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Tag Archives: Map of the Whole World
When people think of cross stitch samplers, they generally form a picture of a simple central motif, surrounded by a border, perhaps enhanced with an alphabet or quote in decorative stitching. In this article, I’d like to introduce you to a far more advanced form of sampler based on a possibly surprising topic…maps!
Stitchers commonly believe that map samplers originally had a dual purpose. They were a great medium for learning and displaying decorative needlework but were also an ideal way to teach geography. Today they are stitched out of personal attachment to particular areas or as gifts for friends with a completely ornamental purpose.
Although some maps are known to have been hand drawn, by the 1780s map outlines had been made available pre-printed onto fabric. They came all ready for embroidering. Far from being mere outlines, these maps would normally include some of the following kinds of embellishments:
a floral frame points of the compass the map title in a scroll banner ships in full sail around a coastline
While some stitchers focused on a single county or region, others stitched maps of European countries or even the world. Such large samplers as the those last were worked in one of two ways: as two flat panels showing the continents between them or in three dimensions as a globe.
Names of countries, counties and cities would typically be stitched in black using cross stitch, whereas coastlines and borders would often be stitched in coloured silks using stem stitch and reflecting the stitchers’ love of colour. Materials varied from woollen fabric to silks and satins, the latter being a popular choice for maps which depicted the whole world, and “threads” were known to include chenille and even bird feathers to create texture. This variety is reflected in modern cross stitch samplers too with charms, buttons, metallic threads and beading being used to add depth.
Giving a map the most natural feel possible meant that freestyle techniques and designs tended to be used in the 1700s, such as long and short stem stitches rather than the more rigid counted-thread techniques. Nowadays of course, there are a variety of map designs available which are completed purely in cross stitch and back stitch though they can be equally as complex, including motifs of churches or other famous landmarks.
The fashion for creating map samplers wasn’t as popular in America as it was in Great Britain. The most notable American examples were created by The Society of Friends, or Quakers, who taught children at their schools to make them, appreciative of their utilitarian value. The detailed silk globe samplers made at the Quaker Wesstown Boarding School in Chester County, Pennsylvania are among the finest of these.
As you can see, cross stitch samplers are not just a matter of basic motifs and letters but can in fact be large, complicated and very detailed projects depicting many different types of subject matter. The next time you think of buying a new cross stitch kit, why not try stitching the world? Better yet, why not design your own map? Either way, the effort it takes is more than matched by the sense of achievement on completion and picking an unusual topic makes your work stand out.
By Louise Allan
Article Source: ezinearticles.com Continue reading
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