Spring Sampler

Have you met our good friend Susan? Susan Ache? Our proclaimed cross-stitch queen? If you’ve not yet met this stitchy magician (@yardgrl60 on Instagram), you are in for a TREAT. Susan shares her passion for needle and thread (always Aurifloss & always 2 strands stitched over 2!) with anyone who will listen and we’re fairly sure she’d go door to door if we lived in different times! She turns our tiny little wooden spools of floss into remarkable mini masterpieces, charts them up, and shares them with the world. She won’t stop until she has converted the masses to using Aurifloss and who are we to stop her? 

To learn all about Susan and her background, take a peek at her very first interview with us right HERE. Little Quaker Christmas is where our stitchy love affair began and we’ve just been having one big cross-stitch party ever since. Her latest collection was Little Quaker ABC, released last Fall. Read more about that one right HERE. She is a genius with color and we adore each and every box she curates, but we admit, we’re also suckers for her red & white series.  

Today, we’re delighted to share her latest, a chart originally intended for a bit of Summer fun, but who can wait for that?? We decided starting a month early would be way more fun! We’re welcoming Susan here to Auribuzz today to tell you all about it — we can’t wait to see your fabulous stitchy makes!

HUGE thanks to Susan! 

It’s always fun to be invited to come back to Aurifil to talk with everybody! It’s Susan again and you can find me on Instagram @yardgrl60 to see what I am up to.

I had all the best intentions of waiting until summer to release this new chart…  But, I am horrible at waiting and had to give you a new surprise stitch project, one that I hope will last you from spring into your summer days. You know that summer is always about cramming everything you can into the long hot days before the sun sets. Well, I designed this cross stitch with exactly that in mind… cramming everything I love into one sampler! You’ll have it at the ready whenever you have a moment or just feel the need to just stitch. Click HERE or on the button below to download the FREE pattern PDF.

Normally, I wouldn’t be just talking about a sampler, because we all know how to sit and stitch and pick a spot to start. But, this is something new from me to you and I thought you would want a little guidance for the first couple of steps. The biggest difference in this sampler compared to the others is that I stitched this on a 16 count Aida cloth. Not my normal choice, but it makes the weaving and the blackwork easier to see, which makes the whole process more enjoyable, particularly if you’re new to this technique.

I am quite in love with samplers that include a weaving technique or linen darning and have spent a fair amount of time figuring out the perfect size cloth to play with. The 16 count cloth is such an even weave. Working with it allows more visibility so that you can see where you are going and can admire your results more quickly. For the weaving, you will go back and forth, over and under just like you would expect with weaving, but you also will be working in between the normal holes, so you are splitting the stitches.  I did use the same 2 strands of embroidery floss to do this throughout. Weaving is just over and under, copy the lines and once you get the hang of it you can pretty much do it without the pattern sheet in front of you. I have chosen simpler designs for this particular sampler to help you get your feet wet (without sacrificing style, of course!). Remember, there are tons and tons of weaving patterns out there for you to work on and they all look different using the same technique — just over and under. With the 16 count you go over the one block from hole to hole. That’s why I have chosen that one, but I have had great success in using either a 28 count evenweave or a linen and working over two. It’s just more time consuming and requires more concentration.  

Blackwork– or backstitch– is just that, there are no cross stitches involved. You are just outlining the entire pattern. I have thrown a few of those in for good measure. Once again, the 16 count is perfect for this technique if you’re a beginner! I use 2 strands of embroidery floss here as well. 

The rest of the sampler is just for fun and essentially represents everything I love to see in a sampler all wrapped up in a small little space, which is exactly what summer is to me. Everything fabulous in such a small period of time. While my sampler is done up in red again, you don’t need to do it that way! I chose it because I’m still working on my red sampler wall project for myself and that’s pretty much all I think about.  So, my suggestions is this: make a puddle of your favorite embroidery colors in your lap and just grab a color you love to work with for each section. You don’t need a major plan, just stitch. A big puddle– use the floss one time in your sampler or follow the rules of odd numbers, which means use them, 1, 3, or 5 times throughout your sampler. I would just suggest moving them around to make the colors seem random.

— Chart is 241  x 140
— Susan used a 16ct evenweave
— Sample uses 2 strands of Aurifloss in 2250
— Susan stitched over 1
— Chart finishes at roughly 14-3/4” x 8-1/2”

You also know I am an excellent cheerleader, so let’s make sure that we use #aurifilspring for this sampler so that we (Aurifil and I!) can all can share your excitement over your magnificent stitches and cheer you on.  Hashtags never go away and are always there for inspiration, so use them often on your hunt and with your work so it can be seen.

Remember, it’s not a race, this is all for fun and it’s another reminder that sitting and stitching is your enjoyment… so take your time, enjoy the process, and love the results.

Until next time… happy stitching!

We are ever grateful to Susan for sharing all of this stitchy magic with us and hope that you have a bit of fun with this one! Will you stitch it up with a single color? Change the colors up? Find your own pool of floss? We can’t wait to see your progress!

Click here for access to download all PDFs. Click here for the Collecting Colors SAL and here for the Sanctuary SAL.

Instagram — Susan’s BookA love of color makes it easy for Susan to grab inspiration from her native Florida surroundings. With no grand idea other than knowing she wanted embroidery and nine patches in her first quilt, a new world opened up to this mom of now five grown children. Being self taught with many hours of reading about the makings of a quilt and quilt blocks has made this a lifelong passion. Susan is always searching for new and fun ways to show off as many colors as she can in a quilt. Most of her quilts are a creative impulse from trips to the garden center, a photograph, or browsing through paint chip selections. “I really never see just the quilt, I seem to see the quilt in the room that it belongs in”.  Working in a quilt store for years helped Susan to pursue that passion of color and the fabric inspired life she enjoys while constantly striving to make her next favorite quilt.

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