well as ones that we rarely, if ever, get to use. One technique we hardly ever do is interlacing. Interlaced and whipped stitches are comprised of two parts; one set of stitches travels through the fabric in the usual way, and then the needle carries a second thread through the design and laces over and under the stitches without passing through the fabric except at its start and end.

Embroidered bands in purple with navy blue interlacing threads

With thirty-two lines of diverse stitches, it became imperative to find a way to tie them all together into a cohesive whole. Color is a great way to do that, but since my next sampler will be monotone, this one would have to be colors, plural. A rainbow provided a natural progression of shades, and interlaced stitches allowed me to blend them into each other a little more softly than just switching from one to the next. Since I was working with a limited palette of colors, some of the transitions may have been a bit harsh without a bit of blending.

With eleven rainbow shades picked out, it was easier to cluster the stitches in groups with bicolored stitches in between. Each color got a mix of stitches, and putting them together evenly was a bit of a puzzle. For the most part, I think it turned out pretty well.

Embroidered band sampler with lines of stitches in shades from purple to deep green

Since this project is broken down into short rows, each stitch was finished before it got tedious. In fact it felt like by the time I was really getting going with each one I was halfway done! This was a welcome break from the iris project, though I’ll have to get back to that soon. It is nice to break up the big projects with smaller ones like this, but if I don’t get working on those petals soon it runs the risk of never getting completed. That can come a little later, though!

Hand embroidered band sampler in shades ranging from purple to lime green

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