Samplers don't have to be cross stitched alphabets.  It's been ages since I had the attention span to do cross stitch (I was 8 the last time, I believe).

Samplers are lovely when they display a few different embroidery stitches.  I was looking at some stitches a couple months ago, and thought a lot of them reminded me of organic, growing shapes.  Different stitches can make great leaves, vines, flowers, or seaweed.

When I first tried some crewel type embroidery... a few months ago, I think... 

I originally had grand plans of making a comprehensive, modern, elegant stitch sampler.  I looked up a bunch of stitches (I found a GREAT resource here, by the way:  http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/reference/picture-dictionary/ ), drew some lines on some fabric, embroidered a few...  and then put down the embroidery to stop a kid from squashing banana into the carpet.

This sampler only shows a few stitches.  It doesn't take too long... so that works for me.

Step 1: Transfer the Pattern

Print out a pattern and trace it onto fabric.  Watercolor pencils can be cheap and don't usually stain fabric (but the red ones can a bit more easily).

Usually if I'm actually drawing my pattern on before I stitch it, I draw the basic design first, then add the details when I'm ready to stitch that area.  Otherwise, some of the pigment might rub off before I get to all the areas, and I'm too lazy to do things twice.

Oh, right... you need supplies.  Unless you're doing imaginary embroidery.  Man, I think those excedrin PM that I took are definitely kicking in... 

You will need:

embroidery floss in whatever color you want
some sort of writing utensil, preferably one that can write on fabric but will wash out later
a needle
scissors or very sharp teeth
embroidery hoop (optional... helps to keep the fabric stretched at an even tension
some sort of pattern (once again optional... some people doodle with a needle and thread instead of a pen and paper)

I've attached the pdfs for this sampler pattern.  One has the stitches in color, and the other just has simple black lines.
lovely <3
Very sweet! I love all of the different techniques you used. Well done on getting (most of) it up before your deadline. I decided to fail and sleep instead. :P
This is beautiful!

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Bio: I'm known as Glindabunny elsewhere on the web. (silly name, I know... it was based on a former pet) Everyone is born with unique ... More »
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