Monday, 5 September 2011

A is for Alphabet

 When I first fell in love with antique samplers and began to study them closely, and then to stitch my own samplers, I enjoyed exploring all the different stitched alphabets that I discovered. I also took the letters and made them bigger for more modern cross stitch designs, like the children's cushion shown here.
                                                       ABC cushion for Sew magazine
This sampler is in September's Cross Stitcher magazine, fresh new shades, inspired by lovely old samplers with their rows of alphabets and numbers,  swirly borders, checks and decorative motifs. This one has apples and pears to reflect the season, and a little dream cottage surrounded by apple trees....perhaps I'll live in one like this one day....
 ...a few alphabet things in my studio...the tiny sampler baby's cushion, some of my favourite alphabet rubber stamps, lovely little notebook decorated with letters, and a beautiful antique red and white sampler from France which I was lucky enough to find at a vintage textile market....
 .........children's blocks are often played with here again now that we have grandbabies nearby...they love these bright decorative ones......... and so do I....
.....This little sampler was designed for a child to learn to cross stitch, or it could be stitched for a child as a birthday present....it is featured in the bookzine Irresistable Gifts to Cross Stitch, recently published and available now.......
Thank you to everyone who liked my blue things in the last post, and as so many of you kindly enquired about my new blue china I thought I should mention that it is from the Fay range by Greengate...I have more pieces already written down on my Christmas list too....

Before I go I must also mention that Stephanie at the lovely blog Millefeuilles is having a wonderful giveaway, open until September 11, so if you haven't already entered it do pop over there and do so now!!

Wishing you all a wonderful week of autumn sunshine, bright flowers and crafty treats...back soon xxxxx

33 comments:

karenskrafts said...

Your cross stitch is so beautiful, i have tried it a few times but end up not finishing, i'm waaaaaay too impatient :(
Also love your greengate china, blue & white is so fresh & pretty & country, just lovely!!!!
Have a sweet week
Karen x

Kentish Keg-Meg said...

Love the apples and pears on the sampler. Great fresh colours. Always have been drawn towards samplers especially some of those Victorian ones.

KC'sCourt! said...

I love Samplers of any kind. They are lovely especially the cross stitched baby's cushion and the red French sampler.
Julie xxxxxxxx

crafts@home said...

Gorgeous samplers, I have always had a passion for lettering, but not the patience to do the cross stitch variety I think
Sue Xxx

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Your studio must be a beautiful place Helen. :)
I love antique samplers and I really love your French sampler, it's so pretty!
Lots of gorgeous stitching as always!
Have a good week, wishing you better weather than ours!
Vivienne x

Ali said...

Gorgeous stitching - I am loving the freebie you designed for this months cross-stitcher magazine - got the cross stitch done just need to put them all together now xx

Elly-My Everyday Things said...

Hi Helen! Just recently I discovered your blog, and each time your posts make me happy! Love all the happy colors you show us. The cross stitch patterns are lovely!
Have a happy week!
Greetings from the Netherlands,
Elly

Jenny said...

I love the sampler you've done for Cross Stitcher Helen... what an idyllic house it is, I would like to live somewhere like that too! You know I actually never used to be into samplers much, I used to think they were rather dull(!) and a bit old lady-ish! But have changed my mind this last year or so, I am definitely going to try cross-stitching one like that once my crochet bug has been satisfied! Have a great week, Jenny x

notes of sincerity said...

Oh I absolutely love your cross stitch sampler reference. Is there any way you can tell me where I may find the patterns?
Sincerely, Trish

Alix said...

I love the 'apples and pears' sampler and am thinking a trip to WH Smith may be on the cards tomorrow as I can think of the perfect recipient! I love samplers and have three surrounding me when I sit at my sewing machine!
X

Cozy Little House said...

Oh, I have hope! I use to love to stitch and embroider. Then about ten years ago I had a car accident and subsequent surgeries on my hands and wrists. Which made stitching very hard, due to ensuing arthritis. Your big letters on the child's pillow are something perhaps I could do! I'm so glad I saw them today.
Brenda

clare said...

Gorgeous Clare xx

flowers on my table said...

Hi Helen, your samplers and cushions are really lovely. I love samplers too. There is something so wonderful about words and pictures together, just like on your lovely blue china. Many thanks for your recent kind words, I do really love to hear from you. Wishing you a lovely creative and happy week, love Linda x

Hippywitch said...

I love the red and white French sampler! How lucky you were to find that. I'm busy making the little houses from Cross Stitcher this month, they are brilliant, think I'm going to make more of these :-)

Teje said...

Dear Helen, every photo here is so beautiful! For me there is some magic with letters ... I love your cross stitching and the samplers! I have never done any but always looking them with a great interest!
Have a lovely time!
xxx Teje

Annie said...

Loving the colours in that sampler :D

Thrifty Household said...

Thank you for the encouraging comments left on my blog (from a fellow blue & white addict too I note...)
I'm impressed by your embroidery on the samplers. I've done bits of embroidery but easily get side tracked & tempted away. I'm half way through a face on a rag doll for my niece's birthday at the moment. I need to re-do the mouth as it's turned out to be a rather sulky looking face!

Jane said...

They are all gorgeous samplers Helen. The cheerful bright colours are just right to cheer up such a dull wet day as it is today! Your old one from abroad was a really good find.
Jane x

T's Daily Treasures said...

I too love all your blues! And I love samplers. I have made many over the years and have several framed and hanging. Love that antique one you found in France. We just returned from Paris on Saturday. I so wanted to go to Les Puces but we never made it. I wonder what treasures I would have found. :) Hope your day is great. Tammy

moonstruckcreations said...

Gorgeous cross stitching - I used to loads of cross stitch but have been doing more crochet and hand sewing of late - but seeing your pictures makes me want to do some cross stitch NOW!!

Is the magazine still on sale?

Helenxx

millefeuilles said...

Dear Helen,

There is something very reassuring about alphabet books for small children and, to me, there is a small step between reading them over and over again, to one's children or grandchildren, and stitching an alphabet sampler for them. I love cross stitch samplers, sometimes the bigger the better!

Your cushion is gorgeous with those bright, bold, and complementary colours married with the smaller motif fabric. Happy inducing ;-)

A BIG thank you for thinking of my giveaway. So much generosity is heartwarming.

Stephanie

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Helen,
Love your beautiful samplers. All your work is so special. I use to do a lot of x-stitch when it was really popular and my kids were young. I think it's a such fun, but unfortunately it's harder now for my eyes to follow the lines. Sad, but true!! Hope you are having a good week.
xoRobin❤

koralee said...

I adore cross stitch...I use to do it all the time..still have a few unfinished projects...your greengate pieces are sooo lovely. xoxo

Madelief said...

Dear Helen,

Thank you for letting us now about your blue china. I think it is really lovely and will try to find it in Holland.

The samplers look beautiful. I made to samplers when my girls were still young, but nowadays I cannot find the time. I still have a beautiful one laying in my cupboard, to hopefully finish one day.....

Lieve groet, Madelief x

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Oh Helen I want to live in your house full or gorgeous bright colours and the greys skys of winter are drawing in. I really must start another cross stitch design - it has been too long.

cathleen said...

Oh, I adore your samplers. I stitched many, many samplers on a very boring secretarial job I had back in the '80's. And now, some hang on my walls and some are put away...somewhere! Stephanie at Millefeuilles is such a lovely lady!

cathleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mia said...

Your samplers are just beautiful, Helen! I love all the alphabetical things, and they seem to pop up in autumn (in my mind), when the school's start again :)

And that beautiful blue china again... Just so me, I love it!

Happy day!

Yours,
Mia

Felicity said...

Hi Helen, I'm really pleased to have found your blog, I love your designs and the colours you use are so lovely they always seem Spring like to me!
Fliss xxx

paintdropskeepfalling said...

If I was ever going to cross stitch then your new sampler pattern would do it for me! The colours are lovely.

Pomona said...

I have a lovely sampler made by my great great grandmother for my great grandmother - I have it on my bedroom wall and read the poem on it everyday!

Pomona x

Conny's Cottage said...

Hello,


you have very lovely plankets.

greatings send you Conny

Fabric Letter said...

love to make these things , i probably did last month, it was a great weekend ever.