Here's a companion piece to the WILDFLOWER SAMPLER I showed you previously. It's called BLUE RIBBON SAMPLER.
It features a totally different Hardanger motif in the center, with more blackwork elements, wrapped roses, and a slightly different ribbon border.
Again, it's stitched on ivory 24 ct. Congress Cloth, with a pale variegated thread - Caron's Wildflowers, 147, "Winter Sky." I particularly liked the blues and peaches in this soft colorway, and it really was the inspiration for the whole piece. [By the way, the Wildflowers thread is a soft, single-ply cotton with a matte finish, and very lovely to work with. It works perfectly on 24 ct. Congress Cloth, and it's nice because you don't have to lay multiple plies. You can, of course, also use 12-ply silk or 6-ply cotton floss on this project as well.]
Here's the center Hardanger motif:
You can see how nicely the diamond-shaped rows of klosters look like little flowers. Again, I used #8 and #12 pearl cottons for all the solid colors. And look how nicely the variegated thread shows off its colors as the straight-stitched frame around each Hardangered block. And notice those little eyelets that are used for flower centers in the outlying blackwork flowers....aren't they a good (and easy) way to create a little bit of texture?
And here are the various blackwork elements, as well as the sweet ribbon border (notice those little eyelet flowers mixed with the blackwork foliage):
I like the soft, faded colors in this piece, as well as how "traditional" it feels...it looks like an old-fashioned design, yet if you changed the colors - say, to bold reds and greens on a white canvas - it would look totally different.
I also like to mix & match different stitching techniques in one piece (or maybe you've already guessed that, huh?) I'm always curious to see how things looked mixed together: Hardanger and blackwork, variegated colors and solids, simple and complex stitches. The challenge is creating a balanced piece, where every element fits with all the others, so the piece is not only fun to stitch, but also remains enjoyable to look at long after you're done.