This month we sit down with Bob of Winderwood Farm. Bob has been stitching Scarlet Letter samplers for years and is sharing some of his wonderful finishes with us. You will not believe what his first sampler was…. he definitely jumped in with both feet! I hope you enjoy his interesting story!
How old were you when you first picked up a needle and who taught you to stitch? What was the first sampler that you stitched?
I started stitching when I was 23, newly married, I was at the Strong museum in Rochester, New York and they had the original sampler of the Shepherdess. In the gift shop they had a repro kit by the Examplarery. I had to buy it and try, and I was hooked! No one told me I needed a beginners one to start with. However, I stitched this with no problems, that’s because I did not know any better!
What is your favorite time of day to stitch?
Any time I can steal to stitch is a good time. Somehow most of the time I have is in the evening. I just need to know when to stop and go to bed!
Do you sit in a set place and what tools do you like to have on hand?
At the moment the living room is being redone so I sit where ever I can to stitch. Normally I have my corner where I have a side table and my wingback chair. On the table I have a three drawer spool box where I keep my scissors, tomato pin cushion and needle threader in along with my glasses. I have little toys in the box I get out from time to time like my sewing bird.
Do you use the stick and stab technique, or a sewing stitch?
Stick and stab...
Do you prefer to stitch in hand, or with a hoop or frame?
I use a frame on a floor stand. I have ordered the millennium frames, floor and table stands as well… just awaiting their arrival. Seventeen years ago I lost my dominate arm to infection, having just the dumb one left I needed to figure out how I was going to continue to stitch. The first thing I did coming home from the hospital was to grab a tomato pin cushion and a loran needle threader. I put my pin in the cushion, slid the threader through the eye of the needle and laid my floss upon it. It worked!! Next was a floor stand and I was back stitching!
What is your favorite linen and thread?
I have a couple of yards of a hand-woven uneven linen. This is my all time favorite. I can no longer get it so I do not use it often.
My favorite thread is silk. I am fussy, I use silk, danish flower thread or wool that I dye myself. Nothing else.
Have you tried specialty stitches and do you have a favorite?
I have tried almost every stitch I have been able to find. I like most but my favorite is the queen stitch, I think it looks wonderful stitched on a piece.
When did you discover the Scarlet Letter?
I found the Scarlet Letter in 1989 when I bought a catalog but did not order. At that time my children were little and there was no extra money. I was able to start purchasing in the early nineties.
What was the first Scarlet Letter sampler you stitched?
The chimney piece. I thought it was a wonderful piece and enjoyed stitching it.
What is your favourite period of sampler-making and why?
17th and 18th century, because I like the looks of this time period and the pictures on many are just awesome! I like so many I need four lifetimes!
Currently Bob is working on Ruthy Rogers and making wonderful progress……
|Ruthy Rogers in progress|
Amazing stitching on all, Bob! And I agree with you, I need four lifetimes too to stitch all that I wish to! Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are truly an inspiration to us. We look forward to your stitching updates.
Bob is very generous to sponsor this month’s giveaway so remember to post an update to be included in the drawing!