Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Girlhood Sampler of a Fictional Character

The Girlhood Sampler of a Fictional Character

This is a photo I’ve wanted to share with my readers ever since my last book was published. Those familiar with my story, Lessons at Blackberry Inn, may be interested in seeing what I’ve made to be Carol Weaver’s girlhood sampler. Carol is the main character of the story, a hard-working homeschooling mother who lives in the 1930s and follows Miss Charlotte Mason’s words of advice. One afternoon, while rummaging in the attic with her friend Emma, Carol came across her old sampler. You can see that she stitched her sampler at age eleven and signed it with her maiden name: Young.


Actually this is my first sampler. I stitched it on fiddler’s Aida cloth during the year I was writing the book. The basic design is from the company, “Words of Praise.” Altering it somewhat in color and design to suit my fancy, I added bleeding hearts and owls.

My Soul is Fed with Needle and Thread

I’ve been inspired by the prolific needle arts of my good friend Susana. Admiring her handwork has influenced me to delve into the world of historical samplers. I have stitched some on linen that I hope to share with you in days to come. A needle in hand relaxes me. In times of stress I look forward to dedicating twenty soothing minutes with a needle and thread even if it is just sewing on a button or mending a torn pocket. What makes handwork so calming is that unlike other aspects of our lives, there is no rush or noise about it. Could you use a little calm in your life that a needle and thread could provide?

9 comments:

  1. Hi Karen,

    The sampler is so beautiful! You are right about how soothing needlework can be not only to our daily lives, but it calms our hearts and our souls, and sometimes I feel like it makes the world 'stand still' for the times while I am sewing or doing crocheting or knitting. Your blog is really nice, and I will be happy to recommend it to my friends. Very peaceful and friendly. :) Jean in MD

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  2. Dear Jean,
    Thank you for sharing how you can relate to the calm of a needle. I remember seeing your "work in progress" of the colorful horn-of-plenty cross stitch. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.
    Karen

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  3. Hi Karen!

    Welcome to the blogging world. :-) Hope you enjoy it!

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  4. Karen, I love it and the new blog- thanks for sharing!

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  5. Debra,
    Thank you for your warm welcome.
    Karen A.

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  6. Jennifer Draper (Maine)June 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Karen, your samplers are beautiful! I really enjoy counted cross-stitch samplers. Some of my favorites are the Cedar Hill Designs Shaker samplers.

    Have you done any red work? I am currently working on red work squares for a Colonial American history quilt. I found them here:
    http://www.needle-n-motion.com/Colonial_Redwork_Quilt.html

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  7. Hello Jennifer,
    I introduced red work to the girls who attended my Beautiful Girlhood teas, some years back. One girl finished her design at home and entered it into the country fair. She received a ribbon. That same year, with a few homeschool friends, we visited an historic museum in Rockport, Maine and what was on display but an old quilt that was red and white calico squares? In alternating squares were figures outlined in red work. I've always wanted to make a pillow sham in red work ever since (a smaller project).
    Karen A.

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  8. Hi Miss Karen,
    I have followed you for years. I have read all of and own all of your books, use most of what you recamend, and love it, and have just looked up to you. Thank for helping me in my homeschooling, wife, homemaking journey. You are simply amazing.
    The only question that I have is this, will you be coming out with a book to follow Lessons? I have read and re-read both pockets and lessons over and over and love them and cherish them. But, with that said I'm ready to find out how Carrol is doing with the new baby etc.... I'm sure you get this question alot, but I just love reading your writings, all of them.

    Thank you for your time, love, and encouragement through the years,
    Michelle

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  9. Dear Michelle,
    Welcome. It is so good to hear that our family's cbd product reviews have been helpful. Thank you.

    Carol and her new baby in "Lessons at Blackberry Inn," are vivid in my mind. You've warmed my heart, Michelle, with your sharing. Another story would be forthcoming if "Blackberry Inn" was selling. Alas, it is such an odd sort of book that mothers hesitate to purchase it. Curriculum is expedient. A book for themselves, to read in their leisure (what little they have) is not seen as expedient. I've always known this. I took the risk, however, because I desired to minister to a mother's soul by offered "a look" at the life of another busy mother who loves her family. In sympathizing with Carol a mother might glean practical ideas in a more gentle and personal way.

    Friends telling friends is the best kind of advertisement a book can have.

    Happy to have you as a reader here.
    Karen

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