Midsummer Morning

comments: 44





Over the weekend the weather was so nice, and I said really strange things like, "I'm hot!" and "It's hot out here!" [pointing to the yard] and "It's hot in there!" [pointing toward the house]. WEIRD. Ah, but it did not last. Today dawns chill and pale, but since it's the longest day of the year we have a lot of time to turn that around, and they say it will happen. Sun, it seems, will be ours today, and I intend to celebrate.

I finished the pattern for my new sampler and it pleased me very much! A downloadable PDF pattern and chart for the Midsummer Sprigs ABCs cross stitch sampler is now available here in my web shop. This sampler was inspired by the book The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock and the cut-paper flower mosaics made by 18th-century English artist Mary Granville Delany. Mary Delany began making her gorgeous collages at the age of seventy-two, and over the next sixteen years (until her eyesight failed at age eighty-eight) created over one thousand botanically accurate paper flowers. This sampler is my tribute to her work.

I would love to have done a kit for this one but I have a lot of different things going on right now and something had to give. If you don't have a counted cross stitch shop in your area and need supplies, I highly recommend calling Jeannine at Acorns and Threads (503-292-4457), my amazing local shop here in Portland. Jeannine and her staff can get you set up with fabric and floss. This pattern calls for a LOT of different colors of hand over-dyed floss from one of my favorite suppliers ever, Weeks Dye Works. (The WDW Retailers page can help you find their flosses in your area, too — but I would call any shop they list and ask them if they have these flosses before heading out.) Since I truly intended to kit this sampler, I was not very conservative in my design and used quite a large palette. If you like counted cross stitch, I don't think it is ever a bad idea to invest in as many hand over-dyed flosses as you can manage. But they are more expensive than DMC flosses, so if your budget only allows for buying a few at a time, I've included my DMC conversions for every color in the pattern, and indicated which WDW colors I would substitute first with DMC floss and get more or less the same look.

The fabric I used is 28-count Cashel linen in black from Zweigart. Their web site is under construction but the linen can be found at Acorns and Threads and also from many on-line retailers who sell it in fat-quarter cuts. (You need an 18" x 18" piece for this sampler, so a fat quarter at 18" x 27" will work great.) If you have trouble finding anything, just let me know and I will help you!

Black can be a little tricky to stitch on, but Jeannine (without whom I probably never would have started cross stitching, way back many years ago when I first moved here) gave me a tip when I started this last spring: Put a white dish towel on your lap and then you will be able to easily see the holes in the fabric. It really works. And that reminds me, if you are new to counted cross stitch, you may want to read my tutorial on it to get you started.

Anyway, it feels good to get this finished and I really hope you like it! The sun has just come out here in the past few minutes, the birds are singing out my window now, and it looks to be a glorious morning. What a lovely world we have. xoxo


Beautiful! Bonjour from Normandie France x

god midsommar, alicia! It was a stunning summer day up here in Seattle - what a gift, truly! I got out and weeded a very weedy bed in preparation for our now-traditional annual Swedish Midsommar party which we're throwing on Saturday. Tomorrow things kick into high gear: I'll cure a beautiful piece of wild salmon into gravlax, pickle beets, and marinate herring in a mustard sauce. Friday I bake the rye and make all the meatballs and buy heaps and heaps of flowers (some I'll nick from parks and alleyways - because wild flowers and wild grasses are just the thing!) to make crowns and boutonneirs for all of our guests. Your little breakfast wreath of pea greens would be right at home! =)

lovely lovely lovely!

Look at your beans! (Or peas?) How exciting!!

I got my peas in the ground not long ago -- worried it's a bit late, but what can you do. Prepping ground to start thinking about tomatoes and melons. I had a delicious melon last year and I saved the seeds -- we'll see what they do in the ground.

I have been so enchanted by your photographs lately. The leaves and twigs seem to have an extra crispness to them, extra snap. I feel as though I could reach out and touch them.

It's lovely! I love your stitchery!

Beautiful sampler, really lovely. I am working on your Winter Woodlands sampler at the moment and I'm really enjoying it. You are so very talented. Thank you for your fantastic blog, I always stop by, and wishing you a very happy summer solstice. Hoping the sun has come out for you; unfortunately it hasn't here in southwest England, but I am still loving the long days.

I love Acorn and Threads. Reading your blog introduced me to it. I have falled in love with cross stitch again. I am also have fallen in love with samplers and I found one that shows the Bennett house and all 5 girls. I am so enjoying stitching away. Hopefully I will be able to do a few tonight but it's too pretty here in Portland today.

I love how sparkly and crisp your photos are. We are on day 2 of triple digit weather here in NYC... +Chelsea

kathleen says: June 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

we just came back from west texas, southern part by Big Bend. Hot, hot hot and dry and oh yeah hot. was also windy, my eyes were burning and they felt like they were going to burn out of the sockets. But, we had a blast. Love your new sampler, plan on calling Acorn & Threads to get supplies.

So jealous of actual peapods. Mine are blooming like crazy but no pods yet. Such a wet, dismal spring, mine didn't get planted until the last week of April.
On a good note, I ate the first blueberry last night.

Thanks for the link to the book Paper Garden. It's a gem.

lots and lots of RAIN here in England! Our summer has not really started yet but we must BELIEVE!! and our garden, like yours, is looking lovely. Wondering if your sampler would work with a dark charcoal grey... or would that spoil the intended effect?

Alicia, I love this sampler. I will definitely buy it. I am hoping to find time for your last one (I bought the kit) and this one now, before I am old and gray!

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Oh my goodness, i need to get my finger out and get a move on! You are causing an embroidery project logjam in my house. I just finished the alphabet which i adore. I have my winter sampler waiting.... well it was waiting for winter but I see your prolificness(?!sp?!) and the english summer are combining to tell me something!I'm going to call it winter and Im off to start sewing so i can justify the need for your latest amazing project. I love all of your work, just build in a bit of a small break for us slow sewers to catch up! x

Beautiful sampler .... I just adore the black background.

Have a happy week.
Fleur xx

Een heerlijke wereld inderdaad ... en het vastleggen van het zo goed in uw foto's. Alicia, het licht in je foto's is altijd gewoon prachtig. Ik probeer uit te breken uit de automatische stand op mijn DSLR, en je hebt me geïnspireerd! Hartelijk dank voor al het moois u naar onze wereld.

I'm also interested as Cynthia is in finding more information about the fabric. It would really mean a lot to both of us. I'm going to pick up The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock from my library today. I'm hoping the book will inspire me to drive more deeply into my creativity.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com