When our plans for last weekend fell through, it cleared up time for me to pull out some floss and fabric, and make some tough decisions. Next year, my EGA chapter is celebrating its 40th anniversary. To mark this milestone, we'll be holding an exhibit of our work. As part of the exhibit, our members have been challenged to create a 7" square piece of needlework, in any technique and design. The only stipulation is that it have a border around the outer edge.
I decided to adapt a blackwork class, called Swiss Spot Sampler, that I had started a few years ago, but didn't finish. The class was a correspondence course offered by the EGA. While I loved the sampler, it was quite big and I stopped working on it. But the designer, Ilse Altherr, offered the option to students of taking some of the motifs from it and stitching a smaller sampler. I had actually started to design a smaller sampler, but still larger than 7" x 7". For the 40th anniversary challenge, I took the border and some of the motifs from the Swiss Spot Sampler, but I also added a few motifs from other sources. Once I had the design in place, my next decisions were about fabric and threads. This isn't as easy as it may seem. I knew I needed a 28 count fabric, so that limited some of my choices. I finally narrowed it down to three light colored pieces in my stash.
Next step was to pick out threads and colors. I decided to start with the colors from the original design, even though I wasn't crazy about some of those colors. But then I went through my stash and pulled out colors that called to me. The border will be a dark blue, and the frog in the lower right hand corner will be green. So my starting points were blue and green. A warm color was next, and I selected red and dark pink threads. My neutrals are browns, although dark blue functions as a neutral also. I chose a beigey-yellowish fabric as the best piece to show off the colors. It was quite a job to select the right colors and fabric. The possibilities seemed endless, and I spent most of the day on this. I may not use all the threads I have for this piece, but I do love the colors.