Area in stitches: 131 x 258
Area in stitches: 134 x 258
Let's not split hares about this design, everyone loves these floppy-eared dudes, the two at the bottom seem to have fallen out over something - perhaps they both want to give their flower to the same bunny girl but hopefully they'll be chums again very soon. Bless.
Area in stitches: 322 x 443
This is one big project! It has been inspired by the whitework samplers - sometimes called reticella samplers - which reached their peak of popularity during the reign of the English sovereign Charles I (1625 - 1649).
Originally the samplers would have measured from 6" to 12" wide by up to a yard deep (approximately 15 cm to 31 cm by 92 cm) and featured a variety of stitches and techniques including detached buttonhole, drawn thread, cut work, needle lace and hollie point. Often the motifs and patterns would have been designs which could be incorporated into clothing such as sleeve frills, collars, cuffs and even christening gowns. Vellum or net was often used as a backing support. Bagatelle attempts to recreate the appearance of this work using only cross stitch, back stitch and just a little bit of magic too.
Area in stitches: 227 x 415
During the 17th century band samplers were worked to provide an easy method of laying down design ideas as printed patterns were virtually unobtainable. Many surviving examples of the original 17th century band samplers have been found in etremely good condition as they were usually kept rolled and stored away from natural light when not in use.
Froth & Bubble
Area in stitches: 150 x 318
The words which feature on this and the following sampler were written by Adam Lindsay Gordon, Australia's national poet, jockey and politician. His is an interesting life story which is well worth checking out. His cottage "Dingley Dell" at Port MacDonnell 467 km south east of Adelaide is one of south Australia's premier tourist attractions.
Froth & Bubble II
Area in stitches: 150 x 318
This design is the companion piece to Froth & Bubble shown above.
Plight of Fancy
Area in stitches: 235 x 383
Plight of Fancy took it's inspiration from the 17th century European band samplers. The roses are depicted full-face, as was common at that time. They are to be found in most samplers of this period together with acorns, carnations and "boxer" figures.
The boxer is perhaps the most intriguing sampler motif. The term derives from the figure's sideways and distinctly pugalistic stance with raised arm and clenched fist grasping a flower. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. The boxer is offering a flower to his beloved. It has been suggested that these figures are versions of Renaissance cupids or putti or perhaps Apollo pursuing Daphne. What appears to be a shrub or plant between the figures as the object of the boxer's desire. In continental European samplers the plants are obviously women but in England they evolved into bushes although the rounded "heads", wide "skirts" and splayed "feet" can, with a little imagination, be seen to represent stylised women.
Area in stitches: 148 x 317
Wachet Auf, Cantata No 140 by Bach was written for the 27th Sunday after Trinity - the last Sunday of the church year and literally means "sleepers awake". And I have no intention of divulging why this piece was named after it. No, not even if you "pretty please" me!