Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Angel Pavement Sampler Update


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Last week, I mentioned the Long Dog Sampler that I’m using to teach my niece how to do counted cross stitch. Here’s an update on our progress…

The Long Dog Sampler, Angel Pavement, is proving fun to work, due to the variety of little motifs. I’m glad we chose 28 count linen to work the sampler on – it is ending up looking like little petit point squares, which is nice.

By the end of the weekend, we had both worked several of the designs within the squares on the sampler, leaving the backgrounds blank. I don’t know if this is the “best” way to go about this kind of work. I was thinking it might be a better idea, stitch-wise, to have several working threads going at one time, and simply stitching in rows. If we did this, I think the stitches would end up much more precise.


It just seems more fun to work the design in the square first, then fill in around it with the background. Any avid counted cross-stitchers out there? Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to approach stitching completely filled areas? Let me know!

Long Dog Sampler - counted cross stitch - Angel Pavement

You can see in the first square at the top that the background has been filled in. In the subsequent squares, the design is being worked first, and then we’re filling in the backgrounds.

Long Dog Sampler - counted cross stitch - Angel Pavement

So far, I haven’t made any changes in the sampler, except on this square. On the original design, the date is 2007, but I thought it appropriate to change the 7 to a 9!

Last night, I did start stitching in the background on this purple bird fellow. The background is a pale yellow. It’s amazing how the color of the background really changes the look of the motif, and I’m eager to finish the background so I can compare a before and after, with the yellow background stitched in.

On the third block down in this strip, the background is black. I think that will drastically change the look of that square.

Anyway, so far so good. That’s pretty much where we are right now, though my niece may be a bit further ahead than I am at the moment! I need to meet up with her some time this week so we can compare results!

Other than that project going right now, I’ve been doing some studio cleaning and book organization, and planning another project which I will share with you soon. After a very rainy weekend, I was hoping for a sunny week to film two videos I want to make for you. Unfortunately, the rain lingers! But all the green things are growing – so when the sun does show itself next time, I’m sure it’s going to be a brilliant spring world out there!

I’m still debating about this needlework shop hop for the coming weekend. Six hours of driving?! I’m not sure! Now, if I had a chauffeur and I could embroider the whole time, that would be decidedly different!

Enjoy your Wednesday!!


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(9) Comments

  1. Seems to me leaving the filling-in for a less brain-focused time (evening? while there’s more commotion around?)and saving the counting and color-changing part for quiet time is a good idea. It’s probably what I’d do, if I were ambitious enough to start a project like that. It does look beautiful. I really love the elder-younger component; what a gift to your niece and to the future of needlework by extension.

  2. What if you and your niece swop pieces (after she’s had her school assessment)? That seems like a nice idea to me.

  3. It is looking beautiful. I agree with everything you have said about x-stitch so far, but this piece is a lovely design.

  4. Looks like a fun sampler. Hope your niece is enjoying the project!

    If you are consistent with crossing every x the same direction, putting the needle in the hole (not splitting threads of the fabric or previous stitches), and keeping your tension the same the stitches should look precise no matter which technique you use. I think it does not make any difference. But I’m no expert. I can’t do multiple working threads in a small area… to many tangles. 😉

  5. Personal preference, but I wouldn’t leave all the background to the end. As someone said above do it when you’re feeling less focussed but as you go along.
    Finishing off lots of filling at the end might not keep your niece motivated in finishing the piece..
    Looking lovely!

  6. I agree with you about cross stitch but this sampler is great. And wonderful what you are doing with your niece. It’s lovely!

  7. I would do the fill as I go as well. Can’t imagine doing it all at once, but then I dislike “fill” — which is probably why I avoided “needlepoint” for many many years. When I was young a lot of needlepoint was still purchased canvases with all the flowers or design already filled in and all you did was the fill. I could think of nothing less boring. If I left all that fill for last, it would be a permanently UFO.

  8. Hi, All! Thanks for your comments. I agree about filling everything as the last step, too! I was thinking more in terms of filling just the little blocks on that strip. But then, after I took those pictures, we decided to do some filling in, to see the results of the background color – and wow! It really changes the look of the little square.

    For the squares around the border, we’re doing small sections of them. So, this is the left hand side of the border, and now we’re going across the top, then down the right side, then we’ll do the double base rows, two at a time.

    Thanks heaps for the input!!


  9. Hi Mary,

    Your sampler is looking so beautiful already. I am certain that your niece is really going to treasure this project of hers later in life. I really waiting to see the completed work

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