From Bands Stitches and Motifs into Samplers: A Sampler Design Notebook Workshop

Date: 4/5/2003
Time: 9:00-4:00
Type: Workshop
Location: Glen Ellyn Library
Teacher: Linda Driskell

your love of needlework samplers and a desire for a taste of designing. (Even if you
think you don’t have a designing bone in your body, this class will make designing
easy). And I will bring a collection of sampler bands along with charts and detailed
step-by-step instructions and diagrams of each band. The photos of the bands are individual
and can be cut apart to promote the selection, mixing and matching, and positioning
the photos in the order you choose to create your own Heirloom sampler. Many helpful
hints for beginning your special sampler will be offered. Whether you are a beginner
or an experienced stitcher, this class will be an adventure for you. We will discuss
design, stitches, inspiration, suitable fabrics and threads, and how to begin your
Heirloom Sampler. We will review the familiar stitches and patterns in the workbook
and I will teach the techniques and stitches that are new to the class. You’ll enjoy
going through a journal of wonderful stitches as I share an abundance of information
and variations from my personal reference notebook as well as many ideas for their
use. Many helpful tips that you can use in all your needlework will be offered in
class. You may doodle (please bring your favorite doodle fabric) or begin your sampler
in class. Complete step-by-step instructions, many diagrams, and helpful tips will
be included to help perfect your stitching technique. The stitches for this class
will range from basic to super advanced to enable you to spread your creative wings
and fly…


DESIGN SIZE: The student may elect to begin a sampler of the size she desires.


SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate to advanced level.


MATERIALS IN KIT: White Dublin linen, 25 ct., (or the student may request white
Congressa, formerly called Soft
Congress Cloth, 24ct.), a collection of floss, rayon and pearl cotton, sizes 5, 8,
and 12. Needles, very detailed step-
by-step instructions with many charts, diagrams and photos as pages for your reference

White fabric with white or ecru pearl cotton and a collection of
flower, grass, and butterfly colors of floss are included to be used as you wish.

COST OF KIT: $40.00 plus teaching fee. Total maximum
cost of the workshop is $110.

SUPPLIES THE STUDENT SHOULD BRING TO CLASS: Scroll frame with 14″ tape or suitable
support for the fabric. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen. Small sharp scissors, light
and magnifier, if necessary for your stitching comfort. Colored basting thread. Two
cotton balls. Paper cutting scissors. Any other usual stitching supplies you may desire.

Linda Driskell
Designer & Teacher 
Needlecrafts Unlimited Co. 
P.O. Box 4333, 2500 Forrest Avenue 
Gadsden, Alabama 35904 
(256) 546-1099 Fax (256) 546-1299 


Leslie Lewis, our president, opened the meeting with the following announcements:

  • Invite your friends to attend one of our upcoming workshops! They can attend by paying
    an additional $15 fee to become an associate member.
  • A maximum cost will be published for each workshop based on the minimum number of
    attendees (which is 10). If more people sign up for the workshop, the cost will go
    down, but it will never exceed the maximum cost. Many members have requested this
    to help them plan which workshops they can attend throughout the year.
  • There was a change announced to the maximum cost for the July blackwork and goldwork
    workshop “Tudor Rose” presented by Lynn Skinner. The maximum cost will be $120. 
  • There was a change announced to the maximum cost for the June workshop Elegant Sewing
    Accessories in Stumpwork presented by Marsha Papay-Gomola. The maximum cost will be
  • Kathy Staples will be here in May to give a slide lecture on “Samplers and Embroidery
    of the Colonial South”. Mark your calendars so you don’t forget. Kathy is a fantastic
    presenter and you won’t want to miss it!
  • The second Marsha Papay-Gomola workshop “Autumn Still Life” has been cancelled. 
  • On Sunday, June 6th, we will have a 2003 Stitch-In and Marsha will present a trunk
    show. There will be a special surprise given to those who attend! Bring your current
    project and stitch while you hear about what projects others are working on. This
    meeting will be at Health Track.
  • Carol Schaal announced that the next issue of the newsletter will be mailed by the
    end of the week.
  • Please note the name of the workshop you are registering for in the memo field on
    your check. This will help our treasurer keep track of which workshops you have paid
  • Deposits for workshops are due at sign up. The balance must be paid on or before the
    day of the workshop.

As the next item on our meeting agenda, Kathy Joassin provided some additional hints
for those who are working on the 2003 project. She explained how to stitch slips for
the flower petals that use detached buttonhole stitch. She had multiple examples for
us to look at. Each used different types of thread or different number of strands.
Kathy will also be available to assist with questions on the 2003 project at the June

Cross stitch

April program was presented by Linda Driskell. Linda began by sharing some of her
background with us. She started stitching in 1973 and her interest in stitching expanded
so much that she opened a needlework shop in 1976. Back in those days, there were
not a lot of cross stitch shops. Other crafts like knitting were more popular. Also,
there were not a lot of books on how to stitch. One of Linda’s missions in life is
to document how many of the more exotic stitches are done. Linda said that her husband
has collected many antique linens. She has studied them and analyzed the stitches
used. She wants to make sure they are recorded before the threads and linen deteriorate
so much that they disappear. Consequently, Linda has also become an author. She has
written multiple books that document in great detail how these stitches are done.
Recently her works have been extended to include two mystery stories along with corresponding
needlework projects.

response to a friend that could no longer attend classes at her needlework shop, Linda
does an heirloom sampler project as a correspondence course each year. You get the
materials to stitch the sampler and then get a pattern each month.

Linda says she is addicted to drawn thread. She showed us many slides of her designs
and explained the variety of stitches that they contain. She also provided us with
words of wisdom like “If no one tells you that a stitch is difficult, you’ll just
dive right in and do it!” We’ll all have to try to  remember that as we work
on some of the more challenging stitches in Linda’s designs!

Cross stitch

Click on any of the pictures below to see a larger image.


Linda brought many samplers for us to examine and admire. She also bought many of
her books, charts and kits for us to buy.

No one could pass up another opportunity to increase the size of their stash!

Cross stitch

Kathy Joassin brought in a finished sampler: Mary O’Gleed from the Scarlet Letter
for us to admire. Make sure you check out Adam and Eve and the wonderful apples on
the tree below. Kathy said that they really weren’t hard to do. She also explained
that she changed the stitch used on the lamb. 

Cross stitch

Some of our other members shared works in progress. Several members mentioned that
they “defected” and are doing needlepoint projects as an alternative to cross stitch
for variety. 

Cross stitch

Thanks to all of our members who participated 
in our meeting this month!

Don’t forget to bring along your projects to share for 
show and tell at our next meeting in May!