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My very first reproduction sampler is done!  Had I not received the pattern as a Christmas gift, I would probably have never stitched it, and only admired it from afar.  I started it on January 14, 2012 and within two weeks, I gave up because of all the things that were wrong in the pattern – outside border running in the wrong direction, over-corrections to the original that caused the centering in the reproduction to be off, wrong colors, specialty stitches in the original replaced with cross-stitch (without mentioning it in the description).  The project sat for almost one year – I did not want to frog whatever I had already stitched, and the corrections seemed monumental. I picked it up again in January 2013, determined to finish it and do it well (darn it, if an 11-year old could stitch it, so could I). In hindsight, I think I stressed too much over it.  As a dear stitching friend kept reminding me through this labor: you CAN eat an elephant, one bite at a time!

Changing the entire color scheme from the pattern was not easy. Fortunately, several detail photos are available on the website of the auction house that sold the original sampler.  Having the full range of HDF silk colors in my arsenal also helped because I could calibrate my color choices until I had the perfect shade.  Despite all the challenges, or perhaps because of them, this has been a very satisfying project, and I am happy with the end result.  Here are some photos.

See the top red border running in the opposite direction from the inside border?  I had already stitched half the top border when the error was discovered.  I decided not to correct it – just did not seem worth the effort.

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This big tree was my favorite motif until I started stitching all those pesky birds around it.  Tiny critters that needed multiple color changes and remained almost invisible after all that effort!  I resisted the temptation to brighten up their colors because they are kind of hidden in the original sampler too.

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The over-one stitching for the verse was very easy due to HDF’s super-fine thread, which is half the thickness of regular floss.  I don’t think I could have handled stitching the verse over one on 40ct fabric otherwise!

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This is another favorite motif. I especially enjoyed stitching that urn.

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Towards the end, the several small motifs in the last row drove me absolutely batty.  And every one of the had to be stitched twice!

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Loved all the ducks!  The grass around them was my mindless-stitching-while-watching-TV for several nights.

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And here she is in all her glory.  The fabric color is captured best in this last photo. I made my photographer husband take this picture with his fancy camera.

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Pattern: Ann Dale 1827
Designer: Reproduction by Shakespeare’s Peddler
Fabric: HDF 40ct Dauphin (limited release, now sold out)
Threads: HDF silks
Started: January 14 2012 (stopped in 2 weeks)
Restarted: February 1, 2013
Finished: February 2, 2014

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