Stitching, whether woven, sewn, crocheted, knitted or tatted etc, takes practice and repetition to master. Traditionally, practice sessions are compiled in a sampler where the needlework is performed to build rhythm, and learn a series of stitches before moving on to the next project where a display of mastery is the desired outcome.
The beauty of samplers is in their wabi-sabi-ness, allowing the learning process to shine through. This primitive rawness draws me in, celebrating handwork that might not be mastery but rather experimental. Check out this curated collection of samplers.
Samplers often include the name of the maker and date of completion adding a second dose of connection and appreciation, honoring the person behind the stitches. A sampler collection of practice stitches, sometimes depict scenes, an alphabet, or stitched message, with primary function focused on learning and experimentation.
Finished samplers are sometimes framed and hung as wall art. Other samplers are designed with function in mind. Woven samplers are often used as table runners, knit samplers used as scarves, and embroidered or cross-stitched samplers double as pin cushions or needle books.
Around the CRISPINA studio, samplers double as blanket components in our Stitch-A-Long collaboration. This enables people who are stitching for the very first time and those with years of experience to work together creating something much greater than the sum of its parts.
Have you made a sampler? Got any sampler stories? Leave a comment below to share….