What a great weekend this has been! The Sampler Symposium, sponsored by The Attic Needlework, was held this weekend in Mesa, Arizona.
We began at 5 PM on Friday night with a few brief introductions of the Symposium staff and then were treated to a talk on a sampler with ties to Arizona history. The sampler is from the family of John Alsap, the first mayor of Phoenix. It is unknown who exactly made the original sampler. Perhaps it was the mother of Lorinda, whose death is noted on the sampler. It is also possible that Lorinda herself began this sampler and then it was completed later by someone else with the addition of the date of her death.
This sampler is due out at Market next month, but everyone at the symposium received an autographed copy! We also received a smaller project using parts of the sampler. It features the line, "Arizona My Home,” but can easily be changed with the substitution of the alphabet for those non-Arizonans.
This presentation was followed by a slide show of some of the many sampler ornaments Darlene Anderson has created. She decided to create a Christmas tree full of sampler ornaments in 2009 and has made 141 of them! We’ve all decided she is a turbo stitcher! Our suspicions were confirmed the next day at lunch when a couple of us asked how long it took her to stitch an ornament and were told it takes her about two evenings of stitching. She defines an evening as about two hours!! It was a lot of fun to see all of the many pieces she completed.
Last, but not least, on the evening’s agenda was Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers. All I can say is, “Wow!” She designed a special sampler, “Brother’s Keeper’” that features the story of Cain and Abel. This is also scheduled to be released next month but everyone at the symposium received one!
Paulette also designed a very special project, “A Lady’s Trimkeep,” and not only provided a copy of the chart, but also gave each of us a nicely packaged kit, complete with EVERYTHING we need to create it. Yes, she had the linen, full skeins of the Gentle Art threads (though we need but just a bit of each), buttons, backing fabric, corn cob filling and even the trims to store on it!
As if that wasn’t enough, she gave us a chart to commemorate our time at the symposium and showed a little needle holder she made with the design.
On top of all these fun projects to work on, we received a small notebook with a sampler cover and a package of needles.
That was quite a lot packed into just four hours! Watch for my next update when I'll share what we did on Day Two of the Symposium!