Scottish samplers are some of the most beautiful examples of schoolgirl embroidery. My latest new start is Margaret Gibson 1839 (copyright 1996 The Scarlet Letter).
This is a photo of the finished sampler reproduction.
I have never finished a sampler from this company although I own several. This piece will be a challenge for anyone new to stitching. It is rated as beginning to intermediate by the company but that is not the challenge I am referring to.
I bought this piece as a kit, 40 count linen with AVAS silk, current price is $120. After mounting the fabric on a scroll frame I wanted to mark the upper right starting point (I tend to stitch large pieces from top right, across and down). There was not a stitch count provided, I have had this kit for years so I assumed that oversight was corrected and posted on the website description …. nope. Going to the chart I started counting and marking the chart, the count on the left was different than the right – how could that be possible? On the chart there is item ‘E’. On the instructions, item ‘E’ states: “There is a gap of two squares in the graph which is an error. Close the gap..[etc.]”. Really? Well, yes. The graph is one large page that is a poorly done cut and paste.
After finding the stitch count to be 355 by 244, I marked my top right starting point by counting from center to be sure the fabric was big enough. I was surprised to find I had 3.25 inch side margins and 2.25 inch top and bottom margins. Not ideal, but adequate. It did make me curious about the sides since The Scarlet Letter is not know for generous fabric cuts – 2 inch is standard. After more counting I found the 40 count linen is not evenweave, it is actually 40 threads vertically and 43 horizontally. I can live with that, but it is still surprising.
Time to sort the threads, what could go wrong there? There is a double asterisk on the instruction page “Silk numbers supplied may vary from the numbers listed due to certain dyelots changing or being discontinued”. In my kit there were two substitutions. Again, really? She couldn’t even put in a note or in some way notate the new numbers?
I have started stitching and will continue to document my journey. This is my “Maggie”:
Progress will be a bit slow since I am having a major flare up from right shoulder surgery and the left shoulder is scheduled for next month.