A little tribute to Jenny - part 6

traditional cross stitch sampler

Any regular visitor here will probably know a little of the history of Sum of their Stories, and that I started it as a way of sharing the enthusiasm for all types of craft that I had passed to me as a child from the wonderful creative women in my life. My mum and both of my grandmas were all ways making things and so I grew up thinking that’s what everyone did, it just passed into me via osmosis!

To say thanks and as a nod to them all, each year on what would have been their birthday I share something craft related that links to them. I started off by sharing things they had made that I still have but I’ve realised I can’t do that forever, I’m going to run out of things! So I broadened it out a bit to include things they taught me or craft things that I connect with them as well as things they made. You can see previous things here.

7th February was my mum Jenny’s birthday, so today I’m thinking about her.

Rather than showing you something she made I’m sharing something I made for her, as a Christmas gift, back in 2002.

As long as I can remember my mum had loved old embroidered samplers, she had books on them and would occasionally visit stately homes or museums where the really old ones where on display. I couldn’t buy her one of those, when they do very occasionally come up for sale they are REALLY expensive but I could make one for her in a traditional style. In 2002 our children were 8, 6 and 3 so finding time for cross stitch embroidery was a little bit tricky but I started in good time and kept the sampler to a manageable size.

My mum had two favourite passages from the bible. The one in 1 Corinthians, ‘Love is patient, love is kind’ etc and ‘Hold fast that which is good’ from 1 Thessalonians. As much as I love the Corinthians verses it was a little long for the time I had to make this sampler so I went with the shorter and more manageable verse and then tried to emulate the look of traditional samplers with the border and motifs.

I am happy to report that my mum liked it so much she cried when she opened it!

It was on display on the wall in her house until she died and then I put it in a cupboard for a few years. I knew I would put it up again eventually but I wasn’t quite ready to see it every day until we moved to our current house, 3 years ago and I found it a space.

traditional style sampler

Update: I’ve finally got round to sharing the chart of this design. You can find a really simple chart only version here on the blog and I have a more detailed version with the chart in symbols, a chart to change the year to whatever you like and suggested DMC thread colours for a nominal cost in my Etsy shop. Now you can stitch your own version if you’d like to but today I’m just remembering my mum and how pleased I am to have actually made her a gift that she’d always wanted in time for her to enjoy it for a while. If you have a loved one whose always wanted something and you have the means to give it to them - do it! Don’t wait until you have time, if I‘d have waited until I properly had time to make this sampler it would have been too late.

So today I’m thinking of my mum and remembering how much she encouraged me to enjoy all kinds of crafts, helping whenever she could.