Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nashville Market is around the corner.

Hello Friends,

Wow!!!  Time just flew by in January without a minute to spare.  :)  This is always a very busy time of year and it only makes things worse when I get sick for a couple of weeks.  Boy, I have really had a time of it in terms of illnesses.  I just got over the last one and round two hit me in January. 

Feeling much better now and working hard to get models done for the Nashville Market which is the first weekend in March.  There will be at least three new patterns available at market.  The first new pattern available will be the reproduction sampler that I have already showed you a sneak peak of in a couple of past posts here on my blog.  One of the other new patterns will feature Ann Smith Blockley's Needlework Accessories, which includes pin cushions and needle books based on the motifs on Ann's sampler.  I let myself play with variegated silks and I think you will like the result.  And the other new pattern will be one I designed for the top of a rectangular embossed paper mache box which you can no longer find at craft stores.  Never fear, though, I have plenty of those boxes for awhile and they will be available at your local needlework store after the market. 

A sneak peak at one of the variations of Ann's needlework accessories is below.

On another note...Back when I started stitching reproductions in the 1998, there were quite a few stitchers who had very definite ideas about reproduction samplers.  There were fewer designers reproducing samplers and the purists liked to have the reproduction be as close as possible in size and coloring of the original.  Thus many people reproducing samplers at the time would find the fabric size that was close, use silks as close as possible to the type that might have been used and would always look at the back of the sampler for color choices.  This means that the sampler colors would often be very bright.  In addition the sampler was reproduced exactly so that mistakes were left in.  Currently, some of the newer designers reproducing samplers are doing whatever they like.  They change motifs to be symmetrical when they are not.  They don't leave in mistakes, but try to correct them when they can.  They don't chart from the colors on the back, but instead choose the colors they like better.  They often use variegated threads rather than silks which are probably closer to the original sampler.  I personally  have always thought of these designs as adaptations rather than reproductions.  Reproduction means to make something as exactly like the original as possible.
Don't get me wrong...I love some of the new things that designers are doing with old samplers!!  I have several of these patterns in my personal stash.  I even love to see what stitchers change in my designs that are reproductions.  I like the old look on the front too.  But when I reproduce a sampler, I strive to create a design as close as possible to the original.  Then you as the stitcher can reproduce it exactly or change whatever you like and make it your own.  Sometimes it's necessary to make a few changes in the counting between motifs as often those little girls would miss a thread or two.  :)  You could go nuts trying to follow a chart that attempts to show over one, over two or over three threads between motifs and I would go nuts charting it!!! 
Anyway, I am wondering what all of you think about this issue.  Do you like the pattern to be a true reproduction so you are the one who has the choice to make or not make changes?  I would really be interested in your feedback about this question.
Until Next Time...keep those needles busy.


  1. This is a difficult subject but I like the term adaptation rather than reproduction when a designer has strayed from the original.

  2. Hello Gloria,

    You and I are kindred spirits. I also chart as close to the original as possible. It is great fun to see what others produce from our charts.

  3. I agree with everything you said. I am a purist for the most part but also like the adaptations.

  4. Hi Gloria.

    I too am a purist when doing reproductions. I want them to be like the young girl did her original--quirky mistakes and all.

    I have done 3 adaptations in addition to my reproductions. Generally they were samplers that had pretty farish colors. Once I started changing the colors I knew I no longer had a true reproduction. That realization freed me to make other changes. I marked my samplers either as reproduction, historical adaptation, or original. I do not put old names or dates on the historical adaptations.

    Like you. I'm working on some needlework accessories using motifs from some of my antiques.

    Hope you have a great show in Nashville.

  5. reproductions are to be as close to the original as possible and adaptations are your own take on the sampler .... ... ie stick to what is charted ..mistakes , names of original stitcher etc and adaptations are to correct mistakes or use your own name and date ... or at least that's how I feel ... must say though when doing something as close as possible I would put my own name and the date stitched in the framing fabric margin :) hope that helps a wee bit :) love mouse xxxxx

  6. I think you are right. A reproduction should be as close as possible to the original and the rest are adaptations but ultimately I would love for designers to use motifs from older samplers and create their own designs with them.

  7. I agree with the others. I like a reproduction to be as close as possible to the original. If changes are made it is an adaptation. There is a place for both though I tend to like the reproductions.

  8. yes I agree - if someone strives and slaves to be completely accurate and true to the original - it should be considered a "reproduction" and if they didn't like the colors or stitches or straighten up mistakes - then it is their interpretation or "adaptation" of the original. I know stitchers love to make changes and that is certainly their choice. I prefer to try and stitch a "repro" as the designer I trust to translate. Nice topic ! Anxious to see your new designs melody

  9. I think it should be labeled "adaptation" if it's not historically reproduced as stitched. That being said, I know it's a lot of work, but I would love it if the fiber choices were provided for how it looks on the front since that is what probably drew you to the piece in the first place.

  10. Thank-you for all your replies regarding this subject. It's nice to know that my efforts to be true to the original sampler are appreciated by those who love reproductions.

  11. Thank goodness........other purists! I am not alone! I respect the past and love what little girls stitched. I think of these samplers as children's art. I love it, without a need to "fix" or "alter."

    I am reading the book on Norfolk samplers and there is a note that you will be reproducing a Norfolk sampler this year. Do you know when it will be available?

    I love your designs to. They are a lovely blend of the past and today.